I’m at a personal empasse with my next vehicle purchase.
Right now I have a 2001 Sienna stuffed with WC and screen repair equipment, and I’m having to tow a 5x8 enclosed PW trailer around for those days we have everything going on.
Here are my thoughts:
Newer Sienna, better brakes and lower roof rack height. Good power and decent braking. Cons are FWD not ideal for towing and liftgate opens up instead of sideways. Back end rides soft without helper springs.
Chevy Express, awesome room and space for shelves etc. Long lifespan, huge ‘billboard’ for logo. Can tow a trailer. Cons, high roof, limited visibility (traffic is dumb here), turning radius.
Truck…very limited capacity, but can tow pretty much anything. That’s all I know.
I know the feeling. Turning radius makes a big difference when towing. We have a short base SUV that works well for us as most resi places have tight spaces.
When I worked for a rental car company, as a vendor, they provided a vehicle to use when I would tour my region. I loved a van as they were good on milage, hauled loads of anything, and didn’t get pushed by the wind much. I did not tow anything with one. I did get to use a Nissan N3000 (cargo type unit) that was worse in the wind than kite in a hurricane.
Have you considered a Kamaz truck? Loads of billboard space, great towing capacity, just a tall roof rack height.
That is a really tough question. I don’t think the perfect all around vehicle has been invented yet.
I really like my Tacoma, but I don’t think it’d work if I also did mobile screen repair. I would need some big rack on top of everything to store the supplies, I guess.
I like the old Toyota HiAce as well as the extended Dyna cabs, with the flatbeds. But it probably wouldn’t be practical for a business vehicle. If it breaks down, locating parts could be a real pain, and you’d probably be stuck doing the work yourself.
I probably spent months if not longer on this concept. If you’re going to be towing a trailer, I’d say first or second gen crew cab Tundras are very capable vehicles with large cab space. I have the 2006 double cab and took off the back seats. All the window tools except the RO cart fit in pretty nicely. And they are very reliable. With the Limited trim, it drives like a luxury SUV. I think used car price took a hit recently, too, you should be able to pick up a rust free lower mileage one south of $10,000.
If you want to ditch the trailer and get really mobile, then you’re forced to look into something past half ton which Toyota doest make yet. Ford F250 or GMC 2500, pick your poison I guess. Either way, I’d go for the crew cab with a long bed, so you have plenty of cab space for things that should stay dry. I think you can do regular bed, flat bed, or utility bed as long as it’s a true crew cab.
I guess I haven’t posted my latest setup in PWR yet since I’m still tinkering with some things, but I got 8 gpm PW, 12v SW, wfp, and trad window gear on my Tundra, no trailer. I got everything in since I don’t do much On-site screen repair. I just carry a roll of mesh in case they have one or two. If there’s more ($100+), I bring them home. If I were to do it again, I’d go with a F250 so I can haul water and I can use my Tundra for fun stuff. Once we move to a place with a garage, then a trailer would work, but that’s not an option for me right now, and I really love how easy it is to get around without a trailer.
I recommend vans. I have a Chevy express extended van with a ladder rack on top. The roof is not as high as you’d think. It’s under 9’ for sure. I can make it through most drive throughs like the bank or fast food places. Most parking garages are not accessible but some are. Visibility isn’t that bad, but I’m used to it. You can always get one with windows on the side and back and I think all newer ones come with back up cameras or you can install an aftermarket one.
Even better is a box truck, but obviously the roof is higher. My 10’ box truck has the same footprint as my extended Express van. I can fit 2-50 gallon water tanks, a 65 gallon water tank, pressure washer, water fed pole system, my Fat Boy Bandit, a couple hose reels, a set of stack ladders, a few other step ladders, and way more inside of it. The best part is being able to stand up in it and everything stays dry and protected from the elements and spying eyes.
Can’t wait to see what you decide on. The vehicle builds are some of my favorite threads to read.
We carry about 30 gallons and just start filling up the 200 gal buffer tank first thing when we get to the job site. If we’re doing big flat work, we have to wait on water time to time, but for the most part it works.
Oh ok , so you have a 200 gallon buffer. Gotch ya ! Ya I have a 200 gallon buffer , an a 8gpm on my F-250 It’s been great coming from a 4GPM , but I have had problems keeping up on certain places where the Water source isn’t as strong.
Sux waiting for the tank to fill up , but I guess a break isn’t so bad.