Full-size vans for people with lots of kids?

Joined
Mar 2, 2013
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The Midwest
My parents had a full size Chevy conversion van when I was growing up. Plenty of room for 5 kids and my parents. That was in the 1990's. Today, late model conversion vans are sold in much lower numbers.
 
Joined
Aug 12, 2021
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Dripping Springs, TX
My wife and I bought a 1985 GMC conversion van in December of 2020 for long trips. We love it, but with the 3-speed automatic, it only gets about 11 mpg. We went over our $2000 budget and spent three grand, but it was worth it. Had I had more money, I would have bought a late model Chevy/GMC conversion Van. The LS V8 is reliable and efficient for its size.
 

JHZR2

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Dec 14, 2002
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New Jersey
I have two coworkers who each have four kids, and they both get by with odyssey vans and roof carriers. One of the two vans is closing in on 300k miles…
 
Joined
Oct 17, 2007
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3,706
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utah
they also drive like garbage
I had an 07 3500 cargo van with the duramax and nearly 200k miles and i have to say it drove great for the nearly two tons of payload it could handle. Much better riding than an Econoline van.
Not as nice as the less capable yukon XL that replaced it (FS vans blew up in value so i sold out).

If you can even get one, a GM van is cheap and durable. They are priced like a mini van with heavy duty towing. For the right uses, they are best in class. A dinosaur platform that simply has not needed to change in decades. Now you can get newer engines but its largely unchanged.

You wont be able to put as much abuse into a modern van like a Promaster or the ford transit. Many contractors have already worn those new style vans out and gone back to the GM tanks.
 
Joined
Sep 13, 2003
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483
Location
Noblesville, IN
I’m glad someone else realizes the burban isn’t any better than a minivan space wise. It’s a common misconception that it’s far more spacious. Apparently by people that haven’t actually used both. Hard to argue with letting the 4 kids just squeeze in the 2 rows of back seats. They are more flexible than we are.

There are companies doing conversions with promaster vans and you can find them used as well.

I see some NVs around here for larger families.

The 15 pass transit you can get one for a rental for a week to see how you like it day to day or even on a road trip. Rwd with a full family in it won’t be a big deal in snow. Empty it will be a little slippy

My parents bought an 85 voyager When we were growing up. I was one of 5 kids and we stuffed in it. Was much better than stuffing in a car lol
 

01rangerxl

Site Donor 2021
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Apr 8, 2006
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Birmingham, AL
I don't know anyone using one as a family hauler, but the Nissan NV is popular with locksmiths around here and I've ridden in my friend's a few times. It's basically a Nissan Titan van and seems to work really well and drive well for what it is. The passenger versions look pretty nice, but not super common.

If I needed a van, Club Wagon Chateau ,🤣...
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Joined
Jan 2, 2004
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9,598
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California
You wont be able to put as much abuse into a modern van like a Promaster or the ford transit. Many contractors have already worn those new style vans out and gone back to the GM tanks.
Comcast and AT&T are still sticking to the old GM vans or holding onto Econolines until they fall apart.

I’m shocked Amazon, wanting to cut costs on their fulfillment/delivery end hasn’t gone all in on the GM vans - Mary Barra would have made Bezos & Co. a sweetheart deal they can’t refuse. Amazon trashes those Transits and Promasters. The good thing with the GM vans - any hack at Firestone/Big O/Midas/Meineke/Pep Boys can slap white box parts on it and it will still run.
 
Joined
Sep 25, 2020
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My wife and I, blessed with no children. Have an 18 durango GT "brass monkey" which has 3rd row seating that even my 6'3" 300lb self can fit in. Has apmle storage with all seats up or down. And we average 18.5-19mpg with the awd 3.6
 
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Joined
Apr 1, 2020
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Pacific Northwest
Comcast and AT&T are still sticking to the old GM vans or holding onto Econolines until they fall apart.

I’m shocked Amazon, wanting to cut costs on their fulfillment/delivery end hasn’t gone all in on the GM vans - Mary Barra would have made Bezos & Co. a sweetheart deal they can’t refuse. Amazon trashes those Transits and Promasters. The good thing with the GM vans - any hack at Firestone/Big O/Midas/Meineke/Pep Boys can slap white box parts on it and it will still run.
The main issue with the traditional van configuration is the head room. Delivery drivers gotta make time and they are slowed down by crouching down while searching for packages.
 
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