Does it Exist? Newer AWD Tall-Wagon Van Thing You can Sleep In

Small on the outside but big enough to hold a 10' kayak inside? I think that's Tardis territory. I would think a kayak dripping with water is reason to carry it OUTSIDE rather than in your living space.

AWD Siennas don't come with spare tires, but it's easy to throw one in back. The 2004-2010 even have a spot behind the 3rd row exactly for that.

-Mike

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

Star Stuff

New member
Small on the outside but big enough to hold a 10' kayak inside? I think that's Tardis territory. I would think a kayak dripping with water is reason to carry it OUTSIDE rather than in your living space.
Trips with the kayak are almost always very short, so I don't mind having it hang out the back with the door left open. I may wind-up getting some sort of roof rack, but it sure is nice & easy to just throw it in the back, like I do with the Ranger.


AWD Siennas don't come with spare tires, but it's easy to throw one in back. The 2004-2010 even have a spot behind the 3rd row exactly for that.
I wouldn't want a spare inside, consuming sleeping/storage space, but thanks for the recommendation.
 

Star Stuff

New member
Where do you find an astro that doesn't have half a million clicks on it?
I forgot to mention, I also found a MINT 2005 Astro (2WD) here with 93,000 KM (57,800 mi) on it, but the dealership is asking too much IMO ($11,000) - said his lowest price was $10,500.00 Canadian.
 

Recommended books for Overlanding

Lovetheworld

Active member
Yeah this is the territory of Japanese vans you are not getting. Onky 25 year old ones imported.

For VW it is only the T3 Syncro that has any relevance, but that is overpriced with shitty engines.
 

Grassland

Well-known member
That's some low clicks for an Astro.
In the early 2000s I almost bought one. Always fighting with painters and plumbers for them, good size, heavier duty than a mini van, and AWD.

I'm going to pull up specs but I doubt an astro is much smaller than a short wheelbase Transit 150.

Edit: well look at that, short Transit is 27"+ longer overall
 

Rovertrader

Supporting Sponsor
Look at a VW Atlas AWD- not sure how ‘newer’ you are looking, but I have been well pleased with mine. I have 32’s w/ 1.5” lift ( same as lifted LR3) . The traction/AWD system has been suprisingly good, and am on the search for some belly skids. Can easily sleep inside at 6’-3”.
Worth a look/see!
 

Star Stuff

New member
Just got home now from looking at the '05 Astro AWD. The dark brake & trans fluid (known from the professionally done pre-purchase inspection) were indications of poor maintenance, but when I inspected the inside of the radiator cap, that confirmed that this van was not well maintained – it was all grungy looking. AC didn't work.

The cab interior color was blue! I thought they were all grey or tan (especially in a white van) so this was odd looking, but would have been acceptable if everything else had checked out. Unfortunately the cargo area was VERY scratched up, requiring a full painting or bed-liner coating – not cheap.

I went for a good test drive, and it seemed ok, a little less boat-like than the other two I drove, perhaps because it was the newer model (‘03 to ’05)? I had the feeling that I could live with it, especially when new, carefully selected tires and shocks would improve the ride.

Unfortunately the body exterior had so many dents, scratches and obviously poorly done repair areas – complete with 3 big dents in the roof, and the side panels (where the optional side glass windows would be) were full of little reverse dents from items striking it from the inside. This alone forced me to pass on the purchase. Even if I had fixed up all the other things like new bumpers, tires, engine & trans servicing, new windshield etc, I would still be left with that body full of dents, scratches and dings all over, requiring an expensive visit to the body shop. It just needed too much money thrown at it.

The other ’05 2WD one I found online with 93,000 km on it sure seems appealing now, but no AWD, and $10,500.00


The search continues!
 
Last edited:

mobydick 11

Active member
So would a 2000 Astro AWD with around 200,000 miles be considered worn out ? Or worth putting some money into ? They say it just needs front brakes and tires ,and runs good .Just looking for something to do quick and easy camping trips .
 

Paddler Ed

Adventurer
Mercedes R-Class? They're sort of forgotten about really.

Although what I think you want is a raised VW Caddy van from Europe/Australia, or a Dengel converted PSA van.
 

Toyaddict

Member
I've been happy with the results from adding or upgrading just the rear sway bar on a few of my vehicles. Amazing what different load ratings and pressures on the tires will do for handling too. Seems like every higher mileage vehicle I've owned had oe shocks still, not sure how people live with the boatish ride so long.
 

Star Stuff

New member
So would a 2000 Astro AWD with around 200,000 miles be considered worn out ? Or worth putting some money into ? They say it just needs front brakes and tires, and runs good.
That's 322,000 km, so yes, too "used" for me. Also, I think I've decided on the '03 to '05 versions, as they have the larger 16" wheels (vs 15" on all previous years), plus disc brakes on the rear, and likely a few other improvements like injectors and the like.

I’m now reconsidering that mint one I found with 93,000 km at a dealership. He said $10,500 was his lowest dollar on that, but I bet he might take $9K for it in these desperate times. On one hand, it’s not AWD, but on the other hand, how often would I really need that, and there’s less to go wrong/maintain with 2WD, and likely better fuel mileage too. I would still lift it 2” and get bigger tires, so off-road capabilities would probably not be too bad – my Ranger is 2WD, albeit with a limited slip diff, but it does pretty well, although, I don't think the Astro/Safari 2WD have any kind of posi-traction, so maybe it would suck, I dunno.

So much to consider, but I have to remember that I was previously considering vehicles that were much more expensive, so why does my brain suddenly protest at $10K? Probably because the price is more than what I’ve been recently considering with the other Astro/Safari vans which are in poorer condition. Funny how the mind works.
 

Recommended books for Overlanding

Vehicle-dependent Expedition Guide
by Tom Sheppard
From $136.95
Build Your Own Motorcaravan, Build Your Own Overland Camp...
by hn Wickersham , even Wigglesworth
From $44.99
Motorcycle Messengers: Tales from the Road by Writers who...
by Lois Pryce, Mark Richardson, Carla King, Sam Manic...
From $9.99

Star Stuff

New member
What about these AWD rigs? All found in the western US on CraigsList this past week...
A little bit too large for my wants, but also, I'm located in Canada, so too much grief bringing those across the border, especially now with the Covid-19 situation. Thanks though!
 
Top