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Old 09-12-2014, 01:07 PM   #1
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Advise on interior build company for a used van

Hopefully I will not be too long winded on my need for advise. I have searched this forum high and low to answer my questions, but I could not find them. Here goes:

I have a 09 E350 RB with a Quigley 4x4 conversion, and I had an electric SMB pop top installed last year. I bought the van a few years ago thinking I would do the interior build, but I cannot find the time and now I am looking to get it done. FYI the interior is stripped.

First question is should I bother spending the money to convert the interior of my van, or should I sell it and get one already converted. It has the 5.4 V-8 with 90,000 miles. I had a mechanic look it over and they said everything looks great with no problems. A Ford mechanic friend of mine said that engine will last a long time as long as I stay current with the maintenance. I have roughly 30k invested and am looking to fork out about 15-20k in the interior. Will it be worth 45-50k when done??? Or would it be better to sell and fork out 45-50k on one already done? I plan on traveling extensively in it.

Second question is where can I go to have the interior build done on an used van. So far I have found Van Specialties, Outside Van, GTRV, Boulder Offroad Vans, and Craftsman Vans. Has anyone had interior work done by any of these companies and if so, how do they like it? Does anyone know of another company who does interior builds? I read on the forum that SMB will not do used van interior conversions. I am hoping to get the process started ASAP.

Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Greg
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Old 09-12-2014, 01:31 PM   #2
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Re: Advise on interior build company for a used van

I've talked to SMB about converting a used van and they were not adverse to it. They would like to know the specifications of your van prior to committing to perform a build on it.

I think Outside Van only works on Sprinters now. They do have a partnership of sorts with Van Specialties and the work I've seen from them is top notch. Member Bud, aka "Buckkiller" here has a very nicely done interior from Van Specialties.

I requested a -50 style build from VS and it was VERY close in price to what SMB's build sheet was for a similar conversion.

Good luck! You've got a great base to build on, IMHO!
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Old 09-12-2014, 01:36 PM   #3
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Re: Advise on interior build company for a used van

I've seen some vans these guys do and they looked well built.

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Old 09-12-2014, 05:54 PM   #4
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Re: Advise on interior build company for a used van

We had SMB West do a complete interior RB50 conversion including propane and electrical on a 2010 model E350 in 2012. No problem.
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Old 11-18-2014, 12:53 PM   #5
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Re: Advise on interior build company for a used van

Thanks for the advise. I talked with Jeff at RVI in San Diego, and met with him a few weeks ago to talk builds. Long story short, he looks as if his work is very good, but he is a very flaky guy and I am quite sure I am not going to go with him. He could not quote any sort of pricing and kept promising me to do things for me that he never did.

With that being said, does anyone have experience with GTRV or Van Specialties? I am talking with them about builds, but am having a hard time finding any reviews. Van Specialties has a long wait list and are more money, but I am willing to wait and pay if it is worth it.
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Old 11-18-2014, 04:36 PM   #6
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Re: Advise on interior build company for a used van

I had our van converted by GTRV, and am very impressed with the quality and their ability to do custom work.

Two caveats, however:
1. Our van was converted at the Richmond, BC location, not in Sebastopol, CA.
2. It was converted in 2009 by Roy Weisendahl; his son Bryan now runs the shop and while I understand the quality is still there, I have never dealt with Bryan.

Let me know if you want to know anything specific.

Cheers,
Brent
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Old 11-19-2014, 08:33 PM   #7
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Re: Advise on interior build company for a used van

Member BillWilson that used to frequent here had Jeff at RVI do a complete interior build on his Cruiser top SMB. Jeff did a great job and the cabinets were beautiful. BillWilson was very happy with his work. I spoke with Jeff several times and liked him but wasn't willing to pay his prices at the time. In hindsight I probably should have to save a few years of drama.

I had the first round of my van interior done by Derek at CCV. I would not recommend his interior work or his electrical work, both were lacking in many ways. His window installs and mechanical work has held up well on my van.

After the CCV interior started falling apart Chris from UJOINT recommended Mike from this forum. He was nearby and went under Wicked Fabrication or later Extreme Sports Vans. He did an outstanding job on my interior and has done another members van along with sliders for another person. He is also skilled at fabricating bumpers and roof racks when he has time. He is in North Hollywood, CA and can be reached at (818) 535-5445.

Van Specialties seems to also do great work. I like Maxaccelerations functional build by them a lot.

Based on my experience after several years with the van you are bound to have issues from any build. How the builder handles those issues should be considered as well as how far they are from you. I know Mike will take care of any issues that come up on my van and that gives me great comfort.
Eric
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