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Old 03-13-2017, 02:08 PM   #1
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Ford Chateau and Traveler Package Compare & Contrast

So, something I learned today. Chateau package bench stopped folding down to a bed sometime in the mid-90's. I was trolling for a Chateau parts van specifically to find the bed and a few other accessories, so now it seems as though I have to refine my search a bit. For the sake of discussion, what are the differences between a Chateau and a XLT for example. And what constitutes a Traveler package which some have referenced. And when did changes take place to the specifics: Loss of bed setup, Change of color/fabric, etc.
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Old 03-13-2017, 02:51 PM   #2
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The Chateau has second row bucket seats and a 3 person bench seat in the third row. In the early 90's the third row bench also folded down to a bed. Sometime in the mid 90's Ford stopped offering the bench/bed.

The traveler was offered in 2002 and 2003, I think. I know it was a limited year production for the E350 chassis. They offered it in other years with the E150 chassis. The Traveler also has the same seating setup as the Chateau, but it also included a VCR and drop down TV. Not sure of other differences between the 2.
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Old 03-13-2017, 03:54 PM   #3
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Yup. Travelled is just a chateau with a sweat VHS player!

Also later years chateau was renamed the Premiun package.

I think '96 was the last year with the factory bed.
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Old 03-13-2017, 05:20 PM   #4
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As a huge Chateau fan the above info jives with what I've seen. It should be noted that though some don't seem to believe it these were FORD factory offered packages, not to be confused with the 'custom' van offerings of the day which could easily be picked out by two-tone paint, aftermarket seats, lights, mirrors and other crap everywhere inside, hideous wood trim. Yeah, all that stuff. Maybe it's obvious I'm not a fan of those. The windows are often a dead giveaway from a distance too. The Chateaus and Travelers just had Ford passenger van windows but maybe tinted. No factory curtains or blinds that I'm aware of.

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Old 03-13-2017, 06:07 PM   #5
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Some interior photos I have seen also shows a pod on the roof between the visors with a digital display. Was this "data" console standard with the Chateau? Was it an option? This photo was from a 2002 also shows what appears to be a HVAC control and different lights.
How about vanity mirrors? Are they lit? My 2006 XL doesn't even have mirrors on the visors.
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Old 03-13-2017, 06:50 PM   #6
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Any ideas when leather become an option? When did the "hoop" headrest seats with velour and red piping end. Don't have the years for the seats.

Also it looks like the center console switched with the upholstery and seat styles. 2003 on the caption for the one with 4 cup holders open cubby hole and hatch. The other is a 1997 for the console with only 2 cup holder, hatch, but no cubby.I think the 2009 interior rework moved the hatch to a traditional glovebox location.
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Old 03-13-2017, 08:57 PM   #7
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I thought the hooped seats went away in '97 as well, but that pic above is a '97+ dash, so maybe it held on another year of two?

The rear HVAC controls and extra lights was standard on XLT vans as well. The original slim console went away in '99 I think, to be replaced with the monster console. Then '05 or 6-ish the slim console became and option again, until the '09 squared off console came out. I swapped my monster console for a '99 because it holds as much but allows better access. It just doesn't have the built-in trash bin which was nice.
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Old 03-13-2017, 10:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Czar308 View Post
Some interior photos I have seen also shows a pod on the roof between the visors with a digital display. Was this "data" console standard with the Chateau? Was it an option? This photo was from a 2002 also shows what appears to be a HVAC control and different lights.
How about vanity mirrors? Are they lit? My 2006 XL doesn't even have mirrors on the visors.
This is the Traveler package, not Chateau.
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Old 03-14-2017, 07:34 AM   #9
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Vanity mirrors with lights on both sides were in a lot of the XLT's. This was probably an option you could add to any van. I've only seen the upper console in the Traveler and maybe one or two of the newer Chateau's with leather.

I'm 99% positive that the piped velour seats with the open headrests were from 92-97.

If you can ever find any at a yard or even in a dirt cheap van you should buy them. In my mind they are the best looking and sitting seats Ford ever made. A setup of 4 of those captains with the rear two on removable bases, driver seat with 6 way power adjust plus ELECTRIC lumbar (not the later manual dial) and the rear fold down bench is the real unicorn Ford interior to me. I had this all in great shape in a 92.......and sold it.
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Old 03-14-2017, 01:22 PM   #10
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I'm a proud owner of a 2002 Traveler E350 with the tan leather upholstery. I had a 97 Chateau previously (red piped grey velour) and loved it as well. Sure makes trips easier with the kids having their own bucket seats and monitors.

Scott
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