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Conversion Van Pricing



  • jboaterjboater Posts: 199
    John Kay,

    That's quite a post. The '97 Ford/Coachmen I now drive I bought new 12-30-97 for $23,200. includung rebates, sales tax, title, and plate transfer fees. As a point of comparison, the Ford msrp was 23,400. and the Coachmen msrp was 9,200.
    The tax, title, and plate costs were about 1,350. of the 23,200.
    The plus on a manual rear bench, probably easier to remove and reinstall should you have an occasion to do so.
    Buyers remorse: In your case will likely be limited to the potential of acquiring a "lemon". You've obviously done a lot of research so purchase price probably won't be the issue.
    The Astro/Safari vans are "trucky" by comparison to the likes of Trans Sport, Windstar, Caravan, etc. On the other hand, I enjoyed the '91 Safari oem passenger van that I once owned. Even with a towing gear, it still managed 17 mpg. I understand most get 18 - 19 mpg with standard gear ratio. (3.42?)
    Now for the good part John.
    It appears that Starcraft didn't make the "Imperial" in '97. It was introduced in '98 according the NADA book. With that in mind I'll give you the 2 models for '97 and maybe you can determine which is correct.
    The '98 Imperial had an msrp of 4,689.
    The '97 Sport Star, new msrp 5,598. whsle 2,300. retail 3,230.
    The '97 Vintage, new msrp 7,227. whsle 3,010. retail 4,180.
    My guess is that it is the Sport Star because the Vintage was still produced in '98 and '99.
    '97 Astro Cargo, whsle 10,100. retail 12,350.
    mileage adj. is plus 975. and All Wheel drive is plus 1,600. Compare chassis value with Edmund's.

  • Jerry,

    Thank you for your kind comments and post. We now have a mystery on our hands!

    1. The Van says Imperial on it, in bold white letters on the front windshield. It also says Imperial on the van body itself.
    2. There is a Starcraft Mfg. Sitcker on the front windshield by the driver.
    3. The notes on the driver's side door speak of it being converted in May of 1997. The title was first transferred from a dealer to an owner on 11/3/97, according to a Carfax report on the wehicle.
    4. The same Carfax report has this vehicle as a 1997 Chevy Astro, with a clear title!
    5. The first owner loved the conversion, except for the hitop, so he traded it.

    Could this be a demo? Or am I being set up for a big fall (with this van being some kind of bait-and switch)?

    In my search, I had found a 96 Safari FMC hitop conversion, really loaded, including power back seat. but that was the only power back seat in an Astro/Safari I found.

    You know, I wonder about this van, in the one problem that the Astro/Safari is trashed by so many people. Even though it has good scores in insurance, and statistical measures of injury, it is universally approved as a towing vehicle, and is good as a "goods" van, the model is trashed. It is trahed since it is rear wheel drive, with limited front seat room, hard to enter driver's side (which conversion fixed!), low gas milage and some mechanical stuff. But some of the "defects" in comparison to car/minivans are positives when it comes to a conversion? Any comments?

    One final question: One of the reasons that many groups like Consumer Reports trashed the Astro/Safari, including the '97 model, was a reported problem with "integrity", meaning, parts not fitting well, rattles, etc. When a van is converted, how much change is done to the body, that might mitigate such a problem?

    Thanks again!

  • I would like to know the value of an oldie but goodie. We have a 1989 Ford Econoline E-150, Sherrod hi-top conversion van (61,300 miles). She hasn't given us any problems, just looking to trade-in and upgrade.
    Thank you for any information you can give me.

  • jboaterjboater Posts: 199
    The SLM whsle is 1,340. and retail 1,640.
    The S/L whsle is 1,850. and retail 2,280.

    Check the cargo van chassis value on Edmund's.

  • Need help figuring out what to pay for a '97 GMC 1500 Explorer (Limited) hi-top conversion van. Beautiful condition, 45,000 mi, top of the line conversion with leather, cd changer, tv, power seats and power sofa bed and all the extras.
    Got the GMC 1500 Savanna van price but having trouble valuing the conversion package. Anyone out there own a Explorer pkg or GMC 1500 van converted that would like to share some info?
  • I need to find the trade-in price that I can expect to get for our 94 Ram Elk conversion. I would also like to know a ballpark figure for selling it on our own. Cannot find the NADA guide for conversions. Has 84,000 miles on it, white with teal paint, teal inside. Conversion preparation package on a shortie wheelbase, cargo door shades, vista bay shades, vaccuum, fiberglass running boards, tv antenna rack, wave paint, starburst ceiling, power seat, dimmer, wood dash. MSRP 25,575 includes 2,500 Dodge discount. Thanks.
  • Jerry- thanks for your help.I have had dealers offer 6000-7000 for my van and then will not move on the sticker price.This is why I hate buying new vehicles.Now I'll will have a better idea of a fair value. Thanks again.
  • Jboater- thanks for your help.I have had dealers offer 6000-7000 for my van and then will not move on the sticker price.This is why I hate buying new vehicles.Now I'll will have a better idea of a fair value. Thanks again.
  • jboaterjboater Posts: 199
    Your welcome!

  • jboaterjboater Posts: 199

    No data available for Explorer.
    A comp of a few other conversions indicate '97 wholesale at 42-44% and retail 55-57% of original msrp.

  • noly15noly15 Posts: 3
    jboater-thanks for the info on the 94SWB Dodge ELk conversion. THe dealers offer was $3500.
    We were interested in a new '99 Dodge Elk Limited low top conversion with 3300K. Cloth seats, custom paint, remote start. Asking $27,500. What do you think about this? WOuldnt come down on his price or up on the trade. THanks!!!!
  • max56max56 Posts: 1
    I am currently in the process of gathering info. on Ford Conversion Vans 1997-1999 models. What can i expect to reasonably pay? Is a six engine better than an eight or vice versa? Where can i find a reputable and honest dealer who won't take me for everything i got?
  • jboaterjboater Posts: 199
    I personally prefer V8. The 4.6L in my '97 is a good performer. I would imagine the 5.4L would be even better, especially if you plan to tow anything.
    You should not overlook the "For Sale By Owner" either. You might well find your best value there.
    '97 to '99 is a wide range when it comes to cost. The spread might be as much as 8-10,000.
    Oh yes, you can always assert to the dealer that you have nothing and therefore cannot be taken for everything :)

  • noly15noly15 Posts: 3
    jboater-thanks so much for the info. You have been very helpful.
  • mikey59mikey59 Posts: 6
    Can someone please point me in the right direction I cannot find in either Edmunds or Kelly blue book pricing for 2000 Ford E-150 RV package. Thanks.
  • solvesolve Posts: 5
    93 Chevy Starcraft sport-top (Full size 350 eng)
    Can anyone give me an idea on what a 93 Full size Chevy (350 eng) StarCraft (cloth interior) sport-top with 85K is worth?

    I am also looking to purchase a new GMC van and want to know how you Explorer owners like your Explorers...

    And if you don't mind, give me an idea on what the 1999 or 2000 explorer X package will cost. The sticker is $20,400. Any help on what you negotiated would be very helpful to all of us trying to get a reasonable price.
  • jboaterjboater Posts: 199

    Your welcome!

  • jboaterjboater Posts: 199

    You can estimate "invoice" at;
    87% of msrp base = invoice
    85% of msrp options = invoice

  • jboaterjboater Posts: 199

    What model is the conversion?

  • mikey59mikey59 Posts: 6

    Thanks for your help.

  • solvesolve Posts: 5
    The 83 Chevy StarCraft is a Limited Edition and on the StarCraft paperwork it says the model is a SE301. Thank you again for all the help jboater, it seems you come to a lot of peoples rescue.

    I wish I could get some of the Explorer owners to chime in with some info on there dealings. The Explorer rep all of sudden disappeared when I started asking for some pricing, so I called HQ and they won't talk, they say I have to talk to the regional rep.
  • jboaterjboater Posts: 199
    I'll check the book Monday and post for you.

  • jboaterjboater Posts: 199
    You're welcome!

  • jboaterjboater Posts: 199

    NADA lists a SE 300 for '93 and a SE 301 for '94.
    The '93 300 whsle 1920. retail 2430.
    The '94 301 whsle 1790. retail 2260.

    check Edmunds for cargo chassis value.

  • solvesolve Posts: 5

    Thanks for the information on the StarCraft.


    For everyone else that is looking for a new Conversion van here is my experience(opinion/information) on Explorer.

    1. If Explorer treats customers they way the treat prospects, don't buy one! Here is why.
    I sent e-mails to HQ, and to the regional rep, I also called HQ and the regional rep, I paged the regional rep. And guess what. No one would call me back and no one responded back to my e-mails. I finally reached someone at HQ on the phone and they would not talk to me they said I had to talk to the regional rep....who doesn't return calls, e-mails or pages.

    2. Quality - the van does seem very well made, and I have not heard anything to change that feeling.

    3. Price - I was looking at a 2000 GMC with the X package (fully loaded all the bells and whistles) sport top. The sticker price was $46,900. I got the GMC dealer in Manassas, VA. down to $39,500. He told me his cost on the van was $37,000. If he went below 39,500 he felt he was not going to make any money on the deal... lets see, GMC has a $500 dealer incentive on the savana, and I was going to order my van so 3% holdback was another $750+ I guess this dealer wants more than $3000 profit on each van they sell. Lets see if their tune changes closer to the end of the month. But I must say, at this point I am no longer interested in owning an Explorer Package.

    My current van the 93 Starcraft I also bought new. The sticker in 93 was $38,000 we paid $25,000. I hope all this information helps anyone else that is looking to purchase a new Conversion van.
    P.S. StarCraft answers e-mails and phone calls.
  • jboaterjboater Posts: 199
    I too once owned a Starcraft and found the company to be very good to work with.

  • My wife and I have 4 young kids and one on the way. We are interested in a conversion van that seats 8 or 9 comfortably. Any suggestions as to models? Is there such a thing as a conversion van with 4 bucket seats and two bench seats? Thanks in advance for the info. John
  • jboaterjboater Posts: 199
    I've never seen the configuration you are looking for.
  • Jordan Ford in San Antonio Texas recently had a Ford extended conversion van with 6 captains chairs and a rear bench. Don't remember the conversion company, and had never seen one like it before. You might contact them for more information about a coversion van that seats more than 7.
  • I currently have a 1990 Ford E150 Explorer conversion van. I have been extremely pleased with it. It was recently totaled in an accident and I am looking to replace it. My experience with Explorer has been very good so far. I contacted the company, and got the name of the local rep. He called me immediately, and has been very responsive. I have identified the options I want, and will have to order one from the factory, but the rep has been very easy to work with. I have looked at all the conversions around San Antonio, and, am still a big Explorer fan.

    I have four kids, and with the exception of one overhead light, everything on my 1990 still works. I have been very impressed with the quality of the conversion, and that's the main reason I am looking at replacing it with an Explorer.

    The only difference is that I am looking at a new GMC Savana instead of a Ford this time around. Anybody have any input on the Savana? I'm looking at the 1500 with the 5.7L V8. Occasionally, I tow a utility trailer and a 3000 lb. pontoon boat.
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