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, Washington
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, Washington
184,772 Miles
Last Modified June 22, 2024

Rugged, Reliable, Ready!

It’s time to sell my camper van. My traveling days have passed. My old body wore out before the camper van did, so now it’s time to pass the van on to the next user. 😉

Because I expect all of my travel vehicles to be immediately ready for any trip of any length at any time, I spare no expense preparing them to do exactly that! That’s why I put so much money into them before I ever hit the road. Then I can travel without worries or delays. I built this van for the independent, self-reliant camper who (like I do) values quality and reliability over fancy and expensive. Highway-driving gas consumption has been 17.5 mpg.

Following is the list of major repairs and maintenance I have done to the van. It goes without mentioning that I perform all routine maintenance – oil and filter changes and belts and hoses, etc. – regularly. (Receipts for the listed repairs are with the van.)

Maintenance Record for 1998 Chevrolet 3500 Van
June 2024
Purchased, October 2021
Mileage at purchase,162,500
Mileage now, 184,772
VIN 1GCHG39R3W1093052

New rear brake shoes, turned rear brake drums
New front hubs and rotors, calipers, pads, brake hoses, bearings and seals
New front and rear shock absorbers
Complete Vehicle Scan, Diagnosis, and Repair
• New manifold gasket set, intake
• New platinum spark plugs
• New spark-plug wire set, premium
• New PVC valve
• New bypass hose
• New distributor cap
• New distributor rotor
• New thermostat
• New fuel injector
• New fuel filter
New trailer wiring harness
Installed anti-theft battery kill switch
New headlights
Installed rebuilt TRC 4L480E transmission
New intermediate steering shaft
New battery, NAPA 8424 AAA

Build Record for Camper Van Living Space
1998 Chevrolet 3500 Van
June 2024

1998 Chevrolet 3500 Express 1 Ton Van body provides 10 feet of floor length behind the seats, 2 feet more than ½ Ton and ¾ Ton models. This van was originally a service van, so it has no windows aft of the entry doors. It has heavy truck suspension, but it gives a comfortable ride on 16” 10 ply tires. Brakes and transmission are also very heavy duty. Complete details are listed in the original “Build Sheet” provided by the manufacturer (attached as part of this document).

To prepare the van for installation of the living quarters components, I first removed the seats, the floor covering all the way to the firewall, and all the commercial attachments that were installed. I then used an electric hand-held angle grinder with wire brushes to clean all the rust and dirt from the steel floor and gave it two coats of Rust-Oleum primer. Then I re-laid the original rubber flooring material. This allows the user to wash the entire floor with running water when needed.

To prepare the van interior for the living quarters I first installed a full-length sub-roof of 3/8 inch plywood directly below the original sheet metal roof, placed above and supported by the original cross members of the roof. This was to strengthen the van roof in case it ever became necessary for a person to stand or walk on top.

Next, I installed panels of ½” foam sheet insulation beneath the plywood and on each wall of the living space. To finish, I fastened white pegboard onto the roof and the walls.

My intention as I built the interior furnishings was to provide sleeping space for two, with maximum, convenient storage space. The main bed is a twin-sized home mattress on a separate steel frame. The smaller bed has a folding mattress. As the photos show, storage is ample. There are 10 individual open-top containers under the beds, each having 1½ cubic feet of space for general storage. Access to all of these is quick and easy. I placed a closet rod across the width of the van for hanging clothes. There is a separate, fixed compartment exclusively for maintenance items such as extra engine oil, oil filter, engine coolant, funnel, jack, lug wrench, etc. Also stored securely but accessibly are the jumper cables, work gloves, small wooden blocks, and mechanic’s orange soap. (All of those stay with the van.) I use a 3 cubic foot open-top container for readily accessible storage, positioned between the driver’s and passenger’s seats. In it I keep my road atlas, thermos, coffee cups, etc. and other small things that I may need to reach while driving. I built and installed a 30” by 53” utility tabletop which slides out at the rear doors. Very importantly, I had “headache” racks built and installed to prevent objects from the cargo area from flying into the passenger compartment in the event of sudden stops.

I use a 12 Volt Coleman food cooler/warmer, which stays with the van. The 5-gallon water storage container is positioned conveniently at the very edge of the van’s side door, which makes filling and cleaning it simple and easy. It also stays with the van.
To make the van truly “buyer-friendly” I recently ordered and installed a $600 German-designed and produced composting toilet. It has never been used and will not be used before you purchase the van.

(Google: “Trelino Origin L • Composting Toilet for RVs T1-02202”)

Watch a short video from a Trelino user:,vid:KWJpUpOA87A,st:0

Owner’s Manual is in the glove compartment.

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