Do vans become cool once you turn 30?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Do vans become cool once you turn 30?

    Just curious because i've been really looking at vans recently. Like i really want one to convert into a car-camper.

  2. #2
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    No. They never do.
    I'm a mountain bike guide in southwest Utah

  3. #3
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    It don't matter what other people think as long as you enjoy driving it. Test drive some, see if you like the way they ride, etc.

    I would strongly recommend the Chevrolet Express 6.0L or a Nissan NV. My buddy has both of those in his heating and cooling company and has no major problems with them yet. Stay away from the Ford Econolines. Rust and lots of problems.

  4. #4
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    I have a Sprinter now but come from a background of more performance oriented vehicles. The van is really just a tool to get my MTB's, motos, skis and surfboards to their destinations. It's not a bad way to go. It is still just a van and no where near as fun to drive as a fire-breathing hotrod but then I get that fix on my other toys. I do have a Raptor that I would always rather drive for fun but you just can't beat a van for road trippin to ride.

    That all said, I've never had a vehicle get so many compliments or so much attention. I swear I'd be rolling lower profile in a Lambo. I mean, people will come find me inside stores, track me down to talk about it. Roll up to my campsite or holler out the window in traffic. Gas stations, always gotta have a conversation or two. So yeah, seems a lot of folks think they're pretty cool.

    I guess I didn't really address the age qualifier. I guess before I was 30 I would have had a real hard time owning a van. But my focus was in a different area. I built an Audi A4 wagon with full track suspension to haul my bikes on the roof and sleep in the back. Sure was fun getting it totally sideways loaded with camping gear but when actually trying to camp, was a total PITA compared to the van.

  5. #5
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    Minivans, like anything else, become cool once you fill them with mountain bikes

  6. #6
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    More like, you worry less about cool and more about what works for you when you get older...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF View Post
    More like, you worry less about cool and more about what works for you when you get older...
    :church:

    My eldest is cool... apparently I'm not =(

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  8. #8
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    van became "cool" the first time I was camping in it during a cold rain. it was nice to just roll over and go back to sleep - warm and dry.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by AC/BC View Post
    Just curious because i've been really looking at vans recently. Like i really want one to convert into a car-camper.
    Nope.

    "You are what you drive." - Clint Eastwood.


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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    Nope.

    "You are what you drive." - Clint Eastwood.


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    I drive a Dodge Ram and a Trans Am. I guess I'm a redneck. Lol


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  11. #11
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    Cool is a state of mind, not something you can buy with a vehicle. I used to work for one of the auto manufacturers and was doing focus groups with SUV owners and minivan owners. The minivan owners were actually the ones doing really cool stuff like taking out the back seats to go kayaking or going camping. The SUV owners insisted that they needed 4WD because of snow, bad weather, and slippery roads. The next question to the SUV owners was where do they typically go with their SUV. A whole bunch of folks around the table sheepishly said, 'the mall'.
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  12. #12
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    It's funny you bring this topic up. On Sunday morning I was loading my bike on the rack at the trailhead, I became jealous of the guys loading their bikes into the back of their MB diesel Sprinter. They had tools on one side, rack to store the bikes on the other. Small couch and creature comforts. I thought to myself if I could just put two infant seats in the back too it would be awesome for me. I got to the point of looking at them online when I got home; my wife quickly put the stop to that and told me I wasn't getting a cargo van as my daily driver.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spectre View Post
    Cool is a state of mind, not something you can buy with a vehicle.
    true. And I'll add: if you're worried about what people think about your vehicle, you have not nor probably ever will achieve this state of mind.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spectre View Post
    Cool is a state of mind, not something you can buy with a vehicle. I used to work for one of the auto manufacturers and was doing focus groups with SUV owners and minivan owners. The minivan owners were actually the ones doing really cool stuff like taking out the back seats to go kayaking or going camping. The SUV owners insisted that they needed 4WD because of snow, bad weather, and slippery roads. The next question to the SUV owners was where do they typically go with their SUV. A whole bunch of folks around the table sheepishly said, 'the mall'.
    Best of both worlds is a little pickup with a cap/topper! I looked at the Ford Transit Connect van, the Subaru Forester, but ended up getting a GMC Canyon...near perfect camping/mtb'ing vehicle. And everyone knows, pickups are cool...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by banditpowdercoat View Post
    I drive a Dodge Ram and a Trans Am. I guess I'm a redneck. Lol

    Hehehe...I have one of each of those too!

    Had a pseudo-conversion van back in the 80's when I was a kid - you did NOT want that thing rolling up to your house to pick up your daughter on a Friday nite, lemme tell you.

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  16. #16
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    The ONLY Mercedes-Benz I'll ever buy is a Sprinter van....otherwise, NO.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Hehehe...I have one of each of those too!

    Had a pseudo-conversion van back in the 80's when I was a kid - you did NOT want that thing rolling up to your house to pick up your daughter on a Friday nite, lemme tell you.

    LOL. Sex on wheels. Literally.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by banditpowdercoat View Post
    I drive a Dodge Ram and a Trans Am. I guess I'm a redneck. Lol
    You very well may be. But anyone with a Dodge Ram and a Trans-am is alright in my book. I'm just plain ol' folks.

  19. #19
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    I want to do a van for traveling/mountain bike transport. My wife isn't on board.
    I currently rock a Suburban and while I like it VERY much, when we drive to Florida, it's really no different than being in any other car because you sleep in a seat, not stretched out.
    I like turtles

  20. #20
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    I've always liked the Westfalia camping vans. Cool to those that have one or want one, may not be so cool to others.

    Another potential route I've seen is a truck with a bed cover that a carpenter put a built in cabinet? in with a futon mattress for sleeping. It had a few things like fans and lights hanging from the cover. The built in had many secret? compartments that were accessible when the futon was rolled aside.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  21. #21
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    Van or minivan?

    Recently considered a van to convert to a camper, but just settled on a used pop up camper.

    Minivans are never cool but cannot be beat once you have a wife, two kids, and two dogs, and bikes to haul.


    If I could get my hands on a 4x4 Chevy van that would be great.


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  22. #22
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    Not if you are a creepy guy who lives in it under the bridge. Just go with what works for you.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    Minivans are never cool but cannot be beat once you have a wife, two kids, and two dogs, and bikes to haul.
    I've done the mini-van in the past, but can't see ever going back after owning a few Suburbans (which isn't really that far off from a Chevy 4x4 van). If it weren't for winters, maybe, but throw in some good snowstorms and the minivans don't come close.
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  24. #24
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    I've now got nearly 200,000 miles on my Toyota Emasculator. But at least it has a Yakama bicycle roof rack. If I was 7 ft tall, it would even be convenient. Once nice feature is I can cram a few more bikes in the back.

  25. #25
    Err
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    Used to be, I'd exclude mini-vans but these days there are a couple pretty cool options. The Chevy Astro / GMC Safari in AWD trim make very capable little rigs with a few mods -


    Of course, Syncros have been the epitome of cool for ages despite being quirky and tempermental -


    I spend a fair amount of time offroad and on dirt roads and in the snow, not so much time at the mall so 4wd/Awd is a must.

  26. #26
    Err
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    Oh and lest we forget that Chrysler blessed us with a turbo mini-van with a 5spd manual in 89-90 model years, never drove one but looked fun -

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Err View Post
    Oh and lest we forget that Chrysler blessed us with a turbo mini-van with a 5spd manual in 89-90 model years, never drove one but looked fun -
    Chrysler?

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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Err View Post
    Oh and lest we forget that Chrysler blessed us with a turbo mini-van with a 5spd manual in 89-90 model years, never drove one but looked fun -
    Had one for 12.5 years but an auto. Was highly modified though and very fun.

  29. #29
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    Nope, still rapey at 33.

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  30. #30
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    This is pure awesomeness at any age:
    Do vans become cool once you turn 30?-300.jpg
    But what do we know, we were all over 40.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  31. #31
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    Coolest van yet.

    Do vans become cool once you turn 30?-uploadfromtaptalk1465579873300.jpg

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    Nevermind
    Last edited by Rolling In Peace; 06-13-2016 at 09:57 PM.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    No. They never ever do.
    This, over 30 you just start to appreciate what they have to offer which will change once you hit your midlife crises, then it is muscle/convertible time again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Avid is spelled wrong, there should be an 'O' in there.

  34. #34
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    Getting older and being totally uncool is the best part about getting older!

    Remember how your parents would embarass you as a kid? They did that on purpose, because its hilarious.

    Were going for a wagon over a van, which is only marginally less cool.

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    Nevermind
    Last edited by Rolling In Peace; 06-13-2016 at 09:32 PM.

  36. #36
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    No, no they're not. Sorry. Not sorry.
    I'm a mountain bike guide in southwest Utah

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by AC/BC View Post
    Just curious because i've been really looking at vans recently. Like i really want one to convert into a car-camper.
    Yea, I have 2 or 3 pair. They are cool no matter how old you are. They are comfy on and off the bike

  38. #38
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    Do I think vans are cool? F%$k yeah.

    Do I care if you think I'm cool? Not even a little.

    I have a 2-year old Honda Pilot, which is pretty close to a van, but no awesome auto-slide side doors or headrest DVD screens, but with the seats down I can haul my bike and a ton of gear hidden away from scummy thieves.

    Honestly, the non-flashiness of a 'dad-wagon' is part of its appeal. No one sees a van in a parking lot and suspects there might be several grand worth of bike and camping gear inside.

  39. #39
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    Had a work minivan years ago. Also had a Synchro Vanagan and a Eurovan. Then bought a AWD Dodge Grand Caravan. Sold it because it did not meet my road tripping needs. Way too under powered to maintain high speeds on long trips, limited off road capabilities and really, really boring to drive.

    The SUVs that replaced the minivan have been much better road trip vehicles.

    I am still lusting over a tricked out Sprinter setup but they are in a whole different class than the minivans that have been discussed here.

  40. #40
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  41. #41
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    I used to be dead against minivans. Now I got one in my my driveway. Get married, have kids, find that usefulness out weighs looking cool. If it can do 75-80 down the highway with everything I need in it, kids have room to move, and I get decent gas mileage I'm good. Money saved from.getting decent fuel mileage means more trips and more bike money.

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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzler View Post
    Minivans, like anything else, become cool once you fill them with mountain bikes
    This is a universal truth
    Grit, spit, and a whole lot of duct tape!

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rolling In Peace View Post
    I beg to differ. On a coolness scale, wagons are right up there with sports cars
    Denial is the first stage. You'll be wearing mom-jeans any day now!

    Im way past caring how cool my car is. Wagons have a lot of space, and my family likes camping, riding, and doing outdoor stuff. They save gas over a larger vehicle too.

    Wagons are perfect for people who dont care about cool anymore, and just want to enjoy life, with family/friends/pets packed in there as well.

    Vans are perfect for people who really gave up on cool.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swissam View Post
    Coolest van yet.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	uploadfromtaptalk1465579873300.jpg 
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    Super cool and super expensive!

    I was lusting over one at a dealership in Germany last week, but you can nudge it up to US$90k pretty easily!

    https://app-ssl.volkswagen-nutzfahrz...california.pdf

    Of course you can do that with an Escalade too...
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  45. #45
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    my 2012
    & my new 2015. Seats 6. 4x4. Go anywhere to bring the bikes & kids.

    Then my bestie Adam orders this
    & ordered the north shore rack like this one

  46. #46
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    Purchased an Odyssey in 2000, two small kids in car seats, and multiple chiropractor appointments from hefting them out of the car. We both shook on ditching this monstrosity once the kids were out of car seats. Um.... well..... Still driving it with nearly 240,000 miles as our kids are in college, not sure when we will actually get rid of it. Mostly we didn't have time to worry about what was cool or what other thought about what we drove for the past 16 years. We would like to get a new something, but this thing is practically the best vehicle to do anything with. If it was a 4x4, it would be much better.

    So, do they get cool? Never.

    Useful? Oh yeah!

    I've carried 4 bikes on top, could have done up to 6 easy.

    I've carried 4 on a rear hitch.

    I've carried 4 inside along with luggage for 4 people on a week's vacation and the middle seats still usable.

    So I figure, I could.... carry 14 bikes and luggage for 4 riders; carry 10 bikes and 7 riders with riding gear; or 4 riders, 4 bikes, my grill, a cooler with steak and drinks, and camping gear for an over night ride.

    Basically we can't afford to get rid of it.....

    My joke with my friends is that I will let go of it when the wheels fall off as it slides to the side of the road on fire and burns down.
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  47. #47
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    Vans were only cool in the 70's.

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