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A Little Lost, A Little Found van build

Our New Van Won’t Start!

We did it! We bought the van and drove it across the street in search of food. We walked in to Panera, then back out with some dinner. We hopped in the van, analyzing how far we could drive through the night before stopping. Ivan turned the key and heard a long beeping sound. Click forward, nothing. We each take a deep breath, glance at each other, and he tries again. Turns the key, nothing. Neither of us are quite ready to say it, but, “We own this piece of junk now. What have we done?” I had just written a check for something in the area of $18,000 for something that won’t start.


An hour earlier we were “inspecting” the van. We took it for a test drive and didn’t hear any scary noises. We glanced over the body and at the tires, but nothing seemed to say, “I’m a problem”, except for the missing door handle. We stopped in a parking lot close by and tried to talk through any concerns we might have had. We couldn’t talk ourselves out of it. Nerves tensed from head to toe, but tummy jumped in excitement! Ok, we decided. Let’s do this.

After waiting in the office for 7,000 hours while the Financing department ran a credit check (and who knows what else) they handed us the keys and waved goodbye. How is it that only 30 minutes later the van doesn’t start?


I texted the salesman right away. He tried to assure me that the battery was new, everything had been checked out, but he knew and I knew – this is was not okay. To his credit, he drove right to us even though he was off the clock and ready for a relaxing evening. He dropped us off at a hotel and promised to reimburse it.
That night and the next morning we couldn’t help but wonder, “Did we just make a huge mistake? What could possibly be wrong with it? Better now than halfway through Nebraska.”


In the morning, we Uber’ed back to the dealership with bags in tow. They assured us they checked the engine, batteries, etc. Apparently, Ram ProMaster’s have a key issue. If you turn it too fast, it locks up. They promised this was it and that it was even a recall issue that could be resolved.


Tentatively, we took the keys back and rumbled out onto the road in hopes that we would make it 1,400 miles back to Utah.

So, we bought the van. It’s a 2017 Ram ProMaster 2500, extended. We bought it for $16,500 and ended up paying another $1,500 or so in fees and taxes (yuck).


We are ready to take on the challenges that come our way. For better or worse, it’s ours now and there’s no going back.


Much Love,

Hanna