So I drove the VW campervan yesterday and it drives just fine. Not surprisingly, it needs some work, a bunch of $100- $300 repairs to get it up to snuff. All these things together add up tp about $2300. The funny thing is, that's right about where I thought it would cost to get it to the point where I could just drive it for a year or two before having to put a new engine in it.
A couple of nice things are that it has crank windows and manual locks - fewer motors to break and have to be replaced. Also, it's wired for cruise control and A/C, although neither work at the moment. I'll get both fixed.
However, the camper parts need some attention, and I'll have to take it to an RV shop for them to make sure the propane tank is happy, and the little plastic key to the fresh water intake cover snapped off when the seller tried to use it yesterday.
I asked the mechanic what he would pay for this van, and his upper limit was about what they were asking. Then I asked him if he'd purchase this one if he was in the market for one, and he said yes. I was really impressed at how much time he spent with me, and only charged me $100. I suppose he thinks it's a good bet that I'll be spending more with his shop very soon.
I hope to split that $2300 with the seller, so they lower their price by $1150. Then I'll leave it at the shop in Boulder for them to do the repairs. Then, I'm goin' camping.