Ford Transit USA Forum banner
1 - 20 of 53 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
2018 Ford Transit 250 148” LWB High Roof with 18,900 miles. Gas V6.

We’ve camped with this over the last 3 seasons, mostly at a seasonal campsite rental we’ve rented for the last 3 years and a couple trips to the adirondacks.

Our dogs are aging out of camping and so we probably won’t be camping again for a couple years.

So, I see three options:
1. sit on it and keep it maintained until we can use it again.
2. sell it with all the conversion intact.
3. Strip it down to stock, store all the upgrades and components for later use, and sell it as a cargo van.

What is the wisdom of the interweb? Thoughts?

Everything internal is bolted on by plusnuts or rivnuts or tied to factory cargo points, and I built it so that I can reconfigure it back to stock with minimal effort.

You can find my post about the electrical management system with auto-transfer switches for shore/house AC/DC power, shore power inlet, afci/gfci AC outlets, 10/12 ga wiring for AC power, blue seas switches, fuses, breakers, GZ1400, AC-DC and DC-DC chargers, 200watts solar, etc, etc. (see Goal Zero and Shore Power).

Full-size bed (east-west) to stretch out my 6’1” body. The bed is suspended by removable square-tube metal bars. The bed system can be stowed so that the rear of the van can be used to haul a motorycle or move stuff.

Under the bed is open storage with a 21” clearance for the old dogs to sleep and move around comfortably. The floor of this storage area is a 500lb bed slide for easy cargo access when transporting and removing stuff. Tie-down rings everywhere.

Plenty of overhead storage above the bed, and in the living/kitchen area.

Induction cooktop, large mini-fridge. The full-size sink with electric pump and filtration uses 6gallon fresh and 6gallon grey jugs.

Removable leguna table, swivel passenger seat. Go Anywhere dry bag toilet system in ottoman. Dinner seating for 2.

80/20 roof rails and cross members (Hein), yakima max cross-members, Roof rack with cargo basket and large thule cargo box. Max air deluxe fan, cellular signal booster. Thule 8’ awning.

Running boards - full length on passenger side, with driver door side. Wheel well liners. weathertech mudflaps. weathertech window and hood deflectors. Upgraded air-box cover. Recovery boards. Telescoping ladder, wheel chocks, leveling blocks.

Hitch with wiring harness and brake controller.

Slider window with vent. Perforated vinyl wrap on slider and rear windows for privacy.

Dash-cam with full-time rear view.

Dynamat soundproofing - about 60% coverage(walks, ceiling, floor, wheelwells). Insulated with rockwool and polyiso. Floor also insulated with foam matts.

Smoke/gas detectors and elide fire suppression balls.

Legend fleet stabil-grip composite floor. Legend fleet durotherm ceiling liner.

Ceiling led puck lights. Removable portable Air Cond unit with microstart soft start and metal screened window exhaust vent. Portable electric heater. Electric blanket. The van is well insulated so the Air Cond and the heater don’t work very hard except in extreme temps (see my post about my aircond setup - My A/C Hack with MicroAir EastStart soft start).

Rear door bug screen and sliding door bug screen allows those to be open without bug entry.

I’m probably forgetting a lot of stuff and will add them later as I think of them. I’ll post up pictures later this morning.
Wheel Tire Land vehicle Vehicle Plant


Cabinetry Drawer Chest of drawers Wood Table


Cabinetry Drawer Kitchen Wood Kitchen appliance


Plant Vehicle Automotive tire Automotive lighting Tree


Plant Vehicle Hood Motor vehicle Automotive tire


Car Wheel Vehicle Tire Plant




Cooktop Kitchen appliance Kitchen stove Home appliance Audio equipment
Computer Table Personal computer Laptop Automotive tire


Cabinetry Computer desk Drawer Wood Chest of drawers


Flooring Floor Vehicle Leisure Art
 

·
Registered
2019 T250 LWB EL High Roof 3.5L EcoBoost
Joined
·
92 Posts
The only reasons I see to sell are:

1. You have a real need/use for the money in the short term.

2. You value the process of building a camper van, just as much as using the finished product.

If so, sell it.

If future cost is an issue for you, strip it and store all the parts. If not, sell complete, as is.
 
  • Like
Reactions: lucienpsmith

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
There may never be a better time to sell. Prices are insane because demand is high. That said, I still don’t think you’ll get what you put into it, and what it would cost to do it again will remain high for quite a while. I can’t imagine a scenario where holding on to it was the wrong play if you almost certainly will want one again. I’d only sell it if I was sure I didn’t mind doing it again better the next time and didn’t mind that it’ll cost a lot more and will take longer than you want.

But like above, if you enjoyed building it enough that you’ll enjoy doing it again and it’s not really about the money or you need money now for something else but will have money later for the replacement….or you really may not ever go back to #vanlife, then sell it.


—Donnie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,967 Posts
If it were me in that situation:

#2

Reasoning:
Storing a vehicle costs money in the form of registration, possibly insurance, STILL maintaining it with fluid changes based on date not miles, etc. As mentioned, the street price of vans is at an all-time high. Campervans are an enhancement, since many of the people desperate to buy a van want to turn it into a DIY RV. Saving the components for a future campervan in 2-3+ years means that many of the components may be obsolete, having been eclipsed by better/cheaper/more innovative components. The same theory for the van itself, in 2-3+ years there likely will be improved drivetrains, features, and efficiency.

The gamble is assuming that prices for new vehicles will come back down because supply issues will have been worked out, and dealers won't continue to mark them up 10-25% over MSRP. That may not happen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,013 Posts
I don't know that people are still paying a premium for DIY converted vans like they were in summer 2020 when the implications of the pandemic were sinking in and there were thoughts of working on the road, or at least avoiding McDonald's bathrooms while on roadtrips.

But if you aren't going to use it for a couple years, I'd definitely sell it. surly Bill makes a good case. Maybe wishful thinking, but 3 years from now an e-van might actually be practical (for your uses). As long as your income mostly keeps up with inflation they really shouldn't be that less affordable ... and this whole supply driven jacking up of prices can't last forever.

I'd sell it as #2, or a modified strip all the premium stuff of value (Thule awning, Hein rack, Thule box) and sell those separately. Often the sum of the parts is less than their value individually, and I wouldn't fill your storage space with it while you wait to get a new van (if you have a change of plans in a few years and decide you'd rather buy a condo on the beach in Cancun, you'll welcome not having to dispose of it then).

It might even turn out the bare van would be an easier sale, but we're coming into the season where people will be wanting a camper van and discovering at least they won't be buying a bare van off a dealer lot, so I'd juice it for everything you could.
 
  • Like
Reactions: lucienpsmith

·
Registered
Joined
·
875 Posts
Your thread title of "sell or hold" gives the idea that you are looking at the van as an asset to profit from, and you are thinking about when selling will be the most profitable.

For that, I'd say sell now. They always say "don't invest in anything you have to fix or feed." Vans are selling at a premium now, so it's a probably rare moment where one can make a profit on them. No matter what happens, I don't see a van that is aging by the year being worth more (at least by much) next year, even if the market holds. It's also spring in most of the US. Prime time. People see your ad and think, man, in a few weeks we could be on the road!

If selling now, and wanting the best return, I'd research what would bring you more money: Empty van or converted van. My guess is converted because while being a contractor is pretty much the same as it always was, "vanlife" is the hot thing. Vanlife also is an emotional thing, and I'd think that would work in your favor as far as selling price and speed.

The personal side is less "knowable" - especially by people here.

If you were looking at it from a less profit-driven side, then there would be all kinds of personal factors that would play into it. Do you still want a campervan in two years? Would you want to pay someone to convert a new van? Would you be able and willing to convert one yourself again? What about the time it takes?

If you chose to convert a van again in two years, then would you want to install used items that you've stored for two years and would then be nearly five years old? Or start fresh? Batteries would have to be maintained, electronics evolve, etc.

Based on the thread title and your post, I'd say "sell" vs. "hold." (Sell as a fully converted campervan.)

PS: This is not financial advice, I've never fixed vehicles up with any thought to profit, and thus have probably never profited from selling any vehicle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
everyone is bringing up valid points.

I very much enjoy the build process. I’m not looking to profit. However annual insurance and registration fees for me are about $1,200 a year(I max out everything) plus oil changes/maintenance based on time not mileage.

I do have concern that if in 3 to 4 years I wanna have a campervan, that it might be challenging to get a low mileage van again to build out at a price I can afford.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,065 Posts
However annual insurance and registration fees for me are about $1,200 a year(I max out everything) plus oil changes/maintenance based on time not mileage.

I do have concerne that if in 3 to 4 years I wanna have a campervan, that it might be challenging to get a low mileage van again to build out at a price I can afford.

all in, I’m probably about $55K on this one. Not including the time I put into the build.
The consideration is the future price vs what you are able to sell your for since if there is a lot of profit to be had now plus a savings on carrying costs for several ears, those $$ can be put towards the replacement.

The current situation where used vehicles have gone up in value by 35% in one year :eek: (and new by 12%) is unprecedented Consumer Price Index News Release - 2022 M03 Results No one knows if this trend will hold/increase/correct in general in "a couple of years" and more specifically ICE cargo vans or converted cargo vans. But if a was a betting man ...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,566 Posts
I am not sure that a dog is a good reason to buy or sell a van, but I do understand how they become part of the family.

If your goal is to have AWD in you next van, then selling this one and actively starting the process to buy the next one might make sense.

The value is really not in the upfit parts, it is in the final results. Your interior looks very nice vs some are just hack jobs that detract from the value. Based on this, I would not strip it, but it might make sense to consider adjusting the layout to make it easier to buy bulky things and bring them home.

You didn't say how old you are and this can be a factor. If you are thinking about having children, then the current setup might not be viable.

If you are in your 50s +, then it is worth thinking about the reality that you / family health needs might not be the same today as in a few years. It might be super handy to have a mobile bathroom + bed.

If your wife is tired of this type of vacation, then all other logical answers don't matter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,065 Posts
Sell it and buy a brand new one when you're ready. That's what I'd do in your circumstances. Oh, and put the money to work in the market, especially if we get a big dip this fall.

Cheers.
I am not sure that I would put money that I needed in a couple of years in the market.
increasing-your-chances-of-positive-portfolio-returns-the-facts-about-long-term-investing
Of course need and camper van??? I suppose if this timing is poor and you are in a position to delay the camper then ...
However, if the market was to really tank, then there might be a surplus of used camper vans on the market, hence lower prices. So ... :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
143 Posts
2018 Ford Transit 250 148” LWB High Roof with 18,900 miles. Gas V6.

We’ve camped with this over the last 3 seasons, mostly at a seasonal campsite rental we’ve rented for the last 3 years and a couple trips to the adirondacks.

Our dogs are aging out of camping and so we probably won’t be camping again for a couple years.

So, I see three options:
1. sit on it and keep it maintained until we can use it again.
2. sell it with all the conversion intact.
3. Strip it down to stock, store all the upgrades and components for later use, and sell it as a cargo van.

What is the wisdom of the interweb? Thoughts?
The market for used vehicles is very high at the moment. The market for used low mileage vans at the moment is NUTS! Gas prices are high and you can still get an excellent price for your van. You may never see these market dynamics repeated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,495 Posts
I am not sure that I would put money that I needed in a couple of years in the market.
increasing-your-chances-of-positive-portfolio-returns-the-facts-about-long-term-investing
Of course need and camper van??? I suppose if this timing is poor and you are in a position to delay the camper then ...
However, if the market was to really tank, then there might be a surplus of used camper vans on the market, hence lower prices. So ... :)
That's a risk I would definitely take if we were -20% S&P 500. But that's just me. Some folks like to put money in a "savings" account at a bank so they can lose -8.5% per year due to inflation. Lol. Funny stuff. Or sad stuff I suppose.

Cheers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
My thought would be to advertise it at price high enough to make you uncomfortable and see what happens. Might be surprised. If no interest nothing lost.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
In my area for a well appointed van like yours that is low for what I have seen. Especially considering the mileage. Just my 2 cents.
I would research prices in your area.
 
  • Like
Reactions: LeeLow and andyl

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,967 Posts
If your wife is tired of this type of vacation, then all other logical answers don't matter.
I keep getting older, but college girls are always the same age
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,967 Posts
Interesting. I guess $60-65k would be high enough to make me uncomfortable. What do you guys think?
Yeah, in this market I would be uncomfortable selling that van for so cheap. On Craigslist, people want near $100k for a 2wd campervan with less than 25k miles.
 
1 - 20 of 53 Posts
Top