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brownoarsman

Finding built-interior, cosmetically damaged TC Cargo (US)

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Hi everyone!

 

I recently moved to New York City (Manhattan) and am looking at changing out my '98 Tacoma for a used TC Cargo, as I'd like to keep mountain bikes, surfboards, and the occasional dirtbike in the van, whereas they'd get stolen out of the pickup very quickly. I also do a lot of my own vehicle maintenance and love having storage for tools and the like.

 

To that end, I've been trying to find former workmen's vans that have already built out the interior with shelves, cupboards, tie-down points, etc. Even better would be to find a van that's already beat up cosmetically, as NYC is not kind to vehicles. However, searching cargurus, autotrader, etc. this doesn't seem to be a filter that can be applied.

 

Has anyone had similar purchase criteria, and how did you find your perfect (pre-built) TC?

 

As well, for those driving cargo vans, if you'd like to also carry passengers occasionally, is that as simple as buying the middle bench and installing it when needed? Or are there rules, regulations, or modifications like passenger window access, seatbelt mounting points, and so on where it would be better to buy the TC Wagon and modify it for my cargo needs? Since these all seem to come over in the Wagon configuration and are then converted to Cargo, I would hope it would be simple, but have a suspicion that it's not.

 

Thanks in advance for the help! 

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It's up to you to thoroughly research statutes & regulations for NY in regards to adding seating to a vehicle, as well as discussing it with your insurance company; you are responsible for yourself & your actions. In an accident with "too many" people in the vehicle (officially it's only 2 in a US-spec cargo model), insurance may drop you after paying out a claim for a DIY-conversion and then turn around to sue you for re-compensation. The "most legal" route to take for adding seating is an automotive upfitter, they'll have the state licensing and insurance covering the conversion, like in case of a mounting/structural failure in an accident - but, of course, that's also the most expensive route up-front.

 

As for finding a cargo van that's already upfitted, I'm betting you're mainly looking at private-use type websites like AutoTrader? Instead, try Truck Paper and Commercial Truck Trader (basically the commercial side of "AutoTrader" website). You won't find some 'upfitted checkbox' like you're talking about, but those sites will give you the highest amount of commercially-fitted/used Transit Connects. If a second passenger (third body) or more is a high priority, your best bet may be getting a LWB wagon and then fitting it out exactly the way you want it for storage. I'd think you could mount some fork holders on the folded-down second row seat to hold the mountain bike(s), assuming front wheel off. One guy here made an internal ceiling rack to carry long-ish thin stuff, including putting up PVC tubes to carry his hang-gliding equipment. So you can get some pretty cool ideas from the forum. 

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Thanks JRM, this is all great advice! Really appreciate the input, and will check out those sites, as well as do some poking around a wagon version and seeing what it might take to install tie-points, racks, etc. Thanks again!


Dan

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