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  • What's your band vehicle??

    Just a cool conversation about band vehicles!

    In our cases, the first "band" vehicle (when we started playing too far away to use 4 cars) was an Chevy Astro (extended). It was quite confortable but cargo space was at a premium. Fortunately, the singer didn't play guitar back then. It was our most fuel efficient vehicle as of yet.

    We then "upgraded" (or downgraded since it was a 86' model) to a Dodge Ram Van 250 (a Dodge Econoline if you wish) that came from the electricity company. It was the most basic van you can get, no paneling inside (just bare metal) and a plywood panel as a floor. We bolted a bench in the back to convert it to a 5 places. We no longer missed cargo space, however it was a real dog on the roads. It was the old 3.9 I6 with a 3 speed auto transmission! It could get to 45mph pretty fast, but then it would take 10 minutes to get to 60mph. The handling was horrible. It also died on us in the middle of a busy highway during rush hour.

    Fortunately, a member of the band then bought a much more recent Ford F150 king cab with a "cap". Everything was a tight fit in the back and we quickly discovered that the back seat wasn't exaclty confortable. Ever been in this state of mind where you're so tired you can't keep your eyes opened? Yet it's impossible to find a position where you can actually sleep without breaking your neck or back? It's was almost torture!

    Current vehicle is a crew cab pickup with a small trailer. Best solution yet: no problem with cargo space (and much easier to step inside a trailer than a truck cab) and no problem with interior space. I just miss the fuel efficiency of the Astro...

    My dream vehicle would be a Dodge Sprinter (the longest baddest one). You can actually stand up in the back, yet it's really fuel efficient (like a big sedan) and easy to maneuver in the city. Ideally, I would set up a lounge in the back with 4 big chairs, a table to play cards, a big LCD TV with a kicking sound system. Perhaps a couple racked PODs so we could jam in the van. A microwave and a bar
    (with "limo" style windows tint of course)

    So, what your band vehicle?
    <div class="signaturecontainer">What is this sorcery?</div>

  • #2
    Great topic! I love talking about band vehicles. And it cracks me up how some bands just seem to go out of their way to have the worst vehicle they could possibly have!

    Our band van story is a pretty amazing one actually. After quite a bit of discussion about what kind of vehicle would be best for us, we decided the thing to do would be to get a full size conversion van, remove the center captain's chairs that are typically in conversion vans, move the rear sofa bed up to the center, and then put a divider cage behind it and make the rear section the cargo area for the gear. That way the gear would be separated, wouldn't kill us if we had to slam on the brakes, and the passenger compartment would still be comfy.

    We also really like red , so we agreed that our dream van would be a red one! With a nice cushy charcoal gray interior, nice stereo, TV etc.

    Only trouble is, like most bands we don't have a whole lot of money, so we despaired of ever finding anything that was actually in decent shape, roadworthy, etc. for what we could afford. Then there would be the cost of converting the space the way we wanted. Things weren't looking too good, but we all kept our eyes open when we were out and about, and I looked on autotrader.com every now and then.

    Well... imagine my shock when one day I was on Autotrader and there was a 1990 Ford Econoline, in what looked to be perfect shape, and had less than 100K original miles on it. AND... the interior was already done EXACTLY the way we wanted. 2 front captain's chairs, sofabed behind, and a divider wall behind the sofa. The whole rear was already made into a cargo area with a rubber bedliner, tie down cleats and all. It was crazy. And it was even RED. With a gray interior, and a stereo, and a TV. Totally crazy.

    We went out to look at it right away, and it proved to be every bit as perfect as it looked. The original owner was a family who kept it in a garage and only took it out for vacations. To top it all off, because it's such a specialty design, the dealer was having trouble selling it, so we were able to get it for considerably less than the asking price!

    We've now had the van for two years, and we love it. One of those "meant to be" things I guess. Just goes to show that if you're patient and persistent, and through the magic of the Internet you can find just about anything.
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    • #3
      I have a Jeep Cherokee and chains . Out here a gig is often on the other side of a mountain and snow can be a huge problem.
      <div class="signaturecontainer">HCGB Trooper #24</div>

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      • #4
        Mazda B2200 P/U truck with a renovated trailer (8' X 5') that I bought from an auction at U-Haul...not fancy but it serves me well! For solo gigs, I just put the PA system and my guitars in the back of my truck and leave the trailer home.

        It only seats 2 (my daughter/percussionist and myself) but my usual bassist uses my bass amp anyway, so she just slings her two basses over her back (in a double gig-bag) and rides her Kawasaki to the gig, or when it rains, her VW Bug. Everything else fits into the trailer.
        God(s) bless the rest of the world(s), too

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        • #5
          I am a solo acoustic guy so I don't need much room but on long tours lots of room is a plus. I just got a super long, fully loaded Chevy Venture. I tore out all of the back seats and layed down an inflatable matress in the back. I left in the front 2 seats for myself and my merch guy. We have plenty of room to fit everything right in the van and we have plenty of room to sleep in the back. It drives like a charm.

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          • #6
            We have 2 different vehicles. A Dodge RV when comfort and not as much gear needed. And a 1995 Ford Econoline with a 6' x 9' foot trailer for loner trips when we need alot of gear.
            <div class="signaturecontainer"><a href="http://tiny-craft-leathershop.com" target="_blank">http://tiny-craft-leathershop.com</a></div>

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            • #7
              our singer has a mini-van, I have a Jimmy 4x4, our other guitar player has a GMC 1500 extended cab with a cap on it and our drummer has a station wagon. if we need to travel, we'll rent a trailer and caravan....

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              • #8
                Mine used to be a Toyota Echo. Believe it or not, that little piece of **************** could hold a lot of gear. I'd cram a 212 amp, 3 guitars and pedal board in the trunk, a 212 cab in the back seat, PA speakers on top of the cab, mic stands on the floor, mixer behind my seat, gig bag and power amp on the passenger seat.
                <div class="signaturecontainer">........__o <br />
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                • #9
                  Anyone remember the Winnebago from Space Balls? Yeah, that. Theirs was in much better condition though.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by doctorno
                    Anyone remember the Winnebago from Space Balls? Yeah, that. Theirs was in much better condition though.


                    An actual flying Winnebago would be kickass

                    We could do the Montreal-Rimouski run in 2 hours top
                    <div class="signaturecontainer">What is this sorcery?</div>

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Lee Flier
                      Well... imagine my shock when one day I was on Autotrader and there was a 1990 Ford Econoline, in what looked to be perfect shape, and had less than 100K original miles on it. AND... the interior was already done EXACTLY the way we wanted.


                      Yeah, one of the good things about internet! This applies to musical gear too! I check the local (well provincial) classifieds every day. You can go weeks without anything interesting, but when something shows up, it usually dissappear within HOURS. The singer in my band had been looking at a new cab for months and we got tired out if, he was about to pay full price for a brand new overpriced one, then out of nowhere appeared a pristine 1960AC (those are rare) which is the perfect match when we play together.

                      Anyway, cool story you have (and cool van you have too!)
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                      • #12
                        We have 2, 2 Chevy Silverados (one regular, one extended). We have these because they are my drummer and I's vehicles. We don't have an official band vehicle. we'll probably either get an old van or just a trailer, the latter being the most likely.
                        <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="2"><font color="Navy"><b><font face="Arial"><font size="4">Jet Setter</font></font></b></font><br />
                        <br />
                        <font color="blue">CURRENT RIG:</font> <br />
                        2004 Fender American Standard Stratocaster (SD PGb bridge, DMZ VVB neck)<br />
                        2011 Fender Blacktop Telecaster (SD PG set)<br />
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                        • #13
                          I recently picked up an old Chevy S10 Blazer 4X4 to keep us from having to drive separately in our cars all the time (we actually made it to one show with two of us in my Cavalier with most of the equipment), and it was used for it's first gig last Thursday.

                          At about the same time, one of the guys got an old short school bus, which also made the last gig. We could probably get all of the band and equipment into the school bus, but he lives an hour away from me and it doesn't always work out for him to come to my place before the gig. (Mileage on the bus is not good.)

                          He also handles the lighting for us and some venues and other bands, so he has a lot of that stuff to carry. But, at least part of the time, we'll ride the short bus to the show.



                          No offense intended, but (see above) . . .

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Timezarrow
                            But, at least part of the time, we'll ride the short bus to the show.


                            LOL that's great. Confirms a lot of people's suspicions about musicians, I'm sure.
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Lee Flier


                              LOL that's great. Confirms a lot of people's suspicions about musicians, I'm sure.


                              Especially those who wore protective headgear...but never really went out for sports!
                              God(s) bless the rest of the world(s), too

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