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We got ours in December, its a '95 with 100, 000 kilometers on it, you'll have to do the math for miles. Ours was owned by a local community organization, so it was very well maintained, we got all the maintenance records. Ours its an E350, so its a one ton, and it drives exactly like our Dodge one ton diesel drove, big and heavy. I know you have to really watch your tire pressures on these vans, which was contributing to lots of the rollovers and stuff.
We will be using ours to pull our 30' camping trailer, we've already got the hitch and wiring installed. So far we love it! We drove it 5 hours to the city a few weeks ago to catch the plane, and it did really well, we were a bit surprised at how well it handled on the snowy roads. Just like our big diesel truck did.
Our goal is to get 2-3 summers of camping out of it, then move to a Cadillac 7 passenger suv once the kids can load themselves in the back row, and we'll likely move back to a truck for camping. If it does pull well, and we still like the space, we might just buy a new one, another one ton but in diesel this time. The current one is gas and its very thirsty$$
I know several of you have them and I'm looking for some personal reviews.
How well do they handle? Not too bad. Just can't turn fast or tight.
I'm especially curious about the 15 pass. vans. Are they hard to drive? Park? What's reverse like? Driving is not really any different than the minivans except for turning, see above. Also you need more time/space to switch lanes and stop. Dh had a camera installed so when you put it in reverse, it automatically switches to the camera, so in addition to looking every which way I can see directly behind me. Makes backing up so much less stressful. Parking is still a bit of a challenge in a lot, the van is at least as long if not longer than the spaces. I have it pretty well figured out for at home.
What's loading and unloading like? SUCKS!!!! I was totally spoiled with my minivan and the sliding doors, plus the mini is shorter, thus easier for little legs to climb into. Our "new" van doesn't have the idk what they're called but the steps along the sides and they are pretty $$ to buy from what we've found so far. Also the passenger door is on the passenger side so you have to walk all the way around or climb through. I climb through because I have LO's that need help into their seats and with buckling.
I'm used to having sliding doors on both sides so I'm a little nervous about giving them up. Very sad to give that up, see above. Also if it weren't for having the first bench removed, there is NO storage space like for strollers and groceries etc.
When buying used, what's your cut off on year and mileage? IDK, Dh handled that.
Do you think these vans have much life in them after 100,000 miles? I really hope so. Ours had 133,000. One owner and well maintained.
Basically, give me the full run down on your van experience! REALLY wish they made a 15 pass. van with all the spoilers I've become accustomed to. I LOVE the fact that it's totally paid for, NO payments. Once we make a few minor repairs to it, it should be as good as new. They are mostly cosmetic though. We already did the mechanical stuff.....*knock on wood* We are hoping to get many years out of this one. *fingers crossed*
Last edited by ~mommy~; February 15th, 2011 at 11:42 AM.
Jthe Chevy Express 12 passenger has the option of a sliding door on the Drivers side ! Too bad we need the 15 pass. Our club wagon has 168,000 miles and runs okay but we had to replace the engine at 120,000 miles.