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Old 04-02-2015, 10:57 AM   #11
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Re: New member - some questions :)

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Originally Posted by BrianW
If you like the "50" layout and a pop-top, similar vans include the Pleasure-Way Traverse and the GTRV "Westy." Both were built on the Ford chassis and can be found used, although they are rare to see, and many of the ones I've seen advertised have the OEM Ford rear heat/ac setup.

I have an Endless Breeze portable 12v fan, which is great. Stores easily right behind my driver's seat.
Thanks, Brian. I've been looking for used Traverses and Westys. The GTRV website doesn't provide as much information (pricing) as SMB, and both their shops are so far away from me that I gravitated toward SMB in case I can't find what I want and need/want a new build. (Not that SMB North is close, but closer than.

I may not need the rear air as much as I thought, but I live in the humid southeast, so I'm still tossing it around.
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Old 04-02-2015, 10:59 AM   #12
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Re: New member - some questions :)

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Originally Posted by 86Scotty
Journey, keep reading and asking, everything you've asked about is discussed here regularly. If you are in the early planning stages make sure you get to Expo East in Asheville this year. You will see lots of SMBs in person.

http://www.overlandexpo.com/east

I researched a lot before asking questions, so if these questions were asked before, I missed them. I'll do more searches.

Thanks for the Expo information. I'll definitely plan to attend.
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Old 04-02-2015, 11:01 AM   #13
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Re: New member - some questions :)

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyJourneys

If I go with the 4cf fridge, the top would go even with the counter, eliminating the drawer that's usually above the regular one, right? It won't extend farther than that? (I like the flat counter space that extends from behind the driver's seat all the way to the sink and wouldn't want to lose that.
There is still a "thin" counter over the 4cf fridge. The rest of the counter stays the same height. That means the sink is still the same height and you can sit on the bench seat to brush your teeth, etc. Note that the top of the counter is at the height of the bottom of the window on that side of the van. So the fridge will block some of the window but, we think, a bigger fridge is worth blocking some of the window.
Jack, is your counter the same height all the way across (from behind driver's seat, all the way to the sink)? In some pictures, it looks like it's all the same height (and just the top drawer above the smaller fridge is removed). On others it looks like the fridge pushes up the counter height, and only the stove/sink area is the same height.
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Old 04-02-2015, 01:22 PM   #14
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Re: New member - some questions :)

Welcome Journey
As for the Chevrolet 2500-3500 I know the 6.0 gas engine is available in the 3500 I don't believe it is in the 2500. I own a 3500 6.0 gas 4wd fixed roof and love it. It handles great on the road and has power to spare. Don't be afraid of the Chevrolet!
We will be in Elk Mount the 1st part of May if you would like to see and drive a Chevy LMK and I will PM you when we confirm a date.
Good luck with your search
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Old 04-02-2015, 02:04 PM   #15
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Re: New member - some questions :)

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Welcome Journey
As for the Chevrolet 2500-3500 I know the 6.0 gas engine is available in the 3500 I don't believe it is in the 2500. I own a 3500 6.0 gas 4wd fixed roof and love it. It handles great on the road and has power to spare. Don't be afraid of the Chevrolet!
We will be in Elk Mount the 1st part of May if you would like to see and drive a Chevy LMK and I will PM you when we confirm a date.
Good luck with your search
I would love to see your van, thank you for offering. Can you give me an idea of your MPG? Where is Elk Mount?
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Old 04-02-2015, 06:25 PM   #16
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Re: New member - some questions :)

No worries. There is a fixed top for sale in Atlanta if that interests you. It belongs to a friend of mine. It is much more open and bright than my pop-top due to the window layout.

http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/t ... mobile-29K

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Old 04-02-2015, 07:42 PM   #17
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Re: New member - some questions :)

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Originally Posted by MyJourneys
But the passenger vans have less space and load capacity, right? (I know... a "girl" question.)
Passenger vans have roughly the same load capacity as cargo vans for a given chassis......ie E350 wagon has the same chassis as an E350 cargo.

E250's a bit lower gross vehicle weight rating than the E350, and E150 even lower. In the (real) old days the E150 was considered 1/2 ton, E250 3/4 ton and E350 1 ton. Over the years the ratings have increased for all of the chassis, so they don't go by "tonnage" anymore. These days the E150s are typically window vans only, and the E250s are typically cargo vans only, E350 both ways.

If you don't want/need 4WD and are planning on a minimal build-out an E150 isn't a bad choice if you find a deal on one. Slightly better gas mileage as well. There are a few folks here who have E150s.

The wagon version loses some interior space from all of the plastic trim in the rear, like the window trim and lower interior plastic panels. One advantage to a cargo van if you are not too tall is the possibility of sleeping sideways across the back. Window vans lose about 8"-9" or so of interior width from the interior trim.
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Old 04-02-2015, 08:47 PM   #18
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Re: New member - some questions :)

re: Rear Air
imho, and experience, rear air and heat are critical to comfort. If you have a window (passenger van even more so, and same if the color the van is not white. While it is possible to mitigate the lack of rear a/c / heat with insulation and windows, it is much. much nicer when you have it.

The front dash only setups take a long time to heat / cool the back of van (cave) if at all. The rear units just do it so much faster and evenly. I would strongly recommend testing out if you can get by without the rear units. Typically the rear units have an independent control, so you can test both scenarios in a van with rear a/c heat, just leave the rear unit in the off position and see what the experience is like.

For us rear a/c and heat are mandatory:
A hot dusty road = no windows especially if following another vehicle that is kicking up dust
Getting into a van that is 20 degrees inside and everything inside is 20 degrees and really cold
Driving in 100 degree plus temps along open road with the sun beating down
Getting into a van that is 120 degrees inside and everything inside is 120 degrees and really hot and it is 100 deg plus outside. Open all the windows you want, it is still 100 degree plus.
driving 6 hrs in any of those scenarios is so much more comfortable with rear mounted units.

Once we are camping - different story, doors are being opened and closed, top would be up, if temp is hot, we just live with it or turn on the engine to get some cooling for a while. if it is cold, we have a catalytic heater, or in our new build will be a Propex or Espar heater.

We do not live in a humid area so that is not so much of a concern If we did, I think I would definitely want as much a/c as possible to help "condition" the air and remove moisture as much as possible.

As boywonder said, it is difficult to find cargo vans with factory rear air/heat. Nearly all passenger vans come with rear a/c and heat.

Just somethings to consider. Good luck and welcome!
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Old 04-02-2015, 08:56 PM   #19
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Re: New member - some questions :)

Quote:
I would love to see your van, thank you for offering. Can you give me an idea of your MPG? Where is Elk Mount?
I get 12-14 MPG average.
Elkmont is a campground in the Smokies.
I will PM you the dates when we get them nailed down.
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Old 04-02-2015, 10:50 PM   #20
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Re: New member - some questions :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by 86Scotty
No worries. There is a fixed top for sale in Atlanta if that interests you. It belongs to a friend of mine. It is much more open and bright than my pop-top due to the window layout.

http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/t ... mobile-29K

Thanks for the link, Scotty! The interior looks great for an older van. Your friend must've taken care of it. I think I'd prefer the 50 layout, but I'll think about this one.
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