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Chillbro Baggins
Oct 8, 2004
Bad Angus! Bad!


Yu-Gi-Ho! posted:

Yeah, but then you get to deal with the reliability that goes with a Caravan.

They're not bad when new, and can be had pretty cheap with low miles when used, but they're pretty famous for the transmissions taking a poo poo.

Fair play. And first-gen Ford Windstars had head gasket issues. Does anybody other than Mopar still make minvans, or is it all Euro delivery vans?

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STR
May 12, 2006

I thought I was a nice jester


Chrysler's the only US based company that still puts out a traditional US style minivan. GM has gone to the City Express (starting MSRP of over $22k), Ford has gone to the Transit Connect (starting around $23k). Neither of those are the minivans we're used to; they're intended to be used as cargo vans or people carriers, but not really targeting a family like the Aerostar and Caravan did.

The Chevrolet City Express is a basically a rebadged Nissan NV200 with a different stereo and front clip. Somehow the Nissan version has a lower MSRP ($21k), though I'd expect the Chevy badged version to have lower resale value, since it has the Chevy badge on it.

If you're looking at new stuff, Chrysler/Mopar, Honda, Kia, Toyota seem to be your only choices for a family-style minivan right now. Everyone else has moved on to SUV and/or wagon style vehicles.

e: also OP has stated they're pretty opposed to domestic brands, so that rules out Mopar. Could maybe still look at the Chevy City Express since it's really a Nissan in drag, but it's very unlikely they'll find something in their price range, since it's still a pretty new model. I definitely get the domestic hate, but parts do wind up being cheaper for domestics, even if they wind up being a rebadge.

STR fucked around with this message at 06:16 on Aug 11, 2017

slothrop
Dec 7, 2006

consider your chops: busted




Soiled Meat

TapTheForwardAssist posted:


-- Any *really* small refrigerator that y'all like, like one too small for even one gallon of milk but big enough for six eggs and some bacon and a can of Coke? Not sure on HVAC yet, need to ponder, or maybe some battery-powered fans in the windows. For stove I'm 90% sure that just a little backpacker camp stove would work for just heating up water or canned goods.


I think finding anything that tiny might be difficult.

I don't know it they make a small enough model, but my mate swears by his Engels fridge. He leaves it in the back of his work ute, always on. He has a slimline semi flexible solar panel on the roof of the canopy that you'd never know was there that keeps the battery topped off when he's parked. It's a great setup. Otherwise If you want something really small and cheap you could look at something like this:

http://www.engelaustralia.com.au/2p...productid=21424

You didn't ask about stoves but these Coleman camp stoves are great:

https://www.snowys.com.au/guide-ser...dual-fuel-stove

Runs off normal unleaded petrol so you'll never run out of fuel and it's cheap to keep topped off. You pump it up so it never runs out of pressure and works in below freezing temps unlike some gas models. It also puts out a shitload of heat.

One of those stoves, a stainless perculator for coffee, a small pot and a small pan and you'd be away laughing. I have a ~15cm non stick pan I buy whenever they're on special at Aldi. Thick aluminium so it holds heat well and for $8 I'm happy to replace it every couple of years when the non stick has been ruined by thoughtless flatmates. If you want something that will last, just get a non-enamel cast iron pan. Easy to clean if you don't have much of a washing up setup.

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax


Fun Shoe

TapTheForwardAssist posted:



That's one thing I'm hoping the thread can guide me on: if I have to choose between an Element with say 100k miles for $5k or 150k miles for $3k, assuming no damage beyond standard wear-tear, am I better off buying the 150k and putting a grand into replacing belts/plugs/pads/etc or am I smarter to buy the new one that has more life in its stock parts? I bought a Suzuki Sidekick once that was kinda clapped-out but had good bones, and I was thinking I was smart because I could use the money I saved to put in Old Man Emu suspension and ceramic breaks, but then before I could do so it got stolen and presumably chop-shopped so I haven't actually put the idea into practice.



Option 2 you get new parts and save a grand, theoretically. The gamble with trying to save on replacing the parts and getting a lower mileage car is that the parts might need replacing shortly after you get it anyway.

As for ventilation, look into trailer/rv roof vents with electric fans that are run off a small solar battery system.

Dagen H
Mar 19, 2009

Hogertrafikomlaggningen


TapTheForwardAssist
Apr 9, 2007

by R. Guyovich


The other vote in favor of the Element is that given the relatively big fan-community (including lots of van-campers) I wouldn't have to reinvent the wheel on a lot of these mods, so there's another plus.

D C posted:

As cheap as they are, and even if you were to go through the import process into the US, I would highly recommend against getting a car from Quebec. A friend of mine who sources cars as a living says they dont touch Quebec vehicles, I think it was something about accident reporting. That and harsh winters.

That's a really good point! And as much as I love dirty French Canadian girls, maybe they're not the best folks to buy a used car from...

Since I'm wandering a ton anyway, would a good bet be to do my car shopping in Texas, Florida, or SoCal where there are tons of used cars but also no road-salt issues? And since I may later travel to snowy areas, is there any standard goon recommendation for an underbody anti-corrosion coating that isn't a total ripoff?

For Element variants, AWD or 4WD? Stick or manual? Sunroof or no?


EDIT: Holy crap, electric push scooters have gotten fancy! There are lightweight carbon fiber models that weight 13lbs, and there are more powerful aluminum-frame versions (26lbs) that fold down totally and get 20mph. Some of them are kind of pricey but I'm sure they pop up used a lot from folks who get tired of the novelty, whereas for me it should be a great way to get around a local area without having to de-camp the rig.

TapTheForwardAssist fucked around with this message at 20:45 on Aug 11, 2017

Garage2Roadtrip
Oct 27, 2016


I slept in the back of my dually when I bought it in Vermont and drove it back to Alaska with my wife. We used this as our fridge: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0083F8YZ...la-307585725315

It worked amazing, only word of caution is to keep an eye on battery levels as it will drain two big deep cycles in like 18 hours without the truck running.

Garage2Roadtrip
Oct 27, 2016


TapTheForwardAssist posted:

For Element variants, AWD or 4WD? Stick or manual? Sunroof or no?

Maybe one with a sunroof would be a good way to ventilate the thing?

Jimong5
Oct 3, 2005


Grimey Drawer

TapTheForwardAssist posted:

Is that a Pontiac Aztek? I feel like half this thread is just following jokes from American Dad:

Well the Aztec when it came out was billed as a camping vehicle, that tent was actually a dealer option and also came with an inflatable air mattress. Looking into it there actually is a market for "SUV Tents" out there that present another option.

Raluek
Nov 3, 2006

WUT.


Garage2Roadtrip posted:

I slept in the back of my dually when I bought it in Vermont and drove it back to Alaska with my wife. We used this as our fridge: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0083F8YZ...la-307585725315

It worked amazing, only word of caution is to keep an eye on battery levels as it will drain two big deep cycles in like 18 hours without the truck running.

There are smaller versions of this, too. I have one that's like a small portable cooler, sized like for a 6-pack, but it also has a peltier in it that plugs into the cigarette lighter.

Peltiers are really inefficient, though, so there's that. Would be fine while you're underway, of course.

TapTheForwardAssist
Apr 9, 2007

by R. Guyovich


Thanks for all the advice, at this point I'm leaning heavily towards the Element and will take the rest of my questions to their dedicated forum.

Garage2Roadtrip
Oct 27, 2016


TapTheForwardAssist posted:

Thanks for all the advice, at this point I'm leaning heavily towards the Element and will take the rest of my questions to their dedicated forum.

Found this today: https://asheville.craigslist.org/ct...6266404318.html

Elephanthead
Sep 11, 2008




Toilet Rascal

$14k? What does a normal 128k mile element sell for? That's a lot of spicey bed bug infested hotel rooms.

cakesmith handyman
Jul 22, 2007

Pip-Pip old chap! Last one in is a rotten egg what what.



Can you access a roof tent from a sunroof?

STR
May 12, 2006

I thought I was a nice jester


Elephanthead posted:

$14k? What does a normal 128k mile element sell for? That's a lot of spicey bed bug infested hotel rooms.

That rooftop camper thing starts at $9k, and they only have 2 places that install them in the US. I'd guess that's making up a good chunk of the asking price.

cakesmith handyman posted:

Can you access a roof tent from a sunroof?

Apparently you can, at least with the one that was on that $14k element.

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Wrar
Sep 9, 2002



Soiled Meat

Even given your size OP I still think you'd be better off with a Honda Odyssey or a Toyota Sienna. They're more inconspicuous than an Element, get better highway mileage and should be more comfortable on the move.

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