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Looking to make the switch from a truck to a van for hauling my bike. Any suggestions as to what I should be looking for? Would love to hear what you guys use and why?

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I've had a couple vans. I don't suggest a conversion van. If you go regular cargo (at least for Ford) to mount a bench it has to be a few inches closer to the front seats than is all that comfortable. Right now I'm in an old 14 passenger hi top. It's the greatest. Plenty of space for bikes, gear and sleeping and is tall enough so that when I'm changing I'm not hunched over.

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Old U-haul van even has a ramp already and roll up door. Thought of that myself before i bought my enclosed trailer. Trailer is cheaper on ins. Very low maint. and don't feed it gas and oil. Houses 2 bikes when not in use  :thumbsup:

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Vans are great! My last one was an old Ford Supervan, 1 ton with a long wheelbase. It was a passenger/conversion model, I took out 1 of the 4 captain's seats and the bench/bed and used it for work and racing. Could easily fit 2 bikes and loads of gear and supplies and still be comfy.

My first van was an even older Ford E100 shorty. It was pretty pimped out, so I put my bike in the side door and accessed the bed and supplies from the back.

There are a couple of Ford, diesel, 4x4 vans around here that make my putter flutter. Years ago the GMC Vandura was rated the most reliable and toughest, but I haven't ever had one.

 

enjoy

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Old U-haul van even has a ramp already and roll up door. Thought of that myself before i bought my enclosed trailer. Trailer is cheaper on ins. Very low maint. and don't feed it gas and oil. Houses 2 bikes when not in use  :thumbsup:

Good idea and reminds me I bought an old Uhaul trailer in anticipation of moving and for storage. Kept my street and dirt bike, tools and a bunch of junk in it. When I finally moved all my stuff, no furniture, fit into it packed around the bikes and tools. Though hauling a trailer is a hassle and limiting compared to a van.

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Get a old creeper van.

HEY, I have two of those! Old(er)(ish) GM G series vans. I can fit 3 full size bikes behind the 2nd row seat w/o any problems. IF I was van shopping and not planning to tow a trailer (of significant weight) I'd look for an old conversion van or a 1/2 ton, just to save $ on gas. The 3/4 ton and 1 ton vans use big axles and low gears, so the fuel mileage sucks.

If you buy a cargo van, figure in the expense of seats (even the front seats) because anything in one of those will be beat to crap. If yo want back seats, well you're gonna have to call me, because I am one of very few people that have "bolt in" seat for a van  :devil: .

Hope it helps.

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I've got a 98 E250 V6 Econoline, works great. I started with a van, then had two pickups and went back to a van again. Having a van as an only vehicle sucks, thats why I had pickups for a while. But now that I have a car again, the van works great. You can get Econoline's for not much money and they're cheap to maintain.

The only negative about a van is gas mileage. Pickup's suck because everything is exposed. Trailers stuck because they limit the max speed you can go and you've gotta store them somewhere. Ultimate vehicle is a Sprinter, put some benches in there and you're good to go! Just expensive, but excellent gas mileage diesel. ;)

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I've got a 98 E250 V6 Econoline, works great. I started with a van, then had two pickups and went back to a van again. Having a van as an only vehicle sucks, thats why I had pickups for a while. But now that I have a car again, the van works great. You can get Econoline's for not much money and they're cheap to maintain.

The only negative about a van is gas mileage. Pickup's suck because everything is exposed. Trailers stuck because they limit the max speed you can go and you've gotta store them somewhere. Ultimate vehicle is a Sprinter, put some benches in there and you're good to go! Just expensive, but excellent gas mileage diesel. ;)

 

i've got an E-350 extended cargo that i use for work, and hauling a bike on a hitch carrier.

6.0 ford diesel powerplant.

 

E-350's are probably the most durable vans, but eat front tires. always have. twin i beam sucks for that.

 

the 6.0 diesel can be problematic. most of us don't have the hardware to fix it if it goes south.

and 6.0's can go south. if it goes south badly, it can cost five figures to fix. i'd avoid that engine

in that vehicle.

 

the Mercedes diesel sprinter would be a good choice, but expensive.

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Bought an 87 G20 Chevy conversion van about 10 years ago. Paid 1000 bucks for it. Spent 800 on overhauling the 350 motor in it. Have about 90 thousand on the overhaul. Tore out all the seats and blacked out all the windows. Hung r13 insulation on the sides and covered it with carpeted plywood and used Styrofoam board in the roof.even left the carpet in the back.vacuum it out every now and then and it holds up great.get about 15 mpg if I hold it at 70. you can camp it in Fairly cold weather also with the extra insulation

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I just wanted to put this up, since you are looking for a van.

A couple years ago I found a 92 GMC 15 passenger van, 58,000 miles, all vinyl seats and a "split" row seating set up. The split rows means that the 3rd and 4th row have a 2 passenger seat, an isle and then a single seat...for a total of 3 passengers per row, the 4th row being a 4 passenger seat. I paid $2500 for it (more than I wanted, but less than it was worth). Went to pick up the van from the seller and she gives us 2 BRAND NEW studded tires, mounted on rims and a nice set of EZ on chains to go with the van...HELL YEAH! These things drive like sh!t in the snow, so studs AND chains are required.

Originally I removed the 4th row seats and moved the 4 passenger bench to that spot. Today I removed the 4 passenger seat all together and found that I can fit my KDX (a little shorter than an MX bike) into the van if I turn the wheel outward. This means that I can fit my wife's, son's and my bike in this van and still keep seating for 8, 9 if I swap the split row for the 4 pass bench. Even better yet, I can EASILY fit my bike up between the split seats, if I'm only hauling 2 bikes. 

Since there are 6 of us (my wife, 4 boys and myself) I need the seating, and since "boys" can't seem to sit together for longer drives, I like having two rows of passenger seats. I'm thinking about doing the seating in a 2+2+4 configuration, loosing some leg room between the 2nd and 3rd rows (young boys don't need leg room), but am also considering a 2+2+3 set up. What I really need is a quick release/attach system for the seats (these seat bolt in), so I can throw in a set of seats when hauling the trailer and no bikes in the van.

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