Buy This Pristine 1982 GMC Camper Van for the Stripes and Submarine Top
Van life beckons, and it could be yours in this $21,000 Craigslist find.
You've realized it's time, you can't deny it any longer. You're feeling the strong urge to buy and live in a van. If this sounds like your own internal monologue, you could hardly do better than this vibrant 1982 GMC Travelcraft motorhome and its glorious submarine roof.
For sale on Craigslist in Colorado Springs, Colorado, this Travelcraft is a perfect example of its era, and all original to boot. The seats are finished in fabric straight from grandpa's sweater. You get two up front, plus two benches with a dining table in the rear. Meanwhile, the third bench folds out into a bed.
To keep you going on the road, there's also a shower, oven, and stovetop, along with a closet and six dresser drawers for storage. Admit it! With provisions this good, there's nothing stopping you from selling your apartment and moving in here.
The real party piece, though, is the vaulted submarine roof. It's complete with the original cathedral lighting and windows all around, letting you really drink in the natural light on those freezing mornings in the RV park. As a bonus, the higher ceiling means that those on the taller side won't need to stoop or hunch inside.
As for tech, the original radio is still in place but reportedly works well with the help of a Bluetooth cassette adaptor. There's LED lighting inside, too, which means there's little worry of running down the battery. An air conditioner and propane heater are included to keep you as comfortable as possible.
The mechanicals have been given a working over, according to the owner, to keep the van trucking on for years. There's a rebuilt 350 V8 under the hood, matching the original engine, after a previous 396 swap didn't work out. It's also got new shocks, a rebuilt auto transmission, and new tires all around.
For peace of mind, all the water plumbing has been replaced with modern plastic, and the propane system has been checked and certified. There's also a fresh marine-grade battery to keep everything juiced up when you're away from mains power. The only sore points mentioned are the dead propane fridge and that the generator and holding tank may need some love. The former could use an oil change, and the latter is likely due for inspection.
All up, the seller's asking for $21,000 for something that doesn't come along just every day. If you want a classic van from the days when the future looked bright, it would be hard to go past this well-preserved example. You can almost certainly convince the owner to throw in some fuzzy dice if you pay the asking price, too.
The 1980s were a golden age for vans. Huge, spacious interiors were combined with the plushest of carpets in every shade of brown. Meanwhile, body panels were slathered in graphics and stripes so lurid that they shocked the entire industry into quiet conservatism for decades to come. You hardly ever see stripes this good anymore, and even more rarely on a van in such nice condition. If the open road is calling your name, this voluptuous land barge could be just the one to carry you there.
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