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Old 02-20-2019, 04:33 PM   #21
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This is a huge reason I'm unlikely to ever trade a van for a larger RV. A van can be cycled into daily driver duty once or twice a week. That makes it much easier to keep it in a known condition.
An excellent idea that never occurred to me. Thank you.
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Old 02-20-2019, 05:11 PM   #22
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^^^ I had to use my van to commute today (because 3-4" of snow cripples this silly town) which I typically don't. its really nice to have the option. especially when other cars in the stable are currently not running.


and a rental van wouldn't do us any good at all. we generally camp outside of cell service. so if a rental broke down on us in bfe, id be in the exact same boat except id be wrenching/rigging on someone else's van to get me back to civilization. that to me makes zero sense, especially to someone who tends to camp 3 weekends a month when weather permits. now if I only got out once every 3-4 months, sure a rental makes more sense.


we did used to rent cars for long trips when we didn't trust our own cars to make the entire journey though...
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Old 02-20-2019, 10:02 PM   #23
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I drive my van everyday and it’s reliable and great. I simply don’t understand the argument that It being makes it inherently less reliable and therefore something to be rented.
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Old 02-21-2019, 10:03 PM   #24
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Driving it occasionally is a good idea -- can't discover problems when you don't drive it, and sitting too long creates its own problems. Condensation collects in the oil, batteries get low, tires flat-spot.

It's really easy to mistake engine problems for transmission problems. A manual I read once had the line "if it runs wrong, it will shift wrong," and that's always stuck with me.
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Old 02-21-2019, 11:46 PM   #25
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and a rental van wouldn't do us any good at all. we generally camp outside of cell service. so if a rental broke down on us in bfe, id be in the exact same boat except id be wrenching/rigging on someone else's van to get me back to civilization.
Good point, and something I've mostly dismissed. Making a rational decision to risk breaking something you own vs. risk breaking something that puts someone else in a position to exploit you are two very different things.

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I drive my van everyday and its reliable and great. I simply dont understand the argument that It being makes it inherently less reliable and therefore something to be rented.
I think the argument is the inverse. If you use the van one to three times a year, you might be better off renting. I rented a van a number of year in a row and finally bought one. I'm way ahead in $$. I'm way behind in brain hours spent on understanding these vans. OTOH that same knowledge means I'm less likely to get stuck someplace way off the grid that I would have never dared take a rental to.

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Driving it occasionally is a good idea -- can't discover problems when you don't drive it, and sitting too long creates its own problems. Condensation collects in the oil, batteries get low, tires flat-spot.
That *1000. My other car is a bit more temperamental, and regularly warming up the oil and seals is a big part of not having to spend thousands in labor to get the car back to baseline.
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Old 02-22-2019, 12:05 AM   #26
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For me the biggest argument in favor of owning instead of renting is I can customize the van to be how I like it. I also like to do spur-of-the-moment weekend trips. I know if there's a hassle involved in arranging to do something, I'm a lot less likely to do it; owning lets me keep most of my gear in the van, so I can just climb in and go. Since buying my van in September I've already taken five trips, and I feel like I'm getting my money's worth.

That said, it's very reasonable to make a cost/benefit calculation, based on how much you use a van, and decide it's better to rent.
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Old 02-22-2019, 01:07 PM   #27
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For me the biggest argument in favor of owning instead of renting is I can customize the van to be how I like it. I also like to do spur-of-the-moment weekend trips. I know if there's a hassle involved in arranging to do something, I'm a lot less likely to do it; owning lets me keep most of my gear in the van, so I can just climb in and go. Since buying my van in September I've already taken five trips, and I feel like I'm getting my money's worth.

That said, it's very reasonable to make a cost/benefit calculation, based on how much you use a van, and decide it's better to rent.
Yep, and that (insert random camping supply here) is right in the cabinet or cubby where you left it.

Every piece of camping/hiking/boating/biking/vacationing gear I own is always stored in the van and ready to go, right there with my tools and spare parts to keep the rig on running. I'm an autarky........thanks Google.
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Old 02-22-2019, 05:14 PM   #28
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Eric, I did not know you were an economically independent nation.
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Old 02-22-2019, 05:42 PM   #29
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Eric, I did not know you were an economically independent nation.


Ha! That is one definition.
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Old 02-24-2019, 10:17 AM   #30
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Knowing what is wrong and thinking you know what is wrong with your van are two different things. The illusion of a first knee jerk response can ruin a trip.

Spent several months planning a trip down to Southern California to do the California Backroad Discover Route with some friends from Expedition Portal. The day I left the van developed what felt a shimmy and shake at the shift point into overdrive. My first thought was the transmission was slipping due to low fluid. The shaking got worse as we continued driving so we stopped at an auto parts store and bought some fluid. The fluid was a bit low so we added some. That seemed to help.

Further down I5 the van would lose power on the hills and not down shift automatically. Need to manually shift it into a lower gear so I could keep my speed up enough to go up the hills. That evening we stopped at a truck stop. Thinking that the trans was the problem I made the very hard decision to cancel my trip and head back home.

The next morning I got an inner nudge to check to see if the transmission through any trouble codes. My OBD2 reader did not show any transmission codes but it did show a misfire on cylinder 3. Here is where the illusion got real thick. I was so convinced that I had a transmission problem that I did nothing about the misfire.

By the time I was part way home the illusion had cleared and I realized what was really wrong. It was a bad coil. Now I was totally bummed. If the illusion of a transmission problem had not been so strong I could have taken the time to change the coil in the parking lot and completed my trip.

The things I learned from this experience are:
1. Do not be so excited about leaving on a trip that you put off test driving the van a few days before you leave.
2. Do not assume you know what is wrong, verify it.
3. if you have the spares, tools, and ability take the time to fix the problem so you can continue on your trip.
4. Do not be in a hurry to get to your destination. Relax and enjoy the scenery.
5. When a problem comes up stop, relax, have a beverage, assess the problem, and then act.
I'm not one to post replies to anyone or anything but I just went through this twice in the last 6 months with my van and my truck (5.4 2v, 6.8 2v).
Truthfully I didn't read others responses and I don't even know if your van is gas or diesel but it sounds like a gasser.. so...
I would be willing to put money down on it being an ignition coil. They are very common and very easy to change (just need a 8mm socket and extensions. It gives the impression of a transmission issue but thats only because the lower rpm you feel it more.
I've learned to keep one as a spare at all times and you're all set. One of those - roadside repairs that can still be performed.
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