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Vehicles for shows?

Hi all - Larry’s post made me wonder what type of vehicles those of
you who do shows drive, and how many miles you have on them? I am
also driving an oldy - and I have Larry beat by 10,000 miles! Mine
is almost at 200,000 miles, and I’m going to get the wash off paint
at Wal-Mart and decorate it for its “birthday”. I have put all but
24 of those miles on it myself!

I drive a Suburban, as it has the room for my tent for outdoor
shows, tent for me to sleep in, booth, etc. I can lay down all the
seats and just fill it up!

Curious as to what others find to be the best vehicles?

Beth in SC

Honda Oddesy…remove the center seats and fold the back seat into
the floor. When you have it all unpacked, you can flip up the back
seat for more passengers.

Donna in VA

Hello Beth, et al Orchidians, I used to drive a 1985 Tercel 4WD
wagon. Loved it. Somewhat tight, but everything fit and mileage
was great, not to mention 4WD gets you everywhere. Poor Toto
finally threw a rod at 200K+ and we gave her away. Now I’ve got a 4WD
extended cab Tacoma pick-'em-up. More room, but less protection for
whatever is in the bed. So far it’s not a problem as there’s enough
room in the cab for whatever has to be kept dry. Mileage sucks
though. I’m considering driving to Tucson. Can you believe the
planes are full allready??? Judy in Kansas

Judy M. Willingham, R.S.
B.A.E. 237 Seaton Hall
Kansas State University
Manhatttan KS 66506
(785) 532-2936 FAX (785) 532-6944

My vehicle is a 1996 VW Passat wagon. Just last year I got a Thule
car top carrier for my tent, chair, ladder, and stuff I don’t want
to unload between shows. I haul a dome tent, directors chair, floor
mats, ladder for the vents and misc stuff in the carrier - named
Henry. The car is called the Shuttlecraft, and has about 85,000
miles on it, most all by me. In the car, I carry everything else,
display cases, podium, the Brain - a set of three little drawers
that hold all the stuff - sales books, calculator, scissors, repair
tools, change, pens, stapler, business cards - that you must take
every time. Also I carry tent weights, suitcase, pictures of my
stuff - that I have printed on plastic scrim at Kinkos. Oh yes and
a bag or two of jewelry. And six big rubbermaid boxes to hold
display materials, boxes and bags, lights for cases, case walls, and
all that junk. I can usually see out the rear view mirror.

And I get 27 to 28 miles per gallon and have fun driving the
Shuttlecraft with Henry.

But - didn’t you know this was coming? I have gotten propanels for
the back walls of my display now, and will have to do some fancy
packing to get them in the Shuttlecraft too. I hope they fit.

Judy Hoch, G.G.

    Honda Oddesy...remove the center seats and fold the back seat
into the floor. When you have it all unpacked, you can flip up the
back seat for more passengers. 

I also use my Honda Oddesy to transport my stuff to shows. The
automatic side doors are nice too when you have your arms full and
can push a button on your remote to open them. Annette

Just got back from the Baleart show in Palma Mallorca, and I say the
best vehicle is a plane! We sent my son with the jewellery in the van
via road and ferry, and me and the wife flew over…bliss Steve

Judy and all

   Now I've got a 4WD extended cab Tacoma pick-'em-up.  More room,
but less protection for whatever is in the bed. 

I use a Chevy CK1500 with extended cab, and have recently added a
cap, … that keeps everything dry. Also, thanks to my husband,
who is tired of me complain about my knee bruises from climbing in
and out, obtained a rug pad, not rubber but a fiber pad and cut it to
fit. It’s 1 inch thick and saves my knees. Also make things slide
in real easy. Also protects for sudden bumps. Best of luck.

Barbara Smith McLaughlin - Handcrafted Jewelry 166 Portsmouth Ave
Stratham, NH 03885 603-772-2633

I do shows alone, and after witnessing two very nasty trailer
accidents that were way too close for comfort I would really like to
avoid a trailer myself. As an enamellist I do wall pieces and have
the fun of carrying full size display walls with me to every show. To
add to the fun, this vehicle also needs to be the one I haul my
children around in and use to transport others for some of the
non-profit volunteering I do. It goes without saying that as a female
traveling alone with cash after a show (often through the middle of
nowhere) that I probably won’t be driving a vehicle with 200,000
miles on it.

The only vehicle I have ever found that fits full size walls and has
the comfort of a real passenger vehicle are the extended length
Chrysler vehicles. Right now we have a used Town & Country that has
never needed major work at 90,000 miles. Knock on wood.

I drive a Ford Taurus station wagon. I really didn’t want a van or a
truck. What I wanted was a car that’s comfortable and stable on the
road, gets good gas mileage, and holds a lot. the Taurus wagon is
the car of my dreams. All my stock, tents, and camping equipment for
a longish stay fits comfortably.

Janet Kofoed

My husband and I use will be using our GMC 4905 40’ bus conversion
that we are working on to do shows.

Plenty of room in those bays for all the things we need :slight_smile:

Desta Marbury

Truthfully, if a vehicle has been properly kept up, the mileage is
not that big a deal. I have mine in for service every 3,000 miles,
and have done so ever since I bought it with 24 miles on it. I know
folks with vehicles that have less than 50,000 miles that are much
less dependable than mine with almost 200,000! I have one friend
with a car less than 3 years old that already needs a new engine! So
age and mileage do not necessarliy correlate with dependability.

I am also a female who travels alone, or with my dd who is 13. We
drive all over the southeast US and camp on our own; travel largely
in relatively unpopulated areas; and yes, after shows, are carrying
large sums of money. On the other hand, who would think a rather
beaten-up looking Suburban coated with Girl Scout stickers and
Wildlife Action stickers and old Atlanta Olympic stickers and
stickers from Okracoke Island and Chincoteague Island, etc., would
have much of value in it?

I carry a bag cell phone (great reception in the middle of nowhere),
a pocket cell phone (terrible recpetion in the middle of nowhere
), and my trusty AAA card! On the fairly rare times that I DO
have car trouble (blowing a tire on an interstate - twice!) I just
use one of the cells to call AAA, and they come and get me.
Anywhere. And take me to a garage, or home. I have AAA Plus, so I
get 100 miles of towing at no charge - you definitely can’t beat

I’m curious about trailers, though, as I have been thinking about
getting one that I could leave things like the tent and displays in
permanently. Do those of you who use trailers leave things stored in
them year round? Any problems with that?

Beth in SC

Beth, I had thought like you that my beaten-up old car would never
attract the attention of the light-fingered amongst us. But beware -
my tired old car was stolen ten days ago after my last show of the
season and I’m sure it was from someone watching me as I was loading
it. Foolishly I went for a coffee with my daughter who is at uni
locally and I hadn’ seen for a few weeks. Goodbye stock, hand tools
(horrible feeling - like my fingers had been painfully trimmed!) and
my order book. Yes I was stupid - but it’s really hard never ever to
let to let your guard down. And ‘they’ may be watching. But it’s only
’stuff’ - no-one really hurt and it wasn’t my home or my workshop
defiled. But I’ll never quite regain that feeling that no-one knows
what I’m carrying in an old car. Merry Solstice from the English

Prue Biddle