Vehicle Advice - Good for Back Position and Good for Sleeping in. Budget $5000

Hi, I am really stuck on deciding what to do with my vehicle situation.

What I have now.

  1. Hyundai Santa Fe V6 SUV (great for lower back injury, which I suffer from, and elderly mother also suffers from). It is much more gentle on my back sitting in the SUV. My physio explained it is good to be sitting in the high position of SUV.
    Good for towing Boat in and out of Boat ramp at the lakes. (5 metre wooden catamaran with sleeping cabin, approx 400-500kg weight) .

  2. Ford Econovan (yr2000, Long Wheel base, manual, set up inside with bed base which opens up for storage underneath) . Suitable space inside to sleep, but also about 1 metre extra to store things and/or to sit off side of the bed if its terrible weather out.

I have been driving van lately, left the SUV in the yard unregistered (but can get it blue slipped for <$500 worth of repairs) .
But I have been feeling bad, when I meet my mother weekly for lunch and cannot transport her in the same comfort that the SUV provides her back.
I can drive her round in her sedan, but she says it is much more comfortable for her in the SUV, just the seating position is much better on your lower back. I sometimes have to drive her long distances, 3 hours each way drive to see her grandkids etc, so I want to have something that is easy on her back (and mine) . Even though she won't complain, I can hear and see her in much more agony getting in and out of sedan, and she would struggle to climb up into the van.

I have the van, for regular road trips (just been 10 weeks around Byron bay, port Macquarie, gold coast) . It is cheaper than my only other real options (backpackers hostel) , and I actually sleep much better in the comfort of van bed, compared to the crappy mattresses at most hostels.

I feel like the Hyundai Santa Fe doesn't quite have the amount of space I would like for sleeping in back.

I had a Mazda tribute SUV before the Hyundai, and it was similarly good on my injured back.

So I guess, ideally, something which has a really good ergonomic seating position for back, sitting like you do in Santa Fe, or the Mazda tribute, but also with enough space in the back to put a mattress and have little bit of space besides the mattress spot.

A van that has similar seating position to what I had in Santa Fe SUV and Mazda tribute SUV perhaps ?

Also needs to be able to pull my boat up the ramp at lake (just a lake trailer sailer boat, not fit for ocean or waves). Only about 400kg weight to pull, but I though it was good to have all wheel drive, so you don't slip driving/pulling up ramp.

Would like something with good safety rating, good for low maintenance, good on fuel.

Max budget $5000, cheaper would be better though

Comments

  • +2 votes

    Max budget $5000, cheaper would be better though

    Holy crap I think that needs to be in the title and in the first line. That really doesn't help

    Would like something with good safety rating

    At that price you'll struggle to get more than 2 airbags I'm sure

    •  

      That really doesn't help

      Do you think I need much higher budget ? I could stretch to 8k.

      Maybe a Ute, With 1 of those slide on campers, but I don't know how the seating is in utes. I think some utes are high seated similar to my other 2 SUV I have owned. I Haven't owned many or experienced sitting in many vehicles yet.

      Thank you for the advice regarding title. I will adjust now.

  •  

    Goodluck with $5k

    •  

      How much do you think ? As a minimum ? For something with good seating position for back, enough space for a mattress, and that would be not much hassle pulling 400kg wooden boat up ramps .

  • +1 vote

    Nissan Cube would be the best. The front drivers seat is like sitting on a lounge room sofa and the seats can fold down into a double bed without any extra need for mattresses etc. Plenty available around the 5k mark and very reliable vehicles being based off the micra, the only thing you compromise on is aesthetics but the interior packaging is great.

    •  

      Can't tow from what I've read

      •  

        Yeah thats for the Z12 model. The older Z11 models in his budget are able to tow with the 1.4 4sp Auto can do 750kg (and you can buy towbars for the Z11 cube rated for up to 1200kg), though personally i wouldn't tow more than the 400kg boat anyway just because of I could imagine how incredibly sluggish it would be with any more weight in tow.

    •  

      Doesn't look very flat in this video https://youtu.be/Z7VGPXa-xrQ?t=72. Guy then put in a whole bunch of stuff on top in an effort to make it comfy.

      •  

        Thats a US spec Z12 model. Completely different to the older Z11 model and out of his 5k budget anyway. The older Z11 isn't completely flat but its nothing like in that video and actually useful as a bed.

  • +1 vote

    Just get a bog stock Commodore. Seats are basically armchairs.

    •  

      Really . Sounds worth a try . What would the model names etc be called ?
      Sorry, I don't know much about cars. I know I would search "Commodore" on gumtree etc, what else do I need to add to search ?
      If I go see one, and sit in it, I should be able to notice how it is on my lower back.

      •  

        Sorry I went to edit and add Wagon but your replied quick.

        Lots of people buy foam mattresses from Clark Rubber (or make their own cheaper) that will fit in the wagon bay. Heaps of room. The VY/VZ Commodores have more room in the back but the VE's are a better car (iffy on your budget tho).

        Offtopic but have you seen a physio? May be worthwhile to address the primary issue for better quality of life.

        • +1 vote

          Thanks very much for the advice. Do you feel like the Commodore wagon, would be just as good on lower back as an SUV . I noticed with mum's Mitsubishi Lancer, it's more strain on the back than in the Santa Fe. Then back when I had a Toyota Celica, that was even worse. So it seems something to do with sitting higher up, helps the lower back.

          have you seen a physio?

          Yes, seen physio, Chiro, neurosurgeon (no op required at this time) . Thanks. The best was probably actually a cheap massage place, this 1 guy there is an expert in eastern medicine healing massage. I just found out he should back working again soon, so that will help a lot. He basically fixes everything I do to myself, so I can push my back a bit more and gradually strengthen back muscles, but anything that flares up, he can fix it 100% every single time without fail.

          My mother's comfort is my main concern though tbh. I see her groan in agony getting in and out of her Lancer lately, and feel terrible. Knowing that she has no struggle getting in and out of the SUV.

          • +1 vote

            @Chewybacca: Sorry to hear it's a longterm thing. Not casting any opinion on any particular form of medicine but have they identified what the cause is? Or just relieving pain?

            The reason I ask is I had a serious shoulder injury from sport that persisted for a long time. Thought it would be permanent. Saw a decent physio and over the course of months the pain was 99% gone and doesn't even require visits these days, just stick to a management plan, stretching & exercises.

  •  

    Do you care about fuel economy?

    •  

      It is not a 'deal breaker' .
      I am hoping someone with an amazing knowledge of vehicles, will know something which is perfect .
      But I completely understand that having everything I want in the 1 vehicle is hard, so if it fits the other things I need, poor fuel economy is acceptable.

      • +2 votes

        Petrol r51 Pathfinder can be had around your budget if you search. Rear seats fold flat and I'd say you could sleep in there. Will easily tow your boat up the ramp. Independent suspension all round, quite a soft ride. St-l and above specs have stability control.

        Other possibility is maybe a Nissan Elgrand, not sure how expensive they are though for an older one. Mitsubishi Delica? Getting pretty old though.

  •  

    What do you for a job OP? Sounds like a nice lifestyle of bumming around the coast!

    • +2 votes

      I know someone who's been on Centrelink for years and does this. Lives in a van.
      I also know someone on 150k+ a year that travels and lives from his van 3 months of the year.

      What's your point?

  •  

    Sounds like you need a Sandwagon

    • +1 vote

      You mean a Sandman? We all need one. Add a zero and you may get a crappy one.

      •  

        They are so expensive now. Family member regrets selling theirs before the price shot through the roof.

  • +3 votes

    How about an old people mover like a Kia Carnival? High rise height like an SUV and massive space for a mattress.

    Additionally - why not give your Mum your Santa Fe and sell her Lancer? Santa Fe is an awesome car and it’s a shame to have it collecting dust in the backyard.

    •  

      Santa Fe is an awesome car and it’s a shame to have it collecting dust in the backyard.

      Absolutely . The model I have 2005, has clear coat issue, but, this actually makes for amazing value. Price is less due to cosmetic look of clear coat, and they have no other major common problems when I researched .

      why not give your Mum your Santa Fe and sell her Lancer

      This is tricky, as the lancer has A new/recon engine just put in ($6k) and another $2.5k repair, all of which was paid for by a kind and generous family member. Feels wrong to get rid of the car now (probably would only sell for 5k) .
      I will let him know to get her a different car though, next time she calls him in distress with vehicle issues.

  •  

    Why not combine your budget with your mum and buy her a car that is easier for her to manage. You’ve said you could borrow her car to drive her so it seems there isn’t much point you owning two cars when one is mostly for driving mum around.

    •  

      Thanks for the suggestions.
      Mum lives about 40 minutes drive away, so vehicle sharing not suitable.
      Mum's car has a new/recon engine recently put in at cost of about $6k. Family member paid for that engine, so I feel like I need to consult him before selling off or trading. Same family member will cover costs and organise her another good used car, if her car breaks, so I will have to let him know to get her something higher seated next time he replaces her car.

  • +1 vote

    Honda Oddysey. Cheap, reliable, extremely comfortable. Remove the back seats and you have a van with two comfortable front seats. Leather, electric adjustment. Not terrible on fuel. 720kg braked towing.

    https://www.carsales.com.au/cars/details/2005-honda-odyssey-...

    That's what I'd get. You'll have to install a towbar on most of them probably, though.

    •  

      Except I wouldn't touch that particular vehicle. QLD car in NSW that hasn't been transferred over? Screams repairable write off to me (which means it cannot be registered in NSW)

    • +2 votes

      That is a lot of car for the money.

      •  

        Agreed. I always saw Oddyseys and was jealous of how comfortable they looked. If I didn't use AWD more often I might have one.

      • +1 vote

        I've noticed with the rise in popularity of SUVs that people movers have come down in price. V6 Taragos are great value now too.

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