Vans are available in with a wide variety of capabilities, but they all have a few things in common. Vans all have a lot of internal space which may be used for either seating or cargo along with fair fuel economy and short front-ends. Vans have varying off-road capabilities based on whether or not the have 4-wheel-drive and the amount of ground clearance. Vans come in two basic varieties, full-size and mini. Full-size vans offer more space while minivans have better fuel efficiency.
Accessories & Modifications
Disadvantages and Overcoming Them
Every vehicle has its own unique challenges, whether it lacks certain abilities, is more demanding of its operator, or has limits of capacity, all vehicles are imperfect. The following entries address overcoming these obstacles.
- Fuel Efficiency is the primary shortcoming of vans. Most vans burn significantly more fuel for the same distance of travel as other vehicles, but this is not necessarily the problem it may seem to be. Vans have several advantages that allow them to overcome this; diesel capability, cargo capacity, and off-road capability. Many more vans are available that use diesel instead of gasoline which can be extremely advantageous. Diesel is a more efficiently used fuel and is more widely available in unexpected places than gas. Cargo capacity is perhaps the easiest way to extend a vans range, storing fuel in extra containers can give a van even greater range than a car or other vehicle. Vans also may have superior off-road capabilities when configured with four-wheel drive and higher ground clearance, this allows them to take either more direct routes or avoid roads that would be extremely crowded during a mass exodus.
- Handling can be a problem for vans due to their higher center of gravity and increased weight, making them more susceptible to roll-over. The key to overcoming this is primarily in driver ability and route selection. Choosing a route to play to the vehicle's strengths, such as being outside of cities, will help to avoid fast turns and other difficult maneuvers. Driver experience is the best way to deal with this problem, however. While a van will never handle like a sports car, a driver who is intimately familiar with his van will likely be able to out maneuver the average sports car owner.