The makes and models mentioned in this article are not placed in any particular order, nor intended to be viewed as a ranked list. KSL Cars does not endorse any vehicles. The views or opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer and do not reflect the views or opinions of KSL.com.
These days, cargo and passenger vans are more popular than ever. From happy hippies to families of 12, people from all walks of life have found different ways to drive (and live in) these unique and useful vehicles. And while Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans have become so synonymous with the style that many folks simply use the blanket term “sprinter vans,” there are plenty of amazing and reliable vans out there like the Ford Transit, Ram ProMaster, Chevrolet Express and Nissan NV. But the question isn’t only “Which van do you want?”, it’s also “Which type of van owner are you going to be?” Here are some of the most common types of van owners you’ll spy in Utah and around the country.
1. The #VanLifer
They say home is where the heart is. When you live in your van, your heart can go anywhere it pleases. The #VanLife trend is growing in popularity across the country, on social media and, unsurprisingly, here in Utah. We have a proud tradition of travelers settling down here, after all. These unexpectedly comfy homes on wheels usually feature beds, kitchens and lots of storage (bathrooms and showers are a mystery). It usually takes a lot of hard work and renovation to make a van home-worthy, but savvy shoppers might be able to snag one that’s already built out. If you can’t, just visit your nearest ski resort, climbing gym or R.E.I parking lot. There’s bound to be a van-gabond there that can give you some tips.
2. The Coach
Not sure you can transport 12 kids to their game an hour away in comfort? Sure you van! If your smaller sports team doesn’t need a full bus or doesn’t like to rely on them, consider getting your school or club to invest in a passenger van. That way, you’ll be in control of your own destiny. You can get to games or meets as early as you’d like and leave whenever you want. No extra logistics required. Besides, there’s no better competitive edge than blasting your own pump-up playlist and decking the van out in team colors.
3. The Family Chauffeur
It’s no secret that Utah has lots of … larger than average families. If you’ve got more kids than you can count, an upgrade from the traditional minivan may be a prudent move. After all, kids tend to grow. And grow. Even if it might seem excessive, a passenger van might give everyone the room they need on road trips and long drives. And of course, if four out of eight of those kids have soccer practice, two friends a piece, and the van is traveling at 60 mph … Sorry, this isn’t a math problem. The point is, you’ll have a lot of room. And if you’ve been dreaming of more of that, a passenger van may be the answer.
4. The Business Owner
Plenty of local businesses rely on cargo and passenger vans, from delivery services to ski shuttles and tour guides. If your business involves transporting goods, food or people, vans represent a happy medium between a standard vehicle and a bigger box truck or bus. Plus, your driver won’t need any special licenses or training, and won’t have to pack their personal car to the brim with items. So before another “Fragile” box falls out of the back of a driver’s sedan, look to see if there are any new or used vans on KSL Cars that can help your business excel.
5. The Volunteer
Whether planting trees or feeding the hungry, there’s no better way to transport a group of do-gooders than with a van. Plenty of churches, nonprofits and volunteer organizations rely on vans to transport helpful folks from place to place. And while they’re out there doing good for their communities, they’re also doing good for the local air quality by carpooling in comfort. Want to follow their lead? Find a van for your organization to start spreading more good today.
6. Motivational Speakers
Some motivational speakers, like speaker Matt Foley, live in their van … DOWN BY THE RIVER. They’re usually about 35, divorced and eat a steady diet of government cheese.
7. The Distance Racer
You, your friends, a van and hundreds of miles to run or bike — what could be more fun? OK, a lot of things, but relay distance races like the Ragnar series have been skyrocketing in popularity the past few years. Whether signing up with friends, coworkers, charities or local athletic clubs, these races are a great way to explore new places on foot or bike (before retreating into a comfy passenger van). You should be able to find relay races easily in Utah, but if it’s a team you’re looking for, don’t worry. Once you have the van, they’ll come to you.