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Matthew Sonnenfeld

What Car Do You Drive?

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A blue 1989 Volvo 240 wagon. I like to call it the Blue Whale. I can fit a ton of gear in it and it has tie down points built into it. Sadly after only 400,000 miles it's getting a little tired. Thinking of either a used Transit Connect or Promaster City for work and camping double duty. Maybe. 

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In the US with Uber and Lyft in major cities a car is not always needed.  Cut the hose I say.  Figured the cost of ownership of a typical car in the US and compare the fares and you might be a convert,  I have saved over $6,000 year to date.

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On August 25, 2016 at 4:48 PM, al mcguire said:

I went from a Ford van to an Honda Element - I also downsized how much stuff I haul around. Love the Element.

 

Screen_Shot_2016-08-25_at_4.39.59_PM.png

That looks like my old van in my driveway.  We could put your Element in my new van!

 

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We do a bunch of windshield time in Texas with several hours drive between the big cities so something that cruses an interstate at 75 but still gets decent gas mileage is a consideration. I'll also get asked by a producer to jump in my car (billing mileage) so something that represents my business well with a client is important.

I've worked Weather Channel storm coverage too many times over the years so an all wheel drive with good ground clearance has gotten me through flooding, blizzards, and hurricanes many times.

One last consideration is the most important and that's does the gear fit in the back without too much hassle pulling something out of the way to get to something else underneath.

I'm on my second Toyota RAV4 having sold the first only because it got to be so high of mileage I wanted to make sure and have reliable transportation. So I found a low mileage used 2012 to buy. Only thing is, Toyota changed the body style and the engine option with the 2013 year model. The 2012 has a V6 that I get 28MPG and the spare tire at the back allows for a bunch of stuff to be stowed below the deck.

A RAV4 2012 with V6 AWD has been great, but after this one gets higher miles I'll have to look at other makes and models as 2013 and later years don't have the features that work for me.

A dodge Caravan with Stow-n-go seats is commonly rented by production as they hold an amazing number of Pelican cases and/or people which makes it worth considering as a production vehicle. Similarly, a Ford Transit Connect wagon (the smaller one and not necessarily the full size van) has some production friendly features that makes it worth considering.

A vehicle is a tool for our trade with location sound work where I tend to lean toward looking at makes and models that are more practical.

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I was helping my sweetie find a new car when we discovered  the Honda HRV on the lot -a  bigger than the Honda Fit, a bit smaller than the CRV.  Incredible amount of space inside and fun to drive.

Screen_Shot_2016-10-03_at_5_20.16_PM.png

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2012 Ford Transit Connect for work, 2013 Ford Escape for personal.  Both get great mileage for what they do, the Escape better than the TC, but that configuration of TC will haul 1,000+ lbs and has a large cargo area.  It's worked out great, but, like Phil said, it is pretty "bare bones," so it has its rattles and road noise.

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On 10/3/2016 at 8:17 PM, al mcguire said:

I was helping my sweetie find a new car when we discovered  the Honda HRV on the lot -a  bigger than the Honda Fit, a bit smaller than the CRV.  Incredible amount of space inside and fun to drive.

Screen_Shot_2016-10-03_at_5_20.16_PM.png

The HR-V is actually based on the platform of the Fit. They both have some very clever seating configurations that give much more cargo space than would meet the eye. I looked at it but while it fits a lot for a compact SUV, it is still a compact SUV.

I wound up putting money down for a Golf Alltrack wagon last weekend. I've been looking at it for a while and with 66.5 cubic feet, it has more cargo space than many midsize SUV's, including Mazda CX-5, has great safety scores, all wheel drive, and after driving a Honda Odyssey for the past few years, I really wanted more of a car. With rear seats down the Alltrack can also swallow my Euro Cart with absolutely no problem and still have room for more. One day I'm sure I will do the Transit Van thing but for now a practical car that I could actually drive was very important to me.

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2015 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. Living in the NorthEast, 4WD is something I want.
I think about a cargo box for the back, but like the flexibility of the space. I can put my cart in it, but it's not a quick process to pull it out and set it up.... at least not with how it's currently built.

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1 hour ago, edward chick said:

2013 Chevy Traverse . Insane amount of room, and all wheel drive which is pretty much mandatory for Michigan winters.

The Traverse's smaller cousin the Equinox just got announced with AWD + Diesel.  Should be interesting to see if that trickles up to the Traverse because it's supposed to get 40+ miles to the gallon.

27 minutes ago, johnpaul215 said:

2015 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. Living in the NorthEast, 4WD is something I want.
I think about a cargo box for the back, but like the flexibility of the space. I can put my cart in it, but it's not a quick process to pull it out and set it up.... at least not with how it's currently built.

Although my Grand Cherokee WK2 is my daily driver for hauling gear, once in a while I like to take my Wrangler YJ to set.  Even though mine's just the two door, once I fold and tumble the rear seats, due to it's literal box shape, I easily fit my fold up cart + two pelicans + sound bag + misc bag in the back.  Being that it is a soft top (or in the summer, no top...) I really only take it to a gig once in a blue moon when I know there will be a secure place to park it (and I obviously NEVER leave it unattended with gear in it).

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Although my Grand Cherokee WK2 is my daily driver for hauling gear, once in a while I like to take my Wrangler YJ to set.  Even though mine's just the two door, once I fold and tumble the rear seats, due to it's literal box shape, I easily fit my fold up cart + two pelicans + sound bag + misc bag in the back.  Being that it is a soft top (or in the summer, no top...) I really only take it to a gig once in a blue moon when I know there will be a secure place to park it (and I obviously NEVER leave it unattended with gear in it).


For my more usual doc/reality work, the jeep is perfect. I don't do a lot of cart jobs, and when I do, I am loading into a camera truck for the run of the show.
I slightly cut down the height of an R12 Rock n Roller cart so it fits upright in the back while still assembled. That's useful for a bunch of jobs where in want a place to set my bag more than a full cart setup.

I have a hard top on mine, but I've still pondered those big metal cargo boxes, like what law enforcement uses. I don't leave anything more than a C-Stand in my car overnight anyway. I don't have a garage. If I did, it would be full of motorcycles and tools anyway.
There's many locking versions of these:
http://www.quadratec.com/products/14141_0002_07.htm?gclid=CKr66a-nhdACFQ0HhgodL2ICVQ

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30 minutes ago, johnpaul215 said:

Yeah if my Wrangler was my DD I would definitely consider one of these.  At the moment, I have an old toolbox bolted down behind the rear seats with a padlock on it which serves as my official "trunk".  It's not very big but I keep a battery jumper and anything of value I want to take with me wherever I'm going.  I unfortunately suffered a stereo theft from the Jeep earlier this year (some moron stole the removable faceplate from my stereo but didn't actually steal the stereo, luckily it was an $85 stereo to begin with) so I've been extra weary keeping an eye on it and making sure to leave absolutely nothing of value in it while unattended.

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-- I've had two of these-- Mazda 5-- the only small wagon with sliding doors.-- I can pack it pretty full--small cart & plenty of Pelican cases etc. 

 

A bit noisy-- not great mileage for a small car (~25mpg)  but great size- especially when maneuvering  in city and around sets. .  without gear pretty comfortable long distance with 4 adults. . 

Front wheel drive only-- I bought some snow tires for it-- but haven't really needed them so far.

 

They're discontinuing it this year -- but they're still around. .  

/dw

Mazda5.JPG

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3 minutes ago, dlwilliams said:

They're discontinuing it this year -- but they're still around. .  

/dw

Only van in America still available with a manual gearbox...

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2005 Volvo V-70.... 318,000 miles still runs strong and holds all my gear...with rear seats down...rides very  low at that point!!

IMG_7087.JPG

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Im in awe, at how the transit van's in Hungary, are so much smaller than the transit vans here in the US.  The ford transit T-150 "low roof" is like 7' foot tall.. theirs are like 6 foot.  That 1 foot difference means you get under parking garages here.  aaahh.

-Richard

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On 10/31/2016 at 3:08 PM, dlwilliams said:

They're discontinuing it this year -- but they're still around. .  

/dw

I feel for you. I'm still hunting for something that's financially and physically suitable, after my Safari got discontinued.

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Hey all! I know it's an old topic but this somehow relates to my question. I currently got a truck to haul my stuff and I'm looking for a good tonneau cover that keeps the water out. I sometimes haul tall stuff so that 1-pc hard cover is not an option. Which one you got?

I recently considering a van, my neighbor got this MPV and it got good space.

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13 hours ago, cowell45 said:

Hey all! I know it's an old topic but this somehow relates to my question. I currently got a truck to haul my stuff and I'm looking for a good tonneau cover that keeps the water out. I sometimes haul tall stuff so that 1-pc hard cover is not an option. Which one you got?

I recently considering a van, my neighbor got this MPV and it got good space.

I've got an F-150 that I mostly use to pull my trailer but I have a tonneau cover. It's the bakflip and I've liked it. It has 3 folding sections and folds up against the back window. It can also be removed fairly easily if you wanted to take it all the way out. It is a hard cover so it offers more theft protection then a soft cover. It can only be opened if you open the tailgate so fairly secure. I do get a little bit of water if it rains hard so it's not 100% water right. Mostly leaks close to the tailgate at the edges. 

Mine is the version that installs with rails to the bed. There is also another version that sits more on top of the bed sides that is even easier to remove. Can't comment on that one though as I have not used it. 

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Thank you, Ryan I'll look into that. I've read some good comments about Bakflip either, glad yours is well secured. I'm eyeing on Access tri fold as well, they said it is sturdy enough that you can walk on top of it.

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