What it cost us to buy and renovate our van Ivy
After a year on the road in a vintage caravan, we decided it was time to upgrade our tiny home. We had saved every penny towards our dream of building ourselves a van so in December of 2021 we sold Stan the Caravan and bought ourselves an empty panel van. We looked at many different panel vans, some were too small or big, too old, too rusty or the engine was not sounding good. We must have already seen close to 10-panel vans when we saw Ivy in a Facebook Marketplace advertisement.
At the time, we were living in Johannesburg at a campsite called Nkwe, we had just sold Stan the caravan but still had our car and we were temporarily renting a caravan to sleep in. We drove out to see Ivy, the dealership opened especially for us as it was still closed for the festive season. I think we knew immediately that Ivy was the one. She was huge and in such good condition. She had had one owner before us and had been used as a flower delivery truck for weddings. She had a full-service history with Iveco and had been in no accidents. Ivy had 260 000km on the clock and ran beautifully when we test-drove her.
A couple of days later we revisited the dealership with a mechanic who plugged Ivy into a machine that checked her engine. When we had the green light from the mechanic we made an offer of R116 000 for her and they accepted! It was a surreal feeling driving Ivy out of the dealership and into the Johannesburg traffic. She felt really big and awkward and we were both quiet in deliberation over the huge task before us.
It’s also important to mention that the same day, on our way to buy Ivy, our trusted car which had taken us and Stan the caravan around the country problem-free for a year, broke down and had to be towed! The total cost to repair that car was R18 000 which we had not prepared for… It was a big shock because that car was due to be sold the next day and suddenly we had an emergency that dipped into our savings. Fortunately, the car was fixed within a few days and we managed to still sell it.