Recommend me a ………..Van

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  • Recommend me a ………..Van
  • Premier Icon thomasgeorge
    Subscriber

    I’m fed up with having to remove remnants of forest and mud from my car, so I am thing a small van for biking would be best option.

    Would like something that I can get a bike in, without having to take wheels off, and to future proof, room for 3 bikes, and 3 seats up front, for when the kids are riding.

    Any ideas or suggestions from you guys, thanks

    Premier Icon cloudnine
    Subscriber

    Vauxhall combo, VW caddy or something French.. Budget?

    Matt_SS_xc
    Member

    Combo and caddy are 2 seats up front.
    Dispatch/expert/scudo is the smallest with 3 seats. Apart from brand new transit connect.

    Matt_SS_xc
    Member

    Or a Nissan nv200 I think that has 3 seats and is small

    Premier Icon mos
    Subscriber

    New connect is very nice but the Centre seat is tiny. More suited to a fat passenger than an actual person . You could put a child on it but I’m not sure a booster seat would fit.

    Love Tubs
    Member

    Ok:
    T5: Don’t even ‘look’ at a first gen T5 – period…loads of issues. More recent are better, more comfy but very expensive to service, less one can do oneself an again very unreliable for their promise.
    Evidence:
    X2 plumbers, one being my father-in-law the other a friend – both of them utterly regret ever selling their T4’s.

    Vaux: Ugly, plastic and zero cool-points – reliability issues (earlier ones)

    Evidence: To be fair I only know two of these, work colleagues: both of them visited the garage for ‘between service issues’ < 80k. As per T5, less options for conducting your own work…garage biased – I’m out for all of the above.

    French: ?????????????????????????

    Summary

    There is only ONE van …. 2.5 VW T4 TDi. Full service record would be ideal(does not have to be main dealer, in fact I wouldn’t take mine to a main dealer), don’t panic about mileage. Clearly low mileage would be nice but trust me when I state the bullet proof nature of the 2.5Tdi engine (note this is NOT a VVT turbo unit, the curse of all modern tdi who’s owners run them on supermarket kak). Like I say, service record & evidence.

    I know nothing about the other T4 variants.

    Enjoy 🙂

    http://www.vwt4forum.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?f=162

    glasgowdan
    Member

    A swb transit is a surprisingly manouvreable, parkable, and capable wee van. The space will be more than welcome. Cheap to buy, run etc. I sold my 02 plate 3 years ago for £2k and the guy’s still using it.

    Premier Icon NorthCountryBoy
    Subscriber

    Don’t even look at first gen T5. ???
    Bit of a sweeping statement!!! I had a 2.5 with 150k on it never gave any bother.
    Was a bit thirsty tho. Sold it for a 1,9 loads of them around that go on and on. Can pick up an 04 05 model with around 100k miles for about £5000.
    Agreed the 2.5 T4 was a nice driving van but the newest is gonna be 12 years old soon so finding anything with under 150k on it is not easy. There a bit long in the tooth.

    Newer Citroen berlingo vans have 3 front seats and room in the back for bikes

    Some Transit Connects and Vauxhall Combo vans have a bench seat installed behind the front two seats and you should be able to fit 3 bikes in the space behind.

    Don’t even look at first gen T5. ???
    Bit of a sweeping statement!!!

    Yeah this is what you get when you ask for advice on the internet.

    I’ve got an early T5. Had it three years and all I’ve done apart from servicing is recon the starter motor and replace the oil cooler. I don’t use it every day but do long journeys for work. Regularly sleep in it (I insulated and carpeted it) and we’ve done two mighty 5000 mile European road trips in it. Never broken down or left me hanging. Oh, and lack of a factory fitted DPF is one less thing to go wrong.

    And it’s the famously troublesome 2.5 version that the internet tells you not to touch with a barge pole! It pulls like a train which makes it a pleasure to drive but the 6 speed box keeps it under 2k rpm on a long run. I can outrun my friends 1.9 like he’s standing still but when we’re travelling together I can match his MPG easily because I don’t have to ring its neck.

    I’m not telling anyone they need to buy an early T5 but I’m not a fan of sweeping generalisations especially when they contradict reality. For the record I wanted a T4 originally but couldn’t find one without crusty arches. And when I test drove the Thunderbus, well, that was it for me.

    Premier Icon johnnystorm
    Subscriber

    Wouldn’t be without my early T5. Even in lowly 1.9 spec (albeit converted into a trimmed out 5 seat kombi esque affair) its the best thing on wheels I’ve had. 🙂

    shifter
    Member

    +1 the Combo, been to the Alps a couple of times in one and they’re nice to drive. Three up would be a forks over the bench job but it should be doable. The ones I’ve been in both had a one piece bench btw.

    trail_rat
    Member

    “There is only ONE van …. 2.5 VW T4 TDi. Full service”

    Lol. He said van not vintage motoring.

    Premier Icon steveh
    Subscriber

    An idea of budget would help as that will allow us to give better advice. As some have said above 3 seats and small is limiting but there are options with new shape berlingo, nissan nv200, hyundai iload etc before you reach expert despatch and then vivaro transporter sizes.

    My slightly leftfield choice would be a caddy maxi life/kombi if budget allows (like the one I’m selling as it’s too small to fit my mx bike in easily). 5 seats, split in the rear and the fold and roll forwards, air con, electrics etc, nice to drive and 45-50mpg. But they’re not cheap – mines up at 8k looking for 7.5k and is among the cheapest i’ve seen.

    Premier Icon tomaso
    Subscriber

    Merc Vito can be good if its a later one and not rusty old nail.

    But a Transit stops you looking like a T5 ponce 😉

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Subscriber

    Or a Nissan nv200 I think that has 3 seats and is small

    Don’t think it does, if there are any variants with 3 seats up front they’re be pretty cosy the NV200 is quite narrow.

    Newer Citroen berlingo vans have 3 front seats and room in the back for bikes

    2.5 seats at best.

    Some Transit Connects and Vauxhall Combo vans have a bench seat installed behind the front two seats and you should be able to fit 3 bikes in the space behind.

    I’d get your tape measure out for that one, if you could get 3 bikes in then they’d have to be almost completely dismantled as they’d have to go across the width of the van. The Combo in crew-cab form is quite oddly proportioned, the second row of seats is pretty far back, theres more legroom in the back than there is in the front, even when the drivers seat is all the way back, so the space behind that second row of seats is pretty limited. Any of the car derived vans in only going to have a load space 160cm to 170cm long to start with, with a second row of seats in that space your not left with very much behind. Usually the crew cab versions of the combo and similar vans have a built in bulkhead behind the second row of seats so you don’t get options to fold that row forward as you could with an estate.

    I’d say the most compact, van you could sit 3 people in the front of is the new shape Scudo/Expert/Dispatch or the compact version of the Vito, you’d get more of the former for your money though.

    Love Tubs
    Member

    Ha…..you lot are just too easy….the vintage motoring made me chuckle; like that 🙂

    Ex network rail Transit lwb welfare vans. Had mine 2 years-been brill !
    6 seats, microwave, 240v onboard power, eberspacher heater, sink with hot&cold water etc etc.

    I was in the same postion like you not long ago, bought a new van (berlingo) and sold my focus… Was nice when driving my bikes here and there.. But miss driving proper car terribly, if i have to turn back time I will never ever get a van and just be contented with the towbar bike rack instead..

    Love Tubs
    Member

    …actually, my bike is vintage too….in fact, I am vintage!

    Love Tubs
    Member

    eberspacher heater

    You are a lucky man, I’d love to retro-fit one in my bus but they’re quite expensive 2nd hand. Have you had it service yet?

    Premier Icon mattbee
    Subscriber

    Eberspacher fitted recently to my t5, cost £800 fitted for s refurb unit with 6 month warranty (all new wiring and plumbing though). Best thing I’ve bought for the van! Set it to fire up half hour before I’m due to leave for work and get into s nice warm non-iced up van.

    It’s an early t5 too. I bought one over anything else because I’ve had air cooled vw and it’s partly a ‘scene’ thing and simply because I could afford one.

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Subscriber

    Berlingo car. I take the double seat out the back, easy get 3 bikes in. You could take out the single and leave a dual seat in the back.

    I have a later t5 GP 2.0 . It gives me about 40mpg and hasn’t let me down although bought with almost 60k on the clock. It has an Eberspacher heater and a RIB bed / rear seat. I’m a lucky guy to have it. It’s great.

    However. And , this is kind of my point. I wouldn’t have it, had I not been offered it by a company owner selling it at what it had been written down to on their books after 3 years , or had I not actually made money on my T4. Thing is, yes, generally more costly to start with, good VW vans , well maintained won’t cause you to lose your shirt, even if you part with one to buy it in the first place.

    That said: prior to Transporter ownership I managed for years with big estate cars, for carting windsurfing kit about, changing in them, sleeping storing kit etc and for occasional use then for the odd bike trip , usually with a mate and all his kit too.

    My missus has a Berlingo van which is great for two of us and bikes.

    In the case of the OP, I’d suggest any mid sized van; VIvaro, Transit, transporter etc would work well.

    VW are excellent, but they do cost and like anything aren’t indestructible or always reliable and they do cost to fix, especially t5.
    Yes. I have become something of a ” VW nut” even in late middle age, if however I needed to I could sell the VW, buy a Trafic of similar age and spank 3 or 4 grand on a poncy new bike and some diesel for the van without opening the wallet.

    EDIT : One other point about non car derived vans and I can understand why the guy above misses his car, is that higher driving positions reall make a difference if you like to enjoy what you see on your travels. Not just three or four cars ahead on the motorway, a great safety feature in its own right, but for me the big one is acually being able to see over hedges and fences and enjoy the view !

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    Is it for daily use? parking in multi-storeys etc?

    If not, you might want to consider a SWB Vivaro or Trafic.

    They seem generally reliable, cheap to buy and service, nice to drive and the usefulness of a proper van shouldn’t be underestimated.

    duntstick
    Member

    Love my Trafic. Great van

    hammyuk
    Member

    I’m going to say Caddy – Maxi Life though.
    I know three people with T5’s/Traffic’s and they all would by the maxi Life like mine if they were at zero point again.
    All the plus points of a car – with all the plus points of a van – in one vehicle.

    Premier Icon Pz_Steve
    Subscriber

    I’m in a similar position and toying with a Galaxy / Sharan / Alhambra. Plenty about at reasonable prices (particularly for the Ford and Seat versions), should easily be able to get 3 x bikes and people in by removing seats as necessary, and decent economy from the 1.9 TDi.

    Plus, I quite fancy doing this:

    tang
    Member

    I’m on the van hunt as we have had another child and theres a whole lot more years of camping/carting ahead. Its got to do two things that the berlingo doesn’t; Carry 5/6, sleep 4 and double up as a day/events van.
    What I would like is a t5 with floor rails and a 3 seater rib plus a poptop and kitchen pod. All gets quite pricy when adding it up! My plan is get a kombi first then ad the bits when the funds arrive. I would be happy with a transit but my wife needs to drive one to see which works. She has driven a t5 and was happy with that.
    My Dad always had a old split screen when we were growing up and our trips round the UK and Europe were ace, plus day trips and brewing up/cooking when we fancied. He did have a bigger motorhome until he rolled it which we borrowed with our kids and they loved it.

    hammyuk
    Member

    Maxi Life has 7 seats 😉

    All the plus points of a car – with all the plus points of a van – in one vehicle.

    Not all the plus points of van. I fancied a Caddy as I had a Golf before it but I thought if you’re buying a van you might as well have a proper van. Consider the privacy aspect especially if you go riding with a woman. We can jump in the back, change out of wet clothes, and get changed in the back. We have a folding mattress in there, we can cook food etc. I think of it as a tent on wheels without all the soggy, flappy nonsense. You don’t get any of that with a Caddy or Berlingo.

    orangeboy
    Member

    I currently have an old shape expert
    It’s ugly slow 1.9 non turbo
    But thee seats and enough room to sleep in with my bike or board if I want

    Very cheap to buy and very simple
    Mine does run a little rough but just keeps going regardless and they don’t tend to rust

    Only other thing I looked at was a toyota hi ace van but could only find lwb ones near me

    Sharkattack make a good point here. A “proper” van opens up loads of possibilities. Next year at a minimum I will be touring Scotland for a week in June and off through Europe to Garda in August . Very nice to get back home, even if home is somewhere else most nights !

    trail_rat
    Member

    Done everything shark attack does with his van in the a berlingo that you cant possibly do those things in.

    Only needs to as big as you need it.

    Admittely we do want a bigger one now but im not for changing while its still running solid – anticonsumerism at its best- but my replacement when it dies will be larger.

    Dont forget though – larger (non factory kombi/caravelles)vans have slower speedlimit 🙁 and some kombis /crew cabs still attract the lower speedlimits. Seems to depend on how it was originally registered or some pish. – another reason i cba with changing,

    Well if you must argue the point, I could change clothes in a phone box but it wouldn’t be much fun.

    Next week I’ll be reclining on my double mattress in the Lake District with two bikes a bucket of clothes thinking how glad I am that I don’t have a Berlingo.

    Next week I’ll be reclining on my double mattress in the Lake District with two bikes a bucket of clothes thinking how glad I am that I don’t have a Berlingo.

    Next week I’ll be in the Lake District in a warm bed thinking how glad I am that I’m not daft enough to sleep in a van.

    How many miles per gallon does your house get?

    How many miles per gallon does your house get?

    None, it’s got solid foundations. My car, I don’t know either.

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