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Old 12-18-2012, 02:12 PM   #41
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Re: Toyota Sienna AWD Sportsmobile

Very cool, reminiscent of the old VW vans to me.
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:55 PM   #42
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Re: Toyota Sienna AWD Sportsmobile

Funny about the old VW Westfalia - We owned an 84 Westfalia, drove it 100,000 miles. It camped great, only no A/C, short wheelbase which was not very comfortable driving and a 48" wide bed. So, 3 pop top campers later, we are on the Sienna with A/C, a queen size bed, long wheelbase, comfortable driving and 25 mpg!

Not sure where we are going with another van, unless Dodge does really bring the Fiat full size FWD Ducato van to the USA. We saw 1000's of these Ducato vans on our recent European camping trip with our Sienna (yes we shipped it from the East Coast to Europe (Belgium) and returned it to the USA - must less than renting one there). The most popular RV in Europe is the Fiat/Peugeot Ducato/Boxer either as a Class B or Class C. The full size Class B with the 159" wheelbase, gets 30 mpg on a 2.3 liter diesel with a 6 speed manual transmission. Likely USA version will be an automatic. It would be nice to have a shower, double glazed windows for noise reduction instead of material sides to the pop top, more space and even a small washer/dryer(it is possible in this size). The Ducato is similar to Merceles/Dodge Sprinter, but FWD, a top which is 9" lower than the Sprinter, wider wheelbase and a floor lower than the Sprinter by 8". So, we will see what happens in 2013 with the "RAM" van.
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Old 12-19-2012, 06:04 AM   #43
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Toyota Sienna AWD Sportsmobile

I got to see a Ducato here in South Carolina. A couple from Germany had been touring the US. When I saw this one it was one of the last few days they were in the states. I never knew it was FWD. Very nice platform.
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:17 PM   #44
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Re: Toyota Sienna AWD Sportsmobile

Yes, that is the exact vehicle - converted into Class B RV's in England, France, Germany and Italy and perhaps others. I saw them in every campground/RV park I stayed in Europe.

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Old 12-25-2012, 11:06 PM   #45
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Re: Toyota Sienna AWD Sportsmobile

Quote:
Originally Posted by sinbad
Yes, that is the exact vehicle - converted into Class B RV's in England, France, Germany and Italy and perhaps others. I saw them in every campground/RV park I stayed in Europe.

Sinbad
Boy Sinbad, do I know a few business "on the road friends" who would love your setup!
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:50 PM   #46
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Re: Toyota Sienna AWD Sportsmobile

I suggested that my parents look at an AWD Sienna, and they ended up purchasing one. To be perfectly honest, I don't think that I would recommend that they go that route again. It has had more problems that I would have anticipated (including a battery at 3 years old, alloy wheel corrosion, and a steering rack replacement at 70,000 miles). The run-flats are complete garbage and offer horrible winter traction. My parents ended up ditching them and going with standard tires plus a dedicated set of winter tires. They do not run any sort of spare. The ride improves siginificantly w/o the runflats. The AWD system (shared with the Highlander to 2010, and now shared with the RAV4) is mediocre at best.



If it were a do-over, I'd suggest only looking at the FWD model. Given the early platform similarities among the Camry/Highlander/Sienna, I'd be looking at possible component compatibility with the Highlander for the front end. The rear suspensions are completely different, but there are plenty of options to lift the rear of a Sienna.

I suspect your wife is not all that comfortable with the size of a full-size van. My wife did not originally warm to a vehicle of that size, but it took her perhaps one week to realize they are not as unwieldy as they look in city traffic. On the other hand, the Sienna that my parents drive still intimidates them and they usually don't drive it in the city. Consider renting a full-size van for a week and see how it goes.

Take a look at this website. Lots of the vehicles are not available in the US, but there might be something that appeals to everyone in the family.

http://zenseeker.net/Kid/AdventureVan.htm
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:51 PM   #47
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Re: Toyota Sienna AWD Sportsmobile

Hi, We are senior citizens and both my wife and I love our AWD Sienna. You may have noted from my earily post, I changed the run flat tires when our Sienna was new to the 16" aluminum factory wheels and Goodyear Comfortex Assurance 215/65/16 radials - much better ride. We now have 133,000 miles on our 2006. We got the 100,000 miles/7 year factory warrenty when we bought the van. Toyota replaced the rear shocks, steering gear for leaking, water pump all at about 95,000 miles. I replaced at the same time the front shocks (they were not leaking, but we intend to keep our camping van for a long while), and the front and rear sway bar bushings. The 100K warranty was certainly worth it. We live where it snows a lot, so the Goodyears have been great in the snow. We can drive in 18" of fresh snow, any deeper and I wait for a neighbor who has a full size truck to make a path in our street. My 120# wife has no trouble driving the Sienna, she likes the room, comfort and driving ease.
Sinbad
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Old 11-02-2019, 08:19 PM   #48
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Great work on your Sienna Westy. After getting out of our third VW Westy, we're looking to do a similar project with a Sienna & GTRV top. They also offer a "Weekender" package but yours looks a lot nicer!
We hope to squeeze in a few extras including a one burner sink/stove, Propex heater. Run off refillable 1 lb propane bottles. Also an awning, probably Yakima Slim Shady, and exhaust fan. Do you have any more photos or advice?
Hope you're still on the road!
Regards,
Larry

Portland, Oregon
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