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2020 High Roof, Extended, AWD
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I am in the process of meeting the owners of a 2016 Ford Transit 3500 Ecoboost with 135k miles. The van is already fully converted, and I only plan on driving between 7-10k a year. They are asking $39,900.

I am going to take the van to a local dealership to get inspected before buying, and from what I have read people seem to get their vans to 300k.

I would love any advice you guys have. Thanks in advance for any input!
 

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Hi,

I am in the process of meeting the owners of a 2016 Ford Transit 3500 Ecoboost with 135k miles. The van is already fully converted, and I only plan on driving between 7-10k a year. They are asking $39,900.

I am going to take the van to a local dealership to get inspected before buying, and from what I have read people seem to get their vans to 300k.

I would love any advice you guys have. Thanks in advance for any input!
I’m afraid to say anything positive or negative, but one thing, the dealership will gladly welcome a potential new customer (you), especially if they think it will mean future transmission, engine, or electronics repair, so don’t expect too much honesty and candor. This is the rub on “converted” vans (of any make): so much goes into the conversion, that you will be “compelled” to repair vs replace the van itself. I remember before the Transit came out, I was shopping used Sprinters. So many said “built solid, good for 500k miles.” Maybe so, but what they failed to mention was you might spend $25k+ in repairs, not to mention downtime, to get halfway to that mileage benchmark. So, I decided to spend more on a “new” chassis, and scrimp on the conversion. Others will disagree with this approach.

There’s an honest price for everything (new or used). We can’t tell you $40k is appropriate for THAT van, but maybe the smart thing would be to allocate $5k (or more) for potential repairs. If $40k is all you have, then look for a $35k van and keep the difference available for repair. Or if you have $45k, maybe this van is the ticket. Someday, I will be trying to sell mine (when my own 60 year-old body gives out, or the van becomes more trouble than it’s worth)...or maybe that chore will fall on my heirs. The buyer will get a well maintained vehicle, but no guarantee the crazy engineering that went into it (or a Sprinter, or a Promaster) won’t fail in a costly way. And they better be a genius shade tree mechanic to sort out my conversion kluge. That said, 5 yrs in, and it’s been “a kick.”

I have no idea who to take a vehicle to for honest inspection...but it wouldn’t be the Ford dealership I have to occasionally use.

As trendy as these are, in my travels, I take notice of certain nice class-B+ RV’s or Chinooks, GTRV’s, or Roadteks, built on GMC/Chevy platforms or E350’s. Probably gas guzzlers, May drive like pigs, maybe about to grenade their own engine/transmissions, but interesting in their own ways. I remember a 4wd Chinook “Concourse” or equivalent I was a bit envious of: 4wd, better living quarters than I will ever have, but then I remembered a friend who had one and had to replace BOTH the engine and transmission. About $20k unexpected. And that was a “real American truck” Ford E350. But it would be nice to get one super-cheap, gut the Neanderthal house electrics, shed 500+lbs, and figure out how to make a “simple” v8 (Or v10) last.

Our hobby (or lifestyle) will eventually get expensive.

Aw, but it was fun while it lasted. Good luck. Welcome to the “club” if you pull the trigger.


2015 Tall, Medium Length, Cargo, 3.5EB, pretty generic-looking, DIY camper
 

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2020 High Roof, Extended, AWD
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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the reply! Definitely some good points for me to keep in mind. Much appreciated.
 

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I fully agree with Impatient on the subject of converted vans being compelled to repair rather than replace, same issue with work vans with lettering & custom shelving.
Any heavier vehicle will wear the same drivetrain faster than the lighter models, that's just a given.
Our company at work is dumping older sprinter vans in favor of low mileage transits .On the upside, Ford parts are much cheaper, common,& easier to work on or find someone to work on. For example , I've seen complete 3.7 engines pulled from mustangs or trucks for like $1,200.
I just got a 2019hr el base 250 that was insulated & plywood interior with 33K miles for $32K. Was used as backup electrical work van, but mostly long camping trips. Other than cracked windshield, camper van road miles kept my vehicle in better shape, so a converted van could have some easier miles on it .I'd consider your choice if the add ons look to make it worth it.
 

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Im about to order a Brand new 2020 AWD high roof for 47k... 40k is WAY too much for that van.
that many miles may very well be only halfway through its life, but that is dang near double what its worth
 

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I got a 2019 with 13k miles on it for almost half that.

Not sure what advice you're looking for, but if the price is that big a deal, step back and punt. New vehicles are expensive. My wife was looking at a new RAV4, and they're almost $40k.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
@EternalWitness

I don't believe Ford is still accepting orders on 2020 custom vans, but you are right the price is fairly high given the number of miles.

We have a custom 2020 AWD/high roof/extended arriving mid-December, but we were looking for something convenient (already built out) in the meantime. The price has been lowered to $32k. Lightly used vans in the Los Angeles area aren't selling for much less than that, and building out the interior will add another $5-10k plus time.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
@AzB

That is a great find! I am in Los Angeles, and haven't been able to come across any lightly used high roofs for under $35k.

I was looking to see if people thought the price was too high (it has now been lowered to $32k), or if it best to not waste my time with a van with 130k miles.
 
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