Author Topic: Would you buy this?  (Read 1741 times)

jaye_p

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Would you buy this?
« on: October 21, 2015, 07:05:58 PM »
We're looking for a van to use primarily for camping trips.  We were thinking minivan, say a mid-2000s Toyota Sienna.

But....our next-door neighbor wants to sell his 1994 Ford E150 conversion van for $500.  It has 125,000 miles on it.   He thinks the radiator needs to be replaced.  The third row seat/convertible bed was removed by him, so that would need to be replaced as well.  I've priced the third row seat at $100-$125 at local salvage yards.  I'm not sure how much replacing the radiator would cost.  There might be other problems as well (we would have a mechanic look over the vehicle and identify them), but he was driving the van within the last six months.  The gas mileage is not great at all (12 city, 17 highway), but it would not be driven that often - maybe a couple of trips per month.

For comparison, the 2005 Sienna gets about 18 city, 26 highway, and is listed at $7,500, with 119,000 miles.  For our usual camping location (200 miles roundtrip), at current gas prices, the E150 would cost $14 more in gas.  I have  no idea how much more we would need to spend per year for repairs and maintenance on the E150 vs. the Sienna.

So...would you buy it?

peeps_be_peeping

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Re: Would you buy this?
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2015, 07:49:03 PM »
I have gone camping in both and I'd go for the Sienna. You really cannot go wrong with a Toyota.

When I was in high school (in the '90s) my parents bought a Ford Econoline conversion van and we drove it from Alaska to Utah and back one summer. It kept overheating so we had to open all the windows and blast the heat while it was 95 degrees outside. Later we found a piece of cardboard in the engine put there to insulate it against the cold winters. All 4 of us squeezed into that van at night - two on the folded down bench seat and two on the floor. Bags got stacked in the front seats. Drove like a tank and guzzled gas.

Later my parents bought a 2005 Sienna and in my opinion that is the ultimate adventure camping vehicle. I have borrowed it many times to take my friends on skiing, camping, and biking trips, and to move stuff. It handles like a car and gets good gas mileage. Seats 4 plus all your gear very comfortably, or 7 plus gear only slightly less comfortably. Easily sleeps three with the rear bench seats folded down. Love that van.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Would you buy this?
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2015, 07:53:39 PM »
I've done van camping, camped in a Tahoe, and now I camp in my Silverado with a canopy on it. Truck camping is by far my favorite! Of course, we do back country camping (I hate camp grounds), so the clearance is nice to have.

jaye_p

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Re: Would you buy this?
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2015, 08:11:07 PM »
peeps_be_peeping, thanks for sharing your unique perspective!  It's cool that you've had experience with both vehicles.  The Sienna does have a lot going for it.  And it's probably far less likely to break down in the middle of nowhere - in rural Michigan - with a vanful of kids.  (shudder)