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Old 02-27-2014, 08:43 PM   #1
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Default Some interesting insights re: The Eurovan Revolution

I found this webpage and follow up comments in regards to the Ducato/Promaster, and some of the other new models which may soon be used by class B van converters. It's a short initial pros/cons evaluation article by someone planning on doing a DIY build, followed by endless comments on the pros and cons of the various options available, and I found it interesting to see what other forums think about the chassis options we have now, and will have soon.
http://www.curbsideclassic.com/blog/the ... all-i-buy/
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:10 PM   #2
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Default Re: Some interesting insights re: The Eurovan Revolution

It's a mixed bag a comments for sure. The comment I found most interesting was one that speculated that Chevy could possibly end up on top in terms of sales due to its presumably lower purchase price and maintenance costs.
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:14 PM   #3
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Default Re: Some interesting insights re: The Eurovan Revolution

On a smaller scale, one can visit Sportsmobile's site and see what they offer for each van for floor plans and upfits.

The Ducato's price is right, but there are trade-offs. The van is intended for fleet owners (less for the drivers) and is engineered to have a low CPM overall. The Ford is a middle ground, and the Sprinter is ending up becoming a luxury car when loaded with options.

If one wants the best DIY build for 24 feet, the Sprinter is the only choice. 22 feet or shorter, then the Transit with the high roof will be close to ideal because it can be built with a drop-down bed, false floor, etc.

Of course, if the US ends up anywhere like Europe, we will see Sprinter upfits for the high end (since unlike Europe, people consider the Mercedes brand name to be a status symbol), and instead of the Express vans, we will see the ProMaster upfits take their place, using various workarounds for the innate PM issues.
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:30 PM   #4
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Default Re: Some interesting insights re: The Eurovan Revolution

If you consider Accrete's DIY project on a classic Chevy cargo van, where I believe it cost him something like $2000 for the raised roof installed, and considering the lower initial price and on going repair/maintenance costs, it may be that they don't lose as much ground as some may have assumed. I think they also will offer a rebadged Nissan with a factory raised roof? There was so much to absorb in the article and follow up comments.
I like the little TT Accrete pulls with his van. It's been considered as an alternative to an upsizing the Roadtrek project. If I could get a little more oooomph out of the Chev 5.7L V8. I'm thinking it may also be worthwhile to wait a year, and see how the Transit fits into all of this.
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:55 PM   #5
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Default Re: Some interesting insights re: The Eurovan Revolution

I can see commercial users still choosing Chevy and their sales remaining high but I think Class B manufacturers might have to abandon it. The near perpendicular sidewalls on the "Eurovans" (all the way to the roof) allow for greater interior upper cabinetry depth and the feeling of space inside the van. And the full height side entry door means no bumping your head getting in and out of the van.
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Old 02-27-2014, 11:07 PM   #6
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Default Re: Some interesting insights re: The Eurovan Revolution

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Originally Posted by markopolo
I can see commercial users still choosing Chevy and their sales remaining high but I think Class B manufacturers might have to abandon it. The near perpendicular sidewalls on the "Eurovans" (all the way to the roof) allow for greater interior upper cabinetry depth and the feeling of space inside the van. And the full height side entry door means no bumping your head getting in and out of the van.
I agree on the side door, especially if they don't drop the floor like Roadtrek does. We saw a Pleasure-way on a Chevy at the Mpls. show and it was much tougher to not crack your head, and we are short. We also didn't like the sliders either. DW had real trouble reaching and pulling hard enough to close them so they would latch.

The Chevy does have a couple of things going for it besides cost. The same door height the hurts the front, helps in the rear, allowing a CoolCat install instead of a height killing roof mount. Also, the 6.0 engine gives a lot more power than any of the new vans (except the Ecoboost Transit), especially for the money.
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Old 02-27-2014, 11:37 PM   #7
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Default Re: Some interesting insights re: The Eurovan Revolution

You can learn how to not bump your head, and to close sliding doors.
Would a van with a roof top mounted A/C unit, fit in your garage? The taller imports and domestics have presented a new issue for buyers. You have to store them outside, in most cases. Unless you've got a barn out back.
The two points about the Chevy are both pretty good reasons to keep the Chevy on the list of maybes.
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Old 02-27-2014, 11:53 PM   #8
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Default Re: Some interesting insights re: The Eurovan Revolution

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You can learn how to not bump your head, and to close sliding doors.
Would a van with a roof top mounted A/C unit, fit in your garage? The taller imports and domestics have presented a new issue for buyers. You have to store them outside, in most cases. Unless you've got a barn out back.
The two points about the Chevy are both pretty good reasons to keep the Chevy on the list of maybes.
The garage thing is one of the biggies for us, and eliminated lots of units when we were looking. We have 9' 3" door openings in the garage, with 10' ceilings. The 9' 3" is the tallest I could go when I modified it from the8' doors we originally had in place. Even a GW on a Ford was too high. When I see that even the rotors don't have a spot of corrosion on them after sitting all winter, it convinces me that there would have to be lots and lots of benefits before we would go to something that had to sit outside. Nothing I have seen with roof air would fit.

I am a little surprised that no one has used a CoolCat as a floor mount in a tall B. They do that in small trailers quite a bit.
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Old 02-28-2014, 12:46 AM   #9
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Default Re: Some interesting insights re: The Eurovan Revolution

All the Sprinter Van Bs that I am aware of are under 10 feet tall over all. All the Sprinter small Cs are over 10 feet tall. Even if you you went to a CoolCat on the floor the Sprinter would still be too tall for your 9'-3" door considering some of the other stuff that goes up top of a 9'-2" tall Sprinter. Every B is too tall for the standard 7 foot tall garage door which probably comprises over 95% of all residential doors.

I'm thinking the Ford Transit will become the dominate B from what I know so far. It is close to the older Sprinter in size under 22 feet and it won't suffer from all the make do things that are popping up in ProMaster designs so far. The ProMaster may well become the B of choice for DIY because they will be the cheapest (which drives DIY) and most work will be done inside the B and not below the floor underneath (easier to do). Also, the ProMaster is the shortest van so will be the most appealing for people that will use it for every day or multiple uses.

What is going to supplant all those 4x4 hiked up Ford Econoline Bs Sportsmobile specializes in mostly in California?
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Old 02-28-2014, 12:53 AM   #10
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Default Re: Some interesting insights re: The Eurovan Revolution

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What is going to supplant all those 4x4 hiked up Ford Econoline Bs Sportsmobile specializes in mostly in California?
Maybe these?

http://www.tigervehicles.com/tiger-models/
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Old 02-28-2014, 02:01 AM   #11
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Default Re: Some interesting insights re: The Eurovan Revolution

The 4x4 Econoline "B"s likely will turn into Chevy Express models with pop-tops.

However, Quigley (and I'm sure Sportsmobile will too) has promised a 4x4 upfit for the Transit vans. ProMasters have no mechanics to go 4WD, and Mercedes will quickly revoke dealer authorization to any reseller upfitting Sprinters with 4WD (I guess they only want to keep the cool stuff for Europeans only.) So, we will be seeing 4x4 Transit upfits as an option by SMB. I am curious how they will handle the hot tubs in Moab, but I have a feeling that a SMB or Quigley Transit will be decent for most stuff, and can go where the pickup truck + truck camper people go.
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Old 02-28-2014, 02:50 AM   #12
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Default Re: Some interesting insights re: The Eurovan Revolution

Wonder if GM might offer the AWD option in the 2500 and 3500 models? As far as I can tell, it's only available on the 1500. If they did, it might draw some folks that are into off road/off grid camping to take a look at them for an SMB or DIY conversion? If I were going to start from scratch, I'd spend an extra $5,000 and get a true off grid/road van.
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Old 02-28-2014, 04:01 AM   #13
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Default Re: Some interesting insights re: The Eurovan Revolution

I've seen a few Provan Tigers over the years. They are nice looking RVs. They are not exactly Class Cs, truck campers or Bs. They are a breed of their own, IMO, based on pickup trucks that you can access the back inside from the cab.

There is no reason Mercedes cannot provide a 4x4 Sprinter. They are nice too and if the Ford Transit started offering 4x4 I suspect Mercedes would respond. They both may want to do it just to put ProMaster in its place.
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Old 02-28-2014, 02:59 PM   #14
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Default Re: Some interesting insights re: The Eurovan Revolution

I wonder how hard it would be for Chevy to just make a hightop van like the others while keeping the same frame and drive line.
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Old 03-05-2014, 08:01 PM   #15
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Default Re: Some interesting insights re: The Eurovan Revolution

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I wonder how hard it would be for Chevy to just make a hightop van like the others while keeping the same frame and drive line.
I keep reading rumors of this. This wouldn't be rocket science -- heck, they could get a third party to ship them fiberglass ceiling extenders for their Express vans, then call it done.
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Old 03-05-2014, 08:35 PM   #16
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Default Re: Some interesting insights re: The Eurovan Revolution

I agree. They are body on frame, so making changes to the body are pretty simple, I would think.
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Old 03-05-2014, 09:59 PM   #17
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Default Re: Some interesting insights re: The Eurovan Revolution

Chevy hasn't built a tall body for over 40 years on that technology. I doubt they would start now. The only differentiation they have is what they currently have if they continue to offer their traditional van. Let others like Accrete did and the converters make the roof extensions which is evidently a too small market to tool for. Vans have always gotten short shrift compared to trucks. I agree it is not impossible as witnessed what Nissan did with body on frame. I wouldn't get my hopes up. If they were smart they would retool like Ford did.
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Old 03-05-2014, 11:21 PM   #18
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Default Re: Some interesting insights re: The Eurovan Revolution

Maybe Chevy figures they'll stand pat for a while, and pick up some traditional cargo van business from the loss of the Econoline vans? They may also be betting that not every business application needs a van you can stand up in. Some may just want a reasonable amount of capacity at a reasonable price, that fits in places the taller ones can't.
The taller vans do make class B conversion easier, but the market is so small compared to other types of motorhomes and towables, you can't rely on sales to van converters alone. The tall ones do seem to be making up more of the fleets of the big delivery businesses, but there are some concerns over their reliability of late according to the original article quoted in this thread. I personally hadn't heard that any of them had any problems with reliability, but I don't read all the automotive news, and you can't always trust the industry magazines and papers. Or web blogs, even if they sound like some have personal experience with the problem units.
I would think GM/Chev will eventually have to rethink it all, if their van business suffers short term, but it's not always a good thing to get into a new product line, long after the game has begun. However, they may just be observing and taking notes of the pitfalls facing the rest of the field, before creating their offering.
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Old 03-07-2014, 12:14 AM   #19
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Default Re: Some interesting insights re: The Eurovan Revolution

I remember watching a video on the ProMaster in which a pallet could be put into the side door and rear door so it's not all about height . Its also about width as well so maybe that would pose a bigger design problem. All the European vans have low and high versions so Chevy has no advantage there.
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Old 03-07-2014, 12:36 AM   #20
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Default Re: Some interesting insights re: The Eurovan Revolution

A big Chevy advantage may be the single rear wheel 3500, 1 ton, availability with its 9600# capacity. How many of the new ones are going to make that available? How many only as duals?
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