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drh14 last won the day on June 29

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About drh14

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  1. Thanks for the suggestion! The box will be only used for traveling, so I'm not super concerned. I think I will end up going with the Thule Pulse Alpine, extra storage but super low profile. No question, the box and my awning will effect my fuel consumption though. I don't find the idea of a cargo trailer super appealing because it sort of defeats the purpose and ease of having an all-in-one micro-campervan (which is the eventual goal).
  2. In case anyone was curious, I ended up just gently pressing the vinyl flooring under the plastic and using a staple gun. It is pretty secure and once we get the platform built I think it will be a tighter and more secure for sliding storage boxes etc...
  3. We're starting our van build, much like others have mentioned, everything we do will have to be reversible in the event that we ever want to sell the van. Has anyone ever installed vinyl sheet flooring over the factory carpet? I'm thinking this might be a nice feature, because under the platform bed/box we're building, we will want storage boxes etc... The vinyl flooring will be easier to clean and allow for sliding storage boxes in and out more easily. My thought is that I could do minimal modification or damage and not add much volume, by using sheet underlayment, tucking it under tightly and then installing the vinyl sheet flooring with minimal adhesive to the underlayment. I'm not sure this will work. Any suggestions?
  4. This is super helpful! Thank you! I'm eventually going to buy a roof top box, so I suppose I'll just have to be conscious of the weight we carry in it.
  5. I haven't posted much here after my initial research phase and final purchase of my van. We're starting to buy accessories and make plans for the build out, so I'm making an effort share my progress, other findings, and purchases with other TC enthusiasts here. I purchased and installed a rack/cross bars system two weeks ago, I went with the Thule system. I'll list the parts below. Side bar: the customer service at e-trailers.com was superb, I would recommend doing business with that company. TH712400 Thule SquareBar Crossbars TH710601 Evo Flush Rail Feet for Thule Crossbars - Flush Side Rails TH186032 Fit Kit for Thule Evo Flush Roof Rack Feet It definitely wasn't the cheapest way to get outfitted with a rack. There are some systems on e-bay that are cheaper, but the convenience and fast shipping was really what I needed at the time. The other accessory that I wanted to share about is the awning I purchased. I found it on Camping World's website, it was the least expensive and simplest system I could find. We're modifying the brackets to install it, because I don't want to drill holes in my new cross bars. Initially, I'm impressed with the quality of the awning for the price. If you are looking for an inexpensive awning option, here's the link to the awning: https://www.campingworld.com/trustmade-6.5'-x-6.5'-car-rooftop-pull-out-awning-shelter-black-118964.html We also purchased, just today, some slide on window netting. We live in a warmer climate in summer, so windows down for sleeping in the van is required but can get buggy. We're testing these slide on window coverings that promote air flow, but keep bugs out. These came on recommendation from a friend who van camps/sleeps a lot. Here's the link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07VPMVD4H/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 I will test everything this weekend camping and report back, and post some pictures too.
  6. Thanks! I ended up ordering the Thule system from e-trailers.com because I was on a timeline. Sadly, the weak part of the system isn't the Thule rack it's the factory rails. As I understand it, the Ford factory rail system with a rack/cross bars system installed are only rated to hold around 150#. Which is kind of disappointing. We took 2 Dagger kayaks on a trip with it, and they probably weigh 50-60#'s each and it performed nicely. I guess we'll see if I need to modify to hold more weight later.
  7. I purchased a 2016 TC Passenger Wagon LWB in November. We're going to start the conversion to 'weekend warrior camper van' on the inside soon. I want to add cross bars so I can add additional storage room on the roof and possibly a retractable awning. Any suggestions on affordable crossbars that are compatible or should I stick with Yakima/Thule?
  8. I live in TN so can't buy this from you, but I would be interested in seeing what your conversion looks like. I bought a 2016 in November and have been planning to build it out, but make the conversion where I can still utilize the second row if needed.
  9. @TCjeff What was your buying procedure? Did you take it for pre-purchase inspection from an independent mechanic? If you did, what things specifically did you ask to be looked over, outside of the basics? What package did you get? I'm in the buying process as well and would love your input... Also agree 100% with not buying one with a trailer hitch already installed, that would indicate the previous owner hauled and without knowing what they hauled, I would have been weary on transmission wear.
  10. @windguy Good tip, haven't heard much about the Front Drive Shaft Seals, I'll make sure to look into it. If you were looking to buy a used one from a private party seller, would you take it to a Ford Dealership for pre-purchase inspection or a local shop that you know and trust? Because I may be doing this, I'm wondering what's best. Unfortunately, I'm probably not going to be able to go to a shop that I'm familiar with (because the van is not local) but I may be able to get recommendations.... not sure. What do you think?
  11. @Fifty150 I've been driving a Subie Wagon for quite awhile. I can relatively comfortably sleep in the back on climbing and adventure trips. I'm ready for a better vehicle and more space. There were only a few vehicles that I was truly interested in and my hubs won't let me get a full-sized van (as much as I'd like to play out my fantasy dreams of #vanlife - he's right, I would not want an Econoline as a full-time daily driver). So we needed a compromise. The TC is the only van that is sort of like a mini-van, but doesn't come with a 30k price tag (like a newer Odyssey or Sienna), but with better head room than these vans (my hubs is 6'5). I think we will have the ability to keep the first and second row and build out a bed conversion in the back, removing the third row. Plus, it gets about the same gas mileage as my Subie. So all in all, the TC is a great little versatile van - I get the best of all the worlds, good for daily driving, good gas mileage, low price tag, can haul enough people and my dog comfortably, and can be a weekend-warrior camper van if we go about the conversion the right way. Added bonus of all the bells and whistles that getting a newer car will bring, I'm tiring of the old low-tech Subaru - we're a handsfree state in TN - so reallllly looking forward to the bluetooth connectivity in the Titanium trim line. To answer your original question: I was interested in these vehicles: Honda Element - but they quit making it in 2011 so super hard to find low miles used. Honda Pilot - I never loved these but they are roomy, there's a lot of reports out there about the acceleration problem on the model years I was looking at - enough where it can be dangerous merging and turning onto a busy highway (this was also reported by a coworker's wife who drives one) Toyota Highlander - Big price tag for an SUV and not great gas mileage Econoline Van - Husband nixed this... the whole argument of "you won't want to drive and park that thing" every day Promaster Van - same as above and likely wouldn't go into our garage either!
  12. @tlmason This is awesome! I'm in search of my perfect TC, LWB passenger wagon right now - to do exactly this, keep the second row bench but build out as a conversation. Your original goals listed in your OP are the same as mine. I'm thinking we will want a little more head room than your conversion shows - you have a lot of height on the platform from the floor of the van. Do you think you could have accomplished something similar with a bench built in the back (removed third row), with an additional top with a hinge, where you could easily fold it over the second row when the seats are folded down and forward? I'm thinking through what our design will be and this is my goal. However, I'm thinking that I will need support on the front platform of the bed so it's not resting on the folded down second row. Using your support leg solution or perhaps adding an additional leg that is removable in the center - maybe screw on and off? Anyway, I'll going to continue to follow this thread for more ideas. Thanks for sharing your conversion.
  13. Thanks @windguy! I have my eye on one in the Atlanta area. He's a fellow camper/RV guy, who has had his TC since it was new, it mostly sits in a garage because he has a larger Sprinter Van than he does most of his traveling in. This one is the Titanium trim and is a 2014, 46k miles, which I think is fine depending on the maintenance records. It's a strong contender. I'm really quite opposed to buying from a dealer because I don't really trust them and their dealer fees are generally outrageous! I will keep the forum posted on wether this van works out. 🙂 If it does, I'll then start looking for conversion inspiration. Ideally I'd like to figure out a conversion where I can keep my second row bench seat - it will be rare for me to go on an adventure or climbing trip with just myself (driver) and one passenger. Plus, since it will be my daily driver (I work from home, so not a huge amount of miles on a week to week basis), I still want to be able to seat at least 4-5 in the TC. I'm thinking I can remove the third row, build out a bench/storage system, and then put and additional top on the bench with a hinge. Then fold and push the second row down, fold over the bench top on a hinge and have a nice bed set-up. I'm no engineer or pro-woodworker, but this seems simple enough to accomplish. All in all, the TC seems like the best, most versatile solution to what we're looking for and the use that I want for it. I'll keep you posted on when/what we end up purchasing. 🙂 So glad I found this forum!
  14. Thanks everyone for this super helpful, valuable, quality info! Once I find the "one" I be sure to follow up and post a pic of my van + progress on the conversion!
  15. If you ever do decide to sell it and are somewhere close to TN, I might be interested if I haven't already found a TC of my own. 😉