Ryan, founder of Sea & Summit organic Sunscreen company, which led him to decide to buy a westfalia vanagon and restore it as a touring van and a place to live. Ryan has started this company two years ago by selling everything he owned except his truck.
Ryan met a guy on craigslist from Oregon. Ryan spoke with him for months over the phone, checked out his used car business, social media, they talked about his wife and kids. He made Ryan feel completely comfortable with him. Both decided to do a “pay as you go” van.
Ryan says “I did not have enough to buy one outright. He called me and said he found a 1984 camper van (has a pop-top, kitchen, etc.) with a Subaru engine, and it was perfect except for the paint. He said he’d sell it to me for $7,500 and for a total of about 17k I’d have a finished van for me to live and tour in. You can see in the pic below there is no pop-top; he told me he had already taken it off. I’ve never done a van like this before so I didn’t know.”
Ryan sold his truck to fund the project and began depositing all of his work checks into the bank for his company startup and the van restoration. Ryan says “he told me he needed 5k for paint and body so I sent him a check for $12,500 and he provided a bill of sale two months later. I had another 5k from working saved so I could fund the suspension, tires, and any mechanical issues. As you can see below, totally looked like progress was being made. I have to admit, the paint job is good. His “deadline for the finished van was October 2015. That didn’t happen. He told me he had a bunch of mishaps happen with paint and body and mechanic guys, and that he needed more money. I didn’t budget those extra costs in based on his projected $17k, so he suggested using what I had to do the interior and suspension. I bought the parts and he started; so he said.
By June 2016 I had told him I had exhausted the couches I could sleep on and was sleeping in the lifeguard tower. I needed to come get the van. He said it needed a couple of things but was finished and I could come get it.”
When Ryan arrived in Oregon, the van was in complete shambles. The paint was done, but the dash was torn apart with wires hanging everywhere, there were holes in the roof and floors, the interior was completely gutted, all the emblems were missing, missing bolts, vents, lights, seatbelts, no brake or reverse lights. The roof had been cut and left open because it wasn’t actually a camper van. The pop-top was tack welded on instead of welded to the frame with none of the welds sealed, the paint was only done on the outside and not the interior or other “out of sight areas.” He put new springs on but the parts for the lift kit were all missing, including the shocks (he put some no name cheapo ones on that broke after 200 miles), none of the electrical worked, the exhaust was hanging off…the list goes on and on.
See the Images below
Ryan has started down to California to get the opinions of the mechanic and cabinet guys. When he arrived the cabinet and mechanic guys where in disbelief. They were crawling all around the van saying “look what they did here, and here” and “oh my god”. They advised Ryan to cancel the check as well and that they would try to piece the van back together and get me off the streets. He basically got ripped off for $17,500. They said they would go to court with Ryan to sue the guy if he wanted.
“To date, they have provided the pictures below and tried to help me as much as possible, but they keep finding more things the original guy had hidden or did wrong that is way too much for me to cover. I’ve been pouring every check I make into keeping my startup company going, and this van, and I am at a loss, still with no place to live as of October 2016. I need help. All my friends and bosses ask me about it every time I see them and think this van is my imaginary girlfriend. I need help!” Says Ryan.
Ryan has started a crowdfunding campaign with a goal of raising $13k, the money donated will go to finishing the van and putting a roof, so he can keep working and not lose the startup company he has started.
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For more information, please visit gofundme page: