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Old 01-12-2014, 05:16 PM   #1
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Trying to plan new build

Wondering what I can expect to shell out on a bench seat/bed and swivel captains chairs just to get started. I'm thinking I could add modifications as money permits but instead of letting summers go by waiting for the magical SMB that meets my budget and layout preferences, it might make sense to just add the essentials starting with "what's needed to sleep in a van (econoline) and be more comfortable than in a tent. I would also plan to penthouse it ASAP so my three kids could sleep on the lower level (couch bed and possibly across captains chairs) and wife and I can sleep in penthouse. Storage will be milk crates, sink/shower will be gravity fed water bag thing and stove = portable Coleman or campfire.
I'm i being unrealistic in assuming I could do all of this for around 8,000 not including the cost of the van?

Any tips on essentials and where to research further on buying piece by piece would be great.
Thanks all

Tim
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Old 01-12-2014, 05:26 PM   #2
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Re: Trying to plan new build

You have to decide on what the essentials are, mine will be different.

I.E. You could have a van with one bench seat and two captain's chairs up front and empty behind that bench. Kids sleep on the floor and you in the penthouse. The rest is just like in a tent.

Others (like myself) will find the refrig and water system to be essential.

What do you need to be comfortable?

Mike
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Old 01-12-2014, 06:58 PM   #3
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Re: Trying to plan new build

Good points on what my priority is. I think first is sleeping and so far I have found approximately $850 for a sofa/bed and another $200 for the bench extension piece. Does anyone have a recommended vender for these essential parts?
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Old 01-13-2014, 11:08 AM   #4
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Re: Trying to plan new build

We had a 1996 Ford E150 Clubwagon that had a factory rear bench that folded down into a bed. I'm thinking one of these out of a junkyard would be the cheapest option. A seat swivel can be added to the OEM front seats.
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Old 01-13-2014, 12:25 PM   #5
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Re: Trying to plan new build

Do you have a van already? If so, what seating arrangements do you have in it?

If you have a budget of $8000, I would consider getting the penthouse top installed. You could easily build a platform for the rear and use either an air mattress or foam pads so the kids could sleep back there. It could actually be bigger than the penthouse bed, so the adults could sleep back there and let the kids have fun in the top bunk. All you would need is a second row bench for the kids (passengers).
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Old 01-14-2014, 12:09 PM   #6
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Re: Trying to plan new build

I don't have a van yet. But if I could get a newer used I was wondering g if it could be camp ready in and around $8,000.

Thank you all for the suggestions. It is good to see there are options.
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Old 01-14-2014, 11:22 PM   #7
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Trying to plan new build

Easily. As for vendors I will try to link a few for you, but start with Discount Truck Van. Just Google em.
I agree though, You could almost have a Penthouse for 8 grand.
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Old 01-17-2014, 08:16 PM   #8
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Re: Trying to plan new build

Would anyone recommend waiting for the 2015 connect or get a econoline for a first smb? I have been searching the net but haven't found enough information on the comparison of both vans. I know the connect isn't due out until mid summer but if anyone has an opinion on econo vs connect I would love to hear it.

Other than aesthetics which in my personal opinion are no contest with econoline smb to win, what other factors should one consider or would be a deal breaker/maker?
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Old 01-17-2014, 09:05 PM   #9
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Re: Trying to plan new build

Quote:
Originally Posted by taverre
Would anyone recommend waiting for the 2015 connect or get a econoline for a first smb? I have been searching the net but haven't found enough information on the comparison of both vans. I know the connect isn't due out until mid summer but if anyone has an opinion on econo vs connect I would love to hear it.

Other than aesthetics which in my personal opinion are no contest with econoline smb to win, what other factors should one consider or would be a deal breaker/maker?
Very different animals IMO. Might be oversimplifying, but an Econoline is more or less a truck, where the Connect/Transit are more or less an SUV. Fire roads; either will be fine. Whether you will explore more rugged roads, and whether you want 4x4, should weigh heavily on which vehicle you decide on.


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