Van etymology

According to dictionary.com, “van” is defined as:

-the foremost or front division of an army, a fleet, or any group leading an advance or in position to lead an advance.

-those who are in the forefront of a movement or the like.

-the forefront in any movement, course of progress, or the like.

And the origin is:

First recorded in 1600–10; short for vanguard

“Van” is also defined as:

-a covered vehicle, usually a large truck or trailer, used for moving furniture, goods, animals, etc.

-a smaller boxlike vehicle that resembles a panel truck, often has double doors both at the rear and along the curb side, and that can be used as a truck, fitted with rows of seats, or equipped with living quarters for traveling and camping.

-a small truck, as one used by tradespeople to carry light goods.

-Also called van conversion. a conventional van whose cargo area has been equipped with living facilities, extra windows, and often increased headroom.

And the origin is:

First recorded in 1820–30; short for caravan