SUV vs Minivan

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SUV vs Minivan

Postby VultureChow » Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:43 pm

I rented an SUV last year and things were a bit tight since I didn't use a bike rack. My art project will be in quite a larger box this year, so space is key. A box truck is too big. A van would have been perfect, but the Budget on Gentry doesn't have those.

Which do you think provides more space? A minivan or an SUV?
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Re: SUV vs Minivan

Postby Bounce530 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:55 pm

The minivan for sure.
I have a Expedition for my daily driver, but use a Dodge Caravan for BM.
The Caravan has way more space then my Expedition. Not to mention the fuel savings.
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Re: SUV vs Minivan

Postby trilobyte » Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:28 pm

Minivans offer more space, though of course not as much space as a cargo van. You may want to check with your rental company (or consider shopping around with other rental companies) to see if they've got the right vehicle you're looking for.
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Re: SUV vs Minivan

Postby illy dilly » Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:42 pm

If you rent a mini-van, will it come with all the seats in it?
Do you think the rental place would take them out and store them for you? The place on Gentry way seems pretty great and more accommodating to burners than other joints.

Then again, I think most minivan seats all fold up and in on themselves now a days right?

Anyway, yeah, minivans have a ton of space!
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Re: SUV vs Minivan

Postby VultureChow » Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:57 pm

Thanks. I think mini van is the way to go then. I used Enterprise last year and went through the whole farce of pretending that I wasn't going to the playa. Did well enough at the car wash that they guy looked super confused when he hit the seats and no cloud of dust came up. Opened the hood, but I had been forewarned and had the engine cleaned.

I'd use them again, but am paranoid that they have some note on my account. The last thing I want to have happen is to get out there and have my reservation canceled.
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Re: SUV vs Minivan

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:23 pm

Okay, from what I've heard (from their chief cheerleader, junglesmacks) you don't have to fear the Gentry Way Budget. Consider calling and talking about vans and seats.
I have a Grand Caravan conversion. The second row off seats were taken out for the conversion. The third row is pretty much part of the van. It's an early to mid-90s vintage. That seats that fold into the floor thing may not have been standard until later.
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Re: SUV vs Minivan

Postby VultureChow » Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:06 am

The Budget on Gentry is trucks only. I already asked them about a cargo van. No go. The smallest vehicle is the 10 ft box truck. Way too big for what I need.

Anyone here have an experience, positive or negative doing car rental year after year?
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Re: SUV vs Minivan

Postby trilobyte » Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:17 am

Over the years my campmates have rented dozens of vehicles of various make/model. Just make sure you turn off any a/c and set any vent blower to recirculate the air (if you have the option) before you get off the playa, then take the vehicle to get a really great car wash (whatever passes for the works, interior and exterior), and you should be fine.
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Re: SUV vs Minivan

Postby TomServo » Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:26 am

Cargo van! Buy one at auction, or rent one from another company. Worse on gas, but better on cleaning and hauling.
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Re: SUV vs Minivan

Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:26 pm

I wonder if it's worth asking the gentry-budget to recommend someone...
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Re: SUV vs Minivan

Postby Ugly Dougly » Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:26 pm

I'd buy a used SUV and rent a trailer, which is what I will eventually do...
Keep the SUV for other special occasions as well.
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Re: SUV vs Minivan

Postby Rice » Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:41 pm

Ugly Dougly wrote:I'd buy a used SUV and rent a trailer, which is what I will eventually do...
Keep the SUV for other special occasions as well.

A full-sized mini-van is indeed larger than your average SUV.

When I drive down now I take my SUV and haul a 15 foot enclosed trailer. This gives me more room that I need :)

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Re: SUV vs Minivan

Postby VultureChow » Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:30 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:I wonder if it's worth asking the gentry-budget to recommend someone...


That is a spectacular idea.

I should clarify. I fly in and ship two or three boxes. So purchase isn't an option.

Last year I used my Amex for the car reservation and called the travel concierge and let them know I was concerned about my car being canceled at the last minute. Amex is very good at sticking up for the cardholder and making things happen.
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Re: SUV vs Minivan

Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:50 pm

Dougly and Rice
Not everyone should tow. I'm sure you've seen some that shouldn't on 447. I don't know where VultureChow is on the continuum, but she's not the only one who will read this.
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Re: SUV vs Minivan

Postby Rice » Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:46 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:Dougly and Rice
Not everyone should tow. I'm sure you've seen some that shouldn't on 447. I don't know where VultureChow is on the continuum, but she's not the only one who will read this.

true enough, towing a trailer is not for everyone!! Inexperience in this case is dangerous. I grew up on single lane highways, have towed trailers for decades... Probably 1/2 of the people hauling trailers to Burning Man have hardly ever driven on a single lane highway, let alone hauled a trailer. - Certainly not the time to learn!!

Winter driving when pulling a trailer has taught me a lot about caution and consequences. Not to mention the dulling of reflexes after driving for 12 hrs straight.
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Re: SUV vs Minivan

Postby junglesmacks » Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:15 am

What about a smaller, 10' box truck from our friends on Gentry Way? No need for the rental car stress and cleaning, reasonably priced, good on gas, plenty of space, easy to drive since its small, etc.

Slight overkill on the space isn't totally a bad thing. I'm betting that you'll be happy to have the extra flexibility in the end both in transport and on playa.
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Re: SUV vs Minivan

Postby VultureChow » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:33 am

I think I'd be nervous driving the 10-ft truck.

I'm coming out a day earlier than last year. I was rushing around Reno to get out the the playa early and overextended myself. As tired as I was, I should not have been driving. I'm trying to avoid that this year. If I can get early entry, worst case scenario is I have to make two trips to drop off the art. Or beg space from someone else.
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Re: SUV vs Minivan

Postby illy dilly » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:05 am

Just throwing it out there as a reminder, 10' box trucks are basically just cargo vans with a different caboose on them.
Often time suspension is beefed up a bit, but other wise they are basically E-350's.
They will handle very similar to a Cargo van, except that side winds will be a bit more dramatic.

Go slow, take your time, and always park far out in the parking lots.

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Re: SUV vs Minivan

Postby Rice » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:02 pm

VultureChow wrote:I think I'd be nervous driving the 10-ft truck.

I'm coming out a day earlier than last year. I was rushing around Reno to get out the the playa early and overextended myself. As tired as I was, I should not have been driving. I'm trying to avoid that this year. If I can get early entry, worst case scenario is I have to make two trips to drop off the art. Or beg space from someone else.

You are wise to add a day to your BM trip, getting to Reno a day early will greatly reduce your prep & stress. (Not to mention allowing you a night just to relax before driving up.)

As far as the 10 Ft truck goes - it boils down to driving what you feel comfortable... Whatever you decide to drive, take your time - leave lots of room when driving on the highway and do not expect the trip to Gerlach to take exactly 1 hr and 58 minutes - plan for a 3 hr trip and just enjoy the drive :D

(Try making that run from Reno to Gerlach after driving 2700 Km (1677 Miles)... {smirk} that last two + hours is a cakewalk compared to the 22 hours it took to get to Reno ;))
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Re: SUV vs Minivan

Postby VultureChow » Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:40 am

Rice wrote:
(Try making that run from Reno to Gerlach after driving 2700 Km (1677 Miles)... {smirk} that last two + hours is a cakewalk compared to the 22 hours it took to get to Reno ;))


Ouchies. Last year I flew out of New Jersey. Left my home at 4am. Arrived in Reno around noon. Drove around like a maniac buying everything I needed and throwing it willy nilly into the rented SUV. Took a shower at the Sands, ate a last meal and drove off. Hit the dust around midnight but got caught in that bizarre 3 hour line at gate. Pissed in an empty starbucks cup in my car because I was too timid to ask to use somone's RV and every time I tried to walk to a potty, the line would inch forward a few cars.

Found my spot sometime around 3:30am and slept in the front seat of my car. In that manic sort of way you get when that tired, I was positive that I was making the biggest mistake of my life, that i was either going to die or just sit sobbing for the entire week. Three hours later I stumbled out of the car. Someone handed me a slice of bacon and a jello shot and all was right in the world.


Minivan seems like the method for me. I'll have more tiem to figure out how to pack everything in and theoretically less waste than last year.
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Re: SUV vs Minivan

Postby VultureChow » Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:23 am

Hate to revive this one, but...

I had just decided to go with the 10' after I saw how small one was on the highway. But the rules have changed over at Budget Truck, and it may be too expense for me now, so new question:

Minivan or pickup truck?
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Re: SUV vs Minivan

Postby aserendipity » Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:24 am

Done it both ways and then some
my fav was
The biggest baddest Dodge truck rental and then you have the 4 by for in case of need
and get some PVC pipe to set up in the back with a tarp and bungies anything can be made
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Re: SUV vs Minivan

Postby aserendipity » Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:32 am

and I forgot to mention that it turned me from a NYC Sparklepony into a singing truck driver forever
so easy and fun
when serious storms came up tightening the tarps around the bedding
keeping the bins of other always under the truck and tarped
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Re: SUV vs Minivan

Postby Dr. Pyro » Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:44 am

VC, if you fly into Sacramento, the owner of the Budget/Avis dealership is not only a friend of mine but is very burner-friendly. I have posted this in the past and people seem pretty happy with what he can offer in the way of minivans. Remove the two back seats (if you choose) and you should have plenty of space, at least for one person. It's a little tight for two, but that's another problem for another day. You know how to get ahold of me if you wish to persue that avenue.
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Re: SUV vs Minivan

Postby Earthwalker » Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:56 am

We'll be coming in a MV (Honda Odyssey). One thing to keep in mind is that on the Hondas you have to actually REMOVE the two middle/captains seats (they prefer to have a lower profile on their vehicle than they would otherwise if they allowed for the seat storage). Unlike the Dodge/Chrysler models you can NOT fold them down into the floor. You can fold the back bench seat down flat, but you may not want to since doing so blocks the deep well that can be used for storage.

That said, it seems like most rental places use the cheaper Dodge/Chryslers, so this may be a moot point.

Good luck! :mrgreen:
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Re: SUV vs Minivan

Postby VultureChow » Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:03 pm

Thanks Doc. Unfortunately I already my my flight reservations into Reno.

More than anything I'm concerned about having my car rental canceled at the last minute in Reno, but I don't think that happens much. Is anyone aware of the reservations being canceled?

Far more likely the downside is being charged an exorbitant cleaning fee.
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