With the prices of vintage Volkswagen buses pushing through the roof (who would have imagined that any VW would ever be worth more than a 911?) what are you gonna buy when you need something to live in down by the river? You are going to need something that is exempt from emissions and inspections requirements (can't exactly get a car to pass smog when it doesn't run) so that rules out modern vans, and you are going to want something with a long, low, load floor. What about a Dodge A-100 series? Like this 1970 Dodge A-108 Van offered for $5,600 in Lawrenceburg, IN via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck.
The basic A100 was Chrysler's riff on the VW bread loaf packaging solution and was built in a cab-over-engine configuration from 1964-1970. The A-108 was a long wheelbase version that was often used for camper conversions. Power comes from a 318 cubic inch V8 mounted under the driver's right elbow and good for 210 horsepower.
With simple pushrod V8 power and design ethos, the Dodge van should be a compelling alternative to any underpowered air cooled VW. Granted the Dodge is missing that certain je ne sais quoi, but it's also missing a zero from the price tag.
See a cooler car for living in, down by the river? firstname.lastname@example.org