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"According to the Quality Control Systems Corporation, from “1982 through 2008, there have been 724 fatal rollovers of 15-passenger vans in which an occupant of the van was killed in the United States. These crashes killed 1,153 persons and injured an additional 1,957. More than six thousand persons have been involved in fatal rollovers as drivers or passengers in the vans, of whom only 305 were known to be uninjured in these crashes.” The Quality Control Systems Corporation's statistics were drawn from data from the 1982-2008 Fatality Analysis Reporting System database and “involved model year 1981-2008 vans manufactured by Ford, Dodge / DaimlerChrysler, and General Motors / Chevrolet.”"
Thanks for this, I think its very interesting the differing perspectives. As I said minibuses as we call them are seen as a very safe mode of transport and this is supported by the Department for Transport in their accident stats (20 & 40 series RAS). Although they do concur that there is an increased fatality rate in roll over accidents. They still remain safer (in the UK) than many other forms of road transport. This possibly explains my surprise (and the curious looks I got when I rented two for a UK scout trip to NY) when I read that they are viewed as less safe in the US. Cheers Gareth
We normally have Adults drive, although in some cases (like Summer Camp) we borrow vans from our CO. We do not load the back seat with either Scouts or gear, and it appears that doing so could be one cause of the instability of the vans. So while that cuts down on our carrying capacity a bit, they still hold 11 people - more than my car .
As we've grown the last 3 years, sufficient transportation for Scouts and gear has started to become an issue.
Agree with SSScout, DON'T buy a bus!!! You WILL regret it! Search the topic for more info!
I bought a 2002 Dodge 1500 Quad Cab 4x4 and I am regretting it also...3 breakdowns in 6 months...luckily the Car dealer carried a side not on the recent repairs on the transmission which was 1600.00.. now i am facing another 300-500 dollar repair. so Now my 5 seater is parked until i can afford those repairs...mean while i continue to make payments of 500.00 a month till next March..
in Texas it would not cost me much more to insure than a Motor Home unless I went for hire, then insurance and a license is high.
P.S my Truck averages 9 miles per gallon when it runs....
Yes the 15 passengers are the max without a commercial drivers license, correct? So they tend to be overloaded a bit and roll over easy. Ours seems to ride better loaded down and pulling our trailer.
Our Troop has use of our CO 15 passenger van augmented with personal vehicles for most trips--which may have 25-45 boys plus adults. We have a coffin trailer, a bigger trailer, and a 8 slot canoe trailer so we usually are happy for new parents with a truck and a hitch.
If at all possible we will just take the coffin trailer. For car camping type trips we will enforce a 12 gallon tub rule because we can stack them easily in the trailer along with the patrol boxes. Seems like our natural break point is 14 boys and 4 adults; we start going over that and we need to start deciding to do something else. Popular trips (like a weekend at the beach) can get unwieldy.
We will reimburse for gas if pulling a trailer and hauling a full load of boys; not for Dad and his boy or late arrivals or early departures.
For summer camp we have rented a 60 person bus but that gets very expensive. Lately we have rented 8 passenger SUV's. It all depends on how many boys and the budget break point.
Biking trips are complicated...we have rented trailers to carry 20+ bikes.
I like the backpacking trips the best as we can get away with just the van or a couple vehicles. Also Patrol activities because they are small.
Our Troop Quartermaster and the Patrol Quartermasters get a lot of work!
Sorry if I am over sharing. BTW the Troop down the road carries twice as much gear as we do (mess tables, benches, heavy cookers, portable kitchen, etc)
Who's name will be on the title for this vehicle? Will it be an individual or the CO? Technically, troops don't own anything. The CO owns all of the troops equipment.
And these worries are just the beginning! By the way, a BRAND NEW Thomas Safe-T-Liner School bus averages 8 miles per gallon (diesel). A fill-up will cost ya around $400. Bus fans are really better off chartering or look among your parents/ friends for someone who works for a school bus company. I've quite often offered my services and the company its bus for the troop--and all the troop had to do was replace the fuel used.
We ask parents to drive if there are not enough seats in the vehicles driven by the leaders who will be camping. Even with trips as far as 4 hours away, it hasn't been a problem. I think it is all about expectations. Driving scouts for trips is one way that parents who cannot serve in other roles can volunteer to support the troop. And if a parent does want to stay and camp with the troop, they are more than welcome to stay with the adult leader patrol and watch boy-led patrols in action from afar.
My kid brother used to drive charter buses out of Rochester MN. He got frequent assignments to go to the BWCA with a group charter. It was cheaper to drive the bus up, pay the driver for the week and then drive back than to make the bus trip twice. He'd end up with 6-8 weeks in the BWCA as a bus driver. He still says they were the best summers of his life.
I was surprised the number of scout and college groups that used this option.