The “Man Van”


Growing families often buy Minivans as a last resort because they need a vehicle with more space, but that does not mean that those families can’t grow to appreciate a minivan.

Scott Sinor, Leesville’s drafting teacher and father of four, bought his minivan in 2012. He “needed a vehicle that could transport a family of six,” so he purchased a 2007 Dodge Grand Caravan.

Sinor, like many others, bought it out of necessity, not because he liked it. The caravan was decidedly different from the 1994 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra that Mr. Sinor had driven previously.

It was a rough transition between the two, but in the end, with a lot of teasing and jokes from his family, it worked out.

Despite not being a sports car, the minivan had many upsides.

More storage areas, seating, and space, in general, were a definite plus when picking it out. It also has a roof rack, which is great for bringing home the Christmas tree each year or attaching a rooftop storage box. “The rooftop cargo box works great for packing more luggage or other items.”

The Sinor family loves using the roof rack for storage during their trips. Sometimes it holds additional camping gear for weekend trips or the plethora of stuffed animals that his youngest like to tote around with them on summer vacations.

The Grand Caravan has been on many trips with the Sinor crew. With monthly visits to Edenton, North Carolina along with other miscellaneous trips. Most recently, Mr. Sinor used the “man van” to drive down to Georgia. However, the family tends to only go to “parts of North Carolina and Tennessee, only occasionally visiting Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia.”

During most of these trips, he and his family stay in a hotel at night while they explore the surrounding area during the day. It isn’t just hotel stays. The family also enjoys camping.

The bumper stickers are from some of the Sinors’ preferred places to visit. Their two favorites are on the top, Hanging Rock State Park and Carolina State Beach Park. (Photo courtesy of Savannah Sinor).

While camping, Mr. Sinor likes to buy a bumper sticker of the campsite to remind him of the visit. “I put the stickers from the various campsites that I’ve stayed at with either my family or the Scouts (Boy and Girl) on the back of the rooftop storage container,” said Mr. Sinor.

Without the minivan, most of these camping trips and vacations would not have been possible. Or they would have been at least shorter. The benefit of the minivan is that everyone and their bags can fit in it.

Luggage is not the only thing that can go in the back of the Grand Caravan. One of Mr. Sinor’s favorite memories is when he put all the seats down, and his family sat in the back as they watched a movie at a drive-in theater.

“Going to the Raleigh Road Outdoor Theater with my wife and four kids is one of my favorite memories. We backed into our spot and opened the tailgate to watch the double feature. My two youngest, babies at the time, fell asleep in sleeping bags before the second movie even started,” said Mr. Sinor.

He never would have thought that he would grow to like the van, but despite his original misgivings, he has had some wonderful memories because of it.

“It is not my preferred vehicle of choice, but it has proven to be an extremely useful vehicle,” said Mr. Sinor.

This experience is not unique to Mr. Sinor. Many families have to trade in their old cars for minivans. As their families grow, their need for more space increases, and that includes space in cars. That leads them to buy a minivan. Although these vehicles may be “soccer mom cars” or “man vans,” that does not mean that they are a downgrade.

Instead of thinking about how you had to get rid of your sports car for one of these vans, think of how many memories you will make because of it. Think of all the family vacations, road trips, or even drive-in theaters that your family could go to because you have a minivan. So the Sinor’s Grand Caravan was not the first choice, but in the end, it became the “man van” and something that could take them to all of their favorite places.  


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