We bought our transit in June of last year. We were one month away from our summer road trip when our beloved TDI Touareg had another rear main oil seal leak that proved to be almost catastrophic just six months earlier. We had always wanted a van and this was our chance! We built the floor into the van before our road trip and traveled for 2 months in the van with nothing but the floor and our gear as we built the van in our heads and an napkins across the western United States.
Fast forward 10 months and our van build is done and we couldn't be happier with the finished product - thanks in part to this forum that I've been lurking since a pre purchase inspection in June of 2019! The van meets all of our needs and has given us so many opportunities to go the places we want but two things have changed:
a) We were in Kauai in February and found that there were two jobs available to us as occupational therapists in the Kauai school district. These two positions were open last summer when we were in Leadville, Colorado but, having just bought the van and planning to build it as well as having already signed our contracts to come back to Ventura, CA we decided to wait. Opportunity is calling again and this time we've actually visited Kauai and fell in love with it beyond words.
b) Working as contracted occupational therapists for school districts in Ventura county - our paychecks will more than likely dwindle and then end May 1st and school will likely not resume until August. We're planning on buying a cheap Tacoma to share around the island in August and hopefully the difference between the asking price of the van and the cost of the Tacoma will hold us over in the meantime.
The van is posted on van life trader and craigslist. Please see our description from the van life trader post below!
Based in Ventura, California, we built our van with two purposes in mind: a) overnight/long weekend trips up and down the coast to surf/trips up the 395 to mountain bike, climb, and hike in the Sierras and b) an annual, extended road trip across the western United States during the school calendar summer.
The van spent the first part of it's life as a utility van and has been in California since new. It has 89,000 miles on it at the time of this listing. The van is under an extended warranty until 109,000 miles or June 15th of 2022 - whichever comes first. This is the top of the line warranty offered and includes all components of the van (powertrain, electrical, etc.) with the exception of normal wearing parts including brakes and tires. All services have been performed as scheduled/recommended.
Two Renogy 100 Watt 12v solar panels (200 watts total) on the roof power all of the essential functions of our van. Solar power is made usable by our Rengoy Rover Li 20 amp MPPT charge controller and is stored in our Renogy 12 volt, 100 AH deep cycle hybrid gel battery before being distributed by our Blue Sea ST Blade fuse block to our Maxx Air 7500k fan, 4 LED puck lights controlled by the front dimmer switch, Sureflow water pump, and rear rocker panel including cigarette lighter and two USB ports.
For surfing, the 21 gallon, top fill water tank feeds our L5 Ecotemp tankless hot water heater to provide on-demand hot water. We wanted to have enough hot water for two people to have a nice shower after surfing and rinse off at least two boards and two wetsuits. Water is fed into the tank via the 12v Sureflow water pump that is controlled by the rear rocker switch. This propane based system runs off of one pound propane tank(s) for safe and easy transport. The heater is effective and efficient enough that, on it's hottest setting, makes for quick work of dishes including cast iron after searing. On the higher flow setting, we're cleaning off our mountain bikes before they're stored back inside the van.
The full-time queen size memory foam mattress lets us get straight off of the road and into bed if we're getting into town late - no converting a couch to a bed, no spaces between pillow cushions to shift in the night. Additionally, the front 55" of the bed offer an amazing amount of storage when the front of the bed is lifted on the pneumatic strut which supports itself for easy loading and unloading of all of our climbing and backpacking gear and luggage. The rear portion of the bed stores the 21 gallon water tank, propane line, shower head, battery/fuse block, and our 40" full extension drawer slide rated to 190lbs. We use this drawer slide for all types of gear and storage but it's best used as a platform for outdoor, open air cooking on our coleman propane stove.
For insulation and temperature control, the van walls and ceiling are insulated with wool and secondarily insulated with poly-iso board where applicable. The floor is 1" poly-iso board topped with baltic burch subfloor and finished with Lifeproof vinyl plank flooring that is backed with a scratchproof/wear and tear lifetime warranty. The Maxx Air 7500K fan with the remote keeps our van cool and odor free following meals as it drawers air in or out. The walls are cedar tongue and groove and the ceiling is maple - it is our favorite part of the van build without a doubt.
Please do not hesitate to text or call at (561) 459 7517 or reach me via email at [email protected]
I hope you all enjoy the photos! Once (if) we come back to the states and things are back to normal another van is in our future without a doubt but we're confident someone else could enjoy this van in the meantime!
Thanks again for looking,
P.S. Although this is a for sale post, if anyone has questions about the build please do not hesitate! We're thrilled to talk about the van to anyone that will listen.