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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So my wife and i currently have this...



a nice functional 2010 Chevy 1500 AWD van. Several mods (including a full interior upfit; bed/bath/kitchenette), 3" lift by Boulder Off Road, Rhino Lined rockers/wells/bumpers, and some other goodies...

Looking ahead to Van-Version-Two, dreaming and scheming...

I was doodling in my paint program and remembered a 4x4 van image on the net, did some photo magic and put a 2015 Ford Transit LWB EB on the former's undercarriage and tires...and WaLa... something my wife said WOWZER to. Sure the thing would be top heavy as all and probably topple over in the first freeway exit turn, but hey, nothing beats going out in style!



In all seriousness (well i was serious about liking the looks of that mod!), i'm wondering if folks like Quigley, QuadVans, SMB will ever offer any nice mods to lift and expand wheels wells to afford a bit larger tires than the anemic looking stock size? That is one of the first comments Cari made when seeing the Sprinter/Promaster/Transits... tires look whimpy. I have to agree. And i'm not so much into ever wanting a 4x4 again, simply a bigger look to the tires and wells.

Rambling and pondering Transit dreams.
Thom
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Photoshop one on a Raptor pickup
...it's raining outside... what else is a guy to do but doodle.

LWB EB Transit on Ford Raptor:



:) Yup, a bit bigger wheel/tire combo sure goes a long way!
Thom

and here is an original Transit/stock:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
i'm thinking my gas millage with the super swampers would't quite be what the window sticker was stating...

That and my wife would need a stepladder.

 

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Discussion Starter #7
and who needs that side slider to open all the way anyway! There's still plenty of room to squeeze a grocery bag through the ~1 ft usable opening.
 

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As cool as it looks, I still need the stealth of the tiny rims.
I'm still wondering if even the factory alloy wheels would end up getting me busted sleeping in the streets.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
As cool as it looks, I still need the stealth of the tiny rims.
I'm still wondering if even the factory alloy wheels would end up getting me busted sleeping in the streets.
I do agree with your reasoning...but it looks sooooo cool :)

On factory wheel options i was thinking that the white steel rim option with our preferred white van color might be enough to satisfy us out the gate. I would probably do the research and get some real tires (w/mountain+snowflake stamp) on the rig within a few miles. Our local Les Schwab tire center will even do zero mile swaps at most of our local car dealerships and give credit for the stock tires (and even a few bucks on the rims if not worried about stealth.)

At this point we are undecided on stealth/no-stealth. We both like the freedoms that stealth typically affords. I just know that at this stage in my wife's Daily Driver the bling i had installed went a long way toward husband and wife bonding if you catch my inference. When we do go ahead with Van2 (my target date is at the 5 year mark from this summer) the "bling" won't be that big of a desire, and that simple (functional) stealth will win out. I do know that she does not want to end up in RV parks...we even dislike state parks. Off on our own in the wilds is our style.

Cheers,
Thom
 

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Then again I did always like Southern Cal.
I could street camp all I want in L.A. bling or not now that this is the law!
Court Overturns Los Angeles Ban on Living in Cars - ABC News
One more reason to go with the Ford.....I'm guessing that sportin' the MB star just might disqualify the occupants.
 

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I have had no problems parking in cities with a stealth van. Select parking spot in daylight, drive in after dark with curtains up, park without interior lights or noise. I regularly spend a night in SF and park in the same location every time. I have scouted out several other acceptable backup locations in case my regular spot is unavailable.

I have removed the hubcaps on steel wheels and fitted larger tires than stock. Do not think larger tires that fit in stock wheelwells makes any difference for stealth parking. I also avoid RV parks like the plague.
 

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re: "Court Overturns Los Angeles Ban on Living in Cars - ABC News"

S.D. bans overnight RV street parking | UTSanDiego.com

San Diego bans overnight RV street parking


Quote

The existing rules allow vehicles to remain parked in the same spot for up to 72 hours after which they must move one-tenth of a mile although enforcement is spotty at best.

The new ordinance bans street parking of oversized vehicles, nonmotorized trailers and RVs between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. and prohibits them from parking with 50 feet of intersections at all times. Violators would receive a $100 ticket. Residents and their guests would be able to apply for permits to park on the same block as their home while preparing for trips.

Unquote

So when stealth camping go find a dealer that services your vehicle and find a legal street parking place near their service entry. Or park behind a closed service station. Or ask @ an open service station.

I can understand the complaints of people who live @ the beach. Pretty much the whole length of California, Oregon and Washington; the ocean side of city streets and country roads even some highways are bumper to bumper parked RV's.

Greg Hayden
 

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So when stealth camping go find a dealer that services your vehicle and find a legal street parking place near their service entry

Greg Hayden
Easier said then done when we're talkin' Sprinter.
One more reason to go Ford.
 

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But the Transit has the option of the twin swing out doors in place of a slider.
Are the swing out doors not limited to low roof?

Anyway, if a person was going to modify a van to that extreme, it would seem relatively easy to modify door too so it opens out more to clear flails/tires -- by comparison of course.
 

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As cool as it looks, I still need the stealth of the tiny rims.
I'm still wondering if even the factory alloy wheels would end up getting me busted sleeping in the streets.
I think so, I was going to get them, how many "commerical" Vans have alum. wheels?
I will get the steel ones and would be 1 less thing to stick out. (or steal)
I can buy a set of aftermarket wheels/tires that look nicer, and switch to the plain ones when I need to (winter/ camping on the road)
I like the "agricultural" look of the steel wheels and larger tires
 

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Originally Posted by accrete
and who needs that side slider to open all the way anyway! There's still plenty of room to squeeze a grocery bag through the ~1 ft usable opening.


But the Transit has the option of the twin swing out doors in place of a slider.
With a wheelchair lift, you need door to open all the way. Yes, you can get twin swing out doors, but that means for some of us, we have to find a way to open / close 2 doors rather than 1.

Semper Fi
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Longboard thanks for sharing that news article, glad to hear things in at least one county are changing for the good for van(vehicle)dwellers.

On the swing doors, from what i read they are (unfortunately available) only on the low roof ,( We really dislike the slider on our van and were looking forward to the side barn doors on Van2.

Of course all my doodling is just for silliness. We will actually keep the van as stock as possible. I'm really prepping Cari for going stealth rather than all the "Bling" we have on _her_ van1. I'm thinking the only change in rims would be going with the stock-white-steelies they offer and as others have mentioned, larger tires in stock wells.

One thing i'm interested in continued research is the possibility/use-ability of passenger "Wagon" verses the no-window "Van" for use as a conversion van. We do fully intend to be "Living" in our van once we jettison the 9 to 5. I know that might sound trailer-trash (HaHa) but we do currently live in a 5th wheel that is worth more (& built better) than the median home price in the area we reside...
So we ain't no TT ;)

Part of me really want's to go the no-window-van rout and look commercial. But the other part of me ponder's the idea of looking like a simple family van parked on a street (with blacked out privacy windows and interior wall coverings as needed). Pros/Cons of both. It will be an interesting ponder over the months to come.

Thom
 

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A stealth van works fine every place I have used it. Keep the exterior looking like a plumbers work vehicle. Do not blatantly stay for days in one spot. I scout out the place to park overnight in the daylight, drive in after dark with curtains up, no interior lights and no noise and leave at daybreak. No Problem. Just select the correct location.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
THX for the continued insights orton.

On van body types...waaaay back in the original planning of what Van1 might become (which is now our current rig-Chevy AWD) i had stumbled upon Unicell with their cutaway single piece fiberglass bodies for Ford/Chevy vans. I believe this was mentioned by another poster as something they were going to do now for the Transit...though i just found a news article dated a couple days ago (link to original article). I know my wife liked the idea back in the day IF it was down-the-road and closer to cutting ties with our employer...and now that we are both in Van2 mode (to be such a get away home), i think the Unicell can be added back as a possibility.

The closest dealer is in Texas (a ford/unicell dealer)...but that would be doable. They list several body lengths... The largest would be a totally nice full time home on wheels with interior floor space of 7ft W x 16ft L behind the cab-pass-through-wall. Oh what i could do with all that room! And it would be TOTAL stealth commercial looking.

A nice picture of the rig mentioned in the article (i don't know what size this one is) :



Happy Trails,
Thom
 
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