Need a safe,cheap vehicle for heavy equipment

I recently totaled my Chevy suburban (200k+ miles, '97) that I used for my mobile DJ business. I have about 800lbs of equipment that I take with me to most gigs, including fragile lighting equipment (so extra ‘under’/protected storage helps as well). I need a vehicle with the same amount of storage space that is fitted with a steel net or something of equal or greater resistance protecting the driver from being crushed by the equipment in case of a roll or wreck. What type of vehicle should I be looking at? A van, SUV or truck? And I want it to be classy/sexy if possible. Thanks to anyone who has good advice!

Will look at more expensive solutions as well!

Just a good ol’ van is best if you don’t want a trailer. Vans have a lower floor height for easier loading. I can’t imagine using my 08 Expedition every weekend with its high floor…I prefer my trailer. ( I have hauled an amp or three in it but it’s pretty high for this old man )

I have hauled country/rock band sound gear every weekend since1972 ( Stopped actively playing in 02 ) Started with a 68 Dodge van. Other band mambers had pickups but again the high floor height made us keep looking for better means.
– A used u-haul trailer suits us best.
Low floor height.
any available band member can tow it. ( don’t have to wait for the guy with the truck )
We can leave the gear inside between gigs and not need to tote all that weight for six days, nor unload and reload between gigs.
The trailer can be pre-parked at the gig a day before then zip over after work.
The trailer kept its crappy paint job – no band names or logos – so people would not know what’s inside to steal.

A 2008 or later Chrysler Town and Country ha fold flat seating and can haul up to 1200 pounds. You probably want the 6-cyl, though. You might be able to haul your gear and leave the middle row upright.

Another Suburban? Should be fairly cheap, LOTS of area for interesting decals/wraps.

Any van has more useable space than a Suburban and most get considerably better gas mileage. And those wraps can make a sow’s ear look like a silk purse.

You can make extra money with wraps if you drive in the right areas.

I would look for a used GMC Savana, Chevy G series or Ford Econoline contractor’s van…the DJ and band members I know like these the best. Another popular option with some groups are SUVs with an enlosed trailer with a ramp. One I know tows his with a big old Caddy. All work well. I don’t like minivans. They are made more for people then gear and loaded, will not hold up over time as well as a truck based vehicle, especially if you include people with 800 lbs of gear. Minivans are nearly overloaded at just that weight.

Let me correct myself. Dagosa is correct and I should have been more specific and said a ‘conventional’ van with rear wheel drive would work well. The Astro might be up to it.

texases @ “Another Suburban? + wraps”

A great wrap really helps promote a business.