“In our journey towards minimalism and full time travel, every decision we make is crucial towards living on purpose. “
When we first began hunting for a travel rig, our initial plan was to find a second hand 4×4 truck and build a customised camper cabin through a company called Wing Motorhome. However, after in depth research towards this, we decided against it.
There were too many factors that were beyond our control, for example –
- We would have to rely on Wing Motorhome’s work pace in order to design the camper cabin from start to finish and the communication process between Wing and the China manufacturers meant several more weeks of back and forth.
- The China manufacturer has a minimum purchase order requirement of 5 units.
- We needed to wait for more orders to come in before we could start our build.
- There would also be a 30% import duty cost and shipping cost involved.
- The estimated time we would have to spend for all the above is 6 months to a year (maybe more).
- The minimum cost would be around Rm150,000.00 (USD40,000.00).
Rene and I had to redefine our goals. If we chose to spend that amount of money, we needed the money to go towards the actual expense of travel and not just towards building a travel rig. The alternative option we had was to build our own RV by converting a van to a campervan. Although in my previous posts I spoke about the local road council regulations for van conversions being illegal, there are ways to abide by the rules and we just needed to follow them. A van conversion meant some DIY work but at least it would provide us more control of money spent and our precious time.
Here is the list we then made of what was truly important to us.
- A JAPANESE SECOND HAND VAN
- BUILT TO LAST IN TERMS OF DURABILITY & RELIABILITY
- SPARE PARTS IN ABUNDANCE
- EASY TO DIY CONVERT INTO A CAMPERVAN (without removing seats)
- EASY TO MANEUVER ON NARROW ROADS
- THE RIGHT SIZE IN TERMS OF HEIGHT, WIDTH & LENGTH
- VERY AFFORDABLE, CHEAP EVEN
- RETRO, VINTAGE OR A CLASSIC COLLECTABLE
After spending several painful weeks of searching I began wondering if we would ever find what we wanted. So many vans are used as work horses here in Malaysia and hardly any for recreation. Most of what we found were in such a terrible state that I began questioning our decision again. All we were hoping for was some good vehicle karma to come our way since as car owners we love and take such good care of our vehicles.
Just when we were losing all hope, a Toyota Liteace van popped up for sale in Mudah and we knew at once that it was the one! We went to view it and from that day forth I made it my mission to convince the owner that he needed to sell US his van and not to anyone else!! We had found a gem of a van that met ALL of our requirements! It was the most well cared for van we had ever seen, a single owner vehicle with a service history in Toyota UMW. It was well maintained from the day it was built! #PatienceIsAVirtue