Any small vans that’ll take an 8×4 sheet?

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  • Any small vans that’ll take an 8×4 sheet?
  • Premier Icon kayak23
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    It’s looking like my awesome Berlingo might be thinking about quitting on me at some point soon.

    I need a good load carrier for biking, but mainly for work as a furniture maker.

    The Berlingo has been amazing, but I always have to stick ply and mdf on the roof which isn’t ideal. Also, I’ll often have built items up to about 2.5 metres and lengths of timber 3-4 metres.

    Does anyone have experience of smaller vans and carrying ply etc? Would one of the long wheelbase Transit Connects or something take a full sheet, diagonally maybe if not flat?

    Just weighing up my options really and I’d rather stick with a car-based van (or as mine is, a car with the back seats removed) than getting a full on van type van.

    Oh, and I’m poor, so probably can only stretch to about 3-4k so older models.

    Cheers.

    Premier Icon welshfarmer
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    Just for info, an 8×4 sheet “just” fits in a SWB T5, so I guess looking at anything smaller is futile.

    The Chrysler grand Voyager will. As will the equivalent Toyota/ honda (Odyssey?). I think the Hyundai i800 will to.
    They have very clever seats that fold right out of the way to allow for full 4×8 sheets plus you can take 7 friends with you.

    5lab
    Member

    Pretty sure a galaxy will too.

    I had a sheet of 8×4 in a mondeo once. It sort of fit (went diagonally across the car and above my head). After that I used the roof bars

    fongsaiyuk
    Member

    long wheel base connect will do it – passenger seat folds down flat and cage swings around to allow sheets to slide in diagonally
    not sure if this is an option or available on all models ?

    Premier Icon tthew
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    The Transit Connect L2 has a specially designed bulkhead so you can get a couple of 8×4’s in right up to the corners of the loadspace apparently. Never actually tried it, but have used the load-through feature for 8 foot scaffold planks and they only poked through a few inches so I reckon it’d be right.

    Love my newish van.

    Moses
    Member

    NV200 ? With front seat folded

    Premier Icon kayak23
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    Cheers folks. So it may be possible with a couple of models then. I’ll have to do more digging.

    It’s not like I carry them all the time but it would be handy for sure.

    I feel like if I had a proper big van, I’d just fill it with more rubbish and maybe general costs would increase over something smaller..

    Premier Icon tthew
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    Ah, sorry I didn’t spot the price limit bit and car/van preference, I was too excited about having actual product knowlege!

    timba
    Member

    NV200 ?

    Doubtful. Mine is roughly 1.22m between the wheelarches and 2m to the backs of the seats. A bit of diagonal experimenting might prove me wrong though

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
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    one size up from the blingos the second generation (2007 – 14) scudo/ dispatch etc in long wheel base let you get an 8×4 flat on the floor but not on edge. In that size they’re almost transit size but pretty cheap by comparison on the used market and feel smaller to drive – lower driving position and lower centre of gravity

    The advange with going a smidge bigger than that – a full size tranny (but not the latest model) is you can transport boards on their side… so that you don’t have to unpack all your stuff to get a board in / out.

    A lot of current models of bigger vans have the bulkhead intruding into the load space now (probably as a result of having more crash safety up front) – the bulkhead slopes backwards so although they’ll quote the load space as 2.4m its only the floor that is that size (sometimes achieved by tucking under the seat bases) not the space as a whole

    Another option though… going a bit smaller / lower rather than bigger. The vauxhall astra vans are dead cheap to buy and run – I bought my one for £1000 and ran it for 5 years, getting 60mpg. They’ve got a slightly longer load bed than the blingo but a lower roof (and a longer roof for a longer roof rack) means flinging boards on and off the rack is much easier than it is with a blingo or transit sized van

    spursn17
    Member

    1971 Dodge Polara station wagon, 8×4 fits flat on the floor and fits between the rear wheel arches. One I’ve the best cars I’ve had but a bit strong on fuel!

    Premier Icon kayak23
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    The advange with going a smidge bigger than that – a full size tranny (but not the latest model) is you can transport boards on their side… so that you don’t have to unpack all your stuff to get a board in / out.

    That would be amazing. I do like having a smaller vehicle in a lot of ways though. Wonder if a proper van might get flack from being parked up in front of the neighbours house all the time… 🤔

    willard
    Member

    I was going to suggest the NV200 too, it’s a nice looking van, but if it is too small, maybe go for a long wheelbase versions of Transit Connect or Caddy.

    Actually, a friend has a new Citroen mini-van (Partner?) and that’s really well fitted out. For the money, that’s a good choice if they do a LWB version.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
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    Wonder if a proper van might get flack from being parked up in front of the neighbours house

    there’s no law against it. To all intents and purposes a tranny doesn’t really take up any more road space or ‘view’ than a Berlingo. With small vans you lose a lot of the potential load volume to engine and leg space. A transit is less than 2ft longer than a belingo ( just a couple of inches longer than a mondeo) but has 4ft more load length just from configuring the cab and engine bay differently.

    From the answers above… a few people are giving recommendations without ever having put an 8×4 board in a vehicle 🙂 certainly not the ones they are suggesting. A lwb connect or caddy is going to give you about 8″ more than you can get in your blingo

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
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    The smallest vans you’ll get boards into are:

    Boards in flat on the floor:

    LWB Dispatch / Scudo
    SWB Vivaro

    Boards in on edge

    SWB Transit
    LWB Vivaro

    But choosing between them of running cost I doubt there’s much appreciable difference (with the dispatch the bigger engine is more economical than the small one) and your neighbours would be able to tell they were different sizes either.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
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    that should be ‘wouldn’t’

    The Transit Connect L2 has a specially designed bulkhead so you can get a couple of 8×4’s in right up to the corners of the loadspace apparently.

    Wasn’t this the big selling point of the Renault Traffic and equivalents – was the only standard van that would take an 8×4 upright

    100inch
    Member

    I’ve had full plasterboard sheets diagonally on edge in a SWB Vivaro / Traffic / Primastar. I think you need a no-bulkhead model to do it tho.

    Premier Icon tthew
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    The Transit Connect L2 has a specially designed bulkhead so you can get a couple of 8×4’s in right up to the corners of the loadspace apparently.

    Wasn’t this the big selling point of the Renault Traffic and equivalents – was the only standard van that would take an 8×4 upright

    Bloody hell, I feel like I’m going to have to go to B&Q and buy a sheet of plasterboard just to test it!

    Also have a nv200. Pretty sure you can’t get a 2.4 sheet in the back. Great van though (although ours is the 7seat MPV).

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
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    Wasn’t this the big selling point of the Renault Traffic and equivalents – was the only standard van that would take an 8×4 upright

    You can only do it with the long wheel based version – they quote the load space as something like 2.9m for that model but thats only on the floor the bulkhead leans back quite a bit and 2.44 fits quite snugly on edge. The older shape transit could do it in a shorter van but the new one has the same issues as the traffics and its only the LWB that can get them in on their side. Corner to corner is pointless if you have plans to carry other stuff really fine if its only once a while but if buying or using wood is what you do thats not good enough. I can’t see the point of a van that size that can’t easily carry the standard unit of measure for the materials you’d use it for.

    Anyway OP just dive right down that slippery slope. Transits are a gateway van (Maccruiskeen former SWB transit owner turned XLWB Sprinter owner with roof rack for carrying 7m steel sections)

    If you take the plunge I’ll show you are really clever (if I do say so myself) quick build rack for transit size van that makes them really quick and easy to pack and access, but call also be removed in a few minutes.

    Premier Icon kayak23
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    Monkeyboyjc remarked; Also have a nv200. Pretty sure you can’t get a 2.4 sheet in the back. Great van though (although ours is the 7seat MPV).

    Would you mind removing all of your back seats and buying a sheet of ply to see if it’ll fit in over the weekend? 😉

    I like those Nissans.

    Some interesting reading thanks everyone.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
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    Would you mind removing all of your back seats and buying a sheet of ply to see if it’ll fit in over the weekend?

    it would have to be all of them – you’d need the front seats out to get a sheet in :-). They’re only 2m long in the back. Some of the van versions have a folding bulkhead / passenger seat which gets you more length but the opening it creates isn’t full height so a sheet wouldn’t fit through.

    mat8246
    Member

    Currently looking at vans myself. The other day I had to do a double take in the yard at Jewson as someone loaded multiple sheets of ply into a previous generation LWB Transit Connect with the aforementioned hinged bulkhead and folding seat. So it’s definitely possible. Maybe not ideal if you’re constantly loading up with full size sheets, but great as an option every now and again if it’s raining.

    Premier Icon cloudnine
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    What about a normal car and just use something like a box trailer when you need the extra size..

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Tow-A-Van-Box-Trailer/283332252999?hash=item41f7eb1547:g:JocAAOSwYTtcNOzR:rk:32:pf:0

    Premier Icon 136stu
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    Wonder if a proper van might get flack from being parked up in front of the neighbours house all the time

    Might be worth checking your deeds, ours forbid commercial vehicles. Terminology is probably a bit “grey” but our neighbours would definitely cause us grief so I’ve had to refrain from buying a van and have a big estate car instead.

    Premier Icon dogbone
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    Shirley you can own what you want if it is parked on public highway? Deeds may be an issue if shared driveway rather than ‘real’ road?

    Premier Icon 136stu
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    Our deeds exclude commercial vehicles (and livestock!) from the estate. It probably could be tested as it may be deemed to prevent someone from earning a living etc, but who wants to go through all that.

    Premier Icon kayak23
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    Anyway OP just dive right down that slippery slope. Transits are a gateway van (Maccruiskeen former SWB transit owner turned XLWB Sprinter owner with roof rack for carrying 7m steel sections)

    If you take the plunge I’ll show you are really clever (if I do say so myself) quick build rack for transit size van that makes them really quick and easy to pack and access, but call also be removed in a few minutes.

    Be interested to see that anyway 😊👍

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
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    Don’t think I ever photographed it (don’t have that size of van anymore) but when I get an idle moment (April) I’ll knock up a quick sketch. Everyone racks their van on the right to keep the side door clear – counter intuitively I put it on the left – sheets go on the right as you can only get them in and out the back door anyway – and the rack is made so you can reach all your tools from either the back or side door without having to clamber into the van – it means everything is is accessible even if its full to the gunnels

    They actually make good sleeping bunks too so I’ve overnighted in the back on long journeys to site even with all my kit on board

    Undo 2 screws and the whole thing comes out if you need to carry something bigger

    regenesis
    Member

    You Can Get a full sheet diagonally sideways/crossways in a LWB caddy.
    Just (well a few actually) but you’ll be packing everything else around it.
    You can just do it with a SWB Vivaro too – diagonally but upright.
    Be warned though – the moment you box in the arches on a LWB then they won’t go in flat. They are designed to just fit that size.

    Premier Icon tthew
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    I’d also like to see those rack plans maccruiskeen, the shelves in my van are a PITA to use when bikes block them, and it’s a big old stretch to reach them from the slider.

    TheDTs
    Member

    Used to get 8×4’s in our old (G) reg Astra. Ok the boot would need to be strapped down, and the exhaust fumes would blow back inside but we got away with it😁

    Bear
    Member

    SWB Trafic takes sheets upright at an angle, you have to be careful with the side door though as it catches the boards. Need to load them from the back with the side door shut.

    Premier Icon kayak23
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    It’s actually kind of surprising how many vans DON’T easily take 8×4’s, considering it’s such a common cargo for many vanists.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
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    Be warned though – the moment you box in the arches on a LWB then they won’t go in flat. They are designed to just fit that size.

    On the continent sheets are usually 2.4 x 1.2 dead (like plaster board here) rather than rounded up to imperial which is what can cause the tight squeeze between the arches

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
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    So – by popular demand (a mandate of two)

    This was a quick fix to pack an exhibition that consisted of large exhibition panels and boxes of exhibits – it was only supposed to be used for one trip to avoid having to hire a luton and pay more for a ferry – but it stayed in for 5 years.

    Basically… screw two horizontal battens to the bulhead and two to the door side of the van at the heights you want your shelves to be.

    Then make a ladder-frame to go in the middle of the van – screwed to the floor and with the uprights spaced to meet the ribs on the roof – fixed with angle brackets and screws and again with rails at the height of your shelves. This frame only needs to span from the back doors a line level with the back edge of the side door.

    Then two ply shelves slide in along those runners – span the gap between the side door and the bulkhead and locate on the the front battens. I put a 3×1 upstand along the inside edge as a stiffener and to stop stuff slipping off the side. A single screw down through the ply into those front battens is all thats needed for the whole thing to stay put. You can then strap sheets to the right hand side of the van and the ladder frame gives you lashing points as well (handy for bikes) Space the height /width of the shelves to suit your kit (mine were sized to use with removal crates) You can then reach everything from the doors when the van is fully packed.

    If you need to make room for larger objects the shelves can slide out and you get a space the full width of the side door accessible from the side. A few screws and the frame is out too if need be. If it works with the dimensions of what you’d put on the shelves – making the division work so that the shelves fit flat on the floor on the right when you remove them from the rack is wise, allows you to save having somewhere to store them when not in use

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
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    Might be worth checking your deeds, ours forbid commercial vehicles.

    Depends on how a ‘commercial vehicle’ defined. On the logbook, MOT cert etc a car or a transit-sized van will both say ‘Private/Light Goods’. They’re not a different class of vehicle. If you go over 3.5ton and into Operator License territory part of the license application deals with the address the vehicle will be kept and gives neighbours scope to object.

    By other definitions a company car is a commercial vehicle, as is a hire car. Different agencies (VOSA or whatever they are called now, the DVLA, HMRC, your insurers) will all have different ideas as to what or what isn’t a commercial vehicle in their terms

    Premier Icon kayak23
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    Good idea that Macruiskeen 👍

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