Let me start with this; I love my van. I’ve poured blood, sweat, & tears into her. If you don’t believe me, you can talk to my dad about the one time I burst into tears in the Dunkin Donuts drive-thru in regards to the old girl. However, there are certainly a few features that I don’t love, and I think it’s important to share those with other people who are considering buying a van. I would’ve loved to have known exactly what I didn’t want, and what would be just a pet peeve v.s a major annoyance.
No automatic locks
I knew when I bought Blanche that she didn’t have an automatic locking system, but I didn’t really think anything of it. “It’s not going to be that annoying” I told myself.
I was wrong.
It is that annoying.
I would much prefer having a key fob that I could automatically lock the van with, especially when I’m all cuddled up at night in bed and then can’t remember if I’ve locked all my doors. This is certainly something that I would change if I had the opportunity.
My sound system is C R A P. I mean, it’s a speaker from 1995, so I’m not like, surprised, but it’s such a bummer. I will absolutely be replacing my speakers before I take off for California, but I wish I would’ve set aside a little money to do this right when I got her. There’s nothing as anti-climactic as blasting the newest single from Drake only to have the speakers bitch out at the drop.
Bae sits low to the ground, which makes sense because she’s a roughly 2-ton vehicle (when you include the weight of myself & the modifications). It never even occurred to me that some vehicles have low ground clearance because I’ve always had pretty big vehicles that sit high off the ground. After getting this van, however, I have realized that this might prove to be a bit of a challenge if I ever find myself in a setting where I need to off-road. I’ve looked into getting some bigger tires, but that means I’d likely have to modify the suspension and it turns into a whole big deal. I don’t anticipate ever taking Blanche on unmarked roads, but if I wanted to, I’d likely have a difficult time. Consider this, especially if you’re trying to go wild in the wilderness somewhere.
My sweet baby angel van has so many windows, which is beautiful but also freaking cold. It’s really hard to insulate windows, which was something that I didn’t seem to care about in the dead of summer when I bought my van.
Not only are they hard to insulate, but people can see into them, which is my least favorite thing. Overall, I’ve had a pretty successful stealth experience here in Nashville, but I did have some dude peek in my window one time. NOT. COOL.
I would suggest really thinking through the windows thing before making a purchasing decision. Everything else I don’t love can be pretty easily modified, but the windows are a permanent decision. I’ve definitely made it work, and have hung up fabric on the inside of the van as well as using the built in blinds that came with the van, but I often wish I had thought through this feature more carefully.
All this to say, I love my van. I’m so glad she’s mine, and I honestly wouldn’t change that. We’ve shared many frustrating hours of modification, and many, MANY moments of uncertainty. She’s listened to me cry more than once, and I’ve brought her back after a few dead batteries. I love her, and I wouldn’t change her. That’s my home, flaws and all.
I think that if you’re looking into buying a van, you should know exactly what you DON’T want, and go from there, but rest easy knowing that no matter what you choose, your van will become your home.