Author Topic: Best Dual purpose work car  (Read 4394 times)

Kroaler

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Best Dual purpose work car
« on: October 04, 2015, 10:19:05 AM »
Okay Im currently launching a small repair business as a side hustle. I currently drive a single cab ford ranger.  For obvious reasons this is less then practical as I need dry space to store tools and small electronic spare part and do not actually need to haul anything in the bed.... . ( I plan to work on salon equipment)  so heres my options. I would prefer to find a vehicle I can still use to drive to work and back as well instead of having two vehicles. And just sell the ranger.

1.) Get a work topper (they are expensive)
2.) Get a minivan ....
3.) Get some other car, like a prius or a fit. Both of those cars appear to have lots of interior space.

Any other car recommendations would be appreciated. I commute 25 miles one way, 5 days a week.

What can you guys see for hauling tanning bed lamps (the largest item I will need to haul), and still drive back and forth as my main vehicle?
« Last Edit: October 04, 2015, 01:05:42 PM by Kroaler »

nereo

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Re: Best Dual purpose work car
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2015, 10:59:25 AM »
I'm not certain how large tanning bed lamps are, but I'm guessing they are 72" or less (stardard 48"?).  If so, then those will fit inside a Fit, Yaris, Matrix, Focus, Prius, Subaru or just about any other hatchback/wagon out there with the seats down.   

You don't seem to like the minivan option, and for you that's probably not the most efficient choice.

I'd sell the ranger and buy any of the used vehicles above (or search for cars that get 35+mpg highway). All of those listed above fit that bill (except the Subaru impreza wagon, which i believe gets just under 35mpg.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Best Dual purpose work car
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2015, 11:05:09 AM »
Zephyr911 on here says his Volt can fit 8 foot lumber, too.

Kroaler

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Re: Best Dual purpose work car
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2015, 11:25:38 AM »
Hopefully some more people hop on with their experience.

bobechs

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Re: Best Dual purpose work car
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2015, 11:56:06 AM »
I don't think minimen are lame.  I think they are kewel.


terran

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Re: Best Dual purpose work car
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2015, 12:17:27 PM »
My opinion is you're overthinking/over-optimizing this. I get the temptation, I'm the same way. Get some jobs and do the work before you try to optimize things, your vehicle included. You can put your tools in the passenger seat. Once you have enough work that you need your tools with you all the time get/make a box for the bed of your truck or get a cap.

Left

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Re: Best Dual purpose work car
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2015, 12:50:59 PM »
Hearse car

kendallf

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Re: Best Dual purpose work car
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2015, 12:57:42 PM »
Prius.. mine has hauled the following, among many other things:

Lawnmower (with handle unfolded)
100' power feed drain auger
10" table saw with stand
8' lumber of all sorts

Fold that seat flat and it has ridiculous amounts of room.  I looked at a Volt and it appeared to me to have slightly less space, although I haven't tested it. 

I also have a receiver hitch on mine and regularly tow a small utility trailer if I need yet more space.  Took 2200 lbs. of brick to the landfill with it last week.

shenvalleywc

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Re: Best Dual purpose work car
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2015, 02:52:10 PM »
I've been driving a 1989 Honda Civic Wagon for about 5 years and haven't found anything better.  Rear seats fold completely flat and it holds a lot of cargo.  I think it has the same cubic feet at the fit, but wider openings.  I used it for my window cleaning business and haul ladders and other gear.

Pros:

That generation of Honda Civic last forever with minimal maintenance.
Decent mpg.  With a standard transmission I was around 32 mpg while carrying a 24ft extension ladder on the top. 
Can be found in 4wd.
A solid, reliable car can be had for around $3k.  Many parts are interchangeable with other models so parts are cheap.
I am constantly amazed at how much stuff I can fit in there. 

Cons:

I think 91 was the last year they made them, so you have to be up to the discomfort of driving a 25 year old car. 

daverobev

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Re: Best Dual purpose work car
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2015, 08:05:22 PM »
In-bed toolbox?

Syonyk

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Re: Best Dual purpose work car
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2015, 12:06:31 AM »
All of those listed above fit that bill (except the Subaru impreza wagon, which i believe gets just under 35mpg.

What year Subaru gets 30+mpg highway?  The new ones, maybe, but I'm *damned* sure my 2002 Outback wouldn't see 30mpg, downhill, with a tailwind.

Kroaler

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Re: Best Dual purpose work car
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2015, 02:54:46 AM »
Yeah im not gonna make any changes until business needs demand it. Im just planning now.    And yes id love an 89 civic wagon but it may as well be a unicorn.    The civic wagons and the toyota camry wagon I've seen maybe 1 of in my life lol. The closest thing readily findable is a ford focus / escort wagon.   Extra points if it has the rear facing third row seat lol.

nereo

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Re: Best Dual purpose work car
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2015, 05:31:29 AM »
Yeah im not gonna make any changes until business needs demand it. Im just planning now.    And yes id love an 89 civic wagon but it may as well be a unicorn.    The civic wagons and the toyota camry wagon I've seen maybe 1 of in my life lol. The closest thing readily findable is a ford focus / escort wagon.   Extra points if it has the rear facing third row seat lol.

Had a 2002 (?) ford focus wagon and loved it.  small, fuel efficient and could carry an amazing amount of stuff.  You can occasionally find ones with under 100k out there.

Matt in Akron

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Re: Best Dual purpose work car
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2015, 06:03:21 AM »
I'd give a used Mazda3 5-door serious consideration - roomy, efficient, can be found cheaply enough.

For what it's worth, I now drive a Nissan Leaf for my 33mi one-way commute 5x a week.  With the seats folded down, it could easily handle cargo 6' long - longer if you move the passenger seat up (I've had 8' and 9' pieces of trim in the car before).  I'm not familiar with the EV charging landscape where you are, but if it's anything like Atlanta, then this car could be your answer.  In my 7,000mi of ownership, it's costing me about $0.03/mi in electricity.

KCM5

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Re: Best Dual purpose work car
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2015, 08:28:43 AM »
Keep an eye on craigslist for a topper. I see them here now and then, usually for free. If you're not in a hurry, that could be a good option. Of course, it may be ugly...