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Old 05-01-2018, 08:50 AM   #1
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How to Value a 4x4 Converted Van

Hi all: this is my first post, but I've been getting a ton out of the contributions from other members on this forum over the last couple of months. Thank you for your enthusiasm to this hobby/lifestyle!

I'm in the looking-for-a-base-van phase of my journey to owning an adventure van, and I've rarely ever in my life been excited about something so much.

I want to be able to get to remote places, and don't want to have to worry too much about getting stuck. So I've been leaning toward a 4x4, but new conversions are expensive.

My general question is, if I find a van that is already 4x4 converted (but not otherwise modified into an SMB-type camper van) how do I value the fact that it is converted in assessing the price I should pay for the van?

My general approach would be to blue book the van assuming no 4x4, and then add some kind of assumed premium. Would you expect the 4x4 conversion to depreciate at the same rate as the van itself? Is a 10 or 15-year old conversion considered risky (assuming its been decently maintained). Should there be a material difference in the valuation depending on the shop that did it (Quigley vs U-Joint vs Advanced etc)? (just looking for general guidance on this last one, not to rehash comparisons between vendors).

Thank you for all the help you've already given me.
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Old 05-01-2018, 09:44 AM   #2
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Imo, if it's a quality conversation AND done Correctly (recently) I would expect between $10-20K addition to the price of the van.
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Old 05-01-2018, 10:11 AM   #3
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Since vans are pretty popular right now, they are fetching more than KBB values. You essentially have to study the market you're in to see if you're getting a decent deal on the van itself.

As far as adding value to the 4x4 conversion, you have to figure the cost of a conversion is about $15k. So if you find a van thats already converted just see how much value the seller is adding for the conversion. If it's a 15 year old van that was converted when new, you have to figure there's wear and tear on all the suspension, brakes, etc. so if they are asking the same amount as a new conversion, it's too much. You'd be better off finding a clean 2wd van and putting that money towards a new conversion where you get a fresh front suspension/components.
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Old 05-01-2018, 12:54 PM   #4
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The way I look at this, is if you can have a van converted to 4x4 for about $20k, if the converted van is 15yrs old, I'd add $7k to $10k to the value of a 2wd van, to come up with a value. If you are in Portland, double that LOL
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Old 05-02-2018, 12:00 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone. These answers are in line with what I would expect. Very helpful confirmation.
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Old 05-02-2018, 01:38 PM   #6
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It's a little more complicated. To the base van, you need to add in the depreciated value for accessories (bumpers, racks), larger wheels and tires, penthouse (or not), and quality/type of the conversion. After going deep, deep down the internet rabbit hole on this, I came to the conclusion that there are only two, maybe three conversions I would personally buy - and that's *if* I could find one with reasonably low mileage.

$50K would be the minimum I would expect to find a good, low mileage, basic 4x4 EB. I gave up looking for this unicorn. Most of the ones I found were closer to $60K and didn't have low mileage. In the end, I found a good deal on a clean EB 5.4 cargo so I'm paying the premium to have the work done.
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Old 05-03-2018, 07:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomsBeast View Post
The way I look at this, is if you can have a van converted to 4x4 for about $20k, if the converted van is 15yrs old, I'd add $7k to $10k to the value of a 2wd van, to come up with a value. If you are in Portland, double that LOL
That's true. Sold my '01 7.3 quadvan for 30k last month. It has a lot into it but the market is strong especially in P-town.
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