Decided to pull the trigger!

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Circle City

New member
Jun 12, 2022
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Hello all,
I have been pondering a weekend warrior and possible just me living arrangement for work. I am not really looking for a permanent residence or a full time living situation. I have been tossing a lot of scenarios around, just like most of you have before your purchase. First off, I am 6'3" and honestly unless I make a purchase of a bus, there isn't anything I will be capable of standing up in completely. Once you take the components of operating costs, fuel, maintenance and just general what I can think ofs... I went ahead and pulled the trigger on a project.
With all that being said, I bought a 91 e350 Super xl. Now, this thing is huge. I believe from what I can spot on it... it lived its life as a 15 passenger bus for a church or school somewhere. I believe it came from TN or KY, and the general overview is that it is pretty solid with no visible rust. Well, one little bubble in front of the passenger rear wheel.
I ended up purchasing it from a college aged kid, that was working on it with his girlfriend. He told me it had a new transmission (E04D), and he just put new tires on it. I think they are Pathfinder 245/75/16s. and they do in fact appear to be new with the nipples on them still. He stripped and insulated the interior with some reflective stuff. Personally, I will use it where I can... but I am planning on using proper insulation. They ended up letting go of the project, when he lost the engine on it. He explained to me, it lost the freeze plugs. I will assume he found out after the fact. Which tells me he more than likely cracked the block, head or both. So I already know that it will need an engine. Luckily for me, it has the 5.8l Efi 351w. Which is an easily available platform to acquire.
The main reason I was attracted to the van was because of the lack of rust, the idea of a new trans and tires, minimal cost to replace the engine (as far as that goes) and the fact that he has already set it up as full solar. It came fully equipped with 3 100w rigid renorgy panels, 40amp rover, 2000w renogy inverter, and 200amph chins lith ion battery. All of these are fairly new and comes with its optional blue tooth module. Oh, and it also has a max air fan! Sounded like a pretty decent platform to start on.
With all that being said, first thing get this monster towed to a shop, and slap a brand new crate motor in it. Once we get it back... tear what is in it out of it. Then start figuring out a floor plan and what I want/need for its purpose.

I guess what I am saying is, Hello van people. I am going to be lurking and doing all the reading I can. I am sure along the way I will have plenty of questions for people, ask for advice and look forward to reading other adventures.

Thanks for having me,
(Circle City)

It sure does sound like you'll have a fine rig once you've put a crate or rebuilt motor in it. You ought to get a lot of bang for your buck. Best of luck with it.
Good Luck. Let us know how it goes. Keep us updated.
I love those buses, not too big and lots of light. Having solar system is such a bonus. Seems like they did all the tough not so glamorous work and you have a good canvas to create your own desires. Having it mechanically sound is important and it seems you’ve already worked out the problem areas so there aren’t the unknowns that can surprise you.

I had big plans with fancy systems with about 100 floor plans. But I’ve changed a lot as well as shifting my budget to focus on a a foundation that I want. I designed it to add the systems later, but want it just basic functionality to start using it before I commit on how I want it laid out. I have a general idea but even that has been changed just being in the space doing the insulation and floor.

Please start a thread to post your progress. If I hadn’t found a stepvan, I would of gotten a bus like yours so excited to see how you do it. Welcome