Bike hauler

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Marylander
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Bike hauler

Post by Marylander » Thu May 04, 2017 7:05 am

My dad is giving me his low miles 2014 dodge grand caravan since he's likely to be moving into an assisted living facility soon. I'd like to take this opportunity to get a decent long term bike hauler (I've got no interest in using a minivan for that purpose). Between the caravan and my 06 sorento I should have enough money to get something much, much nicer than I'd normally be willing to buy for myself. I won't be using it to commute since I ride motos to work. The thing is there are so many options out there so I'd like a little help in sorting it out. The basics I want are better mpg than the sorento (which is pretty bad for it's size at 15mpg), sufficient tongue capacity (moto on rack), seating for at least 4, $20k or less, and capable of getting into most riding areas (cars are out). I'd really like a manual trans but that would eliminate a huge number of options and it's getting pretty difficult to find them nowadays.

I'm currently thinking about full size pickups, truck based SUVs, and car based SUVs (but with enough ground clearance) but can't conceive of what other options might be out there. I love Phil's van, particularly the capacity and fuel economy, but think one might be over the top. Maybe a smaller diesel van, if they exist.

Whatcha think?

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frogman1981
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Re: Bike hauler

Post by frogman1981 » Thu May 04, 2017 9:30 am

I used a 1988 Dodge Aries with a 4x8 trailer for years. I never found a riding spot I couldn't get to. How about maybe a Honda Element? They have 4wd and a manual trans is optional.

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Re: Bike hauler

Post by juddspaintballs » Thu May 04, 2017 9:55 am

AWD Astro!


It's hard to argue against a Suburban or Tahoe. The 5.3 and 6.0 motors in them are fantastic. They're readily available in 4x4, have true frames under them, and you can get plenty of hitch to handle a hitch carrier or more for them. $20k buys you a nice used version, too.
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Re: Bike hauler

Post by Marylander » Thu May 04, 2017 10:15 am

frogman1981 wrote:
Thu May 04, 2017 9:30 am
I used a 1988 Dodge Aries with a 4x8 trailer for years. I never found a riding spot I couldn't get to. How about maybe a Honda Element? They have 4wd and a manual trans is optional.
Heh, I did my driver's test in a Reliant K. I think that was an 83 or 84 as it was pretty new at the time (mom's car). I'll check out the element.

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Re: Bike hauler

Post by Marylander » Thu May 04, 2017 10:15 am

juddspaintballs wrote:
Thu May 04, 2017 9:55 am
AWD Astro!


It's hard to argue against a Suburban or Tahoe. The 5.3 and 6.0 motors in them are fantastic. They're readily available in 4x4, have true frames under them, and you can get plenty of hitch to handle a hitch carrier or more for them. $20k buys you a nice used version, too.
Yeah, I do kind of miss my 97 suburban...

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Re: Bike hauler

Post by Rut Row » Thu May 04, 2017 12:02 pm

Suburban or Astro would be good to look at. Way back in my kayaking days, I had an Astro that I used as an RV - slept in the back after I threw out the whitewater boats.
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Re: Bike hauler

Post by gots_a_sol » Thu May 04, 2017 2:25 pm

Hard to beat the usefulness of a truck. But seating for 4 in most mid size trucks is going to be tight unless the everybody is 4' tall :lol2:



I vote Quigley van :D

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Re: Bike hauler

Post by Bucho » Thu May 04, 2017 2:58 pm

Ive become such a HUGE fan of vans in the last 6-7 years or so. But yes, finding something similar that is also diesel might be tough in your price range. The (full size) Ford Transit vans are selling very well and in a few years it should be very possible to find cheaper used options.

There are SO MANY cool smaller vans that are sold in other markets, its a shame we dont get them here.
But the old Astro vans are nice. You might look into the Nissan NV200 small utility van but I havnt really researched them. Same thing with the smaller mini Ford Transit or the Ram CityMaster. I think they can all be had w/ a bench seat in the back. If removed, you can haul inside but the front wheel comes up between the front seats I think. Or do the hitch hauler thing, or tow a small trailer like Sam does behind his mini van.

There are plenty of older "American" style vans that can be had very cheaply, but its tough to get better than 15mpg. I had an old conversion van that I really liked. My family LOVED it for road trips. I used a hitch hauler or towed a friend's trailer with it. Was dirt cheap but 14.5mpg was about the highest mpg w/ optimal conditions. Usually was more like 12.
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Re: Bike hauler

Post by Bucho » Thu May 04, 2017 5:59 pm

gots_a_sol wrote:
Thu May 04, 2017 2:25 pm



I vote Quigley van :D

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I don't feel I have much need for a 4WD offroad vehicle. But the Quigleys and UJoint fitted vans are so
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Re: Bike hauler

Post by juddspaintballs » Thu May 04, 2017 8:02 pm

I saw a lifted Quigley van going down Route 7 the other day. I like them a lot, but they are pricey.
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