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Family MTB van recommendations

PB Forum :: United Kingdom
Family MTB van recommendations
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Posted: May 1, 2021 at 8:41 Quote
I've looked through the forums for the past two weeks and seen plenty of advice for people looking for the best vehicle for MTB but some are a few years out of date so I thought I'd ask again. I need a family vehicle that can fit 4 people, 4 MTBs and a bunch of the kit. I want all bikes inside (i.e. not rack) and safely secured. Happy to take off front wheels but no further disassembly. Got to be comfortable to drive and reliable but wary of the currently overpriced options out there at the moment (i.e vw transporter).

I'm thinking that a SWB is not an option but happy to be proved wrong. Wife wants/ needs automatic and parking sensors but I might be able to convince her to manage manual.

I like the idea of a Vito perhaps, but not sure if L2 would be big enough. Pretty pricey as well at around £20-22K for a 3 year old with decent mileage. Anyone using a V Class able to fit 4 MTBs in the back?

Both are cheaper option than the equivalent VW right now - looking at minimum £26K for a 5 year shuttle LWB with 40K miles which seems too much to pay right now.

Any suggestions, pics or even sales, I'd be happy to hear!


Posted: May 5, 2021 at 18:27 Quote
could you buy an old walfare/crew/mess van? then rip out some of the stuff in the back? they usually have 4 seats in the back with belts fitted and heaters/hot water/240V etc..

id be tempted by a medium or a high roof so you can stand up easily inside but then you have to watch out for height restrictions on car parks.

if you want massive then an Iveco daily or a sprinter is your best bet. or a MAN TGE but im not on their prices.
my friend has an automatic Vauxhall vivaro with a row of 4 seats in the back and windows in the sliding doors.
personally I would see if the bikes would fit sideways in the van with the front wheel removed. then I would build a lift up platform that could span the gap above them. id probably use an ottoman bed frame mechanism.

Posted: Jun 10, 2021 at 5:18 Quote
You're probably not going to like the answer, but there's a reason that every other space in the car park at any trail centre has a VW Transporter in...

I've got a SWB, and fit our family of 4 and our bikes in without taking wheels off. But my kids are 5 and 2, and the biggest bike is a size M frame. I also use it as my daily driver.

Posted: Aug 3, 2021 at 13:54 Quote
my work van is a VW transporter LWB with DSG T6. its at 3.2 tonnes all day long and then towing as well, its pretty sturdy.

the vitos are godawful, some of the other lads have them as thier work van and they feel sick driving them, same as transit customs, they both have solid rear beam axles.

transporters are expensive, but, they hold thier value incredibly well, its worth paying 26K for a decent van and it being worth 22k after 5 years than a vito which will more than half.

best place to look are ex-british gas, ex-rac, ex-aa vans as theyre usually service planned, and i know for a fact that all 3 are looked after metidulously, the british gas vans are looked after as an off the road van means a day off to them, other two its like thier baby... at least i treat mine like it is.

depends if you can put up with it being orange yellow or blue.

converting to kombis is easy, so is adding glass. cut and stick literally.

or a caddy maxi life.

Posted: Dec 5, 2021 at 23:57 Quote
Apologies to those that posted replies - I didn't get notifications so belated thanks to those who did reply. Wanted to follow up:

Ended up buying a 3yr old Mercedes V-Class (X-Long) with 18K on the clock. It had 8 seats (2 + 3 + 3) but I've taken out the back 3 as we have storage and only use them 3-4 times a year. The rest of the time, it's a 5 seater with enough space to comfortably sit 5 adult bikes (front wheels removed) or I can get my bike in, the kids bikes (2) and a bunch of camping stuff without any problem.
It's been absolutely fantastic and we love it. We ended up down this route as back in May, there was still an excess of these around as they are used as premium airport taxi buses which obviously became redundant and the supply outstripped demand so I got mine for £29K. The equivalent VW transporter with similar spec and mileage was £38K.

However, since then, they've dried up and the equivalent spec on Autotrader is now costing £40-45K. I checked on webuyanycar who would give me £40K for mine - never had that with a car before but doesn't do me much good as I'm not looking to get rid of it any time soon.

The spec is fantastic (heated front seats, electric side doors and boot), leather all round. I also get over 40 mpg (I drive it conservatively) which was a big surprise. Would I pay £45K for one? No - couldn't and wouldn't but anyone looking at a similar decision, I'd advise as much research as you can stand. VW clearly hold their values but were going for 25% more than usual back in may. A 3yr, low mileage Merc V Class at £45K will most likely lose £10K in its first year. If both are still at elevated prices, the other option I considered was a 1yr or 2yr old Vauxhall Vivaro - the new models are looking very nice and losing most of their value in the first year. There are Peugeot and Citreon equivalents as well so shop around. It's also worth using webuyanycar before you purchase to see how much it would give you so you have an indication of what you might lose.

We got lucky and have now got an MTB/ family/ holiday van that will see us through the kids childhoods. After that we might get it converted to a camper!

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