Tips & Tricks on Buying a Cargo Van for Stealth Camping
- Which Manufacturer to Buy?
– I looked at Ford & Chevy, and a few Dodges. I would like to go with the larger sprinter vans or step vans, but those cost too much (for now)
What Motor to Buy?
– I went with the 350 V-8s, because they are the most common and have the best reviews over the years. The down side is the gas milage
What model years to Buy?
– I really like the 1980s Chevy Vans, but I think the newer 2000+ Chevy Express Vans are pretty nice, and have great options and upgrades over older models
The 2000+ model Chevys have decent reviews
What Accessories / Features to Buy?
– In a cargo van, I really like the partition with a door. That way, when parked the van looks 100% like a contractor vehicle. The door allows passthrough to the back, and its easy to black out the back area.
– Towing package / suspension, People have said it’s a good idea to buy big, rugged vans for camping so the parts are strong, and less likely to wear out. The down side, like other aspects is the cost of repairs with heavy duty parts. Being fleet vehicles the opportunity for ‘used’ parts at junk yards is a possibility
What Modifications to Make?
– Insulation!! The back of a cargo van is going to be HOT & COLD depending on the weather. So, adding insulation is a necessary first step IMO
– Auxiliary (extra) Battery. These are worth the cost & effort, they allow you to run lights, fans, radios, pumps, computers & charge phones, etc
– LED Lights, these don’t take much energy from your Aux Battery, and really light up the van, cost is minimal
– Fans, Oscillating fans cost under $20 and are pretty basic to install. I run them to the Aux battery, then through a switch on the instrument panel to make controlling them easy