I woke up Friday morning to the continuous buzzing of my phone. The first Facebook message I saw was from a person I did not know. It said something to the effect of: “Congrats on going viral! I’m sure Fallon will be calling soon.” Um, what is happening?! Spoiler alert: Jimmy Fallon has not yet called (I’m here for you when you’re ready, Jimmy). However, I have received hundreds of emails and messages from the nicest people from all over the country (and a few from Canada and Europe). I’ve done short interviews with multiple news outlets and blogs. Apparently, thousands of people are visiting this here blog. My apologies to those of you who arrived here and noticed that I hadn’t worked on page load time or updated things like photos or bios in one or three or five years. I’m working on it. Sorry. Thanks for your patience. This has all been absolutely unreal. Careese and I had a good laugh as I typed up the post and we took a Struggle-Bus-worthy-trip down memory lane; but, we never imagined that fellow parents and van drivers across America would share our laughter. It’s wonderful.
Believe it or not, the van is now sold. Per request, I’ll leave the original post up on Craigslist as long as they’ll let me here: original Craigslist post. For posterity’s sake (and in case the post gets removed), I’ve copied/pasted the post below. Thanks for reading and following along!
Oh, and media requests can be sent to my publicist. (kidding…I’m not famous and, thus, have no publicist. Just contact me here.)
2005 Ford E350 XL Extended 15 passenger van – $3800 (Amarillo, TX)
We’re selling our 2005 Ford E350 XL Extended 15 passenger van. Photos attached. In the interest of full disclosure, here’s more information and a partial list of its issues. Please read before making an offer. Thanks!
The van is missing a speaker in the side door. My kids have been throwing random items in the speaker hole for years. So, you may end up with some very special treasures. Or really old chicken nuggets. Probably both.
One side of the van has a yellow scuff mark on it. That’s courtesy of me and a battle with a yellow concrete parking divider (I did not win). The other side of the van has a matching white scuff mark. That one is courtesy of my wife. She completes me. In related news, you know how most cars these days come equipped with a fancy backup cameras? This one does not.
My wife and I have used this van for the better part of a decade. We’re a lovely couple, but we sometimes inadvertently back into inanimate objects. Also, we’ve been forced to take defensive driving class a few more times than the average American. That said, there are a number of other minor scratches, dents, and places where the paint is chipped on this vehicle.
When you open the side doors, the rubber door liner is detached in some places. It still does its job, but it looks stupid.
The van came equipped with automatic door locks. Unfortunately, they no longer work. Somehow, something got reversed and the locking motor ran without ceasing until the button was pressed and held down. Rather than taking the van to a repair shop like a normal person, I duct taped the button down to keep the motor from running. At some point the duct tape failed and the motor ran until it eventually burned up or something. Anyhow, the automatic door locks don’t work. Each door must be locked and unlocked manually. Duct tape is not included.
We’re a family of 11. Every one of our children has thrown up in this van at some point in the past decade–most notably, on this trip: http://www.joshwoodtx.com/college-station-2015/. We have had the van detailed a couple times since then (shout out to Xtreme Auto Re-Styling Center for tackling a level of depravity unrivaled in the world of passenger transport.) The van is clean now; but, it will probably always be inhabited by the ghost of vomit past.
The automatic windows work! This is good because the air conditioner does not. Well, it sort of works and sort of doesn’t. It works fine until you accelerate past ~45 miles per hour. After that, the gas pedal essentially functions as an on/off switch for the air conditioner. Accelerate = AC off. Decelerate = AC on. I don’t understand why. But, then again, as you’ve probably gathered by now, I don’t understand most things about cars.
The windshield is cracked.
There’s a 20″ tv mounted to the ceiling. It works and is connected to an in-dash DVD player. This is a handy feature as it helps distract kids from the intermittent air conditioning and smell of decaying chicken nuggets.
I don’t think that the front speakers work. Actually, just assume that they don’t. Better yet, if you’re wondering if some particular part of the van works, just assume it doesn’t work in the way that Ford originally intended it to work.
I looked the van up on Kelley Blue Book. $4,396. Unfortunately, Kelley Blue Book only allows me to choose between the following conditions: excellent, very good, good, and fair. I chose “fair” since “sad” was not an option. I’ve adjusted my asking price accordingly.
The heater works. Also, the van has a hitch and wiring for a trailer.
In order to save myself a bit of time answering requests for more information, I’ve decided to add a FAQ section below:
Q: “Have you performed all proper maintenance and religiously changed the oil every 3,000 miles?”
A: [laughter] No. No, I have not. Does this article make you feel better? It made me feel better. https://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/11/your-money/11shortcuts.html
Q: “Are those 143,000 miles mostly highway miles?”
A: Well, a lot of them are. However, we’ve been using this van as our farm van for the past year or so. Also, in efforts to find quicker routes, I’ve been known to disobey Siri’s directions. These “shortcuts” have sometimes taken us on exotic, off-road adventures. I’m pretty sure those miles cancel out all of the so-called “highway miles.”
Q: “Is the registration current?”
A: Yes! It should be noted, however, that first 3 letters of the current license plate are FRT. We have five boys under the age of 12 in our house. This is a very unfortunate combination.
Q: “How are the tires and the brakes?”
A: They seem to be ok; but, as with everything else, I recommend getting them checked out. I did buy the tires at Discount Tire, so there’s a warranty with them.
One last note: I recommend getting this thing checked over by a mechanic before buying. Everything under the hood looks and sounds fine to me; but, then again, I would have no idea if it didn’t look or sound right.