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1965 Sava 213 vans

A van is a kind of vehicle used for transporting goods or groups of people. It is usually a box-shaped vehicle on four wheels, about the same width and length as a large automobile, but taller and usually higher off the ground, also referred to as a light commercial vehicle or LCV. However, in North America, the term may be used to refer to any truck with a rigid cargo body fixed to the cab, even up to large sizes.

In the UK usage, it can be either specially designed or based on a saloon/sedan car, the latter type often including derivatives with open backs (such as pick-up trucks). There are vans in all shapes and sizes, ranging from the classic van version of the tiny Mini to the five metre long (LWB) variants of the Mercedes Sprinter van. Vehicles larger than this are classified as lorries (trucks).

Contents

Word usage and etymology

The word van is a shortened version of the word caravan, which originally meant a covered vehicle.

The word van has slightly different, but overlapping, meanings in different forms of English. While the word always applies to boxy cargo vans, the most major differences in usage are found between the different English-speaking countries.

United Kingdom

British English speakers will generally refer to a passenger minivan as a people-carrier or MPV, or multi-purpose vehicle, and a larger passenger van as a minibus. Ford makes a distinct line of vans with short bonnets (hoods) and varying body sizes. Minivans are the same Vans but smaller. The driver's mate of a delivery van was sometimes referred to as a "vanguard."

United States

Full-size van in the United States
Minivan in the United States

In the United States, a van can also refer to a box-shaped trailer or semi-trailer used to carry goods. In this case there is a differentiation between a "dry van", used to carry most goods, and a refrigerated van, or reefer, used for cold goods. A railway car used to carry baggage is also called a van.

A vehicle referred to as a full size van is usually a large, boxy vehicle that has a platform and powertrain similar to their light truck counterparts. These vans may be sold with the space behind the front seats empty for transporting of goods (cargo van), or furnished for passenger use by either the manufacturer (Wagon) or another company for more personal comforts, such as entertainment systems (Conversion van). Full size vans often have a very short hood, with the engine block moved to within the passenger cabin.

A cutaway van chassis is a variation of the full size van which was developed for use by many second stage manufacturers. Such a unit generally has a van front end, and driver controls in a cab body which extends only to a point aft of the driver and passenger seats, where the rest of the van body is cutoff (leading to the terminology "cutaway"). From that point aft, usually only the chassis frame rails and running gear extend to the rear when the unit is shipped as an "incomplete vehicle". A second stage manufacturer, commonly known as a bodybuilder, will complete the vehicle for uses such as recreational vehicles, small school buses, minibuses, type III ambulances, and delivery trucks. A large portion of cutaway van chassis are equipped with dual rear wheels. Some second stage manufacturers also add a third weight-bearing single wheel "tag axle" for larger minibus models.

The term van may also refer to a Minivan. However, minivans are usually distinguished by their smaller size and traditionally front wheel drive powertrain, although many now are being equipped with four wheel drive. Minivans offer similar seating capacity (traditionally seven to eight passengers), and better fuel economy than full-size vans, at the expense of power, cargo space, and towing capacity. In addition, many new minivans have dual side sliding doors.

Japan

Early Japanese vans include the Mazda Bongo and the Subaru 360 van. The Japanese also produced many vans based on the American flat nose model, but also mini-vans which for the American market have generally evolved to the long-wheelbase front wheel drive form factor first pioneered by the Nissan Prairie and Mitsubishi Chariot. Microvans, vans that fulfill kei car regulations, are very popular for small business.

Australia

In Australian English, the term van is commonly used to describe a minivan, a passenger minibus, or an Australian panel van as manufactured by companies such as Holden and Ford at various times.

A full size van used for commercial purposes is also known as a van; however, a passenger vehicle with more than 7 or 8 seats is more likely to be called a minibus.

Finally, the term van can sometimes be used interchangeably with caravan, which in the U.S. is referred to as a travel trailer.

The British term people mover is also used in Australian English to describe a passenger van. The American usage of van to mean a cargo box trailer or semi-trailer is used rarely, if ever, in Australia.

Examples

Roger Fenton's photographic van, Crimea, 1855

The first generation of American vans were the 1960s compact vans, which were patterned in size after the Volkswagen Bus. The Corvair-based entry even aped the rear-mounted, air-cooled engine design. The Ford Falcon had a flat nose, with the engine mounted between and behind the front seats. The Dodge A100 had a similar layout and could accommodate a V-8. Chevrolet also switched to this layout. The Ford, Dodge and Corvair vans were also produced as pickup trucks.

The standard or full size vans appeared with Ford's innovation of moving the engine forward under a short hood and using pickup truck components and taillights. The engine cockpit housing is often called a dog house. Over time, they evolved longer noses and sleeker shapes. The Dodge Sportsman added a plug to the rear of a long wheelbase to create the 15 passenger van. They have been sold as both cargo and passenger models to the general public and as cutaway van chassis versions for second stage manufacturers to make box vans, ambulances, campers and other vehicles. Second stage manufacturers also modify the original manufacturer's body to create custom vans for the general public.

In the 1970s, songs like "Chevy Van", written and performed by Sammy Johns, and nicknames like "sin bin" or "screw canoe" became part of the culture as owners transformed them into rolling bedrooms and lounges. Conversion vans became a large market with plusher accommodations than factory seats.

Dodge ended production of their full-size vans in June 2002 (as 2003 models), and replaced it with the German originated Dodge Sprinter, which is based on a narrower, more fuel-efficient European design pattern with a 150 hp (110 kW) diesel turbo I5. Typical versions of the Sprinter are taller than other unmodified vans (tall enough to stand in), with a more slanted (aerodynamic) profile in front. They have been adopted primarily for delivery and lightweight Class-C van cab motor home applications.

Usage

In urban areas of the United States full-size vans have been used as commuter vans since 1971, when Dodge introduced a van that could transport up to 15 passengers. Commuter vans are used as an alternative to carpooling and other ride sharing arrangements.

A van equipped with professional carpet cleaning tools in Durham, North Carolina

Many mobile businesses use a van to carry almost their entire business to various places where they work. For instance, there are those who come to homes or places of business to perform services or to install or repair appliances.

Vans are also used to shuttle people and their luggage between hotels and airports, to transport commuters between parking lots and their places of work, and along established routes as minibuses.

Vans are also used to transport elderly and mobility-impaired worshipers to and from church services or to transport youth groups for outings to amusement parks, picnics, and visiting other churches.

Vans are also used by schools to drive sports teams to intermural games.

Step Van

Another type of van, peculiar to North America, is the step van, so called because of the ease with which one can step in and out of it. Widely used by delivery services, courier companies and the parcel division of the US Postal Service and Canada Post, they are often seen driven with the door open, especially in big cities. Step vans have more obviously boxy shapes and higher rooftops than other vans, and they are rarely employed for carrying passengers.

A Postal Service step van.
A Federal Express step van.

Rollover safety

Recently, the larger passenger versions have appeared in news stories for having a tendency to roll over, particularly in the case of inexperienced operators. The van body is taller than the cab and bed of the pickup that uses the same style frame and powertrain resulting in the basic van having a higher center of gravity than a similarly loaded pickup from which it is derived. The suspension is also higher because of the extreme weight capacity of 15 passengers of between 150 lb (68 kg) and 200 lb (91 kg) each which may be over one ton of passengers alone. The seats in the passenger version raise the load, passengers, above the floor, further raising the center of gravity (and often shifting it rearward). The bench seats allow passengers to slide if safety belts are not used. In the United States it is common for only the front seat passengers to use their safety belts, perhaps because belted passengers feel they can still lean and shift a large amount. However, the NHTSA, cited below, has determined that belted passengers are about four times more likely to survive in rollover crashes.

Safety can be greatly improved by understanding the unique characteristics of 12- & 15-passenger vans and by following a special set of guidelines developed for drivers, according to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). A summary of this information is available at Reducing The Risk of Rollover Crashes in 15-Passenger Vans.Among other things, this document advises that carrying 10 or fewer passengers (preferably towards the front of the van) greatly reduces the risk of rollover crashes, and it suggests that repeated operation by the same drivers tends to increase their ability to handle these vehicles more safely over time. Car rental companies have also started adding stickers to warn renters about the difference in handling while compared to standard cars. Items should not be added to a roof rack of an already top-heavy vehicle.

Models of vans by manufacturer

Austin

Asia

  • Asia Topic
  • Asia Towner

BMC Commercial Vehicles

Buick

'Chery Automobile'

  • V5 (codename B14) minivan
  • Karry a small panel van.

Chevrolet

Chrysler

Citroën

Commer

Dacia

Daewoo

Daihatsu

Dodge

Fiat

Ford

Freight Rover

Freightliner LLC

FSC

  • Żuk A 03, A 05, A 14, A 09, A 11, A 15, A 07, A 18, R, M, A 151 C, A 16 B
  • Lublin van

FSO (ZSD)

  • Nysa N57, N58, N59, N60, N61, N63, 501, 503, 521/522

GAZ

GMC

Glas

  • Goggomobil TL

Grumman Olson

  • UPS P-600 - chassis only
  • UPS P-800 - chassis only

Hanomag

  • Hanomag L28
  • Hanomag Kurier
  • Hanomag-Henschel F20

Honda

Hyundai

Isuzu

Iveco

Jowett

Kia

LDV

Leyland

Lloyd

  • Lloyd LT 400, 600

Mazda

Mahindra- Xylo

Mercedes-Benz

Mercury

Mitsubishi

Morris

Nissan

Oldsmobile

Opel / Vauxhall

Peugeot

Plymouth

Pontiac

Renault

Rīgas Autobusu Fabrika

Saturn

SEAT

SsangYong

Subaru

Suzuki

Tempo

  • Tempo Rapid
  • Tempo Wiking
  • Tempo Matador

Toyota

Vauxhall and Bedford

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles

Alternative propulsion

Since light trucks are often operated in city traffic, hybrid electric models are very useful:

Wheelchair accessible

Some vans can be converted into wheelchair accessible vans for mobility impaired people:

The following vehicles may be used in yards or in historic city centres:

See also

References

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Armenian Cathedral on Akdamar Island
Armenian Cathedral on Akdamar Island

Van is in Eastern Anatolia, Turkey. It is located on the eastern shore of Lake Van (Van Gölü), a salt lake which is locally known as Van Denizi (“the sea of Van”). Lake Van is the largest lake in Turkey.

Get in

By bus

Buses leave to most destinations in Turkey. A ticket to Diyarbakir costs 20 YTL (09:00, 12:00 and 23:00, 6 hours) and to Malatya costs 25 YTL (08:30, 9 hours).

Minibuses to Dogubeyazit and Yuksekova for border crossings to Iran.

There are also two buses a day to and from Urmia in Iran costing only 15 Euros.

By train

From Istanbul’s Haydarpaşa station (on the Asian side) there are trains direct to Tatvan, a town on the west side of Lake Van, three times a week. This train (Vangölü Express) departs Haydarpaşa on 20:05 (08:05 pm) and calls in a number of cities and towns across Anatolia, including Eskişehir, Ankara, Kayseri, Sivas, and Malatya among others. According to the timetable all the way between Istanbul and Tatvan takes almost 42 hours, frequent and probably long delays discluded. This is the longest (both in terms of miles traveled and time spent inside the train) non-international train journey in Turkey and gives a through panorama of almost all regions of inland Turkey. Inter Rail pass is accepted in this train. Once arrived in Tatvan, you can take the ferry which crosses the lake to Van.

International train from Istanbul to Tehran (Trans-Asia Express) calls in Van once per week, see [1].

Apart from Trans-Asia, there is also another international train service once a week (one of the days which Trans-Asia doesn’t call) between Van station and Tabriz in NW Iran.

By plane

There is an airport (Van Airport) located about 5-10 km away from the city. There are flights from Istanbul, Izmir, Ankara and Antalya. Outside the airport there are taxis to the city costing 20 YTL, but you can also walk 10 minutes for the main road where dolmuses stop and take you to the city only for 1 YTL. A new bus run by the municipality now serves the security entrance to the airport (past the taxis and towards the main road).

By boat

There is a ferry line in the Lake Van, between Tatvan on the western shoreline and Van on the eastern shoreline. The ferry going to Tatvan was only at 9 or so PM. Maybe more in the summer?

  • The castle and old city of Tuşpa a few kilometres west of the city.
  • The ancient Armenian church (Ahtamar or Akdamar) on a small island in Lake Van is beautiful, the church has recently been re-opened after an extensive restoration, making its impressive frescoes possible to see. The price of the boat ride varies (30 YTL in total if less than 12 people, 2.5 YTL pp if more than 12 people). Buses and taxis are available to drop you at the boat dock which lies 50 km west of the city.

Eat

The city is famous for its breakfast halls (kahvaltı salonu), in which for about 10 lira, you are served a really filling breakfast including locally produced cheese (different types) and honey among many other stuff. The price usually includes an unlimited amount of tea. Look around.

  • Hotel Aslan in the middle of the bazaar, is clean and has friendly staff. A double room with TV costs 14 YTL and a double with en-suite bathroom costs 30 YTL.
  • Hotel Asur beside the tourist office, offers clean rooms with attached bathroom. Single 20-25 YTL including breakfast. The staff speak English and are very helpful.
  • Otel Bahar, Ordu Caddesi, Carsi Polis Karakolu Ustu (east of Cumhuriyet, near the big green mosque), 0539 729 6838. In a town with few budget options, this place delivers. Clean, spacious rooms, nice views of the green mosque on the upper floors, central location, and free wi-fi. 50 TL for double room ensuite.  edit

Get out

Iran is only 100 kilometres away in the east. It is possible to go by road or rail. (Be sure to have your visa before you arrive in Van)

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

VAN, an homonymous word, whose different meanings have no etymological connexion. In the most common sense "van" is merely an abbreviation of the Oriental word "caravan" (q.v.), and is applied to any large covered cart or vehicle used for the conveyance of goods, especially furniture, or, on railways, to a closed carriage for passengers' luggage, or for the accommodation of the guard. In the sense of the front portion of an army or fleet, or the advanced portion of any body, actually or metaphorically, "van" represents the French avant (Lat. ab ante), in front, as in avant-garde, van-guard, the earliest form in which the word came into English. Lastly, the word is used as a variant of "fan" (Lat. vannus), for a contrivance for winnowing grain, for a bird's wing, and in mining to an appliance for separating ore by washing.


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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also van, vän, văn, vân vân, and van-

Contents

English

Proper noun

Singular
Van

Plural
-

Van

  1. A male given name, diminutive of Vance or Ivan

Abbreviation

Van

  1. Vancouver

Alternative forms

  • Van., VAN

Anagrams

  • Anagrams of anv
  • nav

Simple English

[[File:|right|250px|thumb|Full size conversion van]] A van is a type of vehicle. A van is usually bigger than the regular sized car and is meant usually to seat many people, sometimes up to a total of 15. Certain vans, known as panel vans, are used for deliveries. These usually have less windows. A van usually seats three people in each row of seats, or two, depending on the van's type.

Many manufacturers make vans. Examples are Chevrolet, Daihatsu, Dodge, Fiat, Ford, GMC, honda, Hyundai, Isuzu, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota, Vauxhall and Volkswagen.

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