Buying the Van
The first step in any van build adventure is picking and buying a van. I’ve been waffling for over a year on what the best van to use would be, and I decided on buying a ‘starter van’ if you will.
So, what did I buy? I snagged a used 2019 Grand Caravan GT from Enterprise Car Sales, well equipped, in good condition and at a significant discount from new. This van has some nice features for a small build, including Stow and Go seating to provide a nice flat floor to build on. Also, as a tall person (6'1") the cargo length of 7' means I can still comfortably lay down.
But why a minivan? Well, I was able to buy this van for about $18,000. A comparable Sprinter or Promaster would have, if I could have found one at all, been $25,000+ and much more heavily worn. Additionally, a bigger van requires more raw materials to convert, more fuel to operate and is a less useful road trip vehicle out of the box. With nothing more than a sleeping pad and sleeping bag, you can spend the night in one of these, and it comes equipped ready haul around plenty of people or stuff. It’s a genuinely usable vehicle for all purposes and should be easy to sell if it turns out not to be something I use, or when I outgrow it.