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davidparker

2018 TC Van LWB XLT First Impressions

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So, I finally gave into the voices in my head and bought a 2018 TC Van LWB XLT.  I had been driving a 2001 Toyota Tundra 4wd pickup.  But I moved from the Midwest to South Carolina and a black 4WD pickup was not working in a crowed southern city where it gets really hot, rains daily, doesn't snow and has no parking.  Hmm, you probably already are nodding your head.  So here are my first impressions after about 2 weeks.

PROS:

- I really like the maneuverability.  Although its the LWB, which I've read is not quite as easy to maneuver as the SWB, this is WAY better than a full size pickup.

-Talk about room, man this thing is big on the inside.  It makes me feel small driving it.  I already have a lot of stuff in it and still have room.  I think I'm going the like the LWB for that.

-Very comfortable to drive. OK, it's not a Cadillac, but it is every bit as comfortable and my old pickup. I really like the telescoping steering.  I'm 6ft, and with most vehicles without it, I have to choose between cramped knees or stretched arms.

-I like the backup camera, but being over 50 I have to put on my reading glass for tight spots.

-I like the cargo doors.  I know some like the lift gate, but I have had a few hatchbacks and I wanted to try them.  However, I would not get them without the glass.  Even with the glass, it takes a while to get used to the reduced visibility.   I'm used to it now, so I have decided I do prefer the doors.  I like just swinging one open and throwing the stuff in.

-I like having a roof and locks.  With my pickup, I was always covering up my stuff when it rains (which happens a lot here) and taking it out at night.  Now I just lock the doors!

-I like the rear sensors.  I wasn't looking for them, but they were on it when I bought it.  And now I really like them.  Already saved me a couple of times, even with the backup camera.

CONS:

-No passenger side sliding door window.  So when I was looking for a TC, I wanted the cargo van with both sliding door windows.  The dealer couldn't find one, so I negotiated a lower price on one without them.   I now realize that I'm OK without the drivers side, but I really miss the visibility on the passenger side.  I park in a lot of angled spaces and invariably a SUV parks next to me. Then I have to do the "creep out of the parking space while some numb skull blows the horn at me" maneuver.  Even with a passenger looking for me, it still can be tricky.  And while the backup camera gives me a safe start, in the city they come at you way too fast to pickup on the camera.  I read in this forum that the panel can be replaced with glass (a big thank you to the poster!), so I felt better about my decision.  However, I think I am going try mounting a side view camera.  I will post the results after I do.  If it doesn't work, I will be replacing the panel.  If it does work, I think I'm going to like the added security of the panels.

-"Fisher Price" kiddie key.  I know some people can't live without remote entry and locking.  I get it.  But I really don't like having the remote ON the key.  Yes I know there is a transponder in there, but it doesn't require a key the size of a tablespoon.  I have ordered a remote less transponder key, but I will be giving up the remote entry for the ability to put the key in my pocket.  It would have been nice to have a separate remote to take when I have a passenger and a simple key when its just me.

MEH (indifferent):

-Sync.  So I ended up with the Sync system and I like the Bluetooth connectivity for music.  But the voice command system is marginal.  Some will like it, but I'm not a phone guy so it doesn't do much for me.

-Blindspot mirrors.  These are the small ones with the convex corner in the upper outsides.  So, yes they help.  But I think I would have preferred the large mirror with the bottom convex section.  I might get the aftermarket add-ons posted about in the forum.  But I'm going to drive it a little longer.  They are getting better, but even so, they are not great.

-Hardboard panels.  Yes it is a cargo van, so I get the use of hardboard (Masonite to some).  But I will be painting, covering, or replacing them.  I am sure they will look really bad when they get stained.

-Performance.  I have yet to enjoy the benefits of better gas mileage, but it DEFINITELY is not fast.  (Hmm, on second thought, it might save me a few tickets!)

-The crap I get from my friends.  Some get it, some don't.  (Happens a lot in my world!)

 

Overall, I am VERY satisfied with my decision.  I'm really happy to be part of this forum, since it was a big help in making my decision.  I hope this post will help others figure out their purchase

 

 

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You can haz this OEM mirror:

 

 

A858BC06-C544-4854-BFCA-402CBBBDE47E.jpeg

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2 hours ago, davidparker said:

CONS:

-No passenger side sliding door window.

 

Correct this first and I'll bet you will be tons happier. I too got a lower price due to the lack of it and I haven't corrected it yet. I regret that every time I drive it, but I don't drive it daily.

While I share most of your list of cons here, the rest of the list is window dressings compared to the passenger side window.

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Yep.  I totally agree!  It's my #1 priority.  I have been doing research on a side camera system and think I know what I want.  But, I'm still researching what my best options are with wiring and mounting before I order the system.  There are a couple of things to consider when picking a camera system for this application.  Like where to mount the monitor, the size, video sensing, etc.  And the camera has its own list as well.  But I should have it figured out in a week or two. 🤔

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1 hour ago, davidparker said:

Yep.  I totally agree!  It's my #1 priority.  I have been doing research on a side camera system and think I know what I want.  But, I'm still researching what my best options are with wiring and mounting before I order the system.  There are a couple of things to consider when picking a camera system for this application.  Like where to mount the monitor, the size, video sensing, etc.  And the camera has its own list as well.  But I should have it figured out in a week or two. 🤔

 

You'd be better served with the glass, but knock yourself out.

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@mrtn Do you know where one can purchase those oem mirrors? I've got a 2015 TC that I'd love to put those on. 

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Posted (edited)

Ugly, but it will work.

image.png.7481056967c0bbcd9967d6118d11d661.pngimage.png.d2557a6c480d9ea9aded76f35cf3a3a7.pngimage.png.f6c3320e4ec025e2c433b01bc557ed84.png

Edited by Fifty150

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I'm trying to remember who it was.  A forum member installed a backup on his side door mirror, with a screen on the dashboard, because he said that he couldn't see well enough with the blindspot mirror.

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It was Doc Hoy

 

 

TC camera 1.jpgTC camera 3.jpgTC camera 2.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Automatically reposted. Oops.

Edited by mrtn

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I think I had my van for a month when I decided to have the glass installed in both sliding doors. The cost was around $800.00 but my insurance deductible is $1000 so I figured I saved $200 or more in avoiding an accident.

It was a pita to get a glass company to do it. I finally went back to the dealership and they made their glass company do it.

While it was pricey, I have no regrets in doing it. Having the ability to see out of the sides of my vehicle has saved me from an accident on several occasions. 

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The van started out with windows.  They took the windows out.  Hard to believe how much of an effort it is to put the windows back on.  Sounds like they could have just ordered a new door with windows, and installed it.  

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I don't think any Gen 2 cargo van started out as a wagon with windows to avoid the Chicken Tax and got converted to a cargo van  -  The Feds caught onto Ford's scam in 2013 and put a stop to it.  Pretty sure when he goes to install windows, he will find that it's the first time any windows have ever been in there

 

Don

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As I drive around, it looks like some cargo vans have auto glass on the sliding doors.  

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5 hours ago, Beta Don said:

I don't think any Gen 2 cargo van started out as a wagon with windows to avoid the Chicken Tax and got converted to a cargo van  -  The Feds caught onto Ford's scam in 2013 and put a stop to it.  Pretty sure when he goes to install windows, he will find that it's the first time any windows have ever been in there

 

Don

If my 16 ever had windows in the sliding doors, they did an amazing job of covering up the crime. My personal views on the "Chicken Tax" probably wouldn't be too popular.

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In my area, a lot of the vans have glass on the sliding door, and a metal panel over the rear wheel.

Image result for ford transit connect

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5 hours ago, Beta Don said:

I don't think any Gen 2 cargo van started out as a wagon with windows to avoid the Chicken Tax and got converted to a cargo van  -  The Feds caught onto Ford's scam in 2013 and put a stop to it.  Pretty sure when he goes to install windows, he will find that it's the first time any windows have ever been in there

 

Don

 

I'm convinced my 2015 Cargo Van (built in October 2014), that has side and rear windows, was converted from a wagon model to a "cargo model.

See the pic below. On both sides of the van, the location where the middle seat belts would have been bolted to the sides was crudely touched up with gray paint (hack job). I suspect the belt setup scratched the paint. Also note the cutouts in the side panels for the seat belt. Why have these cutouts if you're not mounting seat belts?

 

1007596097_insidesidewall.thumb.JPG.ade3a597dc55e8589442d8d5384456e3.JPG

 

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My personal suspicion is that even though the government is wise to Ford, wagons are still being converted into vans.  

 

http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20180812/blog200/668221/tackling-trumps-tariffs

August 12, 2018 12:16 a.m.

Tackling Trump's tariffs

 
OV-PaulVandevert-Linkedinpic-main_i.jpg
Paul Vandevert is principal of OCHIM Trade Law PLC, an international trade and Customs law firm based in Michigan.
 
As Ford's in-house trade counsel from 2000 to 2017, I advised Ford how it could legally import the vehicles without paying the 10 times higher duty.   
 
The Transit Connect first came to the U.S. in late 2009; Customs claims it didn't become aware of potential issues until early 2012; and now in 2018, the case is still being fought in the courts.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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6 hours ago, windguy said:

Why have these cutouts if you're not mounting seat belts?

 

Yup, my cargo van does not have these cutouts.

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Look at any vehicle's wiring harness.  Why do they have extra terminal ends with caps on them?  Because it's cheaper to run the same loom and not use certain ends than is is to do a separate loom for each different configuration of vehicle.

 

So, in your van with unused seat belt attachments, it's very possible that the production line was pushing out passenger van bodies.  However, out of the run of 1000 passenger vans, 300 were destined to be cargo vans.  They are going to restructure the production line for 300 vans, then go back to producing the rest of the passenger vans.  It's cheaper to weld in the attachment points and not use them than it is to rework the line.

 

That's my guess, anyway.

 

Either way ... "chicken tax" evasion or production line cost reduction ... What company wouldn't do it? 

On the other hand, I wouldn't trust a company that says it doesn't cut cost anywhere it can.  Would you ???

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Posted (edited)

 

I painted the hardboard panels in my van black shortly after bringing it home from the dealer.

They look so much better and it was such a simple thing to do.

 

Regarding windows in the sliding doors, my van came from the factory with a window in the passenger side sliding door only.

It was a $35 option, but to upgrade it to privacy glass was another $125.

Turns out having a window in the drivers side slider would be basically useless to me as I cannot see it at all from the driver seat.

I don't have windows in the rear doors. I manage to stay safe mainly by backing in 99% of the time.

The mirrors and the backup sensors (factory sensors, but no camera) have been good enough so far but I want to add a camera system.

 

20180827_064538.thumb.jpg.e2eeb0d2aabb07ea963a87e563e047cf.jpgI

Edited by donuts

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2 hours ago, donuts said:

I painted the hardboard panels in my van black shortly after bringing it home from the dealer.

They look so much better and it was such a simple thing to do.

 

I want to expand the hardboard panel setup to the ceiling and other places in the cargo area and paint them. Simplicity being the major attribute. Looking to retire end of next year (hopefully) and I'll have more time to work on it.

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