Smarta$$ McPoopyPants
Smarta$$ McPoopyPants MegaDork
3/19/15 8:42 a.m.

We're hopefully touring at the end of May, and our current van (97 Dodge Ram 3500) has been a constant pain in the ass. AC barely works. Had to replace water pump on first mini-tour, starter on the last one, had some electrical issue that was draining the battery, so my bass player (who owns the van) had his buddy install a "kill switch." Currently not running. Same symptoms as the first dead starter. Pulled it and made sure all the connections were good, etc, but still couldn't get it going and just took two cars to the last couple shows. Oh. Also has some major suspension issue that makes it absolutely terrifying to drive at hwy speeds.

Anyway. Requirements:

Big (Four dudes, 3 heads, 2 4x12 cabinets, 1 big bass cab, drums, etc.)

AC.

Reliable, but also easy to work on, and readily available parts.

MPG is not a huge concern.

Only kicker is that we're trying to stay around $2500.

Thoughts?

Tim Baxter
Tim Baxter PowerDork
3/19/15 8:46 a.m.

Sounds like an Econoline to me.

Smarta$$ McPoopyPants
Smarta$$ McPoopyPants MegaDork
3/19/15 8:48 a.m.
Tim Baxter wrote: Sounds like an Econoline to me.

Kinda what I was thinking. I don't know why my bass player keeps buying Dodges, as they have consistently been teh suck.

Like so?

http://orlando.craigslist.org/cto/4927615105.html

drummerfromdefleopard
drummerfromdefleopard SuperDork
3/19/15 8:54 a.m.

Econoline based ambulance. Bonus points for using the gurney for tagging groupies on.

petegossett
petegossett PowerDork
3/19/15 9:23 a.m.

In reply to Smarta$$ McPoopyPants:

I've put a lot of thought on this recently too. Although we're looking more at weekend gigs within a reasonable driving distance(to allow us to keep our day-jobs & a relatively normal family life).

To me the perfect solution is a 2012 & up Caravan/T&C with the towing package, pulling a trailer that's just big enough for the speaker cabinets/amps, and drums. Even keeping the 3rd row seat up you could still fit the guitars/basses behind it, have room for some overnight bags, and haul 6-people comfortably. You'd also get ~17 MPG or so I bet, which would probably beat any full-size van, trailer or not.

captdownshift
captdownshift SuperDork
3/19/15 9:26 a.m.

In reply to petegossett:

that is an excellent call, but I doubt once can be found in the $2500 range, the trailer for the cabinets/drum kit and amps would run nearly that much.

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
3/19/15 9:41 a.m.

Problem solved!

http://auburn.craigslist.org/cto/4926962541.html

and because you've always been a short-bus kinda guy:

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/nat/cto/4938641366.html

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/atl/cto/4937099912.html

Petrolburner
Petrolburner Reader
3/19/15 11:45 a.m.

I actually think the white short bus is a great idea.

petegossett
petegossett PowerDork
3/19/15 11:45 a.m.

In reply to captdownshift:

Ah, yeah I missed the last line.

Well that either leaves Ford and their screwy front-end, disposable coil packs, and the (albeit over exaggerated) potential to spit spark plugs, or GM with their DexCool/intake gasket issues, transmissions(700R4/4L60E), etc.

So buy the best one of either brand you can find and bring a few spare parts on the road.

Oh and the bassist's Dodge probably has a problem in the wiring harness up by the firewall. If you split the loom & trace the schematic back there you'll either find a broken wire, or just as likely two wires melted/abraided and shorted together. It seemed to be a common problem on Dodge trucks & vans through that era.

PHeller
PHeller PowerDork
3/19/15 11:54 a.m.

By 2003, didn't GM solve most of the coolant and intake gasket issues?

Smarta$$ McPoopyPants
Smarta$$ McPoopyPants MegaDork
3/19/15 12:06 p.m.
Joe Gearin wrote: Problem solved! http://auburn.craigslist.org/cto/4926962541.html and because you've always been a short-bus kinda guy: http://atlanta.craigslist.org/nat/cto/4938641366.html http://atlanta.craigslist.org/atl/cto/4937099912.html

Had actually considered the short bus. I search "Church" every once in a while in the vehicles on CL. Seems like the churches let 'em go pretty cheap, but I'm embarrassed to say I'm just totally clueless on what engine/trans combo to look for, or stay away from.

drummerfromdefleopard
drummerfromdefleopard SuperDork
3/19/15 12:07 p.m.

In reply to Petrolburner:

If you can make the door secure. Expensive equipment on a school bus can be a bad idea.

chiodos
chiodos Reader
3/19/15 12:08 p.m.

http://northmiss.craigslist.org/cto/4939273417.html

Yank out the rear seat and bolt two lazy boys for a second row. I can attest to their durability, reliability comfort I spent my first 13 years in two similar to this

Smarta$$ McPoopyPants
Smarta$$ McPoopyPants MegaDork
3/19/15 12:16 p.m.
petegossett wrote: In reply to captdownshift: Ah, yeah I missed the last line. Well that either leaves Ford and their screwy front-end, disposable coil packs, and the (albeit over exaggerated) potential to spit spark plugs, or GM with their DexCool/intake gasket issues, transmissions(700R4/4L60E), etc. So buy the best one of either brand you can find and bring a few spare parts on the road. Oh and the bassist's Dodge probably has a problem in the wiring harness up by the firewall. If you split the loom & trace the schematic back there you'll either find a broken wire, or just as likely two wires melted/abraided and shorted together. It seemed to be a common problem on Dodge trucks & vans through that era.

Awesome. Thanks for the tip on the existing van. Only thing that sucks is my bandmates live 6 hours away (I know. It's weird.) But I'll see if bassist's buddy can check it out.

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