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Conversion Vans



  • karlenekarlene Posts: 1
    I too have recently bought a Gulf Stream conversion, November 2004. It is a Chevrolet Express 1500. I have taken it to Spain where I now live, but have not been able to drive it over here. So far the family are very happy with the conversion, but we have not used it to "fully enjoy or test" the interior! I was wondering if anyone in the forum has contact details for Gulf Stream. We need to "educate" the Spanish on this beautiful vehicle.
  • lpremolpremo Posts: 1
    I have owned a 1994 Chevy high top with a Kentron conversion on it since it was new. Unfortunately Kentron is long since out of business. There are not many local places where I live that work on conversions. Fortunately I have not had many problems over these 11 years with either the chasis or the conversion. It presently has 117,000 mi on it and still runs great. As far as the conversion I recently have been having trouble with some sort of electrical interference between the chasis electrical and the video player. There is a website that carries parts for all conversion vans whether they are still in business or not. At this point I am starting to shop for a new van. If anyone out ther knows anything about Southern Coach Conversions in Kernersville NC I'd appreciate some info.
  • 1loon1loon Posts: 1
    I have a 1985 Dodge Ram Conversion Van and need to know what tires to run on it. They are 15 inch but I think the ply rating is wrong because the back end seems to "roll" alot now and the van is hard to control on the highway. Can someone suggest what tires I should be looking for? The old tries were Michelins but I can't remember what model or rating they were. Help. Thank you.
  • raisineraisine Posts: 1
    I am looking to buy a used conversion van but don't know much about them. I looked at a 2000 Dodge Ram 1500 Mark III. I liked the roominess of the van but have nothing to compare it to. Does anyone have any recommendations? Does anyone have comments about the Dodge Ram 1500 Mark III? What is comparable in roominess to the Dodge Ram 1500 Mark III?
  • billy7billy7 Posts: 1
    Hi! curious...I stumbled across a used Ford chasis (93) with a pop up Sportsmobile it. Its a $5000 van--GREAT condition-with 118k miles.

    Are there many of these? Looks nice. Good deal? Does anyone know where more of these rigs are available?

  • skytop1skytop1 Posts: 106
    Ford builds great trucks but their van is an Old design. Has no driver's side rear doors. This is unacceptable in 2006. Major problem and indicative of the now old Ford design. The GM's have the modern setup .
  • realdeal1realdeal1 Posts: 2
    Hi. Newbie here. I am thinking of buying a 1998 to 2004 conversion van. Dependability is very big on my short list. Since I seem to keep my vehicles forever, like most everyone else, I want to see my mechanic as little as possible.Thank-You in advance for any and all advice.
  • arie1arie1 Posts: 1
    Does anyone has experience driving an EXTENDED CChevy Express conversion van in the North East winters?

  • lleellee Posts: 1
    I have a 93 Ford Econoline 150 conversion line that I am selling. It has 50K miles on it. Looking around for a decent selling price for this Van. It has 2 fully powered captains chair, a folding bed, lights, sway bars.
  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 1,222
    llee, we don't allow selling here but if you're looking for pricing information, you can check pricing of used cars using the Used Car Appraiser at


    Need help getting around? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Tell everyone about your buying experience: Write a Dealer Review

  • mommaredmommared Posts: 2
    This is the only vehicle I've ever "ordered" to my specs. We have absolutely loved it. It is the 3rd full size van and 2nd high top we've had. It now has 180,000 miles and runs like a dream. We pull boats lots and lots of miles every year and the van has been a real trooper. At 130,000 or so we put in a used trany that has done very well. It has one of those out-of-business conversions that many people have, and yes, I got the story that the dealer was supposed to fix this and that and the conversion company this and that and neither one came through. Thank goodness that what needed fixed was extremely minor. The TV/VCP was the best thing we ever did for traveling with kids. I take my son's ball team (as many as I can) to ball games and it's usually a "fight" to see who gets to go with me, as everybody else has mini vans! We've started the shopping procedure for a new van now, and as always, am very disappointed in the value placed on a beautiful conversion van that cost as much or more than most of the Cadillacs and SUVs on the market. I know I'm high mileage, but a dealer who specializes in conversions basically told me to keep my old one, he couldn't give my anything for it. A six year old vehicle-- worthless. Unreal! Thanks for listening.
  • mommaredmommared Posts: 2
    I've had both, Actually 1 GMC, 1 Chev and 1 Ford. Love my Ford. It has 180,000 on it and runs beautifully. Had to replace the trany, but we are boat dealers and are CONSTANTLY towing boats. Some VERY long distances, and some quite large boats (20+ feet) We are shopping for another van now and the dealer I spoke to today basically said he didn't want my van on his lot (too many miles), but I'd probably trust it further than a new one! Mine has the 5.4L gas engine. We changed the plugs only once and replaced a valve cover gasket. Several sets of brakes (too many boats!) Gets 14 or 15mpg (no boat) and 12-13mpg with a boat.
    Good Luck (p.s. - I married the mechanic!)
  • anyone know what the color code is for the radio wiring harness on a 1991 Ford E150. I even tried to use an adapter for this vehicle to install a new cd player but some of the wires in that didn't line up with the wires on the harness
  • I have had a very very good experience with the Regency line of vans and trucks. Have you guys seen that new RST they have now. You guys should go check it out. But anyways, the vans, did you guys know that wood in the vans is hospital grade? I just discovered that. I looked at a Southern Comfort and noticed a smell that was not in the Regency. Did you know that pro-long exspodure to formeldahide can kill you? (that's the smell you smell in a Southern Comfort van) I HAD NO IDEA!!!!! I will never drive anything but a Regency from now own. I totally support thier product. Saftey as well as quality!!!! By the way, you can see that new RST on thier website.....

    Take care!!!!!!

  • luchakluchak Posts: 2
    I just spent the better part of my Sunday researching conversion vans and I'm more confused then ever :mad:. My requirements: reliable/trouble-free/dependable, high-top (not sure what the technical term is) that accommodates a TV, $5,000 budget (that will be somewhere in the mid-90's for something that has <100k miles, up-to-date service, records, etc.)
    A couple things I'm still not clear on;
    1. Are there any high-top/conversion vans that come with a V6? I'm not concerned about power; I will not be towing anything.
    2. From the threads on this board, there is no triumphant winner between the Big 3, but it appears the majority favor the most expensive of the bunch; the Econoline. I personally don't mind spending a couple hundred bucks to a thousand dollars more if it will be trouble-free.
  • tubbsytubbsy Posts: 2
    I own a 1999 Ford E-150 Conversion Van. I am getting horrible gas mileage with it. I know that it is a 'hog,' but is 9 mpg average? The vehicle is used for alot of stop and go driving. I transport kids to and from school. I don't drive it hard, i.e., I ease off stops, I brake gently and from about a two car distance, I don't rev the engine. Why is my mileage so bad? And is there anything I can do to improve it? Thanks!! Sue
  • tubbsytubbsy Posts: 2
    I didn't realize that you all got so specific so let me add that the conversion is an Elk Conversion. It is a great vehicle, I love it, other than the gas mileage! It's gross weight it around 3800 lbs with no people in it. It has a 4.6L V8 engine and under 50,000 miles on it. And, sorry I started a new post, I got a little confused in here! :blush:
  • maddoggmaddogg Posts: 2
    :confuse: Hello I just got a 1994 Dodge Ram 250 van and I'm planning to restoring it. There are some things missing and I would like to find out what was there. On the engine cover (dog house) the front part is missing, I can't tell what it looked like. Also on the side door there was something removed, can tell by the screw holes. I did not get any owners manuals with the van. Does anyone know of a web site that will show the inside of the van?
    Thanks :)
  • I had 3 Fords. I always bought them very used. Between 80k to 110k miles. I had all engines. My 84 had a big V8. My 87 a straight six and I just got a 95 with a 5.8L V8. These are very reliable Vans. Easy and cheap to repair and maintain. Up to 10 years old or so they are rust free.
    I always put in new shocks, check with a ECU scanner for problems, if needed replace tie rods and such wear and tear items. That all is cheap and makes a huge difference if these items need replacing which they did in all the ones I bought.
    I just bought a 95. It rides like a Cadillac. Has leather seats, TV/VCR, high top, beautiful wood, all power and so on. I paid $ 4,000 and put in another $ 400 or so, just because I want everything perfect to the last light bulb. Now it's brand new.
    Make no mistake, I have 3 other high end cars (06 Mercedes CLS 500, 2001 Porsche Turbo and my wife has a Lexus SUV).
    I always buy these old vans as a "Home Depot" transporter, than fall in love with them, make them look like new and turns out it's more practical than all the other fancy cars I have. Especially for long trips with the kids I prefer the old van over anything else.
    I recommend a Ford E150 based vehicle. I had firends they had Chevy Vans, even new and they had all kind of transmission and other problems.
  • Just got a 95 Glaval High Top Ford E150. We love it. Its like new. Its our 3rd Ford Conversion Van. It's the best we ever bought yet. We paid only $ 4,000. We have 3 other cars. All late model luxury items, such as Mercedes and Porsche. But we and the kids love our old but like new conversion vans. More practical. This one as a 5.8 L V8 and rides like a Cadillac. And not brandnew has it advantages when you load stuff from Home Depot and the kids have dirty shoes. The expensive toys are fun but useless.
    Get a Ford. I had three E150 conversions. All high mileage and pretty old. We just got rid of a 87. Still drives good, but the rust started to make it look like a junk car. They are reliable, easy and cheap to repair and maintain.
  • we're on our 3rd econoline 150 in the past 19 years...this one is a '96 & has a 350 V-8 in it now with 204K on it...and we still get about 13 mpg - town and 14-15 hwy, except when we tow and then we get about 9. :-(
  • todjotodjo Posts: 1
    Reading the above message #293 reminded me of myself. The only vans I've had were for my business. First was a Used Ford Econoline which was an 88 back in the 90's. Repairs became more frequent. Then I sold it & bought a brand new 95 Dodge Ram 1500. Great van. But! Dodges are prone to trans & rears as the mileage gets up there. Sold it & bought the same van in 2002. 60,000+ miles & real good.
    I started looking at used conversion vans, Found the Chevys & Fords to be the most common. I tried to find a Dodge but there weren't that many to choose from in NY where I reside. I was told V6 are not powerful enough for a High Top Conversion. But that Vortec V6 is a great engine, so who knows. I just listened. A lot of the van conversion companies are out of business. Asking someone about who's good is like a part of your anatomy. Everyone has one. I do know something!!!!! If I were buying a NEW Conversion Van it would be a Regency or Explorer. They seem like Quality units to me. They tend to get a little pricey, but real nice workmanship.
    I bought today a 94 Chevy Designer Van High Top. Does anyone know anything about them? Real clean; 83,000 miles & I'd be the 4th owner. It's equipped & I paid $3,200.I don't think I can go wrong. Any answers!
  • I have a 1999 GMC conversion van and need to replace the brake pads every 6 months; we live in a very hilly area and there is a lot of stop and go driving in town, but was wondering if anyone had experienced this problem and what remedies they might have used, i.e. different types of replacement rotors or special brake pads?? Any input would be appreciated. Thank you.
  • will any company build me a new 05 or 06 gm van with duel armrests on seat???? i do not want the drivers left armrest on door!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!mario
  • I just bought a 2002 Conversion Van and love it.

    Only problem is I get static from the engine on almost every FM radio sation -- even the close ones with strong signals. TV gets static as well (although I find that less unexpected).

    The clincher that told me I had a problem was yesterday when I had a remote starter installed. The wireless remote works fine when the engine isn't running. But as soon as the engine starts the remote is useless. The installers were at a loss and say it is some sort of interference/static caused by the engine.,

    I just returned from a mechanic who hooked it up to a machine. Engine runs perfectly. No misses or anything like that. WIres look good.

    I did a test by turning the ignition on without starting the engine and getting the fuel pump to engage. No static there.

    Static is only there when engine is running and seems to increase the faster I drive. At 65 mph it's really noticeable.

    I'm at a loss as to where to start eliminating potential problems.

    My first suspect was the spark plug wires. Maybe the alternator.

    I don't want to waste money tracking this down if it's a simple fix or a known problem with conversion vans.

    So I thought I'd ask for advice here.

  • in need of any/all help /info on van conversions.

    i am a 1st time (wannabe) buyer of a van conversion...i cannot afford to buy new
    (& would like to take advantage of the
    depreciation rate anyways)but as so many others ive have come to find out how difficult finding any ref. publications on values of van convs.can be.....
    i'm lookin a 1999 ford e150 STARCRAFT conversion being sold by a private party...asking price is $8500....having only the knowledge ive acquired from having searched the ads in my seems to be a decent price ,i guess what im asking is there anything about that particular model that would it a not so good deal?
    so any input is appreciated.i welcome all opinions and value any bad experiences others may have had with the ford e150(1999)and/or starcraft conversions.

    rj, inthe 92021
  • This might be a little late but I'd recommend going with a GM van.

    My dad bought a 1985 Econoline brand new from factory (Osage vans). Wasn't happy with it so sold in 87 and replaced with an 82 GMC conversion a couple years later. Gave a few good years of service before sold.

    I bought my first van in 2003, a 1993 Chevy G20 Tiara conversion. It's a great van and I'm very happy with it. I'd like to keep it forever but eventually will trade up to a newer model. Looks like Explorer will be the next one.

    $8500 sounds a little high for a '98 van. Demand for conversion vans is at an all time low so it's really a buyers' market. I've seen 01/02 Chevy vans for less than that.

    Vans offer so much more comfort for much less cost than a SUV. The depr. is steep if purchasing brand new, but it's pretty bad on SUV's now too.

    Good luck though - welcome to the van club.
  • I have an 88 Ford Econoline Conversion Van. The interior lights work from a control panel mounted in center of the ceiling above the dash. None of the lights (front, center, rear and valence lights) are currently working. The fuses to the left of steering column seem to be all OK. Is there another spot to look for fuses or breakers? These lights all worked until recently. Any help in solving this problem would be appreciated. Thanks, Melanie
  • bookummbookumm Posts: 1
    I'm looking at purchasing a 1999 E150 conversion van (sherrod conversion/High top :confuse: image).

    the van is in great shape with 50,000 miles, however the black window sealer (sticky stuff) on the interior of the Bay windows is coming out between the windows and the frame (especially on the upper corners. Has anyone ever had this problem and is it an easy fix?
  • I recently purchased a 1999 Chevy Express with the Regency Ultra package. I seems as if the previous owner removed the center entertainment console for some reason and whoever put it back in did a bad job. Both TV and VCR work but for the life of me I can't figure out how the audio portion works. Does anyone out there have an owners manual or know how I can get in contact with Regency? By the way, it is a low top and the system sits between the two seats. Thanks,JJ
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