2018 3500 EXT
Thanks for this @HarryN Your observations & predictions are enlightening for me. Canada is but 10% of the population of the USA & we have #vanlifers here in basically “the California of Canada” (Victoria BC). We have the best weather in Canada IMO. Commuting typically is 15mins to 40mins depending on rush hour & what streets they are digging up. Victoria is BC’s Capital.So I don't know the answer, but here is an example of what we are seeing in this area.
It is common to commute long distances to work here.
Prior to covid, people would often commute 2 hours each direction to go to work.
It was common to stop along the way to grab some coffee, breakfast, and use a bathroom as needed.
Now the bathrooms are largely closed or at least you cannot go inside, as are most restaurants that are not drive through.
People have been buying vans to be their "mobile safety bubble" and a safe place to make coffee and use the bathroom.
Most vans that are interesting are too tall to use the drive through window, so that means bringing along your own food and ability to make coffee.
While working from home is common, it is difficult to do every single day.
My perception is that the world has changed. Commuting in a tiny tin box on wheels with high MPG is not the future (my speculation)
It is becoming more acceptable to own a vehicle that is a bit over size to deal with covid and disasters.
Will this continue - I think yes, but trends change.
I stumbled into DIY Van Camperizing as my wife wanted an RV & I caved. But we are not fancy showy people & the most “economical” way to do this “long term” & biggest bang for the buck & to be self reliant for repairs was by my analysis to just buy a cargo van & DIY. Then once building I discovered this DIYis a trend & I believe it has even become more popular since we have built. My point is now (at least in Canada) it is difficult to purchase a PM.
Then with Covid, another game changer & more issues on the supply & demand sides of the equation. I am grateful to be fortunate enough in having a usable camper van during this pandemic “mobile safety bubble vehicle”.
From my review; the PM is the best & most economical van to DIY camperize. I understand DIYers wanting to utilize the Sprinters & 4X4, but I use my Rubicon to 4x4 and a Sprinter was only a brief idea to deal with the occasional bit of snow. From what I have read, the PMs do quite well in light snow conditions if the driver knows how to drive in snow. I believe the PMs have increased their market numbers in the Camper van world (Factory Built & DIY). I think the shine of the expensive Sprinters has already started to dull over the economic & better DIY suited PM. The fuel economy of my PM is better than my Jeep or RAM 1500.
On the vehicle side; I think we are definitely seeing a S&D change (possibly trend) in the vehicle platform.
On the build side; I think we are seeing a larger demand (at least during the pandemic). Will this continue? 🤷♂️
For economics, money is very cheap to borrow & in my area of Canada & in my industry Construction, although we felt the financial meltdown of 2008 it was no where near what it should have been. Canada is in a large real estate bubble IMO & this transfers down to vehicle purchasing & many other areas as borrowing money right now is historically low. Younger people have not really lived thru a down cycle, so they do not know. Consumer confidence is high & used PMs are hard to acquire at prices that I would consider with traditional economics other than S&D which I think is askew at least for now.
Once the pandemic is over, will the demand deminish & will there be a glut of RVs & Camper Vans for sale on the market? The price of RVs also seems to be crazy to me right now.
I am having a difficulty time reasoning thru these economic equations right now, as what I am use to is not occurring (since 2008), & my economic compass is seemingly broken.