A New Van!!!!!

This is the post I’ve been looking forward to writing for months! YES, I finally found and bought a new van.

The new van

She doesn’t have a name yet. I only picked her up on Friday and haven’t really had time yet to spend time in her and figure out what kind of name might suit. But I’m sure I’ll come up with one soon.

She’s not 100% what I was hoping and looking for but in the end, I decided having a van is more important to me than waiting for the perfect one. I wasn’t overly keen on another Ford Transit, mainly because of the experience with Josie. But it proved difficult to find one that suits me and is within my budget that was not a Transit. I’ve been pretty sure that I wanted the same style of van again. I didn’t want anything much bigger so it would still be easy to handle. I couldn't go for anything wider because that would mean I can’t have my surfboards on the side and that set up was so perfect, I definitely want to do it again.

I was looking at Mercedes Sprinters, Fiat Ducatos and VW Crafters who are all very similar but there are far fewer of them for sale and often they are quite a bit more expensive. So in the end, I decided another Transit is the best option for me at this stage.

And there is lot’s of good stuff. She has a gas heater which will be nice, new foam squabs so I will be comfortable, she’s about 15cm longer than Josie which gives me a bit of extra bed length and a bit more room between the drivers seat and the pedals which was important to me.

Here are some details and photos.

  • She’s a 2003 Ford Transit so 4 years younger than Josie was

  • Has done almost 300,000km but got a new (re-conditioned) engine about 50k ago

  • She’s a manual. I was hoping for an automatic but none showed up for sale. And turns out, I haven’t forgotten how to drive manual yet :)

  • The inside layout is pretty much exactly like Josie

  • But the bed is a bit longer which was one thing I was looking for

  • She’s fully setup for freedom camping with solar panel, decent sized water tanks and two house batteries

  • She’s had the whole underbody treated and sealed for rust protection and the lovely guy at the VTNZ who did the prepurchse inspection only found one small spot of rust which has since been addressed. So I’m hoping it won’t be another rusty disaster.

  • Overall, she is in really good condition and it’s easy to see that the pervious owners looked after her

  • She looks a bit ‘boring’ on the inside right now but I’m working on that. I’ve got lots of ideas how to make her ‘my’ van so you can look forward to van improvement posts over the next few weeks

Now that I have my new van, I can’t wait to hit the road again. I’ve got another three weeks of work and housesitting in Auckland but then I will be van life-ing again. The plan right now is to start heading south and spend some time on the South Island. So there will also be more travel adventures and stories soon :)

A couple of other news:

  • If you like to read about RV travellers in New Zealand, check out the latest of my Life on the Road stories that I write for Motorhomes, Caravans & Destinations every month now. Find it here.

  • With the release of my book looking likely for October (yay!!), the publisher has given me permission to publish an extract and one of the exercises as a teaser. If you’re interested in learning about personal values, check it out here.

  • I’m one of the founding members of the newly established New Zealand Tiny Home Association. If you’re interested in Tiny Houses, have a look at our website www.nztha.org