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Any beauville junkies? Advice

So I had a 1990 beauville with somewhere around 155k miles a few years ago. I loved it. It was owned by a machanic for it’s whole life then to some hippie kid for a year whom I bought it from. The trans went out a few months after I got it. I paid a bit much, 3000. After the trans was fixed the power steering was still out and we’d have to go under the van to change from going forward to backwards. We should have went back to the machanic but we were in between living situations and moving quickly across the country. It never got fixed and now someone else owns it which broke out hearts because we really loved that van.

Now that van is gone for one reason or any other and I was given a 1992 Chevy van that was just completely rusted out. After my grandfather put 1000 into it for computer issues and whatever else, the trans went about a month later. It won’t drive backwards and hardly switches gear when driving

I sill have it and a junkyard said they’ll give 400 for it but I will call around to see if I can get anything more.

Anyhow (now to my point) there is a beauville for sale within a few hrs from me. 1992 140k miles. Only one picture (I will ask for more before checking it out). Seemingly little to no rust. Asking 3000 obo. My plan is to go up there with 2500. Test drive it, check carfax, then if all that seems good, have a mechanic inspect it for me. If all goes well and I get the thumbs up, I will start with an offer of 2000. My goal would be to get it for 2200.

My father (who would be pitching in a bit as well as seeing if my grandfather would pitch in) is giving me a hard time because it is such an old vehicle. I will be pitching in alone with my husband. It is my golden birthday this month so I am crossing my fingers!

Mind you, I plan to eventually drive this from illinois to california with my under 2 year old son to relocate us with his father, my husband who is living out there, so i need something reliable, but anything over 3000 isn’t really possible.

I want/need a van. Only other vans I see for under 3000 are dodges, cargo vans, Astros, or a Sierra- all to me sound pretty nasty. My dad wants me to get a newer dodge with similar miles but I just have a bad feeling about going with a dodge. I really like Chevy vans, especially the beauville.

Sorry for being long winded. I am no car expert, but I usually get stuck on vehicles that I have had that seemed dependable and although the trans went out on my other beauville, I would consider it reliable. After the trans got fixed it made it from San Antonio all the way up to Northern California and is still being driven to this day by a new owner.

Before that I was stuck on 97 pathfinders.

If anyone has any pros or cons on the beauville or any knowledge on the reliability of older vehicles etc, please put forth your thoughts so I can pass that along to my father or so I can use caution when checking this beauville out.

Any input would be helpful. Or suggestions.

Thank you
(Pictured is the van I am wanting to look at and possibly purchase)

Also, it comes with a towing package. I know if someone has used a vehicle to tow it could possibly make the vehicle well not as good… It has the vin number listed but my dad said we should wait until we check it out in person before we pay for a carfax report. It also says 5.7 ltr

Just my 2 cents, but it seems to me that it might be a better idea to just fly to CA and concentrate on buying a vehicle out there.

IL to CA is a long boring trip. Add in a vehicle which could break down any time (an inspection is no guarantee), fuel mileage that is not the greatest along with a 2 year old getting cranky and the misery factor goes way up.

Besides, CA requires emissions inspections and what happens if you make it to CA in that van and it doesn’t pass? You’re then up the proverbial creek without a paddle.

I can see that. Well I actually love long car trips, but the thing is we were actually supposed to be out to California before our son was even born and he’s almost 17 months now. I will need to potentially bring my dog west too(I am hoping) along with too much stuff to bring on a plane. So I will pretty much need to drive there regardless. And if possible my husband would fly out here to take the trip with us. In the meantime, I am in need of a vehicle. I know it seems sillyl but my main use is to go to the post office because I have a business on eBay and etsy. It has been difficult scheduling when I can go places due to my little sister already sharing my moms car. There are 2 cars between 4 people and the owners of the two work a lot and when my mom doesn’t have work usually my sister has it.

So without a set california move time I am havin a tough time gettin around just day to day.

The vans are good ones but as with any aged vehicle, problems can crop up anytime. There is simply no way of knowing. If the vehicle checks out and you do make the trip I would advise you to do this.
Learn to check all of the fluid levels and stay on top of them even if it’s known that the van is not losing any fluid whatsoever.
Do this during the trip also; preferably in the morning before startup when the engine is cold after sitting all night. Also learn to monitor the temperature gauge regularly.

My sister in law owned a 5.7 Beauville van many years ago. It was reliable and I seem to remember she had that van for about 8 years or so before trading it off.

Also keep that part in mind about CA emissions inspections.

Thank you! Good advice.
I do not know much about California emissions. Would you by chance know that if a vehicle does not pass emissions if there is a way to make the car so it would?

A much newer Astro van might be found at a good price. They are as reliable as the Beauvilles while much more economical to operate and considerably less likely to fail mid trip.

I don’t know much about Astros other than it never seemed to be a van that would match me as a person. Might sound pretty dumb of me to say… But I don’t know. I mean I would take it I suppose but most around here for sale are in Chicago and I certainly would never buy a car from there. Maybe I should consider one if I see more for sale out here. There is a 94 astro nearby asking 2000 with 160k miles so with all numbers considered it’s pretty comparable to the beauville I’m lookin at.

I would not transport my 2 year old in a 22 year old van of unknown history that I bought for less that $3K from Ill. to Ca. My child’s safety and welfare are far too important for that level of risk.

Besides, when you get to California (if the van makes it) the old beater-van just may not pass inspection. Change that to “is highly unlikely to” pass inspection. And you won’t be able to sell it there. Then you’ll have thrown a large chunk of money away.

Having any used car purchase thoroughly checked out is smart, but it won’t ensure a safe and reliable ride in a buggy that old for a trip like you’re describing.

I’d suggest using the cash to rent a vehicle for the trip. You’ll have a reliable, pleasurable ride with all the most modern safety systems, and you’ll probably save money to boot.

Look, I am going to need a van that is within 3k dollars.
I traveled across country and all over with my other beauville. I would have my husband with me and I don’t even have a set time at all in which this will be happening. It was supposed to happen a year and a half ago.

I need a vehicle now for appointments and to make daily trips to the post office.

People have old vans in California why would this one not be likely to pass?

I could try to save the money but if I am only doing that then I only have like 600 saved because 500 of that is a check from an insurence deposit from a car accident almost 3 years ago. It is in my dad’s name and he will only let me have the money if it is for a new vehicle.

Maybe I should reconsider getting a vehicle right now, I don’t know but i am
here for an indefinite amount of time yet. We have always traveled in an old vehicle I just don’t understand. I mean if I get out there I will need somethin. My husband has a 69 vw bus which is certainly not suited for our son to travel in and I am not some wife that bosses my husband around though I do make slight suggestions, I don’t think he will get rid of it. He got stuck spending 9k on gettin it and fixing it.

He’s been riding around all over illinois in a 22 year old van since he was born. I would never want to risk my sons safety. At the same time I don’t see how a beauville would be less safe than a small newer car. I feel much safer up high in a van than a regular car but maybe I’m am idiot.

We don’t have money. I mean gettin 2 grand would be hopeful. My family is in preforeclosure and I am here at my parents with my son. The mortgage company wants 29k and my parents can hardly pay utilities. My only income is what I sell on eBay and etsy.

I felt hopeful for a second. But man all this just got me way down. My husband is only on disability and is volunteering at a hot springs resort and able to live on property while my son and I are not allowed for extended periods of time.

And as far as unknown history I would get a carfax report. I don’t know what else to do. I have looked up rental cars and to travel that far would cost about a thousand. Plus gas. And biggest is a Tahoe which would be incredibly tight to say the least especially if my dog is with us. It wouldn’t be possible.

Alright I’m just done here. Sorry for signing up on this site.

If you insist on doing it, you’re doing the right thing in getting it thoroughly checked out. Having a AAA (or other auto club) card, a cell phone, a 12VDC phone charger, and a credit card would also be wise. Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

I wish you and yours a safe and pleasant trip.

Yes, you could make a 1992 Beauville pass CA emissions. The big question is at what cost? You could spend 4 or 5 times the cost of the van on needed repairs so as to pass the test.

If flying is out of the question then thesamemountainbike has the best idea; rent a vehicle for the ride comfort, safety, and peace of mind; not to mention the huge savings in fuel costs.

Look, I love trips and being behind the wheel but the toddler makes this a situation that I could not recommend; especially for a lady with no mechanical experience.
It’s easy to look forward a bit with rose-tinted glasses but if you’re sitting on the side of I-80 in a cloud of steam near Rawlins, WY and not a house in sight the wind can go out of the sails very quickly.

I’m a mechanic, been stuck a few times in the middle of Nowhere, USA, and it’s deflating at best. To steal a line from an old Canned Heat song about being broke down on the highway:
“Sittin’ by the side, ponderin’ my fate…”

Two pieces of advice:

1- Don’t ask for advice and then argue with it.

2- Learn about paragraphs, stream of consiousness rambling was innovateive when Kerouac did it but not so much anymore.

I have been using paragraphs but it has not been working.

I am here alone with my son and I don’t talk to people much at all so I do apologize for rambling and going too much into my personal life. I am a quite young girl and I am just a very sad person in a very sad position.

I was hoping for more positive advice or just advice on my plan in general,not to just not go through with it-especially because my only other plan is sit and rot like I have been doing for the past 2 years because my options are slim to non.

I am also sorry if I sound like a joke to anyone. I’m sure someone is cracking a grin at my emotional state (or maybe I deleted all of my replies that would make me sound like a complete nut), but anyone would be in despair in my position. I am strong because I have to be but I really don’t have much hope- it’s a reality (no hope), not just a depressed state of mind… Hope is just not there.

And although this vehicle may never actually travel too far, if my husband does come out here, he does have AAA.

I guess 5.7 means 350 cid engine,good luck I wouldnt do it-Kevin

Dani, please don’t take any of this personally. This forum has a lot of different personalities of different ages and experience, even living in different states and countries, with different perspectives. You’ll get a lot of different comments, some not pleasant, but remember that nobody here knows you and nobody here is in a position to judge… nor should they.

My own original reply was based on concern for the safety of you and your little one. I’ve owned old buggies and know that their reliability can be prohibitive to long trips with a young one. It wasn’t personal. Having live well past a half century (and then some) I realize that an alternative vehicle isn’t always an option. Some people have never been in that situation and can’t appreciate it.

Please don’t take any of the replies personally. They aren’t intended to be.

Sincere best,

I agree with TSM. I feel bad for anyone of limited options and income. In normal times, one had to really mess up to get in that situation. But, now some really good people get messed up that way. Four years ago, a son and his wife ended up living in their car one winter. She was trying to substitute teach with limited luck. We have no provisions for taking care of homeless or no job people as they do here in Mexico.