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Express Van and Bucket Seats

Old September 10th, 2018, 8:48 AM
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Default Express Van and Bucket Seats: Found!

Hello

Does anyone have inside knowledge of why certain 2500 Express passenger vans, certain years, come with rear passenger bucket seats (captain chairs) and some with the bench seats? I've asked for the rear bucket seat option at the dealership and they know nothing about it. It also seems there are no 2017 or 18 (new or used) with the the passenger bucket seat setup. I have only seen earlier years with the setup (2016>)

Thanks for the information.

Last edited by Altered4x4; September 22nd, 2018 at 5:54 PM.
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Old September 10th, 2018, 9:38 AM
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Altered... I shared this info on another thread (https://chevroletforum.com/forum/exp...express-91938/), but here's the basics that I learned in the process of buying our van.

There are a few up-fitter companies who install custom components for ride-share companies, taxi services, shuttles, etc. SafetyVan and Adrian Steel are a couple that I've learned about (ours is an Adrian Steel van). Every once in a while, one will show up on the used market. Usually just outside of the the 36k warranty (our van had 43k miles when we bought it).
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Old September 10th, 2018, 9:39 AM
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I have NEVER found bucket seats as an option from any dealer, only up-fitter or conversion companies. A new van with a custom configuration is out of my price range, but I was able to get a used one for around $21k out-the-door. Unfortunately, you'll likely have to be patient and search the used car sites, or be prepared to take a hit in your wallet. I don't understand why Chevy doesn't switch to a modular cargo floor that could be used for cargo tiedowns or connecting seats like this = (https://www.mobilityworks.com/Commercial/smartfloor.php). I think it would be a better solution for cargo and seating options with fewer parts changes, but that's just me...
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Old September 10th, 2018, 10:41 AM
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Gator - thanks for the replies.

My wife ended up doing research and she showed me a picture of the same seats that are in your van. She insists on getting a van with those seats due to safety and comfort. The bench seats don't cut it on those accounts. I have found a few locally but they seem to be equipped with the 4.8, which I don't want due to my wish to also have a towing monster.

Going to another name brand (Ford or Nissan) is not really an option since they do not offer the towing or payload the Express offers.

It would be nice to find a local short wheelbase LT, with the 6.0 with low mileage. The mission has begun....

Last edited by Altered4x4; September 10th, 2018 at 11:14 AM. Reason: Typo
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Old September 10th, 2018, 11:26 AM
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Altered,

You are experiencing the EXACT SAME problem we had when our search for a full-size van began... We didn't like the idea of the bench seats for comfort and safety, and I was able to find 4 vans with the 4.8L before I found one with the 6.0L. We test drove the Nissan, and I found it to be more comfortable in the front seats than the Chevy (it drives nicer, has a little more pep when you press the gas, nicer dash and options, and has decent towing numbers (though not as good as the chevy)). However, the passenger/cargo space in the Nissan was tight to say the least, it has a pillar in one of the passenger rows that almost makes one of the seats worthless, and there is NO cargo space behind the last seat. In our Express, were able to remove the last row in our van, have room for our family and cargo space for days! Plus, the Nissan cost $16k more than we paid (both were used)!

Hang in there, the custom vans exist... expand your search nation wide and look for deals. that was our process.
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Old September 10th, 2018, 12:21 PM
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Thanks!

Gator- What year is your Express? I know the only big change over the past few years has been the addition of the 6pd trans. I plan to tow about 8K. From your experience with your setup, do you think the 6.0 can handle it?

I was a little suprised on the 3.42 standard gears. 4.10 does not seem to be an option....

Last edited by Altered4x4; September 10th, 2018 at 12:26 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old September 10th, 2018, 1:30 PM
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Our van is a 2016 model, and I think that the 6 spd helps. When we go camping, it's my wife and I and our 5 kids (age 11 and under) plus some camping chairs and a few miscellaneous things in the van. Our travel trailer is about 7000-7500 lbs, and it will pull it 70 mph (the trailer tires are limited to 75mph, I may have exceed that a time or two) on relatively flat roads without much complaining. It has to shift for modest hills and still maintains speed, but big hills will slow her down or make her scream in a higher gear. We haven't really put our rig through the challenge of mountainous or semi-mountainous terrain, mostly just the rolling hills of Alabama where a few get big. All that to say, that yes, I think it will handle 8k lbs just fine.

Here's a couple other things to consider (what we have and like):
Weight Distribution Hitch: Equal-i-zer
https://www.equalizerhitch.com/

Trailer Brake Controller: RedArc Tow Pro Elite
https://redarcelectronics.com/produc...ake_controller
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Old September 10th, 2018, 1:59 PM
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Thanks for the information.
I am in the same boat- Wife and plenty of kids.(thankfully)
We have been using a Honda Ridgeline to pull our small pop-up trailer. It has been good to us but we have outgrown both. We also hope to take (or drag) my grandparents along in the future.

Please post pics of your setup when you have some spare time. It sounds like you are where I want to be at with the setup.

I guess the first step is to find the van. I already have a few leads....
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Old September 12th, 2018, 2:02 AM
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I thought that the only factory rear buckets in an express were in the 2002 LT, which was a single year run as gm tried something different. You could get a 6 passenger 3 rows of buckets.....or other combinations.

Other than that, you are looking at an upfitter model, like Starcraft or something.
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Old September 12th, 2018, 9:50 AM
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Altered, If you think you'll have a van-full when you travel, I'd recommend that you look for extended length vans. There might be some standard length ones with custom seats, but the added space you'll get in the extended version is worth it, IMO. I'll try to get some pictures of my van with the last row of seats removed to give you an idea of what I'm talking about. However, the extended length van is LONG. If this will be a daily driver for you or your wife the shorter van might be more convenient, but if this will be a cross-country camper hauler, go for the big one!
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