Once you identify things you should know before living the van life, it’s time to start looking for a van and get a rough idea of what you need to do. If you want my suggestion on this, I would say, start with simple. It means, begins your van life journey with a cheap and simple or simply buy used converted van. You can start with a rented motorhome for the next 1 or 2 months and then make decisions for full-time. Don’t worry it’s just an idea. Before we jump into the top 9 online sources, let’s start with some PRO tips on how to buy used camper van.
How to buy used camper van?
Some important PRO Tips to focus on: –
- Your mindset while buying
When it comes to purchasing a van, your perspective and approach are just as essential as any other aspect of the process. Taking a step back and looking at the broad picture is a good idea at every stage.
Never get too attracted to a particular model. When we concentrate all of our minds on one subject, it begins to dominate our thoughts and shape our reality. Also, keep in mind that when you buy used camper vans from private sellers, part of the process involves shady conversations and the odd person scamming.
I think that the majority of people are decent, but it doesn’t suggest that you shouldn’t safeguard yourself from people who are attempting to take advantage of you, especially if you go out to buy used camper van.
The most important part is not to get upset if someone does not reply to your inquiry or is unable to contact you. You’re going better than most out there typically experiencing in the market if you receive over just 25% respondents!
- Mileage - How far is too far?
In my view, this question is too concerning! The number of miles driven is significant, but the state of the vehicle is much more so. A vehicle with 200K miles of well-maintained service will treat you better than one with 100K miles of harsh driving and carelessness. Follow all of the normal inspection methods unless your vehicle has particular components that keep breaking down at a greater mileage.
Having said that, anything under 200K is worth considering. Older models may need more maintenance, but it will typically be pieces – a gas system here, some wheel bearings there, and so on – so if you budget planned carefully, there will not be a shock and will maintain you on the road pretty consistently.
You can test that figure if you’re mechanically sound, but if you don’t want to bother with repairs, go for a certified-used alternative from a dealership. This will give you some assurance to buy used camper van with low maintenance.
When out there to buy used converted van, most of us dislike the concept of financing. Unless you’re in a unique situation where you can earn a good living while traveling but need to get out of there fast, it seems wise to build up an emergency fund first before committing to the lifestyle.
If you’re considering funding, you’ve probably got your eyes set on something too high. Using a lease is much worse since you shouldn’t be making significant changes to a camper you don’t own.
When comparing vans, don’t forget to account for an emergency reserve. Many people disagree, but having an emergency fund is critical because if anything goes wrong while you’re on the road, you’ll be locked out without a place to stay.
- Age of the Vehicle
There are a few factors to consider when estimating how old a van will be. In general, newer cars are safer to drive. More crumple zones, airbags, and braking systems that are safer.
- OBD II, which simplifies diagnostics, is standard on all US-sold vehicles manufactured in 1996 and after.
- Older cars are simpler to fix, but they break down more often and need more regular maintenance. To make sure you stay on top of preventive maintenance, pick up a service handbook and go over it.
- Newer vehicles, in certain instances, have their own problems.
- Body Rust
As a result, it has been given its own subcategory. When it comes to customizing, dealing with body rust may be a real pain. Corrosion removal is usually more difficult and therefore more time-consuming than anticipated.
Rust also increases the difficulty of maintenance. When you buy used camper van, you don’t expect to have to worry about snapping off a bolt when working on the shocks. Rusty vans should be avoided at all costs since this is a problem that cannot be undone.
- Troubleshooting for vehicle-specific problems
A smart idea before buying is to conduct some research on the internet about any known problems with that specific model and year. As you can see from online discussions, addressing these issues is very tough.
For example, the 1996 Ford’s engines are fantastic, but in 1997 they moved to the Triton engine, which had a propensity to burn out the spark plugs prematurely and was thus discontinued.
- Value when sold again
In financing your construction, should you take the resale price into account? Any additional money you hope to make from the conversion should be seen as a bonus, not something you should bank on.
I prefer to think of living in a van as a cheap prolonged vacation expense for people who just want to do it for a year or two. Selling the van should be last on the list of priorities for people who want to stay in their current location permanently.
- Vehicle Inspection
It’s normal to be hesitant when buying from a private party for the first time. Remember, you can back out at any time and start again with a new vehicle if you feel uncomfortable.
Before you purchase any vehicle, make sure you take it for a test drive. Besides finding out whether there are any issues with the car, this will also let you know if you enjoy riding it. It’s important to get to know your new house before moving in since certain people and van combinations don’t get along.
Bring a buddy who is mechanically skilled to assist you to look at it more rationally and make a choice. If meeting strangers makes you feel uneasy, make an appointment to meet in a public place (Contact your local police station; they may have a designated area for such transactions).
It’s a spin, but the majority of sellers who are sincere about the sale of their vehicle will let you have a mechanic look it over. Some are nervous, but leaving your vehicle behind makes them feel safer.
Plan ahead of time with your technician and the seller to make sure this works well. A one-hour assessment often costs $50-$100, which is a modest amount to pay if it saves you from having to spend $1800 for maintenance.
Inspection of the vehicle offers you a chance to bargain for a lower price if you are still interested in it after all. Some owners aren’t aware they need maintenance and would happily lower the price to have it done for them.
As a result, if any of these items terrify or create problems, a dealer will remove them all. You’ll pay a premium for this service, and you may have fewer choices available to you.
- Bonus Top Tips from Craigslist
- To locate specific models of vans, do separate searches for each one. Sometimes a van will be listed as a Ford Van even if it’s an Econoline or E-150 instead. Use phrases like “Cargo Van, Conversion Van, Camper Van, Campervan, Class B,” etc. to see what results you get.
- Some vendors do an appalling job of explaining exactly what they have for sale. Don’t forget to check out the RV area, since there are many half-built projects mentioned there.
- Use as few filters as possible since individuals frequently inadvertently misrepresent their possessions.
- Search several craigslist locations at once using searchtempest.com. Finding something unique, even if it means traveling a long distance, is made easier using this method.
Where to buy used converted van? Top 9 Online Sources.
If you’re reading this, you’re already familiar with some handy tips for how to buy a converted van or just a camper van. But I’m sure you want to know where you can get a good deal on a used camper? Find and buy a used camper van for sale by using the numerous websites we’ve listed below. Use craigslist or one of the other markets specific to vans and you are likely to discover what you need. And you’re in luck since there is a slew of campervans available right now.
Interested in secondhand motorhomes? Here’s where to find them.
For the most part, I’ll be discussing converted campervans that can be used right away. Because the price is included with all of the conversion and labor expenses, the price of the campervans tends to rise.
Everybody’s heard of Craigslist by now, right? It’s a fantastic place to find a used campervan for sale online. Because it’s a peer-to-peer marketplace, prices are lower than they would be at a commercial business. However, there are dangers associated when you buy used converted van from a site like this.
On a budget, Craigslist is the ideal place to look for a used campervan. Due to the fact that it’s a no-cost option for the advertiser and getting in touch with the seller is simple.
We recommend starting your search for a used campervan close to where you now live.
Note: It’s critical that you keep in mind the few pointers we’ve provided above in this situation.
2. Facebook Marketplace
You can buy used camper van for sale on Facebook Marketplace. To get started, all you have to do is sign in to your Facebook account, or establish a new one. After that, go to the market to see what secondhand campervans are available.
There are many keywords you may use on Facebook Marketplace to find a used campervan, such as used camper van, camper van conversion, and so on. Facebook will inform you if a new campervan is advertised if you enable keyword notifications. When using Facebook Marketplace, you can generally tell whether the person selling the vehicle is a “genuine” person by checking if their account is verified. However, you should use caution when disclosing personal information and scheduling a time to see the vehicle.
Another option to buy used converted van is via the auction website eBay. As a long-time seller of used goods, eBay has seen a lot of success. A campervan conversion may be quite affordable because of eBay’s technique of bidding on the goods. As a result, if no one else is bidding on the campervan, you may be able to acquire it for a cheap price.
However, there are certain drawbacks to this. So that you can’t get your camper van examined by a technician for technical problems before you go. Considering that when purchasing a used campervan, I believe that this is a very essential thing to keep in mind.
WeGoLook seems to provide an inspection for $100, however, this does not appear to include a mechanical check. 58 pictures, VIN validation, damage validation, and tyre tread depth images are the only features it has to provide. It’s an excellent alternative if you’re worried about it being a fraud. You’ll have greater peace of mind if the seller allows you to have a mechanic do a pre-purchase check.
4. Conversion Trader
Buying a secondhand campervan is simple with Conversion Trader. You may search by vehicle type, manufacturer, and price range on their site. If you’re searching for anything particular, you can also try using the search box.
Once you’ve pressed the search button, you’ll see the year, mileage, gas type, and transmission information all at once. When you discover the vehicle of your dreams, you have the option of contacting the seller through email or phone. Additionally, you’ll be able to obtain a rough idea of where you’ll be picking up the campervan.
Conversion Trader also has the capability of finding builders and services. If you discover the ideal vehicle, but it’s missing some finishing touches, you’ll be able to contact some reputable contractors nearby.
5. Vanlife Trader
Vanlife Trader is for more than just individuals looking to buy used camper van. They also provide van leasing, van financing, and van construction. All of these services are available. In this case, the search function will suffice, since you came here searching for where to purchase a used campervan.
When you first arrive at their website, they ask for a lot of information, such as keywords, type of vehicle, conversion process, vehicle manufacturer, number of seats, sleep capacity, and pricing ranges. As a result, you’ll be off to a good start. When in doubt, leave a filter blank and they will provide you with a wider range of campervans to select from.
By entering your choices, you’ll be sent to a page that lists all of the used campervans available, along with information such as the model year, mileage, gas type, and if it has 2wd, 44, and all-wheel drive (AWD).
A message template, a social media account, or a phone number may all be used to contact the vehicle you’ve found. They’ll also tell you roughly where the car is located.
6. The Van Camper
The Van Camper is a more recent website, having been launched in early 2020. However, it was designed for ease of use and to aid other people in traveling safely after the Covid-19 Pandemic.
There are many campervans for sale throughout the U.s when you visit the website. However, you may use a variety of search criteria to locate campervans in or around your city, such as price, mileage, year, and so on. Additional criteria include the number of people who can sleep in the camper, the kind of roof, the vehicle’s make and model, and whether or not there is a kitchen. As a result, finding your ideal campervan is a doddle.
There aren’t any additional costs, however, making it a win-win situation for everyone. Once you’ve located the ideal campervan, you’ll be able to contact the vendor directly. There’s also an app for the Van Camper, so you can keep searching for your ideal vehicle directly from your smartphone.
7. Van Viewer
Van Viewer is a second-hand or hardly used campervan marketplace. A grid of available campervans will be shown to you as soon as you arrive at their home page. The specifics will provide you with information such as the brand, model, year, and location, as well as the cost. You may even choose the campervan’s designer, depending on whether you want a custom-built vehicle or one that looks more professional.
8. RV Trader
RV Trader is more of a marketplace to buy used camper vans than a traditional classifieds website. You may include your zip code and the search radius in your first search. Afterward, you’ll see all of the available camper van models, together with details like price, make mileage, a short description, and whether or not it’s being sold by a private party or a dealership.
If you see a campervan you like, you may get in touch with the seller by phone or by using the message form on the seller’s website. Alternatively, you may go to the company’s website to learn more. The message template allows you to request more images or videos.
9. Classic Vans
There is no doubt that Classic Vans is the best conversion, camper, and wheelchair-accessible van dealer in the country. These second-hand Rvs are also well-built, making it simpler to have them repaired if anything goes wrong with them after you buy one or while you’re on the road. However, as a result of this, the purchase price will be greater.
They also provide delivery throughout the nation, so you don’t have to be concerned if you discover the ideal vehicle but it is situated elsewhere. Many of their pre-owned campervans have little mileage, that’s from a brief search. In other words, if you’re searching for a slowly and carefully used campervan, this is a fantastic place to start your search. A short look at a used campervan’s brand, model, year, pricing versus retail price, and mileage will tell you all you need to know before making an offer.