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Old 03-11-2013, 01:05 PM   #1
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Should I get a bigger van?

So with #5 on the way and all 5 of them going to be in car seats (4 in 5 point harness car seats and 1 in a high back booster), I've suddenly gotten the urge to get a bigger vehicle. We drive a Honda Odyssey, but it only seats 5 kids in the back. 2 captain chairs and 1 bench. 3 of my children still need help buckling up, and of course the new babe will also. So every seat will be taken, and very very tight...since my car seats are the smallest things and I'm not going to buy all new ones. Although I want more children after this one, hubs doesn't. But if he doesn't get a V....which he isn't sure on yet because he is scared about it.....then we will have more. So I think I just feel silly buying a 12 passenger van to seat my 5 and friends or their cousins (I have 5 neices)....but then would hate to buy a bigger minivan and then outgrow that too. MOST LIKELY that would not happen. But if I'm buying bigger, then getting 2 more seats for friends in a minivan (and just room in general) doesn't seem logical when I could buy and get 5+ more seats (and room) if I went with a passenger van. What do most families with 5 young children drive that are FINISHED having kids? What do most 6 children families drive that are finished?

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Old 03-12-2013, 09:28 AM   #2
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Re: Should I get a bigger van?

We are in the same boat. We have 3 with twins on the way and drive an Odyssey. We also have a 150# dog that likes to go everywhere with us and a vacation home that's 8 hours away that we drive back and forth to. Realistically, we need a bigger vehicle. I've looked at the options and for now I'm sticking with what I have and love. The 12 and 15 passenger vans get 12 mpg and are rudimentary IMO . We love our leather seats, cupholders, tinted windows, heated seats, bluetooth, etc... in our Ody and don't want to drive something that lumbers, sucks gas, and isn't particularly comfortable doing it. i cannot afford to drive 25k miles a year at less than 1/2 the gas mileage I get already. We have some fullsize vans in our family and several friends have them for their large families. I don't like the unreliability of Ford/Chevy, the sloppy handling, rear wheel drive, and slow-response "truck" nature of them turn me off. We've looked at conversion vans which give me the 9 passenger I need (6 captains, 3 in a bench), the comfort and nice-s I like, and are available in AWD. The handling, gas mileage, reliability are the same and they are $$$$$$$. Nissan seems to be hitting in the middle with their NV Passenger. Love that its Japanese engineering but built in USA. Gas mileage is a little better, handling a little better. Not in love though. Then there are Sprinter conversions and passengers. Mercedes diesel for great gas mileage and reliability. tons of room. Customizable. $$$$$$. My SIL/BIL have one for business. Hate how it drives. Feels like a UPS truck. For me, the gas mileage, handling, maintenance and purchase price of something bigger are just too big of hurdles to jump until I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that our beloved Odyssey won't work. GL in your search!
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:27 PM   #3
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I love(d) my odyssey, but we bought a ford 12 passenger last week to accommodate our coming twins that push is to 6 kids. No way to get 6 in carseats in the minivan, but I would not have changed to go to 5 kids. My fil has always had an econoline ford, and no problems, so I'm hoping it'll be fine. It's certainly not my dream car!
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:31 PM   #4
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Re: Should I get a bigger van?

When we had 5 kids we drove a Dodge grand caravan and loved it. Now that we have 6 kids we drive a Honda Pilot. The Honda is tight but we refuse to go into debt for anything so we got what we could pay cash for and could seat everyone. We are saving up the $20,000 in cash to buy a 12 passenger van when the kids get bigger and need more elbow room. I figure I have another two years before we absolutely HAVE to get something bigger.
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Old 03-13-2013, 01:28 PM   #5
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Re: Should I get a bigger van?

my husband and I were discussing this because even w/ 8 seats it's a nightmare in my van for my 3 kids and the 2 day care kids, but the cost of gas is really holding us back. IF we have more kids or if I start working more (right now it's only 2 days a week) then a bigger van is going to probably be a must.
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Old 03-17-2013, 11:42 AM   #6
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Re: Should I get a bigger van?

Thanks ladies! I'm not sure what we will do yet. We are just going to keep looking for a great deal on a passenger van. We will also be buying a small car that is great on mileage for dh and I to use when we don't have everyone. I hate to put more miles on my van and then 2yrs. From now be pregnant again and have to buy a bigger van but then my van isn't worth as much since I put a lot more miles on it. That's my main worry.
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:49 PM   #7
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Re: Should I get a bigger van?

We have 5 now--1 FF harnessed, 3 RF convertibles and 1 infant bucket in a suburban. It's fine. Didn't take long to get used to the more difficult arrangement when the 5th came but it did end up totally different than I expected and turns out those little things I thought would just NOT work...are just fine. Perspective though I guess--when #5 came he was supposed to come with #6 and #7 at the same time, with a days' notice--hard to fit 7 carseats in the back lol! But seriously, having #5 now does make me feel like it would be way silly to have a big van at this point.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:38 PM   #8
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Re: Should I get a bigger van?

Cathy- Yea, I feel silly too. But then I think, my hubs completely is on board and would love "SPACE" more than anything, and just "what if" i have 1 more kid. I would HAVE to get another vehicle since mine only holds 5 plp in the back seats....so I don't know. A big if. Wishful thinking i guess.
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:17 PM   #9
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Our minivan has saved our marriage, family and sanity! So worth it!!
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:16 PM   #10
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Re: Should I get a bigger van?

We have 5 kids; a 7 yr old, 4.5 yr old twins, and a newborn...all of them fit pretty well in our Sienna. We do have a large dog and a tiny dog, so the doggie crates will have to find another place to ride since we've had to install the 2nd captain's chair in the Sienna for the new baby.

My vote is usually for the least expensive option, so I say drive the Odyssey until you can't fit it anymore. That will give you two more years to save up (at the very least) and two more years to NOT have a car payment! Also, you never know if what you buy will turn out to be a good car, and if what you have does not have mechanical trouble, I'd stick with it!
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