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Ford Transit Connect - Gig vehicle meets everyday driver?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by AngusHasMoxie, Dec 21, 2016.

  1. AngusHasMoxie


    Mar 11, 2013
    Easthampton, MA
    Formerly endorsed by Carvin, Basson and Dimarzio
    Long story short, I'm looking to buy a new car. It'll probably be a Ford, and a Focus at that. However, I keep looking at Ford Transit connects. Are they decent enough to drive everyday, and big enough to haul a smallish 4 piece band and equipment?

    short story long: I think the Transit is a cool looking vehicle. I am single, no kids, but I am an engineer, so the logical part of my brain sees all the utility I can get out of a transit vs a focus, and for around the same mileage/price, it's getting harder and harder to justify the focus.

    Plus, my band is currently doing the 'All the cars to the gig' dance. This band used to have a van we'd use for gigs a decade ago, that was great, but it's long dead now(as was the band, until recently)

    The foible is that this would be my everyday driver to and from work, and I'd probably gig out once or twice a month once we are back up to speed.
    We have a 4 shell drum kit, 2 2x12 guitar combos, 3 pedalboards, and my rig is two 1x12 GKs. I think this'll fit without much problem along with the 4 of us, but I haven't done the full measurement test yet.

    Anyone driving a Ford Transit connect? Is it a good daily driver?
  2. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    Dunno about getting all them butts in it plus the gear - but I've been lusting after one of these for a while. I presently have a 20 year old Dodge Grand Caravan that's starting to rust out :( .
    INTP likes this.
  3. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    Based on the gear the band has I would stay with
    everyone gets themselves to the gig.
    I used to have a van and haul band gear and it was a
    pain in the butt because no one was available to unload when I wanted
    my vehicle to myself.
    pcake and bholder like this.
  4. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    I had one of the older "tallboy" designs. I loved driving it daily, but then I'm kind of a truck driver anyway. That thing was so tall you could stack stuff up forever, and it easily hauled a 4-piece band around - gear only. It sucked for more than 2 people. The access doors on both sides with the low flooor was a load-out dream come true (vs. my current pickup). I'd definitely still have it today if not for our other needs: crew cab for dogs/people, 4X4 for rural northern winter, trailer-hauling for obvious reasons. It was great to drive and actually not too bad in slippery weather if that's an issue. I recommend it as a band vehicle, at least as a gear hauler.
  5. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy

    I want one if and when my current Chevy Express ever dies. They fit in parking garages and hold nearly as much as a full sized van if you get the long version. The towing capacity is less than I would like, but it would be sufficient for short distances.

    Disclaimer: the van would be my daily driver if I drove, but I ride a motorcycle when I'm not carrying anything or a passenger.
    Gopherbassist likes this.
  6. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Consider a Kia Soul if it has enough room.
  7. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    Buy what you want with your own needs in mind and not the band's needs. Unless they're going to help with paying the loan, maintenance and fuel/insurance costs I would let everyone else schlep their own gear to a gig.
  8. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    It'll be fine if everything fits. Here's what I would do. Get the guys to go the the dealership with you. Load everything up and then go for a test drive with everyone inside. Not joking. Several of my friends have done this. They are buying it for a purpose and want to make sure the vehicles fits the purpose for it.

    One of my friends not only had the Honda dealership help him do this, but he also had that salesman hose out the vehicle because that was one of Honda's claims at the time. (Honda Element I think?) He said "I'll agree to do it if you video the whole thing with my phone so I don't have to do it any more." It worked. Sales guy hosed it out. Tech team dried it out while he and my buddy filled out the paperwork. He still uses it to this day for gear and a daily driver.
  9. Gopherbassist


    Jan 19, 2008
    I've been looking at vans too, I was thinking either a Transit or a Transit Connect.
    The Transit Connect might be a little small for 4+gear, but if you were creative you might manage it. Car salesmen love any chance they get to sell a car, maybe you could have everybody bring their gear to the car lot, see if you can shove everything inside and then know for sure before you take the plunge?

    Also, if it's white, paint it. White vans get robbed a lot, especially near music venues.
    pcake and SirMjac28 like this.
  10. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy

    Aside from being a little ugly. The best part of my old Chevy van is that it is dark green and a little sinister looking. It was a government owned vehicle, and it looks like something the government would use. It almost looks like an undercover cop van of some kind. I'm not sure a Transit Connect could pull that off, but it's sure worth a try.
    Gopherbassist likes this.
  11. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    My rule was that nothing I didn't own gets left in the van overnight. Or in other words, leave it, it's mine. That seemed to solve most such issues. ;) Now if I could only get the van running again (ought to just sell it and get a new one).
    SirMjac28 likes this.
  12. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    With "Free Candy" stenciled on the side?
    Immigrant and SirMjac28 like this.
  13. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy

    No. "Free Champagne" My creepiness goes for a different demographic.
  14. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown

    Feb 16, 2011
    I've got a dark blue 2010 E150 work van with windows in the back and side doors that have heavy gauge hardened wire "burgular bars" installed inside and all the glass except the windshield is blacked out. It's also got a full headache rack behind the seats with a door to gain access to the cargo bay, so even if you look through the windshield there's no way to see what's in it. A buddy dubbed it the green river mothership, and i had a deputy one night tell me it was a nice looking stalker van. It really projects that cop van vibe, which is fine by me.

    As for the Transit Connect, i know a guy who works on ATM's and his (company supplied) work truck is a Connect and he's very happy with it. It replaced an HHR panel truck and he says the Ford is world's better in every aspect. I doubt you could get a full 4 piece band in one, but i have little doubt it would swallow the equipment you described less the additional 3 azzez, with no problem.
    Gaolee likes this.
  15. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy

    The band: upright bass, bass amp, guitar, Champ sized guitar amp, five piece drum kit, PA with a powered board, two medium sized mains and two monitors. Plus a few backpacks of miscellaneous bits, pieces, cables, mics, stands, and shiny boxes. If the bed behind the second row of seats is long enough for the upright, it would all fit, along with four people. It would be slow as a post, because it would be overloaded with people and gear, but slow is OK if it gets there. And fits into the parking garage. I love my big van, but I don't love trying to park it.
    fhm555 likes this.
  16. BaileyMan

    BaileyMan Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2012
    San Francisco
    We rented one on the road when our guitar player's car broke down. Not a bad band vehicle, but not great gas mileage, from what I recall. With 6 plus gear, we still needed two cars.
  17. Ox Boris

    Ox Boris Banned

    Nov 23, 2015
    The Ford Transit has been the choice of musicians and bank robbers for decades. Do it!

    twocargar, Radio, Dave Curran and 4 others like this.
  18. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Great vehicle, my wife drives one, but it will not get all the equipment and the band in. I had to borrow it for a gig once.
    I had: Rumble 500 combo, Rumble 2x10 cab, 2 Kustom monitors, drummer hardware bag with stuff, speaker stands bag, and 2 basses in hard cases. It all fit, but it was full.
  19. Dig the doors!!
    Ox Boris likes this.
  20. T_Bone_TL


    Jan 10, 2013
    NW Mass/SW VT
    Having finally (after 30+ years) gotten over the trailer backing bugbear I'm seriously considering getting some sort of 4x4/awd van/wagon/suv when my truck moves on, as my next to smallest truck (Tacoma - smallest would be a Brat, there was an F150, and there was a C30 crew cab with full-size bed that was a lovely truck but had a serious drinking problem, not to mention a rusting problem) has, when needed, the largest "bed" of any of them (a 6.5 x 14 trailer) and when it's not needed, it doesn't. So transitioning to a bedless/non-pickup-truck prime mover is not so far-fetched for me, now.

    Anyway, if you don't have or can get past the bugbear of backing them, a trailer is a good way to haul equipment and still be able to haul people. You might not want to leave the equipment in the vehicle or trailer anyway, evidently a common theft magnet. SUV and trailer would get you a daily driver with room for people, and a "however many times per month, only when you need it" cargo space for gear. It's also way easier to get a 4WD option, which I like to have on days like this (it's snowing here, I assume it's snowing over the mountain where you are, too.)

    Edit: with a 4-peice band you could even look at small/compact SUVs, or a wagon with tow-capacity.

    Re-edit - I see I looked at the transit, not the transit connect - oops. :confused: And that's only rated to tow a tiny trailer (2000 lb max.)
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2016

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