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Question Of The Day: Where Do You Sit With The Idea Of Off-Roading Minivans?

Question Of The Day: Where Do You Sit With The Idea Of Off-Roading Minivans?

Ever since Lee Iacocca inflated a K-car until it was the rough shape of a breadbox, the minivan has had a solid place in the automotive world. It’s not a glamorous place at all…in fact, it’s the automotive equivalent of seeing Oprah in her unmentionables, as far as we’re concerned…but the minivan has earned it’s rightful place as the people-mover of choice for many, especially those with young families that don’t expect the interior to survive the unholy whirlwind of young children who will inevitably destroy everything behind the front seats. But the minivan is a genuinely useful tool, even beyond it’s original intention as a compact people mover. It is a rolling shed. It is a thief’s dream, with the ability to haul a significant amount of …uh…”acquired” items safely. And there have been numerous models offered with some form of either four-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive. We even had truck-based minivans in the form of the Chevrolet Astro, GMC Safari and the Ford Aerostar. So why don’t we see lifted minivans on 33″ mud tires? Wouldn’t the kids like to be part of the program when you go off-roading for a day? Maybe you’d like a trail rig that doubles up as a mini-hotel room? What say you, readers?

safari caravan2

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8 thoughts on “Question Of The Day: Where Do You Sit With The Idea Of Off-Roading Minivans?

  1. Luke

    Anyone remember the Bigfoot Aerostar? They used it for training purposes and it had the 4 wheel steering that was fitted to the big monster trucks, as well as 33″ tires. Also it had a nitrous system for racing the big trucks!

  2. Sumgai

    The Aerostar is cool no matter what. It’s all Ranger underneath, proper RWD, available with the solid 4.0L six which made it a surprisingly decent tow rig, and it was even available with All Wheel Drive.

    Otherwise, off road minivans are alright in my book. I wouldn’t want to wrench on one, but if it’s functional, why hate?

  3. Matt Cramer

    My dad taught me some of the basics of off road driving in a stock Dodge Caravan. Front wheel drive. It was pretty limited, but could get where we needed for hunting.

  4. doug gregory

    The Bigfoot Shuttle was stock V6-powered with juice. It ran on 48″ terras and proved more capable than people thought it could be.

    I like the 4wd van thing. I’ve got a lightly-built ’97 4dr Blazer as my DD and have thought several times that an AWD Astro or Safari would make a great candidate for a on/off road toy (nothing radical). A SAS would make it even more better. Astro and Aerostar would be 3x easier since they already had the frames and such to bolt it up.

  5. Ian

    I learnt to drive in a Mitsubishi 4wd L300, think Montero coe van. You would be surprised how capable they actually are, even standard. Later Delicas are pretty popular as well.

  6. Stuart

    I recently picked up a 1985 Toyota Van LE. It’s 2wd and 5spd manual. I had wanted something to take onto the trails and camp with in my current state of New Mexico. I have lifted it up as much as I could using a bunch or new model Toyota truck parts, and even some Ford Aerostar parts, next you throw a set of BFG all-terrain tires on it and I was ready to party! It’s not the fastest or most powerful van or vehicle ever made however, I can keep up with a lot of the other trucks and SUV’s that I go with. Mini-vans are fantastic little machines. As long as you can deal with the “Free Candy” jokes then there is no other vehicle as versatile, in my personal opinion.

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