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Van(commercial)as dual purpose vehicle-Recommendations?


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Not sure if this is *really* the forum to ask this on..but here goes....


We're looking at changing the OH's car this year,for something smaller(possibly low/zero VED)..we thought it would've been changed by now but the year seems to be flyin' by!? 8-)


As we wouldn't want to be messing up the (her!)new toy by doing the,"lugging stuff from the builders merchants/doin' runs to the tip", type of thing,I'm looking at the pros and cons of getting a cheapish (but tidy) mid sized van,to use as a(my! ;-) ) multi-purpose run about..


Now,I feel something "Transit sized" would be a too big but something Transit Connect,Berlingo etc size would be too small..

The reason being is,we'd also like to be able to use it as a "semi-camper/camping type vehicle(tarp off the side and utility tent etc)for use of festival sites,for when we don't want to risk trashing the Mh ;-) )


Sooo..I'm thinking along the lines of a something like a Toyota Hiace...possibly even a minibus/windowed van?...(..plenty on ebay,for not much money...)

..I did consider a Merc' Vito but reading up on them,brings up some quite negaitive feedback.. :-S


Does anyone have any first hand experience of owning/running a mid-sized van,that they'd like to share...insurance issues?...reliablity of specific models? etc...


(..I'm not bothered about it not being allowed on some campsites because it wouldn't be used for "ordinary" camping.. ;-) )








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For over ten years I used my T25 as main vehicle and camper, at time I used CIS and they did not discriminate between commercial van and camper, but I believe this may have changed. I have been considering a similier sized van as a run around, may be a T5 or a Renault Traffic, in my case the T5 syncro might make more sence.
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Yeah,Rog'..we did look at a Bongo some years back..

Although they would certainly fit the bill "camper/camping wise", I think now,I'm probably looking for something more "van like" and less "people carrier/camper(ish)"...

(..if that makes any sense.. :$ )


edit: sorry Colin,I missed your post...

a T4 Syncro would do me very nicley,thank you very much...

(..I'd love the earlier "wedge" Syncro(T25/T3 ?)..but I wouldn't want to be spending my weekends putting it back together again... (lol) )

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The VW T4 was pretty bombproof. A mate of mine converted a 2.5 engined high roof LWB one into a motorhome and is in France in it at the moment. Gets about 40 mpg. I ran an earlier 2.4 lugging a coachbuilt body for 65,000 more or less trouble free miles. Loved it. Never had any traction problems on grass or hairpin bends.


The T4 was the most car like of the vans of its era although it was a close run thing with the Toyata Hi- Ace especially the later one with a common rail diesel. The earlier one was a bit of a clunker. The toyota was RWD unlike the T4 but both had independent rear suspension giving a decent ride.

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I suppose the reason I was trying not to look at VWs(T4s),was because I thought that they were still too popular (..and still even a bit "cool" amongst the surf/festival van "dudes")and that by "avoiding" them,I'd probably get a newer,lower mileage,less "abused" van for my money....

...and apart from that I'd end up "needing"(wanting!)a Syncro! ;-)

( ..and I'm only really looking at spendin' around the 2 1/2 - 3 1/2k mark)


Having said that,even though I've got them in the mix,I do find the later model Hiaces pig ugly (lol)

...but I do like the fact that they're RWD (..although in reality I'm not *sure* that would really be any advantage,in an "unladen" van...?... :-S )


..as you can see...I'm tying myself in knots..?! (lol) (lol)

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Thanks Flicka(Jon?)

Yes,we've started to look at the Traffic/Vivaro(....although we're not really after something that has been "converted" to a camper).


..and for some reason,I just don't like to look of the Scudo at all... :-S


Although,as it's only for a basic,utility runabout,it's something that will(should!?)be bought with the head,rather than the heart... (lol)


This *seems* a lot of van for the money(..but a bit too far away from us ..)





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Pepe ... have you contacted your insurance company and asked what the premiums are likely to be for the various vehicles you're looking at - if you go for a 'pure' van, you might find it expensive to insure as opposed to a car, as it could be classed as commercial and attract a higher cost.


Just a thought .... :-S

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I must be honest.Mel,I hadn't given insurance much of a thought.. :$

..I'd assumed that, as plenty o' folk seem to use "vans" as runabouts,it wouldn't be that much of an issue.

(...although as you say,something I should also look into....).


Although the OH has confused things even more now,by suggesting we look at 2dr/dual cabbed,pick-ups...


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