Thursday, January 5, 2017

Mobile Home on the DL: 1984 Volvo 245 DL

Sometimes you need to sleep in your car. Maybe it's the only option left before becoming homeless, but hopefully it's by choice - like maybe you need to drive halfway across the country to see the stuffed body of the only beer-drinking goat to ever become the mayor of Lajitas, Texas and then be castrated for drinking on a Sunday...and there just isn't enough time to find or stay in a motel. For such an occasion, you need a covert RV - a vehicle that quickly transforms from transportation to lodging without calling attention to itself - or as this next seller calls it, a "Mobile Home on the DL."   Find this 1984 Volvo 245 DL for sale in Ventura, CA for $2,000 via craigslist.

The DL normally stands for DeLuxe in Volvo nomenclature, but this time it's for Down Low. From the outside, this brick looks like any other average sorta beat-up 240 wagon from the '80s. There's a mismatched fender, some dangly bits, missing trim, and a general air of "nothing to see here, folks."

Step around back and you may notice a darker than usual (some might say illegal) tint in the rear of the car, but that in itself isn't a giveaway for who might be lurking - or sleeping - within.

The seller calls this the "magical adventure wagon," and if redeye road trips are your idea of magical adventure, this may just be the cheapest way to go. Solo would work if you don't mind lots of driving and lots of lonely sleeping, but I can imagine a young couple would get the most "magical adventure" out of this setup...giggity goo. Back to the car, the first giveaway that something is different here is the curtain rod and black drape that spans the B-pillars.

The seller includes some sweet fisheye photos of the rear compartment, where the back seat has been removed and replaced with "the sub floor I made in the back so i could live in the car. There is enough storage for some cloths, food and pots and pans. As you can see in the picture the stock floor hides alot of diffrent compartments."

DT's own Hunsbloger swears that a Saab 99 WagonBack is the best all-around vehicle for covert car sleeping, and I'd wager it would be more fun to drive than this Volvo loaded up with gear and a matress in back. But think about all the...uh....stuff* you could store in all the diffrent compartments!

*Pine tree air freshener included to mask scent of previous owner's...stuff.

Find a better way to see the USA without paying for lodging? email us here:

CFlo is Daily Turismo's co-founder and Technical Editor. When he's not rebuilding another BMW shift linkage, he's buying Volvos. In fact, when he has any spare time at all, he buys more Volvos.


  1. $1,800 already! Snap it up quick to get a head start on that cross-country adventure!

  2. Pretty clever way of avoiding property tax.
    If this was my buggin-out vehicle I would make a rood rack system for surfboards, roof box, and bikes.

  3. Certainly feels larger with the wide angle shots.

  4. That goat is my spirit animal.

  5. I love the idea of a living in a vehicle during a cross country trip. Nothing against Volvos, but this would be too cramped. I'd Super-Size, and Disney-fy this option. I'd spent a little more and get a used Toyota Sienna. Nothing says "DL" like a Toyota minivan. More space, reliability, and probably better gas mileage. Giggity-Goo indeed!

    - Average Bear


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