Stealth Camper: Comments (On Point) Enabled

A reader sends:

I acquired a late 00’s GM 2500 van. It’s a plain work van, white of course, bare inside, plastic floors, front bucket seats. Nothing fancy then, but that’s OK. The body, it’s a little rough, not horrible but not great. The good part is it has a 4.8 liter V8, heavy duty 4L80E transmission, 4 wheel vented disc brakes, 8 lug hubs, heavy duty wheels and rear end. Low mileage, under 100K and oh so cheap. I wanted a similar year Suburban but it’s 10x the money vs van. Plans include adding a bench or a couple buckets for a couple of passengers. Exterior wise I plan to leave it stealth, plain white work van, mostly anyway. I’d like to eventually add a basket, chain the spare to the roof and eliminate the janky spare tire hoist in the back. Someday add more knobby tires on the rear, a brush guard and a winch. It’s not 4wd but that would at least improve fire road/Jeep trail capabilities for cheap compared to a 4wd conversion or buying a different vehicle. First order of business is a trans flush and filter and change out the rear diff fluid. I’ll probably go with stock Dexron VI on the trans and Mobil or Royal Purple on the rear diff. IDK if it’s a limited slip or not, if it’s LSD you have to get the correct oil and possibly an additive or it’ll burn up. We want the ability to travel long distance, carry all our gear and also be able to use our vehicle for shelter. I chose the GMC/Chevrolet platform specifically because of the engine. The Gen 3 small block debuted in 1997 in 5.7l trim in the Corvette. This all aluminum motor was a total departure from all previous small block chevys from 1955-1996. It has since been produced in everything from the 4.8, 5.3, 5.7, 6.0, 6.2 and 7.0. There’s probably even more I’m missing. The motors are known as LS motors and the aftermarket and versatility of these new motors blow Away everything else in my opinion. The most powerful stock variant is the supercharged Corvette ZR1 variant with an earth shaking 750BHP. I sure could slam one into a work van were I so inclined. There’s a hilarious yet serious YouTube of some guys who dirt cheap slammed a 500HP turbocharged LS in a 76 Winnebago. I find the LS to be one of the easiest engines to work on. They are simple and compact so there’s plenty of room to get to most things. They are so popular that there are conversions from fuel injection to a good ol Holley 4 barrel carb. Problem areas are few, early engines with cylinder deactivation had big problems requiring a complete top end rebuild and elimination of the cylinder deactivation. Exhaust manifolds eventually crack. The rear oil pan and seal may start weeping oil. Water pumps are easy on the LS. Really that’s about it, aside from GM shitty QC and crap Delphi electrics. Parts are cheap, available everywhere from the usual suspects like AutoZone, Oreilly and any GM dealer.

Contributions/lessons learned welcome.

61 thoughts on “Stealth Camper: Comments (On Point) Enabled”

    1. Tip #1: Get it THOROUGHLY checked out mechanically PRIOR to purchase
      by a trustworthy mechanic that understands about PRIVACY!

      Tip #2: Pay CASH for such purchases – if possible, decline a receipt.

      Tip#3: Resource sites like are useful but remember to
      practice as much internet Opsec as possible – Do NOT have parts
      delivered directly to your home if possible and pay with a ‘burner’
      debit card.

      Other than that..have at it!!

      NorthGunner – The Truth Is It’s OWN Defense

  1. Drain a tranny only, a flush or wash could actually cause more wear by inadvertently shoving particles where they should not be.


    * Add some fictitious business name to the van.
    * Put some visual barrier so that no can look into the body of the van from the front windows.
    * If you are going to move the tire, there are aftermarket tanks shaped to fit the wheel well. Gives more range.
    * Look into upgraded locks. The ones on the chevy/GM models are subpar, easily defeated.

    1. Unless you plan on removing the VLOM / AFM system, it’ll go bad after ~100k miles. My Gen 3 NBS Silverado has that happen. Stuck valve on driver side. $2k later to replace the AFM, valves and got the spark plugs replaced as well.
      Would rather do a delete on the AFM but the kits are pricey and time intensive. Not impossible, there’s yootoob vids that show how to do it.

      That said, the LS engines are great to work on, used in loads of models, and readily available parts so it’s a viable long term choice.

      Diesel fans will throw shade on gassers but emissions tests are clamping down on them hard, especially if they mod/delete the emissions systems (DEF, EGR, DPF).

      1. The 4.8 in mine dosen’t have AFM thankfully. Factory delete lol. Also no onstar or any wifi hotspot, so I think it’s not really trackable. KS dosen’t emissions test, which is awesome. Diesels are great but the injectors are so expensive if they go bad. I’ve actually seen quite a few GM LS powered vans go 3-400k miles, some of the highest mileage vehicles I’ve worked on.

        1. Yep those injectors are at or above $1k when you have to replace them all.

          Do LS swaps work for older vehicles b/c the vehicle model year is older than the LS engine?

    2. I should have clarified that better, you are absolutely right. I am going to drain the fluid and change the filter. Hooking up to a flush machine is a no go.

    3. I agree on the locks. Most all GM work vans around town (high crime area) have padlocks added to the rear doors.

      (Thank God comments are back)
      (Just moderate out the ‘tards, thanks)

    4. Stealth addendum: (2 cents)
      Remove all factory lettering / badges.
      Make and model = “Um, white van”.

      Also: 4” deep Sub-floor, Slide out storage / table / compartments to taste. (Width between wheel wells. Sides of sub-floor (behind wheel well) capped off (cosmetics) for less obvious storage.

      Another option…
      Our band had a “detour” back in the day. We built a storage loft into a ‘76 GMC panel van. Padlocked the backdoors.
      No Access to the back from the front.
      No access from the front to the back.
      Add panel / security door seperating the cab from mid section.

      Veritas Aequitas

    5. +1 on the fictitious business affiliation. Joe Dirt’s A/C repair or Paul’s plumbing. A Google fictious phone number to add OPFOR intel gathering.

  2. The multitude of videos on YouTube on this subject is overwhelming, from tricking out min vans to 4Runners and even the bigger stealth rigs.
    Look up Overlanding conversions too.

  3. It is a sound theory. I had an ’86 Suburban 4 x 4 I used to car camp in. Cold winds and hard rains beating down on vehicle – and I was snug as a bug in a rug. A steel tent, safe from the elements. I’d open the back doors (rather than lowering a tail gate) and bungee corded a tarp over the resulting space, forming an open porch. I velcroed fuzzy tape around the back windows and cut bug screen with wire glued onto perimeter. This allowed me to leave windows open when warm and enjoy the outside air. All in all – a great idea that worked for me.

    The generic white work van would be considerably more ‘Gray Man’ and blend in better on highway traffic. Especially if wearing a uniform and gimme cap with clipboard on top of dash, most people’s attention move move on..

  4. Not sure. Maybe I’ve read so many apocalyptic versions about “after” that I don’t have any faith there’ll be fuel, unimpeded roads, standing bridges, parts, oil, tires………I look at vehicles to be great ways to get around, but expensive, temperamental, and vulnerable. This does look great however. The stealth part is what makes it even more appealing. Here in Texas, I used to see countless vehicles and even motor homes with camouflage paint, and other tactical stuff. Now, hardly at all. Guess the stealth is catching on.

    1. So, go diesel, preferably a pre-92 model. Don’t know much about Chevies but my Kim Jung Un……. EMP B/O vehicle is a 92 F350 mechanical diesel. I have run used synthetic motorcycle oil from my old sport cruiser bike and ATF burns quite well in the mechanical diesels, just be sure you have a small micron filtration system and/or a small centrifugal separator

    2. Oh, the old diesels like the veggie conversions but viscosity and iron corrosion etching of steel fuel tanks is a thing. Viton seals are also recommended too becuase the veggie stuff needs higher fuel temps for viscosity same. Not a really big deal for me in the South was we typically run a split system. Start and shut down on diesel, run on veggie. That said, YMMV running the higher viscosity veggie fuel.

  5. I recommend a titanium exhaust for weight savings. And delete the catalytic covertor as it could clog. The biggest intake possible as well. Nice truck. That 4.8 chevy is a beast. I had one.

    Dont forget to insult the interior. They get cold, or hot. And can be quite noisey.

    You are gonna want to skip things like extra tanks. Save the money and use fuel cans. They serve multiple purposes.

    Dont forget to install a cheap, lightweight gun safe.

    If you hang your armor off the back of the seats, you add armor to the driver and passenger seat.

    3m tinting on the windows. Nearly unbreakable.

  6. Limited Slip Differential is easy to identify. Jack the back of the van off the ground, and give a tire a spin. If the other spins in the same direction, it’s LSD. If it spins opposite direction, it’s not. Might pay to put one of those screened dividers between the driver’s compartment and the rear department. I believe some have a door between them so you don’t have to get out to get to the back. Advantage is you can hang stuff on the screen to prevent people from looking in the back, and you can also put a bluetooth backup camera from Amazon etc. on the license plate bracket in the back of the van to facilitate greater visibility behind you. Look at what other work vans have on them. A lot of times you can get away with a PVC tube on the roof for some additional storage. I’ve seen guys make those into compressed air storage, water storage, really the sky is the limit. You can also put a roof rack on them without drawing second glances, and if you go traveling can store additional gear up there as needed, including that spare tire you mentioned. Good choice btw!

  7. Just great suggestions from everyone. Magnetic slap on business logos, definitely. I’m interested in the extra spare well fuel tank. I’m going to check out the links, the 4wd conversions I saw were awesome but looked like a pricey proposition. I’m in KS so it’s pretty flat here, so 4wd isn’t priority. Part of my thought process on this project is standardization. Just like pistols and rifles this could help logistics with vehicles too. We’re trying to standardize with full size GM LS powered platforms. I do all my own wrenching, and I’m more familiar with full size Chevy/GMC than anything else. Especially the plain vans. I never saw too many AWD vans or Duramax diesel vans when I worked at the dealership.

  8. Is op sure it’s a ls1 and not a Vortec engine? Not sure gm put ls mills in vans originally. My 2000 Silverado has a 4.8 Vortec. Ls and Vortec are not the same from my understanding.

    1. It’s a 4.8l, I believe it is a vortec technically. All the gen 3 small blocks just get colloquially lumped in as LS’s. The true LS like LS1, LS3 etc. are different in that they are performance tuned, bigger displacement. The water pump is unique to the 4.8, I know this. Most parts are swappable, the architecture is all the same as far as working on them.

  9. Since I have been on a project using my noggen lately
    and reading this topic, an idea just surfaced – Would a
    good sturdy slide out in the rear on bearings add to more
    room outside once you are stationed somewhere? For
    example, the van rear space is lets say 5 feet wide and
    12 feet long, so adding an inch or more thick plywood on
    bearings or sturdy sliders with attachable legs once out,
    plus even making a tent type attachable cover?

    Just a thought…. many good possibilities…

    Have fun and enjoy.

  10. Once you alter/deviate from stock appearance with all that stuff, racks/knobby tires/fuel cans, it will draw attention.

    Sorry you cant have it both ways.

    Sounds like you will have an awesome rig when your done!!


    1. Agreed.

      You want the “grey man” look. Work van, okay, get some magnetic signs, ladder rack, etc… on top. Inside is your porta-potty, camp stove, beds, (or hammocks on hooks on the van sides), rifle rack, ammo storage, (could be under bench seats), generator.

    2. This is why I suggested nothing being added to the outside.
      Leave the spare where it belongs.
      If you need the spare, someone will be watching.
      If you pop open a Tactical AF can, people will know.
      It should look like a work van on the inside as well.

      Criminals are ALWAYS watching you.

      1. Plywood wall she you open the back filled with cheapo tools perma-mounted on it for visual appeal.

      2. “Criminals are ALWAYS watching you.” Absolute truth. And, those “Criminals” are not only Antifa thugs and thugettes, but Orcs and Orcettes with badges, camo, and M-4’s. The latter will go after the low-hanging fruit. Years ago in Bishop, CA a varmint-hunting club was gathered at a local coffee shop after being out all night calling in coyotes. The members looked out the window and saw the California Department of Fish and Game photographing their rigs and explaining to their newbies how to spot a varmint-hunter rig.
        Keep your vehicles as stock as possible. Go gray and stay gray. If you still live behind enemy lines in a Blue Hive, be very careful if you drive out-of-state to attend a gun show or political rally. Chances are, the Blue Hive’s AG will have his Orc and Orcette operatives in the parking lot writing down license plate numbers. The CA AG used to send his minions to the Cashman Center in Las Vegas(Gun Show) to record CA license numbers. The drivers were then intercepted by the CHP at the state line to see what they could see. And, this was over twenty years ago. Satan, or the Leviathan never sleeps. Plan accordingly. Bleib ubrig.

    3. @Cavity, mods not so much. My wife and I are grokking a Sprinter to go off grid. The Sprinter has a higher roof line so solar panels and such can be hidden from ground view with ladder racks and PVC storage tubes. A lower height panel presents concealment issues due to height but their are other ways to hide roof mounted necessities.

  11. I’ve had this on my mind for a while. Heard a great tip: a few dings and scratches, a ladder rack on top, and when parking in public spaces pub two orange traffic cones, one fore and one aft. No knockers including the po po if you have the traffic cones, they figure you’re working on something.

    I’ve been looking for a 4 wheel drive model at the right value/price point. It seems like a great idea. There are thousands of “van life” vids on the tuuube of U about how to upgrade interior, comforts, tips, tricks, living off grid, all the things. Seems pretty cool, if you are already the loner type or adventurous family.

    Don’t forget to train like you are using it for the real thing, whatever your real thing is. And make lists of what goes in it at short notice or for bugout, etc. Same as any other mobile plan you should ALREADY have.

  12. Good choice on a stealth camper. I own a Silverado with the 4800 Vortec. Runs great. I’ve also owned a similar vintage GMC Savana. Great van. Now you have me thinking about a second vehicle.

  13. Put a “Mr. Rooter” or similar variant work sign on it. No one will be interested in the contents.

    1. Not true! Work vans get busted into all the time. Free tools for the pawn shop.

      Not to throw the wet blanket, just facts. Work vans are awesome cover, except when they become targets for obvious reasons. The puck padlocks are a great idea. Especially if you put hasps on the inside, also.

      4 wheel drive is always a plus. Really.

    2. Not always true.
      An acquaintance who’s a plumber, had over $2,500 worth of
      tools stolen from his work vehicle.
      The culprits were/are meth-heads that live in the same trailer
      park that he does (he’s a Vietnam AF Vet btw).
      Given who’s one’s ‘neighbors’ or who frequents the area;
      ‘interested parties’ (especially if they’re drug addicts) can
      and will shamelessly attempt to burgle/scavange from anyone
      else nearby to support their habit..just like alcoholics do.

      Just another thing to be aware of…..

      NorthGunner – The Truth Is It’s OWN Defense!

  14. Had a straight-up Ford ‘Serial Killer Edition’ E150 work van.

    Got a bench from a Ford Aerostar and bolted it in as a passenger seat. Easy in, easy out.

    Put a queen frame on 18″ legs (4×4 posts bolted to the existing legs) in the back, held together by bolts and wingnuts, small bag of spare parts hung on frame corner just in case. The queen frame fit perfectly, and I set the height so the frame was just above the rear wheel humps. The height made it easy to slide in totes and coolers underneath.

    Put a queen-size futon on top. Covered with old sheets and army blankets, perfect to keep warm on a cold, wet day, not bad for warm days either. And the bed came apart so we could move it into a tent if we wanted to. Soft stuff like pillows, non-toteboxed clothes, and things like rifle cases (under the blankets) went on top of the bed.

    Carried a tarp and some segmented tent poles with ropes and stakes. Get to a spot, put tarp over top of van, open doors, stake out remaining tarp to cover the side door and rear door using poles, ropes and stakes. Put up in 10 minutes, take down in 5 or less if you’re in a hurry.

    Get some screening and size it to the doors and windows that will be covered by the tarp. Use magnets to hold them in place to keep bugs out.

    Fan on the inside engine cover hooked up to an extension cord if you have electricity, put a splitter and you have power for lights or a hot plate or two.

    Collapsing tables. If you make your table out of plywood and have it slotted together or hinged together (you can find plans out there) you can store the table under your futon on top of the bed platform.

    Add a work type rack or basket on top as a carrier and you can do quite a bit more.

    For special added fun, you can get one of those portable garage thingies that are made out of poles. Ditch the short poles and get ones longer (fence poles for chainlink fencing fit) and you can jack up the sides high enough you don’t throttle yourself getting in and out. Save the shorter poles and use them for a side fly off the main canopy (or use segmented poles like with a tent.

    Used one for years, 14 years to be exact, till the engine finally coughed up and died. Miss it and the freedom that came with it still to this day.

  15. 2 90s era burbs. 4×4. one half ton 5.7 with rebuilt 4 speed 700r4 trans, other 6.2 diesel in great shape, 3 speed IDRC, but rebuilt, 3/4 ton. cheap easy to fix, no turbos, not the fastest, but have taken both into the mountains and done some serious billy goat trails with them.

  16. I almost forgot to say. Do not add too much weight to this vehicle. You will go overweight much, much faster than your think.
    100 gallons of water weights 800 pounds. And that’s not counting the tanks.
    Always, Always go lightweight.
    My idiot cousins built one of these things out. It was WAY over weight.
    F’ing stoners used 2x4s and regular home depot hardware.
    It got like 3 miles to the gallon and they couldn’t even afford to refuel it for the ride home. They abandoned it about 200 miles from their starting point.

  17. Agreed with others about magnetic signs and otherwise leaving exterior as-is. In SHTF scenarios, where you’ll be depending exclusively on whst you have with you, the biggest concern (behind weapons) is WATER.

    A 3-day pack, you can carry on your back.

    What do you need to survive and be effective for two weeks? IMHO, when you have that worked out, you’ll be set.

  18. just move off CONUS and forget that entire living abortion

    if you still reside in the ‘states’ you deserve whatever happens to you

    for the life of me, i can’t understand why any rational thinking person would condemn themselves and their families to a so-called life in murka surrounded by it’s corrupted filth called “people”..

    meanwhile, tfA-t has his boats floating, sandy beach decked out with electric palm trees, tiki bar and deck, and new lake house finished and furnished

    poverty truly $uck$- so i’m told

    and burn that disgusting hell-hole called america to ashes

    tfA-t lives!

  19. I have a single 300 watt solar panel on mine (not super stealth but not the worst) that runs LED lights, a 12 Norcold frig, and provides power to multiple USB ports. The rig has already served as a great backup for when power goes out at the house- cell phones easily charged.
    Several West Marine overhead lights that toggle between white and red light. Handy to see just enough at night and open the door without alerting the world.
    Maybe consider ventilation- either tiny roof vent and/or one in the floor ducted with a low power computer fan. Sleeping at night requires ventilation and having a window cracked is not ideal.
    I also try to keep a full set of camping gear and a 3 day food / water/ santitation/ water purification supply (zip tied to prevent me ‘borrowing’ things from it) with a contents label on the outside in the van at all times. Might put some thought into how to use the rig when trying to be stealthy overnight; eg. how and where to park, how to enter and exit the vehicle, etc.

  20. Thanks for opening up the comments again, CA. Long time listener, first time caller here. Not that you asked for my input, but this is the type of stuff I like reading about. Articles and the resulting discussions about practical topics like gear, tactics, how-to and operations that would likely be employed in future festivities are what we need more of, in my opinion. We know things are going to crap. Now how can we fight it, in real nuts and bolts detail?

  21. Weigh the van level on each corner. Keep balance left-right with heavy things like water, propane, deep cycle battery placement. Heavy ahead of axle as possible. When shopping, a no-windows work van is best because you can always cut vents and hatches. White touches up best of any color. Manual transmission vans are rare, but exist used esp. Ford straight 6 300ci.

    If your area is cold in winter, or anticipate going there, insulate or prepare to insulate part of the van for cold survival. This is where ClubVan windows all around are a huge PITA.

    Rack system can conceal casual observation of a solar panel flat on roof. Avoid a pop-up roof vent if there is no hole cut. They glow from any tiny light inside and are an insulation leaking problem if not maintained (the new standard of maintenance). While parked, a quiet 12v fan can provide in and out venting from the dry underside to the sleeping occupant, maintaining the “work truck” non-condensing window interior look. If you need more than food insulation, a refrigerator that operates on the rocker pump principal and 12v is the way to go. Surplus or new 1.2 cubic foot interior models from OTR trucks. Peltier junction models just don’t work if you need more than 20 degrees F of cooling from ambient and use too many amps. Propane RV models need propane and near-perfect levelling.

    Insulation: basic is rolls of metallized bubble plastic sheet/roll cut to your R-value and contoured to panels, advanced is aerogels. Huge price difference. The idea is to prevent air from circulating behind the steel shell and inside panel, transmitting difference in temp. Interior decor as desired, but rough plywood utility works for a work truck look.

    12v deep cycle battery bank of single 12v or pair of 6v and efficient small (1000W max continuous) inverter will be enough. 24v is not worth the effort for most, and the runs in a 3500 extended van will not be excessive, 2 ga battery to inverter. Maybe 0 ga from underhood terminal to house battery with a relay to separate when engine goes off.

    Basic toilet: 5 gallon bucket with seat adapter and urine diverter. Sawdust. Separate buckets for people to avoid cross contamination. Yes, in the van while being observed from outside. A venting fan system for the cupboard the the buckets live in will help a lot.

    I’ve been considering a Power Trailer (a stripped interior Apache Mesa popup trailer) to pull behind a class B motorhome with a salvaged Onan 750 cubic inch twin genset and gasoline tankage to be able to get higher currents near projects needing power tools, while not having a running genset so near a sleeping place. If you have a genset and are parking, an extended exhaust hose like service garages use is a good thing to get the exhause away from air intakes. Old flathead gensets without a cat make deadly amounts of CO that modern cars do not.

    Oh, yeah. SE Portlandia.
    Riots every day, traitors elected bi-annually.
    No one cares.

  22. I started my project with a 2009 4×4 Border Patrol Tahoe. They use police set-up Tahoes but this one they added a 3″ suspension lift to… I sent it to the local off-road shop and had it refurbished for not a lot of money. Added 295/70 tires they fit on stock steel rims with minor wheel well trimming. Then set up interior for your needs. This is a move fast all terrain truck.

    Also have a 1971 AM General deuce and a half for our group. It’s got super single tire conversations. Different trucks to fit different needs. This is a move heavy gear all terrain truck.

  23. Yep, had the same idea for awhile been looking for used 4×4. Could put mobile coms inside with removable antennas on ladder rack. etc. Cots for sleeping.

    Apparently I’m not the only guy thinking like this used 4×4’s get snapped up quick. Funny thing is I don’t see many on the road…or off-road.

  24. Insulate, yes. Try aluminium backed polystyrene sheets about 5/8″ and hang a cargo net for a bench hammock. An extra battery or two with a 1000 or 1500 watt inverter is also an investment. (Coffee maker, hot plate, microwave.) Can be placed in the cargo van instead of under the hood, unless one can get those placed under the hood.

  25. A white van camping anywhere outside of a city is going to be suspicious and raise some flags…I guess if you are going to be camping in towns and cities then it would work just know that if it looks like a electricians, plumber, or anything with tools in it then it will probably get broken into…If it’s just to get from one end of town to the other and not be noticed then it would work as long as it’s in a secure place for the night…A RV actually would get bothered less because most thieves want a easy target with tools they can pawn…There is a reason why a fleet has its vans usually back in before dark…

  26. There is a great deal of ‘stealth camping’ here on the west coast. Particularly in Southern California.

    There’s stealth and not so stealth camping that abounds. The not so stealth is in the form of purchasing used motor homes and picking out a spot on the streets. Another form is to find a storage facility which allows motor homes to be parked. There is one in mind in the South bay of LA where there are dozens of motor homes parked and seemingly empty–but at night you can see lights inside were people are quietly camping out for the cheap… and many hook themselves up to the lamps in the parking facility.

    Then you have your van campers, who are mainly millennial types who cannot afford the outrageous rents that are demanded in Southern California. They are working for tech companies or going to school and using these vans as mini-homes at night. They have an on-going gym membership where they shower, clean up and work out. You will see them eating at the take out joints mainly.

    Then you have your out and out homeless types on a minimal income of some sort, and you will see them in rundown RV’s parked on the streets where the cities don’t care. Across town from me is a side street off of Broadway which is completely lined with these busted down motor homes which can barely move. It’s right out of the Grapes of Wrath in some areas.

    California City is one such place that is right out of the wild west–look it up on Youtube.

    As described above–there’s hours of Youtube videos on how to make your vehicle into a camper.

  27. Tangentially related – also consider small cargo trailers. They can be used as is, slightly modified, or undergo full bore conversion. Slightly raised with beefed up suspension and they can handle somewhat rough terrain.

    This way your utility space is not a part of a single drivetrain that can fail. Anything with a hitch and adequate power can tow it.

    Just another idea.

    Keep your powder dry,
    Atlas Shrug

  28. I have a 2000 2500 LS Suburban 4×4. Just white, inside and out is excellent. Has 6.0 Vortec. 235, o00 and is totally original. Mine has LSD, trailer brakes, I beefed the cooling way up. Only additive I have used is Seafoam which my very old school mechanics used. They were great. Divorces forced them to sell the business many years past. Never flushed the trans. Took me several years of looking before I found this ‘burb as I did NOT want a 1/2 ton or 2wd. My window tint is VERY dark for many reasons. I do routine services and change the oil/filter every 3,ooo no exceptions. NO one pays attention to it. After all, it is just a suburban.

  29. Walter Sob: Go to and check out their sweet decks with pull out drawers. I would suggest you attempt to build one your self and save a lot of money. I have personally seen many vans with this done. A deck will provide you with storage and a platform to sleep on as well as not look out of place on a work vehicle. Also you could just go to Truck Stuff and check out their display as well as look at all the other awesome stuff they sell (plus they have free catalogues of shit you don’t need -but really really want!). Something else to keep in mind before trying to look too commercial is that in Oklahoma and I think Texas, as well as some surrounding states have commercial license plates (doesn’t KS now have a plate as well ? ) , and when traveling out of state the police may give you a second or third look to see if you have commercial plates- not that you may need them, but out of habit due to the regulations of their particular state. P.S. remember to write in big red letters on the side [ FREE CANDY ! ] and [THIS IS NOT A RAPE VAN,COME ON IN ! ]

  30. Watch out for the intake manifold gasket, I have a Silverado with the 4.8 had to do mine. Symptoms are slowly losing coolant, white exhaust, and if it gets bad enough you can hear exhaust bubbling through your heater core. At first I thought it was head gasket and I was boned but the manifold gasket fixed it. It’s not insanely difficult but you have to be meticulous, it’s a plastic fragile thing and requires thorough cleaning of the mating surfaces, and tightenting in the right sequence with an inch pound (yes) torque wrench. Also threadlocker. I think in my case it was actually just the old threadlocker letting go but I replaced the gasket anyways. Other known issues are the step motors on the instrument gauges, I just bought a whole refurbished preprogrammed panel, it’s easy to swap out and was about $150 with core. Good thing about these engines and vehicles are there are tons of videos about them and they are pretty easy to work on.

  31. Another thought regarding “signage” – it need not take up the real-estate of the whole van, just something on the doors if you go that way. A plain white panel van causes most people to surmise it’s biz or fleet-related anyway, as in “who the hell would just have a plain white van for themselves?” Just a door logo, maybe a bogus little courier company like those that do quick runs between small clinics/nursing homes and the larger hospitals where the labs are hauling bio stuff. That kinda thing.

  32. Check out Website and YouTube channel. Lots of info on how to finish the interior, solar power, cooking and etc, for living in a van. Insulation, heating and a/c covered too. All the info on off grid nomad type lifestyle.

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