After 14 weeks of waiting, our van finally arrived at the dealer. Longer than we had hoped, but it’s here, and in one piece. 31 miles on the odometer is pretty new. We took it for a test drive and got mildly spooked by the acrid burning smell coming from the engine compartment.

Fortunately it turned out to be some underbody overspray on the exhaust that was burning off. All of our long list of options were installed, although we couldn’t find the engine block heater cord. The service department at the dealer couldn’t help much - in central California nobody orders a block heater!

New van!

It’s registered with the DMV as a commercial van, but eventually we may switch once we’ve gotten far enough in our conversion. I’m a much more relaxed driver in the van than otherwise - staying in the slow lane, leaving lots of following distance. But being in the slow lane behind a semi, I ended up following him into a weigh station. No chance to merge back into the faster-moving adjacent lane by the time I realized. It turned out for the best though, according to California cargo vans need to stop at weigh stations. I’m sure this is almost never observed, and the lane I chose didn’t even tell me the weight of the van - maybe next time.

It is huge! We knew that going in, but it’s tall enough to block much of the light from our carport into the kitchen. There’s still room for everything, but it will take some getting used to.

Huge Van

For those considering a factory order, here is our timeline:

  • Apr 28 - order placed
  • May 12 - VIN assigned
  • Jun 5 - Confirmed build date
  • Jun 30 - build complete - sent to body vendor
  • Aug 1 - at rail yard - ETA 9-11 to 9-17
  • Sep 13 - pickup at dealer

Not exactly fast, and it sounds like deliveries have gotten slower over time…