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Anyone know why Chevy Express AWD only come with 8 seats?

Old August 6th, 2012, 4:08 PM
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Default Anyone know why Chevy Express AWD only come with 8 seats?

So we are on our second Chevy Express AWD and although it is the same body as a 12 passenger, they are missing the last row of seats. You can feel the bars under the carpet. Anyone know if there is a technical reason they don't add that last row? We have to get someone to add one (our first one had an added row in it), and it is becoming a real pain. Thanks!
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Old August 9th, 2012, 9:48 AM
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If anyone is interested, I emailed Chevrolet and I got a pretty lame response.

Thank you for contacting the Chevrolet Customer Assistance Center.

We appreciate you for taking the time to write us about your comments on your 2007
Chevrolet Express which did not come with a last row of seats. We recognize the way you feel about this and we hope that you can accept our earnest apologies for whatever disappointment this matter may have caused you.

There are many factors that influence the production and design of a model line including availability of materials and consumer demand. As a result of such factors, changes are made frequently during the production year that affects the availability of options.
Chevrolet reserves the right to make these changes and unfortunately, we are unable to supply the features specified once such changes have been instituted. All vehicles released from the assembly plant are inspected to ensure they comply with government specifications, as well as standards established by the Engineering Department.

One of the best things about being in America is that we have the freedom to openly discuss our personal values, ideas and beliefs. At General Motors, we recognize that individuals have many different views. Thank you for letting us know how you feel.
DIdn't feel like they really gave me an answer other then they just decided to make them 8 passenger. I still don't get it. You can't even build it to be a 12 passenger on their site. But its a 12 passenger body. I can even feel the rails under the carpet. We would like to add a seat but it has been a huge headache. It is so hard to find seat.
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Old September 20th, 2012, 3:45 PM
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I've been looking at full size vans for years, with the anticipation that I will have more than 4 kids someday. This is what I have come to believe, though I can't point you to any specific facts or articles either because I read it a number of years ago or I'm partly making this up (speculating).

Both Ford and Chevy stopped producing 1/2Ton vans that carry more than 8 passengers a number of years ago. They did this because of weight issues. Overloaded vans (say a 1/2T with 12 people in it) were rolling over and the manufacturers were being sued as a result. So, they now only make high capacity vans as 3/4T or 1T models.

More to your point, the AWD is only available in the 1/2T (I think, I didn't double check this). Therefore, if you get AWD, you get 1/2T, and you get no more than 8 Passengers.
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Old September 20th, 2012, 3:56 PM
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This begs my question...this question is one of the main reasons I joined this forum, and I will continue to ask it every chance I get until I get a satisfactory answer:

Would it be a wise or good practice to have a 10-12 passenger 1/2T van or should I only consider 3/4T or 1T vans for that kind of weight load?

This leads me to more interesting scenarios that I've put a lot of thought into...but no action other than Internet Searches. Here's a brief synopsis: 1) Buy a used 1/2T conversion van, yank seats and install Coach Bus seats in the rear, 2) Buy a used HD (3/4 or 1T) panel van, install whole rear interior with fancy high capacity seating 3) go to and buy a high mileage van and have it shipped from California site-un-seen, 4) will a HD van hold up longer/be more reliable than a 1/2T, 5) I like captains chairs in the rear, they are tons more functional than factory benches, 6) Coach Bus seats are the next best thing, think I could find them used for cheap somewhere?...think they could be bolted to the floor?...think that's safe?

These are questions I need answered! I'll be around to ask them again!
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Old September 28th, 2012, 10:34 AM
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you bring up a good point. Have you check with conversion van companies that may meet your requirements? If you put 12 people into a 1/2 ton van, you will more than likely exceed the weight capacity. If you need to carry that many, look at a 3500 1 ton. Unfortunately it doesn't come in AWD, but you may be able to get the limited slip rear end which is the next best thing.
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Old September 28th, 2012, 8:55 PM
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as fas as bolting aftermarket seats to the floor; if its not engineered and someone gets hurt because of it, your liable.
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Old October 6th, 2012, 5:47 AM
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Default Adding 4x4 / AWD to a 1-Ton van

If you go for a 1-ton passenger van you can add 4x4/AWD
"Quigley will add an IFS 4x4 system, Advanced 4WD will add a 1-Ton straight axle 4x4.
4X4 VANS - The Ultimate 4WD SUV
4x4 Vans : Quigley Motor Company, Inc. > Home"
(from Photog's Lifted Suspension 2009 Roadtrek 190V • Class B RV's and Camper Van Conversions Forum)

Salem-Kroger seem to have gone out of business but you might find a used 1-ton van with their straight axle conversion.
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Old October 13th, 2012, 4:12 PM
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They have been using those type vans here, calling them church buses.
They have been on the news several times for over turning.
Many have been killed in these roll overs.

Even a blowout at freeway speeds with all that weight is hard to control and over they go.
For so many people I would go with nothing less than a one ton.
Or even one of those short buses.
And make sure the tires are not "P" rated tires.
You need "LT" tires for sure.
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