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Another What Biking Behicle thread. 4 bikes, 4 blokes, all inside the vehicle!

I'm looking at getting a van or MPV of some sort for carting bikes about, tip runs, shifting DIY materials around, etc etc.

To make it truly useful I'd like something that can swallow 4 people (i.e. me plus 3 mates) and our bikes, and that is comfy enough for a decently long drive to various MTBing spots. To that end it needs to have air con and cruise control as an absolute minimum.

On a budget of 6 grand, what would work?

The obvious answer is a crew van but it's not proving easy to find one with a reasonable spec in tidy, non-battered shape with sensible mileage.
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Posts

  • JonnyNoStarsJonnyNoStars Posts: 36
    Oh, and because I somehow managed to touch the "post" button before I was done...

    Racks of any kind are out of the question, for numerous reasons.

    I want something tall enough to stand bikes up rather than lay them on top of each other. Don't mind popping front wheels off but would like to leave the rears on.
    <center>I\'m not schizophrenic, and neither am I.

    *INSERT SOMETHING WITTY HERE*</center>
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,359
    Probably worth looking at older Vauxhall/ Renault Vivaro/ Traffic LWB crewcab. Not sure if in budget though. Dont forget to factor in VAT on commercial vehicle sales unless you can claim it back. Mercedes Sprinter / VW sprinter is worth a look as well but nor sure if crewcab option. Usually well used and abused though.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 8,653
    edited 29 July
    @JonnyNoStars - one thread recently on this, in which I replied and posted a link back to my thread for a few years back:

    https://forum.bikeradar.com/discussion/13086642/does-anyone-use-a-decent-sized-van-in-place-of-a-car-bike-transport/p1

    https://forum.bikeradar.com/discussion/comment/20657837#Comment_20657837

    What I will add, before I paste my reply from tuther thread, is that when I was looking at WAV trafic vans, they weren't two a penny, but there was generally one ir two on ebay at any given time from a trader for circa 5-8K, but a quick look just now reveals nothing in that price bracket that I could find.

    Spot on, crew vans are very difficult to find, plus they perhaps don't get treated with much love.
    Aircon you'd need to get factory specced, and that's entirely possible on a trafic wav, cruise control is an easy add on for probably £200, as are parking sensors/camera if that is your thing.

    Personally I suspect you will need to compromise on requirements, or up you budget by circa 50%.

    My reply off tuther thread:

    "I was after a similar vehicle, and was looking at a wav Renault traffic/vauxhall vivaro.

    The one I was interested in had 3 seats at the front, and then one seat either side directly behind them, and a large ramp space for a wheelchair.

    We hired one, and I think it would have worked nicely.
    3 bikes in that central area, loads of space, and then one bike either side, behind the single seats with the front wheels off.

    You can also get them with fold out (from the side) further back rear seats, so a flexible 5/7 seater.

    Alternatively, if you got a eav with 3 seats up frint, and 2 seats on ine side only, I reckon you could get 5 fully assembled bikes in as well.

    The only other option from a wav is a minibus with trac seating rails, which means you can shift seats around, and will likely help to secure bikes as well.

    Main reason I liked the wav is the fold out ramp, so super easy loading/unloading.

    I was out voted on a vehicle that large, and high, and we ended up with a far more car like ford grand tourneo connect, as mentioned by a forumite on here when I posted a similar thread.
    Have to say I am very happy with it.

    I could drop all the rear seats and get 5 bikes in, but only seating for 2.
    I had to remove the rear most 2 seats wholesale, as there wasn't quite enough height for some bikes.

    I did a ton of research, and looked long and hard, but unless you're willing to go lwb or forego a more traditional seating arrangement, I saw no way to get the load length for fully assembled bikes.


    Only other option could be to get one that's wide enough to take them left to right across the van, but I think you'd need something like a vw crafter (?) to achieve that.

    Keep us posted, be interested to hear what route you take.
    Ih and search for my thread, was a ton of useful replies and suggestions on it. "

    Do come back and let us know what route you go :-)
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Get a job that includes a company van ? Or get one of your mates to buy the van and then you get a lift ?
  • singletonsingleton Posts: 1,648
    edited 29 July
    Not sure if they have sufficient rear space, but might be worth looking at the likes of Nissan Elegrand / Toyota Previa / Hyundai I800 as well as the more obvious van / pick up options.

    I used to have a VW transporter kombi that would fit the bill, but if you go with a VW you end up paying the extra "scene" tax, although they do hold their value well.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,359
    Just seen a vivaro crewcab with a frame made up to pick up on through axles with the bikes less the front wheel and held at an angle so they don't take up as much room.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • lesfirthlesfirth Posts: 1,088
    You will need a very big van because for the foreseeable future you will have to do the social distancing when you are all in it. :)
  • JonnyNoStarsJonnyNoStars Posts: 36
    Thanks for the input all, much appreciated. Some good info there, especially from Daniel, that thread of yours was most informative!

    I hadn't really considered the wheelchair adapted vans. In two minds about them; they certainly seem to be cheaper than the equivalent non-adapted vans, and the ramp would be handy, but the lowered floor could be a pain when using as a general DIY type vehicle and the ramp looks like it'll eat into load space. Might still be worth a look though.

    I'm erring toward something like a Caddy Maxi Life or a Grand Tourneo Connect. I'd have to up the budget closer to 8k, but it looks like these will take 4 bikes with front wheels off and 4 humans as well. Also I *think* these are classed as passenger cars rather than vans, which avoids the lower speed limits that apply to vans.
    <center>I\'m not schizophrenic, and neither am I.

    *INSERT SOMETHING WITTY HERE*</center>
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,359
    Can't say I've seen a van adhere to the correct speed ever. Let alone pulled over for going above 60.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • FreddieVonRostFreddieVonRost Posts: 261
    Colour scheme like this?


    Not a Giro Hero!
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 8,653
    edited 31 July

    Thanks for the input all, much appreciated. Some good info there, especially from Daniel, that thread of yours was most informative!

    I hadn't really considered the wheelchair adapted vans. In two minds about them; they certainly seem to be cheaper than the equivalent non-adapted vans, and the ramp would be handy, but the lowered floor could be a pain when using as a general DIY type vehicle and the ramp looks like it'll eat into load space. Might still be worth a look though.

    I'm erring toward something like a Caddy Maxi Life or a Grand Tourneo Connect. I'd have to up the budget closer to 8k, but it looks like these will take 4 bikes with front wheels off and 4 humans as well. Also I *think* these are classed as passenger cars rather than vans, which avoids the lower speed limits that apply to vans.

    You're very welcome Jonny.

    There was a lot of input and chat on there, and it caused me to double my budget!
    As you may be aware I have a Grand Tourneo Connect, or GTC to give it it's TLA.
    There is a useful facebook group with info too.

    I think if anything the dropped floor would be more useful - as it provides a channel down the middle, which would be pretty useful at keeping stuff in place, and also as a by product gives you more height from front to rear of the van.
    What i would say is that I would look to cover the ramp surface, as I gather it is pretty expensive, and you'd want it in good conditino when it came to resale.

    The other advantage to my mind over a crew cab va for example, is that imho, a wav hevicle will be treated and driven very carefully!
    Yes there may be some scuffs inside from the wheelchairs etc, but you're looking ot use it to shift bikes around in the main.
    I thik there may also be some specific auctions for wav vehicles, somewhere up north if I remember correctly, I did look into it, but the main organisation that provides the vehicles gets shot of them after 3 years, and auctions them off regularly.

    I hired a Vivaro for a weekend before getting the GTC, and will pop some pics in shortly - there was ample room length wise inbetween the seats, it was cavernous, even for a huge long cargo bike, it swallowed it with ease.
    The drop down ramp takes up very little room, iirc, it only intrudes into the cabin by 6" at most - and if you keep it simple with a hand operated lever, very little to go run, and should you want to host time trials, you have your own ready to go start ramp :-)
    Very easy to drive too.

    Caddy Maxi Life's are imho poor value for money compared to the GTC.
    it wasn't cheap when I bought mine, but 2 years on there are some very good deals to be had out there imho.
    I bought mine with 11k on the clock, and it was 2.5 years old I think.
    Touch wood, it has been reliable, and we have just now cleared 30k - it handled a drive all the way to northern Italy without missing a beat, that was with 2 bikes inside, one on the roof, a roofbox and 3 passengers.
    Mine has cruise, which I use a lot, basic aircon, but fine for me, and rear parking sensors - you can get ones with satnav, front parking sensors, rear camera, dual zone aircon etc.

    One thing of note, most of them have the panoramic roof, with a slidey curtain thing - we d use it occasionally, but if it goes wrong, and you need it to be fixed, it's a big bill, as they need to take the headlining out.
    They are also reputed to have weak batteries, though ours has been fine - I trickle charged it twice a week during lock down, and so far so good.
    Try and get one with a spare wheel and jack, it's an add on option, but most people seem to go with no spare and that stupid foam stuff.
    I bought a spare alloy wheel, and keep it in the boat - the jack has a cubby hole to go in. You can get it fitted under the van though if you are bothered abotu space, but I gather you can't do so with an alloy wheel, has to be steel.
    Oh and from what I read, auto's are to be avoided - less reliable, higher fuel consumption, and higher tax - but apart from that.........

    I have the 1.5 diesel Titanium model - Titanium is the one to get, very few Zetec spec, as I suspect around 75-85% are titanium, as they have more toys on them.
    Ours has a mix of distance and town driving, and we normally average about 47mpg, which I am happy with - big tank gives a range of around 500 miles.
    Oh and if you shop carefully, the 2016 year, or up until March 2017 I think, only costs £30 a year in vehicle duty - after that they moved the goal posts, and it's the next tier up.

    And yes you are spot on, no non standard speed limits for it to adhere to - I thikn it's built on the same platform as the smax etc, so it drives very much like a car, where as I will admit the Vivaro did feel like a van if that makes sense.

    With one seat down in the GTC, you could likely squeeze two MTB's in top to tail, those bars are wide eh, but I'm struggling to see where you will fit the other two.
    I don't even think removing the front wheels would yield you that much more space.
    With regards to extra storage for luggage, you could look at roof nets, and or a roof box - it's a big roof, you can get a BIG box up there, and a bike should you so wish.

    Anyway, I have rambled a ton, here are some vivaro pics to hopefully give you a flavour as to the capacious nature of them.
    Happy to take some measurements from my GTC should you want them.


    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 8,653
    edited 31 July





    image


    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • Thanks again for all the input.

    I ended up going a different way with this as finding a good crew van or van based MPV within budget was proving impossible. All I could stretch to were high milers, worn out ex minicabs, Cat Ns, or stuff with the trouble prone engines and/or autoboxes that nobody in their right mind wants. Everything half decent seems to be going up in price at the moment, bloody COVID!

    So I've gone for a MK3 Ford Galaxy instead. Found a tidy one for a mere 4 grand locally which fits the bill nicely. Tall, boxy, sensible mileage, decent history, 2.0TDCi engine with manual gearbox, lots of toys, and all 5 rear seats fold flat independently. I reckon I'll be able to shuffle things about to accommodate the 4 blokes and 4 bikes with a bit of creative packing and perhaps unbolting the unused seats. Will also be handy in 7 seat configuration, and being a car rather than a van there's no bother with getting turned away from the local tip or with lower speed limits.

    Picking it up next week once it's been valeted and serviced.

    <center>I\'m not schizophrenic, and neither am I.

    *INSERT SOMETHING WITTY HERE*</center>
  • Ahem, new full wrap for the Galaxy?


    Not a Giro Hero!
  • Ahem, new full wrap for the Galaxy?


    Citroen CX estate wins for me! B)
    <center>I\'m not schizophrenic, and neither am I.

    *INSERT SOMETHING WITTY HERE*</center>
  • CargobikeCargobike Posts: 475
    Thank God I'm regarded as self employed, it gives so many more options.
    I take out a 1 year lease with Leighton vans for VW transporter crew cabs. Offset the cost against profit and change the van every year.

    https://leightondrive.co.uk/lease/
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