Vans and panel trucks

Discussions about the devices that supply a means for movement of people and goods.

Moderator: ZS Global Moderators

Post Reply
jdudkiewicz
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:21 pm

Vans and panel trucks

Post by jdudkiewicz » Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:40 pm

I'm thinking something like a VW Vanagon Diesel, lots of space and nearly 30mpg. Any other suggestions for a high MPG van or truck that can be converted to a camper? I'd like something I can use not just as a BOV, but as a road trip vehicle as well. Diesel's preferred.

User avatar
dukman
* * * * *
Posts: 3374
Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 7:50 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: All of them!
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Vans and panel trucks

Post by dukman » Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:52 pm

It may help you know where you are from. I am assuming you are not from the USA, as Diesel VW vans are almost a myth here.
M-O-O-N, that spells survival, law's yes!
Duk's Bags: GLOF GHB ONB EDC
It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything ~Tyler Durden

jdudkiewicz
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:21 pm

Re: Vans and panel trucks

Post by jdudkiewicz » Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:31 pm

I am in the USA actually, a friend of my has a westfalia which is what sparked my interest.

kmcdon3960
*
Posts: 70
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:39 pm

Re: Vans and panel trucks

Post by kmcdon3960 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:44 pm

I'm not an expert, but those dodge/mercedes sprinter vans look pretty roomy, and I'm thinking the ford transit fwd vans probably get decent mpg as well.

User avatar
Grey Mann
* * *
Posts: 765
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:37 am
Location: FT Hood, TX

Re: Vans and panel trucks

Post by Grey Mann » Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:10 pm

I spend two hours every friday zipping around Texas in a Sprinter. I'm not sure on the fuel economy, but that load is 8 people and a couple hundred pounds of gear. It's not comfortable, but it's do-able and the vehicle holds up well. I'll ask my boss, but I'm thinking the mileage is about 17 mpg diesel when loaded.
An armed man is a citizen; an unarmed man is a subject.
Image
Do not go gentle.

jdudkiewicz
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:21 pm

Re: Vans and panel trucks

Post by jdudkiewicz » Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:49 pm

That's a lot less mileage than I was hoping to get. I don't mind it being underpowered, I think a lot of trucks are overpowered for what the average person uses them for.

User avatar
skelco
ZS Donor
ZS Donor
Posts: 743
Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:31 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA

Re: Vans and panel trucks

Post by skelco » Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:44 pm

I like vans, and have always had a soft spot for VWs, in spite of my better judgement. My former FIL had a couple of Westies, a bay window bus and an early Vanagon and while they were nice for camping and such, they were SO SLOW and the motors were delicate, (and I'm a VW guy). It's a lot to ask from the smaller motors. A friend dropped a Subaru motor into his which solved the power issue, but wore out his transaxle quickly.

I've had a couple of Chevy Astros and I liked the design, side and load capacity (both weight and volume) and the V6 motors always had plenty of undertaxed power. I got 20-25 mpg from them, which I considered respectable. What did them in was really poor build quality, causing both to get donated. I also had a '70 GMC scooby van, which was cool in form, but I never got it running well enough to have a reliable opinion.

I've been intrigued by the VW Eurovan for years, though I know that they have their pitfalls, I'm still enough of a VW geek to still want one, I'm also really interested in a Ford Transit Connect.
Last edited by skelco on Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
-skelco
ZSC:015 Officer of Indeterminate Duty

"I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me."
-Hunter S. Thompson

Norwegian
* *
Posts: 145
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:59 pm

Re: Vans and panel trucks

Post by Norwegian » Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:58 pm

If you want a vanagon diesel in the US you pretty much have to buy a gasser and convert to diesel later on. The diesel was never officially imported to the US. Then again people have converted them to diesel for years, anything from 1.6D to 2.5TDi. Any pre 2005 (or so) vw 4cyl diesel, turbo diesel or TDi will be almost bolt on with some European parts (clutch housing, engine mounting bar, oil pan and some other bits and bobs) OR with an aftermarket kit (a mix will not work). There are also a couple of buisnisses in the us that will convert it for you, but that can get expensive and sere are a couple of shady types out there. If a vanagon seems like your thing check out thesamba.com, vwvortex.com, vanagon.org and various yahoo groups. A few other interesting sites from the top of my head gowesty.com (don't look at there prices for restored vans, they are insane (tom hanks bought one from them)), busdepot.com... euh, can't remember the rest right now...
They are truly fantastic vehicles, they can carry almost a metric ton, pull an additional 1.4-2 metric tons, have a huge inside and a surprisingly small outside. If you decide on a vanagon take your time to find the right one, keep a little spare cash in case something expensive fails, and enjoy it! They may seem expensive to own, but compared to buying a new car they are not so bad after all, and they will not lose value. If there's anything you want to know feel free to ask, i know too much about them for my own good :oops:

User avatar
Anlushac11
* *
Posts: 105
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:56 pm
Location: Indianapolis

Re: Vans and panel trucks

Post by Anlushac11 » Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:57 pm

Once upon a time there used to be a kit to covert a Transporter/Vanagon to a rabbit 4cyl Diesel. No idea if that is still available.

I have thought about looking at some of the import cab over panel trucks for a small 4 cyl turbo diesel. My vans slant six is rated at 100hp and about 175ft lbs torque. Any 4cyl diesel should be able to hit that.

I have a 1984 Dodge B150 van that used to be a custom van that someone bought and stripped everything out of. It is titled as a RV.

I have most of the stuff from a old pop up camper and hope to have sink, water tank, and 3 burner gas rangetop, and a 800w microwave running off a 1200w/2400w inverter.

Built a platform bed that runs along one side. Still trying to get a Futon pad for it. I drive a high top medical transport van at work everyday so would love to find a high top conversion for my van but only ones I have found in JY's dont give enough height advantage to warrant the cost and trouble.

Engine in mine is a 225 slant six with 1bbl carb and 4 speed manual trans with overdrive. When all is working right it gets little over 20mpg highway. Seems to be about a 26 gallon fuel tank.

IMHO my van looks beat up and does not attract any attention.
Image
"We are Rangers.
We walk in the dark places no others will enter.
We stand on the bridge, and no one may pass.
We live for the One, we die for the One."


1984 Dodge B150, SL6, 4spd, camper interior, stock roof height. Daily driver and bug out vehicle.

BlueSilkRibbon
* *
Posts: 236
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:15 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: ZombieLand, Walking Dead
Location: Pocono Mountains, North Eastern Pennsylvania (NePa),

Re: Vans and panel trucks

Post by BlueSilkRibbon » Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:07 pm

Anlushac11 wrote:Once upon a time there used to be a kit to covert a Transporter/Vanagon to a rabbit 4cyl Diesel. No idea if that is still available.

I have thought about looking at some of the import cab over panel trucks for a small 4 cyl turbo diesel. My vans slant six is rated at 100hp and about 175ft lbs torque. Any 4cyl diesel should be able to hit that.

I have a 1984 Dodge B150 van that used to be a custom van that someone bought and stripped everything out of. It is titled as a RV.

I have most of the stuff from a old pop up camper and hope to have sink, water tank, and 3 burner gas rangetop, and a 800w microwave running off a 1200w/2400w inverter.

Built a platform bed that runs along one side. Still trying to get a Futon pad for it. I drive a high top medical transport van at work everyday so would love to find a high top conversion for my van but only ones I have found in JY's dont give enough height advantage to warrant the cost and trouble.

Engine in mine is a 225 slant six with 1bbl carb and 4 speed manual trans with overdrive. When all is working right it gets little over 20mpg highway. Seems to be about a 26 gallon fuel tank.

IMHO my van looks beat up and does not attract any attention.
Image

Jinkies you got a real "Mystery Machine" there.

You should paint "free candy" on the side of it.
Zombie Patrol: It's like neighborhood watch...with Zombies.
http://www.zazzle.com/bluesilkribbon" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; all profits go to a no kill animal shelter

You know, fightin' in a basement offers a lot of difficulties. Number one being, you're fightin' in a basement.

My Lobo:
Image

Norwegian
* *
Posts: 145
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:59 pm

Re: Vans and panel trucks

Post by Norwegian » Sun Jun 17, 2012 11:12 am

The kit to convert the vanagon to diesel is still available.

There are a load of conversions available, with vw/audi (1.9D/TD/TDi/mTDi, 2.0, 1.8T, 5 cylinder, VR6) and various Subaru (2.2, 2.5, 3.0, SVX) being the most popular. There's also Subaru boxer diesel conversions coming but so far only one guy is doing them (right) and there are only a couple or so on the road. Most of these conversions will improve power and to some extent mileage, although some have had problems with the more powerful (200+hp gas, 150+ hp diesel) alternatives eating transmissions, but a tranny rebuild can improve that a bit.

Since I'm in Europe i can just get a diesel van and convert with the parts from that. If you can get a diesel donor the conversion is just about bolting bolting stuff in place and run a couple of wires. Using a diesel donor you can convert to any vw 1.6-1.9 D,TD, TDi with mechanical pump conversion and early TDi. With a kit you use an adapter plate that mounts the engine at 10 degrees (stock diesel vanagons have the engine mounted at 50 degrees) meaning you can use almost any vw I4 diesel, but the newer TDi's can be a pain due to the wiring...

Personally I'd go with a 1.8T with an LPG kit for a road only car or a 1.9TD for a syncro off-road van, both converted with stock vanagon diesel parts.

will_545
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:16 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Walking Dead
Location: Benton, Ky
Contact:

Re: Vans and panel trucks

Post by will_545 » Sun Jun 17, 2012 1:00 pm

This is just a thought you could look into E250 van or something like that and get a gear vendor overdrive. http://www.gearvendor.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; in theory it doubles you gas mileage. I am wanting to put one on my superduty.

User avatar
URBAN ASSAULT
* * * * *
Posts: 2931
Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 12:51 am

Re: Vans and panel trucks

Post by URBAN ASSAULT » Sun Jun 17, 2012 2:42 pm

will_545 wrote:This is just a thought you could look into E250 van or something like that and get a gear vendor overdrive. http://www.gearvendor.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; in theory it doubles you gas mileage. I am wanting to put one on my superduty.
Sorry friendo, but your link doesn't work... here is the correct one.

http://www.gearvendors.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

-urban
"When under imminent Predator attack, try to act all Thalidomide-y till they go away".-me
3%

User avatar
L4tp
*
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:38 pm

Vans and panel trucks

Post by L4tp » Sun Jun 17, 2012 2:46 pm

I want a school bus with leather couches and a stripper pole. Does that count?

Viper shtf
* * *
Posts: 541
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:07 pm
Location: North Texas

Re: Vans and panel trucks

Post by Viper shtf » Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:34 pm

I think so...
PistolPete wrote:Seriously, fashion is dumb. But my wife likes the way they make my ass look or the way you can follow the veins on my balls through the denim or something. Whatever. I can dress up once in a while.

jdudkiewicz
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:21 pm

Re: Vans and panel trucks

Post by jdudkiewicz » Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:37 pm

How much weight can I take off a sprinter or 15 passenger van? Is it legal to replace all the body panels? I'm thinking I could replace them with a lighter polymer.

User avatar
Dawgboy
ZS Donor
ZS Donor
Posts: 3072
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:35 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Shaun of the dead, Fido
Location: San Diego, CA
Contact:

Re: Vans and panel trucks

Post by Dawgboy » Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:31 pm

My BOV (of the future) is a 1964 Dodge A100. "Misery machine" link in my sig. It's a stalled project at the moment due to money woes that just ended... The 170CI slant six gets about 22 mpg...

A friend has an older Mercedes Sprinter he uses for his business, and loaded down with gear and a giant ladder rack, he still gets 24 MPG driving around in LA traffic. That little TD is a great motor and I hope to find one to throw in my Dodge...

I recently rented a Nissan Panel Van. Ugliest thing on the market right now, but I did get 22MPG on a trip to Yuma and back, and that was with a heavy load and a 5500 foot pass in the middle. The agent said the v6 model is gutless and gets only about 18 mpg. Would make a very nice camper... No diesel option though... IMO they should offer it in diesel and 4X4 since all the parts are off the shelf for the titan trucks they sell.
shrapnel wrote:Dawgboy, please refrain from stirring shit for the sole purpose of stirring shit.
[ZS/]# .40/Pie/CERT/Wireless...
My homebrew stove kit
IMPROVED Solar Redneck Hot tub
Dawgvan
Chupa Chihuahua
GHB

User avatar
Stercutus
* * * * *
Posts: 13580
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:16 pm
Location: Time Out

Re: Vans and panel trucks

Post by Stercutus » Wed Jun 20, 2012 7:30 pm

BlueSilkRibbon wrote:
Anlushac11 wrote:Once upon a time there used to be a kit to covert a Transporter/Vanagon to a rabbit 4cyl Diesel. No idea if that is still available.

I have thought about looking at some of the import cab over panel trucks for a small 4 cyl turbo diesel. My vans slant six is rated at 100hp and about 175ft lbs torque. Any 4cyl diesel should be able to hit that.

I have a 1984 Dodge B150 van that used to be a custom van that someone bought and stripped everything out of. It is titled as a RV.

I have most of the stuff from a old pop up camper and hope to have sink, water tank, and 3 burner gas rangetop, and a 800w microwave running off a 1200w/2400w inverter.

Built a platform bed that runs along one side. Still trying to get a Futon pad for it. I drive a high top medical transport van at work everyday so would love to find a high top conversion for my van but only ones I have found in JY's dont give enough height advantage to warrant the cost and trouble.

Engine in mine is a 225 slant six with 1bbl carb and 4 speed manual trans with overdrive. When all is working right it gets little over 20mpg highway. Seems to be about a 26 gallon fuel tank.

IMHO my van looks beat up and does not attract any attention.
Image

Jinkies you got a real "Mystery Machine" there.

You should paint "free candy" on the side of it.
You mean like this?

Image
You go 'round and around it
You go over and under
I go through

User avatar
URBAN ASSAULT
* * * * *
Posts: 2931
Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 12:51 am

Re: Vans and panel trucks

Post by URBAN ASSAULT » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:24 pm

Anlushac11 wrote:Once upon a time there used to be a kit to covert a Transporter/Vanagon to a rabbit 4cyl Diesel. No idea if that is still available.

I have thought about looking at some of the import cab over panel trucks for a small 4 cyl turbo diesel. My vans slant six is rated at 100hp and about 175ft lbs torque. Any 4cyl diesel should be able to hit that.

I have a 1984 Dodge B150 van that used to be a custom van that someone bought and stripped everything out of. It is titled as a RV.

I have most of the stuff from a old pop up camper and hope to have sink, water tank, and 3 burner gas rangetop, and a 800w microwave running off a 1200w/2400w inverter.

Built a platform bed that runs along one side. Still trying to get a Futon pad for it. I drive a high top medical transport van at work everyday so would love to find a high top conversion for my van but only ones I have found in JY's dont give enough height advantage to warrant the cost and trouble.

Engine in mine is a 225 slant six with 1bbl carb and 4 speed manual trans with overdrive. When all is working right it gets little over 20mpg highway. Seems to be about a 26 gallon fuel tank.

IMHO my van looks beat up and does not attract any attention.
Image
Don't give the 'Free candy' stuff to much attention friend, I got that and more when I posted pics of The DoomRunner, aka 'The Square Tomato'.

Image

It's all good.

:lol:

-urban
"When under imminent Predator attack, try to act all Thalidomide-y till they go away".-me
3%

User avatar
Eugene Speed
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2012 3:46 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Dead Set
Location: Southend-on-Sea, Essex, UK

Re: Vans and panel trucks

Post by Eugene Speed » Fri Aug 10, 2012 3:53 pm

Transit County 4x4 diesel if you can get hold of one, a Reynolds-Boughton RB44 if you are feeling brave, or a Renault B90 if you trust French engineering. Probably not so easy to find in the US but can be imported from Europe.
'88 Armoured Transit
'90 4x4 Transit County

Post Reply

Return to “Transportation”