1 2 3 4
John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
3/21/21 7:31 a.m.

Yesterday, I drove the wife's van.  First time in a while.  The van now has 50k miles.  

Bought: 5-30-2020 w/ 42,428 miles

Yesterday: 3-20-2021 (first day of Spring!) w/ 50,100 miles

10 days short of 10 months of ownership and 7,672 miles added.  On track for 9,200 miles for the first year.  This jives with my expectations that we would add about 8k miles per year.  Being "the new car" we have admittedly driven this car more often when traveling as a family.  At this pace, 5.5 to 6 more years before we hit 100k miles.  

We have been through our first winter with the Continental tires.  I am very happy to report that they did wonderful in the snow.  The van feels very planted on the snowy/slushy stuff.  Across all conditions, I have been very happy with the Continental True Contact Tour tires.  

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
6/3/21 6:15 p.m.

Here on June 3rd, we have had the van for 1 year and 4 days.  

Bought at 42,428 miles

Now at 52,067 miles

9,639 miles in the first year, as expected.  

All is good.  Due for a oil change this week before heading out for family vacation to see family in Virginia Beach next week.  Ten hours and 620 miles of travel each way.  Looking at nearly 1500 miles added just next week.  

In reply to John Welsh :

Our 14 T&C was great at doing van stuff. Sadly it just wasn't that good. The electrical & transmission issues were enough to give me a big sigh of relief when it left. 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
6/3/21 9:29 p.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

At what age/milage did the trouble start?

I'm accepting this Mopar van for what it is, a middle quality vehicle,  but I'm hoping to offload it around 100k and expecting to be reasonably trouble free to that point.  At this rate I have 5 more years.  I hope then this 7 year old vehicle with 100k miles will be worth $10k. I bought for $15k ($17k+ with tax and tires right away)

I'd love to see a sub $2k per year combined depreciation and maintenance cost.  Factoring in $7k depreciation in 6 years, that leaves me $5k to put toward repairs in the next 5 years.  Anything less is winning.   

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/3/21 9:48 p.m.

My '08 GC started becoming a bother at around 200K.  The heater hose pipes blew... A/C died... along with a few other things I'm sure I'm forgetting.

The current '17 has 85K.  I bought it with 25.6K back in July, 2018.  I was driving to NH a lot, so it racked up the miles quickly.  30K the first year. 25K the second. But being WFH for most of 2020 and so far through 2021 has cut down the miles a lot.  10K in the last 12 months - a record low for one of my daily drivers (25-30K is the norm for me). 

Repairs have been essentially nil for the last 3 years.  The only part that's failed has been the driver's seat heater, which sux.  When I can have it off the road for an extended period, I'm hoping to diagnose what is broken.  The heated steering wheel still works...  The last payment is next month. Hopefully not an omen... 

According to Edmunds, it's still worth around $12K.  When I get the TDI back on the road and I'm comfortable with it's reliability, I'll put the GC up for sale and start shopping for a Transit 350 PSD and hopefully restart the failed campervan project.

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/4/21 12:04 p.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

Ours had around 130 or 140k on it. I don't believe any of the problems started until after 100k, so hopefully you'll miss all that fun :)

chandler UltimaDork
6/4/21 12:49 p.m.

Our 14 T&C has had one major issue and it was at 85k, one of the seals in the oil filter housing leaked and oil leaked allllll over the place. The valley between the cylinder heads was full of oil; quite the mess although it wasn't much work to fix it. Now at 115k and needing shocks and struts; otherwise it's been roses.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
6/19/21 9:02 a.m.

Last week, we loaded 4 of us (wife, 6 yr daughter, Grammy, and myself) to drive the 10 hour trip to see family in Virginia Beach, VA.  Four people in the 4 bucket seats.  This is the stuff that van like this were made for.  I did all the driving and I gotta say after 11.5 hour of being in the car (with travel stops included) it was a pleasant ride.  These vans do a great job of eating miles.  Sure, they are no Autobahn burner and the high speed handling is wollowy but set the cruise at 76 mph and before you know it...you've arrived.  

Kid and mom in the back seat with ear buds watching their own tablets.  Grammy and I up front with the XM radio pointed to a surprisingly pleasant sounds of the 70's.   Yeah, 11.5 hours of The Carpenters, America, Chuck Magioni, with some real disco thrown in too.  I'd been a long time since I heard a lot of those.  Long time for Grammy too.  

So, what does one do on beach vacation?  


But, I did find that there are a couple of pull your own JYs in the area.  I also found that one had 5 Gen2 Prius on site and one was my desired color.  I was hoping it would have a non-cracked front bumper cover...it did not.  But, I did see this green one had 3 really nice tires, manufactured in mid 2018 (not too old.)   The 4th was there but ruined from the accident.  I thought to myself, if it was 4, I'd get them.  Then, sure enough, one of the other Prius has the exact same Yokohama, manufactured within 6 months of the others 3 in equally great shape.  So, set of four, long wear, 800 treadwear, tires for just $100.  The yard took them off the alloys for me so I only had the tires.   I also scrounged a needed turn signal stalk to replace the one that no longer self cancels, and a better antenna.  
Yes, junkyarding is a vacation activity.  And, a lot of jealousy to y'all in these non-rusty climates!  

The yard did not have the bumper cover I wanted but I also had sourced one via car-part that was in Richmond, VA area.  Right on my way traveling home.  More than I wanted to really spend by $50 at $150 but in the right color.  I have spent about a year trying to find a right color replacement.  Mine has hit a raccoon twice and the second repair is just not that good.  

Here is the magic van traveling home.  Note the 4 tires on the lowest level, wrapped in trash bags.  I was super lucky that the van floor is large enough that these 15" tires all fit flat on the floor.  About 1.5 hours away from V. beach we stop at a full service JY and load in a front bumper cover.  If you look close, the top item is the dark, back side of the bumper cover folded just enough to fit in side to side.  

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
6/19/21 9:16 a.m.

Knowing things could be tight in the cargo area for the return home.  I worked to maximize the cargo hold.  Stow-n-go seats fold into the floor but when you're using the seats, that leaves a very large, empty compartment in the floor.  In this picture I have placed my yellow, soft, duffel that held all my week's clothes.  Next to it is a blue Ikea bag with all the needed sand/beach toys like bucket, shovel, etc.  Not shown but in the other side is a queen size inflatable bed, a kids life jacket and some additional shoes.  


Upon arrival in VBeach and after the 11.5 hours to get there, my mpg after mostly setting the cruise at 76 mph was 25.6

VolvoHeretic GRM+ Memberand Reader
4/28/22 9:21 a.m.
Datsun310Guy said:

Maybe that guy that's leaving the forum is right.  We've become lame - two pages deep talking about mini vans. 

JUST KIDDING!  I have a love/hate relationship with minivans.   Because of this thread I considered getting rid of my Silverado for one.   

Evidently, even the kids like minivans. I had some kid roll down his window and yell out, "Nice Van" the other day. Who knew?

Nice minivan John Welsh, I am going to need to look at those when my 98 Windstar finally gives up the fight.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
4/28/22 9:53 a.m.

This thread got bumped by some pre-spam that I deleted.  But, since were here, some update.... 

The GC just soldiers on.  About 1.5 months short of a year from the last instillment to this thread and the odo just rolled 60k recently.  That means the GC is probably going to have added 8k miles in the year and that is pretty typical for my wife who is a school teacher just 3 miles from home.   Since gas is up, we have been mindful to take a Prius more often for longer trips like going an hour from home.  

Here's my most recent picture of the van from March 

Actually, that 26" bike and my daughters 20" bike can both be easily fit into the interior of the van.  Both bikes stand up with the 26" front tire reaching between the second row seats.  The rack is a cheapo rack that I sourced through a friend of a friend for $25, used.  It can hold up to 4 bike (2 bike version shown) and it tilts away allowing for tailgate opening w/o bike removal.  

With gas prices up, I have been driving my Super Duty very sparingly.  I have given thought that a trailer and a minivan could accomplish most all that I need my pickup for.  Added benefit of much lower loading height too.  Sample:

The GC wont tow what the Super Duty will tow but I have gotten this job done "adequately" and I don't see the need for greater towing in my near future.  

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
5/7/22 3:59 p.m.

I needed to move a Prius 20 miles last week.  The Super Duty was low on gas and the Minivan had a full tank. 

I paid attention and reset the mpg computer in the car for the trip.  23.6 mpg hauling empty tow dolly 20 miles.  17.1 mpg hauling Prius 20 miles. 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
7/14/22 6:46 p.m.

Recent solo travel to NYC and the van loaded with less that 300 lbs. The cruise set to 76/77 mph, the van returned 27.4 mph on tankful runs all at hyw speeds. 

7/15/22 8:44 a.m.

That's impressive mileage for a minivan.

cfvwtuner Reader
7/15/22 9:08 a.m.

Last August I bought a 15 Grand Caravan with 39,500 miles on it.   I got it to fill the 15 year dream of having a weekender camper van.  I built a rock n roll bed setup in the back like a VW Westie.  This March I went from CT to Myrtle Beach and got close to 27mpg.  Last weekend was up to Vermont for West River Westies,  and including some normal driving, and having a Thule roof rack and a 8x8 awning up top, i still averaged 25.5 mpg.   Its a great vehicle to travel in.

eastsideTim UltimaDork
7/15/22 9:11 a.m.

Very impressed with the mileage.  My Mazda5 is much smaller (and slower), and tends to only get around 28-30 MPG on road trips

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
7/15/22 10:00 a.m.

In reply to cfvwtuner :

As detailed in another thread, the Mopar Van served as sleeping accommodations for this 27.4mpg run.  My set-up was just all seats folded and then a 3/4" plywood remnant layed down (40" wide by 68" tall).  Foamy flooring over that and actual sleeping on a single sized air mattress.  

Here is a picture of me somewhere in central PA, off I-80 at about 5:30am, about to get back on the road.  There was another expediter van in front of me when I arrived and the van behind me arrived sometime in the night.  

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
7/15/22 10:05 a.m.
eastsideTim said:

Very impressed with the mileage.  My Mazda5 is much smaller (and slower), and tends to only get around 28-30 MPG on road trips

This Mopar van replaced the 2010 Mazda5 we had for nearly 10 years.  Yes. MPG was not really the Mazda5's strongest point.  But, my wife still mentions missing the Mazda5.  To her, the Mopar is much bigger than she needs.  This becomes most evident to her when navigating something like a Target parking lot.  

I should also add that at the start of this trip, when I reset the mpg calculation, I think it was reading 18 mpg.  This would be lots of city driving and the typical short trips of the Mopar van.   

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
7/15/22 10:15 a.m.

Usage check:

Bought 5-30-2020 w/ 42.5k.  Now 7-15-2022 w/ 64.5k

22k miles in 25.5 months = 862.75 miles per month average = or 10,353 miles average per year so far.  And, this one NYC trip was 1k miles in itself!  

On page 1 of this thread, historically, my wife added about 8k miles per year to her Mazda5.  We are a little higher than that on the Mopar Van but the Mopar Van has additional capabilities that the Mazda5 didn't have, namely sleeping and towing.  

cfvwtuner Reader
7/15/22 1:09 p.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

This is what mine is now. No kid hauling duties for me.  Just wife and a couple dogs.  It' perfect for a couple of nights.

A 401 CJ
A 401 CJ SuperDork
7/15/22 8:55 p.m.
Ian F (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to John Welsh (Moderate Supporter) :

I used this hitch on my 2008 GC with a H-F aluminum moto carrier.  Even with a DRZ400 on the back and probably close to the tongue weight limit, it was solid and the van drove like it wasn't there.

When you think about it - these vans were designed to haul 7 adults plus some amount of cargo.  So the cargo capacity is higher than one might expect.

I did an XR-650R on the hitch of my JKU Rubicon (extra soft shocks and suspension).  And I won't do it again.  I probably angered every single nesting bird for 80 miles with my headlights up in the trees.

A 401 CJ
A 401 CJ SuperDork
7/15/22 9:06 p.m.
John Welsh said:

Recent solo travel to NYC and the van loaded with less that 300 lbs. The cruise set to 76/77 mph, the van returned 27.4 mph on tankful runs all at hyw speeds. 

Those are just stupid good.  It's what first turned me on to the 3.6 VVT and why I had no qualms purchasing a 2013 JKU Rubicon off the lot.  The only new car I've ever owned.  Unfortunately the Pentastar coupled with a 6 speed manual in a heavy vehicle with off-road tires is just barely adequate to be perfectly honest.  It's much happier in front of a torque converter where it can rev out.  The first time I rented a Caravan in 2012,  I would just berk with people at traffic lights like this one in Niskayuna, NY with about 150 yards until it necked down to one lane.  Had this smug looking guy in a 5 series pull up beside me at the light.  Sure, a Caravan isn't as fast as a 5 series but he couldn't pull in front of me in the space he had.  When the Penta hits about 5500 it comes a berking live.

1 2 3 4
Our Preferred Partners