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Old 07-05-2008, 12:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Van rental question

I am looking at renting either a 12 passenger or 15 passenger van next year around this time, or borrowing one. I know we cant see the price of fuel next year but which do you think would be more cost effective

12 passenger van with a V-8 ( chevy or ford body)

15 passenger van with a v-8 ( chevy or ford... and no cargo space)

12 passenger dodge sprinter with a 2.7 liter diesel ( with 20" tv, dvd, and ample cargo space)

I am waiting on price quotes right now but I do know the place with the sprinters gives discounts to college and student groups.

Plus, I think I would do some aeromodding to them.. bwhahhaa

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Old 07-05-2008, 05:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Aw, you know we all want you to rent the diesel.



A few years ago when we went to Las Vegas we rented a 15 pax ford with a V10. That baby would burn rubber with 12 pax + luggage! You could watch the gas guage move!
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Old 07-05-2008, 05:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I've spent many long hours in sprinter vans, and they are rather nice and get decent mileage.
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Old 07-05-2008, 06:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The Sprinter's going to give you better FE than either of the others. Price difference aside, you'll come out paying less per mile with the Sprinter.
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Old 07-05-2008, 07:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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How many people/ how much stuff do you need to move? Also, how far are you going? I have taken a 14 hour trip in a fully loaded 12 passenger E-350 Diesel, it was not fun. I would go for some creature comfort over FE if its a long trip.
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Old 07-05-2008, 08:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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First, (if I may ask) -- how many passengers, cargo, and the goal (transport only, camping, etc.) ???

I'd love to drive (or even ride in) a Sprinter diesel for the experience I agree -- it will give you much better FE (but...)

With the features you mentioned, it may be costly to rent (also figuring a prediction of the added cost of Diesel fuel).

It all depends on the one you need and can get.

Chevy Options:

The Chevy 1/2-ton (LS 1500) comes in a 5.3L rated 12/16 MPG, but at only 8-pax.
Then the 3/4-ton (LS 2500) and 1-ton (LS 3500) bumps the engine up to a 6.0L (and 12-15 pax). Likely low teens (EPA not required to rate).
Avoid AWD.

Ford options:

The E-150 hauls 8 with a 4.6L V-8. The 12-15 pax model (E-350 SD) is now a "Super Duty" model with the base 5.4L V-8 or the V-10. The 5.4 carried a 4000-lb payload in a moving truck quite well during a move this past year. 9 MPG, but plenty of power. They make a diesel version, but I havent seen any for rent.

Comfort:

The Chevy/GMC may offer more comfort -- the Ford can get pretty basic (and the 1965 technology of the twin I-Beam front suspension can get keep you busy at the wheel. I drove a fleet of '93 non-turbo Diesel Ambulance conversions for many 1000's of miles). I drove a Chevy Van recently and it was much more comfortable the Ford's I've rented.

Just be glad they don't make the Dodge 15-pass van anymore. Yikes...

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Old 07-06-2008, 12:39 AM   #7 (permalink)
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the sprinters going to win hands down for FE no doubt about it i have heard first hand reports of them getting 30mpg hiway out of the sprinters.. thats phenomenal for a full size van!

Not to mention you could go with biodiesel and go really green

I did ride in one that was kind of a mini bus.. decked out for a hotel transport vehical, it was a very comfortable ride more car like than a van , the diesel was super quiet also didnt sound like a truck.. very comfortable ride and was very quite like a car...

I own a e-350 diesel and it only gets about 18mpg.. it had gears for hauling heavy loads.. my e-150 302 v8 gasser got about the same for MPG's but is geared for a passenger van.
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Old 07-06-2008, 12:58 AM   #8 (permalink)
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well, got a quote for the sprinter, they want 3k for the same amount of time we would use like a chevy van. We are also considering taking two cars/SUV's. If we take our own cars, I want to take mine since it gets 30 on the highway, can haul a good amount of cargo, and with my soon to be created aeromods, should get more than 30! denver is 1800 miles away


we will be carrying at minimum, 8 people and luggage. I am putting a strict size limit on the luggage allowed. One girl brings like her entire wardrobe, if so she can rent a semi and bring it for all I care
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Old 07-06-2008, 01:09 AM   #9 (permalink)
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In that case, this is what I would do...

2 Chevy Uplander Mini-Vans would do it. (3.9L V-6)

In a recent rental experience (KC - Omaha /with city driving/ - KC) with significan headwinds and inclement weather, with 5 passengers and luggage, full A/C, at 70+ MPH, the average was 22.5 MPG. GM's low RPM V-6 final gear transmission setup is great for the highway. Much better than Chrysler, Dodge, or Ford Minivans (closer to 18 as tested). Drop your speed, and expect much higher...

Depending on the number of Pax, I'd start with the Mini's...

-Rick
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Old 07-06-2008, 01:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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How about some more info...

# pax
luggage?
how far?
how long?
stopping in between?
lots of local travel at destination?

Spill your guts.

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