Paddle van advice

Inland paddling
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Paddle van advice

Post by mountain_bikerider »

So I am asking the help of UKRGB with the possible purchase of a new paddle wagon. My trusty ex AA Renault trafic is becoming uneconomical to repair. I have been looking around and my ideal van is as follows:
1) Long wheel base or long enough to put creek boats in straight (my current van does not do this.)
2) aircon
3) Electric Windows
4) Tailgate
5) fit in car parks as it will be my daily driver
So I have been surfing the net and looking at the following
Transit (can’t afford a custom and not sure the older one is low enough to fit in multi storeys)
Trafic / Vivaro

I have pretty much discounted the transporter as they all appear much older and higher mileage for the same money!? Am I wrong to do this???
I am looking to spend about £9000 including the VAT.
What have you used / do you drive as a paddle wagon and pros and cons of those vans would be awesome. Thanks in advance for your help.

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Re: Paddle van advice

Post by Jim »

I was talking to a friend the other day who has just got a Proace for her furniture business, she discounted the Vito because of horror stories of lots going wrong, and being Merc fixing anything is expensive (that could be why my Sprinter has been SORN for nearly 4 years now) and was of a similar view in respect of Transporters - they really can't be that much better than other vans, the prices are high because of the popularity. The only plus with a transporter is that the value holds unless you trash it - well, as you can see since you are looking for something much older and higher mileage to suit your budget...

There are a lot of Hiace and Proace being used by businesses around here, very similar in size and shape to Transporter, I've never seen one secondhand though. May be based on latest generation of Dispatch/Expert sized van? No idea if they have aircon or tailgates as options.

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Re: Paddle van advice

Post by DaveBland »


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Re: Paddle van advice

Post by Girdles »

Nissan Primastar, same van as Vivaro only they come with Air conditioning, steel bulkhead, electric mirrors as standard, good mpg 40 ish around town. to fit boats flat LWB. Ive had one for 10 years with no issues, I just bought a Transit Custom. Custom is a nice drive, folding roof rack, quiet compared to 10 year old Primastar but only getting just over 30 mpg around town.

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Re: Paddle van advice

Post by Mal Grey »

Can't speak from owner experience, but having spent a considerable amount of time sharing a mate's Renault Trafic camper on road trips, I'm pretty impressed, and with it being basically the same body shape as the Vivaro and Primastar, your options for getting a good one are higher. Build quality, engine, economy, ride/handling all seemed good. Can't comment on the space inside for creek boats, as we had open canoes on top. I would say its no bigger than SWB Transits, T5.
Latest SWB Transit is an excellent drive, very car like indeed, smooth and quiet, even has a small "sports" feeling steering wheel (well the hire one in Norway did).

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Re: Paddle van advice

Post by chrissloan »

I'd say another Trafic/Vivaro/Primastar would do most of those things.
- Just under 2m high so it goes in a lot of car-parks unless you add a roof-rack.
- The long wheelbase version fits most boats inside, mine has a bulkhead and my large burn still fits (straight, not diagonal).
- They do a version with AC, but I couldn't find many second hand ones with AC and LWB.
- It will be much newer and lower mileage than a VW for the same money
- They're common throughout Europe so easy to get repaired if something goes wrong
I've had my primastar for 3 years and 60000 miles, it's been perfect for paddling trips but still practical for commuting when the weather's too bad to go by bike.

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Re: Paddle van advice

Post by hamster86 »

I've got a 96 transorter. I can get 3 to 4 boats in the back and as many as I like on the roof. Saying that I would certainly advise not having one. It's far too slow. Noisey and over priced.

If it were me with a decent price bracket I'd get a mwb/ mid or high roof transit.

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Re: Paddle van advice

Post by icthec2 »

Something like this.. ... 2011725347

Small enough to work every day driving but big enough for kit in the back

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