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Old 01-10-2013, 06:06 AM   #5836
MasterMarine
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Originally Posted by boardrider247 View Post
Anyone running a newish Chevy express van with AWD?
Curious if they are any good at all or not even worth considering. I know it won't be as good as a true 4x4. I'm not looking for a offroad vehicle though, just something that could handle snowy/icy roads.
I have one for my work vehicle. I think it is a 2011. It works well driving on logging roads. It is unfortunately a half ton so is a bit close to overloaded with all the cabinets and tools and parts in it. I like how it handles on the gravel roads. It seems to work well in the snow too.

I do not like the lack of ground clearance. Mine is about 2 inches closer to the ground than my coworkers 3/4 ton 2 wheel drive Chevy vans. I already had the front suspension come apart on a Forest Service road while headed to a radio site because the rubber mounted cross member contacted the extra tall crown in the road and pulled the end off of one of the torsion bars. That kinda sucked. There are lots of important parts that kind of hang out the bottom of the thing. I used to drive much faster on the same logging roads in my old 92 Chevy work van than I dare do in the new one...

I have a 2002 VW Eurovan Weekender as my personal vehicle and it handles and brakes better than the Chevy on the road. Nicer to drive overall. No way I am putting a bike in it though. I have a hitch carrier for my trail bike and a 3 rail trailer for my dual sport or for when I want to take 2 bikes.
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:37 AM   #5837
boardrider247
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Originally Posted by MasterMarine View Post
I have one for my work vehicle. I think it is a 2011. It works well driving on logging roads. It is unfortunately a half ton so is a bit close to overloaded with all the cabinets and tools and parts in it. I like how it handles on the gravel roads. It seems to work well in the snow too.

I do not like the lack of ground clearance. Mine is about 2 inches closer to the ground than my coworkers 3/4 ton 2 wheel drive Chevy vans. I already had the front suspension come apart on a Forest Service road while headed to a radio site because the rubber mounted cross member contacted the extra tall crown in the road and pulled the end off of one of the torsion bars. That kinda sucked. There are lots of important parts that kind of hang out the bottom of the thing. I used to drive much faster on the same logging roads in my old 92 Chevy work van than I dare do in the new one...

I have a 2002 VW Eurovan Weekender as my personal vehicle and it handles and brakes better than the Chevy on the road. Nicer to drive overall. No way I am putting a bike in it though. I have a hitch carrier for my trail bike and a 3 rail trailer for my dual sport or for when I want to take 2 bikes.
Awesome!! Thanks for the reply.

I'm currently running a 3/4 ton diesel 4x4 dodge pickup. It is a great vehicle but I don't really need the load capacity. Most of the driving I do with it is going on road trips snowboarding with the wife and two dogs. So something with a large cargo space awd and decent road manners is what I'm looking for.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:34 AM   #5838
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Originally Posted by boardrider247 View Post
Awesome!! Thanks for the reply.

I'm currently running a 3/4 ton diesel 4x4 dodge pickup. It is a great vehicle but I don't really need the load capacity. Most of the driving I do with it is going on road trips snowboarding with the wife and two dogs. So something with a large cargo space awd and decent road manners is what I'm looking for.
EuroVan is the answer. It's just the right size and a bike will fit inside.
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:02 AM   #5839
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EuroVan is the answer. It's just the right size and a bike will fit inside.
The Eurovan is the answer for me but I would rather have my dirty stinky oily bike outside on the three rail trailer or the hitch carrier. It is bad enough having my riding gear in the van after a day of riding! The bikes may start out the day being clean but they never are at the end.

I love having a place to change in and out of my riding gear that is warm (or cool depending on the season) and dry.

It is a great vehicle (at least as long as the transmission keeps working and the timing chain doesn't fall off). They do have some known issues and are expensive but I work on my own stuff so am not afraid. I have made some improvements like air bags, Scanguage to monitor transmission temperature and a transmission cooler with thermostat to hopefully avoid problems. I have hauled 3 bikes and a ton of gear to Nevada from WA twice now and it works great. Last year the ride was a bit warm because the AC was low on freon but that was easy to fix when I returned home.

I am planning a family trip to Lake Powell this summer and it will be perfect for the job. Nothing like having a place to prepare and have lunch right in your car!

About the AWD Chevy Express, it seems to be a good vehicle but we would be better off to get some 3/4 ton real 4x4 conversions here at work. We have to access radio sites during bad weather and the ground clearance of the AWD is just not enough. As I mentioned, I am pushing it on the weight limit too. It lists to its port side since all the cabinets are on that side. It did that even before I loaded them up. We have a fairly heavy trailer that we use for doing fiber optic repairs and I am not allowed to tow it with my van due to its low GVWR rating and internal work rules and procedures.
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:43 AM   #5840
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Originally Posted by MasterMarine View Post
The Eurovan is the answer for me but I would rather have my dirty stinky oily bike outside on the three rail trailer or the hitch carrier. It is bad enough having my riding gear in the van after a day of riding! The bikes may start out the day being clean but they never are at the end.

I love having a place to change in and out of my riding gear that is warm (or cool depending on the season) and dry.

It is a great vehicle (at least as long as the transmission keeps working and the timing chain doesn't fall off). They do have some known issues and are expensive but I work on my own stuff so am not afraid. I have made some improvements like air bags, Scanguage to monitor transmission temperature and a transmission cooler with thermostat to hopefully avoid problems. I have hauled 3 bikes and a ton of gear to Nevada from WA twice now and it works great. Last year the ride was a bit warm because the AC was low on freon but that was easy to fix when I returned home.
I miss mine . Trannys and chains are really the only downside on the VR6's . Seems like you have plenty of inside knowledge of the EV .
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:50 AM   #5841
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I miss mine . Trannys and chains are really the only downside on the VR6's . Seems like you have plenty of inside knowledge of the EV .
What really sucks is that the timing chain is on the flywheel side of the engine so you have to remove the transmission to change it. That means engine and transmission removal from what I have found. WTF VW? I guess you can take care of the timing chain when the transmission eats it.

There is a Yahoo Group called EV Update. I joined it well before I bought mine and have learned a lot from it about the Eurovan. I lucked out and bought mine from the original owner for an amazingly good price. He had all the records since new including the original invoice and window sticker even and actually understood that the transmission needed to have the transmission oil changed at least every 40,000 miles so it had been done regularly.

I am not sure I would recommend an EV to someone who is not a do it yourselfer tho. They are getting old and will have many little things start going wrong with them. The Weekender and Camper versions are crazy expensive to purchase too. Some of the parts are quite costly too like brake parts. I am sure something like a starter would cost considerably more for the EV than for a similar year GM van.
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:57 AM   #5842
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Originally Posted by MasterMarine View Post
What really sucks is that the timing chain is on the flywheel side of the engine so you have to remove the transmission to change it. That means engine and transmission removal from what I have found. WTF VW? I guess you can take care of the timing chain when the transmission eats it.

There is a Yahoo Group called EV Update. I joined it well before I bought mine and have learned a lot from it about the Eurovan. I lucked out and bought mine from the original owner for an amazingly good price. He had all the records since new including the original invoice and window sticker even and actually understood that the transmission needed to have the transmission oil changed at least every 40,000 miles so it had been done regularly.

I am not sure I would recommend an EV to someone who is not a do it yourselfer tho. They are getting old and will have many little things start going wrong with them. The Weekender and Camper versions are crazy expensive to purchase too. Some of the parts are quite costly too like brake parts. I am sure something like a starter would cost considerably more for the EV than for a similar year GM van.
All true , but after owning a few , I still get an itch to buy another . I prefer the 5 cyl manuals , slow but reliable . The VR6 MV I had was a great road trip vehicle .The kids miss that one the most .
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:21 PM   #5843
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Originally Posted by STANIMAL View Post
EuroVan is the answer. It's just the right size and a bike will fit inside.
I've owned a few vw vans over the years and really like them. But the tow rating isn't going to be enough for me.
Nor is it awd or 4wd. And I don't think I could ever bring myself to buy a vw with a automatic transmission.

Whatever I buy will be fullsize. A 3/4 ton 4x4 van would be great but they are expensive and rare. If I could get a good buy on one that would most likely be the winner.
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:51 AM   #5844
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E 350

Does anyone have any experience with an E350 7.3PSD in cold temps? I'm about to cross the Labrador and I'm not sure whether or not I should put a piece of cardboard/something on the front grille to block some cold air. The van takes a long time to warm up at warmer temps, I'm leaning towards putting something just cause it can't hurt it, so maybe it helps?

Perhaps I should be thinking of installing studded tires instead of worrying about engine temps

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Old 01-12-2013, 11:34 AM   #5845
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Old 01-12-2013, 12:57 PM   #5846
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Lookie what's down in FM.
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Old 01-13-2013, 05:50 AM   #5847
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You gotta admit a 'fly and drive' for that rig would be cool. Even cooler might be a 'fly and also pick up a small dual sport out there while I'm at it'.

I hear Death Valley is nice this time of year.

Yer welcome.

PS - Guessing no rust.
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:04 PM   #5848
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:17 PM   #5849
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Originally Posted by EvilClown View Post
You gotta admit a 'fly and drive' for that rig would be cool. Even cooler might be a 'fly and also pick up a small dual sport out there while I'm at it'.

I hear Death Valley is nice this time of year.

Yer welcome.

PS - Guessing no rust.
I was pricing out flights until my wife put the kibosh on that plan. Damn the voice of reason...

cjbiker screwed with this post 01-13-2013 at 02:21 PM
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:22 PM   #5850
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This Dodge looks to be in really good shape and has "modern" 318 power. Don't know what it is worth but this price does not seem crazy.

Listed for $6,900 on CL today.
http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/da...543963866.html
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