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Thinking about a van

Discussion in 'General Chit Chat' started by austin, Jan 3, 2022.

  1. austin

    austin Well-Known Member

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    Just thinking stress thinking - Does such a van exist?

    1. drive like a car/car sized. So Transit, VW transporter, etc. park it on my drive and in usual car parking places.
    2. At least 4 proper seats - 2 up front, 2 in the back. Proper seats though, all comfy and roomy for long distance.
    3. Modern and up to date with a decent amount of tech included: cruise, sat Nav, cameras, led lights and so on.
    3. My motorbike will fit in. Ideally with the rear seats tipped & tumbled out the way while the bike is in rather than removed completely. Must have tie down points/floor rail things to take D rings and or a wheel clamp.
    4. Budget….. for the right van a decent wedge. And yes I know the secondhand market is mental at the moment. I’m not in a rush.
    5. Oh, I might want to tow a caravan, so not white or pikey. I’m not planning on making a camper out of it.

    I like this one but it’s waaaay overpriced I don’t think my bike fits in either it being based on a Tourneo

    https://www.autotrader.co.uk/van-details/202112270829055
     
  2. Mikey

    Mikey Administrator Staff Member Forum Supporter

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    There you go. My son in law has just test driven the 3.5 litre V6 and he loves it. He’s going to use it to transport his bikes to track days. The centre seats come out and the rear seats fold flush into the side. He loved it.

    https://www.autotrader.co.uk/car-details/202201030973088
     
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  3. austin

    austin Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Mike. I will look into them. There was a chap not far from us doing camper conversions from Elgrandes. He is probably worth a chat with.
     
  4. Mikey

    Mikey Administrator Staff Member Forum Supporter

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    He was really taken with the one he drove, said it was as luxurious to drive as a Range Rover.
     
  5. Philwhiskeydrinker

    Philwhiskeydrinker Well-Known Member

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    Austin, for a gauge for size - most swb builders/panel vans like Transit/vivaro etc will take an 8'x4' sheet laid flat and will fit in but fill (and I mean fill) an average car parking space but you are still best off finding an end or oversized corner - medium or long wheel base vans will overhang a space & be trickier to suitably park.

    I fitted rear seats in our (swb) Transit and think you would struggle to get a full size bike in with the seats folded. I always remove the r/h pair when I put the bike in leaving the l/h single one in situ.
    If you can, get a medium/high roof, it will limit your search quite a bit but is invaluable IMHO as it gives much more headroom and the over head storage bunker is great, although this may limit you in a few car parks that have lowish height restrictions.

    It's also worth considering the gvw. Ours is a lightweight '260' ie 2.6t gross. Net weight is 1850kg as I recall, probably over 2t kerb weight now with the extra seats and kids paraphernalia etc, add a few adults, luggage & 250kg motorbike you can soon be easily overweight (like we were going to the Rosedale National) with camping gear, 2x motorbikes AND Stuarts massive marqee!).

    Personally, I've never got the Transporter 'thing' nor the prices they command but each to their own but I dare say that you are more likely to buy a 'nice, 1 owner driver' Transporter than your average builders type van that are generally driven & maintained by animals....

    I searched long and hard for a swb/mid roof Transit, most were utter shite & I ended up biting the bullet & getting a new pre reg one.
    Iwaxoiled it to death and modified it to the spec I wanted.
    I don't regret it one bit, 13 years on it's still doing the biz

    Good luck in the search.


    Sent from my SM-A320FL using Tapatalk
     
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  6. austin

    austin Well-Known Member

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    Great stuff phil. Thanks. I went to look at a L2/H1 transit double cab today. Lovely van, very low miles and loads of upgrades. Looks great. Dealer was very keen so a possible deal if I could act quickly. But….

    …Resin bulkhead but easily removed. Fixed second row of seats though (triple). These are bolted down so either in or out and bloody heavy I expect. With the seats out and the bulkhead out there’s plenty length for the bike and with the screen off it the the bike would go in easy enough. I’ve had a brief look for after market tip and tumble seats and can’t find anything. I’m sure they are out there.

    I will keep looking though before I commit to anything.
     
  7. Philwhiskeydrinker

    Philwhiskeydrinker Well-Known Member

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    Austin, the seats that I fitted to the van (mk7 Transit) were originally fitted to a mk8 Transit, there are 3 seats - 2+1 that fold, tip forward and remove quite easily & leave a virtually flat floor, the double seat is bloody heavy.
    My bro in law bought a high spec long/low limousine type Tranny a couple of years ago, with adaptable seats that can be forward facing, swivel, face each other or remove etc, it's nice but become too nice to use as a van but is quite adaptable.

    I personally, wouldn't be arsing on with unbolting seats every time you want something big in there, which will be more often than you think - although it would make a valid excuse to get out of the constant;
    'Can you trail half way across the countryside to collect *a sofa/bike/table or whatever* thats cheap (but dont want to pay delivery for)....' type requests which, unfortunately will be more often than you'd want.
    Imaging you were over the Trough & got a puncture or whatever, recovery could be hours, Anne could pop over, get there, pop the seats out, bike in, slide the seats in & gone, that just couldn't happen with fixed seats.
    Whatever you get, get easy removable seats. The bulkhead is easily sorted (I cut mine in half as I still very much need the 'van' element but they are easily removed.

    Get the feel of a low & mid roof too.

    Searching for the right one both condition and spec,now will pay dividends as it will become indispensable,

    Sent from my SM-A320FL using Tapatalk
     
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  8. austin

    austin Well-Known Member

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    Apart from the price this looks perfect.
    I just found a great van on Auto Trader:


    https://www.autotrader.co.uk/van-details/202111199746974

    I think it’s the same as the one on a local forecourt except for the colour, rear seats and it’s all but new but is £10k more expensive. The good bit is it means removable tip& tumble seats are available and fit. I’m not sure I want to spend £42k although a simulate VW transporter is about another £10k.

    I’ve been into a couple of places and they all recommend either a VW Caravelle or a Ford Tourneo custom for the seating flexibility. Tourneo roof is very low and the VW is even more expensive than a Transporter.

    I’m still thinking about my options.
     
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  9. -XP-

    -XP- Active Member Forum Supporter

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    Watching this with interest, Austin. For a few years I've thought I'd love a van to go away in that I could throw a small bike in the back, just seems the perfect combination. Once I was finished at work and became a carer full time it put paid to that idea as funds no longer allow but maybe one day.

    The ones you have posted look very nice but 35k!! Jesus, Mary and the donkey's!!!
     
  10. austin

    austin Well-Known Member

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    Craig, it’s a bloody minefield is the van market. There’s so many variables and options and that’s before you get to opinions, reviews and tales of woe involving serial failures and £1000s all matched by “my van has done 100,000 miles and I’ve only ever topped up the washer bottle once” type comments.

    I suspect all vans are good in their way and it horses for courses but I do know there’s some real snotters out there - have a look at almost any tradesman’s van for an ill treated workhorse you don’t want to buy.

    Then the car/van market has gone mental with a shortage of supply of new vans combined with a lock-down linked surge of interest in vans for conversion to campers and it’s all driving the price of good used vans right up. I Have seen used vans going for more than List price of a new one - if you can even find out the list price. Then there’s the VW transporter /caravelle world of vans. Prices well beyond £60k for a highish spec one of them. They have their market completely.

    Anyway I’ve focused my search on recent lie mileage LWB Transits as I like their looks and Fords have always been good cars in my ownership. I’m not buying a snotter so everything that appeals is pricey. Besides my mum left me a bit of cash to buy a new car with, but she won’t mind if it’s a van. Hopefully what I get (if I get it) will be a long term thing. Good luck with your search. Phil is the man when it comes to vans. Pay him a visit, he’s just down the road from you.
     
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  11. Philwhiskeydrinker

    Philwhiskeydrinker Well-Known Member

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    True Austin, it does take a while to get the gist of things what with chassis, floor plans, various gvw then theres the engine and gearbox options, front or rear wheel drive, along with various power outputs, final drive gearing, height, wheelbase.... the list goes on and on!
    So it's worth narrowing things down to 'likes' & 'must haves'
    TBH, I'm way out of touch nowadays, when I last had a bit of work with (hire) vans dpf's & ad blue issues were starting to rear their ugly heads!

    Good luck with your search Austin

    Craig, feel free to swing by sometime, it's been a topsy turvy few years on so many levels & it would be good start catching up with folks' again

    Sent from my SM-A320FL using Tapatalk
     
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  12. Mikey

    Mikey Administrator Staff Member Forum Supporter

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    @austin theres an Elgrand for sale on UKGsers mate.
     
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  13. austin

    austin Well-Known Member

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    I saw that. I checked out the specs and I don’t think my bike will fit in. It’s very low in the back. I will double check though.
     
  14. Mikey

    Mikey Administrator Staff Member Forum Supporter

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    It did look a bit small. Can’t see how my S.I.L. will manage.
     
  15. nick949

    nick949 Well-Known Member

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    You're on the wrong continent mate. 5.3 litre V8, AWD and plenty of space for a full-sized bike behind 5 seats. Of course 15mpg on a good day, but an absolute tank in the snow. Sadly gone now. van1.jpg
     
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