I’m actually thinking about buying a cargo van.

boom

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It makes sense. I am an avid kayak fisherman. I can sleep at lakes and park Wake up And fish. Mountain biking. Bike is inside with me. Sleep and ride. Hunting...ahhh you get the drift. I won’t even mention the Home Depot run...

pretty economical actually. A new van is $35k. Get the ford ecoboost and get 18mpg (maybe).


thoughts?
 

Scrappy

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Just don't get a creepy white one without windows. Nothing creepier than a slow moving van through the neighborhood. 😀😀😀
 

rayporter

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pretty practical really. i would consider an engine large enough to pull a trailer.

as a teenager i had an 18 ft van body on a truck that had an 8x8 camper in the front half and room for 4 horses in the back half.

you can make one into a small motor home with little work.
 

Tua

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Sounds like a great option. Lots of cool examples out there of people who have tricked theirs out. Maybe slightly less Versatile and 4-wheel capable than a modified pickup with sleeping arrangements, but with the right mods that van could get pretty comfy and still take you most places.
 

dtrkyman

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I saw a guy makes a lift kit for toyota mini vans, be a great camping rig in AWD.
 

MuleyFever

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I had this same thought after my last hunt. A van would be perfect.

 

Jn78

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Having a cargo vans is fantastic. I had one for years and slept hundreds of nights in it. It was before i started hunting, but it was great for traveling, kayaking, biking, climbing, ect. I put a rack up top, built bunks and shelves in the back, and bolted a middle seat up front. It was rwd. If it had 4wd and a lift, it would've been perfect.

If you are in the right place in life for it, go for it.
 
OP
B

boom

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Just don't get a creepy white one without windows. Nothing creepier than a slow moving van through the neighborhood. 😀😀😀
My license plate would be KNAPVAN. or FREHUGZ. HAHA.
 

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Corey Paulsen (teamkabob)

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I think it’s a great idea. I’ll see if I can find the post on adventure rider a guy built one as a small RV and perfect for one or two people
 

Corey Paulsen (teamkabob)

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@boom, here is the thread on adventure rider of a build. Look around they have a more current post too.
Let me know if you can't see it. Don't know if you need to be a member or not.
 

3forks

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We bought a Mercedes 4x4 high roof sprinter this summer. Ours is crew van because we need the back seat, but it’s been a great vehicle.

I‘ve always driven pick ups, and still have a Ram 2500 4x4, but I can say that I could see that a van could be a more practical option for a lot of people.

We’ll do a conversion for a camper set up this spring, but we so far just throw a foldable mattress in the back and it’s been great. I’m 6’3” and can stand up in the van without having to slouch, and the space inside is awesome.
 

LookinforDirt

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It makes sense. I am an avid kayak fisherman. I can sleep at lakes and park Wake up And fish. Mountain biking. Bike is inside with me. Sleep and ride. Hunting...ahhh you get the drift. I won’t even mention the Home Depot run...

pretty economical actually. A new van is $35k. Get the ford ecoboost and get 18mpg (maybe).


thoughts?
Tell me more! What motor? You get the AWD one?!
Mines a 2016 so no AWD option then. It has a LSD which can provide a little help off-road. I put BFG T/A KO2’s on it and they’ve been great. It has the 3.5L EcoBoost and I’m glad I got that. It’ll move out when you need it to and has been a great tow vehicle the few times I’ve needed to haul heavy loads. They can be amazing recreational vehicles with a few limitations. I hunt, fish, camp, haul dirt bikes, and take family trips in mine. I installed a two person passenger seat in it for when I need to haul more than just two people. It’s on l-track so I can position it farther forward, backward, ,face it rearward, or remove it needed.

If you don’t over ask of it, it will handle some off road. The suspension and, even more so, the ground clearance are more limiting, IMO, than lack of 4WD. On the transit the rear shocks hang low and the mounting brackets 2” lower than the shocks. There are aftermarket mounts that can help there. The KO2’s (225/75/16) add an extra inch of height. As far as milage, I used to see about 17mpg on the hwy even doing 70+ mph. For some reason that dropped into the low 15’s. It only has 25k miles on it. With bigger tires mpg will take a small hit. The Transit drives very comfortably on the road. In high winds they can toss around some. Mines a medium high roof which adds to that. But being able to stand up inside makes it worth it.

If you are handy the skies the limit on building out the inside to meet your needs. And it is great to have your stuff secure inside and also protected from the elements. Being able to sleep comfortably in it is awesome. You need a floor, insulation, and airflow/circulation at a minimum to make them truly comfortable. Otherwise, in cold weather, condensation builds up and freezes if cold enough turning it into an ice box. Hot weather makes them an oven without insulation and some airflow. Lots of owners install a roof vent fan for that. You just have to be brave enough to cut a big hole in the roof of your van to install it! Even though creepy, white keeps the inside temps down considerably from other colors.

Overall I’m glad I went the van route. I just loaded up my dirt bikes and gear in it tonight to go riding in the morning. Nice to have them out of sight not attracting attention while they sit in the driveway overnight.
 
OP
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boom

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Mines a 2016 so no AWD option then. It has a LSD which can provide a little help off-road. I put BFG T/A KO2’s on it and they’ve been great. It has the 3.5L EcoBoost and I’m glad I got that. It’ll move out when you need it to and has been a great tow vehicle the few times I’ve needed to haul heavy loads. They can be amazing recreational vehicles with a few limitations. I hunt, fish, camp, haul dirt bikes, and take family trips in mine. I installed a two person passenger seat in it for when I need to haul more than just two people. It’s on l-track so I can position it farther forward, backward, ,face it rearward, or remove it needed.

If you don’t over ask of it, it will handle some off road. The suspension and, even more so, the ground clearance are more limiting, IMO, than lack of 4WD. On the transit the rear shocks hang low and the mounting brackets 2” lower than the shocks. There are aftermarket mounts that can help there. The KO2’s (225/75/16) add an extra inch of height. As far as milage, I used to see about 17mpg on the hwy even doing 70+ mph. For some reason that dropped into the low 15’s. It only has 25k miles on it. With bigger tires mpg will take a small hit. The Transit drives very comfortably on the road. In high winds they can toss around some. Mines a medium high roof which adds to that. But being able to stand up inside makes it worth it.

If you are handy the skies the limit on building out the inside to meet your needs. And it is great to have your stuff secure inside and also protected from the elements. Being able to sleep comfortably in it is awesome. You need a floor, insulation, and airflow/circulation at a minimum to make them truly comfortable. Otherwise, in cold weather, condensation builds up and freezes if cold enough turning it into an ice box. Hot weather makes them an oven without insulation and some airflow. Lots of owners install a roof vent fan for that. You just have to be brave enough to cut a big hole in the roof of your van to install it! Even though creepy, white keeps the inside temps down considerably from other colors.

Overall I’m glad I went the van route. I just loaded up my dirt bikes and gear in it tonight to go riding in the morning. Nice to have them out of sight not attracting attention while they sit in the driveway overnight.
Thank you so much.
 

tdot

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I put 300,000km on my 3500 Sprinter in 6 years. Everything from 21 day ski trips thru the rockies to hunting trips into some fairly nasty terrain to mellow bike, kite or surf trips. Now it's become an awesome baby carrier. I genuinely think a lightly converted van is just about the best vehicle option available today. I'm just trying to decide on whether I replace it with another Sprinter or a Ford, but I can't ever see not having a van again. Best thing was that before this whole #vanlife shite started, it was a great way to edit thru women pretty quick. If they saw how awesome a van with a heater and a king size bed was, they were worth keeping around.

Two suggestions. Spray foam, make sure its closed cell and you won't regret it. 2nd. Live with the van for awhile, before you start modifying it. It's crazy how different most people end up using their vans, vs how they originally envisioned it.

Everything that lookinfordirt said was spot on. I would install a suspension upgrade (Van Compass) before I bought a 4x4.
 
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Catchfish

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Jan 21, 2019
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I’ve always wanted a big van. Wife thinks I’m crazy, but said it would look good with my mustache but bad at the soccer fields. No windows in the back seem like it would be awesome for sleeping and keeping stuff secure.
 

TheGDog

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Jun 12, 2020
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OC, CA
You may also want to consider applying two-layers of Sound-deadener all around on all the body panels, before you add the insulation. On my previous SportTrac that had a decent 1200 Watt RMS sound system with dual-battery in it... the sound-deadening makes your tunes sound soo much better and bump much harder, and as an added benefit... it tones down road-noise coming in from outside, and also helps lower down the amount of radiated heat energy coming thru to the inside from the outside metal. Also the sounds of the doors closing no longer sounds all light and pathetic.
 
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