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The Bergeron Love-Mobile

Look what my hubby bought me…brand-spanking new off the lot. Imported all the way from Idaho. Β Sure, I’d prefer a 1964 WV van or a Mini Cooper over a 15 passenger van, but really, who am I to be picky?

I certainly couldn’t fit 11 gorgeous, brilliant children into a Mini Cooper, now could I?

And look at those big brown eyes (but not the dirty face, please) I don’t see him complaining about the lack of a completely restored cherry red or turquoise ’64 hippie van…

And the dashingly handsome man who pays for it all…he doesn’t look like he’s complaining, now does he?

So how did this all go down? Chuck and I honestly have no interest in new vehicles. In fact, we both prefer used for the huge savings. Unfortunately, when you only have one option for family vehicle (15 passenger van) and you insist on a sliding door (to save strangers’ vehicles in parking lots) and you current 15 passenger van needs a whole lot of work…and you hate said van, it can be a bit like being stuck between a rock and a hard place.

It was either drop a whole chunk of money into our 1995 diesel van…or buy one. And believe it or not, we could not find even one 15 passenger van with a sliding door for sale in our state or our surrounding states (and please, do not email me if you know of one for sale now….it’s too late πŸ™‚

But since we had to buy a new one, I can enjoy the perks, right? Like the built-in USB port to charge my phone, Ipod, Ipad, etc while driving. Or that with the push of a button on the steering wheel, I can talk on my cell phone hands-free. And not to be forgotten, seats that match. And probably most important of all, this one’s not diesel.

Yes, perhaps not my dream vehicle, but I’d say it comes pretty close.



  1. Nicole

    So what do you have against diesel vans? We were just looking to buy a diesel 15 passenger van but they are very hard to find. What are you doing with your old one? What kind of work does it need? Congrats. My dream vehicle is similar to the one you just got only that has a completely enclosed (air tight) cab so I don’t have to smell all the stinky cars on the road.

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Nicole- I’ll be the first to say I know nothing about vehicles or engines…but I have two complaints about diesel: the noise and the smell. I’ll send you a message about what’s wrong with the van…I have to check with Chuck because I have no idea!

  2. Anna

    Jealous! I thought for sure with the new baby on the way I would get a new van. But instead I got a new third row seat for the middle (it matches) and we all still fit in the Windstar. Yes, $65 was cheaper than a new van…maybe I’ll get one in two years when we grow out of it again…

    Do you assign seats or let the kids choose where they sit?

  3. kris

    Nice! Hands free and the USB port are nice. I have those in my Ford Flex and really like them. Especially the hands free feature!

  4. C Smith

    We rented that same van when ours was in an accident, and the kids loved it. Every time we pass the rental lot someone will say, “look there’s our van”. I’ve never seen kids covet a car so much:). We might just consider buying one if we ever get our insurance settlement.

  5. Lou

    Nice! I would LOVE a Mini Cooper. And I am totally and utterly NOT into cars. I only own one when necessary (I have no kids of my own and live in the inner city of Sydney). A job I’m about to start requires a 45min drive-commute, and I am currently carless. And I don’t think my electric bike and my overweight and only moderately fit frame is going to be much chop. So I am also about to get a car. And for the first time in my life, I’m contemplating new. Mainly because the difference between new and 5 or so years old isn’t great. And I am over 10 yr old cars (only ever owned that type). And a friend who knows car type things assured me that you save money in the long run if you get a new car and really look after it. So I also am maybe getting new. Though a wee bit smaller than this. Something about 2m long!!! Teensy hatch back, but cheaper than Mini Cooper….Sigh….

  6. Bob Shupe

    Congrats on the new van! When we grew out of our Caravan we had an equally difficult time finding a van that suited us. We were looking only for a used one as we were shopping to pay cash and the savings back then was about $7k used over new for a three year old van with 15k miles on it. We love the van tremendously (07 Ford E350 gas) but we should have bought a fifteen passenger. We were considering both a twelve and fifteen at the time and found identically featured and finished models ironically for the same price. The fifteen was in St. Louis and the twelve was in Sacramento. We tried to weigh all the components of this decision and chose the twelve passenger. The one component that we really could not weigh was what God’s plans for our family and now that we are eleven strong (9 + 2) we really wish we would have bought the fifteen. We have been considering the purchase of a fifteen passenger now especially since we would likely be able to negotiate a pretty good deal with car sales the way they are right now. A foolish notion perhaps. Naturally we would simultaneously suffer at the hands of the same market conditions trying to sell our current van to help fund the purchase of a fifteen passenger. Do you mind saying how much you paid for it and maybe how much the initial price was? If not, no worries.

    I would be curious to know also, why you did not favor the diesel van you had.

    Thanks for the post and again, congratulations!


    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Bob- I don’t like the smell or the noise of the diesel. I know nothing about the actual engine.

      • Bob Shupe

        If you ever get to have one again try running bioD in it. You would be amazed at how much smoother and quieter the engine runs and, much of the bitterness of the exhaust smell goes away. If you want to run bioD in an older vehicle make sure you upgrade your fuel lines etc. The older rubbers will be negatively impacted by the bioD.

  7. Anna Macdonald

    We fill up our 7-passenger van, so I’ve been wanting to save up enough to buy a used 12-passenger van before God decides its time for me to get pregnant again. We just bought a house, though, so the saving-up has not been happening.

    • Bob Shupe

      Maybe about the time you’re ready to buy, we will be too and you could buy ours. lol Its extremely clean and well maintained and is very pleasing to the eye. We specifically looked all over for the exterior/interior color combination we bought.

        • Bob Shupe

          There are a couple of photos there though they arent really what you would want to make a decision on but you can see the colors. On our home page, click on our photo and it will take you to a slide show. Photos 19-20 have the van in them.

          Its a 2007. The exterior is a high metallic green called “Light Tundra” and the interior color is tan and is called “Pebble”. You can look those up online and see some examples. We really prefer the tan over the only other option of gray. When you have tinted windows (a must for us) the gray is just too dark and claustrophobic.

          If you want, contact me via email and I can email you some wider angle photos so you can see what it is better.

          Im not sure about timing. Selling that one would be the key to anything as we dont have a pile of cash laying around for a vehicle purchase. lol

  8. Carolynn

    Go ahead and leave a comment if you have a 12 passenger with a sliding door. I really wish that I had a sliding door!
    Congrats! I am so happy for you! I love the color too! Plus I would like a van where all the seat belts work!

  9. Lauren

    Completely unrelated to cars and vans, my dad mentioned today an episode of mythbusters titled ‘duct tape island’ and guess who I thought of straight away?
    Thought it might be some fun for Tilly πŸ™‚

  10. jo

    This is funny, because we just kinda did the same as this only opposite. We bought a family car, a VW Passat and bought it “new” which we have never done. We made SURE it was a diesel… bc I love their sound, find the smell far less stinky and I make our own diesel. It costs about 90 cents a gal at the most. Diesel engines are easier for my husband to work on, he is a mechanic and even though diesel is more $, its more efficient thus costs the same or less. Our vehicle is not actually new though, it is a totally rebuilt 1997 Passat which means it was built in the audi factory in Germany, meaning it has more value than 2 new ones! We had it shipped from where you are actually, it is coming from the Seattle area up to Anchorage. We have NEVER spent so much on a car! Its our “life” car I guess, we wont ever buy a new truck or car. Both of which took us a long time to save the cash for.

  11. Dorothy

    We were able to find a used 15 passenger when we bought our 2006 Chevy 15 passenger 5 years ago. I bought it on E-bay, from a dealer in Texas, and they put it on a trailer and delivered it to us. I got every option I wanted, as we will have this vehicle for at least 15 years. We have the 2 dvd screens, the parking camera, and it came with a GPS.

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