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Carpet Cleaning Issues - Carpet construction, upholstery cleaning, stain removal, equipment, events, etc.

What the best van for a portable user.

Posted by ALEXDH (ALEXDH), 25 January 2004
I have been switching between 3 vehicles so far when doing jobs. A peugeot, a daewoo and a vintage toyota carina that just will not die looks absolutley rubbish though †Embarassed

None of them are really the right thing for me.

I have been looking into vans and surprisingly the best all rounder I have found is a Rascal.

There are quite a few in nice condition at silly low prices 500 - 1000 ,that will do me.

Any of you fellas have any knowledge on them ? I reckon its either one of them or an astra van (less room in there though)


Posted by lee_gundry (lee_gundry), 25 January 2004
i had a rascal twin sliding doors plus tail gate a the back.

excellent van for local driving but a pain for long distance.

would not like to have a head on crash in oneHuhHuh

Lee G
Posted by Tony_Browning (Tony_Browning), 25 January 2004
Hate to admit that I have the Daihatsu version (hijet) R-Reg
Came with the business...looks very tidy but I am 6 foot tall so the driving position is terrible (long journeys).
Also when it is windy, it's like trying to fly a plane, all over the road..(people think ya pi**ed up)
A head on collision would be pretty terminal for driver and passenger.
They are also a pig to work on as the engine is under the front seats, I have just serviced mine, very fiddly.
Don't buy the diesel or the 1 litre (mine is 1 Litre).
get the 1.3.
Other than that they are ok..but I will be looking for something like the Vauxhall Vivaro when I upgrade.
Posted by MB (Mark Betts), 25 January 2004

Hi how are you?

When looking for a van I thinbk a side, sliding door would be a major consideration.

As you know, my vauxhall combo holds everything i need.

HWE machine, rotary, pads, vac, blower, scrubber, 75ft hose, brushes chems etc etc etc.

But as u may have noticed I have to put everything away in certain order otherwise if i need something which is at the back of the van IE Scrubba everyhting had to come out.

So a side door woulb be an advantage.

I too was looking round at a Rascal but decided they are such hard work driving them i changed my mind.

If i was staying portable for a few years (which i probably am!! ) my next van would porbably be one of the mid size citroens (sorry cant remmeber name of it Ken has one).

Or maybe a Merc Vito hahaha I used to run a Merc car a while ago and if they are as solid and reliable as the cars that would be my choice.



Posted by Derek (Derek Bolton), 25 January 2004
Hi Mark

I have just bought a Vito...brilliant vehicle and it has two sliding doors plus rear tailgate.

I had problems just before Christmas trying to get a saleperson motivated to sell me a van... I put a post on the forum saying I was fed up with the apathy of salepeople in general.

Several comments and e-mails led me to in Derby... I e-mailed a request on the Sunday night, received a phone call by 10.30am on the Monday morning followed by a written quote, again by e-mail when I reached home the same evening.

I ordered the van on the Tuesday evening and I could have picked it up the following Friday fitted with rear security grill, audible alarm and ply-lined.

Hows that for service?

No matter what the size of van you will fill it!

I had a Bedford Midi prior to the Vito and found it very reliable ...I have had three other Bedfords over the years ...all good runners and totally reliable

Posted by Scots_cleaner (Scots_cleaner), 25 January 2004
You should loook at the renult kangoo we have one
Posted by squeaky (squeaky), 25 January 2004
Yes a Kangoo with a SLD is an excellent choice for a portable,economical,pulls well and looks the part.

Good luck

Posted by stevegunn (Steve Gunn), 25 January 2004
It really depends on how much equipment your carrying ideally you need a mid sized van with side door peugeot expert,fiat scudo,citroen dispatch they all have the same engine or vito.Yes get a small van but as you buy more equipment you may stuggle to fit it all into your van. Try this†
Posted by Christal_Clean (Bryan H), 25 January 2004
I have had three Suzuki vans in a row  -  same as the Rascal.

Good little vans, but very sluggish performance.   I now have the latest Suzuki van, the one with a short bonnet instead of the flat front.
I think it is excellent, very good performance,  good load space &
they don't break down!   I paid £8700 over 3 years ago, but I believe you can get them now for a little over £7000 on the road.

Not many s/hand ones around though yet!

I carry two Ninjas upright plus loads of everything else!
Posted by Ken_Wainwright (Ken Wainwright), 25 January 2004
A few years ago, I too had a Suzuki Supercarry/Bedford Rascal. Superb van, reliable, vulnerable for a head on, could fit all my kit I needed for the day, suseptible to side winds, as aerodynamic as a brick so gulped fuel (avearge 30 to 33 mpg), excelent 2x side doors + tailgate. Followed this with a Daihatsu Hijet diesel, similar to Suzy but had no soul or character. On paper, and probably in reality too, it was better than Suzy, not quite as bad in side winds and 44 mpg. I hated it. Now have a Citroen Dispatch, 2xslide doors and double rear doors (tailgate not available). A little wider and a little longer, but what a difference. I've racked it for chemicals, carry portable, complete Dry fusion system, hoses, vac, blower, spotter and all the other bits and pieces required. The only thing I don't carry as a matter of course is a tubby vac. I only put this on when I have upholstery to do. It just makes access a little easier. If I wanted to carry a backup machine, I'd remove the very large and cumbersome Dry Fusion wringer bucket and get a smaller one. Citroen have been very competitive on pricing the last few years. I think they have more offers than DFS Cheesy

Safe and happy cleaningSmiley

Posted by Dynafoam (Dynafoam), 25 January 2004

I have a Transit 120 diesel SWB and strugle with swopping equipment on and off to match the priorities of the days' work.

I could do with twice the space but this is the largest van that will fit into many of the parking spaces that I use - even the length of this van is excessive for many customers' front garden parking spaces.

When you eventually choose a van, bear in mind the fact that it will, one day be too small. I tried to overcome the problem with a large trailer )with TM enclosed) but this lead to problems of its' own.

The company Steve mentioned (Vanman) is well worth consideration - I have bought two vehicles from them and find their service beyond reproach. Even after you have shaken hands on a deal and paid the deposit, they will bend over backwards to help.

Posted by Les (Les), 25 January 2004
We carry out all kinds of cleaning which means ALL kinds of equipment needs to be carried in our poor van.  CryIt's like taking your life in your hands getting things out of the back and when I have to unload it to get my buffer out, passers by think I'm subbying for Pickfords removals !!
If anyone sees one of those Australian Road trains for sale in you rExchange & Mart let me know  Grin Cheesy Wink
Posted by lenpg (Len Gribble), 25 January 2004
Hi Alex

Think bigger you will soon run out of space with the rascal, a great little van in it day but it has seen it day and paying 500 to 1000 expect problems new parts expensive s/h probably hard to find, donít see many around now days.

The Transit swb or the Vito (not the 108/108d under powered if you carry a lot of weight) go for the CDI engine, parts are on par with Fordís and a lot cheaper then some of the others (VW & Jap vans)

Twin siding door are great highly recommended, care should noted on back doors two are better than one, one door will need a bigger ark to open you will notice this when you have parked up, then have to move forwards so you can open it.

My van is a Vito 112cdi and I use a t/m with a sub mount fresh water tank 4 x 50ft two in bags and if the need arises the ninja (only on upholstery and that type of work)

Regarding fit out your van this company have some good gear example wire storage baskets ideal for carrying cleaning agents and bits and pieces.


Posted by ALEXDH (ALEXDH), 25 January 2004
Thanks chaps for your advice , i am a tight bugger though and I do like the low price of a Rascal.

I am keeping things as cheap as possible at the minute preparing to throw all my hard earned into advertising my self more after the dry spell.

One advantage for me is in MK you can't go 3/4 of a mile without hitting a roundabout so performance is not really on my list of prioritys. just a pair of good front tyres.

I think whatever i get from what you have all said a side loader is definate for the likes of me.



Posted by Fintan_Coll (Fintan_Coll), 25 January 2004
Alex, I have spent the most of my working life with vans  and without going into great details I have found no equal to the Transit, my last three vans were Transits and when you weigh up all the pros and cons you will find the Transit hard to beat.
Bye the way the worst van I ever owned was a 1989 Renault Trafic.
Posted by John_Flynn (John_Flynn), 25 January 2004
I've got a Vauxhall Arena /  Renault Traffic, I have had it 10 months Bl**dy FANTASTIC !!
Posted by woodman (woodman), 26 January 2004
First van was a Bedford Rascal but I was put off by driving on the M-ways especially in the pouring rain when a juggernaut overtakes with wheels bigger than your cab and the slip stream dragging you along.You just don't feel safe Sad

Went straight down to fords and got a Transit.

Currently drive a Nissan Vanette Cargo with double sliding doors, easy access from any side.Will be updating soon possibly to Nissan Primastar.
Posted by catrodney (catrodney), 26 January 2004
At the moment Nissan Delivery van,x2 SLDs and tailgate,immobiliser,alarmed,Tracker fitted excellent van,comfortable for short and long distance trips.
Unless buying from a private sale all vans are subject to VAT.
Posted by SteveTruman (SteveTruman), 26 January 2004
Started with a Super carry , then went on to Renault Extra and now running Kangoo with gas conversion ... very economical...75-80m.p.g. Not as useful without side door ,can be a bit of a pain sometimes taking stuff out to get to something @ back of van..


Posted by Dave_Parry (Dave Parry), 26 January 2004
Running a Toyota Hiace swb, not the cheapest van but VERY reliable, got twin batteries so cold weather no prob. also very comfortable been to visit reletives in wirrel twice (500 miles round trip) with no back probs. Just wished I'd gone for the bigger one. Mines got a tailgate, but can get with twin doors. Dealer service second to none.
Posted by strakercleaning (strakercleaning), 27 January 2004
Had Rascal and Extra vans in the past but none compare to my new Combo Grin. Drives like a car but has good height in the back and sliding side door to get at chemicals etc. Shame Vauxhall do not do Expert/Scudo sized van as i could do with 3 seats in the front but do not want to get to Vito/Vivaro size Cheesy
Posted by woodman (woodman), 27 January 2004

Last week I saw a carpet cleaner with a new Nissan Navara 4 x 4 pick up kitted out for Dry Fusion looked superb a real eye catcher but think it would be too small for our needs.

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