I have been looking for a base model to do a first time ground build. For a whole host of reasons, mostly based on my location, I have been having a difficult time finding a decent used Ford van to purchase. Traveling long distance for a van is not an option for me. I am not opposed to Chevys but I donít know as much about them.
I am looking for an older one so I wonít be too traumatized if I end up messing anything up. I also want to keep the cost down. This build is a going to be a light, poor-manís build. If it works out, I can use it for a few years and do a more intense build down the road.
So the one I am currently considering is a bit low on the scale. It is a 1999 E150 V8. I know later on the 150s got beefed up, but this van is from before that. It seems in great shape, good mileage and well maintained. Has the barn doors, which are hard to find around here and are important to me. I would much rather get a 250/350, but I am wondering if this might be able to handle what I am planning.
First, I have zero interest in 4x4 or off-roading. The van will be used for weekend, spontaneous trips to the coast, Big Sur, Yosemite, all on paved roads. There will be hills though, and Iím hoping to hit Yosemite in the winter so snow will be a factor occasionally too. Once or twice a year it will go 2/3 cross country and back. Again, there will be hills, as one route goes through Aspen.
Second, the build will be fairly light. I am looking to have the following mods:
Hard, bubble top
Upgraded seats to captainís seats
Platform bed or homemade dinette
Galley cabinet with icebox and sink
Fresh water in 5 gal container under sink
Grey water to another 6 gal container under sink
Portable butane stove
Second cabinet to hold small porta potti, Mr Heater, and 1 lb propane tanks
Of course, insulation, wall panels, floor
A bunch of small things that wonít really add much weight.
Based on these factors, would you think the older E150 V8 could be a strong enough option? I know those get used for conversion vans, and I donít think my build will be much more than that, but some of you know the performance realities better than me.
Any input or thoughts are appreciated! Thanks.
This is the ad for the van: http://bakersfield.craigslist.org/cto/4295897923.html