Why We’re Selling Our Van & Converting Another One
We learned a lot after living in our van for a couple years. In fact, we have two blog posts about what we’ve learned along the way in the first month of van life and the first year of van life if you want to check those out.
Recently, we sold our first sprinter van that we spent 5 months converting in 2016. Of course, everyone wanted to know the exact reasons why we wanted to sell it and what we are going to do in our new conversion… and don’t worry, we will be sharing all the details over the next couple weeks.
But first, I wanted to go over the main reasons why we sold our first van!
1. We wanted more of an adventure mobile.
Our first van was perfect for us because the only outdoor gear we really had was our snowboards… which we were able to leave at our family's house during off season.
We also had a bike rack on the tow hitch of our van that we stored our mountain bikes on. This worked great for us for a while, and we figured if we got more gear we could just get a roof box.
What changed our mind was that we wanted to purchase brand new mountain bikes that were a little more expensive, and storing them outside was not something we wanted to do.
So designing our new van build to have a gear garage underneath the bed is important!
2. We want something we could make more comfortable for the dog.
In October 2017, we adopted a little dachshund puppy. Living in a van with a dog is definitely not easy and it has had its own set of challenges.
One of those challenges is finding a good place for him to sleep. I personally don’t like to let dogs sleep on my bed because it disrupts my sleep. So our pup sleeps in his kennel at night.
This created an issue because his kennel took up all of our floor space in the van which made for a pretty stressful situation. So in our new van, we will build him a little bedroom of his own!
We also wanted to have some climate control in the van so zero could be comfortable in there when we were away.
Our new van build will have more windows with vents, a fan, and an air conditioner right next to his room. We’ll also have heat and a way to monitor the temperature in the new van when we are away.
3. We want to take our van snowboarding.
This winter, we are purchasing an Epic Pass. Our last van was RWD and did fine in the snow, especially with chains. But for peace of mind and the ability to go to all the mountain resorts, we wanted 4WD in our next build.
We also wanted to add a shower with hot water stored inside so that we don’t have to worry about the water freezing.
That means we can snowboard at the resorts, leave zero comfortably in the van with the heat on, and have a hot shower after snowboarding all day.
4. We need more space for our outdoor gear.
We bought new mountain bikes that we wanted to store inside our van so they didn’t end up getting stolen.
We also are purchasing an inflatable SUP, rock climbing gear, and storing our snowboard gear year round. This requires a lot more space, which is why we are building a garage layout in our new van.
Our previous van had space for outdoor gear, but it had to be stored outside of the van which we weren’t 100% comfortable with when we left our van for longer periods of time.
5. Tons of people are in the market for a van.
Right now, tons of people are interested in Van Life but don’t have the time to build their own or the budget to reach out to a conversion company.
This means so many people are looking to purchase a van that’s already built. We really wanted to put ours up for sale now because it was a good time to do so.
If you remember, we tried to sell our van a year ago in mid-July and it didn’t work out… mostly because people were already on summer adventures and they weren’t actively looking for a van.
6. Selling our van gives us more money to put into a new one.
The main reason for selling something is to hopefully profit off of the hard work and labor you put into it. The idea was, by selling our van, we could pay off what we owed and have money left over because of the conversion we did.
After two years of living in it and the amount of money we put into our first build, we actually made a pretty decent profit. It was enough to give us more money to start our new build than we had the first time we did this... which is why we are able to add things like a hot shower :)
We are still going to finance our new van and make monthly payments on it, but the monthly payments aren’t much different than we paid on our first van. So I’d say we made a pretty smart financial move!