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Old 11-19-2008, 02:33 PM   #1
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Ford e250/e350 Vans - anybody have one - what are your impressions

I am thinking of purchasing a 2008 Ford e350 12 Passanger Van. Does anybody have one of these?

What kind of mileage do you get?

How does it tow?

How do you like it?
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Old 11-19-2008, 05:30 PM   #2
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I have been around them. I have owned 2 vans, Chevy and Ford. They where both Half tons. The Ford was by far a better Tow vehicle. The Chevy got better MPG.

My Advice, Either rent one from enterprise ( they keep them instock for Airport transportation) or Call a local limo/airport transportation co. Ask them what you want to know.

The older Fords where great for towing but didnt get good MPG. That was the old push rod engine. The new engines are alot different.
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Old 11-19-2008, 05:31 PM   #3
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Consider an E450 dually mini motorhome if you can find one inexpensively. They're a superior tow vehicle.

Roger
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Old 11-19-2008, 06:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 85MH325 View Post
Consider an E450 dually mini motorhome if you can find one inexpensively. They're a superior tow vehicle.Roger
Heah,.....but

Roger is quite correct, but there are a couple of downsides. For whatever reason most of the Ford MiniMoHo's have the V-10 gasoline engine - but, the gasser only option minimizes the 7.3/6.0/6.4 diesel problems and debates.

A real problem (for my uses, anyway) is that anything over the length of a "shortie" full size van is a real bugger to handle and back the trailer into a typical State Park site.

The 450 is a bit of a different animal since it is a much more robust vehicle, but the different trailer handling characteristics between a 150 short and extended van (due to the distance from the axle to the hitch) is very real and very severe - so, if you go the conventional e-250/350 approach, stick with the 9 passenger (non extended) version.

I currently use a 3/4 ton shortie Dodge van as my tow vehicle, but, should an opportunity come along for an upgrade, I would seriously look at options. I have owned a 1 ton extended Dodge in the past - what a rough ride! I currently use a 1/2 ton Ford shortie van as my daily driver - great ride and handles well. I have towed the 31 foot Sovereign with the Ford from time to time, and the 3/4 ton Dodge, even though all of the specifications and sizes are VERY similar to the Ford, does a much better job overall.

I do have to add that the Dodge ride, unloaded, is a bit harsh, but settles down nicely once loaded for travel with the Reese weight distribution system adjusted properly.
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Old 11-19-2008, 06:47 PM   #5
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The e350 has a longer(18 inches) overhang at the hitch point. They make the body longer not the wheelbase. They always advise to keep the rear overhang as short as possible.
Also the 350 has heavy duty suspension and that might make for a harsh ride.
I tow a 31 footer with a e 150 with a 5.4 gasser.
Works fine. When I get a new one it will be the same but I will get the 3.73 rear end ratio not the 3.55 that this one has.
Al
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Old 11-19-2008, 08:16 PM   #6
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BigAl is right on the extended body. Stick with the 10 passenger, the overhang on the 12 passenger will crush the front side trailer segment and will limit your turning radius, and require more weight distribution.

Michael
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Old 11-20-2008, 12:02 AM   #7
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I have one

We bought a 2006 350 last year specifically to tow the airstream. Got 11mpg on the last trip over 600mi round trip with the 5.4l engine. Ours is the shorter 12pass model, most people remove the rear seat for space. Love it.
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Old 11-20-2008, 04:00 AM   #8
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What is inexpensive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 85MH325 View Post
Consider an E450 dually mini motorhome if you can find one inexpensively. They're a superior tow vehicle.

Roger
What would be a good cost for this in your opinion?
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Old 11-20-2008, 04:03 AM   #9
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Clarification

Quote:
Originally Posted by holmestk View Post
We bought a 2006 350 last year specifically to tow the airstream. Got 11mpg on the last trip over 600mi round trip with the 5.4l engine. Ours is the shorter 12pass model, most people remove the rear seat for space. Love it.
Holmes,

Does yours have the extended overhang? I think the shorter van is a 9 passenger? Do you have a picture (trying to figure out if the extended - ie 12 seater - is a-ok for towing).

Thanks!
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Old 11-20-2008, 04:05 AM   #10
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Crush?

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Originally Posted by ArtStream View Post
BigAl is right on the extended body. Stick with the 10 passenger, the overhang on the 12 passenger will crush the front side trailer segment and will limit your turning radius, and require more weight distribution.

Michael
Michael,

Thanks for the response - can you clarify about how that will crush the front segment? Isnt the hitch still off the rear bumper (no matter ho far that is from the rear wheels?)

Thanks,

-Sig
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Old 11-20-2008, 07:05 AM   #11
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I have a 2003 Sportsmobile RB. It works great for towing a 29' AS. 5.4 engine gets us over the highest passes with little strain. Gas: about 10 mpg.
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Old 11-20-2008, 09:44 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Michael,

Thanks for the response - can you clarify about how that will crush the front segment? Isnt the hitch still off the rear bumper (no matter ho far that is from the rear wheels?)

Thanks,

-Sig
Sig,
It has to do with the limited turning radius caused by the larger overhang and the pivot point (which are the rear wheels) I know, I have an e-350 and I can not make the same turn or have the same turning angle that other vehicles with less of an overhang.
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Old 11-20-2008, 09:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sigv View Post
Holmes,

Does yours have the extended overhang? I think the shorter van is a 9 passenger? Do you have a picture (trying to figure out if the extended - ie 12 seater - is a-ok for towing).

Thanks!
We have the shorter, and it is a 12 passenger. The longer one is a 15 passenger-- at least for 06 models like ours. Hard to tell since many people take out the last row, ours lives permanently in the garage and can "only" carry 9 people with seatbelts with the seat removed. FYI, we bought a lease return with 20K miles they can be good deals with the remainder of the 30K warranty to check things out. Make sure to get the rear heat and A/C.

The only colors we ever see in the regular 350 are blue/maroon/white/silver.
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Old 11-22-2008, 09:43 AM   #14
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How much room in the back

Quote:
Originally Posted by holmestk View Post
We have the shorter, and it is a 12 passenger. The longer one is a 15 passenger-- at least for 06 models like ours. Hard to tell since many people take out the last row, ours lives permanently in the garage and can "only" carry 9 people with seatbelts with the seat removed. FYI, we bought a lease return with 20K miles they can be good deals with the remainder of the 30K warranty to check things out. Make sure to get the rear heat and A/C.

The only colors we ever see in the regular 350 are blue/maroon/white/silver.
Thanks for the info. With the last row removed - how much space is there? ALso - what Kind of mileage are you getting (owing and not towing)?

Thanks,

-Sig
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Old 11-25-2008, 12:09 PM   #15
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Enterprise sells these all across the country, in both 12 and 9 passenger versions. The company website is user friendly and has them listed nationwide. Some only have 20k miles or less and under 20k. All have rear a/c. When you think what a pick up cost, these are a great deal. Be careful as some do not have the 5.4, a must for towing. Also, they may have lower rear end ratio, but that could be changed. I would love to convert one with a full size bed in back and a minimal port a potti/ sink closet. Use the space under the bed as storage.
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Old 11-25-2008, 04:33 PM   #16
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E 350 extended 15 passenger

We tow our little 6.7 Minuet with the Ford E350 extended van. The ride is a little harsh, but we don't do alot of long distance traveling with it. We are getting about 10 mpg towing. 15 mpg other times (regardless of weight carried). There is alot of overhang after the rear axle. Larry says it is a pain. Seems to give alot of extra leverage to the trailer to work on the back axle. Larry says it is not a good tow vehicle for most drivers. He always takes extra care with it. But we LOVE the space. We can remove all of the seats and Larry has made a platform bed with storage underneath. It is about a queen sized bed. We put a 5 gal. water jug, dishpan, porta potty, microwave, small electric heater and a small AC in there. Larry was able to make a pattern for the passenger side window and put the AC in when we need cooling. Works good. I made a privacy curtain in front and velcro curtains for the windows all the way around. Perfect! We have traveled in it for 7 wks. and had a blast...after all we are from the Hippie generation! LOL
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Old 11-26-2008, 08:51 AM   #17
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I wondered about the real long version, it does have severe overhang from rear axle.

Still, what you have is something I am very interested in, I cross the country 4 times/year. i am finding I only need the A/S when out west, and use it very little when home in Michigan. What would work out is the shorter version, set up as you have done, and then we could cross the country with a comfortable bed to rest in, and little potti and sink. Then, on those long runs, a motel every other day, cutting travel time down significantly with lot of comfort. The lease on the f150 comes up in May, this might be the next choice.
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Old 11-26-2008, 06:05 PM   #18
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smaller version

The 12 passenger van is probably going to be a little tight to carry all the stuff that we carry along, but it might work out ok. I forgot to mention that Larry installed another battery underneath and wired it in. I sleep with a CPAP for sleep apnea and we wanted to be able to use it just in case we were in a spot without electricity. He wired it in so that if we need to use it for the van he has to flip a switch and we are ready to go. Also, he hard wired an electrical box under the driver's side seat, ran the cord thru the floor and up to the front engine/hood area in a spot that he can keep a small coil of cord. When we arrive at a place that has electricity and we want to hook up to shore power, we simply open the hood, pull out the power cord and run it to the plug in. Works great! We have one of those small Koolatron refrigerators tht fits between the front seats. It keeps food 20+degrees below ambient temperature. That worked great in the spring time out in the SW. It would need AC to help out the ambient temps in the summertime though. We used it mainly for bottled drinking water, a small container of juice or milk, and some lunchmeats and cheese. Our travel time was limited and we were not camping in one spot for long so it worked out very well for us. Some truck stops on the highways offer showers, or as you said, you could stop and do a motel now and then. Some of the nice campgrounds had shower houses that were heated. I carried an spring loaded curtain rod with a plastic shower curtain, so that I could cordon off a smaller space to cut down on the airflow in the shower stalls. Feb. in some of the sw was a little chilly in places and it came in handy.
Lou
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Old 11-26-2008, 07:23 PM   #19
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Ford e350 7.3 liter diesel extended van. Pulls the 31' classic with no effort.
Use Mobil 1 synthetic AFT 21 quarts that's prevents slipping over using Fords ATF. Milage is about 12 to 14 fully loaded but will pull you up the steepest grades at about 40 to 45 MPH.
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Old 11-27-2008, 08:29 AM   #20
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Ford e350 7.3 liter diesel extended van. Pulls the 31' classic with no effort.
Use Mobil 1 synthetic AFT 21 quarts that's prevents slipping over using Fords ATF. Milage is about 12 to 14 fully loaded but will pull you up the steepest grades at about 40 to 45 MPH.


I just went to the ford web site, interesting they do not offer the diesel in the window van version anymore. Only the v10, which is a great engine. Still, seems strange they would drop the diesel.
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