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  1. #1
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    Cool-blue Rhythm Post up your vans/mini-vans that haul your rigs

    Who here roll vans they bought specifically for hauling their bikes and buds to trails (or at least with thought towards that in the deciding process). Have you done overnigh trips to farther-away places to ride sleeping in it

    Mine (90% of the decision process was for bike hauling...sold a nice '94 Mustang GT ratop to buy this ),and yes I've done an overnighterin it




    Bike picking ready...


    Post em up
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  2. #2
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    Had an 89 dodge caravan for 12 years but I finally sold it earlier this year and bought an 03 pontiac vibe beater. I bought it more for hauling my dogs around but it also ending up serving as the bike hauler. Could easily put 4 bikes in the back and still sit 4 people inside. If the flywheel hadn't broke I'd probably still be driving it. I only paid $800 for it in 01 but everything worked even the a/c, was easy to work on, and never really gave me any real problems other than the flywheel cracking lol. I fixed the van after buying the vibe and sold it for $500.

  3. #3
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    Those older Caravans ran forever! I had an aunt/uncle that had one that looked amazingly like that one (paint peel and all,LOL) that they got well over 300K miles out of. They finally got tired of seeing it and sold it for $300 a few years ago to a neighbor down the street (this is before our move outta that area last year) who STILL drives it
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  4. #4
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    my 06 peugeot partner. - small by US standards- 1.9 diesel.



    my 87 land rover ninety. Asthmatic 2.5TD in that photo but got a 3.5 V8 on twin SU carbs ready to fit.

    not as handy for bikes as id have thought - cargo bays too small - but ill stick a roof rack on once i get its new engine in and roadtested.

  5. #5
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    Nice!!!
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  6. #6
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    First my Astro. Good mileage. Fits a downhill bike standing up height-wise. With one row of seats, will haul 5 bikes and 5 people inside the van (less chance of theft). With all the racks and all the seats, will haul 8 people and 8 bikes. I've had older and newer Caravans and a Mazda MPV. The Astro was my favorite van by far. I love the interior height.

    Post up your vans/mini-vans that haul your rigs-astro.jpg

    Next, my cube van. 16' box. Stupid mileage, but it was my daily driver for 2 years. The most bikes I had in it was about 40. It would hold more.
    Post up your vans/mini-vans that haul your rigs-dsc03882.jpg
    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Ninja's Son
    You may be happy to hear that my dad has kicked cancer's ass. Now he's looking for whoever sent it.

  7. #7
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    I was wanting an Astro when I bought the Merc,but a) couldn't find the right one at the same time as b) the Merc being a 1-owner with maintenance records back to day 1 and well cared for mechanically,the price was too good to pass up...they (Astros) definately have more height and potential,I still want one (especially coming from a mini-trucking background and a love of S-trucks/s-balzers ). That cube is awesome as a bike hauler!
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  8. #8
    Terrain Sculptor
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    Quote Originally Posted by longhaultrucker View Post
    I was wanting an Astro when I bought the Merc,but a) couldn't find the right one at the same time as b) the Merc being a 1-owner with maintenance records back to day 1 and well cared for mechanically,the price was too good to pass up...they (Astros) definately have more height and potential,I still want one (especially coming from a mini-trucking background and a love of S-trucks/s-balzers ). That cube is awesome as a bike hauler!
    S10, S15, Blazer, Jimmy, Astro. Owned them all, loved them all. The Astro-Safari is the only mini-van I know of that is actually a truck. I would buy another one in a minute.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Ninja's Son
    You may be happy to hear that my dad has kicked cancer's ass. Now he's looking for whoever sent it.

  9. #9
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    If I don't look into a full size van next go round,a good-shape used Astro/Safari is on my short list for sure. Here's a couple of the many S trucks I've owned...



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  10. #10
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    Here's mine
    97 Ford Econoline 7.3 PSD
    6" lift on 35's
    4x4 conversion is in the works.
    interior is still being converted

    that's a med Turner Sultan

  11. #11
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    W-O-W!!! Longhaul LIKES that!
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  12. #12
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    Had a ....

    ....Plymouth Voyger(sp).....and a Honda Ody.....here's a couple Ody pics...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Post up your vans/mini-vans that haul your rigs-rcst-bash-08-006.jpg  

    Attached Images Attached Images
    There are two paths you can go by but in the long run........

  13. #13
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    Sprinter

    Recently bought this NCV3 144WB High Roof Passenger Sprinter. I hope it will be my ultimate bike hauler. I can fit 5 people and 5 bikes all inside, with wheels on.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Post up your vans/mini-vans that haul your rigs-van.jpg  


  14. #14
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    I dig them Honda Od's,and they're my son's favorite van

    That Sprinter looks like the ultimate bike-van to me,I'd LOVE to have one (especially if diesel),I'd do SO many bike trips my wife would pitch a fit,LOL!
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  15. #15
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    Thanks. They are all diesel-only now in the USA.

  16. #16
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    That's what I thought,but wasn't 100%
    '11 Origin 8 700CX
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodel View Post
    Here's mine
    97 Ford Econoline 7.3 PSD
    6" lift on 35's
    4x4 conversion is in the works.
    interior is still being converted

    that's a med Turner Sultan
    Now thats an impressive beast! I bet you get about 3 miles to the gallon though...
    (just me being silly)

    I am seriously considering the passenger window van for my next vehicle. I love my mini van but find it cramped for room in several situations, and not just hauling my bikes....
    Remember when we were kids and our Mom's said we could not play in the mud? I'm making up for it now!!

  18. #18
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    My 1989 Chevy Astro died on me a few months ago...POS that it was, it was good for hauling bikes. I've been torn about what to buy, I'd like a Sprinter van, but I refuse to pay that much for a vehicle!, LOL. so I've been watching the Honda Fit thread, thinking about one of those, or this. http://www.dodge.com/en/2013/grand_caravan/sxt/

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ALBM View Post
    I'd like a Sprinter van, but I refuse to pay that much for a vehicle!, LOL. 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT | Luxurious Family Minivan | Dodge
    I also assumed the Sprinters were too expensive, but you'd be surprised. There are SO MANY options on the vehicles... probably over 100, that you can have a large swing in prices. Also, you can find some low miles used vehicles for many thousands less. I bought mine on eBay from a dealer that was a demo, with 7,500 miles for under $37k with new warrantee.

  20. #20
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    It's not my van personally, but I drive it for work (which includes hauling up to 14 bikes at a time every day)." width="549">
    "A thing is right when it tends to perserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise." - Aldo Leopold

  21. #21
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    /\ /\ /\
    Something that I might actually be able to find within budget some tax-refund-time,that my son and I can load the bikes in,and still have room to strech out in our sleeping bags! Nice
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  22. #22
    gran jefe
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    the sprinter looks like a great vehicle, but they are indeed spendy. look for them to get some competition soon.

    our ody has been been wonderfully reliable and easy on gas.

    sometimes i wonder about a pickup with the kind of camper top that is the same height as the cab, but it seems like security might be an issue.

    i like the peugeot partner, but need a cargo bay at least 6 feet long to lie down in. how long is the cargo area of the peugeot witht he front seats pushed forward? we have a similar vehicle here called the transit connect.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by longhaultrucker View Post
    /\ /\ /\
    Something that I might actually be able to find within budget some tax-refund-time,that my son and I can load the bikes in,and still have room to strech out in our sleeping bags! Nice
    06 GMC Savana extended. Coming up on 100k and it's been super reliable. I used it to move and my queen mattress almost fit lying down (width was inches off b/c of the wheel wells).
    "A thing is right when it tends to perserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise." - Aldo Leopold

  24. #24
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    im 6foot 3 and sleep in the partner comfy - one summer i slept in it every week night , would drive to where i work about 2 hours from home on monday morning , work , go ride bike ,sleep in the van (we have showers at work) do this all week then drive home friday night.

    ill see if i can dig out my sleeping arrangement photo.

  25. #25
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    Cool!
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  26. #26
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    oh bill

    the connect LWB is plenty long enough to sleep in , the standard length connect is not (the uk versions anyway)

    how ever the connect in the uk is subject to a lower speed limit. the partner is not as it is based on a car chassis

  27. #27
    gran jefe
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trail_rat View Post
    im 6foot 3 and sleep in the partner comfy - one summer i slept in it every week night , would drive to where i work about 2 hours from home on monday morning , work , go ride bike ,sleep in the van (we have showers at work) do this all week then drive home friday night.

    ill see if i can dig out my sleeping arrangement photo.
    ...
    the connect LWB is plenty long enough to sleep in , the standard length connect is not (the uk versions anyway)
    Cool, thank you, Trail Rat.

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    The two sleeping boards are 6ft long they are supported at the front end by my Roll cab top box and at the back by the plastic box you see - my kit bag is between the two. The front passengers seat is right forwards and wound as far as it will go.

    The boards also go across the top of the back doors and keep the rain off when i am cooking.

    On the right hand side my MTB and TT bikes are sat in this photo with only the front wheels out - I used to TT on a tuesday night and ride MTB the rest of the week when i worked away.

    Even with no bikes in the partner will only sleep 1 . We have tried two in the past - my partners only 5ft6 , im 6ft 3 and we cant do it. maybe the other person sleeping with you is shorter and wants to get real cosy with you

  29. #29
    gran jefe
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    I like that. I have a Honda Element that should last me a lot longer, but every now and then I think about what my next vehicle would be, or what my retirement vehicle would be. The Element is also a good one-person camper, although 6 more inches of cargo length would be amazing.

    It may sound funny coming from an Element owner, but I'm not quite sure I could get over the aesthetics of the Panther/Connect. But, in a way, the complete lack of aesthetics is an aesthetic of its own, right? We went to UK/EU a couple of summers back and saw so many interesting van/wagons that we don't get over here.

    Anyway, thanks again for the info and the photo.

  30. #30
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    its ugly .... sure enough ... my other motor(land rover 90) hardly a looker though - unless you have a brick fetish

  31. #31
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    We recent got a 2007 dodge caravan with 50000 km..
    best bang for the buck
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    expensive cars are a waste of money. Expensive bikes...not so much!

  32. #32
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    That IS good bang for the buck. Cool pic,and I DIGS your sig
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  33. #33
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    Wow...I surely woulda figured more that there were more than 10 or so people of all the thousands on mtbr.com that had vans
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by tartosuc View Post
    We recent got a 2007 dodge caravan with 50000 km..
    best bang for the buck
    What is the white thing you have your bike strapped to?

  35. #35
    POG
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    Ford Transit Connect
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by longhaultrucker View Post
    Wow...I surely woulda figured more that there were more than 10 or so people of all the thousands on mtbr.com that had vans
    There are more than 10 of us.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/7166535@N05/8185066387/" title="P1010003 by BBcamerata, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8478/8185066387_cc61e21ce6_z.jpg" width="640" height="358" alt="P1010003"></a>

    Options I have used include a rear Yakima rack, removing the 2nd row of seats and sliding the bench seat forward to put a bike in the back (not so good for me since I ride size XL 29"ers and the Villager's rear space is not quite big enough for that), or using the Yakima trays on the roof. Best to take out the 2nd and 3rd row of seats, put a liner on the floor to catch any mud and dirt. Then the minivan becomes a 2 passenger hauling machine where you could carry the bikes and gear inside for better gas mileage/safety of rigs on trips.

    I much prefer using my Element (no carpet to worry about for interior storage).

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/7166535@N05/4776060238/" title="P1010002 by BBcamerata, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4119/4776060238_7010d016a9_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P1010002"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/7166535@N05/7294709588/" title="P1010002 by BBcamerata, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7233/7294709588_268ee4ce68_z.jpg" width="640" height="439" alt="P1010002"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/7166535@N05/7383422214/" title="P1010004 by BBcamerata, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5443/7383422214_58dd5897bc_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P1010004"></a>

    But the minivan works. Bikes on the outside and you can haul plenty of gear and people inside (plus a Yakima Box on top for even more gear). If more than 2 of us are going and camping - the minivan gets the nod. Or at least it has in the past.

    My Villager is about to be put up for sale due to Soccer Mom & Dad days being finished.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/7166535@N05/8185067987/" title="P1010016 by BBcamerata, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8202/8185067987_07bf0b96d0_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P1010016"></a>

  37. #37
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    I've often thought about going the Element route,I may yet one day. Nice Villager (nicer than mine,LOL-mine was bought specifically for the utilty though,with only 2 kids,sedans have always sufficed on the soccer-dad part). In the '98 generation,couldn't remove the 3rd row seat (not easily,and it'd be perminent,they weren't designed to be taken out),but it does fold up and slide all the way against the back of the front seats. Took the middle row "capt chairs" out the day I bought it,have only had em back in twice all year for the day
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by longhaultrucker View Post
    I've often thought about going the Element route,I may yet one day. Nice Villager (nicer than mine,LOL-mine was bought specifically for the utilty though,with only 2 kids,sedans have always sufficed on the soccer-dad part). In the '98 generation,couldn't remove the 3rd row seat (not easily,and it'd be perminent,they weren't designed to be taken out),but it does fold up and slide all the way against the back of the front seats. Took the middle row "capt chairs" out the day I bought it,have only had em back in twice all year for the day
    Those 2nd row captain chairs are heavy!!! Every time I take them out I am reminded of that.

    Yes, I've slid the bench seat all the way forward to haul stuff. Since we hardly ever use the rear seat - I have thought about taking it out on a more permanent basis and turning the minivan into a minitruck. For my size bikes, I built a fork mount rack where I take the front wheel off and mount the bike on the rack inside the Villager (or Element). That keeps the bike(s) in place and I can store camping gear, cycling gear, etc... next to and between the bikes in the rear.

    The least desirable option is using the roof rack to haul bikes. That's a long way to hoist a bike up there. I've got a couple of tandem trays that swing down where you mount the bike on the tray, then swing it up on top of the car. Much easier, but expensive. The rear rack works the best for me as I can haul many bikes back there and utilize all the space in the van for the cyclists and gear. However, having the bikes inside is still the safest in terms of protecting your gear, getting the best mileage.

    I was stopped at a red light once with a brand new Fisher demo/test bike hanging on the rear Yakima rack. A high school girl didn't see the red light and all of us stopped at the light. She braked at the last second and ran right into the back of me. The hitch took the hit and believe it or not, the only damage was the hitch bolts on the frame just needed to be loosened, pulled the hitch back into place and tightened the bolts up and everything was perfect. There was a bit of cosmetic paint scratch on the rear plastic bumper cover from the Yakima rack pushing into it, but that was it. Insurance paid for a repaint of the plastic bumper cover and the inspection found no other damage. Insurance did pay for a new Yakima rack even though the one on there was not damaged (at least to the naked eye). Very lucky and thank goodness the demo/test bike was not hit. It was a grim reminder to me of the safety of the rigs on the back of a car.

    It gets about the same mileage as my Element - so that's a wash. And it's more comfortable than the Element in terms of seats and the ride. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend a minivan/van. If I didn't have the Element - I'd be set with the Villager as you are.

  39. #39
    gran jefe
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    Quote Originally Posted by POG View Post
    Ford Transit Connect
    what do you have to do to make the tandem fit in there? remove the front wheel? put the rear wheel between the front seats? what kind of gas mileage do you get? does it come with back seats for passengers?

  40. #40
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    Some great setups here.

    So mine is not technically a van, but a truck with a topper. But I though LongHaul would appreciate a inline 6 turbo diesel in his thread

    With intake, exhaust and programmer, she puts out a around 400hp and 750lb/ft of torque and gets 20mpg all day long (6 spd manual). Not bad for a 20ft long 8,000lb truck.

    We bought it for towing a travel trailer, but it's just SO comfortable I drive it every chance I get.

    It's PITA to load bikes since it's so high off the ground, but I've all but given up the MTB for a KTM so it's a mute point.

    That I6 Cummins is such a sweet engine. An abundance of torque - nothing like being able to lug it down to 1,200 rpm in 6th gear up a hill at 10,000ft above sea level.

    It sleeps two adults and two kido's in the back with plenty of room for gear.

    Next summer I'm gonna take off the topper so I can load the dirt bikes in the bed and tow the travel trailer. Or I might look into triple towing.

    Does OK off road, but it gets horrific axle hop when you loose traction.

    Best of all it is RWD when it's not in 4x4.
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  41. #41
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    Now how did you know I WAS a long haul trucker,and didn't own a Surly LHT? (OK,I was a long haul driver for 13+ years,LOL,though I do dig and lust after Surly's touring beast too). I always dug the Cummins (especially a Cummins/Rockwell combo) when I drove.

    It's not a van ........but it is cool,especially when it sleeps so many. LOVED the 2nd pic too,cool truck,and the way I'd want one if it were mine (that means yeah...if I could afford it,I'd get one )
    '11 Origin 8 700CX
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  42. #42
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    Since starting a family back in 08' I stopped ridding and stopped following the MTB market. So basically ignorance working in my favor - I had no idea Surly even made a long haul trucker. Cool name for a bike though.

    The new diesel trucks are getting crazy expensive, but this 03' wasn't too bad, but keeping up with maintenance has not been cheap.

    I thought most big rig truck drivers never wanted to own a diesel as it reminded them of being on the job.
    Happiness is a warm 2 stroke.

  43. #43
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    LOL,you know,I'd been LHT on various forums for a few years when they came out with the bike...wonder if I could get a discount....
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  44. #44
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    Sounds like copy right infringement to me. You could settle out of court for an undisclosed number of surly's.
    Happiness is a warm 2 stroke.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill in Houston View Post
    what do you have to do to make the tandem fit in there? remove the front wheel? put the rear wheel between the front seats? what kind of gas mileage do you get? does it come with back seats for passengers?
    Fit the tandem in by putting the rear wheel between front seats - fits great. Nice thing about the TC is you don't have to remove wheels due to the roof height. Have carried six bikes with room to spare. This 2010 model gets 25 highway. Just announced 2014 model reportedly will get over 30. There is a model with folding rear seats but this one just has cargo bay.

  46. #46
    gran jefe
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    Cool stuff. Thanks, POG.

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    FJ with a Saris triple track rack on the floor, fits a couple gt Peace 29ers, pretty sure it'll get a couple of full sussers like my Rip9 but that needs a dropper post to fit. Not too bad on gas either 22+ hwy, 17+ city. Use DT QR conversion skewer set for the wheel in the wheel carrier, WTB Dissent barely fits. Still have room for a surfboard with one bike.




  48. #48
    US Army Vet-Airborne 11B
    Reputation: longhaultrucker's Avatar
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    I always liked the new (and old) FJ's

    BUUUUUUUT....................this is quickly becoming a non-van/minivan thread though,sigh,there are already threads for trucks,cars, and SUV's
    Last edited by longhaultrucker; 11-30-2012 at 04:57 PM.
    '11 Origin 8 700CX
    '14 Surly Troll

  49. #49
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ITL View Post
    What is the white thing you have your bike strapped to?
    Its one of those sand illes bike rak that is made to be in the backyard...was not super stable so i madeone out of wood afterward
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    expensive cars are a waste of money. Expensive bikes...not so much!

  50. #50
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    It replaced my E350 for bike hauling the mewer fjs are much like the old panel van variation from 50s early 60s

    Quote Originally Posted by longhaultrucker View Post
    I always liked the new (and old) FJ's

    BUUUUUUUT....................this is quickly becoming a non-van/minivan thread though,sigh,there are already threads for trucks,cars, and SUV's
    Last edited by socal_jack; 11-30-2012 at 07:12 PM.

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