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Old 05-07-2015, 03:59 PM   #11
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Re: Mini Bus/Shuttle Bus Recommendations

Still not sure where you are located but there are many companies out there that could handle adding any seat configuration. It's not rocket science. Much simpler if you don't have to solve the seat belt issue from scratch though. Many seats nowadays have them built in. I would strongly recommend a van/bus with a regular door setup up front rather than a bus door. They are loud and leaky I would think. Good luck!

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Old 05-07-2015, 04:22 PM   #12
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Re: Mini Bus/Shuttle Bus Recommendations

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Originally Posted by Archer
And still another question, assuming we can't find a shuttle bus that meets our needs, what business out there would be able to fit an extended body van with individual seats with a center aisle?
They are already out there, just hard to find sometimes. I bought mine from Enterprise, and it was already converted by CVCandMore in SoCal. Each seat reclines individually.

Also, what about a new Transit? I think an EcoBoost Transit should handle your boat just fine. They come with center-isle seats standard.
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Old 05-08-2015, 08:51 AM   #13
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Re: Mini Bus/Shuttle Bus Recommendations

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Originally Posted by 86Scotty
Still not sure where you are located...
I'm in the Florida panhandle. This has proven a hindrance as many of these things are in major cities like Orlando, Miami, Atlanta, etc...

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Originally Posted by carringb
Also, what about a new Transit? I think an EcoBoost Transit should handle your boat just fine. They come with center-isle seats standard.
I'd love to, but we pay cash for our vehicles and a new Transit isn't in the budget. Give it 10 years and maybe.

Thanks everyone so much, this really has been super helpful. Depending on the phone call that is about to take place I may be buying a plane ticket today and driving one back.
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Old 05-08-2015, 03:57 PM   #14
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Re: Mini Bus/Shuttle Bus Recommendations

Good luck Archer. I hope you've found what you're looking for. If it doesn't work out I would definitely shop in the Atlanta area for one. Atlanta is such a huge city that you can just about find anything you're looking for on CL there. I've bought 5 or more vehicles and various other things there and it's 3.5 hrs for me. Doesn't bother me if I get what I'm looking for.

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Old 05-08-2015, 11:22 PM   #15
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Re: Mini Bus/Shuttle Bus Recommendations

I'd be looking for a 2003 Sprinter and get the seats retrofitted if you find a good van base that doesn't have them. Personally I wouldn't get a bus conversion with the passenger door removed, I'd be worried about structural changes and compromised seating for the wife.
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Old 05-08-2015, 11:43 PM   #16
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Re: Mini Bus/Shuttle Bus Recommendations

An agreement as been made, plane ticket has been purchased, a marathon road trip lies ahead, pictures will be posted Monday.
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Old 05-13-2015, 05:37 PM   #17
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Re: Mini Bus/Shuttle Bus Recommendations

Well, here she is! Monday morning I flew out of Pensacola to Miami to Phoenix, Arizona to buy this thing in good faith that the seller was honest. It was owned by a transit company that shuttles hospital patients and has a stack of service records a couple inches thick, so I was as confident as I could be under the circumstances. It has 360k miles and I paid $7500. It made the 1800 mile trip home in excellent fashion and was incredibly comfortable, smooth, and powerful. Much more stable and pleasant to drive over distance and at high speed with crosswinds than our beloved extended body E-350. My kids lost their minds when I pulled into the driveway, we are all ecstatic. Many thanks for talking me through my options and sharing input. Now begins the work to give it a thorough cleaning inside (so that my kids can make it dirty again) and then sorting through a couple of small issues. The side doors only open with the key turned on and I'd like to give it constant power, and the outside lock/switch for the side doors is missing the key so I've got to locate a new lock/switch. Then comes a tow hitch.
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Old 05-13-2015, 06:24 PM   #18
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Re: Mini Bus/Shuttle Bus Recommendations

Awesome man! Glad you found something where you and your wife can sit up front without a door in the way. Diesel or V10? Either way I think you did well. It looks super clean.

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Old 05-13-2015, 08:40 PM   #19
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Re: Mini Bus/Shuttle Bus Recommendations

Thanks! Got the V10. The comments about reliability definitely made the decision for me on that, I can't have downtime on the main family vehicle. Not worried about the little bit of fuel mileage a diesel might provide, that's why we have a Prius and TDI. Any thoughts about where to buy a new outside door switch?
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Old 05-13-2015, 09:43 PM   #20
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Re: Mini Bus/Shuttle Bus Recommendations

Close up pic might help, but may be as simple as a call to a local locksmith.
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