The Mission

Okay, the mission: Niccole and I decided that we’re going to drive to the southern end of South America from our home in Denver, Colorado. We determined the best way to do this would be to buy a cheap van, convert it into a camper/RV, drive it down there, sell it to another traveler, and fly home. I figured this would be quite the learning experience and thought it would be cool and useful to others if I blogged about the entire process from buying the van and converting it to preparing for a year-long, international, overland-travel trip. So, with that in mind it’s time to find the right van!

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Step 1: Acquire a Van

I began by searching the internet, specifically craigslist, for several months to get a feel for what is out there. Because we’re driving it one way and selling it, it doesn’t need to be particularly nice or last a lifetime. Our main concern is that it gets us there comfortably and doesn’t cost a fortune. It needs to be large enough that two people can live in relative comfort within it for a lengthy time – we’re estimating a year. Read More

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Skeletal Analysis and Repair Phase

First the inside. I used a wire brush attachment on the grinder to knock all of the surface rust of the roof frame and floor. I then used Rustoleum Rust Reformer and sprayed all the effected areas with it. I had a friend with a welder put a plate over the rusted hole by the brake pedal. Next the wife and I patched every single rust hole, bolt hole, etc in the floor with a fiberglass/resin kit. Once it set I used a liquid rubber spray also from Rustoleum to coat and leak proof all the fiberglass patches.

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