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Old 12-15-2011, 10:22 AM   #1
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4x4 van as daily driver?

Hi All - I've been lurking for a while and as a "not yet owner", I have learned a ton about these vans by reading this great board. I've been considering a 4x4 van for 3-4 years and have been getting the itch pretty bad in the last few months. If you don't mind, can you answer some newbie questions?

Do any of you use your rig as a daily driver? Any advice for someone considering that?
What is the "real world" MPG for your rig?
In a new rig, is the Ford V-10 that much better than the V-8? (I am told there is no longer a Diesel option from Ford )
When starting from scratch, what would you list as absolute "must have" options?

My story: I need a vehicle which will handle me, my wife, 5 year old twins and a 200lb. dog for daily driving needs and interstate road trips (approx 35k mi per year). I live in mild snow climate but I have a very steep driveway so 4x4 is a must for all our vehicles. I have an old BMW that I need to tow around occasionally. We would like to start basic adventuring/camping but don't need anything "hard core" (YET ) Basically, I need a do it all vehicle and I think a 4x4 van is the way to go. I'm leaning towards the QuadVan over the SMB. I'm open to any and all suggestions/warnings/encouragements!

TIA!
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Old 12-15-2011, 11:35 AM   #2
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Re: 4x4 van as daily driver?

A QuadVan (or even SMB) 4x4 van is actually easier to drive in town because they turn sharper than a 2wd. The QuadVans are pretty close to a Chevy Tahoe for turning circle. And most surprising, the QuadVans 4x4 rides better than 2wd.

My V10 is pretty thirsty (about 10 MPG in town, with ample use of the remote starter) but that's still much better than my boss's 2010 Jeep Commander, which averages about 7 in town. It's also better than my work truck (Cummins 6.7L) which averages 8-9 in the winter.
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Old 12-15-2011, 11:55 AM   #3
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Re: 4x4 van as daily driver?

The SMB with triton V-10 would be great. Key would be your interior layout. Certainly the quality of fit and finish along with their off road capability is super. I am amazed at how well my rig handles considering the size.

just my 2 cents.........
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Old 12-15-2011, 12:10 PM   #4
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Re: 4x4 van as daily driver?

Ditto what Carring said.

I have been using my Quigley as a daily driver for 3 years with the V-10. Never really been happy with the drive quality. Just purchased a QuadVan V-10 a month or so ago and really enjoying driving it. The turning radius as stated above is much better in the QuadVan.

Both of mine are 2006 models.
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Old 12-15-2011, 12:26 PM   #5
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Re: 4x4 van as daily driver?

My van is my daily driver. I do not drive far (usally about 5-7mi a day) but daily in the winter and swap between motorcycles and my custom Blazer in the summer. I get about 11mpg in town in the winter (hubs locked) without the plow mounted and that jumps to 13 in the summer with the hubs unlocked. goes up by 2 on the hwy and down by 2 with the plow. Much better driver with the Ujoint kit vs the Quigey. No steering issues even without a steering damper and no death woble unlike when it was a Quigley.
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Old 12-16-2011, 01:08 AM   #6
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Re: 4x4 van as daily driver?

For you questions about options to order...Here's my 2-cents:

1) Factory limited slip in the rear, then put a selectable locker in the front axle.
2) 4.10 gears. If you go really large with tires or tow heavy, you may need lower gears but doing that is easier if you start with a 4.10 carrier.
3) Factory upfitter switches. Wish I had them...
4) Telescoping tow mirrors. Much better than fixed mirrors.
5) Aux battery. It's an inexpensive option, and costs less than buying all the bits and pieces to do it yourself.
6) Factory trailer brake controller. Again, it's cheap if you order it when new, and much more expensive if you decide to do it later.
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Old 12-16-2011, 09:51 AM   #7
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Re: 4x4 van as daily driver?

For your situation, a daily driver van makes sense.

In my case not so much. My daily drives are 5-10 min in a small town with a universal 25mph speed limit. Those kind of trips would gunk up the engine and kill the battery in no time. Not to mention trying to park the beast. It's for road trips only.

When the weather is nice I get around on a 50cc Honda scooter and use the Tacoma when it's wet.
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Old 12-16-2011, 11:57 AM   #8
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Re: 4x4 van as daily driver?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FutureVanGuy
My story: I need a vehicle which will handle me, my wife, 5 year old twins and a 200lb. dog for daily driving needs and interstate road trips (approx 35k mi per year).
It's definitely more effort driving a full-size van in the city -- narrow streets & parallel parking, etc -- but on the highway it's easy once you get used to it. Sportsmobile's 4x4 suspension is pretty punishing though -- rough uneven pavement can be painful. Wide smooth suburban roads and highways are just fine. The V10 engine is plenty powerful. Stop & go driving can be tiring, as the brake pedal is fairly high-effort to push.

35,000 miles a year? Think about how you'd be paying about $10,000 in gas each year!

-- Geoff
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Old 12-16-2011, 02:19 PM   #9
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Re: 4x4 van as daily driver?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Viejo
When the weather is nice I get around on a 50cc Honda scooter and use the Tacoma when it's wet.
Bill:

I want to see a picture of you riding your 50cc scooter with your gray hair flying in the wind. Or do you wear an Easy Rider helmet?

Mac
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Old 12-16-2011, 02:51 PM   #10
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Re: 4x4 van as daily driver?

[In a new rig, is the Ford V-10 that much better than the V-8? (I am told there is no longer a Diesel option from Ford )
When starting from scratch, what would you list as absolute "must have" options?

I have a 2001 E350 Quigley Sportsmobile RB50, V8. I would estimate it saves about 10 to 20% of gas over the V10. With 4.10 gears and 285/75 tires I never felt it was underpowered. BTW, we raised our twins in it, and now they're old enough to drive it.
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