MONTHLY ARCHIVES: JULY 2016

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Conversion Vans

The conversion camper van has a long history in the hearts of Americans. We can even draw an analogy of the covered wagon being the precursor to the modern conversion van; self-contained living spaces that also provided room for gear!

The VW van lead the pack back in the early days. They delivered factory built camper vans to a hungry, hippie nation. Through the 60s Chevy began introducing vans that were strictly for commercial cargo use (no windows)!  By the 1970s they had a decent vehicle with plenty of space for the do-it-yourselfers to start adding shag carpet and wooden paneling. The conversion van was born!

The Conversion van grew popularity from the 1970s and into 1980s. The early models were simply vans with additional seats put in them. They were used for travel, and as a means to transport more people all together. The Conversion van went from babyhood in the 70s to adolescence in the 80s, and captured the free spirit of the times; as it matured in the 90s, luxury began to raise its head fashionable head and the vans became more homey and comfy with more interesting, customized features. 

In the 1980s car manufacturers began creating vans that lent themselves to conversions, a higher roofline, more safety features, interior lighting, etc. Competition with the minivans of the 1990s led to even more in the way of luxury innovations that we see today. 

However, there were changes in society as well as financial markets. Conversion van sales plummeted from 181,000 in 1994 to less than 23,000 in 2004; with the rise of gas prices throughout the 2000s it was feared that the mightiest vehicle on the road in the 1970s and '80s was bound to become an endangered species – replaced by the ‘geeky’ minivan in the 1990s.  Added to that was the SUV boom of the late 1990s - the popularity of sport utility vehicles certainly took a chunk out of the van conversion business.

A large portion of van conversion jobs early in the 21st century involved outfitting vans for disabled drivers and passengers; a true blessing. In the mid-2000s custom van enthusiasts were a small but extremely loyal group.  

There was hope that, in particular, the retiree crowd would move away from giant gas-hungry RVs and revitalize the market with conversion vans that are loaded with features.

And that was true. But it didn’t stop there. Not only have van conversions for the traveler rebounded spectacularly, high-end luxury limousine van conversions have exploded both domestically and internationally. 

While it seems mini-vans and SUVs are more prevalent on the road, when you double-take on a specially tailored, eye-catching Conversion van, its novelty and its styling is unquestionably unique. The Explorer Conversions are the ultimate in features and amenities. 

The 7 passenger Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana are the most classic vans of the conversion world. They are the best selling full size vans on the market and offer the best in power and towing. The custom exterior and interior appointments will keep the whole family comfortable and stylish. 

Built on the sturdy and safe 2500 Chassis, these vans measure out no larger than a full-size SUV (Chevrolet Suburban for example). But their shorter front end and tighter turning radius make getting around town a pleasure. The interior is uncluttered and spacious; maximizing passenger legroom, move around room and storage room. Perfect for a long trip. Perfect for around town. Perfect for commuting. Seven passengers sit comfortably in plush leather seats with a 29" HDTV for entertainment. 

Stepping up to the Extended 9 Passenger Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana you are offered further versatility and luxury. Built for those with the large families, big clubs or tons of friends, you will not find a vehicle out there that seats 9 people, and all their belongings, as comfortably as the Extended 9 Passenger Chevrolet Express or GMC Savana.

 It only measures 20" longer than the regular wheelbase of the 7 Passenger Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana. The 2500 Chassis offers the same amount of rear storage space while allowing for that extra row of comfortable captain’s chairs, increasing seating capacity to nine. Imagine, nine happy passengers! And don’t forget your customizations!

Safety Features:

 StabiliTrak™

 Heavy Duty Rear Locking Differential

 Dual Frontal, Head Curtain and Side Impact Seat Air Bags

 4 wheel anti lock disc brakes with front disc brake wear sensor

 Full length boxed frame chassis

 Daytime running lights

 Keyless entry with panic button and remote start

 Dual composite Halogen headlamps

 Full size spare tire

 4G Onstar™ (limited availability)

 Bluetooth

 MyLink Navigation (limited availability)

 Tire Pressure Monitoring SYS

 Rear Park Assist

 Rearview Camera

For 88 years, the Wright family has had the honor and privilege of serving residents of the Greater Pittsburgh Area, attending to all their automotive needs. For over 20 years we have been selling and repairing conversion vans, so whether you’re looking for a new conversion vanused conversion van or a Class B motorhome, we can help you get what you need. We carry Explorer conversion based on GMC and Chevrolet vehicles. Come in and explore our inventory or allow us to help you find the vehicle of your dreams!

 

For more information about conversion vans, stop by Wright Conversion Vans in Wexford, PA. We have customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Wright Conversion Vans specializes in new Chevrolet and GMC conversion vans, with more brands coming soon to our inventory. Located in Wexford, PA, we have customers near Cleveland, Ohio, Weirton, West Virginia and throughout Pennsylvania like Philadelphia.  


This entry was posted in Wright Conversion Vans and tagged conversion vans, new conversion vans, vans vs suv, conversion van dealer, full size vans, history of conversion vans, on 07/14/2016 at 3:53 PM

New Conversion Vans

Many people chose van conversions because they want to travel with a smaller footprint. They feel a large RV to be overwhelming to maintain, expensive to purchase and gas up. Current models of RVs are spectacular, no question. There’s even a TV show dedicated to them!

But, taking a look at the converted van – basically a van personalized for you - the advantages are compelling.

Sometimes these vehicles are also referred to as camper vans.

For example, parking is generally never a problem. Your neighbors won’t be annoyed with a full size RV taking up precious space on the street. You can generally park a van conversion anywhere you can park a car, even your own garage until you’re ready to take it out.

A conversion van is far easier to maneuver; narrow, mountain, and dirt roads remain possible for the conversion – not so much for an RV. The open road can look a lot wider!

Gas mileage is of course far superior with an average of 20-25 MPG, some even better. The open road can look a lot longer!

The van conversion will rarely ‘top out’ and be disallowed entrance due to a low ceiling. You’re also traveling a bit more incognito versus an over-size vehicle that will stick out in the crowd. The open road can now be city streets!

What looks like a typical camper or RV is risky to park on city streets, the break-in possibility is high. It’s a very visible target. Conversion vans tend to blend into the surroundings and not look so tempting. The open road can look a little more secure!

Whether you’re headed over to the Pittsburgh Zoo or down to the Firefly Festival at Soergel Orchards the drive will be pleasant and economical.

As mentioned, maintenance is really no more troublesome than the family car or van. Regular service should keep your vehicle in shape. Interior equipment should also be tended to: cleaning, new filters, fans kept clear, etc. Basic housekeeping. If you run in to trouble, you’ll never need a special tow truck.

And of course, perhaps best of all – they are very affordable! The conversion can double as the daily family vehicle so it’s not like purchasing one will be adding to a clutter of possessions and extra vehicles in the driveway.

There are a couple of options when you decide you want to acquire a van conversion.  First, think carefully about what you will be using your conversion for.  Then take a look at what’s out there.  You may find exactly what you want on the dealer show room floor.  Alternatively, here are many companies that will convert and customize the van for you. You would still need to shop around to see what vehicle – stripped down van -  will be the ‘base’ for your conversion.

You’ll also want to consider how to maximize the space allowed, get all the gadgets and practicality in there in the most comfortable setting possible. Are you bikers? Maybe you want to load the bikes into the interior. Skiers? Maybe some customized racks for easy transport.

You’ll want to make sure everything is convenient and easy to use while on the road. Your conversion becomes like a micro-habitation. If you got one because you have a young athlete who has to travel to competitions, they will have to have plenty of room to stretch out comfortably for sleeping, resting between matches, eating nutritious meals and of course be able to pack in all their equipment as well as personal items.

Those two things: comfort and convenience, can sometimes be hard to align.  An expert skilled in layout and design who can make your conversion van truly customized to your specific needs will be appreciated over and over as you use your vehicle.  It takes some ingenuity and knowledge of available features to come up with an artful design. It never hurts to consult an expert like Wright Conversion Vans!

Wright Conversion Vans specializes in new Chevrolet and GMC conversion vans, with more brands coming soon to our inventory. Located in Wexford, PA, we have customers near Cleveland, Ohio, Weirton, West Virginia and throughout Pennsylvania like Philadelphia


This entry was posted in Wright Conversion Vans and tagged conversion vans, new conversion vans, vans vs suv, conversion van dealer, full size vans, on 07/14/2016 at 11:27 AM

Conversion Vans

Used Conversion Vans v. New Conversion Vans

If you’ve decided to do a van conversion and are suffering from sticker shock, take a breather and maybe take a look at used conversions.  You will of course lose your ability to customize it exactly the way you want it, but the savings can assuage that twinge of regret!

People generally love their conversions. Which means you will be able to find something in excellent condition with little wear and tear. Conversion van owners typically take a lot of pride in their vehicle and have cared for it well with love.  It may take a little more time over a traditional new vehicle purchase but you will come out of it with more traveling money in your pocket. A bonus of shopping widely is being able to look at how others have devised their creation - it is fun!

Overall, there are so many options if you decide to shop for a used conversion van. Aside from the price tag being significantly lower, used conversion vans come already accoutered with some exceptional amenities many with one-of- a-kind, custom-made features in fantastic condition.

The best place to start is listing up what your must-have features and amenities are. Visit a few dealers or an RV show to see what the possibilities are. Network with dealers who can be on the alert to find something for you. Do your research on the vehicles, service, and dealerships. There is definitely a more personal relationship built when buying a conversion van over a passenger car.  It’s closer to a home purchase as you will be spending a considerable amount of time in it!

But the same rules apply: Choose a trustworthy dealership, like Wright Conversion Vans, that can provide a wide range of used conversions. A quality dealership will provide vans with transmissions and engines as well as interiors in very good working order.  Make sure you test drive the vehicle in both city and highway conditions and have it examined by a neutral mechanic. Ask lots of questions and make sure all the interior equipment and appliances are in working order. There are probably many electrical functions back there, these should all be tested. Deals may be had if there are expensive interior repairs that need to be made but can be done on your own at a future date. Negotiate.

If money is less of an issue and customization is primary, then you probably want to go ahead and start designing your own vehicle. Working with a customizer is the first step. Similarly to researching dealers, you will want to do the same for the custom shop. Keep that list of must-haves, visit showrooms and conversion shows, take a look at some beauties on-line as well as perhaps taking one out as a rental.

The first step in finding a conversion vehicle that suits you best is the same as buying a used vehicle: contact a trustworthy dealer. The company that you buy your van from may not be the same company that will do the conversion. If you’ve established a good rapport with a particular dealer, he should be able to work with you in finding a great customizing shop.

 

Factory-manufactured conversions are made to appeal to the widest audience so a personalized conversion is a truly awesome thing. There may be some cost-cutting in equipment and design that my leave the pre-fab aesthetically lacking - in your eye. With a personalized conversion you can hand-pick pretty much every item, color, design scheme as you go.

Wright Conversion Vans specializes in new Chevrolet and GMC conversion vans, with more brands coming soon to our inventory. Located in Wexford, PA, we have customers near Cleveland, Ohio, Weirton, West Virginia and throughout Pennsylvania like Philadelphia


This entry was posted in Wright Conversion Vans and tagged conversion vans, new conversion vans, used conversion vans, conversion van dealer, chevy van, gmc van, on 07/14/2016 at 11:19 AM

Conversion Vans

Thinking about getting a van conversion or an SUV?  There’s a lot to think about! You probably will want to start by making a list of the features you’re looking for and your specific reasons for purchasing this new vehicle. Of course budget comes in when producing these wish lists! For both an SUV and a van conversion, there are good deals to be found for any budget.

First, let’s tackle passenger seating room. Both the regular conversion and the SUV offer plenty of seats. But moving up into the larger conversions will beat the SUV hands down with seating for up to 15. They both also offer a lot of storage space and strong engines.

However, in some SUVs, if you put up the 3rd row seat, you may lose a good portion of your trunk. Conversions with raised roofs also come with storage bins built in. And there are endless options for customization in the conversion van. HDTVs, video game consoles, heated seating, navigation, mobile device ports can all be affordably added to your van.  The conversion leaves lots of room for equipment and luggage.

Looking at interior space and overall comfort, the conversion van will also dominate when it comes to height and legroom. The seemingly simple feature of being able to stand up (at least part way) really makes the vehicle feel enormous and roomy.  And expanded legroom always makes for a more luxurious feel, like a first class flight.

The more comfortable it is for you and your passengers, the more you’re going to end up using it. It will be a welcome member of the family and everyone will be excited for the next adventure since getting there is such a pleasure. If you’re sticking to a more regular size, you’ll also find yourself using it for all your daily errands. Weekend soccer practice becomes much more pleasant when you can open up your conversion and invite friends in to relax and gather for a picnic!

If you’ve got an SUV, everyone would have to climb over seats to pile in and there probably won’t be an entertainment system as fantastic as you can have in your conversion. Weekend practices will be like taking the family room with you. Conversion vans offer a lower load floor than an SUV, making it easier for kids, pets, and grandparents to enter and exit the vehicle.

The versatility of the conversion van just cannot be matched. Third row seats can be folded down with the push of a button to make a comfortable bed for overnight trips. That higher standing room feels so homey and luxury blinds can allow for privacy.

Third is safety, of course a huge consideration. The conversion generally has a higher profile so exacting design has to go into it to make sure all the most up to date safety equipment and specifications are in place. Both the Suburban and Chevy Express, for example, pass many rigorous safety tests. Both include wheel disk breaks.

And back to budget considerations. After-purchase cost considerations would be gas and maintenance.  A fully loaded Chevy Express conversion, for example, comes at a significantly lower cost with more customizations than a Suburban with fewer amenities. The fuel economy is very similar.

The conversion will be a spectacular arrival vehicle to any occasion. The whole family can dress up and not get wrinkled and scrunched on the way! The conversion van is both rugged enough for a camping trip and luxurious enough for a red carpet premier.

Wright Conversion Vans specializes in new Chevrolet and GMC conversion vans, with more brands coming soon to our inventory. Located in Wexford, PA, we have customers near Cleveland, Ohio, Weirton, West Virginia and throughout Pennsylvania like Philadelphia


This entry was posted in Wright Conversion Vans and tagged conversion vans, new conversion vans, vans vs suv, conversion van dealer, full size vans, on 07/14/2016 at 11:10 AM

GMC Savana

The 2014 Series

The Savana Cargo van has been a favorite workhorse vehicle and a favorite model for conversions with millions sold over the past two decades. The basic Savana has a simple and straightforward interior, minimal decoration and trim, a full-size van for those looking to purchase a no-nonsense work vehicle geared toward durability or launch their own customization project.

You can choose from a seven, nine or fifteen passenger vehicle and begin creating an Explorer that fits your lifestyle. Whether you are taking a road trip, camping, visiting family or just commuting, Explorer vans are packed with endless customizable features. You can make this van more like your second home on the move than a van.

The Savana Explorer provides a viable and affordable option for those who need to transport large groups of people and maybe even tow a heavy trailer.  The full-size 2014 GMC Savana van is one of the more versatile and functional passenger vehicles on the road as well, with volumes of interior space wrapped up in a sleek, space-saving exterior. The 2014 GMC Savana G1500 is the do-it-all conversion van. It sets the benchmark in comfort and luxury in this price range. 

These best selling full size vans offer the best in power and towing while the custom exterior and interior appointments by Explorer keep the whole family comfortable and stylish.

Explorer gives you 36% more interior room than the average full-size SUV, yet is only a few inches longer from bumper–to-bumper, no larger than a Suburban or Yukon. Their shorter front end and tighter turning radius makes them very practical for city driving.  Compared to any full size SUV, the GMC Savana by Explorer is a step up in every sense of the word. As for luxury, Explorer is world class. Leather seating is sumptuous, ambient lightning is soft and mellow, enveloping you in comfort.  The high-tech electronics like StabiliTrak, a backup camera and available navigation system bring peace of mind. Explorer’s 310 Vortec engine delivers 325 ft/lbs of torque and up to 20 mpg highway.

As a tow vehicle, Explorer 1500 can haul nearly 10,000 pounds and 15 passengers (depending on body selected) in style and luxury.

Body Styles and Options

In the GMC Savana series there are three different load ratings available: Eight passengers can sit in the standard 1500-series Savana vans, while 12 people can fit in the standard 2500 and 3500 models. The long-wheelbase version of the 3500 can be fitted with an extra bench seat, which allows it to carry 15 people. This wide variety of options with powertrain lineup, variety of passenger configurations, available all-wheel drive, strong towing capacity make the Savana an intriguing place to start with a van conversion. GM even offers cutaway (cab only) versions that can be converted to shuttle buses and recreational vehicles.

For 2014, the GMC Savana Passenger van has a newly optional CNG (compressed natural gas)-powered 6.0-liter V8 engine. Otherwise, it is essentially unchanged.

GMC pro grade protection

Pro Grade Protection is now standard on every 2014 Savana. From scheduled maintenance to protecting the entire vehicle and the powertrain in between, you can drive with confidence knowing that Professional Grade doesn’t simply describe your Savana’s design and engineering, it’s how well we protect it, too.

Interior Design, Drive and Safety

All 2014 GMC Savana passenger vans come fitted with antilock brakes, side curtain airbags and stability control as standard equipment. A rear vision camera, rear parking sensors and OnStar emergency communications are available as options.

 

To assist with compliance under the ADA, Savana is designed to be fitted with ADA-compliant wheelchair and seating configurations, without compromising interior comfort or convenience.

Wright Conversion Vans specializes in new Chevrolet and GMC conversion vans, with more brands coming soon to our inventory. Located in Wexford, PA, we have customers near Cleveland, Ohio, Weirton, West Virginia and throughout Pennsylvania like Philadelphia.  


This entry was posted in Wright Conversion Vans and tagged conversion vans, gmc savana, new conversion van, conversion van dealer, gmc conversion van, on 07/14/2016 at 10:52 AM

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