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Thread: ? for van owners

  1. #1

    ? for van owners

    question is how do you like your van do they break down a lot whatkind do you have any recemendations or preferences im getting one and will drive from a transfer seat i dont see the need for all leather interior maybe yall could give me some advice on your likes and dislikes thanks
    to alcohol the cause of-and solution to-all of lifes problems [homer simpson]

  2. #2
    Senior Member TomRL's Avatar
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    I use a 2005 Grand Caravan. I like the better mileage over a full sized van, but ground clearance can be a problem. If you've got a power chair, you might want to do some math on the weight of what you typically drive with. Push a mini too near its weight limit and the ground clearance can get marginal.

    Rust has been an issue. I'd like to get at least five more years out of this. I had about a thousand in body work done last year and some more spots could use work now.

    Pretty good mechanical record. I had a wiring harness fail during the warranty period which took a couple days to sort out. That would have been expensive otherwise.

    Overall I'm reasonably satisfied
    Tom

    "Blessed are the pessimists, for they hath made backups." Exasperated 20:12

  3. #3
    Senior Member tooley's Avatar
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    if you're not using a powerchair and want to save some money check this out....
    http://www.adapt-solutions.ca/products/index.php?prd=5

  4. #4
    I use full sized Ford vans and do not drop the floor or raise the roof. I was 6"2" prior to accident and sit in a manual chair 18 1/2" at front of seat (3.5" higher with seat cushion). I duck my head to get through door but can sit upright in interior. Not dropping floor/raising roof saves a ton. I use B&D 8 way power seat bases in both driver and passenger seats. I get the standard passenger van E150 and have all seats (other than driver and passenger) removed, have the windows tinted, get hand controls, power doors with rear magnet plus console controls, remote start, auxiliary battery, passenger tie downs and smooth, non-slip floor installed. All this costs about 17,000 above cost of van - you have a comfortable vehicle, capable of carrying everything you want to travel with and easy enough to get in and out that you can run errands all day.

    I am currently selling a 2000 van outfitted this way if anyone is interested, replacing it with 2010 van similarly set up.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by TomRL View Post
    I use a 2005 Grand Caravan. I like the better mileage over a full sized van, but ground clearance can be a problem. If you've got a power chair, you might want to do some math on the weight of what you typically drive with. Push a mini too near its weight limit and the ground clearance can get marginal.

    Rust has been an issue. I'd like to get at least five more years out of this. I had about a thousand in body work done last year and some more spots could use work now.

    Pretty good mechanical record. I had a wiring harness fail during the warranty period which took a couple days to sort out. That would have been expensive otherwise.

    Overall I'm reasonably satisfied
    I have a 2004 Grand Caravan. We added heavier Leaf springs to the rear and it helped. It raised mine about 3 inches more I would not recommend this unless you use power chair only. We did not remove the original , we just added the new ones next to them

  6. #6
    My mother has a 1997 Dodge Grand Caravan (IMS conversion). Puts in limited milage (currently has 30,000 on it). Have had no breakdowns except once in the high desert when it got vapor lock.

    Has a power ramp and kneeling function, no raised roof (she is only 5'5"). Don't use it in snow or ice (lives in SoCal) so rust has not been a problem. Uses an EZ-Lock and rides in power wheelchair (she does not drive). Have had to have the ramp worked on several times, including replacing the solenoid that runs the ramp up and down. Overall, we have been very happy with this van.

    You might still want to consider leather for the driver's seat if you will be transferring to drive. It provides the least friction (good for your skin and the effort of the transfer) over cloth or Naugahyde, and also breathes better so less problems with sweat, which can increase the risk for skin breakdown.

    (KLD)

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by TomRL View Post
    I use a 2005 Grand Caravan. I like the better mileage over a full sized van, but ground clearance can be a problem. If you've got a power chair, you might want to do some math on the weight of what you typically drive with. Push a mini too near its weight limit and the ground clearance can get marginal.

    Rust has been an issue. I'd like to get at least five more years out of this. I had about a thousand in body work done last year and some more spots could use work now.

    Pretty good mechanical record. I had a wiring harness fail during the warranty period which took a couple days to sort out. That would have been expensive otherwise.

    Overall I'm reasonably satisfied
    Wow, only about 6 years young on that van and rust issues. More than likely the rust is eating at structural members, too. That's because the floor gets hacked up and re-welded, but not properly sealed and the necessary preperations done to ensure that no rust develops. The real sad part is that the mini vans cost almost double for the mods and they typically ride harsh. I'll always stick with the full sized and no lowered floor.

  8. #8
    hey guys and gals whats the life spand usually on these vans do they go 10 yearsor better id sure hope so
    Last edited by wheelin 48; 06-18-2010 at 08:47 PM.
    to alcohol the cause of-and solution to-all of lifes problems [homer simpson]

  9. #9
    oh ya how about parking do ya get blocked in a lot
    to alcohol the cause of-and solution to-all of lifes problems [homer simpson]

  10. #10
    I hated my minivan because I was constantly breaking the shock brackets off the rear axel from driving down my own driveway. Also, I didn't like the constant rattling and noise of my lift inside my IMS Town n' Country. I've gotta have something with a fair amount of ground clearance or at least more than 4 inches worth of clearance to get around where I live. I also couldn't leave my house when it snowed with the minivan because I live outside of the city limits.

    I'm thinking about replacing my truck in a few years with a full size van. I want something that will keep my chair dry and still be able to pull a trailer/boat/whatever with my vehicle.

    Good luck in your search!

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