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



Joined: 03 Apr 2006
Posts: 1269
Location: SF Bay

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

carl wrote:
... 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.


Come on Carl, even little old ladies can can drive a cargo van. Wink
Parking is no different than a mid-size car or standard pickup truck. I'd say the drive is squishy rather than rough (Dodge 1500) and my seats are pretty darn comfy too. IMO a cargo van is an excellent windsurf vehicle. Been doing the full size van thing since '87. Don't judge based on one poor test drive.


Rolling Eyes

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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13998

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

carl wrote:
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?


Stretched "supervans", as Ford calls their biggest Econoline, drive just fine, with that loooooong wheelbase soaking up bumps that make many cars ride harshly. The tracking problem you experienced was due to poor front-end setup (usually a kingpin issue) and cheap tires; Bridgestone tires make a HUGE improvement in steering accuracy and stability), not the van itself. I chose the luxury cockpit option for my '88 Supervan cargo van (nothing but painted metal aft of the cockpit), with fancy dash and high-end, high-backed, superbly comfortable seats that looked brand new when I sold it at 175,000 miles. I often parallel parked mine in downtown Hood River with no problem, and those are not big parking spots. And even though mine was raised 30 inches in height by a giant full-length top (the same top every airport Ford shuttlebus van uses) to over 9 feet, crosswinds were not a problem at all. I often drove two hours north and south in NM in it with direct west winds of 20-50 mph, and had no problem keeping it in my lane at 80 mph. I wish my present high-performance sports car would ignore crosswinds as well, but it's 5,000 pounds lighter and has a FAR shorter wheelbase. We've driven our Supervan from Cape Kennedy to Ohio to Seattle to San Diego, plus many points in between, loaded with WSing gear, and never felt fatigued or cramped in it. It was a pleasure to drive. Its primary driving shortcoming was on harsh washboard dirt roads, where the only speeds with a decent ride were 10 and 80 mph; the transitions between the two were pretty harsh and thus brief.

Sure our Honda van rides and drives better. But it would also darn near fit inside my raised Supervan; guess which one I preferred to live in for 14 extended summers. It's all about tradeoffs and priorities.

\m/
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sergem



Joined: 24 Oct 2003
Posts: 390

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

coyotewindsurf wrote:
carl wrote:
... I couldn't even keep it between the lanes on a test drive from the dealer!

Come on Carl, even little old ladies can can drive a cargo van. Wink
Rolling Eyes


I know one "old lady" I can't catch up with for the sake of one video shot, perfectly powered, me being taller, heavier and with bigger board, sail and fin Smile

Seriously, though, could you share how is life with a cargo van? What is the year and mileage of your van? How much of the chore is the maintenance, any tricks to keep it as your tool and not the other way around?

Thank you!
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coyotewindsurf



Joined: 03 Apr 2006
Posts: 1269
Location: SF Bay

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sergem wrote:
I know one "old lady" I can't catch up with for the sake of one video shot, perfectly powered, me being taller, heavier and with bigger board, sail and fin Smile


Darlin', it ain't the ride, it's how you ride it. Wink

sergem wrote:
Seriously, though, could you share how is life with a cargo van? What is the year and mileage of your van? How much of the chore is the maintenance, any tricks to keep it as your tool and not the other way around?


Never ask a lady about year, mileage or even maintenance of a tool! Wink

Seriously (only if I have to) this one is a year 2000 customized for my personal addiction. (Sergey knows all this stuff 'cuz he sees it most times he's at Coyote March thru November)

Firstly, it's color is the closest to pink I could get within standard Dodge colors. It's called medium red metallic--it's actually neither red nor very metallic--I prefer to call it Van Rosť. and yes this is important!

It's a V8 and gets 14/20.

The custom interior includes boat grade carpeting over rubber for all horizontal surfaces. (former Chevy Beauville rusted from the inside to a premature death after a measly 13 years) 3 horizontal decks include 2 for boards (5 easily) an 1 for sails and masts. The sides/ceiling are insulated and covered with carpet over plywood (think East LA and you're there) and misc stuff is hung from hooks or stored in door nooks and crannies and the occasional plastic bin. $20k out the door, brand spankin' new including the custom interior to my specs.

It's low mileage because I choose to sail close to home so I spend far more on DMV tags and insurance than on servicing, but I do the occasional speed run to Sacto where it's stellar in cross winds over the SM bridge. You gotta love those those high wind warnings on Bay Area bridges Laughing

Would I change it for a station wagon or a SUV for windsurfing? No way! Been there, done that.

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carl



Joined: 25 Feb 1997
Posts: 2481
Location: SF bay area

PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 1:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

coyotewindsurf wrote:


Come on Carl, even little old ladies can can drive a cargo van. Wink
Parking is no different than a mid-size car or standard pickup truck. I'd say the drive is squishy rather than rough (Dodge 1500) and my seats are pretty darn comfy too. IMO a cargo van is an excellent windsurf vehicle. Been doing the full size van thing since '87. Don't judge based on one poor test drive.


Rolling Eyes

Mo
It was a judgement based on 2 test drives of brand new Chevy and Ford full size 1/2 ton vans and renting a Ford from Al West for a week. The Chevy was better riding but it still handled like a bus (with not much room for big feet). Maybe it would be ok with a very short commute to Coyote, but I gotta 70 mile round trip. I'd be looking into prozac and maybe a back brace within a few weeks.
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speedysailor



Joined: 11 Sep 2007
Posts: 841

PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I'm amazed at how much reading material has been presented on this subject with a distinct bias. I eliminated the choice of a van because it's rather hard to find a front wheel drive and the underbody clearance for those kinds of vans remains rather low. If you live in a locale that doesn't see snow in the winter and provides paved parking at every launch, vans seem the best way to carry boards. However, I don't like the lack of direct visibility with vans. You have to rely more on mirrors than with an S.U.V.
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sweetboy



Joined: 29 Jul 2005
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 9:33 am    Post subject: visibility Reply with quote

Visisility? Do you really believe its safer to turn your head THE WHOLE WAY AROUND to check for someone in you blindspot or just to glance in a mirror the size of a box of cereal? I've had vans so long when I end up in a car and turn my head I end up weaving about the place. Learn to use and trust the mirrors and you'll never get cramps in your head again. It is way safer. If you watch people trying to navigate SUV's and vans in parking lots that are having difficulty, 99% of them are turning their heads back and forth, back and forth. Many aren't even tall enough to see out and down thru the windows to find the parked cars they are trying to navigate around. Go cargo all the way. Use the mirrors, save at least $5000 as full sized vans have the ubiquitous honor of being the fastest depreciating vehicle on the market, have all your gear inside and safe, room for an actual bed, space to lounge, spin the passenger seat around with a cooler between your legs and have a living room etc etc. It will take many, MANY miles to recoup the money you'll spend on something fancy with nominally better gas mileage that will end up smelling like wetsuit just the same. Sail on.....
SB
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coyotewindsurf



Joined: 03 Apr 2006
Posts: 1269
Location: SF Bay

PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

speedysailor wrote:
...However, I don't like the lack of direct visibility with vans. You have to rely more on mirrors than with an S.U.V.


I can see where you get your fear of mirrors. Wink



Rolling Eyes

It's all about the mirrors!

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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13998

PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sergem wrote:
Seriously, though, could you share how is life with a cargo van?


Absolutely indispensable! It's like wearing your own clothes compared to those of someone half your size, like living in a house vs a doghouse, like breathing vs having your air piped directly to your lungs, like living in the desert vs New Yawk City, like WSing on the ocean vs a small pond. And on the freeway, with today's cops, a sports car and a motor home all drive the same: point and steer.

sergem wrote:
How much of the chore is the maintenance, any tricks to keep it as your tool and not the other way around?


A Porsche, a Beemer, an Audi, and a giant van all have the same parts: engine, drive train, body, seats, etc. In theory, their maintenance is the same. In FACT, the van is probably 10 times more reliable.

The tool trick is to design your van to suit your needs once, build it sturdily, and fuhgheddaboutit. Even the hand-crafted overhead liftgate on my raised Econoline was as solid at 175,000 miles as it was the day I installed it, as were the generator, the drop-down TV, the microwave, the always-made-and-ready queen-sized bed, the enclosed racks for six boards and six rigs requiring not one tie-down strap, the kitchen, the sonar backup sensor, the electric refrigerator, and the hot outdoor shower. I still had room for a living room seating three people plus two in the cockpit seats, and the whole thing parked at the same parking meter as a Geo Metro.

Anything less feels like a straight jacket now.

\m/
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farabi



Joined: 16 Jul 2002
Posts: 278
Location: boston, cape cod, etc

PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tabou~R2 wrote:
Caribsurf wrote:
I keep a Honda Element at my house in Florida and it is an amazing car. Perfect for watersports and dogs. I have roof racks but don't even need to use them as any windsurfer or surfboard up to 9 ft fits inside perfectly as does all the gear. The interior is plastic lined so you can hose out the whole car when necessary. Has a MP3 aux jack for ipods on those long drives, and is easy to park fun to drive and holds a ton. Despite it's smaller size, it isn't very aerodynamic so don't expect the greatest gas mileage..good but not great.

I would recommend this car to anyone
Question
How much gear will the Element swallow up ?



to put any windsurfing gear into honda element you need to fold front seat. my vote goes for Odyssey or freightliner if you are looking for dedicated windsurfing car
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