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  1. #3701
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    Dang some stereotypes never die huh. Some of you guys have never owned anything custom or do your own repairs it is so obvious. Adding aluminess bumpers add a ton of value. One, you paid full retail because they don't offer discounts. Two you likely paid a shit ton for shipping the bumpers, three it got installed with some labor cost. So yeah adding aluminess bumpers (as just one example) adds at least $5000 to the value and selling price. Shit isn't cheap in #vanlife.

  2. #3702
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdironRider View Post
    It seems people think modifications add value, they never do, at least not full retail.

    137k on a V10, that was used as a work van for 90% of its life, is going to cost some dough to keep running.
    4x4 conversion van's absolutely do with today's market. I know that you guys are not looking at the market on the off-road vans, or else you would understand why this is not a bad deal for what you are getting. I am not saying that you should be paying $35k for a 2003 E350 with a V10 but there is a demand for them.
    As someone who worked in a fab shop, and has access + know-how to do this complete build myself with no outside help..It would still cost me about $25k in parts alone to build this.
    Van is in good shape so I'll give it $4k for a good deal on van
    Swap + Ujoint shit+ Ujoint goodies(OBA, dual shocks, lift, fuel tank, bumpers) I would factor in realistically $12k
    The tires alone are going to be over $1k
    I am already at $16-18k in parts.
    Now, I want to upgrade some driveline components, and make my interior sweet. $2-4k depending.
    Now I am over $20k
    Oh wait, I want to make my van a high top if it wasn't already. So, I can pay a shop premium price to do it or I can chop one myself at a yard and spend a good 20 hours doing it myself, plus having a bunch of friends come over to help so taking their time up to hold this awkward roof up. $500-1k
    Put in another $2k just in bullshit such as batteries, misc. stuff such as a swivel seat kit if I don't junkyard it.
    I am literally at about $25k in DIY.
    It would take somewhere in the 200hr range I would estimate with the time spent at junkyards + home depot/lowe's looking for shit. That would be if I had everything just to start the project...which everyone knows bullshit is going to go wrong/break in the process creating more time.
    This guy had Ujoint do most of it so he probably spent a couple grand in labor there.
    This is how you get a $35k van.

    The 137k on the V10 would be the least of my worries. Transmission is more concerning of those years than the motor.

    I am not all pro-van, because I think the #vanlife has fucked prices up big time.

  3. #3703
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    Jun 2011
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    I decided to get a truck and a camper instead... I still haven’t found the one I want but I can wait.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  4. #3704
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    Jan 2014
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    Gaperville, CO
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    Quote Originally Posted by simple View Post
    ... Shit isn't cheap in #vanlife.
    4x4, 6" lift, high top, built #vanlife isn't cheap.

    #AstroVanLife certainly is.

  5. #3705
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    Dec 2010
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    I would rather be on the #dieselexpressvanawd train but you can't find many of those

  6. #3706
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    Jan 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by simple View Post
    I would rather be on the #dieselexpressvanawd train but you can't find many of those
    I wasn't aware that they ever made a diesel version of the express. Let alone one w/ AWD.

  7. #3707
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmokes View Post
    I decided to get a truck and a camper instead... I still haven’t found the one I want but I can wait.
    I hear ya online friend. I am still torn just for the price sake.
    I was going to do a 3rd vehicle truck + camper just because I can save $10-15k off of a 4x4 E350.
    Then, I came to realization that I would rather just not have a 3rd vehicle, sell my Subaru, and I could daily drive a van. Mind you, I don't have much of a commute, as I ride my bike 80% of the time barring bad weather. I wouldn't want 35'' tires for daily driving though.

  8. #3708
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    Aug 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tryingtostaywarm View Post
    4x4 conversion van's absolutely do with today's market. I know that you guys are not looking at the market on the off-road vans, or else you would understand why this is not a bad deal for what you are getting. I am not saying that you should be paying $35k for a 2003 E350 with a V10 but there is a demand for them.
    As someone who worked in a fab shop, and has access + know-how to do this complete build myself with no outside help..It would still cost me about $25k in parts alone to build this.
    Van is in good shape so I'll give it $4k for a good deal on van
    Swap + Ujoint shit+ Ujoint goodies(OBA, dual shocks, lift, fuel tank, bumpers) I would factor in realistically $12k
    The tires alone are going to be over $1k
    I am already at $16-18k in parts.
    Now, I want to upgrade some driveline components, and make my interior sweet. $2-4k depending.
    Now I am over $20k
    Oh wait, I want to make my van a high top if it wasn't already. So, I can pay a shop premium price to do it or I can chop one myself at a yard and spend a good 20 hours doing it myself, plus having a bunch of friends come over to help so taking their time up to hold this awkward roof up. $500-1k
    Put in another $2k just in bullshit such as batteries, misc. stuff such as a swivel seat kit if I don't junkyard it.
    I am literally at about $25k in DIY.
    It would take somewhere in the 200hr range I would estimate with the time spent at junkyards + home depot/lowe's looking for shit. That would be if I had everything just to start the project...which everyone knows bullshit is going to go wrong/break in the process creating more time.
    This guy had Ujoint do most of it so he probably spent a couple grand in labor there.
    This is how you get a $35k van.

    The 137k on the V10 would be the least of my worries. Transmission is more concerning of those years than the motor.

    I am not all pro-van, because I think the #vanlife has fucked prices up big time.
    I know the vanlife market it crazy, but this van is asking parts cost plus another 50/hr in labor based on your numbers. You should never expect to make any money modifying any vehicle.

    It also appears to be the only market segment where people expect to get the value back out of modifications. Any other cult car (say BMW e30's which are my vice, air cooled Porsches, literally any other vehicle and you are taking a bath on modifications. Not so with vans.)

    I suspect it has to do with people buying them with other people's (aka MOM AND DAD) money.
    Live Free or Die

  9. #3709
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    Dec 2010
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    Try this analogy to help you understand.

    Sportsmobile vans and "some" home brew vans = race prepped BMW or Rauh Welt Porsche. They are custom built with hard to find and expensive parts. They also need constant maintenance. They aren't everyone's style and the valuations don't make sense but the owners love them.

    It isn't like putting coilovers on a E30 and calling it an Evo M3.

  10. #3710
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    I know of zero race cars that get their money back either. I find it amusing that your analogy is a 23 year old homebrew van is somehow comparable to a Singer or something of that ilk.

    But you are right, if people are paying it, they're paying it.
    Live Free or Die

  11. #3711
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdironRider View Post
    I know of zero race cars that get their money back either. I find it amusing that your analogy is a 23 year old homebrew van is somehow comparable to a Singer or something of that ilk.

    But you are right, if people are paying it, they're paying it.
    Ok don't put words in my mouth dude. I didn't say Singer Porsche. That is Earth Roamer price comparison territory.

    No your right, the 23 year old Ford van is comparable to the underpowered and overrated 30 year old E30 BMW you are so fond of. The ones that somehow teenagers now get purchased for them by mommy and daddy because daddy remembers how cool they were back in the 80s even though a Honda CRX or Gti could keep up for half the price.

    Get it now?

  12. #3712
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    Quote Originally Posted by detrusor View Post
    Not sure I’d drop 35k on a van w the conversion done by the owner and over a 100k on the odometer.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    Work being done by the owner can be good or bad. There’s just as many hobbyists that can do top notch work as there are total fucking clowns running fab shops. Some of the shit I’ve seen people get paid to do blows my mind. In reality there is a very small % of custom shops that can really do a great job on all aspects of a build.

  13. #3713
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmokes View Post
    I decided to get a truck and a camper instead... I still haven’t found the one I want but I can wait.
    I've been looking for years (5+, see my post on page 46 of this thread from Feb. 2013) and saw one on Craigslist in SF yesterday that I told my wife was the one. 4WD Dodge diesel 1 ton single rear wheel with Rickson 19.5" wheels and Michelin M/S tires rated at 4,940 lbs each. Under 36K miles and Lance 1030 with winterization package (that I realize will probably not be sufficient for Jackson Hole or MT in winter). Guy used to keep it in Buckhorn and drive it to Kirkwood for the weekend before Vail stopped that. After that he spent a winter or two of weekends behind 7800 until somebody stopped that.

    While one of my dogs was getting some expensive dental work done in San Jose yesterday, I took other dog to SF and checked it out and bought it. My wife drove me to SF today after she got off work and I drove it home with a dinner stop at Alpine Inn off I-280. It's a beast with dry shower, gas 2.8K generator, solar, wireless repeater/router and more. I think I paid close to blue book for truck, considering low mileage, under $30K. Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by tseeb; 04-26-2018 at 09:49 AM. Reason: corrected model no. and etc.

  14. #3714
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    Jun 2011
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    305
    Nice! I got introduced to camper van when I went to NZ years ago and rented a awd camper van from Wicked. It was a Toyota prévia awd van that was DIYed. I was impressed and wanted to do it here. I got cheap Astro van awd. I didn’t like it so I got rid of it and spent my occasional night in back of my suv.

    When I got serious about van again when I realized I can also haul motorcycle and sleep in it. My first choice was Chevy express awd. Few years they made that in 2500. Then few more years with 1500 motor before they discontinued the awd altogether. I hate GM fleet but was gonna suck it up since that was the only awd cargo van available... Then I wanted to stand up in the van so I looked at Nissan NV high roof cargo with advanced 4x4 conversion... it comes in 3500 motor with hi lo 4wd. But after considering starting price, modification cost, mpg, I realized it isn’t cheaper. I was attracted to van life because van was bigger than car or suv for bit more creature comfort but same cost as car/suv, so spending more than $50k is not something I wanna do.

    I can’t wait till I find a truck and camper so I can join you guys in parking lots and camp sites. I just got $40k loan pre approved. Just gotta find the one for me.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  15. #3715
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    Mar 2014
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    That's a slick looking Cummins + hardside! Yay for the single rear wheel instead of the dually.
    I was on the truck/hardside camper bandwagon just up until recently really. I checked out a guys E350 4x4 conversion, and I fell in love.
    I can get a truck/camper for about $10k less than an equivalent setup but I realized a few things that I do or do not need.
    The van has a pass-through which is mandatory for me, it is much more manageable on and off road as it is not as wide, long, or high. I enjoy the fact that everything is one total unit, as opposed to a truck and a camper are separate entities. I can tow what I need to tow with the E350 such as a 1500lb trailer with dirtbikes, and don't need the towing capacity of a truck.
    The biggest downfall is that 4x4 E350 conversions are just so damn expensive compared to what I can build a truck + camper for. I'll probably end up with a truck + hardside cause I am cheap as hell.

    Also, I want another 24V Cummins just to piss off every hippy in Denver every time I start it.
    Last edited by Tryingtostaywarm; 04-26-2018 at 12:01 PM.

  16. #3716
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    Quote Originally Posted by tseeb View Post
    I've been looking for years (5+, see my post on page 46 of this thread from Feb. 2013) and saw one on Craigslist in SF yesterday that I told my wife was the one. 4WD Dodge diesel 1 ton single rear wheel with Rickson 19.5" wheels and Michelin M/S tires rated at 4,940 lbs each. Under 36K miles and Lance 1030 with winterization package (that I realize will probably not be sufficient for Jackson Hole or MT in winter). Guy used to keep it in Buckhorn and drive it to Kirkwood for the weekend before Vail stopped that. After that he spent a winter or two of weekends behind 7800 until somebody stopped that.

    While one of my dogs was getting some expensive dental work done in San Jose yesterday, I took other dog to SF and checked it out and bought it. My wife drove me to SF today after she got off work and I drove it home with a dinner stop at Alpine Inn off I-280. It's a beast with dry shower, gas 2.8K generator, solar, wireless repeater/router and more. I think I paid close to blue book for truck, considering low mileage, under $30K. Click image for larger version. 

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    You found that truck with under 36k miles? And got the whole shebang for under $30k? Good buy! That might be the lowest mileage 3rd gen Cummins I’m existence.

  17. #3717
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    Oct 2009
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    I believe that the former owner is a Maggot. Screaming deal.

  18. #3718
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    Aug 2013
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    Valley of the Sun
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    Ski RV's, who's sleeping in parking lots?

    is there any particular reason why more people aren't looking to build out utility trucks?

    this thing would be sweet IMO

    https://images.craigslist.org/00909_...06_600x450.jpg

    https://newjersey.craigslist.org/cto...558985371.html

  19. #3719
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    Quote Originally Posted by east or bust View Post
    is there any particular reason why more people aren't looking to build out utility trucks?

    this thing would be sweet IMO

    https://images.craigslist.org/00909_...06_600x450.jpg

    https://newjersey.craigslist.org/cto...558985371.html
    People absolutely do! Lots of ambulances running around which is what that Chevy 3500 express pretty much is. But, realistically, it is pretty much the same as the van builds/cost at the end of the day. Gotta gut and build the interior, then if you want 4x4 do the swap which is pricey for sure.

  20. #3720
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    Ski RV's, who's sleeping in parking lots?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tryingtostaywarm View Post
    People absolutely do! Lots of ambulances running around which is what that Chevy 3500 express pretty much is. But, realistically, it is pretty much the same as the van builds/cost at the end of the day. Gotta gut and build the interior, then if you want 4x4 do the swap which is pricey for sure.
    To me the 4x4 conversion is as pricey as you wanna make it. if you're capable of doing the work yourself and are alright with not going crazy splurging on unnecessary shit I don't see it costing more than 6-8K. Most expensive piece being the Tcase at 2.5-3K. Decent junkyard axles, shafts, and springs can be had for cheap. Sure it's cool to build $$$$ axles but unnecessary for the majority of places you're going to take an ambulance off road.

    most of the reason behind the #vanlife crowd getting laughed at is everyone has to have these minty high dollar builds when the the same exact experience can be had for a fraction of the cost and some ingenuity.

  21. #3721
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    Quote Originally Posted by east or bust View Post
    To me the 4x4 conversion is as pricey as you wanna make it. if you're capable of doing the work yourself and are alright with not going crazy splurging on unnecessary shit I don't see it costing more than 6-8K. Most expensive piece being the Tcase at 2.5-3K. Decent junkyard axles, shafts, and springs can be had for cheap. Sure it's cool to build $$$$ axles but unnecessary for the majority of places you're going to take an ambulance off road.

    most of the reason behind the #vanlife crowd getting laughed at is everyone has to have these minty high dollar builds when the the same exact experience can be had for a fraction of the cost and some ingenuity.
    I am with you. My only thing with this is Ujoint offers a very solid product/service with Chris on E350's that is a bundle package of quality if that makes sense. I have done my days at the junkyard pulling and tearing vehicles apart, but now if I have the money, I would rather just buy the kit complete and DIY. It may cost me $2-4k more, but I may save that in I don't have to rebuild everything and I know I have a product that someone stands behind. On top of that, I moved away from my hometown which I was friends with all fab/motor/exhaust shops which I could easily get my fabrications done much more easily/cheaper...but now I live in a metropolitan area which I would be paying premium price for any of the work and at the end of the day it really wouldn't come out cheaper. Even with the Ujoint kit, it pretty reasonable DIY for suspension parts + axle It is around $8kish. Ultimately, here in the coming times I am going to look for a used Ujoint E350 more-than-likely then modify it to my own needs.

  22. #3722
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    Oct 2011
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    116
    Free to any mag that wants to come pick them up in Fremont, CA or South Lake Tahoe:

    For a 2011-16 Ford F350 Crewcab longbed with OEM hitch:
    - Torklift front steel tiedowns (similar to F2016, but older 2013 model)
    - Torklift back steel tiedowns (F3006)
    - Torklift upper stable loads (A7200)
    - Torklift lower stable loads (A7310)

    Don't get too excited because these have been sitting out in my side yard for a couple of years, and have picked up some rust. Includes all the hardware.

    PM me if interested

  23. #3723
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    Apr 2012
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    Golden
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    Quote Originally Posted by simple View Post
    Ok don't put words in my mouth dude. I didn't say Singer Porsche. That is Earth Roamer price comparison territory.

    No your right, the 23 year old Ford van is comparable to the underpowered and overrated 30 year old E30 BMW you are so fond of. The ones that somehow teenagers now get purchased for them by mommy and daddy because daddy remembers how cool they were back in the 80s even though a Honda CRX or Gti could keep up for half the price.

    Get it now?
    Your Earth Roamer mention reminded me I saw one driving around Golden Gate Canyon State Park this weekend on my way to the fire station...made me laugh. Older guy with a safari type hat. Putting it through it's paces I'm sure. On the paved and one dirt road around there.
    Be always sure you're right — THEN GO AHEAD!

    It’s not a date, it’s a sport.TM STOP Boulderizing Golden!

  24. #3724
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  25. #3725
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ak_pride View Post
    Okay, so the ad is complete shit. He is really talking this vehicle up like it is some nice piece of ass, in reality, it is not. The thing is not "This gets really good gas mileage". It probably gets around 10mpg or so realistically. Also, I would like to see receipts for all the new motor work. If he says that his brother-in-law who is a shade tree mechanic did it, and there are no receipts. Walk.

    With that, if you are looking for something cheap to live in, that is cheap to repair, parts are abundant etc. then yes this would be fine for about $3000 then drive it into the ground, or fix it up. I personally would not pay $4500 for this rig just based on the ad alone.

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