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Charlie's Soap


Tuesday, November 13

This blog has oft contained tales of our refrigerator woes.

It was beginning to bore even me, so, when it crapped out yet again, we decided to stfu about it and get a new one despite a distinctive lack of money with which to buy it.

After some groveling to the credit union (Credit unions rock. Kiss yours today) and a trip to the Sears Scratch and Dent Outlet, we are the proud new parents of a bouncing baby Kenmore.

And there was much rejoicing.

Only? There's not so much rejoicing, now.

Less than a week after our new purchase, Vanna White has taken ill, and, she must be put down.

But, at least she didn't meet the fate of The Busy Van I way back when.

She is in need of major surgery, and, we've decided to let her go peacefully, and, return her to her place of origin.

We've also decided to lay the Busy Van II to rest with her, as it is elderly and sporting a distinct lack of air conditioning.

So, it's time to select the Busy Van III.

Help me out, the criteria is used, cheap, as we are flat ass broke, and, reasonably reliable.

The van. The van is what needs to be reliable.

Though we are reasonably reliable, too, that's got nothing to do with you helping me decide on a van, and, everything to do with my poor writing skills.

Front runners are: Town and Country, Grand Caravan, and, Quest.

What say you?

Advertisers welcomed.

I am not above driving around with your logo on my free car.



Ah, hell.

I need a new cell phone while we're at it, give me recommendations there, too.

My provider is Cingular ATT Wireless.

2:02 PM | Comments (30) |

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No brainer! The Magic Bus - a 2000 Quest - is our baby, and our dreamboat, and we love her very much. Especially with that rad built-in TV/VCR combo! I think the newer ones even feature DVDs these days! But seriously, she's a dream machine. Seriously.

We've had a Grand Caravan for five years now and it is still going strong at 175000 miles...It is so nice to be able to split the kids up and keep them away from each other on long trips!

Next time we shop for one, though, I am going to insist on the captain's chair in the second row instead of the bench seat...they are so much better at keeping the peace!

Good luck on your search!

Posted by: Sarah | November 13, 2007 3:27 PM

I've got some help I can provide, but it was too long to put here, so I will e-mail you.

I feel your pain as our fridge keeled over this summer and my 99 Pathfinder is on its last wheels (please God let it make it to next year.)

My brother-in-law and sister-in-law bought a Quest and love it so that's my vote!

Wouldn't it be cool if car manufacturer's sponsored bloggers (you know, kind of like Nascar, but in the car pool lane?) ;)

That new Town and Country sure looks cool in the commercials.

"Nascar in the Car Pool lane." That could make a good tagline ;)
Nothing to contribute, really, so good luck finding a new van! And cel phone! (I hate cel phones. Except I love them. You know how it is.)

We have had two Mazda MPV's. Usually reasonably priced, and I would imagine used ones are better deals than a Nissan/Toyota/Honda. My soccer momdad van has 150K on it and really has never had a hiccup (at least not one that you would not expect after that many miles.) The first one went for about 125K before I traded it on on the current version.

Posted by: khix | November 13, 2007 4:49 PM

We've got a Sienna that we really like. Haven't had it long though so I can't vouch for the long term. But all the other Toyotas I've had worked out well.

Mercury Villagers are awesome. Ours is a 1998 and my mom has a 2002 and we love them both.

By the way, she's selling hers - she lives in town now and wants to save money by using public transportation.

You'd really like it. It's low mileage, it's got lots of bells and whistles's WHITE!

Email me if you'd like to come to central Maine for a test drive. ;-)

Too bad groovyoldlady's mom is in Maine, because I had a Villager for 10 years and 170,000 miles and loved it. Almost as much as I love my 4 year old Mazda MPV. They've discontinued both of them, but you're looking for used, anyway, right?

Are you looking for used? 'Cause Renee is right! The commercial for the Town & Country just came on as I was typing this--must be a sign--and it sure looks cool! For a mini-van anyway. Me? I drive a giant Astrovan. Loosah!

Posted by: Ginny | November 13, 2007 7:22 PM

No suggestion for you, but damn I'm right there with you. Broke. And need stuff. Yay, let's drink to that.

You forgot to mention how much you don't want White!

Posted by: Drew | November 13, 2007 8:27 PM

We are thinking of replacing our Volvo -- we still have the van, but we're looking for a replacement -- loving these comments.

My refrigerator attempted to die right in the middle of the home improvement project of the century [new stove, new hot water heater, gas lines and hookup for all of the above plus the grill], and it was only 2 yrs old. I fortunately found a repairman who told my fridge to stfu. I like that acronym and may now be using it liberally.

I am sorry I don't have van advice, but I will appreciate knowing the outcome of your search. Once I can get over the gas that all these vans suck up, I will be getting one myself. [Well, then and when my bank starts returning my phone calls again. Will likely be a while.] My Toyota Rav 4 is ALMOST always big enough for my family of 3 and our carpooling needs, but it strands us too often when multiple car seats are involved. Plus there's no separating warring siblings in that thing.

I have had the Madza MPV and I now drive a Honda Odyssey. I loved/love both of them. Have fun picking out one. Also both my dh and I have Motorola Razor's from AT&T and we haven't had any problems with them.

I too dwell in mini-van-land. Mine is a 2001 Mercury Villager with 115,000 miles and running very well, thank you very much. Oh, and it's white - need I say anything else. It is the sister model to the Nissan Quest, so that gets my vote. I bought mine used from Carmax 3 years ago and it has been very easy on the wallet.

Posted by: carolyn | November 13, 2007 9:36 PM

isn't it always the case that after some appliance dies another one has to? My fridge went and then right after that my air conditioner. All in the hottest summer possible.

I totally feel your pain.

I can't help you out with the van, but I can tell you which cell phone NOT to buy. The Motorola Razr stinks big time. In the one year warranty period mine has been replaced 5 times, and my husbands Razr has been replaced 4 times. We're having problems with his phone now, one month past the warranty period. They have multiple problems, including the keyboard freezing, and not accepting a charge. My goal in life is to talk as many people as possible, out of buying Razr phones.

Posted by: robin | November 13, 2007 10:27 PM

We drive a Honda Odyssey, and I would recommend it hands-down over any other van on the market. They are pricey, however, if you can find one used for a good price it is the most reliable van you could purchase.

That being said, the Grand Caravan is a great van at a better price, and there are lots of them floating around in the used car lots.

A Town and Country is a souped up Grand Caravan, so they will probably be higher. We have a Grand Caravan. Never had a problem with it. This is #2 for us; a basic model. #1 (which was lost in a blizzard lowspeed headon) had a little more bells and whistles which I loved. These are a common fleet vehicle from rental agencies, so you can a low milage one (about 20K) at the dealer for a used price. That's how we got both of ours. The new ones have many more bells and whistles (swivel seats, table, DVD player, overhead center storage place, Stow-n-Go, etc). Good luck and let us know what you chose.

A guy I work with has a 2005 Honda Pilot for sale for $18,000. Very nice looking, too. Not a mini-van per se, but three rows of seats and similar to our Odyssey in a lot of ways, including fuel economy. Email me and I'll put you in touch with him.

I big puffy heart my toyota sienna van-very reliable (since 2000!), just the basic upkeep, over 110K mi. now and has another 100 in her easily. Not long ago I was checking KBB and carmax and the price on used ones seemed pretty reasonable.

Good luck!

Posted by: Kendra | November 14, 2007 10:32 AM

I'm lovin' my second Grand Caravan. Had to put two transmissions in my first one (a '92), which was apparently a common flaw, and I'm praying they fixed that before my current one (an '02) was made.
But I've loved them both. I only have one child, so I love the bench seat in the him a place to put his stuff while we're riding.

Posted by: nashvegas | November 14, 2007 11:55 AM

The words "Chrysler" and "reasonably reliable" cannot be used in the same sentence. Go Toyota!

Posted by: Sandy Prudy | November 14, 2007 3:47 PM

Another vote for the Dodge Grand Caravan. I LOVED mine. No, I don't have it anymore because we sold it to my mother-in-law when her delivery van broke down. But I miss my minivan every single day.

Coming in late, but- We have a Toyota Sienna, and it's great but $$. We kinda wish we'd gone for a Kia. My SIL has a '98 Caravan, and loves it. It's still going strong, but has had some starter issues.

I think the recent Mazdas and Kias have been getting good write-ups in Consumer Reports.

Posted by: demondoll | November 15, 2007 1:16 AM

Honda Odyssey and iPhone - why consider anything else?

Isn't it great when everything hits the crapper at the same time?! Gotta love it.
I had a Honda Odyessey that was the BEST car I've ever had. I usually get a new one every year so that says alot about the Honda.
We got in touch with a car broker who had a connection with the dealer at Honda and we got a killer deal. Try calling a car broker and see who their inside is with. They all stick together so if you are flexible with what van it is you may get yourself a sweet deal.

Posted by: ChrisinNashville | November 16, 2007 12:56 AM

Have you looked at the Saturn Relay... ? cheap but functional and some pretty nice features are standard.

Posted by: Maelyn | November 16, 2007 12:03 PM