I owned one brand new I bought from a high school friend who runs a local Ford dealership. Like the commenter OldRoad says, they were garbage! Rusted floor panel through the side on both sides, shifter cable rusted through the seals and would no longer shift and Ford wanted a fortune for a new one, that would have done the same thing! I repaired my shifter cable with hose clamps and silicone sealant! The dealer finally relented and repaired the rusted through panel/floor seam after I complained to the friend/owner however it rusted further down, where they did not repair it all the way down the seam, in just a few months!
It lasted long enough to trade away this junk and buy a Pontiac Montana as we still needed an family sized minivan. The Montana wasn't perfect but was much better than the Aerostar! Oh and I have not bought a Ford since and I grew up with family that always bought Fords!
My Honda's, Subaru's and especially Toyota's have been far better and less expensive to own since I started buying them instead.
Love the Carrousel concept. I owned 1967, '68 & '66 Ford wagons (in that order, run what ya can afford) right out of High School, two 289s & a 390. I easily could have transitioned to a used Carrousel back in those days if it had been a "thing". The Aerostar & Astro were the choice for a lot of folks pulling modest boats and/or campers, but the Aerostar truly was a rust & maint. nightmare for the two couples I knew that owned them. Up here in snow country, folks loved the 4wd "Fastro" vans, a concept ahead of it's time? Now you can get just about anything in AWD.
Yes we had a FAstro van AWD. It was well used when we bought it and used it for a couple years. Unfortunately it got rolled down the grass median south of Charlotte just in SC. Insurance wrote it off and did not give us enough, in my opinion, for the great shape it was in being AWD with brand new rubber and one month old custom stainless exhaust installed. They just looked at the year and mileage pretty much. We liked it, unlike our Aerostar which we did not like.
Please don't take it personal, I've had better luck with Ford products than any other and still have a Ford van and Lincoln sedan as my daily drivers. That said, my friends' experiences are what they are, and theirs (both in SE Wisconsin) rusted to death with under 80k miles on them. Despite the, "I got Rusty Jones with Quaker Coat sprayed OVER it." and, "I wash mine 20 times a week, especially underneath" stories, there is nothing you can do about vehicles that were prone to rust by poor design, materials, and/or manufacturing. My much beloved 1996 Celica GT would still be in my garage now if it weren't for the fact the tops of the strut towers rusted up from underneath with 86k miles of year round use (and weekly car washes). One day bubbly paint appeared, next you know, the hood was hard to latch. After a few horror stories of how at some car washes you are washing with saltwater, and how under car washes can dissolve and drive salt up where it'd seldom get from driving, I quit using the "chassis wash" feature at car washes. Car washes re-use water, after filtering...except when they toss the cartridges and media out and even save on electricity for the pumps. I'm glad you had a great experience with yours, really. Am I part of the usual negative crowd if I mention all three of my 60's Ford wagons completely rusted out behind the passenger rear tire at the bottom of the spare tire well, and so did thousands of others?
It did not help Ford planned the marketing around the space shuttle. When we lost Challenger They froze marketing for a good while.
Also the styling was just a bit edgy that just did not appeal to some while the Astro connected.