Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Storm Chase Vehicles

Well, after spending more than a year trying to make our Sprinter Vans work for our Thunderstorm Lab classes, we have given up. Their reliability, or really lack thereof, will prevent us from even trying to fix them. Unbelievable! So now we hunt down a new solution for transporting 18 people on five trips per year. We think it will be the old reliable Ford E-250's. We sure couldn't do worse.

We leave for another trip in two weeks. Being vanless for this trip, we are going to have to rent some vehicles. This time we are renting two SUV's and a 12 person van. Not ideal, but it should get us someplace. And since we had the Sprinters, this might be the first time we can count on getting there.

Paul

8 comments:

Weather Central said...

Welcome to blogland, Paul!
Hopefully we can have some good discussions here.

Cheers,
Dave

Jeff said...

Weird, I must be a blogger too, how does this thing recognize my identity?

So did the school buy those vans, and are they taking the loss on them? Is the school looking toward replacing them with more acceptable vans, or just letting you rent as you've done before? How were those sprinters selected in the first place without realizing they would be trouble? Let us look forward and what would be the most acceptable van possible for stormchasing? Are you looking most for comfort, safety, or economy? and then once you've picked the best vehicle possible, how can we help you go above and beyond in purchasing them /?

Paul Sirvatka said...

We obviously have very specific demands for vehicles. We need space and comfort inside and we need reliability outside. We always had success with Ford vans, and that was considering rental vans with customizing. I think if we find vans that will seat 10 or 11 with plenty of rear cargo room, that should be sufficient for our needs.

Anonymous said...

Having driven the "Sprinters" the
past two chase seasons, there were indeed many reliability issues with them. Luckily on the trips i was on, there were "Mimimal" problems (Broken Fan belt, Spontaneously disconnecting Turbo hose,Broken AC, and "57 MPH Syndrome".
Pnain and simple: they just should not break, nor can the program afford to have unreliable vehicles, especially when it becomes a safety issue to all those involved on the trip.
Sometimes getting in them for the day, i would get the feeling i was getting ready to go in to space in a 1960's vintage Russian spacecraf t, which were not known for their safety and reliability. Any day we got somewhere with little problem, i was glad to just be there.
After all we have been through
with them, i say good riddance to the pigs. Bring on the new rides!!

Jeff in PAH

Jeff Metal Mila said...

hmmm then is a BUS out of the question for chasing? or maybe you guys Should travel AMTRAk. Even an 18 wheeler cargo trailer, then you Could experience wind gusts with an in-depth study! Wood Would!

Maybe you guys can get a sponsership from Webb Dodge.

A small fleet of black mini-vans is not out of the question, right?

Weather Central said...

oh yeah, I did a 2-day damage survey from it. F3. it didn't hit anything more substantial than a poorly-anchored house, and it took that right off the foundation. had it hit something bigger...
any info would be good--thatnks!
see you soon,
Dave

David said...

Glad to hear that the COD is considering alternative vehicles. As much as I love the interior of the vans if they ain't going nowhere it ain't no good.
I will ask for recommendations since I used to be in the van industry, though in Europe. Also met someone at an art fair over the weekend who worked for Chrysler and can offer discounts.
How about getting a safari style oven sided soft top vehicle?! What do other tours use (silverlining etc)?

David said...

Glad to hear that the COD is considering alternative vehicles. As much as I love the interior of the vans if they ain't going nowhere it ain't no good.
I will ask for recommendations since I used to be in the van industry, though in Europe. Also met someone at an art fair over the weekend who worked for Chrysler and can offer discounts.
How about getting a safari style oven sided soft top vehicle?! What do other tours use (silverlining etc)?