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Old 12-13-2010, 06:15 PM   #1
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Van size

What size van would you buy for a home build? I want to add a PH and minimal interior. I would like to get by with 1/2 ton for the gas mileage and cost.
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Old 12-13-2010, 06:50 PM   #2
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Re: Van size

I wouldn't even think about an RB. The extra storage of the EB is important to us. For solo use it may not be so important, but 3 of us went to Alaska in our van - an RB would not have been pleasant.

Mike
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Old 12-13-2010, 08:37 PM   #3
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Re: Van size

I have an RB for one person -- and since I use a HitchHaul, I'm glad I don't have an EB (parking, etc.). If I didn't have a HitchHaul, I'd want an EB.

As for size and mileage, my understanding is that the size of the engine is a more significant factor than payload (ie, E150 (1/2 ton) vs E250 vs E350). Over the years I've owned one E150 and two E350s. The highway mileage difference between the 1995 E150 with the smallest V8, and my 2006 E350 with the 5.4L V8 is about 2 mpg. (16 vs 18 mpg). That's not a big difference, and I sure like the extra power when needed, for climbing mountains or getting out of the other fool's way.
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Old 12-13-2010, 10:04 PM   #4
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Re: Van size

We had an RB50 clone for a few years. For short camping and ski trips with my wife and 4 year old it was great. Even when Daughter 1 was 5 and with a new baby it was OK. Once the baby started walking it got too small real fast. We had the 24" bubble top which gives a LOT more storage (mainly overhead in the front and back).

As far as 1/2 ton van, realistically add up the weight of everything, including people, fuel and water, before getting one. Ours was 1/2 ton and it needed to be 3/4 ton or 1 ton.

We used ours for a daily driver and main family travel vehicle. The RB was workable for this, I'm thinking the EB would be a real pain especially in parking lots and tight camp sites/dead end fire roads.

Now there are just two of us and we will be getting another RB high top.
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Old 12-14-2010, 09:40 AM   #5
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Re: Van size

Size needed (wanted) depends on many things.

The guys on the forum that go off road a lot prefer the shorter wheel base of the RB for going over stuff safely.

The guys on the forum that go touring a lot on mainly paved roads like the interior space of an EB.

Cargo capacity (weight half ton, ton, etc) should be determined by how much modifications you are planning on, how much 'stuff' you plan to carry (including people, water, batteries, clothing). Should consider allowing some future upward mobility for capacity.

Personally we are EB people. Our interior space of the EB is full of the pleasures we want but weight wise we are probably only at 50% of capacity fully loaded.

Make your self a realistic list and go from there. The first thing on my list is keeping my wife happy.
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Old 12-14-2010, 10:13 AM   #6
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Re: Van size

our _choice_ was made before we began...
we have evolved from AWD Mitsubishi to AWD Volvo... so when we wanted to get a van with AWD for our wet roads there was only one choice. The Chevy Express 1500 AWD. Build it like a Westy, and it will do the job.

: )
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Old 12-14-2010, 03:26 PM   #7
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Re: Van size

accrete....

How about some pics of your vans interior and exterior in travel and setup mode?????
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Old 12-14-2010, 06:06 PM   #8
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Van size

+1 on pics!
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:24 PM   #9
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Re: Van size

thx for the interest.

V1 was a few years back so no pics (silly me)
the current project will definately be cataloged better! I will put up a build thread soon.

Sparty, best wishes on your project!
cheers,
thom
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Old 12-14-2010, 10:14 PM   #10
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Re: Van size

Like others I think the RB is better if you think you'll be doing difficult and tight off-road stuff, the space of the EB would be nice otherwise. Gas mileage has far more to do with the engine size, type and all-up weight than the model. My 4x4 E150 never sees above 13 with the 5.8 but it also never drops much below that either, even with a big load and stuff up on the roof-rack. (Except when crawling in 4 low of course, that kinda skews the average a bit.)
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