We own a Suburban. I love it. It does not fit our family. Yes I just said that. It doesn't even fit our 'current' family. Not with seatbelts and definitely not with carseats. Yes. It's a problem.
The solution has been that we can get a custom made 4th row. Happy Mama! It's reasonably priced...it just still doesn't solve our problems. Our family of 11 would fit in the vehicle with sufficient seatbelts...but still we can not fit 9 car seats / boosters in there. Ahhh!
How sad to see me sad to say goodbye to our Suburban! :) I do love it but really..it's a car.
See for the average family there's dozens of options for a vehicle. For our family...there's 4.
1. A school bus. We would fit. Carseats wouldn't work. And this Mama wouldn't drive it. So it's out.
2. A 12-15 passenger large van. A 12 passenger still barely works with all the carseats. And we do travel a lot. Probably more than the family with 2 children. It's a beast. Its kind of out.
3. A Mercedes Benz Sprinter. Yah yah...it's called Mercedes Benz and looks kind of cool but it doesn't exactly live up to the name. It's quite affordable ...but still a beast. Totally. Like even vinyl flooring so you can spray it down with a hose. Kind of cold.
4. A conversion van. This is what Dean's been talking about for a long time and I've been "I love our Suburban!" :) But he pulled them up online and he got my interest. Comfy seats. Custom made for 15 passengers. Individual headphones for the kids IF they are watching a movie (bliss!). And ... it's really nice looking.
The down side? Well they aren't exactly at every local dealership! We found a large dealership in Pensacola, Fl. Yes...about as far away from us in WA as you can get...
We found a van just a few years old with very very low miles (that'll change quickly) and 15 passenger for a very very great price. I still remember when I was 6y and my dad came home and showed us our new conversion van. ;) Guess I'm going back to my roots.
I've been labelling this a luxury (to move from the Suburban) but it's actually a necessity. I guess this is just one of the extra expenses of having 9 children ;) Thankfully we'll make our house do for a little while longer..but the vehicle...just can not work.
We are excited and the very good news is we have a lot of equity in our Suburban b/c we bought it on Ebay (yes...we did) in FL (yes...we did) and have been offered only $4000 less than we paid for it 3 years ago! Since it's almost paid off -- that's over $11,000 in equity on a CAR! All $11,000 will go into the van bringing our payments down even lower than they currently are on the Suburban = awesome. So the short of the story is we got a screaming deal on our car 3 years ago...and are selling it for a screaming deal now 3y and another 55,000 miles later. This is a trade deal which is another bonus b/c we only pay sales tax on the difference (saving us another $1500 in taxes). Very big deal right now when our focus is our adoption.
The funny side...? We are trading a vehicle...in FL. What does this mean? Yes...it means Dean will be driving TO FL from WA tomorrow. It's about 40 hours drive each way. I'm actually sad I'm not going...I LOVE Florida :) It's northern FL so that helps. :) Dean is going with Zion and Chazano. It was quite easy to choose the 2 that would go b/c my sister, Jocelyn, is coming to visit this week. :) So the ones staying home are very excited to stay home.
Dean's Dad called and offered to fly into Denver...so Dean will pick him up there and will have another driver and adult to talk to :)
Our family will fit in our vehicle and I have to go car seat and booster seat shopping...true story.