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Old 04-11-2013, 02:42 PM   #1
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To start with a Pass or Cargo Donor?

Hi all,

I'm getting close to pulling the trigger on buying a used van to convert myself (after SMB does the Penthouse). Already sold the DD that it will replace.

Looking at CarMax, there seems to be a lot more bang for the buck buying a one or two year old passenger van than a cargo van (same price, more options, insulation and windows already in).

What is the opinion of the forum on which is best as a staring point? I'm planning a tow vehicle for my track car, daily commuter, and light weekend camper with pop-top.

TIA,

John
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Old 04-11-2013, 02:58 PM   #2
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Re: To start with a Pass or Cargo Donor?

I went with passenger for the bigger windows already installed and a little more stiffness in the body.
It all depends on your needs and desire.
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Old 04-11-2013, 03:05 PM   #3
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Re: To start with a Pass or Cargo Donor?

As Andrew mentioned, a lot depends on your anticipated use. You're planning on getting a PH installed, so I'm guessing you plan on camping in it.

A passenger van with all the glass is much more susceptible to temperature extremes. It will absorb a lot more heat in high temps, and it will be quite a bit colder in cold temps. The glass can also creates privacy considerations. You'll probably want window coverings, and quite possibly window insulation as well.

For carrying passsengers however, especially back seat passengers, there's no substitute for windows.


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Old 04-11-2013, 03:06 PM   #4
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Re: To start with a Pass or Cargo Donor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewST
I went with passenger for the bigger windows already installed and a little more stiffness in the body.
It all depends on your needs and desire.
How much did you modify it? Any photos posted?

Thanks,
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Old 04-11-2013, 03:21 PM   #5
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Re: To start with a Pass or Cargo Donor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnamullins
Any photos posted?
Thanks,
Check out his gallery tab - he has a great selection of pics.
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Old 04-11-2013, 03:30 PM   #6
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Re: To start with a Pass or Cargo Donor?

I started with a passenger van. No regrets. Lots of pics in my gallery.

gallery/album.php?album_id=430
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Old 04-11-2013, 03:52 PM   #7
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Re: To start with a Pass or Cargo Donor?

My version 1
viewtopic.php?t=4474

And version 2 works in progress
viewtopic.php?f=24&t=10768
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Old 04-11-2013, 04:23 PM   #8
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To start with a Pass or Cargo Donor?

Passenger! But I have kids. Light is important to me too, when I want it.
No regrets, except I sure wish Ford still did factory pop outs.
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Old 04-11-2013, 05:17 PM   #9
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Re: To start with a Pass or Cargo Donor?

I'm like 86Scotty and chose the passenger van specifically for the OEM windows because I have kids.

My first E350 5.4 RB started out as a 12 passenger van. I gave away the 3 benches to members of the forum and replaced them with a single better bench. (There's a separate thread for this, viewtopic.php?f=5&t=10606.) This is my camping van, has an electric PH and the one I drive the most, about 4K miles per year. The benefits of having windows when not camping become less beneficial while camping. I use some makeshift curtains to cover up all those windows, not ideal but it works for me.

My other E350 is a V10 Quigley RB (um yeah, I have two of these nonPC monsters) and has the OEM 2nd row captain's chairs. I enjoy driving this as my kids enjoy their own individual seats. Its not the camping van and I don't drive it much, about 2K miles per year.

Not to confuse you or to pull you off a tangent but also consider whether you want 5.4/4R75E or 6.8/5R110 or 6.0PSD/5R110. Also consider RB or EB. There's been numerous other discussions about this.


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Old 04-11-2013, 05:48 PM   #10
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Re: To start with a Pass or Cargo Donor?

Some strategically placed awning windows can be very nice. You can keep them open for air flow when it rains.
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