Van buying: from searching & finding my “perfect” van model
The decision to spend my life in a rolling home in the future was relatively easy for me. After all, I had been carrying the dream around with me for a while (see My dream – a nomadic life). The decision to finally get down to business was simply high time. How I chose the hopefully right van model for me, I want to tell you here. So much in advance: it was complicated, but I had fun. 🙂
Some basic questions that were important to me when choosing the new vehicle:
1. camper, caravan or van?
What kind of rolling home should it be? I didn’t want a thick camper, I don’t need that much space. A caravan (i.e. a trailer for the car) was also out of the question, that seemed too complicated. I don’t have a car, so I would have to buy one first, and then a caravan… too much of a good thing.
Quite early I had a favorite out: a van / Transporter. These are motorhomes based on the usual model series of vans, e.g. Mercedes Sprinter, Fiat Ducato, Peugeot Boxer etc.. Why? These vans are compact, look good and I can find a parking space somewhere in the city with them (so maybe… at least more likely than with a fat camper ;). They are also quite a bit cheaper than the usual motorhomes, which start somewhere around 60,000€. Box vans are available new from about 38,000€.
2. the van: used or new?
The feschen VW Bullis are really fantastically beautiful and very stylish. But they are also old and one or the other screw is surely loose. So this car fell off my wish list right from the start. I’m not a mechanic and I just don’t want to deal with the quirks of a used car (at least not right from the start).
So the van has to be a little newer. So I went looking and quickly realized – such a van that is only 1-2 years old is still quite expensive. In addition, there is never the perfect van that exactly meets my needs. So after a long time of thinking and calculating, I came to the decision: I will build my dream van (or have it built).
The interest rates are currently in the basement and it makes little sense to save money … so the car is financed from my savings and a loan. The loan installment will then virtually replace my rent for a few years. Since I won’t have a rental apartment anymore, these costs will be eliminated. More money for the car. 🙂
3. all inclusive or minimalistic?
Since I would like to be self-sufficient as often as possible on the road and do not want to stand much on campsites (which is also a question of cost), a complete equipment was important to me. So a bathroom with shower and toilet as well as a kitchen must fit into the van. This also includes enough space for a comfortable bed – my 180 cm like to stretch out comfortably at night. And in order not to sit in the dark in the evening and so that my laptop always has enough power, solar panels should provide additional power.
The research for the perfect van
After the wish list for my new home was more or less fixed, the research started – the search for the perfect van.
he after the ideal box van with perfect price-performance ratio. Well, I know, the egg-laying will
ow does not exist here either, a few compromises I will have to make.
There are quite a few vendors selling panel vans as vans. Basically they are all pretty similar, most have panel vans from Fiat or Peugeot as a base. Where the models differ is the interior setup and equipment. So I took a closer look at the details and defined criteria for myself
- The lying surface of the bed should be continuous, so a double bed. I do not like single beds. And it must be long enough (at least 1.90m).
- The bathroom should be a so-called room bathroom. This means that the shower is in the hallway and therefore the bathroom is bigger. So I don’t have to squeeze between the sink and the toilet when showering.
- A pleasant interior design is also important, after all I have to feel comfortable in the van. Warm colors, light wood instead of cold white/grey or dark wood.
- A well thought-out storage concept is a must.
- I definitely don’t want a chemical toilet. These come standard with all vendors.
Thanks to long Googlelei I had soon a stately list of various suppliers together: Adria, Hobby, Pössl, Westfalia, Globecar, Sun Living, Karmann and VANTourer. Some models I have looked at Campingmobil providers here in/around Berlin.
After a long time back and forth, looking and reading and asking and pondering… my favorite was decided: the new VANTourer 600L. Why VANTourer? It just looks cool and most of my criteria are met. In addition, the salesmen from Caravan Center Wusterhausen were very sympathetic and gave me great advice.
Pictures of my future rolling home – the VANTourer:
This is how my new home will look like!The “bedroom” / © VANTourerKitchen, living room, office – all in one! / © VANTourerThe interior layout of the van / ©
VANTourerHopefully my van will be ready for takeoff
by the end of
May – at best just in time for the Immergut Festival!
Here are the links to the other models I looked at: Adria Twin 600 / Hobby Vantana K60 / Pössl Roadstar 600 L / Westfalia Columbus / Globestar 600 L Revolution / SunLiving Flexo SLX / Karmann Davis 590 Edition
Oh, about the chemical toilet: this is currently still a small problem. I just don’t want a chemical toilet in my van. After all, there are much better alternatives. The compost/dry toilet (like this one) is the best alternative for me: no water is needed, no chemicals. Disposal is much easier than with the chemical toilet and is needed much less often. Unfortunately, the installation of a composting toilet is not done by the supplier, which means I have to find someone to do it myself. This is currently at the top of my to-do list. Any tips on this would be greatly appreciated!
What do you think – good choice?
Anyway, I’m really looking forward to the van, meanwhile I’m already thinking about giving it a name… and if so, which one? Questions over questions
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