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A van for your PA system

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A van for your PA system

Postby PapaGanush » Wed Nov 25, 2020 4:13 pm

Hello guys! Yes lets talk about van or transport...what advice you can give to a sound tech who is trying to decide between a dodge caravan or a chevy..no pickup I live in canada snow is no good.
For now I will be renting my mentor's system. I dont know exactly the measures or what brand but just trying to get some suggestions since I never drove a van should I invest in a new one or a second hand?
Do u guys know other van beside dodge and chevy?
Thank u all!
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Re: A van for your PA system

Postby Music Wolf » Wed Nov 25, 2020 4:31 pm

PapaGanush wrote:Do u guys know other van beside dodge and chevy?

Since most of us are based in the UK it's probably fair to say that we know more about virtually ever van other than a Dodge or a Chevy, neither of which are native to our shores.
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Re: A van for your PA system

Postby blinddrew » Wed Nov 25, 2020 4:52 pm

I don't know what it's like in the US or Canada (different tax bands and all manner of different marketing preferences) but in the UK I've found, when buying (heavily) used, it's cheaper to buy a big people carrier (Ford Galaxy or similar) than a small van.
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Re: A van for your PA system

Postby shufflebeat » Wed Nov 25, 2020 8:15 pm

blinddrew wrote: (Ford Galaxy...

The pinnacle of design evolution for the 4pc trad/folk band including double bass on the roof.

Not suitable for snow or mud.
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Re: A van for your PA system

Postby MarkPAman » Thu Nov 26, 2020 10:57 am

If you need to stack heavy/big stuff inside the van to make it fit, get one that's tall enough to stand up in.

I believe almost all my back problems were caused when stacking speakers in a vans that were too low to straighten up properly. I got a hi-top van about 4 years ago, and my back is much much better now.

Also consider getting a good ramp to reduce lifting in/out too. Another advantage of my hi-top, is that a 2m ramp will stand up in a back corner.
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Re: A van for your PA system

Postby PapaGanush » Thu Nov 26, 2020 8:54 pm

MarkPAman wrote:If you need to stack heavy/big stuff inside the van to make it fit, get one that's tall enough to stand up in.

I believe almost all my back problems were caused when stacking speakers in a vans that were too low to straighten up properly. I got a hi-top van about 4 years ago, and my back is much much better now.

Also consider getting a good ramp to reduce lifting in/out too. Another advantage of my hi-top, is that a 2m ramp will stand up in a back corner.


That is why I am thinking of chevy van where u can stand up and easily transport your speakers with a dolly. But the thing is chevy vans are mainly to transport gears..only 2 people can fit infront..other chevy van have no removable seats its either a chevy van with 12 passenger's seat s or just no seats only cargo..yeh unfortunately EU and NA Vans are different.
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Re: A van for your PA system

Postby shufflebeat » Thu Nov 26, 2020 9:35 pm

Is it not possibly to remove some permanent seats permanently and put a proper bulkhead like we used to do with Ford Transits and Bedford Tanks?

Our best Iveco bandwagon had a variety of lives, as a multi-seater bus, a goods wagon and when we got it, a half and half for a few years.

Eventually a greenhouse.

My only experience of Chevys is that they were designed for a country where fuel is cheap, cheap, cheap - like Saudi Arabia cheap. They were made from concrete and created more drag than a New York disco in the '80s.
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Re: A van for your PA system

Postby Mike Monte » Fri Nov 27, 2020 2:32 am

I thought about purchasing a panel van when I started providing sound for gigs but soon discovered that my wife wouldn't go for it.....so I bought a Ford Explorer in '94 for family/sound use and used a cargo carrier similar this:
https://www.rvautoparts.com/1040300-Pro ... 20524.html

on the trailer hitch for carrying my 15/2 mid-hi cabs (which have covers - I also use heavy duty contractor plastic trash bags to bag them in inclement weather).

That vehicle eventually died and I purchased a 2006 Ford Expedition. When using the same carrier (listed above) I can carry enough gear to do club sound for a 5 pc. band (2 subs, 2 mid/hi cabs, amp rack, mixer, 4 monitors, 2 light trees, wires/mics/cables, etc.).
It's a pretty tight pack but it all fits in there (with room for my sax and spare mixer).

I wish that there was a way for me to attach a picture of the cargo carrier that I use....

To continue:
If I am doing an outdoor gig and I need to bring more PA/Lights I will rent a trailer.
fwiw: I usually rent a trailer two/three times a year. All of the other times, my truck can cover it...

This way my family has a vehicle that's good in the snow, can tow a boat trailer, and work for my gigs.
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Re: A van for your PA system

Postby zenguitar » Fri Nov 27, 2020 3:07 am

Mike Monte wrote:I wish that there was a way for me to attach a picture of the cargo carrier that I use....

And wishes really do come true. The SOS forums do not host images so you can't just drop one into a post, but a cursory glance through forum posts will reveal that many do contain images.

The secret is to upload your images to an online host, and then to link that online image to your post. I use Flickr but there are many similar sites. Once you have uploaded your image you will discover that your host site will have a selection of tools to create links you can use to post it across the net.

The SOS forum software uses BBCode. So if your host offers a BBCode link option you can just cut and paste it into your post. But if your host doesn't offer that option you can use the BBCode Img tag here on the SOS forums to insert the link they offer into your post here.

It really is a lot simpler than it sounds, even I can do it. One of those things that's much easier to do than it is to describe.

Andy :beamup:
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Re: A van for your PA system

Postby Arpangel » Fri Nov 27, 2020 9:05 am

Whenever we’ve needed a van for gear, it’s always been a Transit Luton, have dodgy memories of having to sleep in the back of one once, in Leicester, after a gig, in freezing weather.

:(
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Re: A van for your PA system

Postby Mike Stranks » Fri Nov 27, 2020 10:27 am

zenguitar wrote:
Mike Monte wrote:I wish that there was a way for me to attach a picture of the cargo carrier that I use....

And wishes really do come true. The SOS forums do not host images so you can't just drop one into a post, but a cursory glance through forum posts will reveal that many do contain images.

The secret is to upload your images to an online host, and then to link that online image to your post. I use Flickr but there are many similar sites. Once you have uploaded your image you will discover that your host site will have a selection of tools to create links you can use to post it across the net.

The SOS forum software uses BBCode. So if your host offers a BBCode link option you can just cut and paste it into your post. But if your host doesn't offer that option you can use the BBCode Img tag here on the SOS forums to insert the link they offer into your post here.

It really is a lot simpler than it sounds, even I can do it. One of those things that's much easier to do than it is to describe.

Andy :beamup:

We've had a lot of these 'What about images?' type posts of late. I'm busy today, but will try and make a brief 'how to' video over the W/E.

Watch this space... :)
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Re: A van for your PA system

Postby Luke W » Fri Nov 27, 2020 10:33 am

Arpangel wrote:Whenever we’ve needed a van for gear, it’s always been a Transit Luton, have dodgy memories of having to sleep in the back of one once, in Leicester, after a gig, in freezing weather.

:(

Been there... Festival? Camping? No I'll just sleep in the van. Always seems like a great idea at the time.

I got woken up at about 5 in the morning after a gig by some birds aggressively pecking the roof of my van, and to this day I'm sure that someone saw me climb in there and threw some bread on the top. :x
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Re: A van for your PA system

Postby Arpangel » Fri Nov 27, 2020 10:43 am

Luke W wrote:
Arpangel wrote:Whenever we’ve needed a van for gear, it’s always been a Transit Luton, have dodgy memories of having to sleep in the back of one once, in Leicester, after a gig, in freezing weather.

:(

Been there... Festival? Camping? No I'll just sleep in the van. Always seems like a great idea at the time.

I got woken up at about 5 in the morning after a gig by some birds aggressively pecking the roof of my van, and to this day I'm sure that someone saw me climb in there and threw some bread on the top. :x

Oh the glamour of it all, we had pie and chips with curry sauce too, all siting up in the Luton, it’s amazing what we'll put up with when we’re younger.
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Re: A van for your PA system

Postby PapaGanush » Tue Dec 29, 2020 9:46 pm

Mike Monte wrote:I thought about purchasing a panel van when I started providing sound for gigs but soon discovered that my wife wouldn't go for it.....so I bought a Ford Explorer in '94 for family/sound use and used a cargo carrier similar this:
https://www.rvautoparts.com/1040300-Pro ... 20524.html

on the trailer hitch for carrying my 15/2 mid-hi cabs (which have covers - I also use heavy duty contractor plastic trash bags to bag them in inclement weather).

That vehicle eventually died and I purchased a 2006 Ford Expedition. When using the same carrier (listed above) I can carry enough gear to do club sound for a 5 pc. band (2 subs, 2 mid/hi cabs, amp rack, mixer, 4 monitors, 2 light trees, wires/mics/cables, etc.).
It's a pretty tight pack but it all fits in there (with room for my sax and spare mixer).

I wish that there was a way for me to attach a picture of the cargo carrier that I use....

To continue:
If I am doing an outdoor gig and I need to bring more PA/Lights I will rent a trailer.
fwiw: I usually rent a trailer two/three times a year. All of the other times, my truck can cover it...

This way my family has a vehicle that's good in the snow, can tow a boat trailer, and work for my gigs.

This is perfect reply man! Sorry didnt read this earlier..I am still deciding between just a pick up but thinking in winter how would you protect your gears?
Or invest in an entire minivan for my company.
But I just got my lisence and I dont wanna bother investing in a 20k$ dodge promaster...maybe just a pick up? But loading a PA system in a pick up can be a pain in the axe. Still deciding witchfirst car would help me with my career :/
Maybe just a dodge caliber worst case I rent a trailer if I needed a bigger PA system
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Re: A van for your PA system

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Dec 29, 2020 10:41 pm

Definitely not a pickup, that would be like buying a classical guitar for a Metal gig, nice but simply the wrong tool for the job. If this is your job get a panel van, estate car (station wagon) or people carrier, the gear needs to be locked inside when you leave the vehicle unattended, and you will be forced to leave the vehicle unattended at times. Trailers big enough to carry a decent amount of gear are heavy to pull with a small vehicle (experience speaking here) and are rarely secure enough, ok for local/occasional use (and I have done both) but not a proper professional solution.

OTOH I have carried a 6kW PA system, a few lights and my own backline and guitars in the back of a Golf (Rabbit) hatchback, it's a bit of a game, sort of automotive Tetris, but it's surprising what you can achieve even with an unsuitable vehicle.

Buy the rig vehicle and your life will be much easier (with all due respect to Mike Monte, like him, I've been there and done it...).
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