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What are the pros and cons picking a van to start my camper? The passenger van already has a headliner, side panels, and carpet. Would I be able to install the bed frame and other items directedly over the carpet? Or does it make more sense to gut the passenger van or just look for a already gutted cargo van.
 

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it really depends on what you want, where you live, where you are going, your skills in the trades, how much money you have and how long will you be camping where there is power or not. each has their own benefits depending on the answers to the above questions.
 

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In addition to richards post - How many people are you planning on brining along and do you need the extra seating?

-Mike
 

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For me, I didn't want all the windows. Don't want to be in a fish bowl and harder to insulate.

On the other hand, legit extra seating possibilities and you don't have to get a commercial loan and pay commercial DMV rates.
 

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For me, I didn't want all the windows. Don't want to be in a fish bowl and harder to insulate.

On the other hand, legit extra seating possibilities and you don't have to get a commercial loan and pay commercial DMV rates.
Who has to get a commercial loan and pay commercial DMV rates? I have a standard vehicle loan and private plates on my cargo van.
 

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F and T-250 and up is Commercial plates in Mississippi.

Wish I had known that when I bought it off of the dealers lot, a T-150 Medium Roof Ecoboost was parked next to the T-250 I bought.
 

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Having a passenger v(XLT 350 12p) I can say I was a little nervous kitting it out. Knowing my 3 daughters will be traveling with my wife and I, I am glad we opted for the passenger van. Airbags/AC/floor heat have been so far awesome. Still in the thick of the build but is slowly coming together. Most recent addition are the bed rails and insulation on roof behind headliner and trim panneling. (Still waiting to build 3 pannel bed frame). Personally enjoy the windows other than you loose a bit of warmth without window coverings but can be made and work great. Pros and cons varry on what you plan to do and are capable of doing. Regardless, once you take the dive you won't regret it with either passenger or cargo van.
 

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Who has to get a commercial loan and pay commercial DMV rates? I have a standard vehicle loan and private plates on my cargo van.
Well, here in CA that isn't the case. We had to register as commercial and the same for the loan, which made the interest rate a little higher.
 

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No issue with registration and insurance (State Farm) here in Texas.

Selling it, my buyer ran into issues with his long time banks (Chase and BoA) as they wouldn't issue a loan on a commercial vehicle. That is not an issue with a Passenger van.

Passenger Van (black tinted windows) has a better stealth appeal in area's of "no overnight camping". WIth my cargo van, I ended parking in industrial areas (arrive late at night, pull blackout curtains, and sleep in the back).
 

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I have the passenger version which I have been happy with for the most part. When I bought the van I was looking for something to replace my vw eurovan poptop and my toyota tacoma both of which were getting quite old. The Transit with Quigley 4x4 fit the bill and I was planning on ordering the cargo version but what I wanted was going to take way too long. So when I found the passenger version at a local dealership I jumped on it and they gave me a really great deal I just couldn't refuse. I have left it mostly as is but have built a bed, put in curtains and added an ARB fridge for a low cost functional camper conversion. I can take the bed out easily and put seats back in when transporting people. I also take everything out when I've needed to haul stuff. I got the low roof version mostly because we need to put kayaks up top and it is fairly easy for me to do with the low roof. Also I was planning on putting a Sportsmobile poptop on it but I am still sort of undecided about that. I really don't need it and think perhaps putting a sunroof/fan combo would be a better option. I love having the windows all around, I don't think its like a fish bowl at all since they are privacy glass and you cannot see inside from outside unless you press your face against the window. But the windows don't open which is unfortunate.
That all said, if I had to do it all again and I had time to wait for the order I would probably get a mid roof cargo AWD short wheel base with ecoboost and get it lifted and then cut windows in the back side panels, put a sunroof/fan up top, insulate it with wood panelling all around and have Travois put their L-track floor in with the FASP seat bed so I could still take everything out for hauling stuff. I think with the thule hullavator system I could still get the kayaks up there on the mid roof without too much difficulty and it would afford a little more head space than the low roof.
 

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Well, here in CA that isn't the case. We had to register as commercial and the same for the loan, which made the interest rate a little higher.
I'm purchasing a Cargo in CA in the next couple years and this is kind of a bummer to read. Do you know where I can go to get more info on this?
 

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Broitsrambo, Have you talked to a major upfitter for the Ford Transits. I recommend Waldoch Crafts of Minnesota. 651-287-9606
No, I'm in CA and just getting my build plan going and just wanted to know about having to register as commercial or not (I plan to purchase cargo unless CA makes it a HUGE hassle). I'm doing build out myself.

Why should I talk to an upfitter exactly? Just curious. Thanks!
 

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I can tell you more there is a lot of difference between the cargo and passenger transits. suspension for one, windows for another.
If you have never driven a Waldoch van with in the last year you are missing out on quality and fun.
If you are going to build this yourself I invite you to visit Waldoch in Forest Lake to see how and why it takes weeks to do the job correctly and not to mention certification for insurance.
Waldoch does have dealers in California I will be happy to send you their information.

If you do build your van yourself, I do recommend purchasing the camper items from Waldoch it may help?

By no means am I trying to get you not to design and build your own conversion van? I want you to be safe while doing it and safier driving this with your family and friends.

Thank you for your time. William
 

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Originally I wanted a passenger van because they were more abundant in my area with ecoboost engines. I thought having windows would be great, but what made me change my mind was that I wanted the windows in the back to open and have screens. Once you have factory installed windows it is difficult to fit aftermarket windows with screens. Also I didn't want to have to make or buy insulated window covers for every window to prevent the greenhouse effect, and reduce the feeling of being in a fish bowl when camped at night. I bought a cargo and fit in two aftermarket windows with screens right where I wanted them--at the head and foot of my bed area--in a single afternoon. When I use the van I tend to keep all the windows covered, so I am glad I didn't opt for more.

The only downside was that the cargo van is considered a commercial van in Oregon, which was a problem for financing--many banks won't finance commercial vans or have different interest rates for them-- but I was able to register and insure it without any additional cost.

Both a cargo or passenger van can make for a great build, Skagistan has an awesome passenger van that is worth checking out for build details. Either will work, they both have their quirks.
 

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Originally I wanted a passenger van because they were more abundant in my area with ecoboost engines. I thought having windows would be great, but what made me change my mind was that I wanted the windows in the back to open and have screens. Once you have factory installed windows it is difficult to fit aftermarket windows with screens. Also I didn't want to have to make or buy insulated window covers for every window to prevent the greenhouse effect, and reduce the feeling of being in a fish bowl when camped at night. I bought a cargo and fit in two aftermarket windows with screens right where I wanted them--at the head and foot of my bed area--in a single afternoon. When I use the van I tend to keep all the windows covered, so I am glad I didn't opt for more.

The only downside was that the cargo van is considered a commercial van in Oregon, which was a problem for financing--many banks won't finance commercial vans or have different interest rates for them-- but I was able to register and insure it without any additional cost.

Both a cargo or passenger van can make for a great build, Skagistan has an awesome passenger van that is worth checking out for build details. Either will work, they both have their quirks.
Thank you for sharing your experience. How were you able to register and insure may I ask?

I want to avoid passenger at pretty much all costs. I'm in socal and plan to travel mostly the western US, which is definitely getting hotter so the cargo seems like the best option. I'm just realizing the commercial loan/registration stuff now hence why I was inquiring into how to get more info. Obviously I'll talk to a credit union or two about interest rates based on vehicle chosen.

Is there an existing thread out there regarding CA/cargo/registering as commercial etc?
 

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Thank you for sharing your experience. How were you able to register and insure may I ask?

I want to avoid passenger at pretty much all costs. I'm in socal and plan to travel mostly the western US, which is definitely getting hotter so the cargo seems like the best option. I'm just realizing the commercial loan/registration stuff now hence why I was inquiring into how to get more info. Obviously I'll talk to a credit union or two about interest rates based on vehicle chosen.

Is there an existing thread out there regarding CA/cargo/registering as commercial etc?
I had no problem registering it, and the insurance cost was only $50 more per year than my car, so no issues there. Though this will vary in other states. It was only finding a bank for financing a commercial vehicle that was annoying. Ford would finance it no problem but their interest rates were high for the cargo compared to non commercial vehicles. I went with a local credit union.
 

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After reading a lot of posts I decided an eco boost engine was a must-have. After about 10k miles of travel with that engine I’m so glad I held out until I found one. It has tons of power when I need it and gets very good mileage on a trip at just under 20 mpg if I keep my foot off the gas. I live in Idaho; good deals on vans are not abundant so when a low mile Ford certified used eco boost passenger van came up for sale in town I jumped on it. I copied a Sportsmobile layout with dinette in the back with galley cabinets on each side. I’m far from an expert craftsman, but there is so much information on laying down a floor and adding insulation it really wasn’t that hard. I added a Colorado Camper pop-top. My van is 8 feet tall with pop-top. I have rear AC from the back two remaining ceiling vents. The windows are really nice giving an open feel. My wife sewed blackout curtains and made blackout inserts for the back windows and sliding door using foam core cut out to match the window shape. Pop the top and it is like a cathedral in there. An added second battery under the seat services an ARB fridge. I haven’t added a Maxxfan, yet. The pop top comes prewired for a Maxxfan. If we do much camping with the pop top down the Maxxfan will become important.



I hope that some day the industry comes up with a replacement window that opens for a passenger van. I would be fine with just the window over the driver side galley open with screen.



When I can afford it I will replace the audio system with a bigger screen, better sound, and more features.



Net net. I’m really happy with the passenger van.
 

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I have a passenger van and wish i had purchased the cargo van for a couple of reasons: first, i don’t need all the seats, and i was unable to sell them so they are hanging in the rafters of the garage. Second, the bed mounts i designed attach to pillars that are behind the interior panels. It would have been much simpler to work with a cargo van.
 
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