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How many boats fit in a jumbo van?

Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:31 pm
by d.e.hill
Hi all,

We’re off to Slovenia in the summer and are trying to work out how many people we can bring.

Title sums it up really!

We’re trying to hire a high roof, extra long wheelbase Mercedes sprinter (or similar) and need to work out how many white water (probably creek) boats we can fit in.

Best guesses vary between 12-20 so far!

Any experiences to share?

Re: How many boats fit in a jumbo van?

Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:48 pm
by Jim
If you take the passenger seat out you can get an 18' sea kayak in, but the bow has to go under the glove box, so realistically only 1.

The internal dimensions are fairly easy to find online, there is tumblehome to the sides and there is a narrow point between the wheel arches, but given the load bay is a bit over 4m long you can probably have bows and sterns overlapping in the middle.

If you like welding and have big enough transporter you can buy mine, but realistically it will go for spares.

Re: How many boats fit in a jumbo van?

Posted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:12 am
by boosh
We usually manage 5 creek boats on their side per layer.
Can usually get 3 layers in a high top.
Plus one or 2 diagonal nearest the back doors.
Plus all the kit.

Re: How many boats fit in a jumbo van?

Posted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:16 am
by Chas C
I did that trip good few years ago, think there were 7 of us. We had a large van with 3 seats and a small car that would fit 4. We got all 7 boats and kit into the rear of the van but only couple of them were creek boats. We hired them at Trieste Airport.

Re: How many boats fit in a jumbo van?

Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:46 am
by cathalferris
Just remember the 3.5 ton gross vehicle weight limit.

Nothing like having a holiday ruined by a large fine from the Gendarmes or Policia Stradale, as well as being prevented from moving onwards until the overload condition is resolved. They'll make you empty the rear and not allow the vehicle to continue, meaning someone will have to babysit boats and gear at a weighbridge in the middle of nowhere, and the authorities will then be watching out for that vehicle for the rest of the journey. Had not happened to me personally, but I had heard of this happening to someone moving house.

I know of one LWB crewcab high-box Sprinter, empty weight is ~2.8 tonnes, so it reaches the legal limit with a full tank and 7 lads onboard and an empty rear. Add 17 creekers in the rear, 10 boats on the top rack, all of the gear, and 7 people... It ends up about 1 to 1.5 tonnes overweight and is definitely going to get stopped at some stage and the driver is going to have a *bad* day as a result.

Re: How many boats fit in a jumbo van?

Posted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:55 am
by d.e.hill
Thanks chaps - seems like between 12-15 is reasonable target!

Re: How many boats fit in a jumbo van?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:36 pm
by PaddyW
Hi Dave,

Your old club did this in 2013.

We fitted 12 boats into Ciaran's Vivaro van, including some on roofrack.

It took me and him 23 hours to drive out there, (heavy rain whilst driving through Germany), and 17 hours back in good weather and traffic. It would be safer with 3 drivers than 2 or to break the journey up.

Everyone else flew and then fitted as many as possible into hire cars.

We found it to be as cheap to hire self catering accomodation as to camp.

http://www.batterseacc.org/slovenia-june-2013.aspx

If going for a week you may find that you will end up paddling some sections more than once.

Paddy

Re: How many boats fit in a jumbo van?

Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:13 pm
by Dave Manby
You can get to wales in a mini. (Better joke if spoken)

Re: How many boats fit in a jumbo van?

Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:14 pm
by andy g
We have been doing this trip for the last 8 years now so we do have some experience.

It all depends how big the boats are of course.

The maximum number we achieved was 28 boats in 2018, but this was a really tight squeeze. We also take paddlers gear, personal bags and paddles so they can fly on hand baggage.
I would need to look up the actual distribution of sizes but from memory it was 10 creek boats, 10 river runners and 8 playboats.
The vehicle was a Peugeot Boxer ulwb, if you can find a VW Crafter with the 4.6 m load bay then this figure could be much higher.

Andy