Beth J. writes us:

I’m planning a 6-12 month road trip–two people, a dog, two bikes and backpacking equipment.   We love the pop-top of the Eurovan, but don’t need all of the extras, and frankly don’t want to pay >$30K for a van.

We want a way to store our bikes and gear (preferably in the van), sleep in the van when we’re not camping, store our camping equipment.  Any suggestions on a van to buy that can have a pop top added, and additional, simple gear inside to store our stuff?
Salim at CHC responded as follows:

Depending on where you are traveling a VW van may not be your best choice.  It is hard to find good VW mechanics in the central and Northern part of the US. I would suggest  you look into Fords or Chevy’s.  They have more room, parts are less expensive and anyone can work on them (especially in a small town).

You can get them with beds, raised roofs or pop-tops, and some cabinets for storage.  Or you can get a used vehicle and have a conversion done on it.  Here are some websites to help your search:

I am sure you can find a van that will meet your budget. Good Luck and have fun!