Vehicles


2008 Chevrolet Express 1500


Background

Nikki and I got used to driving around a conversion van. It is hard to beat the space and comfort. Our 1992 Ford conversion van, "Connie", had been a great vehicle for us. With the arrival of our 3rd child Connie became Nikki's daily driver. The three kids did not fit well in her Edge. Driving Connie on a daily basis meant we had to keep her in good working order all the time. This was no small task for a 23 year old vehicle with 160k miles on it. Plus the interior was in rough shape and it was simply not worth fixing it up. So we opted to get a newer conversion van.

It turns out that newer conversion vans are expensive and also not readily available. I found three different vans that looked good but by the time I contacted the seller, they were all sold. Two out of the three sold the same day I contacted the seller. These things move quickly when priced right. There were litterally no vans available in Colorado so I expanded my search to the entire US. I ended up finding this one in California. I made a trip out of it, spending a couple days with a friend out there before going to buy the van and driving it back to Colorado.

Buying your first conversion van is easy, the second is tough. It is just like buying your second house, you now know exactly what you want and you won't settle because this is likely to be the house (or van) you have forever. For us, the requirement list was pretty tough:

  • Newer than 2005 and below 70k miles
  • In our price range
  • 3rd row fold down bed, must be three pieces
  • Usable storage cubbies
  • Hi-top
  • Sunroof in the back (front was optional)
  • Leather or vinyl seats, no cloth
  • Rear doors on both sides so you can access the middle and rear seats from either side of the van
  • Good sized flat panel TV with HDMI input, or at least the capacity to switch out the TV for a modern one if needed
  • Bonus points for a van by Explorer Van, the company that made Connie and is known for high quality
  • Bonus points for an AWD drive, only available on a GMC or Chevy
  • Bonus points for being a Ford

So how does Blue measure up to our list? It has everything except AWD and its not a Ford. So it meets all the requirements but only gets 1 out of 3 bonus points. Most importantly, it was the right mileage for the right price.

Vital Stats

2008 Chevy Express 1500
Conversion Van by the Explorer Van Company out of Indiana

Work Done To Date

Pictures

  • All pictures are here

 

Mods

  • Pumpkin Android head unit, 11-C0255-US-A
  • Alpine MRP-F250 amp under front passenger seat powering 4 speakers connected to head unit

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