RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Pre-purchase tips on 1985 Ford e250 Okanagan?

RV Blog

  |  

RV Sales

  |  

Campgrounds

  |  

RV Parks

  |  

RV Club

  |  

RV Buyers Guide

  |  

Roadside Assistance

  |  

Extended Service Plan

  |  

RV Travel Assistance

  |  

RV Credit Card

  |  

RV Loans

Open Roads Forum Already a member? Login here.   If not, Register Today!  |  Help

Newest  |  Active  |  Popular  |  RVing FAQ Forum Rules  |  Forum Posting Help and Support  |  Contact  

Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Class B - Camping Van Conversi...

Open Roads Forum  >  Class B - Camping Van Conversions  >  General Topics

 > Pre-purchase tips on 1985 Ford e250 Okanagan?

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 2  
Next
Sponsored By:
kabrahamlincoln

Portland

New Member

Joined: 07/18/2016

View Profile



Posted: 07/18/16 03:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi all! I've been perusing the information available on this forum for a while, but finally registered to ask for some advice.

I'm going to see a 1985 Ford e250 Okanagan that I might want to buy from a private seller. I'm looking for a vehicle to live out of indefinitely. I'll be working on a farm in central California for the next nine months, and after that I'd like to do some boondocking before starting another job. Ideally I'd be able to switch back and forth between the two, traveling around the country working and seeing cool things. I probably won't spend too much time in extreme cold weather. I'd like a rig with amenities similar to an apartment (shower, toilet, stove, sink, oven if possible), so I can live anywhere. I'm still pretty young (27) so I can rough it a little. Part of the idea is to get out of my comfort zone and stop defaulting to netflix when I'm bored.

Is there anyone here who has owned something similar? What, in your opinion, are the pros and cons? What should I look for in particular when I go to see the rig? Any suggestions on the subject are welcome, I'm very new to this! Thanks in advance for your help.

Cheers,
Katie

RnRs-RT

South Central Pa.

Full Member

Joined: 01/23/2011

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 07/18/16 04:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

kabrahamlincoln

You may want to check out this forum. There are a lot of people on that site doing exactly what you are planning to do. Living and working out of their vans.
There may even be someone with the same vehicle you are looking at.
http://www.cheaprvliving.com/forums/index.php

kabrahamlincoln

Portland

New Member

Joined: 07/18/2016

View Profile



Posted: 07/18/16 05:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank you RnRs-RT! I'm always on the look out for additional full-timing resources.

Home Skillet

Pearland Texas

Senior Member

Joined: 10/21/2004

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 07/18/16 08:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A rig that old will have lots of mechanical issues.
Just be sure you are able to deal with that on your trips.


2005 Gulf Stream Conquest 31ft
BigFoot Levelers,TST in tire TPMS,Bilstein Shocks,Trans temp guage,Lowrace iWAY

path1

Varies with weather

Senior Member

Joined: 04/19/2012

View Profile



Posted: 07/18/16 08:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Had a 84 (pick up) with carb that was "HO" as in "high out" put. Ford only made this certain model for a very short time. (Probably because it was junk?) Don't know if 85 had them. New carb of same model was arm and leg, rebuild kit was only 1/2 arm. Went to replacement carb and in the area of WA state at the time I could not pass smog test. Your state might be different (and in WA state they've gotten more common sense) but in the end, I sold it to some guy out of smog testing area. Probably still running? If you see any stickers on air filter box that has High Output I would run. Beyond that no problems.

ernie1

Sacramento,California,USA

Senior Member

Joined: 02/10/2004

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member


Posted: 07/18/16 09:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've had a few van campers over the years and from experience, I've found that the brakes on a 3/4 ton van has a tendency to be too light duty especially when it's loaded with all your gear. Heck I had a 1989 e350 one ton Ford Falcon and the drum rear/disc front brakes were barely adequate. A 1985 vehicle is 16 years old and built with old technology. I say think twice and if you're still wanting to buy it, remember, you've been warned.

Golden_HVAC

Fairview OR, USA

Senior Member

Joined: 08/19/2003

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 07/19/16 01:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I lived full time in my 1997 Ford based class A Bounder, that is 30 feet long. It has a 100 gallon fresh water tank, and a 400 watt solar system. In addition, the class A typically will have a built in generator, while a class C or B do not have the excess cargo rating, thus no generators is typical.

If I where planning on living in the RV, first I would want a RV with fuel injection, not a carburetor. Carbs can evaporate the fuel over time it is parked, and thus require a rebuild if not started on a regular basis. I think that my buddy has a 87 class C, it came with a carb. Fuel mileage is also better with fuel injection, so is power, and it is much easier to pass emissions testing, should you live in a area with testing.

1985 is over 30 years old. Check the roof out well. Check out the brake fluid, with a paper towel in hand, dip your finger into the brake fluid. It should be clear looking. Clean your hands soon, the brake fluid is acidic. You might need to change the brake fluid - it should have been done every 4-5 years, but probably has not been changed in a long time.

Check the transmission fluid. It should be a light red color. If dark red, it will need to be changed soon. A transmission rebuild for the 85 van would cost $4,000 - give or take $1000.

Check the radiator (before starting it). The color should be green. Not rusty.

Think about how you are going to live in this RV. Will you be able to take a daily shower? How many days will the 20 gallon fresh water tank last? Or is it a 10 gallon tank? E-250 only has a 8,800 pound GVWR, the curb weight of a camper van is probably 8,000 pounds, leaving you just 800 pounds or so for your weight, and pets, clothes, camping gear, food and water. They do not put 25 gallon fresh water tank in on purpose, they can not handle the weight.

My advice? That camper is to small to consider living in it. Select a class C, and you will be able to take showers for at least 3-4 days between needing to empty the grey water tank, and refill the 30 gallon fresh water tank. It will have dual rear wheels, a 12,000 - 14,000 GVWR, so can carry about 1,000 pounds of stuff in addition to the 30 gallons of fresh water (240 pounds). You will have storage above the cab, so you can get things out of your way by placing them up there for a while.

Better yet, what I have is a Bounder 30E. They made the same floorplan in Pace Arrow, Southwind Stormy, and other brands. It has a rear queen bed, 100 gallon fresh water tank, no slide outs, fairly light compared to the 17,000 GVWR, so I can carry 2,734 pounds of stuff. With the 100 gallon fresh water tank full (800 pounds) and full fuel, I checked the weight while on vacation once, it was right around 16,800 pounds.

The 100 gallon fresh water tank, I could take daily showers for 2 weeks before going to a full hookup campground to dump and use the laundrymat at the campground. This saved on camping fees. I could camp all over the west for free at BLM campgrounds, or National Forests where dry camping is very low costs.

30 feet long is not unreasonable length, short enough to get into most campgrounds, and light enough to go down the road and climb the mountains at a reasonable speed, with decent fuel mileage.

Don't worry so much about MPG unless you plan on driving it coast to coast every year. If you only put on 5,000 miles a year, the MPG does not really matter. If you put on 2,000 miles a year, that would be 200 gallons of gas at 10 MPG with the E-250 van, or 300 gallons of gas in a larger class A getting around 7 MPG. That extra 100 gallons of gas every year is only going to cost you about $300. But you will be able to spend much more time in one location in a larger RV, because you can shower daily inside it, not needing to spend nearly as much on campground fees.

Also for your RV insurance. Call the agent once it is parked. Tell them to suspend the liability coverage until you need to drive it again. If this will be 3+ months, then the cost to insure it for a year will drop a lot.

Will you have an additional car? If so, you will automatically have coverage for the first 10 days that you buy an additional vehicle, so you can buy it, drive it to the place you plan on parking it, and not have to buy coverage right away. Get the smog certificate, and registration in your name right away. Once parked, suspend the liability insurance. Or if you don't want to drive it to the location it will be parked, have the seller drive it there, they should have insurance on the vehicle anyway.

One advantage to buying a travel trailer is you don't need to purchase insurance for it, or it will be much cheaper insurance. You can rent a U-haul truck (one of the larger moving vans with a hitch on it) if you need to move the trailer around town. It will cost $40 a day and mileage, and gas, but much less expensive than buying a truck to move it around.

Solar panels will make the whole thing a lot easier to dry camp, and to camp in forests, without the need for a generator. SunElec.com is a great place to find a couple of 100 - 150 watt solar panels. Figure that you will need about 240 - 300 watts to run the RV without needing to scrimp on power. You can still run a laptop, via a 12 volt 100 - 150 watt inverter. It will take 12 volts and make it into 120 volts. You can run a ink jet printer with a MSW inverter, but not a laser printer. It will take a much more expensive Pure Sine Wave Inverter to run a laser printer.

Good luck with your purchase!

Fred.

tev123

United States

Full Member

Joined: 09/28/2015

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 08/10/16 09:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Home Skillet wrote:

A rig that old will have lots of mechanical issues.
Just be sure you are able to deal with that on your trips.


x2 what he said (more like x10)


- Tony

1990 Ford E250 Intervec Falcon @midvancrisis
_


NoVa RT

Northern Virginia

Senior Member

Joined: 08/28/2013

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 08/11/16 01:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Don't know anything about that model, other than it's older than the original poster. That's pretty rare, and I think it has to be nearly free for the deal to make sense for the OP, even if he's interested and capable of doing a complete makeover. Can't hurt to look, maybe the owner has kept in great shape, but I didn't see that mentioned.

EDIT: Just looking online & saw a couple of attempts to sell that model by a Portland resident. Don't know if it is the same unit, but check it carefully, there could be reasons if it didn't sell. Maybe just the price - seemed high for a 30+ year old RV, but I haven't researched it.

* This post was edited 08/11/16 01:22am by NoVa RT *


2013 RT 190-Popular


SoCalDesertRider

Arizona desert

Senior Member

Joined: 12/14/2003

View Profile



Posted: 08/11/16 07:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Personally, I would look for a '97-'03 E350 with the 7.3 Powerstroke diesel. Alot better fuel mileage and alot more power than the 460/7.5 and 351/5.8. The 7.3 is a simple engine without alot of electronics and is very reliable and robust and is well known and well supported by parts suppliers and mechanic shops.

The diesel will also have an overdrive transmission (E4OD), so you can drive at normal freeway speeds of today, rather than 55 mph with a non-overdrive tranmission (C6) from the 70's, 80's and early 90's.

The E4OD isn't one of the best overdrive autos factory stock, but with a good rebuild, better torque converter and valve body work, it can be a very good, reliable transmission.

E350's had rear drum brakes up to '96. Ford put rear disc brakes on them starting with the new body style in '97. Rear discs are way way way better than Ford rear drum brakes. Ford rear drums really really suck bad.

If you really want rear drums, the 7.3 Powerstroke first appeared in vans in '95, so look for a '95 or '96 old body E350 with the 7.3 diesel and rear drum brakes. Having had several Fords with rear drum brakes, I personally don't like them. GM makes fine rear drum brakes. Ford doesn't.


01 International 4800 4x4 CrewCab DT466E Allison MD3060
69Bronco 86Samurai 85ATC250R 89CR500
98Ranger 96Tacoma
20' BigTex flatbed
8' truck camper, 14' Aristocrat TT
73 Kona 17' ski boat & Mercury 1150TB
92F350 CrewCab 4x4 351/C6 285 BFG AT 4.56 & LockRite rear

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 2  
Next

Open Roads Forum  >  Class B - Camping Van Conversions  >  General Topics

 > Pre-purchase tips on 1985 Ford e250 Okanagan?
Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Class B - Camping Van Conversi...


New posts No new posts
Closed, new posts Closed, no new posts
Moved, new posts Moved, no new posts

Adjust text size:




© 2021 CWI, Inc. © 2021 Good Sam Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved.