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Old 06-24-2014, 08:31 AM   #1
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Starting plans to home build 3rd van .... maybe

Our 2000 Chev. Express extended van is approaching its 15 year and we love it.....really love with the penthouse top we added 6 years ago. I see time in the near 2-3 years to do another build with a new van. Present van is fine but I can't picture it lasting for 30 years into our mid 80's. If I'm going to build my own again I figure I should start the project in the next 1-3 years while still "young".

One question: Does the present, going on 15 years old, van have any real value or should a plan stripping it? Other option of course would be to keep until new one is usable and sell it. Any ideas what it might be worth as is. We have 135,000 miles on it and it is stored in an RV lot during the winters. I would expect to have ~160,000 on it by the time it is 15-16 years old.

Van U-tube video:



PS: We would build a van with the same basic layout but with a powered penthouse, electric refrig., under floor battery bank and maybe a solar panel (more battery power and solar because of electric refrig.)....on other hand might just keep it simple and stick with ice chest.
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Old 06-24-2014, 09:49 AM   #2
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Re: Starting plans to home build 3rd van .... maybe

I would go with a Truckfridge Len. They sip power and are spacious. I would think your van would be worth a good bit as is with the amazing interior you built, but I'm sure your replacement will be even better.
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Old 06-24-2014, 10:31 AM   #3
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Re: Starting plans to home build 3rd van .... maybe

Holy smokes that is one well thought out build.
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Old 06-24-2014, 03:16 PM   #4
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Re: Starting plans to home build 3rd van .... maybe

Start on your next van now!

(I selfishly want to see what you do...)

That is simply a great video of great imaginations reduced to a physical creation in the form of a great van conversion.

I am humbled.
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2002 E350 ext.; 160K; 7.3L; 4R100 (w/4x4 deep pan & filter); 4x4 conv. w/2007 F250/F350 coil frnt axle (oppos. dual Bilstein press. shocks cured DW) diff chg from 3.55 to 3.73 (bad!); BW1356 t.c. (bad!); LT265/70R17/E Michelin LTX M/S2; Engel MT60 Combi Fridge-Freezer; 4 BP 380J pv panels; Auragen 5kw AC gen. in top alt. position; Webasto Dual-Top; Voyager top. 1995 5.8L EB Bronco, bone stock.
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Old 06-24-2014, 03:32 PM   #5
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Re: Starting plans to home build 3rd van .... maybe

I sure like your build, Len. I'm not sure that it would save any money to salvage your existing van. The only possible way would be if you were going to do another EB Chevy platform and moved EVERYTHING over, including the penthouse top. Knowing that you want to do an electric top next time, I'm not sure if that cost to upgrade to electric would make it economical to swap tops.

The first question is, what platform are you thinking of building on? I'd say that if you can afford it sell your rig as-is (I'd like to guess in the $15k range maybe?) after you build the new from scratch. that way you can take your time. With your skills, I think that you'd be sad if you didn't start from scratch again and take the time to plan things out 'just so' without limitations to prior appliances or cabinet sizes.

When that time comes, we all hope you take us along for the virtual build!

On the flip side of that coin, we've got several GM pickups from that era at work that have over 300,000 miles on them and they just keep on going. You know - in case you want to just drive more instead of build!
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