Author Topic: Cargo van, any recommendations?  (Read 4424 times)

greenmimama

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Cargo van, any recommendations?
« on: August 23, 2014, 11:24:00 AM »
We would like to purchase a cargo van in hopes of turning a hobby into a full time job, My DH works with wood, and to haul lumber and newly built furniture to their new homes, we thought an extended cargo van would be the least expensive way to get it done.

Their seems to be Chevy, Ford, and Dodge to choose from. I have never researched Cargo vans before and was hoping someone here could help. Is their something to look out for, one brand to stay away from?

Thanks in advance.

PS their is a 2008 on CL with almost 200k on it or just under 9k is that a good deal, or is their much better deals to be found.

greenmimama

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Re: Cargo van, any recommendations?
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2014, 02:12:10 PM »
Anyone?

sequoia

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Re: Cargo van, any recommendations?
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2014, 02:30:44 PM »
A few years ago we looked at getting a cargo fan. We did not ended up buying, but did some research. We decided to get a Dodge/Mercedez Benz Sprinter. We like it because it has a tall version that will allow us to walk into the van, and it has diesel engine with good gas milleage. Sprinter is the standard cargo van in Europe.

ketchup

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Re: Cargo van, any recommendations?
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2014, 03:19:48 PM »
A few years ago we looked at getting a cargo fan. We did not ended up buying, but did some research. We decided to get a Dodge/Mercedez Benz Sprinter. We like it because it has a tall version that will allow us to walk into the van, and it has diesel engine with good gas milleage. Sprinter is the standard cargo van in Europe.
Not to rain on your parade, but I've heard some really bad things about Sprinters in the "expensive maintenance" and "unreliable" departments.  I know a friend-of-a-friend that spent ~$15k on one, and has sunk $7k in repairs into it, and currently it doesn't start.  I find that terrifying.

daverobev

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Re: Cargo van, any recommendations?
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2014, 04:40:46 PM »
Known good: Dodges with 5.2l V8s.

Econoline/Ex50 are good, there is one Ford V8 that had issues with sparkplugs breaking off because they were awful to get to or something.

Chev/GMC 4.3 V6 is known good. I'm sure the V8s are good too. I'd be looking at the V6 because it's the most fuel efficient of the lot (which.. isn't much of an endorsement).

Umm.. One of the Ford Diesels has persistent problems with the EGR system, so - IIRC - you want the 7.3 not the 6.x if you go that route.

You're probably better off finding two or three that look good, and then searching for issues with that make/engine/year.

Mustachian: Can you work with a trailer? What kind of weight? You might be able to get by with a medium car or small SUV in that case..

dycker1978

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Re: Cargo van, any recommendations?
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2014, 04:46:24 PM »
Have you looked at the Ford Transit?  Lots of room but with a 4cyl for fuel costs.

Also I had a dodge for about 3 years(with warranty thank god) had to put a cyl head in it and the transmission was gone when I was T-boned and it was written off.

greenmimama

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Re: Cargo van, any recommendations?
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2014, 12:27:41 PM »
We are thinking of putting a tow package on our Honda and getting a trailer to haul larger items, or really long lumber.

The van with all the seats out can hold a table that seats 6-8 so for most table could be delivered inside of the van.

Just keep thinking, we may do this until it got so busy that a dedicated vehicle would make more sense.

pagoconcheques

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Re: Cargo van, any recommendations?
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2014, 01:24:21 PM »
Sounds like your Honda is an Odyssey!  Just use that for now.  If it turns out you need more space, you can put a hitch on it for a couple hundred bucks and buy a cargo trailer through craigslist (maintain the wheel bearings when you buy a trailer used). 

greenmimama

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Re: Cargo van, any recommendations?
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2014, 01:58:36 PM »
Sounds like your Honda is an Odyssey!  Just use that for now.  If it turns out you need more space, you can put a hitch on it for a couple hundred bucks and buy a cargo trailer through craigslist (maintain the wheel bearings when you buy a trailer used).

Yes an 03 Odyssey that we love, so no need to buy something diff at this point, any idea what a tow package would cost ?

Taran Wanderer

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Re: Cargo van, any recommendations?
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2014, 09:43:37 PM »
The local dealer asks $1500 for the tow package, which includes the receiver, wire harness, and (here is where the cost comes in) a transmission cooling coil. If you're going to be towing 5,000 lbs up big hills, you may want to consider that.  But probably the "couple hundred dollar" option will suit your needs just fine.

Big cargo vans are heavy vehicles with terrible fuel economy and are expensive to repair. If you don't drive much and can do your own maintenance, you can do okay.  If not, based on my own experience, they can be a serious money suck.

pagoconcheques

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Re: Cargo van, any recommendations?
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2014, 04:05:15 PM »
I had a 2002 Odyssey.  The factory towing package includes not just the hitch and electrical work for the trailer lights, but also a transmission oil cooler and power steering fluid cooler.  I had the oil cooler put on when I bought the car new and skipped the steering fluid cooler.  Since we only used the hitch for a bike-rack, and not for towing, I never bothered installing electrics.  I bought a hitch from a local U-Haul dealer for maybe $150 bucks (this was easily a decade ago) and installed it myself.  The "Hidden Hitch" kit includes the hitch itself, bolts, and a replacement muffler hanger since the tail-pipe needs to be moved a few degrees to the side. Unless you are towing long distances at high speeds in hill country, you may be able to skip the transmission cooler (though it's a good upgrade for an Odyssey anyway).   

Any U-Haul place can install a hitch for you, but some (well one anyway) are sloppy and just don't care.  If you have a torque wrench you can install it yourself in about half an hour as the holes are already in the frame.  I didn't use jacks, instead just letting the rear of the car hang off the the curb in front of my house and doing it there.