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Old 10-09-2014, 08:17 PM   #1
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Nissan NV or Ford Transit high top conversion??

I'm saving up to buy some sort of van for a somewhat minimalist conversion. Will probably be buying a van in 1.5-2 years.

I'm 5'11, must have a REALLY high top, not just a lower profile one.

So the options are:

*traditional Ford/Chevy cargo van with pop-top added
*high-top Nissan NV
*high-top Ford Transit

Not considering a Sprinter due to price & dislike of diesels.

If anyone has done or has seen a conversion from the Nissan or Transit vans, or has real experience driving/owning one, I would appreciate your input.

I have some reservations about all of these. Of course there are positives, too.

Ford--I ride in and occasionally drive a van pool in a 15 passenger E-350 Ford. The basic vehicle is rock-solid but the driving position is NOT comfortable for me and generally cramped.

Chevy--not familiar with these but have heard that driving position is roomier. I also have concerns about reliability/quality.

Nissan--not much of a track record, only built since 2012. But in a few years there should be some decent used ones available. My main concern is reliability and availability of dealers that will service them. I believe right now they are only sold through dealers with a commercial fleet operation.

Transit---Very appealing vehicle but again no track record; and the high-top is PRICEY. They are just being built for 2015, so in a couple of years they will still be expensive.

Feedback appreciated!
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Old 10-10-2014, 09:00 AM   #2
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Re: Nissan NV or Ford Transit high top conversion??

Check out this high-top conversion Nissan NV from Outside Van:



http://www.outsidevan.com/kodiak.php

While it's true that only Nissan Commercial dealers sell these, any Nissan dealer can work on them.

I can relate to your height issue...but I'm 6'5" Have yet to crawl around an NV but my local Ford dealer has a ton of high-top Transits. They're pretty nice and globally, it's a proven platform. The powertrains are US-specific though.
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Old 10-10-2014, 10:01 AM   #3
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Re: Nissan NV or Ford Transit high top conversion??

The Promaster may also warrant taking a look at, depending on your needs.
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Old 10-10-2014, 05:46 PM   #4
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Re: Nissan NV or Ford Transit high top conversion??

I have an NV2500 with the 6cyl gas motor. I have had it for almost 2 years but don't drive it much due to owning a motorcycle:-)
I have set it up to haul a dirt bike, the dog and be my tent. I'm 6' and have about an inch of clear space so no worries of head smacking. With the 6 cyl it gets 17-18 mpg on the highway and 14 around town (that is real world not the on board computer). I'm very happy with it and it works perfect for me.
As someone has mentioned already the full size Transit is a vehicle that has been around in many parts of the world for a few years. Don't discount it due to recent release in the U.S.
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Old 10-10-2014, 07:15 PM   #5
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Re: Nissan NV or Ford Transit high top conversion??

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockbender
The Promaster may also warrant taking a look at, depending on your needs.
Thanks for the tip, but I've had to drive 2 Dodge products in my life, never again.......
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Old 10-12-2014, 01:07 PM   #6
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Re: Nissan NV or Ford Transit high top conversion??

I looked at a Nissan when first considering a home build. What ended up making it a no-go for me was the how the engine is situated. I wanted a shorter vehicle for city maneuvering, and the engine seemed to take up quite a bit of the overall length.

The Transit also has a forward based engine, but it doesn't seem as long. In the end I went with a traditional Ford e series due to that and the need for barn doors.
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Old 10-12-2014, 02:00 PM   #7
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Re: Nissan NV or Ford Transit high top conversion??

Quote:
Originally Posted by lndshark
Check out this high-top conversion Nissan NV from Outside Van:



http://www.outsidevan.com/kodiak.php

While it's true that only Nissan Commercial dealers sell these, any Nissan dealer can work on them.

I can relate to your height issue...but I'm 6'5" Have yet to crawl around an NV but my local Ford dealer has a ton of high-top Transits. They're pretty nice and globally, it's a proven platform. The powertrains are US-specific though.
I do like that awning!

I'll be taking a look at both before I make a decision.... my general mode is to decide what vehicle I want, then start looking for the best deal.
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Old 10-12-2014, 02:02 PM   #8
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Re: Nissan NV or Ford Transit high top conversion??

I'm not too concerned about city maneuvering.... I live in a small town and generally avoid cities when travelling. Overall length is about the same as ExBF's pickup, which is not a problem for me to drive. But I can see how that would be a consideration.
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