Can we start a mini/small van camper thread?

Discussion in 'Camping Toys' started by derekdeadend, Oct 11, 2019.

  1. thumpism

    thumpism Between bikes

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,137
    Location:
    Richmond, Virginia
    There are lift kits available for Siennas. Pretty easy to find by searching, both the products and videos by ones who've done it. Might be worth investigating. Some of them look pretty capable.
    #41
    tjzondrz likes this.
  2. schultzy

    schultzy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Oddometer:
    264
    Location:
    lemont,illinois
    Remove the seats in the middle and rear for under floor storage. IMG_0153.JPG
    #42
    tjzondrz, garandman and ride4321 like this.
  3. villageidiot

    villageidiot Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    11,567
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
  4. ride4321

    ride4321 Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,584
    Location:
    Binghamton, NY
    I left the rear seats in. The extra space would be nice but I need them when I'm home for the grandkids and taking those in and out seems like more trouble than it's worth but there is valuable space under them.
    #44
    dhally likes this.
  5. tjzondrz

    tjzondrz Non-Nefarious

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    8,020
    Location:
    Macungie,PA.
    I built a bunk with below storageNot as fancy as some. But it will work for me.
    image.jpeg image.jpeg
    2012 Sienna AWD
    #45
    BIG-E, sloMark, garandman and 5 others like this.
  6. tjzondrz

    tjzondrz Non-Nefarious

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    8,020
    Location:
    Macungie,PA.
    Im going to mount these wheels with light truck tires
    image.jpeg
    #46
    BIG-E and ridethere like this.
  7. ride4321

    ride4321 Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,584
    Location:
    Binghamton, NY
    Looks like you kept the original floor and just mounted the tool box on one set of seat tracks and the bed hides the other? I built a floor to cover those up losing head space. Which I'd gone that way myself. I think the bed looks great.
    #47
    tjzondrz likes this.
  8. tjzondrz

    tjzondrz Non-Nefarious

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    8,020
    Location:
    Macungie,PA.
    You are correct. I kept them in just in case I would need to reinstall the seats at some point in time.
    Thank you
    #48
  9. tjzondrz

    tjzondrz Non-Nefarious

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    8,020
    Location:
    Macungie,PA.
    Well I won't be mounting these wheels. I would need to replace all of the wheel studs.
    That ain't gonna happen.:lol3
    #49
  10. tjzondrz

    tjzondrz Non-Nefarious

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    8,020
    Location:
    Macungie,PA.
    image.jpeg
    #50
    ride4321 likes this.
  11. ride4321

    ride4321 Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,584
    Location:
    Binghamton, NY
    I went with the 2WD because I wanted the MPGs. I think if I were going for clearance I'd just get a truck and throw a camper on it but that doesn't come cheap so the AWD Sienna is a good cheap alternative. That lift kit is a deal.
    #51
    tjzondrz likes this.
  12. Baroquenride

    Baroquenride Everyone dies, but not everyone truly lives.

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,733
    Location:
    Clark Co, Wa
    I'm curious- those of you with early 2000's Grand Caravan's or any other mini-van, what are you using for mc carrier's and are you happy with it?
    #52
  13. thumpism

    thumpism Between bikes

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,137
    Location:
    Richmond, Virginia
    I've had two '95 Mopars and two '05s and was in the bike biz for years. Saris roof rack held up to four bikes for me, depending on the need. That fit on the old vans but I have not needed it since I got the newer ones so I never got the proper clips to fit it.

    I also used/use a hatch-mount Saris Bones rack on the Mopar and my Westy. Hatch racks are great and nearly universal; if you have very different vehicles and want a carrier that works on all of them the Bones is great. Most folks only use them occasionally and security might be an issue.

    A Hollywood receiver-type fork mount (mainly for the bride's recumbent) fits on my Mopar and I also built a bike board to haul bikes inside the Mopar and a different one for inside the Westy. Pix coming.

    If I were starting from scratch I'd get a receiver-mount swingaway (Yakima and Thule made these and still might) to provide carrying capacity with hatch access. I'm getting too old to have to plant bikes overhead on a roof rack.

    Some pix. You can't tell from the photo but I also have about eight bikes inside, front wheels off and placed alternately facing left and right. You'd be amazed how many a van will carry when you need to do so.
    Giant van.JPG 6_rackbike.JPG

    Here's the bike board for carrying inside. It originally had just two fork mounts; one for forks with lawyer nubs and one for forks without. When I got the Westy I wanted the same capability so revised the original board to have a removable fitting that could be used in the Westy or on the board. That black removable fitting, my "bike block," has mounts for either type fork and the one remaining on the other end of the board is for plain fork ends.
    bike block in red van.JPG bike block in Westy.JPG bike block Westy use.JPG

    Here's the hitch-mount adapted for recumbent (or tandem) use. I took one fork mount from a Saris tray for use with the 2x2 to get the long piece I needed, and have an additional stock tray for a second bike.
    receiver rack.JPG

    As I said above, a swingaway would do most of the carrying with more ease and with much less hassle and total expense, especially if you can find a used one.
    #53
  14. garandman

    garandman Wandering Minstrel

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,700
    Location:
    Dorchester, MA / Sunapee, NH
    Problem with AWD Sienna (and why we bought an Odyssey) is no spare tire. They come with run flats, which suck.

    Additionally, while the brochure says they are rated to tow 3,500 lbs, Toyota doesn’t sell an integrated hitch! We couldn’t find a suitable aftermarket.

    The Odyssey trailering Package is dealer installed, or you can buy it as a kit. Hitch fits into bumper. Not an excess of ground clearance on minivans, and long overhang, so kind of a big deal.

    Here compared to a Tahoe (that’s right - loads more space in a minivan). We mostly used the hitch for a carrier or bike rack. We added air springs.

    [​IMG]
    #54
  15. Baroquenride

    Baroquenride Everyone dies, but not everyone truly lives.

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,733
    Location:
    Clark Co, Wa
    Sorry, I meant mc rack, not bicycle rack although that interior mount looks pretty sweet and I'll save that pic for the future.
    #55
  16. thumpism

    thumpism Between bikes

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,137
    Location:
    Richmond, Virginia
    Oh. Never mind.
    #56
  17. schultzy

    schultzy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Oddometer:
    264
    Location:
    lemont,illinois
    Simple rail mount I found on Amazon. Neighbor has an Aluminum one that seems pretty nice. Biggest headache is keeping it from swaying around and breaking the window. Still looking for the right rear lights as the bike covers up the plates also IMG_0149.JPG
    #57
  18. RichBeBe

    RichBeBe All Hail Seitan!!! Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2004
    Oddometer:
    7,383
    Location:
    NYC
    I have a full-sized extended Econoline and a Honda Element thinking about selling both as they are getting long in the tooth. Thinking about either a Transit Connect or Promaster City (maybe a 118 Promaster) and making a mini camper mountain bike hauler and maybe dirtbike hauler, depending on how it rides with something hanging off the back.
    Like the decent gas mileage and I live and park on NYC streets, so smaller is better. Going to go try and look and drive both in the next week or so.
    #58
    Honda-50 likes this.
  19. derekdeadend

    derekdeadend Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2015
    Oddometer:
    1,218
    Location:
    Sparks, NV
    Go to amazon and type hitch stabilizer. A 15 dollar fix for the sway
    #59
  20. jcmcc

    jcmcc Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
    195
    Location:
    WI
    With mine I found having something between the carrier and the skid plate on the bike to strap down against helps stop movement as well. Takes suspension movement out of the equation. In my case it was an old plastic 3 or 4 gallon pool shock jug.
    #60
    Ladybug likes this.