New Means of Getting About

We got ourselves a tow vehicle today. Diane has been spending a lot of her time on studying information about late-model tow vehicles to come up with the short list of suitable brands and models capable of towing our trailer when it is loaded. That meant that we were either getting a pickup truck or a 1 ton van. We decided to go with a 1 ton van, a 2005 Ford E-350 with V10 6.8L engine, 39K miles on the odometer.

As to the particulars… it is maroon. Really maroon. We plan on getting at least the roof painted white to reduce the rate at which it heats up in the summer sun. I’d be tempted to leave at least some maroon showing somewhere, as that fits with the Texas A&M colors.

It is also not a cargo van. It is a 15-passenger van with the full set of bench seats. Those, and the mount points, have got to go. We plan on having our bench seat from the old van transferred to the new one. It folds out into a bed. On the plus side, the passenger van set-up has a distribution system for blowing the AC or heater output through the van body, not just the front compartment. On the minus side, it has windows all around, which will make it hotter in the summertime. The interior outfitting also means that we don’t have the simple options for setting up hanging storage, or mount points for bungeeing down animal crates so they don’t shift on braking or turns.

Our mechanic will transfer our hitch from the old van to the new, and has the contact for the person who rigged our brake controller on the old van. We have set up a vehicle donation for the old van, and that will get towed away on Wednesday.

We did get a discount off the sale price because the two rear tires need to be replaced; the dealer was willing to do the replacement or take his cost for the tires off the bill. We decided to go ahead with the discount so that we didn’t have to travel to San Leandro from Concord another day. We think that the car needs a set of tires, too, so getting the vehicles ready for travel next week is going to take some more effort this week.

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Wesley R. Elsberry

Falconer. Interdisciplinary researcher: biology and computer science. Photographer. Husband. Christian. Activist.

One thought on “New Means of Getting About

  • 2007/01/24 at 5:57 am
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    “…or mount points for bungeeing down animal crates so they don’t shift on braking or turns.”

    Just a quick thought while passing through, I’ve seen one cheap-and-cheerful way around that by building a basic, screwed-together grid of 2x2s which fits onto the floor of the van, with screw-in hooks embedded to use as anchor points for the cords. It weren’t no-how permanent, but with the ends of the grid fit firmly against the sides of the van and braced on the seat braces at the front, it didn’t slide or shift.

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