Basic shell vs. bells & whistles - Ford Transit USA Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-16-2019, 08:21:PM Thread Starter
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Basic shell vs. bells & whistles

I'm curious as to the pros and cons of buying the most basic Transit cargo shell and saving as many upgrades as possible for the conversion process versus buying the van with a fair number of Ford-offered options already included. I'm thinking in terms of audio upgrades, back=up cameras, running boards, interior lighting, etc.

When I bought my last van (a 2006 Sprinter, converted by Sportsmobile in 2010) almost everything had to be done after-market, the standard features just weren't sufficient for full-time campervan use.

But now, it seems, it's possible to start off with a lot of those options already on the vehicle and therefore covered (I assume) by the assorted Ford warranties. So what makes more sense? To pay more upfront and get the upgrades built in (higher-end stereo system, for instance) or wait and have the bells and whistles installed as part of the conversion.

I can see advantages to both approaches.

Mostly, what I'm thinking about here is creature comforts -- sound, light, navigational assists. Not 4 x 4 or tow packages, neither of which I'm interested in.

So what do you think? Which makes more sense -- both in terms of quality and cost? Blank canvas or Pre-upgraded?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-16-2019, 09:05:PM
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I think the general consensus here is get as many options you need and can afford. Will save work in the future in optaing those prducts, and installing them.
With the one exception. From what Iíve seen people think you can get a realy good radio and navigation system for less than what Ford wants for thier system. As long as you are ok with installing it, or having someone do it for you.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-16-2019, 09:13:PM
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Originally Posted by qrussell View Post
I think the general consensus here is get as many options you need and can afford. Will save work in the future in optaing those prducts, and installing them.
With the one exception. From what Iíve seen people think you can get a realy good radio and navigation system for less than what Ford wants for thier system. As long as you are ok with installing it, or having someone do it for you.

Keep in mind if you get the basic radio you will not get radio control buttons on the steering wheel. Also, if you don't get factory cruise, you will not get the Info center screen which contains, compass, outside temperature reading, digital speedometer, mpg calculations and a few other bells and whistles and of course you won't get cruise control buttons on the steering wheel, either.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-16-2019, 09:28:PM
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Yes sir
Every option has itís benifits or drawbacks. You need to research each, and decide what will work best.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-16-2019, 11:26:PM
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I got as many options as I could installed on the van at the factory. Yep, its not the best radio in the world, but having the radio already installed complete with navigation, cruise control, info centre, lane departure warning system, backup camera, apple carplay, etc., was great. I'm going to have enough work with the van conversion without having to worry about all of those things on top of the build. I'm happy I went with those options, but its horses for courses and what may work for me may not be the best option for you. Good luck and let us know what your ultimately decide
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-16-2019, 11:40:PM
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Originally Posted by qrussell View Post
Yes sir
Every option has itís benifits or drawbacks. You need to research each, and decide what will work best.

Many options are a better deal from Ford but they are right about radio and nav, overpriced for the quality from Ford.... but then you have the controls issue as mentioned. The structural things you are not interested in is where Ford is the bargain. You really will have to go through one by one and pick and choose after researching and pricing.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-17-2019, 12:03:AM
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Best to go through the Ford Transit Order Guide and look at ALL of the Transit options and decide which is better as a factory order or done aftermarket. Things like Cruise Control, H/D Trailer Tow package, Trailer Brake Controller, correct power mirror selection, and interior seating should be selected on the Transit. The only thing about the audio systems is in a few years when you have problems with it, the aftermarket will not have a repair facility to work on your unit whereas Ford has Authorized Ford backed companies that specialize in repair or replacement on the Ford factory radios.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-17-2019, 12:26:PM
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Keep in mind if you get the basic radio you will not get radio control buttons on the steering wheel. Also, if you don't get factory cruise, you will not get the Info center screen which contains, compass, outside temperature reading, digital speedometer, mpg calculations and a few other bells and whistles and of course you won't get cruise control buttons on the steering wheel, either.
One of the best options I have on my Transit is the upgraded radio and Cruise!

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