Small Van for Kayaking

Inland paddling
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Mark Allen
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Small Van for Kayaking

Post by Mark Allen » Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:17 pm

Im looking to buy a small van for boating - Been looking at Ford Connects and Vauxhall Combo's. What would you guys recomend and why? Thanks in advance.

TomWardill
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Re: Small Van for Kayaking

Post by TomWardill » Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:33 pm

I had the VW Caddy as a courtesy car after the garage broke my T4.
Was very impressed, bolt in roof rack bars and enough space for a single mattress in the back. Also, it's the Golf platform, so golf interior and dash. Think I had the 1.9TD, was damned nippy, and returned 48mpg for an entire trip to the Lakes for a weekend. Also, golf stereo.
Comfy, well specced, but a touch on the pricy side comparatively, though I'd buy one in a heartbeat if I needed a smaller van.
Tom Wardill

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iamgareth
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Re: Small Van for Kayaking

Post by iamgareth » Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:48 pm

Hello,
I've got a VW caddy, and agree with Mark. It is a great vehicle, as has been said the mpg is excellent, and from when I did my research in to what to get its the most comfortable to drive. My only gripe is the roof bars are quite narrow, but they came with it so I can't really complain! I also use it for mountain biking and camping and all that stuff and haven't had a problem, these factors are probably universal across all vans. The caddy's selling points are its mpg, comfort with a decent stereo, easy to drive, maybe superior build quality? It is more pricey than the alternatives though; I'd consider a Renault Kangoo, or a Vauxhall combo if I hadn't bought the caddy.

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David Fairweather
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Re: Small Van for Kayaking

Post by David Fairweather » Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:51 pm

What are you looking to use the van for? If it's to store the boats in and save you putting them on the roof, then dimensions are key. If you want to fit a couple of river boats and a bed inside, then you'll perhaps need something a bit bigger than suggested.

d.e.hill
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Re: Small Van for Kayaking

Post by d.e.hill » Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:54 pm

When I spent a summer as a postman I used (and wrecked) many a small van. My probably unfounded opinions are:

Vauxhall Combo: quite small, but proved to be reliable. A nightmare at speed as based on the Corsa platform. Didn't have the solid feel of others.

Fiat Doblo: Looks about like a transit connect, but hopeless. Nice and comfy but fell apart regularly; I managed to pull the door off one! On the plus side, sliding doors on both sides were really handy and the gearknob comes out of the dashboard which I liked.

Transit Connect: We only had a few of these, but people were always racing for the keys (they're a sad bunch postmen). Nice and comfy, and seemed to stand up well to repeated abuse. A bit bigger than the combo and an all round sturdier option.

Can't comment on long term reliability as I was only there for a summer! The only final piece of advice is to never buy an ex-post van - they are shagged!

D

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Rinseout
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Re: Small Van for Kayaking

Post by Rinseout » Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:28 pm

Just a suggestion seeing this on the private sales section:

http://www.ukriversguidebook.co.uk/foru ... 10&t=62710

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iamgareth
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Re: Small Van for Kayaking

Post by iamgareth » Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:59 pm

Just for the record, I carry my boats on the roof, from time to time I put my boat inside. Accidentally, my boat is the longest boat you could possible fit in a caddy with a bulkhead. I've got a medium pyranha ammo, one end goes in the bottom left corner at the rear, the other end in the top right at the bulkhead. Literally fits with maybe a millimetre to spare!

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Re: Small Van for Kayaking

Post by TomWardill » Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:29 pm

This might be useful if you're looking at 2nd hand:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/opensecrets/ ... ml?page=18

Transit Connect doesn't hold well in the 3 year MOT records.
Tom Wardill

wopo
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Re: Small Van for Kayaking

Post by wopo » Tue Apr 13, 2010 9:10 pm

I had a transit connect and sold it due to the mpg was a bit on the low side

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Re: Small Van for Kayaking

Post by Boots » Tue Apr 13, 2010 9:39 pm

Tom just an observation but in the mot list there are only 2 vans both at the top of the list probably cause there vans and they get used to extreme unlike cars which usually only have one person in and a spare tyre.

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Re: Small Van for Kayaking

Post by Jim » Tue Apr 13, 2010 9:40 pm

Vans don't float, use a kayak.

andy i
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Re: Small Van for Kayaking

Post by andy i » Tue Apr 13, 2010 9:44 pm

Mark, there is no point in getting a van that you can't get boats inside! At least thats what I think. Van's rock.

jsimo
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Re: Small Van for Kayaking

Post by jsimo » Tue Apr 13, 2010 9:53 pm

Transit connects very good van great to drive and sturdy. I can get 42mpg average on a tank if your sensible. normally 30mpg area. Remember they are basically a box travelling at speed so are not areodynamic. Get a tdci one if you do as has more oomph.
I find berlingos partners etc a tad small and crappy. You can get boats inside the swb tran connect but buy a roof rack its easier.

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Re: Small Van for Kayaking

Post by husky » Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:55 am

As someone who experiences the whole gambit of van/car use and breakdown's my choice would be a Transit connect LPG 1st choice and a tdci next then VW and Vauxhall.
Size of the connect is much better for your use I have seen one camper converted which was very user friendly.
If you intend to use the Channel Tunnel LPG is not an option.
The Transit is designed as a van so is tough but still drives well; all the others are car derived vans so components are at the upper end of their stress limits.
In a 2 year cycle I have been out to 3 connect breakdowns 2 clutches both vans 140k + miles 1 starter, local stop start van ( this does not include driver error ie lights left on or RTC's )
In the same 2 year cycle I have been out to far more breakdown's on other manufacturers one failure is very common ( diesel ) duel mass flywheel/Clutch failure and this costs 100's of £'s which has put me off the manufacturer and I used to be a big fan, the same manufacture I have seen 5 car's with con-rod through block ( total engine failure ) in the last 4 months one at 36k the rest 75k>110k all diesel's all still in manufactures warranty :'-(
The bad thing with ford the DEALERS IMHO ARE USELESS ok not all but the majority!
If you do not know the history of a modern diesel engine ( no matter what manufacturer ) you risk huge repair bills miss-use miss-fuel, ( huge problem in second hand common rail diesel engines ) lack of maintenance, all will catch up with the vehicle someday its usually YOUR DAY! this is why I would chose a LPG car/van as repair bills are usually lower and problems do not seem to be as terminal.
Car/van manufactures are pushing the service interval's longer and longer to attract fleet users ( less down time ) the don't care about the 2nd 3rd owner ITS OUT OF WARRANTY.
Complexity of modern diesels will push up repair bills, repair propensity and diagnostic times so cost will rise, also the get you home factor, you are more likely to fix/ bodge a petrol car to get you home than a modern diesel.
Modern diesel time bomb waiting to happen!!! DPF failure, carbon build up, consequential miss fuel damage,
Get whatever you want if someone ells picks up the repair bill ( cars under warranty ) think on if you are paying for it.

Steve
LET IT BE

ashbullivant
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Re: Small Van for Kayaking

Post by ashbullivant » Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:39 pm

Small vans are the bomb because they are as economical and easy to park/drive everyday as a car but you can sleep in them.

Playboats go in the back, riverboats on the roof as thats when your away and want the clean dry space inside.

Small van FOR SALE here:

http://www.ukriversguidebook.co.uk/foru ... 10&t=62710

ashbullivant
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Re: Small Van for Kayaking

Post by ashbullivant » Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:45 pm

Transit Connects are great (had a courtesy one once) a lot more money than a Berlingo/Partner though.

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ol
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Re: Small Van for Kayaking

Post by ol » Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:02 am

jsimo wrote: Remember they are basically a box travelling at speed so are not areodynamic. .......
You can get boats inside the swb tran connect but buy a roof rack its easier.
So you have boats on the roof, and you can only get 1 other person in the van legally, may as well get a car then surely? 3-4 people inside, boats on roof, split the fuel costs.....get a tent to sleep in?
I've been tempted by the small vans but so far they seem to add problems rather than remove them...

Rainman
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Re: Small Van for Kayaking

Post by Rainman » Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:19 am

I've got a 08 plate VW caddy, that I use for work, with the intention it would be good for boating, It isn't!
It costs £5 more to cross the bridge into wales,
Can only have one passenger,
a creek boat doesn't fit in the back
stacking boats on the roof is a pain because its too high.

I'll be getting an estate next!

furby
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Re: Small Van for Kayaking

Post by furby » Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:46 am

I agree with the above, small vans come with there own set of problems, either go get an estate or a medium sized van.

husky
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Re: Small Van for Kayaking

Post by husky » Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:38 am

Just to say I have a 208 sprinter as it was a better choice for me which is converted to a kayamper.
Small vans have compromise's like all van's I looked at the question Mark posted.
Bigger vans Con's Parking restrictions , insurance , fuel consumption, MOT's' & Brake down cover restrictions on larger vans, ferry &toll road cost's list goes on but the pro's are worth it for myself.
The thing of only 2 people is easy get fold down seats re-register as 4/5 seater Job done ( if this is done with some thought it can be the start of your bed) or buy a 5 seater in the first place.
Set the passenger front seat on quick realises you can take it out and get a creek-er inside.
LPG no London congestion charge may make a difference to some.
Steve
PS please look at your brake down cover if you drive a van for restriction with breakdown cover Size weight ect LOOK IF YOU HAVE STICKERS/SIGN WRITING YOU MAY BE SEEN AS A SMALL BUSINESS USER and could be declined service there is a small charge for van cover please check with your provider.
LET IT BE

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ianletton
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Re: Small Van for Kayaking

Post by ianletton » Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:20 am

Although I have never owned or driven a small van, from an outsiders perspective, I would be inclinded to agree with the 4 guys above.

For me a van is bought so that you can throw everthing IN it and also live in it. Thats why you comprimise the speed, safety, luxury etc of a car.

I would go for either a diesel estate or one of these:http://www.autoexposure.co.uk/vehicle.c ... TV64376983 converted into a kayamper.

(Take the farthest back row of seats out, move bulkhead forward and make bed, living and boat space in the rear.) This way you get 5 seats as well as a bed, boat, kit and living space in the back.

My 2pence.

Ian
IanLetton

windy miller
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Re: Small Van for Kayaking

Post by windy miller » Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:04 am

I've got a VW Caddy Maxi Life which is the comfy version of the caddy. It comes with full car interior and 7 seats. The rear set are removeable and the middle set fold down. You can get three people and three play boats in it and two with river boats, albeit it's a bit tight as the bows rest on the front seat head rests. There's room in the back for kipping and you can get loads of kit in it. For camping, mountain biking and paddling it's spot on. You can change in the back of it in the warmth (unlike a car - not tall enough to kneel up) and when the middle seats are folded half way down they form a bench which is ideal for indoor picnics and DVD viewings. Good economy (up to 50mpg) and decent comfort. Not cheap though.

Cheers, Windy

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Mike Mayberry
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Re: Small Van for Kayaking

Post by Mike Mayberry » Sat Apr 17, 2010 1:23 pm

I've had my Connect van for 5 years now on an 04 plate and would definately recommend it. It was an old hertz vehicle and bought with 47k on the clock, it now has 97k on the clock and all it's cost me is a new wheel bearing and recently a fan belt. It regularly tows an 800kg trailer up the down the welsh hills in the summer months with no trouble at all, takes four boats on the roof when needed and my burn fits inside too! It's great for sleeping inside (ample room for myself, the wife and a lab) and the side door is invaluble, I usually hang a tarp from the roof rack to make an awning. My only wish would be that it has a tailgate back door rather than the barn doors, but I think this is now an option on the newer models. It costs me close to £60 to fill up and gives me between 350 and 500 miles to the tank depending on how much towing I'm doing.

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Ed Lefley
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Re: Small Van for Kayaking

Post by Ed Lefley » Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:22 pm

husky wrote:As someone who experiences the whole gambit of van/car use and breakdown's my choice would be a Transit connect LPG 1st choice and a tdci next then VW and Vauxhall.
Size of the connect is much better for your use I have seen one camper converted which was very user friendly.
If you intend to use the Channel Tunnel LPG is not an option.
The Transit is designed as a van so is tough but still drives well; all the others are car derived vans so components are at the upper end of their stress limits.
In a 2 year cycle I have been out to 3 connect breakdowns 2 clutches both vans 140k + miles 1 starter, local stop start van ( this does not include driver error ie lights left on or RTC's )
In the same 2 year cycle I have been out to far more breakdown's on other manufacturers one failure is very common ( diesel ) duel mass flywheel/Clutch failure and this costs 100's of £'s which has put me off the manufacturer and I used to be a big fan, the same manufacture I have seen 5 car's with con-rod through block ( total engine failure ) in the last 4 months one at 36k the rest 75k>110k all diesel's all still in manufactures warranty :'-(
The bad thing with ford the DEALERS IMHO ARE USELESS ok not all but the majority!
If you do not know the history of a modern diesel engine ( no matter what manufacturer ) you risk huge repair bills miss-use miss-fuel, ( huge problem in second hand common rail diesel engines ) lack of maintenance, all will catch up with the vehicle someday its usually YOUR DAY! this is why I would chose a LPG car/van as repair bills are usually lower and problems do not seem to be as terminal.
Car/van manufactures are pushing the service interval's longer and longer to attract fleet users ( less down time ) the don't care about the 2nd 3rd owner ITS OUT OF WARRANTY.
Complexity of modern diesels will push up repair bills, repair propensity and diagnostic times so cost will rise, also the get you home factor, you are more likely to fix/ bodge a petrol car to get you home than a modern diesel.
Modern diesel time bomb waiting to happen!!! DPF failure, carbon build up, consequential miss fuel damage,
Get whatever you want if someone ells picks up the repair bill ( cars under warranty ) think on if you are paying for it.

Steve
Think that Steve has hit it on the head with the whole DPF/Dual Mass Flywheels; they really are a time bomb waiting to happen... in a way I know that a Diesel will make more sense for me, but I'm going to stick with a petrol as it has fewer potential problems, or at least ones that are cheaper to fix.

Diesels will become unsaleable I predict in about 3 yrs, because by then everyone will have DPF/DMF and people will know of the cost. I know that on a 4 or 5 yo car with a high mileage the repair cost will be greater than the value of the vehicle.
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A life without limits on adventure is likely to be short.’
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