Rent a room or downgrade to an Econoline?

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Riley90

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Oct 30, 2021
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California
I mostly counted on luck, and gave it a once over myself, along with about a 5 mile test drive, though at the price I was not too concerned. Also it helped that the woman I bought it from had almost all the receipts going back to 2006 when she bought it new, and always had it serviced at the local Toyota dealership. The Yaris had made it through 3 motorhomes while she owned it, and she was selling because she had downsized to a 23-24 ft class C and did not need a TOAD any longer.

I am thinking about getting this Van for $4700... Since I already have a 10 kW battery, inverter, and charger. All I need is to put in some XPS foam to insulate and build some furniture... But I am scared of 2001 with 341k mile

 

darsben

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May 30, 2018
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Central NY in summer beautiful Casa Grande AZ in w
I lived in a van for a few years. It is not easy but it is cheap. There are millions of places you can boondock or park stealthy for free. It just takes some research to find them. A good place to start is:

Costs $50 a year now
 

Isaac-1

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Dec 3, 2016
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6,183
Location
SW Louisiana
That's a lot of miles on a Ford Modmotor series engine, also I suspect it is a 5.4L as they did not offer a 4.5L in 2001, there was a Ford 4.6L, but I am not sure if it was put in vans that year.
 

Riley90

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Oct 30, 2021
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105
Location
California
Offer $3000. Have a mechanic check it out. Where will you work on it?
That's a lot of miles on a Ford Modmotor series engine, also I suspect it is a 5.4L as they did not offer a 4.5L in 2001, there was a Ford 4.6L, but I am not sure if it was put in vans that year.


Just spoke with him, and he said one of the catalytic converters was stolen they placed a pipe on it. The smog check is still valid for 3 more days so it's not an issue to worry about in the next 2 years.

He is willing to give a discount of $300 to install a new catalytic converter. but I found "The average cost for a Ford E-350 Super Duty catalytic converter replacement is between $2,732 and $2,773."
 

Riley90

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Oct 30, 2021
Posts
105
Location
California
Just spoke with him, and he said one of the catalytic converters was stolen they placed a pipe on it. The smog check is still valid for 3 more days so it's not an issue to worry about in the next 2 years.

He is willing to give a discount of $300 to install a new catalytic converter. but I found "The average cost for a Ford E-350 Super Duty catalytic converter replacement is between $2,732 and $2,773."
I think I should at least try to park my RV at OC county for a while and see if cops ticket me before I even think about buying another vehicle.
 

Oldgator73

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Dec 28, 2017
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Dover, DE & Mouth of Wilson, VA
Won't the school let you park somewhere?
Most colleges and universities require a parking pass Which would not entitle you to stay 24 hours. When I was at the University of Florida I took first period classes so could get a parking spot. They sell way more parking passes than they have parking spots. I just looked it up for UCI. The permit is $75 a month and allows to park from 7am-12am.
 

JudyJB

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Jul 6, 2010
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2,266
Why did you apply to a university that makes your living situation so difficult and expensive?? California has lots of universities that might make living in your motorhome more feasible. Surely, that should have been part of your decision on where to apply. And just because you have been accepted somewhere, does not mean you have to go there.

How about researching other universities that have RV parks closer to campus so you can use a bike to get to classes?
 

Riley90

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Oct 30, 2021
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105
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California
Why did you apply to a university that makes your living situation so difficult and expensive?? California has lots of universities that might make living in your motorhome more feasible. Surely, that should have been part of your decision on where to apply. And just because you have been accepted somewhere, does not mean you have to go there.

How about researching other universities that have RV parks closer to campus so you can use a bike to get to classes?

I did research in terms of their major, ranking, reputation, etc but didn't know what the city of Irvine looks like until late June. Without taking living costs into account UCI was the best school I got into. I got into some other UCs as well.
 

Octodad

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Apr 8, 2022
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Augusta, KS
I would seriously look into going to school in another state where the cost of living is much lower.

My daughter just looked at a rental house today near Wichita Kansas. 3bed 2 bath, full kitchen, 2 car garage, plus 4 car attached workshop at $1300 per month. Also on a half acre.

I realize that something like that is beyond your needs based on what you have described, but the example for comparison in cost of living is valid. Much more affordable almost anywhere than California.
 

ferfer

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Jul 20, 2008
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436
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Arizona
Recommend you check the UCI website for student housing. They have on campus and assist with off campus too.
 

Ex-Calif

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NorthCentral Florida
Don't buy that van. But you probably will - LOL... Even if you get it smogged today, in a couple of years it's gonna be your problem to smog it.

I am from where you are (Ex Californian - socal) - UCI is a decent school but the bottom line is unless you are getting a science degree (MIT) or an advanced business degree (Stanford e.g.) where you went to school is gonna be highly irrelevant among the "good" second tier schools.

LA is the land of commuting at excruciatingly slow speeds. I lived in a cab over camper when I was in college. I parked up in the Hemet/Riverside area (for free) and commuted 40 minutes to school - in the camper.

You've sunk the costs into the RV. I am with the others except that I would move as far away as it took to find a long term place and get a beater/commuter car.

Otherwise sell the RV and look for a room. But even that's not a good option. My nephew went to UCD (Davis - near SFO) and had 3 roommates to rent a 2 B/R - they double bunked two in each room. You also might plug into some kind of deal like that. I am betting for sure there is a student assistance group that has a lot of resources on housing. Interestingly (or not) when my brother (his dad) moved back to Yorba Linda my nephew transferred to UCI.

I am encouraged by your determination and your stubbornness to walk the path less followed. Someday you'll be 61 and be able to tell all the molly coddled kids of 2063 how rough you had it while living in a van to get your degree - LOL...
 

Oldgator73

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Dover, DE & Mouth of Wilson, VA
We lived in a run down mobile home park in our 5th wheel not far from UF when I was finishing a degree there. It was cheap and on the bus route. The UF student Union paid for all students to ride the bus. But I had just retired from the AF so I had an income plus I was Voc Rehab from the VA and got a stipend from that. I don’t think living in your RV or that van on the street is the best option. Go to the Student Union at UCI. Ask them about housing off campus. They probably have a list of “roommates wanted” and/or a bulletin board with roommates wanted ads.
 

Mark_K5LXP

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Nov 17, 2018
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2,803
Location
Albuquerque, NM
There isn't some student or commercial entity associated with the college with property? I know the state university here in town has literally their own neighborhood next to it, my nephew attends there and lives nearby. Might come down to knocking on doors but it would seem an outfit like a hungry college affiliated or funded project that has an office or a warehouse, or a fraternity house with a back yard or a garage would be willing to accept cash or in-kind services in exchange for a parking spot. My take on it would be to network with students and faculty and see what might be available, and driving around and seeing what might be possibilities.

To be blunt, you should not buy this van. Your history with vehicles on this forum is a sign that your judgement of cost, value and mechanical equipment is compromised. There is no vehicle on this planet with 300K miles on it that's worth any more than it's weight in scrap steel. This is the kind of vehicle that you leave somewhere with the keys and title on the dash in the hopes someone will take it.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
 

Riley90

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Joined
Oct 30, 2021
Posts
105
Location
California
I would seriously look into going to school in another state where the cost of living is much lower.

My daughter just looked at a rental house today near Wichita Kansas. 3bed 2 bath, full kitchen, 2 car garage, plus 4 car attached workshop at $1300 per month. Also on a half acre.

I realize that something like that is beyond your needs based on what you have described, but the example for comparison in cost of living is valid. Much more affordable almost anywhere than California.
Can't believe how expensive everything is in California.

But once you find a job, even an entry-level engineer at Amazon can make 180k a year.

Then half of it goes to taxes.
 

Riley90

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 30, 2021
Posts
105
Location
California
Don't buy that van. But you probably will - LOL... Even if you get it smogged today, in a couple of years it's gonna be your problem to smog it.

I am from where you are (Ex Californian - socal) - UCI is a decent school but the bottom line is unless you are getting a science degree (MIT) or an advanced business degree (Stanford e.g.) where you went to school is gonna be highly irrelevant among the "good" second tier schools.

LA is the land of commuting at excruciatingly slow speeds. I lived in a cab over camper when I was in college. I parked up in the Hemet/Riverside area (for free) and commuted 40 minutes to school - in the camper.

You've sunk the costs into the RV. I am with the others except that I would move as far away as it took to find a long term place and get a beater/commuter car.

Otherwise sell the RV and look for a room. But even that's not a good option. My nephew went to UCD (Davis - near SFO) and had 3 roommates to rent a 2 B/R - they double bunked two in each room. You also might plug into some kind of deal like that. I am betting for sure there is a student assistance group that has a lot of resources on housing. Interestingly (or not) when my brother (his dad) moved back to Yorba Linda my nephew transferred to UCI.

I am encouraged by your determination and your stubbornness to walk the path less followed. Someday you'll be 61 and be able to tell all the molly coddled kids of 2063 how rough you had it while living in a van to get your degree - LOL...
I'm exploring all the possibilities. Including selling my RV, but I'm listing it for $29k and no one is even asking. https://offerup.com/item/detail/1423417870

I don't really want to sell this RV unless they pay enough money to build the same one. As in 2 years, once I'm out of Irvine, both LA and the SF Bay Area are RV friendly. My future plan is to live in the RV in my backyard and make an Airbnb. Combined with my salary, I should pay off my mortgage fast.

$25k is the absolute minimum required to build one like this.

Parking the RV where I can and commuting is probably the best way to go. I have been told by residents that people park RVs on the streets of Santa Ana and North Tustin for long periods of time without issue. I checked the law, which says it's not allowed, but it doesn't seem to be enforced. However, the biggest problem I have with sleeping in an RV is the noise. Both of these places have noisy streets for RV parking, and Santa Ana is not safe. I can't afford a break-in and to lose everything. The solar panels and mini-split are asking for problems.

Rowland Heights seems to be the best candidate; low crime and quiet, and the bottom line is that, as an unincorporated community, I even found a dead-end street with no houses facing the street, which is critical. I didn't find any rules against parking and living in RVs.

I would have to get a commuter car, though, and according to Google Maps, I would have to leave before 5 AM to get to school in 30 minutes.

Regarding buying a commuter car, I can buy a very creepy car for $2000, a 2015 Mirage for $5-7000, or a 2013 Prius for $12000. If I buy a 2013 or newer car, I can still drive an Uber, which means if funds are low, I can solve it just by driving more Ubers.

The advantage of the Prius is that I can sleep inside it if I need to.

The gas mileage is actually only a little better than the Mirage.

But on the other hand, do I really have the time to drive an Uber? I'm not even sure I could survive at UCI. Also, If I stop spending on random stuff and everything goes well (which means I get paid for the internship and get financial aid), I will need to do no Uber.

I'm planning to go to Rowland Heights as early as possible. I can still adjust over the summer if problems arise.
 
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