Conversion Van Pricing

fkminekfkminek Member Posts: 1
My wife Beth and I are the third owners of a Ford
E-150 Mark III conversion van. We're seriously
considering buying a new Starcaft E-150

Does anyone know of any dealer cost references
that would allow us to deal wisely?

Thanks, Frank


  • DavidejDavidej Member Posts: 1
    I too am looking for something similar for references without much luck. I found a starcraft E150 locally for $44,000 which seemed very expensive compared to the Chevy Explorer for $37,000. I talked to Starcraft today direct. They acted very surprised at the $44,000 number and seemed to feel that $36,000 to $37,000 for the well equipped (pop top, leather, TV, power, etc) was a valid expectation of what to pay.
  • mmagillmmagill Member Posts: 1
    Do any of the conversion companies, especially Starcraft or Explorer permit "factory direct" sales? I noticed a link on the Starcraft web page ( for factory closeouts, however, I've left several messages on their voice mail with no response received to date. Does anyone know the http for Explorer?

    I've driven the GMC Starcraft GT Classic and GMC Explorer Limited SE. Both impressive vehicles..almost enough to make this Ford man consider a change over for van #5!
  • nemoallnemoall Member Posts: 1
    I'm considering purchaseing a used full size conversion van. Somewhere around a 90 to a 92. I've looked at a G-20 chevy with 45000 miles with all the goodies. Whats a good price to buy this baby at. I'ts a 91
  • jmbljmbl Member Posts: 5
    Hi: We're starting to look for a conversion van
    as well, but we're in the market for a used one,
    around the years 93-95. We want something that'll
    be great for camping and long hauls. We're in the
    military and love to travel.

    Any advise on what to get/stay clear of for those
    years, what dealerships/areas to avoid (i.e. avoid
    Staten Island--we're in Brooklyn), better deals for
    the money, etc. We'd prefer a high top, bed in
    back and TV/VCR for sure.

    If anyone's in the general area selling his/her
    van, we'd love to hear from you too with the details
    of what you have for sale.

    Thanks for any and all tips!


    P.S. Sorry if this is a repeat from what others have already asked...
  • jmbljmbl Member Posts: 5
    To mmagill:

    Do you have any other conversion van company URLs? It was very interesting visiting Starcraft. I'm going to attempt to go see something with MarkIII and Mark IV, Gladiator, Boxter--not sure what I'll find or if I'll get anywhere, but that's what I'm looking for.

    Thanks for your help.

  • BuyGoodBuyGood Member Posts: 1
    We've been looking a Ford's E-150 standard and hi-top products. Several friends have cautioned us on the poor mileage of the hittops compared to the standard models. The mileage guide only indicates a 1 mpg difference with the same engines. This seems a bit on the low side, anyone with any real life info would be appreciated
  • perch_rapalaperch_rapala Member Posts: 1
    Is there any info out on conversion vans similar to the Edmund's books on cars and vans. I'd be interested in knowing the dealer costs on these vans. Also, can you get any deals if you go to Elkhart, IN and buy from the factories?
  • FlashFloodFlashFlood Member Posts: 8
    I am also stumped looking for dealer costs on conversion vans, particularly FORD or Chevy MARK IIIs. Any info would be appreciated.

    [email protected]
  • onlinecarbuyeronlinecarbuyer Member Posts: 1
    I'm looking to buy a new Chevy Express full size
    van and I'm having a hard time finding information
    on conversion prices. All I need is second row
    bucket seats, conversion bed and bay windows. Does
    anybody know how can I get information on the price of this kind of conversion?
  • jgh78jgh78 Member Posts: 1

    Chrylser dealer in Paramus, NJ, route 4 West,
    has several 1997 conv. vans starting at $19,995.
    These are brand new vehicles, zero miles.

    Is this a great price?
  • JohnOJohnO Member Posts: 1
    We've owned 3 conversion Vans, all built on Ford Chassis. Started with a van built in Northern NJ, then a Sherrod and now a Cobra Limited. The latest has the big 8 Ford engine.

    I have noticed a number of requests for pricing info ala Edmund's. I subscribe to the NADA Dealer's yellow book for conversion VAns. It is procey @ $189 per year but, well worth it if you are considering plunking down serious green for a VAn.

    Ironically, our latest Van isn't listed since it is a custom job.

    It is for sale, by the way, 1996 less than 30,000 miles, Forest Green Metallic with Gold pin striping, Tan LEather interior, Hi Top, all the options and in tip top shape. Listed at $47,000, I'll sell for $25,000
  • BellbottomsBellbottoms Member Posts: 1
    I maybe interested in your van, I'm in upstate NY outside of Albany. I'm looking for a van that I can put a wheelchair lift in.
  • jschaeferjschaefer Member Posts: 1
    I'm in the market for a 98 Chevy G1500 chassis with a Regency "Limited" conversion package. I'm trying to price and cost the two components - chassis and conversion - but I'm experiencing difficulty finding this info. Edmunds shows the price/cost on a base Chevy van but doesn't provide information on the YF7 conversion options which is how the vehicle is delivered to a conversion company (stripped down, plain-jane, no-seats, no-windows van w/ YF7). Any advice? Also, does anyone have info on Regency's "Limited" conversion package?
    Does anyone out there have any information on 4 X 4 conversions for a new 1998 Ford Club Wagon? I'm looking for someone on the West Coast (Ideally in Southern Calif.).
  • hartkda1hartkda1 Member Posts: 1
    40. Does Edmund's plan to offer pricing for other types of transportation, like motorcycles, snowmobiles, bicycles or conversion vans?

    No we do not. We have our hands full just covering cars and trucks.

    Ok, who does cover conversion vans? Where are there some guidelines?

    Do the dealers work on the old fashion two percent profit rule (what costs one cent to make is sold at two cents per cent of cost)? Or are they in the 10 – 20% margin as the van factory made passenger vans seem to be? With some of the sales I have seen, there appears to be a 50 to 100% markup on the conversion portion of the total cost.
  • markp57markp57 Member Posts: 1
    Continuation of #21 above:

    Okay, I've done some more browsing and it sounds like one should never trade-in a conversion van. It should be sold personally.

    I pulled out the original sticker to see exactly what optional equipment I purchased from Chevy and priced it here on Edmunds.

    I still don't know how to calculate the value of the conversion package. The dealer had it priced at $12,200. Of course he came down from the sticker price, but I have no idea how much was coming off the Chevy portion versus the conversion portion.

    Any help will be appreciated.
  • jboaterjboater Member Posts: 199
    #21 has been deleted or ?? I may be able to help but need info on what you want to sell and what you propose to buy. I'll watch for your next post.

  • bicalinobicalino Member Posts: 13
    re: 4x4 van conversions. there is a place "Quigley " think it 's in manchester pa. from what I understand , they do these conversions. doesn 't void the factory warranty. they ship anywhere , and/or you could order through your own local ford dealer. they 've been in business for twenty or more years. I've seen that they also do these conversions for fed ex. and ups.
  • ViperggVipergg Member Posts: 24
    I'm not sure how you figure out the price on conversions . I just bought a dodge conversion
    van and the list was about $30000 , ended up payinhg a little over $18000 before trade . this was on a new leftover 97 but obviously there is ahuge markup on these things . You really can't beat the price on these things if yoyu need people haulinbg room and towing capabilty and don't mind dishing out a little extra to feed these things gas .
  • dedav113dedav113 Member Posts: 1
    I've looked at a couple conversion vans - Ford and Dodge - and wanted to double-check prices, but couldn't find anything on your website. One had 2 stickers - $30,000 and $23,000 - so I need info on options, etc. Any help will be appreciated.
  • AllynAllyn Member Posts: 1
    Want to buy a 1998 Chevy Astro All wheel drive Mark III conversion. The dealer's price is $36,000. The Astro appears to be about $20,000 at invoice. What could a good price be?
  • jboaterjboater Member Posts: 199
    I had a bit of a problem with your e-mail address.

    New MSRP on the Mark III;
    LE 4948, LE Sport 7048, SE 4048

  • Jiggler2Jiggler2 Member Posts: 1
    Could someone please help me find the dealers costs for 1998 conversion van prices. I located the Kelly's Blue Book and Edmunds dealers costs for cars and cargo vans but can not locate any information on conversion vans. I would be very greatful if you could help me out. My E-mail address is [email protected].
    Sally :o)
  • vango2vango2 Member Posts: 1
    Any good websites for used conversions? Looking for '96-'98 Chevy or Ford Explorer low miles. Went to Exp website-not much there.
  • bruce5bruce5 Member Posts: 4
    I am considering a conversion van. My wife would be the primary driver, and as such, she wants to stay with a shorter van. The options are either the Chevy Astro/GMC Safari, or a Dodge 1500, which is equipped with the 3.9 liter V-6.. I know that the Dodges can be had at a lower cost than the GMC or Fords, but what am I getting for my money with the basic conversion. What separates a good conversion from a lessor conversion. I'm looking at things like floors, windows, insulation, wiring, and seat construction. They all look pretty good on the lot, but what happens a year or two down the road? What about the dependability and the durability of the Dodge 1500 vs. the Astro? I have looked at the Imperial conversions
    of which one lady was lamenting the durability on her unit. They were at a very reputable GMC dealer in my area. How do you weigh these two factors? There is the old saying, that you get what you pay for.
  • jboaterjboater Member Posts: 199
    Here are some conversion company web sites you might choose to visit. I've personnally owned both Starcraft and Coachmen and would classify them as very good. I would first decide on the conversion company, then on the van manufacturer.
    My wife is 5'1" and has no aversion to driving our full size Ford. You might want to test drive a full size unit before ruling it out.

    I would agree that you usually get what you pay for.

  • ViperggVipergg Member Posts: 24
    I have a 1997 D0DGE Ram 2500 extended length conversion van . For my money i don't think these can be beat . Mine was made by MARK III . Carpeting is beatiful , 4 captains chairs and 1 rear bench seat . Power windows , locks speed control , front and rear heat and air conditioning , Shades on all the windows , 318 V8 with 4 speed auto , will tow 7000 lbs. I paid $18400 brand new before trading in our 92 Ford Taurus . These are cheaper than a midsize car or minivan . So far I have no gripes at all , it is wonderful to travel in and the 1998 vans are supposed to have all new dashes in them to look a little more modern . It also has really thick fiberglass insulation in the back walls . They aren't gas misers , but I knew that going in . About 18 MPG on the highway . The van I bought is nice looking Maroon color with graphic stripes , chrome wheels with raised white letter tires so it looks pretty sporty also . A little bit of a chore to get into tight parking spots . For the money though these can't be beat . I have seen the base model 1500 vasns around here for about $15000 , that gets you a V6 and a 3 speed auto .
    If you do alot of traveling though these are wonderful . So far only 2 minor problems that i will have fixed soon , the bulb that is on the ignition switch burned out already and I'm getting a slight seepage of tranny fluid around a sensor .
  • jpoc97jpoc97 Member Posts: 2
    We are looking at a Windstar MarkIII conversion
    van. I have the 1998 Edmund's book, but
    it does not list the prices for the conversion
    van. Does anyone know where I can obtain
    a price guide for MarkIII Windstar vans?
  • alwayslookingalwayslooking Member Posts: 1
    I'm looking for pricing guides on Chevy Conversion vans. There are so many different makes it is hard to price them. I also haven't seen any distinction for raised roof vans. Any help is appreciated.
  • jboaterjboater Member Posts: 199

    N.A.D.A. Appraisal guides are a recognized source for estimated market valuations. They publish many different guides, one of which is the "Van/Truck Conversion and Limousine Appraisal
    Guide". Edmunds site does not presently offer
    market valuations for "conversions". Check your
    local library or possibly your credit union to see
    and use the publication. Another good source for
    market values in your area are papers like "Auto
    Swapper" that contain many "For Sale by Owner" ads.

  • clementeclemente Member Posts: 1
    I just bought a 98 brand new Dodge Conversion Van by MarkIII, So far its so good but I think I was cheated because on the sticker it shows the mileage is 14 MPG City and 17 MPG Highway, but actually the highway mileage was only 13 MPG just below of the sticker of 14 MPG.
  • jboaterjboater Member Posts: 199

    You will probably need to put 5,000 or more miles on your van before your mpg levels out. My '97 Ford sticker say 15 and 20. It started at 13 everyday driving and seems to have setteled in at 15 everyday. I too had hoped for better efficiency. I had hoped to achieve 17 in my daily driving.

  • jim61jim61 Member Posts: 1
    My son is looking to purchase a van (not a high top) with a strong towing capacity. V6 with all dealer options except leather and moon roof. He would prefer six captains chairs. If rear wheel drive, limited slip differential is preferred. What van would you recommend? Where can he purchase this van? Would prefer to trade in the Jackson Tennessee/Memphis area. Will tade a 1996 Jeep Cherokee Sport with all dealer options except leather and moonroof. 110,000 highway miles. Asked for a quote on a Duarango SUV as a secondary choice from and got a 30 second time out notification. Sent message to system administrator.
  • jboaterjboater Member Posts: 199
    To G Grant,
    Mine is a 97 Ford with the 4.6L Triton V8 and auto trans. Now has 14K miles on it. I don't expect any further improvement in fuel economy. The 95 Chevy I drove had a 5.7L V8 and managed 14 to 15 mpg.

    PS E-mail was returned
  • budnybudny Member Posts: 1
    I am trying to locate a price comparison sheet for used hi-top conversion vans
  • FlyercvgFlyercvg Member Posts: 4
    For those of you looking for new conversion van prices; I just called the company that makes the conversions and told them that by using the internet I could find the dealer invoice for any production automobile. If they would like for me to purchase one of their fine vans then I would need a copy of the actual or invoice cost of the conversion. Most allowed me to talk to a sales rep. They provided me with the invoice and some were even happy for me to purchase it direct. PS Haven't bought yet but still looking.
  • ryaj12ryaj12 Member Posts: 8
    You can all add these conversion company websites to jboater's posting #33:
  • convbyrconvbyr Member Posts: 2

    I am curious as to what conversion companies you
    contacted. Was Explorer one of them?

  • mrh3108mrh3108 Member Posts: 41
    I contacted Explorer back in early September but ended up placing an order through a smaller, custom, conversion shop about 5 hours away from me.

    The custom conversion company is a customer of the bank I work for. They were substantially less than Explorer's direct price and probably much better in quality. I took the tour one Saturday afternoon with the owner-- very enlightening. They were very meticolous in every aspect/detail. He sold me on the quality issues. I'm sure Explorer is also very good but they are more like an assembly line. I've been waiting 6 weeks for my van to be completed. Explorer promised delivery in 2 weeks. A lot of this is back log, but some is in the detail.

    I still haven't asked my converter how GM and dealers feel about direct through the converter purchases/contacts. The van must be purchased through an authorized dealer-- in my situation the dealer will make a small amount (holdback--maybe part of the dealer cash) because it is essentially found money for them. Still, I believe larger companies like Explorer must have rebates back to the dealer. The price they gave me was $3-4000 over what is should have been but still a great, no haggle, price. By the way, the Explorer rep wouldn't negotiate on price and got miffed when I told him what his competition was.

    Explorer advertises in the classifieds of local papers. Good luck, my van should be ready late next week.
  • peterempeterem Member Posts: 3
    I've been looking into custom conversions, but I'm looking for a company that will do the entire interior to my specs, not just the options. Who is the converter you are using, where are they located and did they do the conversion as you wanted it (ie. not a standard conversion with options to your liking).
  • peterempeterem Member Posts: 3
    Sorry, I'm new at this. #49 was for mrh3108
  • mrh3108mrh3108 Member Posts: 41
    I'll need to get the converters OK to give out his name. The best thing to do is to check with dealers in your area to find out who the custom converters are. Then call them directly.

    The Chevy or GMC web site gives a partial list of authorized converters and I think also links to their web sites.

    In my situation the van I've ordered was to take 4-6 weeks. Last word was it would be closer to 9-10 weeks. I'm now hoping it will be ready for pickup in the first week of Dec. Something to keep in mind when going this route.
  • convbyrconvbyr Member Posts: 2

    We've been to a couple of dealerships that carry
    the Explorer Conversion. The "limited" and "X"
    packages seem to be priced between $11,550 and
    $13,500 -- just for the conversion.

    You mentioned knowledge of Explorer's direct
    prices. Is this truly Explorer's price or
    the dealership's mark-up The dealerships won't budge on price.

    I am thinking I need to find a different conversion company.

    Thanks for any information you can provide.
  • mrh3108mrh3108 Member Posts: 41
    I was quoted the SE package at $12,500. This came with cladding (hidden running boards which they call Medallion wrap) leather and wheel upgrade -- they might all be standard on that package.

    Add that on to the $22,000 invoice price and your at $34,500. Then subtract whatever you can get of the dealer cash--hopefully all of it (currently $1000 but the dealers likely won't admit to it), then subtract the consumer rebate or take the low cost financing. This is a GM full size quote by the way. GM has a press release on their web site dated in September that gives current financing rates and rebates good through 12/31.

    Good luck
  • mrh3108mrh3108 Member Posts: 41
    The SE price listed above is for a low top and included a $650 package discount. I've been told a high top costs $1500 more than a low top so I'm not sure how the $650 fits into the pricing scheme.
  • clellwclellw Member Posts: 1
    We are looking at a 1998 GMC Savanah with am Imperial Custom package. I notice that the invoice is around 19,000, but I'm unsure as to how to go about finding the cost for the conversion package. I'm ready to talk price with the dealer so I need ome information fast. They're offering the vehicle at 25,900 and calling ti a no-hassle price. I want to talk them down to 22,000. Do I have a chance?
  • peterempeterem Member Posts: 3

    As far as I know or can find out, there are no converters in my area (New England-If anyone knows of one please let me know). If your converter wouldn't mind you divulging his identity, I'd like to know it. If there is some problem, perhaps you could send it via my e-mail. Also, I have no problem with a waiting period before delivery as long as I could have the van built to my specs. Thanks.
  • somethingsomething Member Posts: 10
    I just noticed this new topic and am glad it is here. I've often wondered how to baseline a conversion package. The basic van is easy through various internet sources but how do you get an idea of invoice costs on conversion packages? I assume there is a very high dealer markup on these packages.

    Any comments?
  • jboaterjboater Member Posts: 199
    The NADA book indicates that Imperial Ind. in Elkhart, IN, commencing with the 1995 model year, no longer wants pricing information released.

  • jboaterjboater Member Posts: 199
    Many of us find the same problem. See my post #58.
    Comparison shopping is important, both new and used. The NADA book might be found in your local library or your credit union.
    There is a lot of good information here too, by others who have posted.

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