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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

Still on the search for a suitable unit (MR, 148), but not much luck so far. One thing I have noticed that there are quite a few passenger vans around in my area for less $$$ (and more choice) than Cargo vans. Its got me wondering about converting one of those. I quite like the idea of a few windows, but realize it will create some challenges in the build out. Wondering if anyone out there has gone this route and has any advice?

Thanks.
 

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Yea I'm on the prowl for a used wagon for all your reasons...plus I need seats to haul my almost grown up kids.
In my early stages of dreaming though, I wanted to go with a cargo van and install a custom floor with 4 full lengths of L track I could used for 3 single seats and have numerous tie down options for motos. I wasn't worried much about NOT having airbags back there but, I did want windows, HEAT and AC!...I plan to use this van in a wide range of climates and I'd think such climate control, even short of having passengers back there, would be damm nice!
I soon realized that if I customized every aspect of this van, it would take a ton of time, energy and $ So with the help of the awesome forum, I began to simplify my build.

I plan to remove and sell some of the seats, prolly only keeping the 3rd row in place for my kids. I figure I could move the double 3rd row to the 2nd if needed and/or add a double seat. (but don't plan to do this often as these seats are heavy) I'll throw in an aftermarket floor liner to protect the carpet, but I'm unsure if the stock floor can handle the weight of a 380# moto, we'll see. If not I can always install a custom floor later AFTER my bike has effectively crushed all the under floor heat ducts. I also might add some plywood to cover the rearmost windows BEFORE the handlebars find their way through them.
The first big mod will be a platform bed where i have found endless ideas here.
Then I'll remove the plastic and headliner and install both insulation and simple electrical for a house battery, which I'll locate somewhere in the support boxes for my bed platform. I've read it could be hit or miss getting the headliner back in correctly. So, IF it doesn't keep in place, I may secure with 2 rows of L track. Don't plan to install upper cabinets since there are enormous cooling ducts up there, but instead use my trusty duffle bags and modular camping equipment boxes.

Anyhow, I hope this brainstorm of mine helps you think it through.

Good luck!
 

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A lot of Transit buyers are going with the MR 148" WB and the 8 passenger seating so they have fewer seats for adding a special conversion to the rear of the van. Having a 3 passenger 54" seat, a 36" 2 passenger seat, and a single 16" seat gives you a variety of choices to move the seats around for different configurations and at the same time build out the rear of the van as your wish.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Henchman - good thinking and insight - appreciated.

Just to clarify, it is your intention to replace the headliner with all the ducting in it? Thats actually one of the few issues I can see with the passenger version - having to get rid of all that 'ceiling' stuff. I would not want any of it, and I would removing all the seats also.

Feels like there will be alot of waste if I go this route - still lots of research to do.

Nice bike :)



Yea I'm on the prowl for a used wagon for all your reasons...plus I need seats to haul my almost grown up kids.
In my early stages of dreaming though, I wanted to go with a cargo van and install a custom floor with 4 full lengths of L track I could used for 3 single seats and have numerous tie down options for motos. I wasn't worried much about NOT having airbags back there but, I did want windows, HEAT and AC!...I plan to use this van in a wide range of climates and I'd think such climate control, even short of having passengers back there, would be damm nice!
I soon realized that if I customized every aspect of this van, it would take a ton of time, energy and $ So with the help of the awesome forum, I began to simplify my build.

I plan to remove and sell some of the seats, prolly only keeping the 3rd row in place for my kids. I figure I could move the double 3rd row to the 2nd if needed and/or add a double seat. (but don't plan to do this often as these seats are heavy) I'll throw in an aftermarket floor liner to protect the carpet, but I'm unsure if the stock floor can handle the weight of a 380# moto, we'll see. If not I can always install a custom floor later AFTER my bike has effectively crushed all the under floor heat ducts. I also might add some plywood to cover the rearmost windows BEFORE the handlebars find their way through them.
The first big mod will be a platform bed where i have found endless ideas here.
Then I'll remove the plastic and headliner and install both insulation and simple electrical for a house battery, which I'll locate somewhere in the support boxes for my bed platform. I've read it could be hit or miss getting the headliner back in correctly. So, IF it doesn't keep in place, I may secure with 2 rows of L track. Don't plan to install upper cabinets since there are enormous cooling ducts up there, but instead use my trusty duffle bags and modular camping equipment boxes.

Anyhow, I hope this brainstorm of mine helps you think it through.

Good luck!
 

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Thanks Henchman - good thinking and insight - appreciated.

Just to clarify, it is your intention to replace the headliner with all the ducting in it? Thats actually one of the few issues I can see with the passenger version - having to get rid of all that 'ceiling' stuff. I would not want any of it, and I would removing all the seats also.

Feels like there will be alot of waste if I go this route - still lots of research to do.

Nice bike :)
Yes the upper AC ducting is gonna stay...Although I wouldn't hesitate to remove it along with the airbags if I didn't prioritize these. Tough decisions for sure, but as I said, I'm trying to avoid spending massive amounts of time, energy and money.
Yes there will be a ton of material, not necessarily waste, that you'll need to deal with as I do see floors and headliners for sale here.
Most people who have gutted their van, have spent a couple of days doing so. Perhaps less depending on how aggressive you are in doing so.
You are on the right track!:)
 

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2020 HR T250 Eco AWD
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We spent two years using a wagon. Tossed the seats in my dad's garage, made a bed system that did not destroy anything and sold it later as stock. The windows are so nice but almost make adding insulation unnessasary. We had to have a good 12k btu portable AC and heat pump to almost stay comfy. I was shocked when I got the cargo empty how much the 2015 wagons headliner and wall stuff do help to insulate the van some though. The cargo is a cold empty noisey hole when you get it.
 

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2020 HR T250 Eco AWD
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Sure. I used the passenger seat and floor seat anchor to tie it down when driving. I tilted the seat forward and ran the hoses to the passenger window when in use. I ran the power cable in the same window and used a foam seal thing I made to seal the hoses in the window. Be sure to angle them down so rain would not get in the hose. No pictures it seems. It is not the most attractive look. I did make a fancy vent that the hoses hooked to and looked nice but it was a pain in the asp to use and just went back to sticking them out the window.
 

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For what it's worth, Vandoit, "ONLY" uses passenger vans for their conversions. I believe it's partly because that when they sell vehicles, they are using their off-lease passenger vans, then will install their modular Tslot 80/20 aluminum framing as an internal structure. IMHO, it's a good idea, but not ideal. it would be better if a cargo could be used. Nevertheless, you may find their videos helpful, since they leave "everything" in place except the seats.

Also, be mindful of the model GVWR rating and target a T-250 or T350. Lastly, which I am sure you know, try to identify what options your van has. Most, not all, passenger vans come with very few options, and finding one with Ecoboost is tougher.

I will not comment on the cost of their vans which cost between ~$50-$105K.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the feedback and responses. These comments, along with some other reading I have done make me lean towards a cargo. :) Appreciated all.
 

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2018 LR, 130WB Wagon
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I have converted a 130WB/LR passenger wagon into a very basic, minimalist camper van. My reasons for going the passenger wagon route was two-fold:
1. My neighborhood HOA does not allow any 'RV' parking visible from the street. Period. And,
2. I needed "dual use" functionality.

So for me it was the only way to go, but this wouldn't be meaningful to your case it seems.
I'm happy with my choice. The biggest price I had to pay for this choice though is the lack of any serious insulation. But that's a OK as I intend to camp only in Spring and Fall. My first test trip was in mid-October in the Eastern Sierras at 7,000' elevation. It got cold and I did wish I had bit more warmth overnight. But it's way better than my tents have been all these years and I'm happy. My Summer camping would see me sleeping outside anyway.
 

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I am thinking about doing a buildout with removable components (bed, kitchenette, toilet/shower, power bank, etc). Thus allowing the van to be used to transport cargo, people, or as campervan. The best execution of this concept that I've seen is Titan vans:

Beyond the windows and HVAC that are stock in the passenger van, I like the OEM wall and ceiling coverings, which I don't think a custom van builder or DIYer could come close to matching. In my case, I'm thinking of having a custom van builder install a floor with L-tracks and then using that as attachment points for the components. Something along these lines: Broom's Transit - FreedomVanGo

Enough about me... Here are a couple of websites with pics of passenger Transits that have been converted to campervans.
 

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I have converted a 130WB/LR passenger wagon into a very basic, minimalist camper van. My reasons for going the passenger wagon route was two-fold:
1. My neighborhood HOA does not allow any 'RV' parking visible from the street. Period. And,
2. I needed "dual use" functionality.

So for me it was the only way to go, but this wouldn't be meaningful to your case it seems.
I'm happy with my choice. The biggest price I had to pay for this choice though is the lack of any serious insulation. But that's a OK as I intend to camp only in Spring and Fall. My first test trip was in mid-October in the Eastern Sierras at 7,000' elevation. It got cold and I did wish I had bit more warmth overnight. But it's way better than my tents have been all these years and I'm happy. My Summer camping would see me sleeping outside anyway.
Do you have any photos? I want to use a 130wb passenger. Thanks
 
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