Any conversion van or cargo van owners here?

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i_shaved_something
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Any conversion van or cargo van owners here?

Post by i_shaved_something » Sat Aug 23, 2008 7:37 pm

I've been looking into buying a full size van, currently have a Corolla which is fine for commuting but I'm a musician looking for something to haul stuff around for gigs and jams after work and on weekend, plus maybe crash in or camp out of at festivals, or pass out in the back of on those kind of nights, so sleep functionality is key :)
Have no wife or kids, just me, but looking for something good to haul stuff/party/crash in
Anyone have any advice on vans? I'm esp. looking at
Chevy Express
Ford E150
GMC Savana
Dodge Ram
Any opinions on these or other options?
Deciding whether to go with cargo or conversion, Used vs New. Anyone gone through the process of creating your own conversion van?
Or interested in other options.

Thanks for any advice!
Rob

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Steve-o
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Post by Steve-o » Sun Aug 24, 2008 5:48 pm

I've never owned any of these vehicles, but if all you want is a place for you to put musical instruments and maybe a body or two :shock:, do you really want to pay up front for a large van and then pay for its relatively poor gas mileage? Would a minivan fill the bill?
“Time just seems to get quicker. You look in the mirror in the morning and you think, ‘I’m already shaving again!’” - Terry Jones of Monty Python's Flying Circus

Sando
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Post by Sando » Sun Aug 24, 2008 10:25 pm

Rob, I've owned vans for more than 20 years. A Ford E150 Chateau has been my ride for 8 years. I like the 4 captains chairs and 1 bench seat. The bench doesn't convert to a bed but it and the 2 rear captains chairs remove to make about an acre of room for gear. I routinely take 4 guys with backpacking gear to the Sierras for fishing, etc. Sure it gets mediocre gas mileage, it's hard to park, it's slow but so what. I have 2 kids and they have friends and I have golf clubs and they all ride comfortably in it all the time.

Don't fall for the Suburban craze. It's a smaller vehicle inside at a much bigger price tag, used or new. The full size van is a much better value than a Suburban. Are you a member of AAA? They have deals on used and new vehicles that are worth looking into.

My biggest complaint is the E150 will lag when hauling a heavy load uphill. And when towing. My next van will be a E250 to get past that.

Never own a vehicle you can't sleep in - you just may have to.

...Ray

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rustyblade
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Post by rustyblade » Mon Aug 25, 2008 5:38 am

Maybe consider some sort of trailer that you don't have to haul around all the time to save gas?
Richard

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JP
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Post by JP » Thu Aug 28, 2008 6:40 pm

If you are looking for something that will stow a lot of gear and still have room to sleep in, then consider the extended body length versions. The basic layout on the inside any full sized van is the first 3 to 3 1/2 feet are for the front seats, followed by the rest of the space in the rear. On a standard length van that space is about 8 feet long, with and extra 3 feet on the extended versions.

Conversion vans can work for you especially if the seats come out. Cargo vans can be set up with a removable bed (cot or inflatable) for sleeping.

My own van was converted into a motorhome, aka "campervan." It has everything, including microwave, shower, toilet, range, furnace, roof top air conditioning and a generator. Oh, and beds!

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Pauldog
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Post by Pauldog » Fri Aug 29, 2008 1:20 pm

My GF keeps talking about getting something like this for long-distance travel, so we can take the dog and always have a place to sleep.

Any data on reliability? I can't seem to find any Japanese cargo vans available in the USA, though I've seen the Toyota Hiace commercial van in other countries.

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i_shaved_something
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Post by i_shaved_something » Sat Sep 06, 2008 12:51 pm

Thanks for the advice, I'm still leaning towards getting the full size van, but probably not until spring, so will keep shopping around.
I think VW needs to bring back the camper bus!
Rob

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Post by Slant-Fan » Sat Sep 06, 2008 7:14 pm

I have had an '01 E250 for the past seven years. Before that I had a '78 Chevy Beauville for many years. I had a couple of hundred thousand miles on it and still ran great but it was so rusted out that I was embarrassed to drive it. No complaints on the Ford. It has been a very dependable vehicle. Unless you are hauling a lot of weight or towing I would stick with the E150 or any other 1/2 ton. I wouldn't recommend the extended vans. A PITA to park and more $$ all the way around.
Regards,

jimmy

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fallingwickets
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Post by fallingwickets » Sun Sep 07, 2008 2:57 am

Rob

I understand that it is coming back sometime in the next two model years.

A few months ago I took a friend to VW for her car repairs and while I was there I asked about it and was told by a salesperson that the van is coming back.

Clive
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Sando
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Post by Sando » Sun Sep 07, 2008 1:09 pm

fallingwickets wrote:Rob

I understand that it is coming back sometime in the next two model years.

A few months ago I took a friend to VW for her car repairs and while I was there I asked about it and was told by a salesperson that the van is coming back.

Clive
More than just a rumor? Very cool looking van. I'd look at one for sure.

Also, I think our Brazilian friends could be driving this off the lot new. I'm not sure though since my Portuguese isn't what it once was. :roll:

...Ray

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fallingwickets
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Post by fallingwickets » Sun Sep 07, 2008 1:29 pm

If either comes here I will buy one right out of the box. Awesome and just what one needs. Mini vans are getting on my nerves HAHAHA

Thanks for the links

Clive
de gustibus non est disputandum

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