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Old 02-10-2021, 01:27 AM   #11
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Thanks. That's helpful.

Anyone in New Jersey want to help out a Brit?

Where in NJ? Iím in eastern Pennsylvania
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Old 02-10-2021, 04:10 AM   #12
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Where in NJ? I’m in eastern Pennsylvania
There is one in Belvidere NJ that looks interesting. It's been for sale for a while which makes me suspicious.
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Old 02-10-2021, 04:30 AM   #13
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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.
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Old 02-10-2021, 06:30 AM   #14
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Buying vans from a distance and getting an inspection?

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Originally Posted by dieselnutjob View Post
There is one in Belvidere NJ that looks interesting. It's been for sale for a while which makes me suspicious.

PM me the ad link and let me take a look. Thatís about 1.5 hours from me so not terribly easy to get to, but I *might* be able to. (Iím not looking to buy a van so I promise not to scoop it from under you).

Itís in an area that gets a good bit of snow and they use a lot of salt on the roads there. I would definitely ask for pics underneath to see a lot rust. But, contrary to what west coasters think, not all east coast vehicles are full of rust :-)

Another thing to be wary of with vans from NJ, NY, and CT (besides rust) is they may have been either delivery or passenger vans in the New York City region, which can beat up a van pretty good.
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Old 02-10-2021, 02:25 PM   #15
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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.
I see your point. Several things you said above are a surprise to me, especially that you could import one that cheaply.

I'm also surprised that a Sprinter is narrower than E-series/Chevy. They seem about the same to me with the Sprinter advantage being straighter walls and usually a higher ceiling.

As for the V8 power of the domestics, I agree. It's hard to beat.

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Old 02-10-2021, 03:04 PM   #16
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... 5 cyl diesel Discovery 2s are pretty cheap here and extremely capable...
Uh say what now? I have been a long time cruiser head but you have my attention.

And I thought some of the older VWs over there were decently sized? The t35s + T40s (or is that too big).
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Old 02-10-2021, 04:59 PM   #17
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Uh say what now? I have been a long time cruiser head but you have my attention.

And I thought some of the older VWs over there were decently sized? The t35s + T40s (or is that too big).
T35 and T40 are too slow and too rusty.

The T4 and T5 are extremely popular as campers here, and for good reason, but you can't get a double bed sideways across the back.

I said that the Sprinter is narrower but now I think about it that's just my impression and I don't really know. Most Sprinters in the UK seem to by massive high roof, long wheel base monsters.

I think that a non extended Econoline or Chevy van is just the right size.
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Old 02-10-2021, 08:02 PM   #18
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I was thinking about this this afternoon. I could sleep laterally in my Transit but I built the bed platform to where it literally sat inside the window trim. I'm 6'2" and for me this was comfortable. I have owned a Sportsmobile that had a center mounted lateral bed, actually two sideways couches that made in to a bed and even with cutouts from SMB all the way to the walls there was NO way for me to sleep comfortably. It was only about 65" maybe? Others here who currently have this floor plan can probably tell you.

Mine was an RB10 floor plan IIRC.

Good luck, and how tall are you?
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Old 02-10-2021, 09:00 PM   #19
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Iím 5í8Ē and could sleep sideways in my E250 (dinette beds that folded down). This was with the inset wall option that SMB offers that basically provides a pocket out to the outer skin of the van.
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Old 02-11-2021, 01:36 AM   #20
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The literature for my SMB gives the dinette bed width as 70 inches (using the insets into the side walls). I'm 6' and I have to sleep on it diagonally. I usually sleep in the penthouse bunk unless I'm alone and it's very cold out.
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