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New vans: Full size Dodge Ram or Ford Transit?

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JohnNY
JohnNY Member Posts: 3,244
Please share your experiences with both or either.

The Ram is front wheel drive, which I like, but I hear it comes with some baggage.

Both cost much more than the now defunct Econoline, which really ticks me off.

I bought a Nissan NV last year and it doesn't impress me. It's a 2500 used for residential service work and it's sagging badly in the rear. Pffft.

Thanks in advance.
Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, NYC Master Plumber, Lic 1784
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Comments

  • Abracadabra
    Abracadabra Member Posts: 1,948
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    Chevy Express? or are you not a chevy guy?
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,469
    edited December 2014
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    My general opinion of Chrysler products.....Their styling and design is unmatched, but they seem to have mastered planned obsolescence. GM and Ford will nickel and dime you on repairs. When a Chrysler's done, it's done bumper to bumper. Sorry Mopar fans, that's just the way I see it. It's been that way since the 60's.
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,746
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    I don't have any direct knowledge of either vehicle, but I will point out that the Ford Transit has been the #1 in the UK basically since it came out back in the 60's. They adore them over there so that has to say something.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    JohnNY
  • FranklinD
    FranklinD Member Posts: 399
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    I'm a former Ford technician, so I'm a little partial to them, but I do like the Transit vans. The biggest one is standing room height in the rear and apparently holds up pretty well. Nothing will replace the versatility (or economy) of the econoline, though.

    The Freightliner Sprinter is a great one. Totally agree on that...but the intial cost will be higher. I don't mind diesel, but these days they aren't like the diesels I remember and love (the original 5.9, the PowerStroke 7.3, etc). We run all Mercedes diesels in our dumps and garbage trucks and haven't had great luck with the emissions components (the diesel exhaust fluid parts, the particulate filters, etc...sent two of them down to the local dealer for warranty repairs today with about 5k on one and 21k on another). The base engines are all great, but the emissions parts being added seem like afterthoughts at best IMHO. Not sure if Mercedes still has a diesel that doesn't require the exhaust fluid...I think they did a year or two ago.

    I'm not a Dodge guy. The City I work for went through a Dodge phase and it didn't end well for them. The power trains lasted forever but everything else fell off, broke off, rusted off, or didn't come with the base model.

    Also not a big fan of the GM chassis vans. I've spent a lot of time doing engine work on those, and didn't care for the way they designed some of the stuff. I've always found their interiors to be lacking in creature comforts, and the paint seems to wear off the controls and knobs really quickly.

    So for me, I guess I'd lean towards the Sprinter chassis or the Transit. Shame that they decided to kill off the workhorse though. I've always owned Grand Marquis' and Crown Vic's and boy was I upset when they killed them off.
    Ford Master Technician, "Tinkerer of Terror"
    Police & Fire Equipment Lead Mechanic, NW WI
    Lover of Old Homes & Gravity Hot Water Systems
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,746
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    FranklinD said:

    I've always owned Grand Marquis' and Crown Vic's and boy was I upset when they killed them off.

    Those things run forever with proper maintenance. My friends dad has one with 300k miles and it still runs and drives like new. I have a 1972 LTD in my garage with 235k miles on it...the full size Ford was a great car. I too was upset when they discontinued them.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • unclejohn
    unclejohn Member Posts: 1,833
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    I'm on my second Freightliner Sprinter. First one lasting me 10 years. Bought my second one in March of this year and get 20 miles to the gallon in the city.
  • nicholas bonham-carter
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    Just call a Uber taxi to take you where you want to go!--NBC
  • Tom_133
    Tom_133 Member Posts: 889
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    I have owned 3 sprinters, 1 Chevy express 1500, and econolines.

    I have personally struggled to answer this question for myself, but for me it boils down to how and where you plan on using it. I understand it's a work vehicle and it seems by your name it will be in NYC most of it's life.

    1 Will it see highway speeds often? The new diesels are not the best at hanging out in the city, they need to be liberated and driven hard on the highway to keep emissions equipment working and free from clogging.

    2 Do you plan on working it like a truck? If so, most of these vans are sort of weak, sure they can "do it" but they are not "work horses".

    3 Dependability, drivability or MPG? Which are you most concerned with? Sprinters win in MPG and drivability but as the amount of sensors, emissions, and toys are added so is the time to troubleshoot. Transit is offered in 2 gas and 1 diesel motor, the gassers are known by mechanics and parts are accessible and less expensive.

    For me I struggled for a long time on this one, I am now driving a pre-emission duramax 4x4 with a work box on it. Do I love it? No, but does it go everywhere, pull a house, dependable and love drinking diesel? YES.

    If I was you I would lean toward the transit, but in the next breath I would say a Promaster with a 100K warranty will save you more money!!

    Tom
    Montpelier Vt
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,448
    edited December 2014
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    I am waiting for Toyota to come out w/ a full size Tundra chassis/ van. Looking at the pricing everything is so expensive... :\
  • FranklinD
    FranklinD Member Posts: 399
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    KC - I used my last one for my commuter to work for several years. I did love that car...got 29 mpg at 68mph, comfortable, never broke down. I was in a bad crash with it a few years ago, on my way to work on a snowy/icy morning. A pickup passed me on an uphill curve and his rear end slid out, tapped the left front hard, and put me in the ditch sideways at 60. The car rolled 4 times and stopped on it's roof. That's an experience I'll never forget, and I was able to walk away from it with just seat belt bruises. And neither myself nor the very unbelieving sheriff ever found the truck...he was rather incredulous despite the large patch of white paint transfer on my left front fender. His opinion was that I fell asleep since it was 5:30am. Oh well, what can you do...

    I do know one local company that has a few Transit vans, if I see the owner this week I'll be sure to ask how he likes them. They're all less than a year old. I don't know if he went gas or diesel, I see it's available with both now. All of our police units (explorer police utility's) have the 3.7 V6 and I'm surprised at the power...more off the line than the 4.6 V8 had in the Crown Vic.
    Ford Master Technician, "Tinkerer of Terror"
    Police & Fire Equipment Lead Mechanic, NW WI
    Lover of Old Homes & Gravity Hot Water Systems
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 3,244
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    @Tom, You're right. This vehicle will live in Brooklyn or Staten Island and will work in Manhattan. It'll move a few blocks at a time during the day after a 30 min crawl through traffic to and from its driver's home.
    It will carry service equipment and the occasional heavy load of large piping or a boiler.
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, NYC Master Plumber, Lic 1784
    Consulting & Troubleshooting
    Heating in NYC or NJ.
    Classes
  • Harvey Ramer
    Harvey Ramer Member Posts: 2,239
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    If I worked in Manhattan, I'd want a motor with a lot of hp and a heavy duty welded steel, bull dozer bumper, so I could clear myself a parking spot. I drove through Manhattan earlier this year and I cannot even begin to imagine how you guys can operate with any efficiency. But I guess you grew up there and know things that I don't.

    Harvey
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 3,244
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    That's why my rates reflect 5 hours of productivity in a day.
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, NYC Master Plumber, Lic 1784
    Consulting & Troubleshooting
    Heating in NYC or NJ.
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    kcopp
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
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    JohnNY said:

    That's why my rates reflect 5 hours of productivity in a day.

    There's a lot more places around to work in that that applies to.

    Some don't realize it.

  • billtwocase
    billtwocase Member Posts: 2,385
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    We've had pretty good luck with Chevy Express 3500, but we do all our own repairs and servicing, and those 6 liters do like water pumps, and starters. Always had good luck with Fords. Before the Express, we had 1988 E-350's. Great trucks. Before that a 1978 Chevy 3500, and a1972 Ford Econoline. Even tried a VW bus :)
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,469
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    JohnNY......... I think those streets would be perfect for product testing. Any work vehicle that can stand up to them, gets a big "thumbs up". Maybe one of the manufacturers would agree? Nothing ventured, nothing gained. You spend a few minutes typing up a letter, stating who you are what you do, and where you do it. Send it to the one you were thinking about buying anyway. Worst case scenario....they decline your offer, but offer you a good discount for their vehicle.
    Bob Bona_4
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 3,244
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    @Paul48‌, I've got over 20 years of data on the Econolines.
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, NYC Master Plumber, Lic 1784
    Consulting & Troubleshooting
    Heating in NYC or NJ.
    Classes
  • Tom_133
    Tom_133 Member Posts: 889
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    My vote is Transit T350 with the ecoboost V6 and as much suspension upgrade in the rear as possible.
    Tom
    Montpelier Vt
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,469
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    I was sitting in a Toyota dealership while having a car serviced. They were showing a rancher they gave a full-sized pickup to. He kept it for a year and beat the snot out of it. He had it serviced per the manual, and at the end of the year, Toyota took it back, gave him another truck, and took it apart. They took everything apart, and checked it for wear, or failure.
    I just threw it out there.

  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
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    Judging by the popularity of Toyota Tundra Pickups, that Toyota full size van that is uglier than a bucket full of unmentionables, will become the #1 selling work van in short order.

    The smart folks with higher pay grades and offices way above the streets just made another smart Command decision on dismantling the American Automobile Manufacturing system. With the old Ford & Chevy E150 types, you can fit 10' lengths of pipe between the seats 6' on a Ford Transit? They look cool. Like those Mouse mobiles in the commercials.

    I could put my entire iceboat rig inside the body with the 15' mast on roof racks and everything was inside. Now, if I wanted to go, I'd have to buy a Toyota. Way to go Detroit. Send your customers to your competition. To never come back.
  • Sal Santamaura
    Sal Santamaura Member Posts: 532
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    icesailor said:

    ...that Toyota full size van that is uglier than a bucket full of unmentionables, will become the #1 selling work van in short order...I'd have to buy a Toyota...

    I must have missed something. Does Toyota now sell a full-size van in the US? Or has one been announced for future release?

  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 3,244
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    I know. I Googled it, too. No.
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, NYC Master Plumber, Lic 1784
    Consulting & Troubleshooting
    Heating in NYC or NJ.
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  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,469
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    Nissan has a van....Maybe that's the one he's refering to.