Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 12-06-2017, 03:18 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 4
Arrow Best Cargo Van for a Buildout

I wanted to know everyone's thoughts on what the best van to use for a build out would be.

I have seen many build out videos on YouTube for Dodge, Ford Transits etc. I'm looking for a van that I an stand up in and I am going to be living in this part time while I decide if I'm going to go full time or not. I'm more concerned right now for which engine/van etc. is going to be most trouble free from a vehicle standpoint.

I've been following the movement for a few years now and I'm ready to jump in but want to be sure I have the right vehicle/engine etc. Fuel Economy is a consideration as well, but overall cost of ownership is most important.

Thank you all for your thoughts.
__________________

andrewscott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2017, 04:32 PM   #2
GAR
Member
 
GAR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: East Bay Area
Posts: 75
My vote goes to the newer Chevy Express cargo van. It is the best choice as far as reliability is concerned.

Gar
__________________

__________________
New owner:
2017 Chevy 3500 Express (windowless cargo van with 6.0 V-8 gas engine), Quigley 4x4, and Quigley 3-inch lift, with Bilstien shock option. -Ordered November 2016 through local dealer, drove it home May 2017.
GAR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2017, 04:43 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
BrianW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 2,320
Best Cargo Van for a Buildout

Welcome Andrew!

If I were building from scratch Iíd be seriously looking at the Ford Transit. From what Iíve seen it has a lot going for it, and is likely to have a lot of aftermarket support for it in the future if the E-van series is any guide.

The Dodge is also a proven platform overseas (aka Fiat Ducato) and is a common base for a lot of class B vans in Europe. It has a lower floor and I believe more interior room. One thing that always bothers me when I see one, though, is how low the rear axle hangs down.

And hey, I like that we are ďa movementĒ now thatís worth following ;-)
BrianW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2017, 07:28 PM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 4
Best Cargo Van for a Buildout

Yes indeed, the Camper Van/Tiny Home living is "a movement". I have been following this for quite some time and it's taking me a few years to get to this point of finally being able to pull the trigger and make it happen. I have already in my head decided on all the technologies I plan to build inside as I plan on dry camping more than 90% of the time not in campgrounds. Rest Stops/Truck Stops/WalMarts/BLM Land and just about anywhere else that I won't be hassled. I have been on very long extended campouts all across America for the last 6 years and have been camping in a Tent and inside a Prius, so I do have a bit under my belt. Now it's time to move up and have a little more comfort and I don't want to have to setup camp every time I get somewhere. Just park and open the door.

So a Class B is a must and be somewhat stealthy. I have considered Diesel, however besides costing more to buy it, I have to also do a bit more hunting along my travels to find diesel fuel, it costs about .45-.55 per gallon more and although their may be some benefit to having more torque, slightly better fuel economy and lasting longer, the down sides I see is more expensive repairs and maintenance. So I have decided to stick with good old 87 Octane fuel. I have driven all of my automobiles to over 300K miles and have never had any engine issues (knock on wood) and I'm at just over 200K now on my 2008 Prius. I'm hoping to find a cargo van that if properly cared for like I did on my other vehicles, It too will last that long.

I really do appreciate all that this community can offer me in my decision making and even though I have a lot of knowledge already, I'm sure I can learn quite a bit more from an experienced community. Thank you all again for your assistance.
andrewscott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2017, 09:27 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
86Scotty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: TN
Posts: 6,641
They all have their ups and downs. Pick one you like. You'll find problems you didn't expect and blessings you didn't expect. I chose a Ford Transit mid-height LWB with just a bout a 6' walk around space and 12' length for a build out. I got the Ecoboost twin turbo. I love a lot of things about it and yet Ford is recalling them left and right for stuff that shouldn't go wrong such as a disintegrating drive shaft and an airbox that gets water in it. WTF? Should things like this happen? Sprinter owners love their vans but have their own share of complaints with electronic/sensor issues etc.

If you want one to stand up in your choices are Promaster, Sprinter or Transit, or you could take GAR's advice and get a Chevy but put a hardtop on it for stand up height. Chevy is probably the best choice from a reliability standpoint.

Good luck!
__________________
98 Silver E350 V10 home build
Rusty the Rusty 95 SMB (sold)
Tryptovan the blue CCV van (sold)
Vans flip flops
86Scotty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2017, 12:43 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 153
So much depends on your use case and personal preferences. I wanted 4x4 so and was undecided between a Transit w/ Quigely 4x4 or a Sprinter 4x4 until one just happened to be available at the right moment.

I've a good friend that is leaning toward the dodge but he doesn't care about 4x4 or clearance and so that decision makes sense for him.

Given you listed BLM land last and included a lot of parking lots... I'd steer you toward the transit. That gives you a reasonable option to uplift to 4x4 if you want in the future but you can start now with a lower investment now.
__________________
2017 Sprinter 4x4 144LR. Uplift has begun...

2004-2017 [RIP] SMB PH, 4x4, E250v8. Drove until the wheels fell off.
Pritikin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2017, 03:57 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
dhally's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: SE Washington
Posts: 783
Garage
One thing to consider is to get a fairly new if not new chassis. If you're going to put $50,000 worth of camper on it, you don't want the chassis to wear out before you're done using it.

The Nissan vans look good too for 2wd. They have a factory high top.
__________________
---------------------
2009 E250 RB 5.4L "SilVan"
dhally is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2017, 06:01 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
carringb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Corvallis, OR
Posts: 3,535
If you don't need to tow heavy, I think it's hard to beat a Transit. The tall roof options, and the near vertical wall, makes converting much easier. It's the most car-like van, but has the most powerful optional motors (the base motor is ok if you don't mind it revving).

Sprinter would be my 2nd pick, but the "Death by EGR" horror stories still make me think they aren't the best pick for a long-term rig.

Promaster: I don't think Front wheel drive has any place in full-size van. Plus, FCAs reliability is hit and miss.

The Nissan and Chevy vans are ancient in comparison. They won't drive as well, the Nissan doesn't use it's footprint efficiently (isn't that the point of a van?) and is a gas guzzler in comparison. The Chevy is decently efficient if you skip the big V8, but it's not a high-roof, and the tapered wall means even if you add a top, it'll be narrower up there.

Currently the Sprinter has the most aftermarket support, but I think that will quickly flip towards the Transit since they sell so many more.
__________________
2000 E350 extended wagon dually
V10 w/ Banks Powerpack, Diablo Predator
Buckstop Outback bumper/grill guard
Reunel rear bumper
carringb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2017, 10:08 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
86Scotty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: TN
Posts: 6,641
Quote:
Originally Posted by carringb View Post
Currently the Sprinter has the most aftermarket support, but I think that will quickly flip towards the Transit since they sell so many more.
And they are selling like hotcakes! A quick drive on any interstate in any halfway busy area of the U.S. and you can see just how many Transits are on the road now. I'd love to know the sales figures. They're popping up everywhere. I see 50 a day at least.

*And don't bother with the 3.7, get the 3.5 Ecoboost turbo. It's a powerhouse and still efficient, and proven for nearly a decade now in the F150's. I drive 80 everywhere and get 17mpg, dropped to 15.5 with oversize tires a few weeks ago.
__________________
98 Silver E350 V10 home build
Rusty the Rusty 95 SMB (sold)
Tryptovan the blue CCV van (sold)
Vans flip flops
86Scotty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2017, 01:13 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
carringb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Corvallis, OR
Posts: 3,535
Quote:
Originally Posted by 86Scotty View Post
I'd love to know the sales figures.
Commercial Van Sales In America - November 2017 -

Nov Transit sales jumped WAY up, but its down overall for the year, surely because of the driveline and tow module stop-sales recalls. Looks like its outselling the Sprinter 5 to 1.
__________________

__________________
2000 E350 extended wagon dually
V10 w/ Banks Powerpack, Diablo Predator
Buckstop Outback bumper/grill guard
Reunel rear bumper
carringb is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
bestvan, bestvanforbuildout, vanbuild, vanbuildout

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Sportsmobile Registry

Van22

Van22

Road Roamer

Road Roamer
Add your Sportsmobile
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:52 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.