On the verge of buying a new cc-mobile

djcrazychris

DJ Extraordinaire
Jun 12, 2018
2,978
45
So im getting a little tired of slowly destroying my Enclave by using it as my dj vehicle the past year....im super careful...but little nicks and dings happen anyways...

I got a wild hair and stopped by a car lot... they have a brand new 2018 that has yet to leave the lot...and the guy is gagging to sell it and get it out of there....offering me a good deal...that i hope to make a little better when i meet with him Friday...

Its a 2018 Ford Connect ....not huge...but plenty for my needs... anyone ever owned one or driven one?

3643436435
 
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djcrazychris

DJ Extraordinaire
Jun 12, 2018
2,978
45
They are a good rig but I long ago gave up a separate DJ vehicle, a trailer has suited me well for over 20 years
ive thought about the trailer route...but ive always sucked at backing them...used to rent one for our mobile puppet gigs years back ... plus i honestly want a little van to tool around in... gonna give Whisper the Enclave and trade in her little Subaru

cc
 

ittigger

Hundred Acre Industry Icon
Feb 1, 2011
13,245
Western Maryland
I thought for a long time between an additional vehicle or trailer. The additional costs for another vehicle swayed me (maintenance being the biggest).

You can learn to back a trailer pretty quickly. Go to an empty target parking lot and use traffic cones as cars and practice. You'll have it down rather quickly.
 

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
12,110
54
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
I know lots of guys use trailers, and so did I for several years, but they are un-safe (ever had one fish-tail? I have) and a PITA on parking. In my mind, a cargo van is the way to go for mobile DJ work. That said, the thoughts of financing a new vehicle for this purpose is also a bit nuts. It's a depreciating asset and you're taking a bath on the initial life of the vehicle. About 5 years ago (2013), I bought a 2008 Chevy Express that had about 140k on it. Since then, I put on a new exhaust manifold, tires and oil. The vehicle cost me $5,200. That Chevy has been rock-solid dependable and never left me beside the road. That particular model of Ford, in my mind, is un-tested water. It may or may not be dependable in the long haul. Were I you, I'd be looking at used. There are govt auction sites like govdeals.com that have good, used vans for rock-bottom pricing. For instance, here's a Ford Econoline, 2012 with 123k miles on it (isn't this near you?). Still a Ford, but a proven industrially-hardened vehicle. It's currently listed at $4200 and will likely end up going for $5k.


Here's a 2003 Chevy Express 3500 (bigger than my van), in Charlotte NC, 72k miles and currently listed at $2800. I'm guessing it will go for $4k.


It's your choice to make and obviously you're an astute business man. Just offering another perspective.
 
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rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
12,110
54
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
One more. Here's the same model that I have, 2008 Chevy Express, cargo (no windows). Very secure, very solid and a great suspension system. This thing rides better than any of our other vehicles. Currently listed at $2.5k.


BTW, the paint coming off the hood is apparently happening on all of this model.
 
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djcrazychris

DJ Extraordinaire
Jun 12, 2018
2,978
45
yeah...i browsed car guru for several hours and found some nice older vans with good prices... i guess i just want something that gives me atleast 3 or 4 years of reliability before i have to start worrying... this will have a 3 year warranty...so thats a plus...im no mechanic...so im not looking to tinker with a 10 year old vehicle too much.... i also plan to make this my daily run around vehicle...so the smaller footprint enticed me.... its smaller than my Enclave i think... but has so much more height

i drove astro vans for years and loved them... but i think this little guy will be a perfect fit for my needs... We havent had any car payments for several years...so its not going to be a huge burden on the budget

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rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
12,110
54
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
yeah...i browsed car guru for several hours and found some nice older vans with good prices... i guess i just want something that gives me atleast 3 or 4 years of reliability before i have to start worrying... this will have a 3 year warranty...so thats a plus...im no mechanic...so im not looking to tinker with a 10 year old vehicle too much.... i also plan to make this my daily run around vehicle...so the smaller footprint enticed me.... its smaller than my Enclave i think... but has so much more height

i drove astro vans for years and loved them... but i think this little guy will be a perfect fit for my needs... We havent had any car payments for several years...so its not going to be a huge burden on the budget

cc
I had an Astro before this cargo van. It constantly had stupid electrical issues and nuts/bolts coming loose. It also had this lip at the back door that mean everything had to be lifted out. In this cargo van, the flooring is solid, with no bumps. I have 3, 2'X4' flatbeds with 4" casters that just roll in/out. I don't know about you, but I just can't lift gear in/out of my vehicle any more (or perhaps I should say "I won't"). I understand your perspective on tinkering/maintaining a vehicle. My take, when you pickup one of these Chevy Express units you might have some initial repair stuff to do but once that's done it just sits there in the driveway, fully-loaded and just waiting for you to jump in and drive. Maybe I'm just lucky but that single repair is the only thing I've done on this van. It's a solid, solid piece of machinery.
 
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djcrazychris

DJ Extraordinaire
Jun 12, 2018
2,978
45
I had an Astro before this cargo van. It constantly had stupid electrical issues and nuts/bolts coming loose. It also had this lip at the back door that mean everything had to be lifted out. In this cargo van, the flooring is solid, with no bumps. I have 3, 2'X4' flatbeds with 4" casters that just roll in/out. I don't know about you, but I just can't lift gear in/out of my vehicle any more (or perhaps I should say "I won't"). I understand your perspective on tinkering/maintaining a vehicle. My take, when you pickup one of these Chevy Express units you might have some initial repair stuff to do but once that's done it just sits there in the driveway, fully-loaded and just waiting for you to jump in and drive. Maybe I'm just lucky but that single repair is the only thing I've done on this van. It's a solid, solid piece of machinery.
I definitely respect that!!

and definitely hate lifting...but i do it... my heaviest gear is the sub... this van is much lower to the ground... sub should slide right on to the rock n roller pretty easy

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rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
12,110
54
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
I definitely respect that!!

and definitely hate lifting...but i do it... my heaviest gear is the sub... this van is much lower to the ground... sub should slide right on to the rock n roller pretty easy

cc
You're a hard man to convince (wink). What sub are you using?
 
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ittigger

Hundred Acre Industry Icon
Feb 1, 2011
13,245
Western Maryland
For me, I was not willing to give up my current vehicle, so this would have been a 3rd vehicle. Also, with a trailer, if you have somewhere to keep it secured, you can load it and leave it loaded - additional loading / unloading goes away. This applies to a motor vehicle as well but not if it's your daily set of wheels. Some trailers have ramps - takes away any requirement of lifting into the trailer. Most have low decks, minimal lifting. If you're daily driver is out of service, what is the backup plan? Trailers can be hooked to almost any motor vehicle. There are pro's and cons on both sides.
 
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DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
11,229
Oklahoma City
The Ford Transit Connect is a nice little Van. I tried to find a good used one when I started up my business four years ago. I ended up with (settled for) ...



... I say settled for, but it has been an EXCELLENT vehicle; just not what I want. This is what I want...



... Problem is; I can’t justify it. $20K isn’t much money (for this kind of vehicle), and if I thought I had many more years of DJing ahead, I’d do it. But I’m looking at MAYBE two more years. My minivan runs great. Maintenance costs are very low, and it works OK for a cargo hauler, though not perfectly. The main problem with it is the floor. The seats fold into the floor, but the floor is not perfectly flat and is covered with carpet, so nothing rolls easily. Also, it lacks height, so it’s tough on the back to get in and move stuff around; not enough space either. I downsized my systems to get everything to fit easily, but a REAL cargo van would be better.

The trailer would have been nice, and I had a pickup (traded it for the minivan) that could have pulled one, but you’re not permitted to park one in your driveway in my (snooty) neighborhood, and it would have been difficult even if I could have, because we have 2 cars that we park in the garage. With a trailer and a truck parked behind them in the driveway, it would make getting cars out of the garage more difficult, and I don’t like parking my vehicles in the street. The minivan turned out to be the best choice, it’s just not my favorite choice.
 
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Dj Nightmare

DJ Extraordinaire
Sep 3, 2014
276
32
I use a dedicated DJ truck and Trailer. Goes to every gig with me. I have a total of 36 speakers and a lot of lights Truck and trailer stay loaded 24/7. Trailer is a 24 foot by 8.5 with 7k Torsion Axles. Works well I am in Arkansas so always space to park. if I park Length wise that's a total of 6 parking spaces! lol But not ever having to load to do an event is great. I do keep my moving heads and laptops and projectors in the house as well as my Battery Up lights. My only advice would be to by for as big as you see yourself going in the future this is my 3rd trailer first was a 5x10 in 2011 then a 7x16 in 2014. I would definitely go full sized van and keep your wife's vehicle and enclave to drive leave van loaded 24/7 ready to go.
 

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DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
11,229
Oklahoma City
I also considered the Sprinters and Ram vans.
The Sprinter’s and RAM’s are really nice, but the tailgate lift height on that Ford Transit is still considerably lower. The Ford is also considerably smaller. I have a folding ramp in my minivan that I can move between the side and rear doors for loading and unloading. I don’t really HAVE to use it anymore since splitting my Large System rack into two racks, but lifting my old 14U rack into the minivan by myself was not gonna happen.


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Ausumm

Day Late and a Dollar Short
Oct 21, 2008
10,494
55
Bethlehem PA
www.mikefoxx.com
I used to haul gear in my daily drivers, too...
but got real tired of loading, un-loading, loading and un-loading... (that's for ONE gig).

Then, a friend sold me his 5x8 trailer for $200.
I like that it is always loaded.
I like that I know I have ALL my gear, if I have the trailer.
And it is small enough that it's not a burden on my driving.
I am still pretty awful at backing it in....
but I'd rather spend extra time parking....than spending it hauling gear in and out.
 

DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
11,229
Oklahoma City
I used to haul gear in my daily drivers, too...
but got real tired of loading, un-loading, loading and un-loading... (that's for ONE gig).

Then, a friend sold me his 5x8 trailer for $200.
I like that it is always loaded.
I like that I know I have ALL my gear, if I have the trailer.
And it is small enough that it's not a burden on my driving.
I am still pretty awful at backing it in....
but I'd rather spend extra time parking....than spending it hauling gear in and out.
A dedicated vehicle, like my minivan, can stay loaded all the time too. I generally have one system inside the house to practice on, and my third EVOX-8 stays inside too, but the only reason I have practice is because I work so infrequently I’d get rusty if I didn’t. Loading up one system and the spare EVOX-8 before a gig is no big deal. The ABSOLUTE best thing about a smaller van is the parking; you can park in standard parking spaces.


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adj2ent

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 20, 2006
1,207
59
Long Island NY
Cute but kind of on the small side. I always go to the auto show with my daughter and make sure I check out all of the different van & mini vans. And boy do they have a lot of choices compared to years ago. To me to Connect was really small and was smaller than my wife minivans we used to have. I just don’t see much room for any growth or it as something I would want to drive unless for business. I was forced to replace my TL and my daughter picked out a Highlander. I really never planned on using my regular everyday vehicle for any shows because I have a Full size extended van & regular van which I used for doubles & going into NYC. But the Highlander has the capacity of the Connect and makes a good daily driving. 4 wheel drive and seating for 7 puts it over the tap. So I got rid of the regular sized van. If it snows I can throw the system into it and be off. Of course I have never got struck in any of my full sized vans because they so heavy loaded. But I’ve been in many situations weather-wise where pulling to trailer would’ve been unsafe. I used to use a trailer too before I purchased my first van.

New vans are kind of expensive so you have to look at the total life of the vehicle. The way I look at it keep the vehicle for best part of its life and sell it before it gives you any problems or requires any major repairs. As the last thing you want is to have issues on your way to a event. Although having a new vehicle is not a absolute guarantee you won’t have issues but it’s a lot more likely that are higher mileage vehicles will. We have backups for basically all our equipment except the van so it only makes sense not to skimp with your transportation. Actually the reason why replaced my TL is the transmission died 100 miles from home while we were heading out on vacation. If that happened on the way to a event the results would’ve been catastrophic. One of my major college clients had a DJ who’s vehicle died on the way to a job. The director told me the story of what they had to do to help him out and of course that DJ no longer does any work for the school.
 

Albatross

DJ Extraordinaire
Sep 7, 2016
3,840
I've been interested in something similar as well. A trailer is super impractical for my market. Getting a trailer backed up into a DC hotel alley would be a DISASTER.

I haven't been able to make myself pull the trigger, but it's definitely interesting. Let us know what you decide!