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Windsurfing vehicle, Mini Van ,SUV,Honda Element or box van
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madspaniard



Joined: 23 May 2005
Posts: 380

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bougth my 1996 Grand Caravan in Jan 2007 with 160,000 miles for $3,500 in the SF Bay Area (more expensive). The engine is super reliable and strong, still goes like new, but you have to watch for the transmission on these vans. It is a known problem. Mine was rebuildt just before I bought it so that's why I wanted that one. One of my friends did the same thing, bought an american minivan with a rebuildt tranny. It seems like Dodge/Chrysler/Plymouth transmissions from 1996 to around 2000 were slipping after only 80,000 miles.

Last summer I drove all the way and back from SF to Vancouver Island in CA (about 2,600 miles) on a windsurfing/camping trip with stops in The Gorge, Floras Lake, Nitinat, etc. The van was loaded with windsurfing and camping gear for my wife and I. Zero problems cruising at 70-75 mph.
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carl



Joined: 25 Feb 1997
Posts: 2489
Location: SF bay area

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tabou~R2 wrote:
My intent was a mini-van, for anyone that has a Dodge Chevy or Ford , whats the reliablty like ? The Honda and Toyota are highly rated.

.


I've had both Dodge and Honda minivans. Actually they both have been reliable but neither has been immune to problems. As stated by M.S., Dodge commonly has transmission problems (mine was fine for 112K), but the Odyssey also has known transmission problems on the 1999 thru 2004 models. Honda even extended the warrantee to 109k for the trans on my 2000. I never saw a trans problem and it now has 105K, but it did have 3 bad motor mounts (also a common problem), a door handle broke off and it's now starting to give bad catalitic converter codes.
BTW, my brother's 2000 Sienna had a bad transmission at 80K, so It looks like Toyota is not solid gold either.

So, probably best to just go for the best deal and get the extended warrantee if you're worried, at least Dodge throws in a lifetime powertrain
warrantee for free.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14449

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tabou~R2 wrote:
My intent was a mini-van, for anyone that has a Dodge Chevy or Ford , whats the reliablty like ?


Chevy/GM stopped making the Astro/Safari (same vehicle) a couple of years ago. Their newer down-sized vans are total POS according to the reviews I've see. The reviews also pan the new Dodge/Chrysler minivans. The Honda and Toyota minivans are more reliable than the GM/Ford/Chrysler fleet, but are not without known reliability problems. Just about any of them beat the hell out of German vehicle reliability, however. I hope that doesn't apply to the Sprinter (Mercedes), but I haven't researched that.

Tabou~R2 wrote:
The box van looks to hold a lot more, and you can mold the interior to your requirements. Any thoughts on Dodge Chevy or Ford ?


Realize that "box van" refers to the huge, perfectly rectangular trucks such as Ryder rental trucks. I like the flat interior walls, but Sprinters have that in an infinitely more driveable and parkable package. Are there no good used Sprinters on the market yet? (And new Sprinters cost less than my Honda van did.)

\m/
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sergem



Joined: 24 Oct 2003
Posts: 390

PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 3:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ford Transit 40-anniversary by Top Gear dudes:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1pklvKKnd0

Looks like perfectly drivable windsurfing vehicle Smile
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U2U2U2



Joined: 06 Jul 2001
Posts: 3089
Location: Shipsterns Bluff, Tasmania. Colorado

PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

isobars wrote:
box van refers to the huge, perfectly rectangular trucks such as Ryder rental trucks.

\m/


Yes sorry I mean the E150 type cargo van

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U2U2U2



Joined: 06 Jul 2001
Posts: 3089
Location: Shipsterns Bluff, Tasmania. Colorado

PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sergem wrote:
Ford Transit 40-anniversary by Top Gear dudes:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1pklvKKnd0

Looks like perfectly drivable windsurfing vehicle Smile



This is a really great video THANKs

Smile Laughing Twisted Evil

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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14449

PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I researched and bought a full-sized van, I finally chose a Ford E-250. I chose Ford partly because, at least in 1988, only it had a full-length frame; the Dodge and GM vans were just sheet metal back in the extended rear portion. Then I chose the E-250 because it was essentially an E-150 raised a bit for more ground clearance. The serious extra hefty and weight and ride stiffness wasn't dramatic until the E-350 version.

Mistake, in my case. My RV-like mods and my gear added 3,000 pounds, and I wore out a rear axle. I replaced it with the much sturdier E-350 rear axle.

And I used one of the nation-wide buying services to buy it at dealer cost + $175. Not surprisingly, within hours of inquiring about it with that service, a local dealer called me and offered to match that price. No-brainer; kept the money local and got some local brownie points. The fleet manager who called me said, "Any time you want any Ford, skip the retail guys out front and come to me for cost + $175." So I also bought a Mustang from the same fleet manager within weeks. Saved almost $4,000 on a $15,000 Mustang compared to the other local dealer's price: List + $2,000.

Picking a vehicle is just the beginning of the process.

\m/
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feuser



Joined: 29 Oct 2002
Posts: 1395

PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 9:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Windsurfing vehicle, Mini Van ,SUV,Honda Element or box Reply with quote

Tabou~R2 wrote:
I recall a thread but didn't find it, but I think it was more for a car or small station wagon.
...


I don't know about your exact plans, but if I were planning on crossing the country several times in a year, I'd look for gas mileage, gas mileage and reliability.

My 98 subaru wagon fits 2 boards (8' wave boards - admittedly much newer than the car), 6 sails and hardware comfortably with the passenger seat folded and no other mods. With the rear bench folded, 3 boards would not be a problem.

If I need to make room for a passenger, the boards go on the roof racks that are already there. The sails go behind the driver's seat. The newer version of the Outback gets 25mpg and more on the highway (tried a 2005 for a week). Mine does 20 - 24 combined and that's after 140k miles.

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spark1



Joined: 08 Jun 2007
Posts: 42

PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If money was no object, then the argument ends here.
http://www.steynfamily.com/ultimate_windsurfing_van_02.htm
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carl



Joined: 25 Feb 1997
Posts: 2489
Location: SF bay area

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing that hasn't been addressed is driver comfort. The origional poster said he was driving across country several times. Obvious
ideal for most drivers would be a smooth riding luxury car, probably a wagon for our purpose. Minivans ride real good too, and drive almost like cars (I think they drive more like "car-based" SUVs, still comfortable but less road feel than most cars).
A full size van would be very tedious to me on any long drive. I couldn't
even keep it between the lanes on a test drive from the dealer! Parking is a joke. Most also have a rough ride and cheep seats, especially the cargo versions. They are also bad in cross wind. I would imagine the Sprinter would be a real bear in x-wind with that super high profile. It looks like a tip-over hazzard too, although I can't find any tests to verify. Anyone with Sprinter experience with ride and handling?
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