Originally Posted by 86Scotty
Don't take this wrong but I think you have a 'grass is always greener' problem. If I were you I'd be super happy with a Mog or LandCruiser based camper or one of the many awesome vehicles you can get over there that we can't.
There are about a million contractors and tradesmen over here who have driven Ford vans for 30 years and they would unanimously scream "WHY would you want to go to the trouble to move one overseas???!"
My opinion here won't be popular with our old school E-series owners and a yes an SMB is a lot different than a basic Ford van but still.
My objective is not to build an offroading overland rig. If I wanted to do that then yes a Landy or Land cruiser would be the way to go. 5 cyl diesel Discovery 2s are pretty cheap here and extremely capable.
I want to build a mini-RV that will fit in the parking space that I have with a propper double bed in the back. To achieve that I need width and not length. The new Ram vans sold here as Peugeot, CitroŽn and Fiat have the right shape but are really expensive, I think won't last, and don't drive that nicely. Mercedes Sprinters are not wide enough.
The older (mid 2000s) Econoline and Express vans really don't have any equivalent here in Europe, they are wider than anything we have here with the bonus of more powerful engines and automatic transmissions (I have a bad knee).
Importing a van the UK is remarkably easy. If it's over ten years old it just needs a normal safety test like any other vehicle. The only modifications needed are really amber turn signals.
A vehicle that's on the East Coast can be shipped for under $1000 and then import duty and VAT have to be paid.