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  1. #1
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    Which minivan to haul ECDM?

    I am in the market for a new minivan. I am strongly considering the Sienna and the Odyssey, but am open to other suggestions as well. I would like a minivan in which I can load my ECDM (which does not have S&S) with relatively minimal bother. Ideally, I would also like to be able to load a single bike as well as the ECDM, and still be able to have three people in the car (including the driver).

    Note that the Honda Odyssey was last revised in 2011.

    Thanks!
    Mark

  2. #2
    PMK
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    FWIW, there is a similar topic running on BikeForums.net

    PK
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMK View Post
    FWIW, there is a similar topic running on BikeForums.net

    PK
    Thanks! The thread is at Is there a list of vehicles that can be used to haul a tandem inside?

    I think that it still would be useful to have a thread dealing with a MTB tandem because the wheels are thicker, so it might be harder to fit in a minivan w/o removing the front wheel.

    Mark

  4. #4
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    Thicker tires not so much of an issue really, and road tandems are "29ers" so have larger diameter wheels (than 26" bikes anyway, 29" MTB tandems are another issue) which should take care of the added MTB tire volume.

    However, the wheelbase of my Ventana is a good few inches longer than the wheelbase of my Burley road tandem.

    No help with your quest, we transport via pick'em'up.

  5. #5
    Schipperkes are cool.
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    Toy has awd but the Honda build quality is much higher.
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  6. #6
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    This is a really interesing topic. Personally we haul our tandems on the roof of our VW TDI wagon. It isn't my first choice but it works and it still ticks off 40mpg at 70+ mph. However, I am interested in getting another vehicle that I can haul the tandem inside. Something about having the bike inside feels so much safer.

    After taking PMK's lead I looked at the other tandem forum too. I am not really sure why people are so focused, maybe fixated, on minivans. Perhaps they need them to do one thing, like cart their kids to soccer practice, and hauling the tandem is ancillary. I can say that our Fandango, w/the front wheel off, eats up every inch from the dash to the lift gate of a Dodge Caravan. One should consider that a MTB tandem may be considerably larger than the road tandems being discussed on the other forum.

    Has anyone considered a Ford Transit? The mileage is in the minivan ballpark and they appear to be cheaper. How about a (diesel) truck? I think giff07 is hauling there bikes in a (gas) F-150. I have been leaning toward a diesel Excursion as our second vehicle. It is so outside our comfort zone but it seems to fits our needs:

    1) it hauls up to 9 people plus a lot of gear, 5 (or 6) if we take the 3rd row seat out
    2) it will tow #15k easily dragging a camper. Who wants to sleep on the ground after a long week of riding in the mountains?
    3) tandems fit inside. Security. We would have to split the rear seat so some seating lost.
    4) they get low 20s on the highway (empty), high teens towing > #5k. Not what our TDI gets but now far from real-world minivan mileage.

    I can even run biodiesel w/o any modification. Push comes to shove, we could go w/cooking oil but I am not sure I want to fool w/the modifications for that. Too bad there aren't any other readily available SUVs available in diesel on the US market.

    Just some random thoughts from someone else trying to figure out how to get their tandem from one place to another while bringing the toys necessary to camp and most likely have friends w/them effectively increasing efficiency by taking one vehicle rather than one for every couple involved.

  7. #7
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    Sprinter with the 2.6l diesel looks promising, if pricey out of the gate. The Transit does look cool; maybe too small?

    Cargo vans are notoriously inexpensive compared to passenger vans. Interiors, windows and doors cost a bunch. This place is always stacked with cargo (and other) vans:

    FAM Vans

    Maybe too dirtbag for some, but a cargo van with an insulated interior and only as many seats as you need can still leave a hefty cargo space. How about a bench for three against the wall behind the driver to open up more floor and cargo area? Check out Sportsmobile for way too many interior ideas.

    We can sleep in our van with two singles or a tandem and all our gear, but it seats only two at present. Nice to leave the vehicle locked up knowing no one can see our bike(s) or anything inside. Additionally nice to grab a stealth over-nighter virtually anywhere. (Edit: Diesel no longer an option on new Ford E-Series vans.)

    Happy hunting,

    Mike
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  8. #8
    gran jefe
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    If the question starts "which minivan to...", the answer is always the odyssey. we love ours to death. will your bike fit inside? I have no idea. But I bet you can figure that out, by, you know, trying to put your bike inside. Probably need to swing the center console thingy down.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by malaclemys View Post
    I am not really sure why people are so focused, maybe fixated, on minivans. Perhaps they need them to do one thing, like cart their kids to soccer practice, and hauling the tandem is ancillary.
    I can only speak for myself. I have 5 kids (oldest 16.5, youngest 2), and our youngest is severely disabled (due to a neurological condition) and we don't know whether she will ever be able to walk. So a minivan with room for a wheelchair is definitely the way for us.

    Hauling the tandem is just an ancillary benefit, but I do want to select a minivan that is most suitable.

    Mark

  10. #10
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    Sorry moshemark, I should have been more clear in message about the minivan thing. You were quite clear about your question "which minivan to haul my ECDM". I wasn't clear when I was making reference to the discussion on the bikeforum.net forum, "Is there a list of vehicles that can be used to haul a tandem inside?"

    I know that for a lot of people the low stance of the minivan aids in getting their gear and themselves in and out. Sounds like it fits the bill for you and your family. My mid-80s grandparents have 2 minivans and I am sure they will drive them until they are too old to drive any more. It is worth mentioning one of them also serves double duty as a model aircraft hanger and would be equally well suited to store bikes in a pinch.

  11. #11
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    Anyone try the 2011-2012 Volkswagen Sharan or Seat Alhambra diesel minivan (available in Europe) for hauling a tandem? It has a remarkable 50 mpg. See Seat Alhambra MPV - Summary - New Car Review - What Car?

    Is there a European bike forum to which I should post this question.

    Thanks.
    Mark

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill in Houston View Post
    If the question starts "which minivan to...", the answer is always the odyssey. we love ours to death. will your bike fit inside? I have no idea. But I bet you can figure that out, by, you know, trying to put your bike inside. Probably need to swing the center console thingy down.
    I can fit our tandem into the back of my 8' long bed pickup and close the tailgate. I know the '11/12 Odyssey will fit an 8' piece of plywood with the second row seats removed and the third row seats folded down, so I'm sure our tandem would fit. What I haven't tried yet is to remove the front center console (easily removable with a release lever) and the middle second row seat and fit the tandem in standing up. I'm pretty certain it will fit.
    May the air be filled with tires!

  13. #13
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    I have a 2011 Honda odyssey. I can get a family of four, a tandem, a burley, a 18" mtn bike and a weeks worth of stuff in it

  14. #14
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    Since you say "open to other suggestions as well.". We purchased a Element a couple of years ago and love it as a bike hauler to death. I have to say that since Hondu recently discontinued this model! Really has been a great tandem mover and that includes long and tall, MB tandems. This weekend we added a rear seat and hauled one tandem a single, plus three people and one mutt all inside it. Gee its been a great little vehicle.
    Arly a tandem Nerd, Who rides them, loves them, so we sell them. superiortandems.com

  15. #15
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    It's not a tandem but almost as big... And this is a VW Eurovan (used of course)
    DirtySixer36er, Ventana ElCapitan, Soma Smoothie 66cm, Trek T100, ChoiceCollective36er.
    DirtySixer
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  16. #16
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    ya know, you are going to have to take the front wheel off to store the bike inside a minivan. that's just the price you pay.

  17. #17
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    Using the wifes Kia van with two seats out......
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