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 > Minivan vs Suburban for road trip?

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RoyBell

Chicago

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Posted: 11/20/17 07:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Which has more room for road trips? Our yearly family trip is a 2 week stay with my parents in FL. 2 Adults, 2 teenagers. The minivan works great, specifically the Dodge brand. Tons of storage for me, mom, and the 2 girls.

Last year we got stuck with a Kia, and storage was tight since it did not have the "stow and go" storage that the Dodges have. We made it work though.

This year, the oldest girl wants to come (22). That makes 4 girls and me. Now the youngest wants to bring a friend as well... That would make 5 girls and myself. I see the Minivan busting at the seams now. Mom says everyone will have to pack lighter, but I still don't see it happening.

Thinking we might have to upgrade to a Suburban, but have no experience with them. They have a huge back area, but the storage doesn't hang low like the minivans. We are renting the minivan or Suburban either way, so I don't think I can get a luggage rack on them?. Is the luggage space on a suburban really more usable than the minivan? I really don't want to rent anything bigger because the trip is 1300 miles each way. The larger vans really aren't enjoyable for that kind of distance as a driver.

Appreciate any help on this dilemma. And, 2 cars are not really an option due to the distance we are traveling.

Dadoffourgirls

China, MI USA

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Posted: 11/20/17 09:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

RoyBell wrote:

...I really don't want to rent anything bigger because the trip is 1300 miles each way. The larger vans really aren't enjoyable for that kind of distance as a driver...


What makes you say that larger vans are not as enjoyable? Mine has made the MI to FL with 10 people for a week spring break.

I think the Ford may even be a better rental for a roadtrip. I need mine to tow my travel trailer.


Dad of Four Girls
Wife
Employee of GM, all opinions are my own!
2014 Express 3500 (Code named "BIG ED" by daughters)
previous 2011 Silverado 2500HD CC (6.0, 3.73)
prior 2001 Yukon XL (8.1L, 4.10)
2011 Jayco Jayflight G2 32BHDS
previous - 2002 Dutchmen 31BH4DSL

DrewE

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Posted: 11/20/17 09:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'd think the minivan would be more usable than the Suburban for this sort of a trip. Certainly it's easier to get in and out of the far seats.

Not all full-sized vans are at all the same in terms of driving and riding comfort. I would not write them off immediately without at least a quick check of some of the newer options (if you aren't familiar with them), like maybe a Ford Transit or a Nissan NV. Finding the Nissan available for rental may be a challenge, but Transits are not too hard to come by.





RoyBell

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Posted: 11/20/17 09:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Dadoffourgirls wrote:

RoyBell wrote:

...I really don't want to rent anything bigger because the trip is 1300 miles each way. The larger vans really aren't enjoyable for that kind of distance as a driver...


What makes you say that larger vans are not as enjoyable? Mine has made the MI to FL with 10 people for a week spring break.

I think the Ford may even be a better rental for a roadtrip. I need mine to tow my travel trailer.


We have a couple Ecoboost Transits at work. While they are a blast to drive because of the power. They are really not fun to drive on the highway at speeds over 50. They just don't handle highway speeds well. Can it be done? Yes. Chevy still uses a regular regular truck frame and big tires on their express. I imagine it drives a lot nicer than the Fords in every case except a drag race.

Lessmore

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Posted: 11/20/17 01:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Last time I was in a minivan was May of 2017. It was a company vehicle, a Toyota Sienna and I got stuck in the rear seats. I'm over 6'3" and 245 lbs...so I'm probably bigger than any of the girls. The back seat was excruciating, very uncomfortable, thinly padded, small, no leg room and I felt like I was on a explorer's trek just getting in and out out of the back seat.

My recommendation...is figure out how many seats are going to be used and try the actual vehicle's seats...all of them... at the rental before you rent. Nothing worse than being uncomfortable on a long ride.

Healeyman

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Posted: 11/20/17 02:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Back in 2001, my wife and I, our daughter and her twins, took a trip from Dallas to San Diego. Daughter's husband joined us there and we took a leisurely trip up the Pacific Coast to Seattle.

I bought a $50 luggage rack and everybody had a tote to hold all of their cloths and personal stuff. There was almost nothing in the van but us.

I tied everything down with ratchet-straps and covered all with a tarp.

It worked out GREAT! You might look at doing something like this.

Tim

[image]

[image]





RoyBell

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Posted: 11/20/17 03:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have rented a minivan for the past 5 years and none ever came with a hitch. The dodges are pretty comfortable. Last year we got stuck with a Kia and it was meh. Here it is before they piled the rest of the junk in:

[image]

I am looking into the roof top cargo idea. I will call rental agency and see what the vans have for rails. I have an assortment of parts that may work from my various vehicles over the years. I would just be out a $400 box, which is less than the upgrade to a suburban from a minivan for the 2 weeks.

pira114

Sierra Nevadas

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Posted: 11/21/17 05:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I used to have a Yukon XL (Suburban basically). Drove all across the country with it. Family of either 4 or 5 depending on if the oldest could make it. Loved every bit of it. Plenty of storage, plenty of leg room. Put the smallest kids in the back usually, but also let them decide and switch around as they pleased. Often times the 3 of them would sit all on the back bench together and fold down the front bench. Gave them tons of leg room and a very large cooler could fit behind the driver's seat for food dispensary. I was always able to fit all our luggage in the rear cargo area with no problems.

Tyler0215

Iowa

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Posted: 11/22/17 07:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The "Burb" is big but the rear seat is coach. Not much leg room. Go to dealer and check one out. I would go with a full size van Lots room for gear and still room for the kids to move around.

John Burke

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Posted: 11/23/17 07:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Get a 15 Passenger 1 ton Chevy van. Take the seats out until you only have the 2 front seats and 2 bench seats, LOTS of room for luggage. Only have to put two people in a seat made for three. Plenty of room for legs, bags of stuff you want when on the road. Put a cooler for drinks and snacks between the front seats.
The reason for a Chevy instead of a Ford is the wheel base on the Chevy is longer and that makes it more stable. Just look at them both and look at the rear axle placement and you will see what I mean.
I have used vans for years hauling grandkids, dogs and camping gear with plenty of room for two week trips. Makes a great camper puller. With a load of 4 kids, 3 dogs and all my tent camping gear I average 16.5 over a 4500 mile trip.
Get one with a 6.0 L and 6 speed transmission. Easy to drive, great visibility.

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