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 > Choosing tow vehicle, Van or 3/4 truck

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TheOMB

Florida

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Posted: 04/06/12 09:06am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I called on that E350 on Ebay in Jacksonville because of no pics and the word damaged in description... It got hit on passenger side, $6,000 of damage including frame bent by 6"

Mullinax Ford (fleet dealer with 3 locations in central Florida) sales guy called me back. All 3 E350 on there lot have been sold, presume at 18,500 price. Got to call the other dealers but....

I still have to wait 2 or 3 Weeks. Will have cash for down payment and will use the best financing offered from lendingtree.com

Last 3 vehicles I bought with wad of cash at the auction. Got my Chevy express 1500 LT that way at 60k miles for $10k and I've almost put 200k miles on it. What did it in... I blew a tire on 95 in SC, took it to shoulder. Somehow the drive shaft got bent... Something hit it when I took it off road.... Weird huh? I did not know it was the drive shaft, I thought a wheel was coming off. Stopped at a garage and they could not find the problem, so I finished driving another few hundred miles. Next garage said "hey look at this" finding problem visually. After a new drive shaft, I got a loose rear end, then oil leak, then tranny leak and the codes started in check engine..... My mechanic says just drive it.

Anyways no wad of cash for me this time around. Just what ever terms I get from best deal on lending tree.


www.MarcDobson.com

- Current in Chevy Express LT 1500, 7 bad engine codes, leaks Not sure if I got my monies worth out of 200k miles I've drove so far.
- Moving to 1 Ton Van & BH trailer soon


NewsW

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Posted: 04/06/12 09:13am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

TheOMB wrote:

I called on that E350 on Ebay in Jacksonville because of no pics and the word damaged in description... It got hit on passenger side, $6,000 of damage including frame bent by 6"


Dont touch that one.


Mullinax Ford (fleet dealer with 3 locations in central Florida) sales guy called me back. All 3 E350 on there lot have been sold, presume at 18,500 price. Got to call the other dealers but....


They come in regularly, and a new model year is upon us. Just be patient and wait until you have your wad of engravings of Ben Franklin ready.

I still have to wait 2 or 3 Weeks. Will have cash for down payment and will use the best financing offered from lendingtree.com


Anyways no wad of cash for me this time around. Just what ever terms I get from best deal on lending tree.

Often local credit unions are giving better rates if you read the fine print, fees, and so on.

Watch out for late fees!



They do go fast because it is the summer travel season.

Ideal time to buy is Nov. Dec when there is not much moving.


Did you know a great way to avoid / reduce risk of having your van broken into is to stick "XYZ church" on the side of it?


http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/07/automobiles/collectibles/07EGO.html

* This post was edited 04/06/12 09:36am by NewsW *

TheOMB

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Posted: 04/06/12 10:46pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well, I ran into a small glitch/over-site. I remembered a 2010 Ford E350 Passenger Van on a lot on my route today. I had been over looking the Van because it's a Ford and thought the price would be out of my range. So wife and I stopped to look...

The dang second row bench seat is not adjustable to give more leg room. Bench seats (3rd and forth row that I would take out) are not just pull out and be done with it like my Chevy Express LT (a rare factory conversion van) which has hooks built into a raised floor (like the Astro). In order to have a flat floor back cargo area in a Pass Ford, I'd also to take out the feet or boot like part of the seat which bolts to floor, maybe leaving a few holes that would have to be covered up. I dunno exactly but it's not just remove seats and load van.

I've only ever owned one true passenger van, a Dodge high top one ton.
Every other van I've owned has been a 'nothing fancy' conversion van with 2nd row captain seats, no high tops and anything in the back like a bed or seats I've removed.

Not an end all, just makes me think of the options...

- Ford E350 12 passenger > remove all parts of 3rd and 4th row and plug holes, rebolt 2nd row further back or find and install captain chairs.
- Ford E350 11 passenger are a bit more rare but the 2nd row is captain chairs which hopefully adjust for leg room.
- Ford E350 Chateau (factory conversion 7 pass) or other custom configurations that include captains chairs.
* There is a 2005 Ford E350 Chateau 6.0L Diesel, with tow package, seating for 7 (3rd row bench, 2nd row captain) for sale in Nashville listed on eBay as "like 7.3L" condition which would imply all needed mods to 6.0 Power-stroke are there... but how could that be verified? It's $14k with 113k miles.

Finding factory ford vans with 2nd row captain chairs on eBay means looking at every auction

There are also Chevy's and GMC...

There is also a 3/4 or 1 ton truck with Crew Cab, but I'll need the dang secure cap.

I was liking the idea of getting an extended Chevy van for extra cargo room but when I saw in a picture how far forward the 2nd row Ford seats are I thought that would add cargo room but did not think about the leg room. I'm sure Chevy vans will have the same issue unless it came with captain chairs.

Also, I liked the size of an 8 foot bed on a truck. 6 foot bed is comparable to regular wheel base van in my situation. 2 more feet is a bunch of a bonus. And in most truck beds you get more width of cargo compared to the interior installed on the walls of a conversion van. I have a history of banging up interior walls pretty good

AND I'm also looking thru full conversion vans, sorting to the 1 tons.

And last thought... my 1st Van, a Ford E150 was a homemade conversation ShagWagon. It would be a pile of work that I'm not afraid to do but type of job I've not done before. Could get a cargo van, build a 2nd row of seating and leave the back as what I use it for, cargo. This would also give another chance at a diesel powered engine, better for towing at a lower price getting into the vehicle.

To many thoughts I need to sleep on and to many used vans and truck to look at. URH!!

Marc

blt2ski

Kirkland, Wa

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Posted: 04/06/12 10:58pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you are really looking for room, the ext GM 3500 would probably be the best option, WB, along with little overhang from a trailer standpoint. But as noted, some like Brian have figured out how to not worry about the long overhang.

The seat part of the fords, did not know about. I've had two Astro's, seats came in and out real easy, with a generally speaking, flat floor.

In the end, as you say, need to sleep on things, no van or pickup frankly, will be perfect. All have issues, just depends upon what is an issue to you vs me or brian or __________!

marty


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NewsW

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Posted: 04/07/12 05:14am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

TheOMB wrote:

Well, I ran into a small glitch/over-site. I remembered a 2010 Ford E350 Passenger Van on a lot on my route today. I had been over looking the Van because it's a Ford and thought the price would be out of my range. So wife and I stopped to look...

The dang second row bench seat is not adjustable to give more leg room. Bench seats (3rd and forth row that I would take out) are not just pull out and be done with it like my Chevy Express LT (a rare factory conversion van) which has hooks built into a raised floor (like the Astro). In order to have a flat floor back cargo area in a Pass Ford, I'd also to take out the feet or boot like part of the seat which bolts to floor, maybe leaving a few holes that would have to be covered up. I dunno exactly but it's not just remove seats and load van.

Remove the metal pieces (keep them) and put the bolts back in.

I have done that lots of times.

To be real clever, put eyelets on the bolts so you can use them as cargo tie downs.

Rated for 1,600lbs (not officially, my estimate) strength per set of 2 bolts.



- Ford E350 12 passenger > remove all parts of 3rd and 4th row and plug holes, rebolt 2nd row further back or find and install captain chairs.



DO NOT ADD / MODIFY FACTORY SEAT MOUNTINGS ---- THAT IS A MAJOR ENGINEERING TASK.

Remove Row 2, use Row 3 (seats are not identical) and remove Row 4 (last row) for your cargo.

Use space in Row 2 for tightly and carefully tied down cargo (using the seat mounts with eyelets as tie downs.

Just use the factory seats until you are rolling in money.



- Ford E350 11 passenger are a bit more rare but the 2nd row is captain chairs which hopefully adjust for leg room.

- Ford E350 Chateau (factory conversion 7 pass) or other custom configurations that include captains chairs.

Haven't seen many... not a regular lease item.


* There is a 2005 Ford E350 Chateau 6.0L Diesel, with tow package, seating for 7 (3rd row bench, 2nd row captain) for sale in Nashville listed on eBay as "like 7.3L" condition which would imply all needed mods to 6.0 Power-stroke are there... but how could that be verified? It's $14k with 113k miles.


Not for you. You don't have the bucks, inclination, skill, etc. to own a diesel.

Mods also imply it is tuned... and damage from mods is there.




There is also a 3/4 or 1 ton truck with Crew Cab, but I'll need the dang secure cap.

Hard to find.


I was liking the idea of getting an extended Chevy van for extra cargo room but when I saw in a picture how far forward the 2nd row Ford seats are I thought that would add cargo room but did not think about the leg room. I'm sure Chevy vans will have the same issue unless it came with captain chairs.

Sit in center seat and stretch legs far forward, or;

Leg room in pass vans is solved by removing seat in front of you.

Sit in 3rd row, have entire 2nd row removed, middle space can be used for carefully stowed luggage that is TIED DOWN, and used as seat rests.

Leave middle aile open for egress back and forth.





Also, I liked the size of an 8 foot bed on a truck. 6 foot bed is comparable to regular wheel base van in my situation. 2 more feet is a bunch of a bonus. And in most truck beds you get more width of cargo compared to the interior installed on the walls of a conversion van. I have a history of banging up interior walls pretty good

You are talking yourself into a E or F 450


AND I'm also looking thru full conversion vans, sorting to the 1 tons.

Few and far between.

And last thought... my 1st Van, a Ford E150 was a homemade conversation ShagWagon. It would be a pile of work that I'm not afraid to do but type of job I've not done before. Could get a cargo van, build a 2nd row of seating and leave the back as what I use it for, cargo. This would also give another chance at a diesel powered engine, better for towing at a lower price getting into the vehicle.

Real work, takes a lot of time, and what do you do in mean time. Also expensive to do.

Need all conversions stuff stockpiled to do fast.

Seat attachment is a major problem, not bolt in.

Floor has to be strengthened / reinforced to take the weight, etc.

Just get a pass and be done with it.



To many thoughts I need to sleep on and to many used vans and truck to look at. URH!!

Marc



If you are buying cargo and building.. that is a huge amount of work.

Note, cargo vans sell at a premium to pass used at those mileages.

You are less likely to get cargo cheap than used passenger vans cheap.


Do you have the engineering knowhow to do a conversion?

Can you run basic calculations of stress on a seat during a collision?


Did you know that factory AC for rear is generally not on Cargo vans?

Or when you add the cost of trim, etc. you have paid a ton of $$$.

Or things like installing seat belts?

If not, buy factory.

For your app, if you can find one (fat chance), it would be the E 350 extended crew van with the front 2 seats followed by 2 or 4 seats in a finished interior, with rear AC, and the back cargo --- you have to add a barrier cage.

No chance you will find one cheap... or find one at all... they are special orders for things like municipal govs who run crews to sites to fix things.


Repeat -- don't touch diesel --- you are not so inclined.

Don't ever believe the "problems fixed with mods" deal.

I have identified more problems CAUSED by mods than the problems it came with from factory.

* This post was last edited 04/07/12 07:38am by NewsW *   View edit history

LarryJM

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Posted: 04/07/12 05:55am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

NewsW wrote:



If you are buying cargo and building.. that is a huge amount of work.

Note, cargo vans sell at a premium to pass used at those mileages.

You are less likely to get cargo cheap than used passenger vans cheap.


Do you have the engineering knowhow to do a conversion?

Can you run basic calculations of stress on a seat during a collision?


Did you know that factory AC for rear is generally not on Cargo vans?

Or when you add the cost of trim, etc. you have paid a ton of $$$.

Or things like installing seat belts?

If not, buy factory.

For your app, if you can find one (fat chance), it would be the E 350 extended crew van with the front 2 seats followed by 2 or 4 seats in a finished interior, with rear AC, and the back cargo --- you have to add a barrier cage.

No chance you will find one cheap... or find one at all... they are special orders for things like municipal govs who run crews to sites to fix things.


Repeat -- don't touch diesel --- you are not so inclined.


Since I have actually converted a Cargo Van into a fully finished conversion van I would disagree that it's a huge amount of work and can only assume you have never done a project like this and are merely guessing at what is actually needed. Yes it is work, but really not that expensive. You can see my conversion in THIS ALBUM. I did have to invest close to $400 for the sliding door and rear door around the window trim pieces from Ford and I had the sofa/bed from my last Van, but the total cost of everything else was well under $600 and over 1/2 of that was in the wood that went into the floor under the sofa/bed and the secure rear storage area. My guess is just to do the sides would only have cost around $600 to mayge $700 and that would include the $400 cost of the window trim from Ford. Hardest thing for me as designing a method of securing the framing board to the supports in the sides w/o having to drill and holes. I didn't drill a single hole in my Van for my conversion.
I didn't keep exact records, but I think I paid around $100 for the wall carpeting about 8 linear feet of 12' wide grey indoor/outdoor carpet, used about 10 1x3x8' framing boards and 4 sheets of 1/8 in plywood and maybe 1/2 roll of insulation for everything except the secure rear storage area.

I think if I had wanted a couple of additional Captains chairs I would have gone to a real Van conversion shop and have them professionally installed, but I understand there are DIY options available to do that. However, I had no need for anymore than 2 person seating since this is mainly our tow vehicle and long trip vehicle.

I do agree that used cargo vans can run a preminum over passenger Vans, but I just priced a 2012 E-350 with the V10 and all the options I got on my Van except the mirrors and it was under $38K which isn't really that bad and with the X-plan you should save between $4K and $5. I bought my Van on the X-plan and paid $30,884.70 and it had a MSRP of $34,090.70 back in 2001.

Larry

* This post was edited 04/07/12 06:03am by LarryJM *


2001 standard box 7.3L E-350 PSD Van with 4.10 rear and 2007 Holiday Rambler Aluma-Lite 8306S Been RV'ing since 1974.
RAINKAP INSTALL////ETERNABOND INSTALL


SoCalDesertRider

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Posted: 04/07/12 06:22am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

TheOMB wrote:

I will be purchasing a tow vehicle within the next month, done a small pile of research and am looking for some opinions on the options I think I have.

My requirements:

1. Tow up to an 8,000 lb trailer that I do not own yet. I'm in a tight financial position where I have to buy the vehicle 1st and then hope I can get a trailer shortly after

2. Carry 4 people. Most of the time it's just me. Have a wife, 9 yr old and 5 yr old BUT also would like comfy room for 4 adults.

3. Carry up to 1,200 (maybe even 1,500) lbs of cargo in the vehicle while towing. Most of the time I carry 800 pounds for work. I'm an entertainer with guitars, speakers, amps, electronics with blinky lights and more. 800 lbs is my small set up, I also have "big PA" which could put that cargo weight to 1,500. I did blow the tranny in my Chevy 1500 Express with either my heavy foot or to much load

4. With the family, supplies for family for 4 weeks, 800 lbs of equipment and the trailer weighing up to 8,000... we're all going on dad's summer tour/family vacation this summer. Going through eastern US mountains. I work at fairs where RV hook up is free and have some time off along the way.

5. I'm looking at a used vehicle with years between 05 and 10 with varied miles. Being cost effective with the vehicle is crucial and I have to meet financing requirements. I'm about to have one of the best years of my career but I'm climbing out of a hole that the recession pushed my biz into. I've never financed a vehicle before, always paid cash at on auction and now have to try and finance both vehicle and trailer.

I've always driven a van. I like having the gear in the AC, I always carry 3 guitars, drums and other stuff I'd prefer not to have in a bed of a truck. BUT towing may change the comfort my gear gets.

With a 1 ton van, in general I'll get a lower tow rating but have all the passenger and cargo space I need inside the AC plus a lower purchase cost.

With a 3/4 or 1 ton truck I'll have the tow rating BUT may be tight on passenger space and will have to get a secure cap to store the music gear cargo. These trucks cost more money. With bed length of a truck... I have one specialized piece of gear I've built, a "Sound Wagon" which is currently 6' 3" long and 2' 4" wide. I could rebuild it shorter but really, really do not want to at this point.

AND my scenario is to have work gear in the vehicle for easy transport and drop the trailer. 5th wheel or trailer with toy hauler or RV with cargo trailer for gear would be a PITA option. Do not want to sight see or grocery shop with an RV, don't want to back a toy hauler trailer into a tight spot to load and unload gear.

My choices so far:

Chevy Express 3500 Passenger Van with 6.0L gas engine. They tow 8,200 to 10,000 depending on options installed.

Chevy Express 3500 Passenger Van with Duramax Diesel. Will tow 10,000 BUT at this point I've not even seen one used for sale, I think they were only special order not an option in the years I'm looking at.

---
A few of NO's
- Dodge RAMWagon, don't make them anymore plus almost all 1 tons are extended past the back wheels making it a poor trailer towing option.
- Ford E350 extended, nope.
- Ford E350 with 6.0L Power-stroke Diesel... have read way to many horror stories on this engine.
- Ford E350 5.4L Gas will only tow 6,500 lbs and it sure seems like no bigger gas engines were available on these.
PLUS Ford is discontinuing the Econoline Series in 2013.
---

Back to the YES options:

Dodge 2500 5.9L Cummins Diesel. Great towing BUT Quad Cab is kid OK but adult tight. Short bed is 6' 4" long. Long bed is 8'. I'll need a good cap and price is higher. Have not seen Crew or Mega Cab with a long enough bed without going to a more expensive 3500.

Chevy or GMC 2500HD with Duramax. Great Towing. Extended Cab is tight for even kids. Crew Cab short bed is 6' 6", long bed is over 8'. Plus need the cap and crew cab is more common in 3500.

Ford The 6.0L powerstroke is a non option.

Ford 250 Gas 5.4L will tow but not with as much torque as a Chevy or Dodge with Diesel.

I've not seen a super towing SUV with enough cargo room for what I can carry.

Have I missed a vehicle that would meet my requirements?
Any opinions on any of the above?

Thanks for your time

Marc
I was going to say a 2005-08 E350 regular length cargo van with the 6.0 diesel would be an excellent choice. The diesel in the vans is de-tuned compared to the pickups and doesn't have as bad a reputation as the pickup diesels have.

Our '05 E350 diesel has been completely trouble-free and gets very good fuel mileage loaded with 1500 lbs of tools and such in it. It tows 5000 lbs when also loaded inside, with ease in our mountainous terrain. 8000 lbs when loaded inside shouldn't be a problem at all. 15-20 mpg is normal and have got above 20 on the freeway trips. The 5R110 5 speed auto is very nice too.

If you're willing to go older on the model year, you can get the same van with the 7.3 diesel instead of the 6.0. I think '95-'04 are the years for the Powerstroke 7.3 in the vans. '97 I think was the first year for the new body vans. '95/'96 I think have the older body.

Your other engine choice in the Ford vans would be the V10. Plenty of power, just not so great mileage as the diesel. I would not want a 5.4 V8 in an E250/350, loaded with 1500 lbs inside, plus an 8000 lb trailer.

The GM 3500 Express van with 8.1 would be good. You can get the extra long one and still tow a trailer with good handling characteristics, due to the extra length being added between the axles, instead of behind. That is one thing I don't like about the Ford extended vans, all the extra length is added behind the axle, which isn't good for trailer handling.

I hear GM is now offering the Duramax 6.6 diesel in the 3500 Express vans. If you can afford to go new, that would be my choice. Ford no longer offers a diesel in their E250/350 vans. I believe 2008 was the last year for the 6.0 diesel in the vans. The 6.4 was never offered in the vans, that I am aware of.

To me, for your intended use, a 1-ton van would be a better choice than a pickup. The van is much easier to load and unload your gear from. You would have to add a bench seat in the cargo area of the van to seat the kids, but you still have plenty of room for your gear, especially in an extended length van. I would put up a cargo cage wall behind the bench seat, to keep the gear from slamming into the seating area in the event of an accident.

A crew cab 1-ton pickup with 8' long bed and high roof camper shell would still be a viable, though not ideal, choice. If you need 4wd, the pickup would be the best choice, due to used 4wd vans being so rare to find. Otherwise, if 4wd is not needed, a van is the better choice, for your uses, in my opinion.

A Suburban/YukonXL 2500 or Excursion are the only SUV's that come close to your requirements. However, the cargo room when using one rear bench seat is less than you would have with a crew cab short bed pickup. I don't think all your stuff is going to fit in there. It will also be more difficult to load and unload than a van. A van is a better choice.

The Dodge MegaCab has never been made with an 8' long bed. It is available with the 6'4" short bed only. To get enough payload capacity with a MegaCab diesel, you need the 3500SRW at least, better with the 3500DRW. The 2500 MegaCab diesel doesn't have enough payload capacity to haul 1500 lbs in the bed, plus 1000 lbs on the hitch.

The Dodge QuadCab is indeed smaller than a true crew cab. If you can afford to go newer, I believe 2010 was the first year for the true CrewCab Dodge in the 2500/3500 pickups. It is just as big as a normal crew cab from Ford and GM. The CrewCab Dodge is available in both long and short bed lengths and has better payload capacity and higher GVWR than the MegaCab models.

A crew cab 2500/3500 GM truck with the 8.1 gas engine, or 6.0 gas engine with 4.10 axle, would be a viable choice in a pickup. If going with the diesel, you would need the 3500SRW to have enough payload capacity for your load and hitch weight. The 3500SRW in the older years was only available with the 8' long bed. Sounds like you would need the 8' long bed anyways though, so the 3500SRW would be a better choice than the 2500, since most available used 2500's have the 6'6" short bed. More recently, maybe 2010-up (?), the 3500SRW is now available with both the short and long beds.

A crew cab F250/350SRW truck with the V10 would be a viable option in a pickup. Or an older '99-'03 F350SRW with the 7.3 diesel would be a good engine choice too. The F250/350SRW are available with both 6'6" short bed and 8' long bed, in all years '99-present. If going with the diesel, the F350SRW has the payload capacity, whereas the F250 does not, up to '04. From '05-on, the F250 has increased payload capacity, up to 10K GVWR.

* This post was edited 04/07/12 06:44am by SoCalDesertRider *


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NewsW

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Posted: 04/07/12 06:23am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

LarryJM wrote:

wood that went into the floor under the sofa/bed and the secure rear storage area. My guess is just to do the sides would only have cost around $600 to mayge $700 and that would include the $400 cost of the window trim from Ford. Hardest thing for me as designing a method of securing the framing board to the supports in the sides w/o having to drill and holes. I didn't drill a single hole in my Van for my conversion.




Do you have a simulation of what happens to your "holeless" construction in a simulated crash?


Does it come close to compliance with:

Part 571

Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards

CRASHWORTHINESS


Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards

POST CRASH

STANDARDS

http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/import/fmvss/index.html



When you buy factory, you automatically get compliance with FMVSS for that model year for free.

NewsW

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Posted: 04/07/12 06:09am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

LarryJM wrote:




Since I have actually converted a Cargo Van into a fully finished conversion van I would disagree that it's a huge amount of work and can only assume you have never done a project like this and are merely guessing at what is actually needed. Yes it is work, but really not that expensive. You can see my conversion in THIS ALBUM. I did have to invest close to $400 for the sliding door and rear door around the window trim pieces from Ford and I had the sofa/bed from my last Van, but the total cost of everything else was well under $1000 and over 1/2 of that was in the wood that went into the floor under the sofa/bed and the secure rear storage area. My guess is just to do the sides would only have cost around $600 to mayge $700 and that would include the $400 cost of the window trim from Ford. Hardest thing for me as designing a method of securing the framing board to the supports in the sides w/o having to drill and holes. I didn't drill a single hole in my Van for my conversion.
I didn't keep exact records, but I think I paid around $75 for the wall carpeting about 8 linear feet of 12' wide grey indoor/outdoor carpet, used about 10 1x3x8' framing boards and 3 sheets of 1/8 in plywood and maybe 1/2 roll of insulation.

I think if I had wanted a couple of additional Captains chairs I would have gone to a real Van conversion shop and have them professionally installed, but I understand there are DIY options available to do that. However, I had no need for anymore than 2 person seating since this is mainly our tow vehicle and long trip vehicle.

Larry



You are dealing with a responsible adult who intend to haul his young family of 2 children and spouse in this vehicle.


That require engineering a set of seats, belts, to at least the standard of the E-350 passenger factory built seating.


In case you haven't looked lately, you will find that the days of being able to throw a few captains chairs in the back of a cargo for a cheap and quick conversion is over.

While there are still decent aftermarket conversions around --- what is there are carefully engineered with particular attention to things like crash protection.

Even then --- most aftermarket conversions do not come with shoulder belts, or with as high a quality of safety engineering as factory.

For example, it is no longer feasible to retrofit new (e.g. swivel) seats on the front of a van if you want to meet FMVSS.

Many converters now simply remove the factory seat, and recover it --- or pay through the nose to get an FMVSS grade seat.

Almost all "captains chairs" in the aftermarket do not meet FMVSS.


If he bought a factory bench / captains chair / passenger model, it at least comes with lap and shoulder belts on the outside seats, and lap belts on the middle seat(s).

They are well engineered to restrain any reasonably sized occupant up to the limit of the seat in a crash (e.g. the design weight is around 200 to 250lbs per person seated).


Off hand, I know of no major aftermarket conversion that is designing to the same standard of protection because current FMVSS do not require it of this kind of vans.

The factory does it because they can and they can engineer it in at the outset --- and also prevent themselves from being sued.

Most aftermarket converters do not care --- nor are greatly concerned with being sued by users after a crash.


You may not care --- but I do that this man and his family have a decent level of safety --- which in my eyes, 1990 level of safety.

A modern minivan, circa 2012,offers protection far greater than a full size van for rear passengers, including lap and shoulder belts often for all passengers, side airbag curtains, etc.

That is not achievable in a full size van --- but the lower level of 1990s grade protection from the factory is.

Side note: GM has shoulder belts for all passengers. Ford does not.


Do you seriously think you, or some ad hoc "installer" have the engineering and technical background to do a conversion engineered for safety in a crash?



This aside.

Your costs are totally unrealistic.

Just price out the cost of seats (FMVSS grade) and a shoulder / lap belt kit (even if you have to find a junk yard one (not recommended).

What about the price of the Rear AC (nearly standard on pass vans with AC)?

That is $2,000 for an aftermarket install right there.

Then there is schedule --- the amount of time to do the conversion.

* This post was edited 04/07/12 06:54am by NewsW *

SoCalDesertRider

Arizona desert

Senior Member

Joined: 12/14/2003

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Posted: 04/07/12 07:03am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Weibull wrote:

dreeder wrote:

Short of Weibul's U-Haul idea, which was a good one by the way , you have options.

Glad someone liked it.

I liked it too. A cutaway dually van 10' box truck with custom interior would be sweet.

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