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Welcome Home Creeper Van!

Our adventure van started as a 1996 Dodge Ram Van (B1500).  Creaky hinges, loose steering box, bald front tires, partially installed seats, bed liner paint and all.  During the test drive, the transmission shifted well, the AC worked, and the owner was suspiciously honest about what was done and what would need to be done.  I say suspiciously because I have no reason to suspect he lied about anything, but can’t ever fully trust a craigslist sale. Welcome home!

I have yet to purchase a vehicle in the daylight (and I’ve made many a craigslist transaction); the next morning is a fun experiment to see if I maximized the grin-to-cringe ratio.  We knew we’d have to do a bit of cosmetic and mechanical work to the van but at the current price, we’d be able to swap the motor and still be under budget if necessary. At 260,000 miles, that project was not out of the question!

Brush guard and light bar
Brush bar to fend off all of the nasty deer and trees we’re going to encounter. The ends stick out quite a bit and give a hint of Mad Max.
Old Spare Tire
Side latter to provide the apparently needed perpetual roof access. Also shown is the spare tire that was stamped in – get this – 1997. The rubber actually felt brittle to from 19 years of exposure, and certainly original to the vehicle.
Particle Board Interior Construction
The previous owner had his own vision of a build out, which involved keeping the seats so that you could watch a TV in the front.  His construction material choice was particle board, which isn’t known for being chemical-free or good for living quarters.
Welcome Home 90's entertainment system
There’s the TV in front, as well as a thermostat wired to the ventilation fan. In Arizona, this means that the fan would never be off.
Pre installed vent and fan
Standard RV bathroom vent, with a handy little fan blade that served to make a loud buzzing noise when turned on.
Old Van Interior Dash
Cab area showing its age but all of the gauges worked, and the steering wheel has the same aftermarket cover as my old Jeep so it felt comfortably familiar to me.
DIY cup holder
Dope cup holder made out of PVC. It looks like you could just pour slushie in it and get a long twisty straw and forgo the cup even. Maybe two straws for that romantic 50’s diner feel.
Eternal Flame In NY

Kate Moore

Kate is the lead content creator for and has spent over two years living in a camper van conversion. She has traveled through 48 US states and writes about van life, camping and RV living.

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Eternal Flame in NY

Hello! We are Kate, Ian and Harper. We spent over two years living in a DIY camper van and visiting 48 US states. Along the way, we've met with other van lifers, checked out their rigs, and learned a lot about adventure travel. We hope this site can help you plan your next road trip.

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