Anyone here survey out of a van
I’ve used everything from a Lincoln Towncar to a F-250 pickup. 2 companies I worked for used vans. By far my favorite. Especially the 4wd flavor. So much more room to organize equipment and supplies to your liking. Newer trucks and their shorter beds present issues for storing longer stuff and keeping it organized.
The E350 standard length with 5.4 and tow package has been pretty good to work out of in the city. It's an open differential with very stiff springs (rated 4400 lbs. capacity, cargo + passengers) and it will get stuck in its own shadow if there is no weight in it.
A new van with factory insulation hopefully has the condensation mildew problem solved unlike the DIY insulated hardwood floor I just removed.
I had a box of 1/2" plywood top and bottom and 4 2x12's for the sides and middle supports, all left storebought size (4' by 8' sheets and 8' lengths). Perfect size for milk crates and instrument boxes, and gives channels for shovels, axes, digging bars, 2m GPS rods, etc.
I used a ladder rack to attach 4 Siemens 75 watt solar panels, wired to a Renogy controller and an AGM deep cycle battery in a box. A 300 watt pure sine wave inverter powers the Leica and X90-OPUS chargers, phone chargers, laptops, etc. To do it over I would use those flexible marine solar panels you can glue on.
First company I ever worked for had Dodge Vans. They just had homemade equipment boxes in the back. A few years down the road, they upgraded to 1-ton Ford Vans with actual shelving and boxes on the side panels. They also had the cage behind the front seats to protect you from any torpedo's in case of hard braking. The only thing I didn't like about those vans were that you didn't have side windows to see out of like the Dodges did. Since then, I've worked out of Rangers (way to small), Astro Vans (POS), F350 Crew Cab Long bed diesel (hydro work), half ton pickups and a Durango. The worst to work out of was the Ranger since it was so small. My favorite was the F-350. Huge crew cab for putting equipment in. It had a cab height shell on the bed that had side doors to access shelves on the inside. It had big doors on the back that could be locked and you could jump up in and walk in. Also had a roof rack that we strapped down 10' pvc pipe for storing a 3 meter invar rod. Or we could strap down a john boat up there as well.
I've worked out of Rangers (way to small)
I had a Tacoma for 2 years. Space was definitely at a premium. I've also had F250's for several years. Given the choice between the space shortage and hustling an F250 around downtown Portland's back streets I'd take the smaller vehicle.
Compared to what I've been working out of for the last 15 years, thinking I'm going to be s&itting in tall cotton. Won't be doing much offroading, but then most of the time I'm not anyway and when we do need them we have access to ATVs and snowmachines. One of the favorite parts of my gig is the exercise I get which helps keep me in shape for hunting season.