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Old 07-01-2019, 11:00 AM   #1 (permalink)
Natalya
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Question Good vehicle for a touring band?

Okay so I'm in a band with two other ladies, and we've started thinking about maybe doing a tour in the future. We have gone on like 1-night trips to other states nearby, but may become more ambitious. Our main issue would be what kind of vehicle should we use?

Currently we use a 6-speed manual-transmission 3rd-Generation Mazda 5 which has a 157 hp 2.5 litre four cylinder engine.

We have a lot of gear but we do NOT carry a drum set with us, instead all our percussion are played as back tracks into a PA we bring with us and a pa speaker, so we aren't losing cargo volume to the cylindrical shape of a bunch of drums.

We've removed the rear passenger seats and one of the middle passenger chairs, so there's only 3 chairs for us and the rest of the cargo volume is filled with our equipment.

Considerations:
- Fuel economy in the loaded down Mazda 5 is probably way better than any other possible vehicle
- Our gear is expensive and there is a risk of it being stolen when on tour
- Gear is very heavy and hard to move in and out of wherever we plan to sleep at night
- On a tour we might not have access to a safe place to keep our stuff
- I don't know that any of the 3 of us would be able to sleep in the Mazda 5

We have access to a 2006 F-250 Super Diesel short bed w/ extended cab which could carry more stuff, and I know 1 of my bandmates is able to sleep in there along the back seat in the cab, but we don't have a cover for its back, so rain is an issue.

I guess we have two really hard requirements when on tour:
- All 3 of us need to be able to sleep at night (this means we have to find places to stay or hotels)
- Our equipment has to remain safe from theft

We kinda need a vehicle where one of us can sleep in it overnight along with the equipment in case we don't have access to a safe place at night (hotels are expensive) to bring our stuff inside. And again it's super heavy, so even if we do have a hotel or someone's house that's safe we really still would prefer to leave stuff in the vehicle.

There's only 3 of us, we're all women, I'm an athlete and I'm strong but it is very tiring even for me to move all our stuff. We have 3 guitars, a PA (very heavy electronic equipment rack type metal box), PA speaker cabinet, bass guitar speaker cabinet, large heavy crate with random stuff inside (fog machine, pedal boards, bass amp head, wires, etc), 2x12 combo guitar amp, 4x12 guitar amp cabinet, and an amp head for that cabinet. Also merch and like each of us takes a small bag or backpack for clothes, toothbrush, etc.

Cheapest Option:
- Do nothing, stick with the Mazda 5 minivan

2nd Cheapest Option:
- Get a cap for the bed of the F-250
- Have someone sleep in there

The thing with the F-250 is diesel is expensive and it probably only gets about 11 or 12 miles to the gallon. We could do some mods to it, but at the end of the day the low gearing is not going to ever allow it to be a fuel efficient vehicle.

If we were to get like another old beat up vehicle of some kind does anyone have suggestions as to what we should be looking for? School Buses would work for example, but their fuel economy will still be crap. A used Ford Transit might work but I never see on craig's list one cheap enough to justify.

Anyone have any ideas?

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