Last Update: 9/15/2017

Buying a Used Van When You Don't Know Shit 'Bout Cars

ink-drawing style photo of the back of a used van for sale
You're ready to launch into van life, but ya gotta go cheap and used. If ya ain't a mechanic, how you find a good deal on a reliable used van? Here's how!

?? #Vanlife question? Contact Vanholio! direct !!

Al Christensen at The Rolling Steel Tent wrote the best damn advice for regular folks buyin' used that Vanholio ever read! "Are You About to Buy a Gem or Junk?" You need to read it. I mean NEED.

He don't try to make you a mechanic. His approach is all about usin' your current knowledge as a driver, car owner, and human being. It's intuitive: If the seller, the situation, or the drive experience don't feel write, don't buy.

I'd also add that you should Google for the common problems of the particular model you're lookin' at. Owner forums are great. That'll help you with one or all of the followin':


  1. Keep an eye out for those particular problems when you look at the van.
  2. Make sure the mechanic looks for those particular problems.
  3. Add to the pros and cons on decidin' whether to buy.
  4. If you buy, help you notice the problems quick if they come up.


Again, check out Al's article!

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