The pros of getting a van pre-built up include: convenience, cost and time factors. It's obviously convenient as you will not have to build out the interior yourself, overcome the inevitable hiccups that are associated with such a project as there are a plethora of obstacles you might run into, like tapering van bodies that mess with your bed setup, the curvature of the walls, insulation taking up more space than anticipated, incorrect measurements etc. Cost also is a perk as in my experience pre customized vans typically have a lower cost relative to the amount of work put into them as I am guessing that the sellers focus more on the worth of the vehicle itself rather than the living functionality, and so what may have been hundreds of dollars in materials and time may only be reflected in a $50-100 price increase. Time in addition to what's already been mentioned is still a factor to consider when purchasing an instantly livable vehicle as you can simply hop in and hit the open road with out any further fuss. And obviously I should mention if you lack the cash to take it to specialists that customize vans like Outside van or Sportsmobile and are not a DIYer then a prebuilt up van might be just the choice for you.
The benefits of customizing your own vehicle might however include some or all of the following: maximized storage potential, increased livability, street cred., pride, easily modified creation, personalization and just a fun experience. Some decked out vehicles when purchased may have only been intended for use as a part time camp/get away vehicle and as a result may lack the maximized storage space a full time van dweller may require, leaving you cluttered and aesthetically less pleasing.
|Note how the shelves accommodate each of the |
largest items, coincidence...not quite.
|This is pretty much the way the van came, which was perfect |
to leave from the previous owner's house
straight to the desert for a climbing trip!
|Nifty stowaway bedside table took about 5 minutes|
to install and has been totally worth it.
For any and all van lifers reading this I'd be psyched to see pictures of your rigs!