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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My poor little toyota is getting to the point where it could use a brake job, suspension work, a tune up... etc. IT's not very comfortable and it's top speed is 70-80 mph depending on the wind and grade. also if I have a bad crash and break a arm or leg, I can't drive my car home. Soooo... I'm thinking new car. It's the end of the year, and the economy is still shitty and I thought I heard most of the big 3 have pretty big inventories and the used car market is even better.

After talking wiht Kim and John and seeing their set-up... I'm thinking minivan. Descent handling & acceleration, good fuel economy, comfortable & quiet, and easy to park and manuver. I don't trust Fords, can't afford a Toyota Sienna or Honda Odyssey, and I like the looks of the Chryslers better than Pontiac and Chevy.

I want a Dodge Caravan. Probably with the V6 and some power options. My bike is 45" tall and 81" long. If I yank out the rear seats I could bolt in a wheel chock and some tie down points.

I still need to measure the door opening to confirm it will fit, but otherwise I like the idea.

What do you guys think???
 

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habitual line stepper
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cherrypicker said:
.... also if I have a bad crash and break a arm or leg, I can't drive my car home....
If that's not an addict, I don't know what is! :)

Van's are great. I'd like to have one too. The CCS race director has an extended van and he fits two bikes in that sucker, side by side. Too cool! I'd say go for it!
 

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I've driven most of the US mini-vans. Windstar/Caravan/Astro... If I were to get one I'd get the Astro. I like Dodge trucks but the minivan didn't have the same giddiup that the vortec Astro does.

just my 2cents

Or just be cool and get a pick'emup truck!:twofinger CherryPickers new nickname "soccer mom"!!!!:twofinger :rofl
 

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Who's faster Lupi
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one of the guys had a 929 in a minivan earlier this year at BHF had to take the screen off the bike, but it worked.
 

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Most mini-vans will carry 1000 lbs... which should cover your bike and gear.

However, I think you'd find a full-frame van (like an Econoline 150) more durable in the long run, less expensive and more comfortable if you opt to use it for sleeping. (We've had nights where we've loaded the bike and all our crap back into the van and still had room to sleep).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
KBOlsen said:
Most mini-vans will carry 1000 lbs... which should cover your bike and gear.

However, I think you'd find a full-frame van (like an Econoline 150) more durable in the long run, less expensive and more comfortable if you opt to use it for sleeping. (We've had nights where we've loaded the bike and all our crap back into the van and still had room to sleep).

Are ful size vans cheaper. I thought they'd be about the same.

The flip side of that is comfort and practicality. For everyday driving, the minivan seems better and quieter on the freeway... and it handles better when I spin out trying to dry off the racetrack.

Soccer mom's don't race motorcycles.

Hey Ken....how do you like that commercial van you have? Thet look taller and bigger than a minivan, but smaller than a full size.
 

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I've got an opionion on everything....

CCS race director's van is a full size extended van, Dodge. And I believe that they stopped producing them. Ford makes the most full size vans.

Astro's and Safari vans from GM are rear wheel drive and are pretty good. Decent milage (18-25?), but mini vans cost about as much as full size vans.

People want mini vans, the others need full size vans, so use mini's cost way too much, and the full size ones are better.

I've had three E150 Ford Vans. Really worked well. Number one (a 1978) is way gone. The 1989 was sold to a racing friend. When I saw him at Grattan it had 360k miles. Same trans and engine. The 1993 is with a racer too.

Now, I'm using a diesel Ford Shuttle bus. Torque, mileage, space, big air conditioning, and the same wheel base as the standard full size van. It just costs a lot less.

Box trucks are purchased by contractors and are pounded into oblivion and then sold way over what they are worth. Watch out for those...
 

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YO MAMA
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Mike all the work vans i own are all chevy express cargo vans,
(full size but NOT the extended version (comes with a 4.3 vortec and it hauls ass...i have even over loaded a few vans a few times, breaks and engine was on par.

i used one of the newer vans 2002s to take the 9r up to where ever i went...and it was easy as shit..2x12 ramped it right up..and i had TONS!!!! of room all over, let alone i could even add a twins size bed in there to sleep in there if i had too (no thanks...lol) tool t.v refrig, you name it.


If you want I can get you a major deal on them..cant remember off the top of my head right now but I know it was below 17,000 NO PROBLEM maybe even 15,000?
Last time I bought 3 vans and I got special bullshit threw GMAC.


but anyway,
they got the 4.3 clothe seats buckets, with tilt back rest, and flip up arm rest...IT IS comfortable to drive...trust me..and handles well...(all vans are tough on front breaks...just remember)
ahhh the doors open up enough to load pallets inside with a fork lift, stock am/fm radio...no cassette.
comes with rubber full length mat with foam under it...and i suggest just windows on the back door and the side doors dont get a sliding door.

that's what i can tell you right now..at this time of night:laughing
 

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Hey Cherry, I've put the mighty SuperChicken in the back of my Plymouth Grand Voyager and hauled it to Deals Gap, and out to San Diego. It worked pretty good, but it's kinda tight, and you have to pack you gear around the bike. My new van is a '02 Chevy Express with the 5.7 (yes 5.7) in it. I hauled my bike down to Missouri and it was awesome. I could ride the bike up into it, and had room for a back seat, my gear, and Force Recline's gear. Ton's of room. I've had a few Astro vans, and love 'em. My only complaint is that every one I've had wore the front tires out kinda fast. Some gind of geometry thing. Dunno, just rotate often.
The Dodge/lymouth is great around town and fits into any parking ramp, if that's a concerne. Same for the Astro. The full size is a whale. I like it, but it doesn't fit into all ramps. It requires at LEAST 7 foot clearance.
I built an awesome rack for the Plymouth, that used the seat anchors to hold it down. Driving through Deal's, the bike didn't even move. I know it works. If you end up getting the dodge, let me know and you can have it if you want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the advice. I guess I'm still between the Caravan and I'll add the CHevy Express and Astro to my list.

I think what financing deal I can get will make a big difference. Now is a good time and I think Chrysler has a 1% APR and payments deferred for 90 days. I'm not sure if my credit is good enough for that deal. I'll go do a little shopping this week.
 

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I had a GMC Safari. It was a conversion van which adds a lot of weight . The 4.3 was plenty of power and brakes and everything was up to it. The advantage to the Astro/Safari is that it is built on a truck chassis not a car frame like Dodge. You'll sacrifice a little ride for hauling capacity. Not that it rides rough just not car-like.
 

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Not only does a 929 fit, but if you really try, you can fit 2. I'll been putting my 929 in the back of my wifes van (and heading to Deal's Gap) for 3 years now.

Things to consider:

1) inside length. You would be surprised how long a bike really is. You have to be able to shut the door!
2) Outside opening. Even if the inside is long enough and wide enough, if you can't get in the door you're in trouble. I have to remove the wind screen and tip the bike to get mine in. Once it is in there is more than enough space.
3) tie downs. The seat anchors in the Windstar make for a great place to secure the bike. You'll definetly need these.
4) bumper height - the lower the better, but no matter what you'll still need a ramp.

If I had another option, I wouldn't do it. But for now it can be done with a mini-van. My personal opinion would be to get a full size van and make you life easier.

Good luck!
 

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If I were you I'd get a pickup....with a cab if you are worried about protection from elements/thieves.
 

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I would go with the Astro. I've got an '89 with 260K on it. I've had no trouble with it. In-town fuel economy is ok and on the hi-way I find it to be very good. Never had any problems with tire wear. I usually get 80K out of a set.Never had to do any repairs other than maintaince. It has never failed to start, even at -27 degrees. I just measured the rear opening, 44" high X 57" wide.
The new ones may have different dimensions. I am a fan of rear wheel drive. Greater load capacity and way fewer drive line parts to wear out or fail, and cheaper to fix if they do. What ever you get, be sure to get power windows and power door locks. 1 button locks and unlocks 6 doors. Just a few bits of my experiences after 13 years of ownership.
 

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Looks like a Volkwagon Eurovan. I think you can get them with an Audi diesel in them. I think Winnebego makes them into those Rialta RV's with a 2.5 Fiat diesel.

Of course, this one is pretty custom. I like it. But all your stuff gets wet...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
That looks like a VW Eurowagon or something like that. It has BBS rims so German is a good guess.



Do I hear an echo in here.:laughing

Looks like Super Dave is faster on the keyboard as well as on the track.
 

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If you are looking for a van, maybe you should consider the Kia Sedona. I have no experience w/ it, but I do remember being impressed w/ it at last years auto show. It's cheap, has a v6, and a 5 sp auto. Plus, a 10 year 100,000 mile warranty helps.

Just my $.02.
 

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Super Dave said:
Looks like a Volkwagon Eurovan. I think you can get them with an Audi diesel in them. I think Winnebego makes them into those Rialta RV's with a 2.5 Fiat diesel.

Of course, this one is pretty custom. I like it. But all your stuff gets wet...
Pulled it off the ZX12 site a month ago or so. Blitz though it might be a Volkswagon also. Cool conversion, now I have an idea who does it.
 

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CLSB RESIDENT *******!!!!
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Hey Mike,
Consider this little tidbit. The Chevy Astro is the only Minivan that is built on a TRUCK frame. Every other minivan is built on a car frame. But that deal from Ken is absolutley Fenominal(sp?):thumbsup . Besides you could get a Full size van in black put a red stripe that leads up to a spoilerand pretend to be like the A-team:-


Mark:p
 
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