Well I guess I finally did it. After weeks of researching and reading, drooling over Alex Honnold’s rig, dreaming of adventure, and pouring over vans on craigslist, I finally set my sights on a van.
After texting back and forth with the owner for a while I decided to check her out. I called up my buddy K, who informed me he’d be happy to look at the van with me. We agreed on meeting up at my university, and I anxiously awaited the next few days.
It’s kind of strange being a mechanical engineering student who knows nothing about cars. Especially considering I go to school in the state that practically invented the automotive industry. I spent the next couple of days preparing: reading common problems in the van I was interested in, researching what questions to ask the seller, what things to look at on the van, how not to die during a craigslist encounter, and generally feeling like this was going to be a crappy situation. Hooray for being overly anxious in everything.
Saturday finally came and I awoke early to open the reception desk for the dorm I live in. After my employee arrived I heading out to the parking lot to wait. After K arrived, the van pulled around the corner as the theme from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly played from somewhere on high. A tumbleweed drifted lazily across the parking lot.
A lady hopped out of the car looking very bedraggled and tired, grabbing a pack of smokes from her pocket and instantly lighting up upon exit from the vehicle. She fit redneck stereotype I expected from someone selling a $1500 van in the UP.
I climbed into the now vacant driver’s seat and took the van out for a spin. As far as I could tell everything seemed to be working properly for a vehicle of its age. We drove back to the parking lot and K and I looked around the vehicle. The lady left shortly after and K and I discussed what we had seen.
After much internal deliberation, I decided I would pull the trigger. We met the following Tuesday at the DMV. After a looking over the necessary paperwork and verifying it was correct we exchanged the title.
I walked into the DMV about 30 minutes before it closed, which seemed like it could be a rookie move going in there and expecting to get things done in that short amount of time. Much to my surprise there was no wait at all and everything was registered and transferred in 15 minutes. I soon drove back to my apartment with my new fall residence in tow: The Vansion.