By on May 12, 2011

Who wants one these days? For the last ten years the entire conversion van industry has been pretty much niched out of existence. First minivans started becoming the mode of choice for those wanting a big screen and a wide array of entertainment options on the road. Then the mastodon SUV’s came to fore. Offering to tow your camper, pop-up, motorbikes, and pretty much anything else that you seemingly needed to take with you. That was only the beginning

Technology became smaller and cheaper. With each GPS, DVD, MP3, and Smartphone, even the smallest cars can now be outfitted with virtually all the entertainment you would ever want at your fingertips. You don’t need a van to schlepp your TV, game system, radio, deluxe speakers, and fridge. You don’t even need a minivan if you’re smart about it. With $4 gas a daily reality in the US now, and $7 becoming the norm in Europe, it’s easy to predict that conversion vans will pretty much bite the bullet. And you would be right… perhaps…

Google ‘conversion vans’ and you still get the choice of thousands of used GM and Ford full-sized van bodies that have been the standard for decades. Throw in some nice cushy seats. Some overhead lighting. A big screen TV and game system. Shelving and speakers… and a nice carpet with a fold out bed in the back. There. Done.

Except the Lay-Z-Boy approach towards luxury is rapidly going the way of Dodge Aspens and Lincoln Navigators To be brutally blunt about it, some mature folks may still want the tried and true. But they’re going to just buy an RV, SUV or even a minivan these days. Heck maybe even a four-door pickup with a trailer attached to it. All of these things are as common as corn flakes on used car lots and repo sales. Even the most blinged out of offerings can be bought for quarters on the dollar compared to a new conversion van.

So why pop $50k+ on a new one?

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55 Comments on “Hammer Time: Conversion Vans...”


  • avatar

    Last summer I drove cross-country in a 4-banger Mustang. My girlfriend wanted to go in a van. I convinced here in no uncertain terms that, even if we were to find a conversion van that had not been soiled by the previous owners (and their awful children, getting 10 mpg would mean spending a LOT more money on gas.

    ….then the transmission on the Mustang busted less than 1,000 miles into the trip and we had to stay in a hotel for a week.

    I shoulda just taken a Subaru.

    • 0 avatar
      redsockss

      Well, it’s pretty obvious that a lot of you posters haven’t seen, driven or asked conversion van owners about their vans in quite some time.
      First, they’re the same length of a suburban with the same engine block and transmission with a tom more interior room. They have WAY WAY more features than an Escalade, Navigator or Denali and cost less…YET…..holds its resale better than any of the 3.

      Ask a current van owner about their van and they will tell you they “LOVE IT” Very frankly, it’s the best kept secret in the car business. It holds a large family in comfort and they are just cool cars.

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    One of the remaining draws for a conversion van is the plush seating and the opportunity to lay down or recline on long trips which helps when you have family members with arthritis or fibromyalgia.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    A friend’s family moved to Saudi Arabia when I was in highschool. They offered me their huge Ford Econoline based conversion van when they left. I tried to be gracious about it, but I did not want that green and gold, soggy-velour upholstered cave on wheels. I think they wound up abandoning it. Conversion vans cost a fortune new even back then, but that one was completely depreciated after about 7 years. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, ages like a conversion van.

  • avatar
    johnhowington

    after my family’s expansion brood of 3 children over a 2 year period, I thought long and hard about a conversion van. I was hanging around at a local auction which happened to have a 04 vintage chevy conversion fully decked out with the highline roof. My first impression was how little room was in it. My second impression noted the tube television and first generation playstation and quickly discounted them to be worth about zilch. Sure i could stand up, but contrasting the extra space with camping or hoteling it just didnt seem to justify the extra expense of remotely “living” out of a conversion van versus a minivan’s much more efficient utility. I decided a 2011 sienna with the second row hybrid bench was quite adequate.

  • avatar

    Some of conversions are quite utilitary. I saw some whiteside Econolines on F-250 chassis while travelling off-highway. It makes for a sick expedition vehicle: all the guns, ammo, tannerite, water, pinatas, lasers, generators, radar, cookware and weed for a week in Nevada desert, on an unstoppable 4×4 platform. Winch, of course. Even diesel! And you never need to pitch up a tent. But when I checked out the prices of conversions, I thought that maybe I can limit myself to 2 guns, 1500 rounds, Coleman grill, and a tent, then pack it all into a Jeep. The money was the decider.

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      Already having a modern 3-row CUV, there’s not much need for a traditional conversion van. Anything much larger, and you’re getting into motorhome territory.

    • 0 avatar
      Signal11

      Pete,

      Google “Used Quigley.”

      Good, practical vehicles. While I wouldn’t choose one outside of North America, it’s hard to find a better combination of covered, interior cargo space, flat load floor and off road capability in the US.

  • avatar
    VanillaDude

    Conversion vans are like riding in someone’s bedroom. They often smell like old bed sheets. It takes a world of cleaning to ever get to a point where you feel like sitting in one. There is something so seedy and unappealing about stuffing yourself into an overstuffed conversion van interior. When they were rather popular, the interiors of these vehicles seemed to take inspiration from whore houses, cheap hotels, and new sofa sets sold from flea markets. The fact that these vehicles were used to fart, drool, eat, barf, screw and sleep in make them as appealing as an old round bed out of a honeymoon suite from Niagra Falls. Go ahead and climb on in! Nevermind the unusual stains!

    Why did this happen? Because it was profitable, dummy! You take a truck that is sold bulk to phone companies, publishers, the US Post Office, that has been produced for a decade and cram it full of cheap tufted velour. Instead of selling the truck for $4000 to haul fertilizer spreaders for TruGreen, they sold for $20,000 to the Tragically Hip polyester wearing Boomers, itching for a bitchin’ ride! Keep on truckin’!

    There is no sane reason to do this. After a few years, the interiors of these profitmobiles became justification for owning a bad handling, numb feeling, gas guzzling obsolete truck. Owners claimed they needed them so they could go camping, fishing, boating, vacationing, and live life large and smart. These justifications kept the market alive until the fumes of dementia wafted away leaving owners embarrassed.

    Were they ever cool? Supposedly. For some mullet wearing mustachioed white tennis shoe wearing Boomers thinking they could actually use a conversion van as rolling mini hotel room, yeah. I guess some of these guys loved doing bong hits in them while listening to the Eagles on some taped device.

    When I see one of these I think of old Trojans, Fleetwood Mac, and some guy trying way too hard to do the Wango Tango with whoever got trapped within his shag lair. Nasty!

    • 0 avatar
      threeer

      Thank you for completely insulting my late mother-in-law…who happened to own a remarkably clean and well-kept late model Ford-based conversion van. You’re an ass, and I really don’t mind saying so (if TTAC even allows this post to go through). She was gracious enough to let me borrow it to travel from Michigan to Florida with my wife and (then) 8 year old son. The fold down bed was a life-saver, for both my nerves and my son’s general entertainment.

      For the record, she neither sported a mullet or used the van to do bong hits. If you don’t like conversion vans, fine. Your opinion and you’re entitled to it. But keep the stereotypes to yourself. She was educated, worked harder than just about anybody I knew, and gave of herself to support her family in ways YOU can’t even imagine.

      • 0 avatar
        Don Mynack

        Agreed. My late granny had a Ford, with the raised roof and a kitchen built in. Actually slept 4 fine. Great camping vehicle, was driven across the country several times…it was never nasty or dirty inside. Great vehicle, actually.

      • 0 avatar

        Lighten up, Francis. I’m sure he wasn’t meaning to insult your late mother-in-law. There is a seedy aspect of the conversion van that makes owning one a less-than-attractive proposition, in some cases.

        Most of the current conversion vans I’ve seen aren’t as seedy as they used to look, just technologically out of touch compared to SUVs and CUVs with high-tech goodies like Sync and whatnot.

    • 0 avatar
      nikita

      VanillaDude, I resemble your remarks. It sounds my old ’74 Econoline with dark paneling and blue shag carpet. Oh, and the airbrushed mural on the side, as well as the 14″ magnesium wheels shod with Pos-A-Traction Torque Twister tires.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      I’m guessing most, uh, “modern” conversion vans were bought by retirees rather than groovy hippies. A few years back my step-daughter’s grand parents let us borrow theirs for a long road trip. It was a godsend, compared the the Ford Escort that we had 5 people crammed in to. Except for the part when the TV antennae detached on I-5 at 70 mph, and when I was adjusting the drivers side mirror and the glass dropped out.

      We did have a grad student friend who inherited an old conversion van, and I have to admit it was pretty nasty.

    • 0 avatar
      Sinistermisterman

      Ignore the outraged mother-in-law defenders Vanilladude, I nearly pee’d myself laughing reading your comment.
      On another note, a certain female friend of mine refers to any van conversion with a bearded dude driving as a ‘Rapemobile’.

      • 0 avatar
        VanillaDude

        I can’t believe someone can take offense by being compared to ugly stereotypes. No one is a stereotype. Good lord, what a ridiculous thing to get upset over.

        Anyone who doesn’t recognize the humor associated with any conversion van has been protected from me for far too long!

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

      Free candy?

      But seriously, conversion van is the way to do cross-country trips. Pull-out full size convertible sofa, sink, gas hob, fridge, closet for the shotgun, and good sound system.

    • 0 avatar
      mzs

      I know you are being funny. Anyway my parents had conversion vans when I was s kid. I thought they were cool. We had a TV/VCR, bed, comfy seats. It also allowed us to take trips we would not otherwise, basically cause then we could sleep in the van. It was good times. I also thought they were cool when I 18+ and noticed girls, hard. Those were good times too, they did not have a rape van stigma it seemed, at least to the girls I knew that dug that van.

  • avatar
    mtymsi

    Conversion vans are definitely yesterday’s newspaper primarily due to gasoline prices and federal safety standards. Today’s safety standards prohibit the hard unpadded interiors that were commonplace a decade ago. My state, MI was the #1 state for conversion van sales for many years. In 1999-2000 I was the specialty vehicle sales manager at what was at the time the #2 volume Ford dealership nationwide and managed to turn this dealership into the #1 conversion van dealership nationwide for 2 years. We inventoried as many as 300 vans and sold an average of 100+/mo. I held what to the best of anyone in the conversion van industry’s knowledge was the most successful one day sale in the history of the conversion van business, we sold 83 vans in 12 hours and would have probably sold about 20 more had we not run out of 6 cyl base units in the early afternoon.

    Conversion vans had their place and time. They were hard to beat for long distance comfort and room. Properly equipped they also had towing capacity unrivaled by anything besides a full sized pickup or SUV.

  • avatar
    turbobeetle

    You spoke too soon! Welcome back Conversion van of the 21st century.

    http://www.spford.com/j/i/33359/vid/298099/VehicleDetails/White_2010_Ford_Transit_Connect_Wagon_XLT.html

    DEALER DESCRIPTION
    NEW 2010 TRANSIT CONNECT CONVERSION BY TUSCANY, AN INDUSTRY LEADER IN VAN-MOTION. THIS TOTALLY ECOMONICAL GET-ABOUT COMES EQUIPPED WITH SUCH FEARTRES AS: High Gloss Walnut Trim – Teflon wear-dated automotive carpeting for high traffic – Infinity mood lighting – Laser cut graphics – Body contoured safety glass windows – 17″ Custom Chrome Wheels – 2-Tone Custom Paint – Power recline Rear Sofa – Reverse Sensing System 3rd Row Seating, Unique duo-tone leather seating and much, much more. Offering for $4,200 below current market after all discounts and rebates to qualified buyers.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    http://imageshack.us/f/262/vanessa4ql5.jpg/

    I was filling up at a local gas station back in ’95 when she pulled in. She was filthy but all there at least from the outside. I asked the old man driving her if she was the real deal. He grumbled out an “uh-huh”, slammed her door and went in to pay. Probably sick of all the attention she got him. The next time I saw her, he had hastily painted over her name in rattle can black. Saw her maybe three more times around town before she disappeared. I’m hoping she’s resting somewhere in someones backyard and that I see her again. This time with a fist full of cash.

  • avatar
    turtletop

    Conversion Van 101: Begin by paying no attention whatsoever to the vehicle’s structural integrity. Crudely cut large holes in the sides and the roof to install leaky windows and (of course) a sunroof… make sure you don’t paint any of the bare metal edges on the holes to guarantee a secure foothold for corrosion. Then, load the van up with cheap and heavy materials: shag carpet, particle board and LOTS and LOTS of padding, all of which will contribute to more corrosion when it is inevitably soaked with water from all the leaky windows. Running boards are also excellent for enhancing corrosion on the lower body and wheel wells. Don’t forget to load up the interior engine cover with lots of heavy crap (preferably with lots of wiring) so that you never want to remove it to perform any maintenance. Hack up the factory wiring with lots of additions using the devil’s own wiring assistant, the dreaded Scotch-Lok, ensuring short circuits and electrical failures throughout the life of the vehicle. Slather entire vehicle in hideous graphics; for a nice added touch, use a razor to cut the stencils directly on the body, this will break the factory paint for more rust. When complete, the vehicle should weigh half again what it did in stock form and get half the gas mileage.

  • avatar
    rnc

    My girlfriend and I, in highschool, truely enjoyed her father’s conversion fan, nothing like seats that convert into a bed, drawdown curtains and the ability of quadraphonic to drown out all other noises, so while my memories of the thing are penny lane, in reality they are nothing more than glass onions.

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      haha oh yes, the memories. A girl I knew in high school had a VW camper van her dad bought her, he was also our dean. Not sure what he was thinking, but she was very popular, especially in the back of that van. I still get a little excited whenever I see one, especially in orange. In our senior wills, someone left her “new rear shocks”… dad wasnt amused…

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    Anyone remember when Long Island Pontiac-Buick dealer John McNamara used imaginary conversion vans to get six billion dollars in fraudulent loans from GMAC financing? It started in 1980 and GMAC didn’t pick up on the fact that he was converting more vans than actually existed until 1991, by which time McNamara had skimmed 400 million dollars from the constantly growing debt. I’m guessing the people calling the shots in the White House right now know how it worked.

    • 0 avatar
      roger628

      http://www.google.co.kr/imglanding?q=Fargo&hl=ko&newwindow=1&sa=G&biw=1020&bih=575&gbv=2&tbm=isch&tbnid=lrvZwcG4xU5KjM:&imgrefurl=http://100towatch.blogspot.com/2011/05/film-5-fargo.html&imgurl=http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-FTSxB_e8muc/TbWrNS10q7I/AAAAAAAAAPE/bUlQy4Sx7C0/s1600/fargo04.jpg&w=425&h=315&ei=o0DNTeLMLc3nrAe—GtDA&zoom=1&iact=rc&page=1&tbnh=135&tbnw=180&start=0&ndsp=15&ved=1t:429,r:11,s:0

      I’m sure he could rell you all about it.

  • avatar
    benzaholic

    You danged kids.
    It’s not “conversion” vans, it’s Custom Vans.

    Don’t you dare forget huge fender flares and white letter tires.

    The A Team, the Scooby gang’s Mystery Machine, um, that’s all I can think of.

    • 0 avatar
      zeus01

      “You danged kids.
      It’s not “conversion” vans, it’s Custom Vans.
      Don’t you dare forget huge fender flares and white letter tires.
      The A Team, the Scooby gang’s Mystery Machine, um, that’s all I can think of.”

      Nah, they weren’t Custom Vans either– they wuz Shaggin’ Wagons! With chrome-naked-girl mud flaps, chrome chain-link steering wheels, dingle-balls, side pipes and a bumper sticker that read “Don’t laugh— your daughter may be in here.”

      The really sad thing is that most of these vans’ owners couldn’t get lucky in a womens’ prison with a fist-ful of pardons…

      • 0 avatar
        86er

        I’m still not sure if we’re all talking at cross-purposes. Some are talking about the customized van fad that was popular in the 1970s, and others are talking about camperized vans.

        The mind, it boggles.

  • avatar
    conswirloo

    We’ve got a ’96 chevy conversion thats served us well since 2004. Its got its issues though.

    We’ve got the 1500 chassis with the 305 engine.

    It will tow, and it has towed, but its really not set up for it. By the book, if you put 4 people and luggage in it, you are at GVWR. we’ve got a transmission cooler installed and have towed a trailer full of merchandise and booth setup stuff, with 4 people to San Diego from Georgia 3 times. Coming back, we stop in Vegas. We learned after the first year that the van does not like that leg of the trip in the daylight. Going up that long ass hill in the desert, you’re running 35 mph in the right lane, trying to keep it from downshifting and watching the temp gauge climb. At night it does fine though.

    Its pretty much useless as a passenger vehicle now, as we’ve pulled the seats, but the tv, vcr and secondary stereo are still installed. We don’t drive it much anymore, as we’ve replaced it with a sequoia, but for the 5k we paid and the 7 years its lasted, with only about 3k in repairs, I think its done alright.

  • avatar
    Thinx

    I just got back from a camping trip in a Mercedes Sprinter conversion van with a modern diesel engine. There is also a Dodge branded version, though I don’t know what the difference is between the two badges. It is nothing like the shagadelic conversions from the 70′s and 80′s. Clean, comfortable, good ride and handling, and very convenient all around – although I don’t think I would ever own one myself.

  • avatar
    mazder3

    Our resident poet laureate Obbop should replace his overpriced shanty with a conversion van. He could travel the southern states selling his tales….

  • avatar
    EyeMWing

    I daily drove one of those as lately as 2005. A 1988 GMC 3/4-ton. The big downside, aside from the fact that even then, a tank of fuel cost $80?

    The bloody engine doghouse. No amount of sound deadening would make it so you could have a conversation at anything less than an outright yell.

    Ultimately sold it for about $300 – for the motor – which now powers some dude’s drag car.

  • avatar
    BOF

    I have a 2000 Ford E-150 conversion by Companion Vans. The quality of the conversion companies makes the biggest difference in the owner experience. Companion (now sadly out-of-business) used 3 1/2″ thick insulation in the side walls including the doors, a full foam sub-floor, real walnut wood everywhere, etc. There is/was a real feeling of solidity to their vans. Not all conversions are created equal…many were built of highly questionable materials and thus, got a bad rep. Gas prices being what they are, here’s my dilemma: sell the Roadmaster Estate or the Ford van??

    • 0 avatar
      86er

      How much camping/travelling do you do?

      • 0 avatar
        BOF

        We live in a small town and have to drive a ways to do anything. The van is wonderful to travel in, but I wish it could somehow transform to a small wagon when we get to our destination. Would like to try camping but haven’t yet. It’s got 150k miles and is starting to have small problems, but these Ford vans are supposed to run forever. I think it would be a tougher sell than the Buick wagon.

      • 0 avatar
        86er

        Yes, the Roadmaster Estate is gaining quite a cult following. Depending on condition, it’d be much sought-after on the market.

        Your van sounds like a keeper too, so I can see your dilemma. I know what I did in ’08, last time fuel was so costly, was take shorter trips, but I know that’s not always feasible.

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    The wealthiest person I know often conducts his business via laptop and wifi from the back of a ~1995 Ford conversion van, usually when parked at a downhill ski resort. It’s the type with a canvas pop-top roof.

    Agreed that it rattles like an ancient New York taxi, and handles like a barn on wheels. Scary, in fact.

    And if these things are passe, then who is buying Roadtrek conversion vans? I think they have their place, although it would make more sense for people who actually have a use for one to rent rather than own.

  • avatar
    carve

    Euro camper vans are still bad-ass. I drove a 4-cyl diesel Fiat Ducato (about like a sprinter van) around New Zealand for amonth and wanted to tkae it home with me. It drove fine, got 24 mpg, handeled easily enough to drive in dense urban areas with no worries, and had a toilet, full kitchen, and hot-water shower.

  • avatar

    For the record I’m refering to 1/2-3/4 ton domestic full size vans that are converted after the fact.
    These can be a cheap motel on wheels, albeit a little cozy if taking a family,but there are a few problems.
    One, they’re hard to de-personalize from the previous owner, they age pretty quickly and the quality of manufacturer is usually suspect.
    The holes cut for the windows will rust, the stickers on the exterior will peel,and the inside is usually done on the cheap.
    And,rightly or wrongly, they’re considered “dirty old man vans” around my neck of the woods.
    And Carve is right, the Euro campers are better.
    Why we need a Ford V10 gas engine and 35′ for a motorhome is beyond me.
    The Diesel Sprinters are a start but we need a lot more like them.

  • avatar
    obbop

    “When they were rather popular, the interiors of these vehicles seemed to take inspiration from whore houses, cheap hotels, and new sofa sets sold from flea markets. The fact that these vehicles were used to fart, drool, eat, barf, screw and sleep in make them as appealing as an old round bed out of a honeymoon suite from Niagra Falls. Go ahead and climb on in! Nevermind the unusual stains!”

    I am confused.

    Is the discussion about vans or my shanty?

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Slap me silly but I’m actually liking that Transit Connect. And my lady would sooner buy that than a regular minivan.

    I would buy an old low mile conversion under the right circumstances, say like for less than $5000 cash from someone’s estate sale. I would then park it with a trickle charger on it and only use it for trips of more than 500 miles.

  • avatar
    MarcKyle64

    Believe it or not, I’ve seen a Dodge Caravan shag wagon conversion. Nothing like 25 mpg and a velour interior I guess.

  • avatar
    friedclams

    Lotta comments on this article! What does that say?…

    I think the ONLY killer feature of the conversion van is the fold-down rear seat/bed (for pulchritudinous purposes or not). The fridge, TV, etc. is just frippery and can be purchased cheaply aftermarket if you need it. Wood-veneer shelving and weirdly shaped windows are totally silly.

    One of these days I’m going to find a (clean) folding seat out of a conversion van for my 8-passenger Astro, which is otherwise stock. That would be a killer stealth camping setup, as well as allow me to retain the Astro’s everyday utility.

    FYI Astro gets 22 mpg on the highway, for you CUV/SUV fans.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      A buddy of mine just sold off his 95(?) Astro conversion van. He bought it used several years back, and the interior was all of the horror stories listed earlier in these posts. At first, they wanted to keep the seats in the ‘Stro so they could ferry around the kids and the cousins and etc., to all of the scouting/soccering/church activities. But the interior of the Stro had this weird odor and they could not exorcise it no matter how much cleaning and Febrezing they did to it. So, out went the seats and the rest of the upholstery, with the exception of the front seats. He drove it to work for the last couple of years with the wooden framework of the ‘custom’ interior, it looked like an unfinished kitchen or some kid’s attempt at a treehouse Taj Mahal. It was probably nice when new, but once it developed that musk, yecch!

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    Most of the latter day conversion vans are more tastefully done, at least on the outside. Obviously they’re not for everyone. I’d agree that buying a used conversion can seem a bit like buying a used mattress with the bedding still on it, but in most cases they’re probably no worse than buying a used camper or motor home.

  • avatar
    Junebug

    My buddies back in the day – 1970′s – would take a regular cargo van and start the whole “pimp my ride” which would consist of:
    Stereo, speakers, custom couch with fold-a-bed feature, fat tires on huge rims 15×10′s on the back, then the local air brush guy would do his version of Led Zep on acid.

  • avatar

    My daily driver is a 1978 conversion van with an un-rebuilt 2 liter air-cooled engine that comfortably cruises at 65 mph and also makes beers cold and steaks hot and sleeps four. VW and Westfalia-Werke are proof that the Malaise Era was not a global phenomenon.

  • avatar
    HiFlite999

    It’s all about what you want it for. I’ve had two large Americano vans. The first was a new 1980 Chevy, the second, a 10-year-old 1987 Dodge. Conversion comes from convert, so you make it into what you want it to be. The Chevy had room to securely hold my racing Yamaha inside and stow all the expensive tools one wanted to take, plus, with a piece of carpet rolled out on the floor, made a passable tent. The second was a true conversion which allowed towing my sailplane easily for hours on end while carrying all the stuff + passengers in reasonable comfort. Spent many nights in it camping in different places with my young son. Later, it was great for movie and photoshoots, once spending a day with me, the photog, and 6 female models with all their associated outfits, lights, and so on. Minivan? Pickup? SUV? None could do the job as well as the ghetto vans. If I still needed towing + camping + tall, secure, enclosed cargo space, I’d get another one.

  • avatar
    redsockss

    Well, it’s pretty obvious that a lot of you posters haven’t seen, driven or asked conversion van owners about their vans in quite some time.
    First, they’re the same length of a suburban with the same engine block and transmission with a tom more interior room. They have WAY WAY more features than an Escalade, Navigator or Denali and cost less…YET…..holds its resale better than any of the 3.

    Ask a current van owner about their van and they will tell you they “LOVE IT” Very frankly, it’s the best kept secret in the car business. It holds a large family in comfort and they are just cool cars.

  • avatar
    JoshikusIII

    This is obviously a very opinionated subject. Yes they are stereotyped and outdated. I always thought they were a neat idea and now that my family has grown such that we need up to 7 people legally seated the idea is very appealing to me. They are solid, roomy and versatile and for $4-5k you can find a model a few years old in reasonably good condition. The motors in these are time tested solid runners since they’ve been around so long. The only other way to have captain’s chairs and seat more than 5 adults comfortably is a charter bus as far as I know. It sounds to me like most of the negative responses are from people who experienced or ‘heard about’ a unit that was not properly maintained in which any motor vehicle will suffer badly from. So until I can afford a $55,000 tahoe which gets about the same gas mileage with less space and a higher insurance rate this is the most practical option…plus I can sleep in there and watch TV when the wife is on the fritz, lol.


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    Pch101 - I didn’t know that about Bob Welch. Tragic, of course, but at least he didn’t have to live to see himself compared to BS. One of Welch’s finer...

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