My van is scheduled to go into the shop this coming Wednesday for nearly $2000 in repairs on borrowed money. That will put me owing $9000 on a van that would sell for $5500 “IF” it were in prime condition. It is not in prime condition. How do I get out of this financial burden?
Used vehicles can drain your bank account dry quick. Case in point, my 2002 Ford Econoline E-150 cost me $6000 to begin with when I bought it back in April of 2019. Six months later it cost me over $400 to replace a bearing in the front right steering wheel. That winter I had to buy a new battery. After that my doors started falling apart, and I needed new cables for the latches. And, that was just the start.
To date, I have put new cables in most of the doors, replaced parts in the a/c system, replaced the bearing on the right front wheel, and replaced the 5.4-liter motor and the van is going into the shop on 12/13/2023 (Wednesday) for work on the brake system and a rear axle bearing. And, there are probably more repairs that I just cannot remember. Plus, I have more work to do to finish the work covering the doors. Yeah, I made a mistake when I bought the van. The purpose behind buying the van would have saved me from being without shelter in these troubled times. I would at least have a place to sleep when my social security check could no longer pay my rent. And, I could move around the country to do the photography work that does bring me a little extra money. In reality, the only thing left that can need work or replacement is the transmission. And, I have had no problems with that.
In reality, this van has given me the freedom to make three attempts to relocate back to southern Nevada. And, I have spent about 50% of 2021 and 2022 living in the van. I learned a lot about van life in those two years. And, in those two years, I became sick and stayed sick. I have still only partially recovered since moving into this apartment in November of 2022. The van was there when I needed it most.
I spoke with my banker yesterday. He is once again willing to advance me the money needed for repairs. I have had excellent credit with this bank since 1995 or sooner. He seemed to think that keeping the van is my best option as there is no way to come out ahead by selling at a big loss and trying to recover from it. Sadly, I agree with him. But, no matter what I do this van will be used as little as possible until I get the balance owed on it paid off.