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Used Work Vehicle Help Needed - Van, Truck or SUV?

Hi there -

We own an antique business and are now starting to go out on the road to do shows. We mainly sell antique books, paper and some smaller antiques (but need room for displays etc… and other odd items and for bigger shows we can pretty much fill a van with product alone).

We have absolutely no idea where to start - diesel/non diesel, van or truck with cab, suv, small box truck, etc…

  1. Our road trips would be around 800 miles round trip and less
  2. Perhaps once a month usage at most, so we will only be using the vehicle for shows.
  3. Less than 10,000 used range
  4. Good gas mileage for hauling
  5. Will be carrying less than 3,000
  6. Would like tow capacity to infrequently tow small camper
  7. If vehicle, can take out back seats for cargo room

We started looking at Yukon XL, Trailblazers, etc… and just really got confused.

Also may just buy a tow trailer instead if that is best option…

Currently own Hyundai Santa Fe with 3,000 tow capacity but if you advise to just get a cargo trailer we are happy to take advice on what to trade Hyundai in for to haul with when necessary. Seems that this would be the best route, as it would be one less vehicle to insurance but will take your advice into consideration.

Thanks soooooo much - will value any advice, as we are lost!


3000 lbs seems like a fair towing capacity that might fit your range, you would need to calculate your towing weight including the trailer. If you do not have a towing package the addition of a trans fluid cooler would be highly recommended. Other considerations are your engine size and terrain you will be traveling, flatlands no problems, mountains think twice and consider a trailer with brakes.

Many variables might change the vehicle specs from week to week.
I have a pickup and a long Expedition.
I could never have hauled that TV and Broyhill armoir in the Expedition ( among other things ).
The rain would have destroyed the seven interior doors if they were in the pickup.
Unloading for merely a week seems like a trailer would be the ticket so I could just leave it all in there. ( my bass guitar amp, lights, and wires are still in the Expedition thought the next gig is oct 24 )

My thought would be to keep the Hyundai Santa Fe and look for a good used cargo van such as Ford Econoline or the equivalent Chevrolet van. I don’t think that the gasoline mileage would be much less, if any, on a Ford E-150 van than pulling a trailer with the Santa Fe.

The E-150 has 230 CF of cargo space. If you want more, the E-250 and E-350 have a long wheel base version with 271 CF of cargo space. The equivalent Chevy/GMC vans have cargo capacities of 204 CF and 237 CF for their two van lengths.

When My uncle had his furniture company in Oregon he would rent the biggest truck u-haul made about 1-2 times a month to run from Tillamook Oregon as far as Vancouver B.C (he was basically the demand in his town for such a large truck so they pretty much could save it for his use. It worked out better for him than maintaining and owning a truck. You could go the minivan route but most might not be quite big enough for everything.

I lean toward keeping the Hyundai and renting a more than adequate truck when needed.