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 Post subject: New user in SC looking for help picking a van
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 12:38 pm 
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I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van

Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2016 12:30 pm
Posts: 1
Location: Central SC
Greetings, new user in SC looking for help in buying a van.

Currently I have an 08 Mazda 3, and the wife has an 07 Ford Edge. Great vehicles, but we're having some issues.

The issue being that my wife is partially disabled. She walks with a cane and sometimes has trouble getting in and out of the Edge. She won't rid in my car at all unless she has no choice, it's just too low to the ground.

I was thinking I might replace the car with a truck, but she mentioned she'd like to look for something with a bed in the back so she could rest during our trips to the mountains and down to FL. She's thinking maybe a small RV, but I'm not feeling it. It's impractical for daily use, and since she's not working now (and still fighting with SSDI) we can't afford to have something like that sit around for the occasional use. Since I feel like a full size van would be overkill for just the 2 of us (along with the bad mileage), I start looking at mini-vans. Most mini vans are just replacements for station wagons, but the "in-between size" of the astro/safari seems to be the way to go. Also, there's the looks factor - if I have to drive it every day, I want something I like seeing and being seen in.

So, that brings me here. I've been doing some research on the vans, but there's noting like personal experience. I'd like to hear your thoughts on:

Preferred year/model - issues and preferences for whatever years you prefer.
Size - would a shorty work, or just go with the full size?
High top conversion or regular?
Buy a cargo and fix it up, or buy one almost ready made?
Whats "too high" mileage?
Do I need to look for one set up for towing, or can I add the "tow package" myself?

Prices in this area are a little off kilter. I see from $1200 to around $4000, then a couple for $8-9k. I'd figured on staying around the $3-4k mark myself, but could go a bit more for a really nice one. I don't feel the need for AWD, for my use, it's added complexity and a hit on mpg.

I'm also a child of the 70s-80s, and I remember the van craze. I always wanted one of those customs, and my parents had one - 70 Ford E100 in Coke Red with slotted wheels and an all shag interior. My favorites were always the 4x4s, so I really want to lift this van some too.

Sorry, I see I'm getting a little long winded here so I'll end now. Thanks in advance for any assistance.


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 Post subject: Re: New user in SC looking for help picking a van
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 4:52 pm 
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I sleep in my van

Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:10 pm
Posts: 392
Location: southeastern ct
Welcome to the site and I think you've made a wise choice. These really are great little vans and have earned our loyalty.
As far as picking a van, obviously the newer the better. The same can be said about mileage. The lower the better.
Some early models were produced with a four cylinder engine. Some also were produced with a manual transmission but the vast majority have the venerable 4.3 V6 with fuel injection and automatic transmission. The last three years of manufacture had 16" wheels vs. 15". These also have four wheel disc brakes vs. rear drum.
Gas mileage was never great with these things. Expect around 17mpg with RWD. My AWD gets 12-13 but I drive it like I stole it!
I would search for a high top conversion and shop down south where the van will not have been subjected to road salt. The conversions are nice due to the added amenities such as better seats, window shades, lighting etc. one very popular conversion option was the power reclining rear bench that turns into a small bed.
Pricing is all over the place for these things because they don't make them anymore. So keep your eyes peeled and good luck. Your van is out there and I'm sure you'll be happy with it once you find it! :cheers:

_________________
Captn. Crunch
"I don't beat my rig-I use it to it's maximum potential"
1994 Safari conversion (sold) and miss'n it!
1999 Safari SLE AWD
np236 transfer case
Torsen rear w/3.73's
2" body lift
S-10 rear leafs
Torsen limited slip cast iron front diff
Coming soon:
Skid plates
Rock rails


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