I am sitting at the gate waiting for a flight to L.A. for what will be my first ever solo trip anywhere. Doing this was a huge deal for me. I don’t leave my kids, ever. When an opportunity arose to fly across the country to meet with some of the most amazingly dedicated mamas on earth to talk adoption advocacy, I leapt at it. The reality of going has been scary, but in an exhilarating and eye opening way. Some of my kids are getting older. I need to let go a little. It’s time.
I know why you’re really reading this post though, and it’s not to hear about my co-dependent ways. You’re here to read about our new, to us, much researched and anticipated vehicle. With the impending arrival of Gigi, the 12 passenger Chevy Express Van that we had called ours was now outgrown. We have known for almost a year that this was coming. During this time, the new 15 passenger Ford Transit was released for purchase. I was immediately intrigued. We liked our Chevy van, and they do make a 15 passenger version, but I worry about the roll over risk.
Prior to 2004, 15 passenger vans lacked the electronic stability control to keep them from rolling over at high speeds when driven incorrectly. I don’t think we would buy a version built before 2004, but the combo of the rear wheel drive and elongated wheel base still scares me. I also don’t plan to drive our van incorrectly, but if we’re being totally real, I’m not the best driver. If we’re being even more real, FPD is almost a worse driver. I love him, but the man is impatient and tries to drive our large vehicles as if they are a Prius. We own that weakness in ourselves and decided we’d best accommodate for it. So, we decided to wait until the Transit hit the used car market.
All the while, we drove a van that looked like it had been ressurected from a scrap yard. The door handles had fallen off in some places, one of the bifold doors could no longer be opened at all, and the air conditioning ceased functioning in the middle of July. The snow tires were so worn they would never make it through another Wisconsin winter, and the brakes needed maintenance. While we mourned the loss of our completely paid off vehicle, it was time to put it out to pasture.
Finding a replacement vehicle proved to be an adventure. I started calling dealerships and actually had people think I was joking about the type of vehicle I was looking for. Then, when we went to apply for a loan, the bank got confused and thought I was applying for a loan for a business vehicle, you know for those early childhood education centers that I own. They assumed I must want a large vehicle like this to transport kids to the centers. Nope. I just need it to transport my own kids to and from school. Sigh.
Finally I turned to social media and posted a desperate plea to anyone who might have connections to either a Ford dealer or just Ford in general. Facebook for the win! We found someone with a commercial car manager who could help. He scoured the market, and we waited. Finally, we got the call! He had found a former airport shuttle for us. Yes, an airport shuttle. But, it was a 2015 model year and only had 21,000 miles on it. Perfect! We picked it up last weekend after our farm adventure. I am in love.
The visibility is excellent. Overall, better than in our Chevy Express. I feel like I can see more to the sides but slightly less out the back. I do have rely on my side mirrors more. There is NO trunk space. None. I’ve posted a pic of the back so you can get an idea.We make up for it a little with under the seat storage. When we do long road trips, we always have to travel with a storage box that hooks into the trailer hitch anyway. It has become a necessity. We’ll have a trailer hitch installed and continue to use the one we have.My favorite feature, as a mom of so many, is the seating configuration. Three “cow” seats for easily in the row behind the driver.Behind this are two rows of three and two individual jump seats that run along the side of the car. That means that my two little troublemakers can have their own space. I won’t tell you who they are. Those of you who know us can just guess.We plan to drive this car right into the ground. It need to last us for the long haul. For those of you who are thinking we’ll eat our words and need to move to a bus in another two years, you forget that our eldest kids are entering the teen years. As sad as it is to say, they are with us less and less and Ally is now two years away from having a driver’s license. Yes, our bigs are spreading their wings.
A larger car will not be necessary.
–FullPlateMom, who says this with total conviction.