Why We Bought a Diesel Van?

Van Life E350 Ford

What is the best type of vehicle to live a nomadic life? If you pull a camper trailer, then your tow vehicle has to be strong enough to pull thousands of pounds. Maybe you don’t want to pull anything, and live in a custom van (huge right now) and not have to worry about where you “camp” for the night. Of course, we kind of wanted to do both.

We  knew that our current Tow Vehicle for our Airstream Argosy (1998 Ford Expedition) was on it’s way to the auto graveyard to the sky. On it’s last leg. Was on it’s last hurrah. (You get the picture) We had gone on so many road trips with our Expedition and had so many adventures in it. But it was time to say goodbye which meant getting a Vehicle that could tow our 6,200 lbs Airstream and still go places where we wanted to go, even if that meant sometimes NOT pulling the Airstream. Which was one of the nice things about the Expedition.

From everything we heard and the people we spoke with, they recommended that if we could find a diesel truck, we should get one. We have had trucks before and both of us were fine with that idea. But the more we talked about it, and the fact that Less Junk>More Journey pulled their Airstream with a Diesel Van, the more we started leaning towards a van.

Pro’s and Con’s

The Pro’s of getting a Van was storage. It was also a way to keep our lifestyle on the road when we went to remote Trail Heads and or if we got stuck without the Airstream, we could possible have a decent roof over our head. With a few modifications, we could renovate a Van into a CamperVan and when we didn’t want to pull the Airstream, we could go anywhere.

The Con’ts of course was that Diesel Van’s were expensive and the older ones were hard to find with low mileage. We did NOT want to go into major debt with a car payment. Plus, we were unsure if we wanted another older year vehicle.  Also, did we want another renovation project?

After searching and searching, we found a 1999 Ford e350 diesel Van with 140,000 miles on it. It was the 7.3 liter Ford engine that was one of the best engines ever built.  The guy that was selling it had traveled across the Country and had already built a bed in the back. Unfortunately, he was asking too much money for what we wanted to spend for a older year tow vehicle.

Patience is a virtue.

After 4 months of searching and thinking he had sold the van. He contacted me with a much lower price. The fact we had searched so hard and found nothing that even came close to a low mileage 7.3 liter diesel that could tow 10,000 lbs (had the tow package also). We could no longer push that deal off. We bought it for 2,000 less than the original asking price. Thus, we now about to enter the #vanlife, and another renovation project. Our nomadic idea continues.


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