Found this gem for only $8,000 (probably obo if you make a serious offer) in the Fort Collins, CO area if anyone is interested.
For sale is an extended wheelbase 1997 Dodge Ram 2500 Van w/ sport top that has been converted into a custom camper van.
I converted this van myself about 4 years ago, and it has taken me and my wife on all sorts of great camping adventures. The majority of our trips were for rock climbing and/or mountain biking, and this van was the perfect home away from home in virtually every place we went — from RV parks, to dispersed free camping, to just parking on a quiet road in town, the van has always provided a cozy and convenient home on the road.
When I converted the van I made sure that a 3rd seat could be put back in for the sake of travelling with the child we were planning to eventually have. Life is full of surprises, however, and we officially outgrew this van when my wife gave birth to our twins. So, it’s time to find the van a new home.
Highlights of the van include:
– Only 75,000 miles
– 5.2L V8 Engine, 450+ mile range w/ 32 gallon tank (most trips average around 16mpg, though have seen 17.5mpg with favorable Wyoming tailwinds)
– 2 week old starter battery (van was taken out for a camping trip last weekend)
– 1 year old house/accessory battery mounted underneath van
– 140 Amp Battery isolator (charges house battery from alternator, but prevents starter battery from being drained)
– 100w solar panel w/ Morningstar controller
– Bed frame, side storage cabinets, and water tank/fridge mount are custom welded steel frames.
– 50qt ARB Compressor Fridge on custom slide
– 16 Gallon fresh water tank, 2.5 gallon grey, water pump and full sink
– Large under-sink cabinet w/ automatic light (open the door, light comes on — yes, seriously).
– Nearly full queen size bed (one side is a little short — was truly made custom for me, 6′, and my wife, 5’5″)
– Bed partially folds to increase open area.
– Wide storage area under the bed that is free of any support posts — this makes it very easy to slide in and store all of your gear. Height of bottom of bed is 17″, tall enough for many storage options.
– Fantastic vent fant w/ rain sensor and remote. This moves a ton of air, and given the small volume of the van it has been sufficient to keep us comfortable even in some otherwise unbearable heat. Very low power draw.
– Swivel passenger seat (custom made)
– USB chargers, AC inverter
– Very well insulated: Rockwool insulation in the ceiling/walls, and dual insulation on the floor (1/2″ thick denim insulation on bottom to help with sound + 2″ pink foam insulation on top of that)
– Laminate floors.
– Reflectix for all windows for heat and light insulation (keeps it dark enough to sleep even in direct sunlight)
– Alpine speakers + MRV-F300 Amplifier
– 3rd removable passenger seat w/ seatbelt.
– 12ft of straight storage length on the floor from the rear door up to the front console — probably not very important for camping purposes, but comes in handy if you ever need to buy 8′ or even 12′ lumber. This van has sometimes proven more useful to haul lumber than my truck.
In full sun the solar setup will basically keep up with the fridge/fan/pump, and we’ve sat for up to 5 days before and driven off with a battery still in the green. In shade we’ll get 2 or maybe 3 days before needing to start the van if it’s warm and the vent/fridge are running a decent amount. If you’re driving to the crag or bar and back though for just a few minutes a day though, we’ve never been short on power.
Mechanically I’ve changed oil every 3-5000 miles; and the tires, brake pads/shoes/rotors, shocks, and wheel bearings were all done 12k miles ago. Despite its age, the van has few miles at only 75k, and it’s never once given me mechanical trouble.
I spent a ton of time working on this van, and I did not skimp on any parts: the ARB fridge is the best you can buy ($900 by itself), MorningStar and Renogy are at the top of the solar game, etc. The van has traveled about 15,000 miles since doing the conversion, and not once has anything broken or let us down in that time (or the 15,000 miles I put on it previous to the conversion). I’m an engineer and take pride in my work, and do my best to build things that last. I expect this van and everything in it will continue to please for many more years and miles and adventures to come.
It’s definitely hard to value such a unique vehicle, but I think $8000 is a fair asking price. That’s less than some companies charge just do to a conversion on a van you provide, and this is a full package already to go. It’s rare to find a camper that doesn’t have a ton of miles on it, and so I’d be far more confident in the reliability of this van than of most other comparable offerings. Ultimately the market will decide though — come take a look and give me an offer!