Rochester Local

Welcome to the Van Life!

minivanHave you ever seen the Dude Dad spoof on buying minivans?!  I die laughing every time! I’ll just leave it here in case you haven’t watched this masterpiece… Dude Dad’s Five Stages of Buying a Minivan. You’re welcome!  But in all seriousness, three kids really is the magic number where vehicle requirements change.  Two kids is perfect for a smaller sedan or SUV but once you have three it becomes less and less comfortable for everyone.

Up until recently, our primary family vehicle was my husband’s truck with max crew cab. The back seat is so ginormous that we can fit all three boys (including car seats and boosters) in the one bench seat. Our other car (which I primarily drove for work) was a small/older SUV.  While it did have a third row, it would not fit all three boys comfortably due to its size. Having the one family car and a smaller one or two kid option worked for us for a long time, but we knew it wouldn’t last forever.

Last summer was when I first started considering a van. The boys and I were busy with swim lessons, summer camps, family trips, and play dates with friends. The truck was cumbersome, especially in small parking lots. There were several times when my husband would need his truck for something else – which left me and the boys stuck at home. We needed two vehicles that would fit everyone.

I heard from so many other moms that their van was the best thing they never knew they needed. They raved about how much easier life was after finally buying one. It took a lot of convincing and endless hours of searching, but I am excited to say that we have joined the van life! And now that I am on the other side, here are my top ten benefits of owning a minivan:

  1.  Buttons –  I can’t tell you how many times the boys would partially close a door (on accident, of course) and drain my battery. Now this never happens! They can push a button to close the door and the door fully closes EVERY TIME.
  2. Space to breathe –  In the truck, the boys’ seats touch each other.  Which means that every ride includes at least a few, “He’s touching me!” “Tell him to stock kicking me!” “He took my toy!”  Now that they all have a seat to themselves, our car rides are a lot more peaceful.
  3. Room for guests – No more needing to take 2 cars when grandma and grandpa come to visit! The minivan can seat all 5 of us plus some guests.
  4. Cup holders galore – Enough said.
  5. Better gas mileage – The new van has much better gas mileage than the truck. I haven’t experienced this yet but less stops for gas will hopefully make family road trips smoother!
  6. Storage space – The back row (or half of the back row) can collapse down leaving a ton of space for storage. This will be super handy for luggage, camping supplies, etc.
  7. Sliding doors –  When parking the truck, I always used to give myself plenty of space on either side.  But 9 times out of 10, I would come out to find someone else parked so close we couldn’t get our doors to open all the way.  Nothing is worse than trying to buckle a car seat in a squished spot. The sliding doors on the van make parking lots (even smaller ones) so much easier! Also helps prevent door dings too!
  8. Privacy on wheels – The van has so much more room for anything that needs doing; changing clothes, diapers, naps, etc. It allows for privacy when needed.
  9. Easier to maneuver – We have had both a truck and suburban before getting the minivan.  While my husband loves the large truck body, I am much more comfortable driving the smaller vehicle.
  10. Embracing Van Life – My husband always joked that we would never be “Van People.” But now that we are, I can fully embrace it!  I have no shame about the fact that I a Van Mom. Maybe I’ll even get some stickers for the back window!minivan

We would love to hear some of the other reasons you love your van life!


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