Originally Posted by vanderpooch
I was remiss in specifying that I'm considering the Ford E-350 EB 4x4 platform.
I'm guessing you're thinking about buying a used van. Ford hasn't made the Econoline van since 2015. You could buy a used one and do a DYI or you could actually take a used one to SMB and they'll still convert it. You can also look for a used SMB.
Ford does still make the Econoline E-350 (SRW) and E-450 (DRW-duallies) "cutaway" cab chassis and SMB is beginning to build what they call the "Classic" on the E-350 cutaway. It is the same length as the old EB, but 4" wider. (They will not build the RB length.) The entire camper section is a fiberglass add-on shell, reinforced with Al ribs. It is only available with the PH (penthouse aka popup) roof. They have been testing a prototype for a couple of years (trying to figure out how to plug leaks) and the first 2 customer models are on the line right now. They are considering an add on hard top down the line (2 fiberglass pieces bonded together) as well as a one piece tall roof model with plumb (completely vertical) walls. Both of those are just "possibilities" that are still a few years down the road. The price of a new Classic is $125k-$140k.
If you look for a used van, most of them are passenger vans (full of windows). It works best to convert a cargo van, and finding those used is a challenge. Sometimes you'll find an E-250 which doesn't have as beefy of a suspension, although there was a time when they built on them (those may not have been 4x4 conversions-I'm not sure). And Econolines have never come stock 4x4 from Ford.; SMB, like QuadVan and Quigley, have done 4x4 conversions with mainly stock Ford parts for F-350 and F-550 trucks. Anyway, the archives are full of l..o..n..g threads with tons of info to digest. Happy Reading.