On one hand, I get why Chad likes funky recreational vehicles. An RV is great for sleeping on the go. It’s the perfect way to not have to pay the bill for a night at a hotel. But unless you are one of the supremely well-heeled and can afford to get your hands on an Earthroamer RV, the next best option is a large cargo van with four-wheel-drive. They aren’t too common but if you can find one that isn’t used to the point of falling apart, you have a robust truck frame, solid engine choices and enough room to sleep one, maybe two adults comfortably with luxuries. At least, that’s what we’re picturing with this 2002 Ford E-350 van.
Remember when a window-less cargo van was the stuff of childhood fears? Now it’s hipster-bait, but at least hipsters got this trend right. The basis for this van is the 7.3L Power Stroke turbo-diesel with 172,xxx miles on the odometer. That’s child’s play. The axles date to 2007, a Dana 60 front and a 10.5 rear with new drivelines and shocks. The paint is gray with Rhino Lining trim, which gives it the look of…well, one of those fancy-ass expensive coolers, if we must be honest, but it could be worse. Inside it’s standard Ford van stuff up front and a gigantic expanse of blank canvas in the back. We’d get to work locating a set of window plugs for the back doors so we could install the bed towards the rear, just high enough off of the floor to allow for storage spaces, and we’d locate a rear bumper that can double as a water tank. From there, it’s all on you: wall coverings, electronics, carpet…the sky is the limit. Just know that the stout running gear will get you there and back, no problem.
Seems rational to us!