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Next Surf Rig

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Next Surf Rig

Postby Tex » Wed Jun 21, 2023 7:20 am

So the grom wants to surf once a week over the summer, that means it's time to explore surf rig options.
I have been checking out Ford Transits, Chevy Astros and Honda Elements. I found a pretty sweet 2000 Astro with 64k miles with nice blue carpet and interior. They want $11,999 which CARFAX has listed as a fair price. Anyway, the only van I ever had was the Toyota Van...so curious if anyone has experience/recommendations with the Astro. We can slap a full queen mattress in that bad boy which is pretty sweet!
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Re: Next Surf Rig

Postby Major Lazer » Thu Jun 22, 2023 9:05 am

So its the #vanlife you're after, huh? The Shortsands culture is really getting to you :lol: What's your budget?

Looking for a rig you can sleep in I gather? A van you want to convert or is already converted to camper? Or just need a bed? Maybe be listing mine here soon, but will be trying to get top dollar. Sorry no bro deals...... :lol:

As for Astro, decent alternative and #onelesssprinter-transit-promaster-cargovan! There are some AWD models out there and plenty of camper van conversions have been done in them. My only experience is when my buddy had one in Kauai and we drove around the island surfing and camping. Was pretty spartan, no build out, but seats were ripped out and he and his dog would sleep in there. I mean what more do you need. People get way to carried away thes days with this stupid build outs they only use half a dozen times a year. All and all not sure about Chevys thou.
Last edited by Major Lazer on Thu Jun 22, 2023 9:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Next Surf Rig

Postby Tex » Thu Jun 22, 2023 9:14 am

Hey ML,

Yeah, I have about $12k in the budget for a new rig. I like seats I can pull out for laying out the mats.

Totally understand wanting full market value, trying to get that for my VW E-Golf right now ;)

What are the deets on your ride?
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Re: Next Surf Rig

Postby Major Lazer » Thu Jun 22, 2023 9:36 am

OK that's plenty. I've had an 02 EV Weekender since 06 and kept it mostly stock other than suspension upgrade and swivel captains seat and a few other things. Just hit 200K. Inflation and single income with 2 hungry kidos has taxed us and don't really have the dough to keep up with it anymore. Not that its a money pit, but its a 20 YO rig so..... Girls have grown up adventuring in it, but as they get older not as interested in camping. It's certainly netted me a shite ton of waves over the years up and down the coast esp with numerous friends with beach homes these days and places to park. I'd look at Toyota Sienna or Honda Odyssey. That is if you can get past the mini van stigma, I mean why not. Better than looking like a douche in your converted cargo van :lol: With your budget, you would be able to get something good around mid to late 2G's and 100K on those rigs is nothing esp if timing belt is done, note some years have timing chain which is better. Would prob have some extra dough for rack, cargo box which Id recommend, window tinting, and bed build out. Tons of good examples on You Tube.
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Re: Next Surf Rig

Postby Tex » Thu Jun 22, 2023 10:01 am

Yeah, my younger self would be jumping on an old EV but my best friend had one and lived the dream for about a month before the mechanical mayhem started, consider me scarred. My 17 yr old cannot wrap his brain around a mini van even though I agree, fully capable for camping and reliability is awesome. its gotta be low miles, minimize repair costs, and somewhat cool.....still not sold on the Astro Van yet, but it certainly checks a bunch of boxes.
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Re: Next Surf Rig

Postby Major Lazer » Thu Jun 22, 2023 10:36 am

Anything over fifteen or twenty years old, even with low mileage, is going to yield some annual maintenance and repair costs. Plus parts can be hard to get esp for models that are no longer being made. Any rig will need a fair amount of maintenance around 80K as that is typically the mileage a big tune up is done. That's why 100K can sometimes be better than 80K if all of that work is done and can be proved. Good thing about minivans are there are a shite ton of them and used parts can always be found. If you wanted to spend more, or cop a loan, check out the Mercedes Metris vans. And if you want to take it to next level, Peace Vans up in Seattle does up pop up conversions. Additionally Mercedes is or was supposed to be bringing the Metris Weekend Camper to market, which is pretty much the modern equivalent of the EV Weekender a popup without all the kitchen stuff, which you really don't need.
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Re: Next Surf Rig

Postby Doc » Fri Jun 23, 2023 6:11 pm

My 10'6" Frye Eagle fits inside a Dodge Grand Caravan...
And coincidentally, inside both Subaru Outbacks & Foresters.
Can't speak to the Astrovan other than that when I used to drive one...
It was hellishly uncomfortable.
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Re: Next Surf Rig

Postby Tex » Mon Jun 26, 2023 9:53 am

Man that is very helpful insight, in the moment, those bucket seats look fun up front but now that you say it, the foot room in the front is pretty brutal. Moving in the Element direction this week....worried about CAT theft....but other than that....
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Re: Next Surf Rig

Postby Major Lazer » Thu Jul 06, 2023 1:01 pm

You can have a CAT guard installed. Or put bunch of small thin nails in a sheet of plywood and slide it under your rig when its parked.
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Re: Next Surf Rig

Postby Tex » Sun Jul 09, 2023 6:12 pm

well guys, my current Mazda CX-5 has now become my surf rig....at the end of the day, I did not have the mechanical aptitude or the budget to go full on #vanlife. Checked a lot of cars on lots that looked bright and shiny but once my mechanic looked at them, they avg. about $4k-$5k in repairs. Also, its a sellers market right now, dealers asking for over $10k on vehicle with over 150,000 miles. I don't care it its a Tacoma or whatever, I am still not dropping that kind of dough and then be prepared for another $5k in repairs. I have to say, I did test drive a new Honda Ridgeline, wow, that was pretty bad @ss. Will have to save up a couple yrs to get into one of those bad boys.
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Re: Next Surf Rig

Postby Hey Kunce! » Wed Jul 12, 2023 12:20 pm

What is the max length board you kunce would rig up to your bike on one of those board racks?

Pretty windy around here, eh kunce?

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Re: Next Surf Rig

Postby Major Lazer » Wed Jul 12, 2023 1:14 pm

Bummer but sounds like you did your research and learned a lot, which will benefit when you do decide to make the purchase. Still a sellers market for sure, but has gotten a bit better that is was in 2020-2012. So stoked I picked up a low mileage honda sedan just before the pandemic for 3G! I am having a hard time even seeing any of the AWD Sienna's that pop up on the used market as they sell like that! I think when I get more serious I will start looking up in the Puget as well. They seem to be popular given the only AWD passenger van option. Even the PA LIB filmer legend Stantec rolls one as a surf/snow rig who knows how to roll low key!

Just heard Mercedes is discontinuing the Metris van and there are about 100 left. Peace Vans in Seattle is taking orders right now. I am not sure what the final conversion costs on top of purchasing a new stock van, but I am sure it's up there way above my pay grade. Plenty of tech bros with disposable incomes up there and around here, so I am sure they will go quick. Discontinuation kinda puts a damper on used market making them a commodity like the EV, which I was hoping to maybe tap. What I am really hoping for now is that they go back to doing pop up conversions on other vans as they have only been doing the Metiris for last several years. Would love to get one done on AWD Sienna! Would be sick.

Ridgeline looks good had not seen those. Throw one of those Scout campers on the back and your rollin 8) Really do like truck and camp over cab option as I want to start spending some time in Baja every winter for a month or so. Tacomas and all Toys are cray expensive now compared to 90s when they were the affordable truck option. Had an 22RE X-Cab and OG 4 Runner. Those Tacomas gussle gas too and at 5 bones a gallon no thanks. I really need to win the lottery or cash out of Gotham and move somewhere more affordable with my equity.
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Re: Next Surf Rig

Postby Tex » Wed Jul 12, 2023 3:40 pm

ML, I got to tour a Metris up on Orcas Island. The owner was all too happy to share her set up. That rig is gorgeous. Perfect size, well designed. Not sure what prices will go for but they sure are purty!

I had not a clue that Puget was still in biz?!?!? Who knows, maybe SAAB will be coming out with a big van rig lol!

I just wonder what the HELL these folks who are rolling ginormous Mercedes Vans with 8 mt bikes strapped to the back do to make dough??? Wonder if they would hire me at their job so I can play with those toys.
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Re: Next Surf Rig

Postby Major Lazer » Thu Jul 13, 2023 9:46 am

The country clubs of the 80s and 90's are now the outdoors esp in PNW. To name a few professions that net that kind of dough:

Tech and Computer Science in Business and E Commerce sectors
Advertising
Marketing and Digital Media
Law
Medical
etc.

Many of us make our own beds at the end of the day..... the money is out there for those motivated and smart enough to grab it. A software engineer with a few years experience out of school can net close 200K and more + bonuses. The young families moving to my/your old hood could be easily netting a quarter mill if not half with a double income. Teach your kids to aim high with their education and get after it! Only going to get more expensive and competitive in the future.
Last edited by Major Lazer on Thu Jul 13, 2023 10:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Next Surf Rig

Postby Major Lazer » Thu Jul 13, 2023 9:48 am

Tex wrote:I had not a clue that Puget was still in biz?!?!?


Meant Puget Sound and extending the vehicle search up there. With double the population seems like more vehicles to look at.
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