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Old 05-24-2020, 05:11 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Chinook View Post
86scott I just have a need to understand everything a job entails before i dive in head first.
It's easy to get paralysis by analysis, and sometimes, after doing your research you have to just dive in. I completely understand your desire to have a plan totally mapped out in advance, prior to cutting or welding anything, but I doubt you will find any business that has the time or desire to spend hours on the phone or with emails. For them, it becomes a point of diminishing return where other customers and sales are not getting some of the attention they want. Pretty much every conversion has had the cross member cut, and I would guess almost all were done successfully. When taking on a project this complicated, there will be aspects that require some contemplation and engineering, it's part of the fun. There will likely be some mistakes too, but you should be able to figure it out. As you move forward, it's likely folks here will have the answer to your specific questions. I say just go for it.
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Old 05-28-2020, 12:31 PM   #22
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This is an interesting and complex question for me.

The reason being that I specifically chose our van platform (Chevy Astro) for the low cost of 4x4 conversion. Literally it cost me $500 + cost of fluids to convert to a manually-shifted 4x4 with low range. At the time we started our project, most, if not all 4x4 conversions for fullsize vans were at least $10k, and the purchase price for used 4x4 vans had that built-in as well.

The trade-off for me was not the cost of conversion, but rather the "opportunity cost" of building into a smaller van. I traded cheap 4x4 conversion for less overall interior volume.

For the most part, we've made it work, but there are definitely days when I wish now that I'd bought a full-size van and just saved up for the conversion. Not because I need a different 4x4 solution, but because a bigger van would have benefited me some of the time.
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Old 05-28-2020, 01:27 PM   #23
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I had a Astro 4x4 for 11 years and don't know why I didn't consider adding a penthouse. I told my wife and friends just last weekend I should of installed one. You may want to think about this. Because if I had we probably would still be using it instead of giving it to our son.
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Old 05-28-2020, 03:05 PM   #24
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Doing a "Cost versus Benefit" analysis means YOU PROBABLY CANNOT AFFORD IT!

Especially true if you have to make PAYMENTS to buy it!

You pay $60,000 for a USED Sportsmobile.

You use it 25 days/year for the next 4 years that's 100 nights of use in 4 years.

Ya I know you are going to say "I'll use a Hell of Lot more than that each year" however I DOUBT IT.

Divide that $60K by 4 years which gives us $15000/year divided by 25 days/yr use gives us $600 EACH DAY WE ARE PAYING FOR LODGING IN A VAN for those 25 days each year!

Somehow I think the wife/partner/lover/girlfriend/neighbors wife/brother's wife or who ever is special to you in your life would rather stay at the Waldorf Astoria for $600/night rather than couped up in some old used van with a "Pop Top"! You still have all the other costs associated with travel so no big deal there.

PLUS let's not forget all the other costs associated with owning/operating/insuring/fueling/fixing/building/repairing/re-tire ing a Sportsmobile van that we have not discussed nor considered!

HOPE YA LIKE THE SPORTSMOBILE VAN!

A Sportsmobile van is like any other TOY. It is an EXPENDITURE, A COST, A LIABILITY, A NOOSE AROUND YOUR NECK OR HOWEVER YOU WISH TO DESCRIBE IT. It damn sure is NOT AN INVESTMENT!

Having said all that GO OUT AND GIT YOU A SPORTSMOBILE VAN!

Have fun while spending your kids inheritance doing what YOU LOVE TO DO just as long as you are NOT DOING A COST VERSUS BENEFIT ANALYSIS!
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Old 05-28-2020, 03:34 PM   #25
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"Divide that $60K by 4 years which gives us $15,000/year divided by 25 days/yr use gives us $600 EACH DAY WE ARE PAYING FOR LODGING IN A VAN for those 25 days each year!"

They do have a resale value after your 25 nights of use.
If you sold it 4 years later for $40k your nightly expense would be $20k (purchase price minus sale price) divided by your 25 night stays = $80 a stay night.
Again that doesn't include maintenence, taxes, fuel. etc.
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Old 05-28-2020, 03:37 PM   #26
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Untii you SELL IT it's still $600 a night or more!
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Old 05-28-2020, 03:46 PM   #27
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So your saying if I buy a house that first night is a $500,000 night?
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Old 05-28-2020, 04:05 PM   #28
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So your saying if I buy a house that first night is a $500,000 night?
IF she causes you to have a heart attack and die that first night you stay there I'd say YES that's a $500,000 night!
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Old 05-28-2020, 04:29 PM   #29
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As others said, having a 4x4 van is not a financial investment. Strictly based on money it is, in general, silly to have and operate a 4x4 van... For most I think it is an insanely costly hobby.



The benefits are in using the van to get to places where you really want to be and stay there with the comforts that the van provides. There is no Waldorf Astoria at the end of the dirt road, there is no Hilton where the animals are that I want to see.... I can't get the same experience through staying in fancy hotels... I would argue I get the opposite experience in fancy hotels!



But... being in remote places can also be achieved with a truck or SUV and a tent... but I don't really want to be exposed to the elements that much anymore... that is why we have our van.



And if you want to go to these places in a low clearance 2wd van, and you scrape the chassis, or you get stuck and have to walk out and then be towed.... with lost days, nervous or panicking family members...Or if you slide off the road and damage or destroy the vehicle (and perhaps also the occupants) because you didn't have the benefit of 4x4, then would it have been wise to spend $20k on 4x4 rather than not?



So, ultimately one should be able to formulate why we want the van, why we want the 4x4, and, given the benefits (rarely financial benefits), is it worth it to you? Because everyone wants different things, and different people want certain things more than others, it is ultimately a personal choice... that is why I think you have to be honest with yourself about what it is you really want, why you want it, whether it is worth the financial cost to you, and what the alternatives would be that may also allow you to reach (most) of your objectives...
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Old 05-28-2020, 04:34 PM   #30
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