Dear potential buyer!
When I was looking for a camper van I learned some valuable lessons, which you might find helpful finding a solid vehicle:
1. People are asking for anything from $4000$ to $7000 (which I find is overpriced) for a camper van from the mid 80's.
You could buy a cheap one that hasn't had a lot of repairs but expect repairs (transmission, brakes, ignition system, fuel pump, carburetor, tires, radiator or the exhaust system) for up to $3000 and have the money for it ready.
It is very frustrating to buy a vehicle for all your money and then not being able to use it because you can't afford the repairs. You should: buy a vehicle, that already had all the repairs done (after all we are talking about cars that are around 20 years old, so they will need repairs) and make sure the previous owner has proof of the repairs(receipts, bills, etc). Any kind of promises like "it runs strong", "I took good care of it" or "it is a carefree buy" doesn't mean anything, since the seller has no liability after you bought the vehicle as seen.
Another great benefit of buying a car that already had most of the repairs is, that you safe yourself the hassle of dealing with all the repair shops, trying to get good prices and not to get ripped off while at the same time having the discomfort of not having a car (I used mine as my daily commute).
2. Don't buy a car that has been standing around, there is a reason for it. The vehicle might have issues that started building and as the owner realized it, he is trying to sell it before "it" breaks. You might not realize that, since you are not going to be able to identify "new" noises or symptoms as such.
3. Don't buy a car from a seller, that hasn't owned / driven the car for a good while. These days there are many people that try to make some quick money by buying and then selling cars for more. Their prime interest is to make money. When they tell you that the car is in a good condition it really doesn't mean anything. How could they know, they just test drove it a couple of times to see whether its flaws aren't too obvious so that they can sell it.
4. Question why this alleged good car is being sold. If you have the feeling it seems shady most likely there is a reason.
The car is fully equipped including a watertank, gastank, stove, sink, refrigerator, external powersupply, 2nd AC (when connected to external power) and some cabinets. It has a two-battery setup, so that the fridge and lights can run (and drain) of the second battery without the danger of depleting the main battery. With the table in the back removed, the benches slide together and convert into a bed that sleeps two people. The converted top allows for people up to about 5'10'' to comfortably stand upright inside the car. Before I found this car I was looking for a Vanagon. The Ford E150 is an American car with a virtually indestructable V8 engine and very easy to find spare parts and repair guides. Besides that, it is far more spacious and a lot better furnished than the Volkswagen equivalents. Why am I selling the car: I am a German Naval Officer who was stationed at the NAS Jacksonville for flight training over a period of 9 month, so I obviously needed a car. Since my wife and I planned to make a roadtrip through Florida at the end of my training we bought this campervan. I didn't want to have to deal with buying, selling, insuring and maintaining two cars, therefore I only got this car and also used it as my daily commute. The reason for all the repairs, even though I'm going to have to sell the car so shortly after, is for my wife and I to be able to go on that roadtrip without having to worry about the car breaking down and thereby ruining our vacation. With all those repairs made I would think that this is a car that can be driven at least for one to three years without having to put a lot of money into it. If you continue to take good care of it, I would also assume, that this car will retain a good value, so that it can be sold for around 3000$ in a couple of years. Therefore you will be able to get some of the money back that you put into it. Update: We completed the appr. 3000 miles long Roadtrip and had no cartrouble whatsoever :-) Since I don't have a US Cellphone any more you will have to contact us via E-mail if you have any questions. Lilla and Matthias
- Body Style: Conversion Van
- Year: 1984
- Mileage: 100,000
- Transmission: Automatic
- Engine: 8 Cylinder
- Drivetrain: AWD - All Wheel Drive
- Color: White / Blue Stripes
- Condition: Fair
- VIN: 1FTDE14F9EHA90099
- Conversion Van Listed By: Owner
- Stock: 33461606
- Category: Conversion Vans
Vehicle Features & Specs
- So here is what I have to offer:
- A 1984 E-150 Ford Van Camper Conversion with a 302ci (5L) V8, 185 Horsepower and 100,000 miles
- VIN: 1FTDE14F9EHA90099. Following repairs where recently made (receipts are all still in my possession):
- Rebuilt transmission with exchange + rebuilt torque converter $2186
- New brakes and rotors included rear cylinders and flushing of the system replacing old fluid: $370
- Radiator repaired incluiding new fan-clutch and fan-blade $170
- New exhaust pipe and muffler $60
- New XL (extra load
- reinforced sidewalls for trucks or heavy vehicles with a high center of gravity)
- tires + balancing and alignment check $320
- A complete vehicle Inspection from Firestone on 07/10/09 (suggested were to replace water pump and blts) $20
- Oil change (high mileage oil) $30
- New water-pump and belts $235$
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