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2015+ Alphard as campervan base


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Hello All from DownUnder in NW Tassie,

 

As my Toyota Corolla approaches 30yo I've been thinking about which Toyota to replace it with. Beforward.jp has been a source of temptation to me for years, but today I discovered the Alphard/Vellfire models. A nice mix of a Prius Alpha/V and a Hiace in my opinion.

 

I drove the last generation Toyota Hiace here as an RAC (Tas) road-service tech for a couple of years. It was terrible in our "Roaring 40's" cross winds, so I can not imagine how much worse the taller and longer SLWB version would be. How does an Alphard or Vellfire behave in windy conditions?

 

Although I have NOT seen any references to the 2015+, 3rd-generation models here, perhaps one of you can answer a few simple questions for me based on your own version!

 

The flat rear floor of the 3rd-gen has me very interested in perhaps just removing both rows of rear seats for camping and bicycle transport as this was what I'd been thinking to do with a Hiace Commuter (bus), too. My Corolla hatch has done a great job of allowing me to sleep in the driver's seat, but who is getting any younger? I'm also tired of needing to remove the front or both wheels from my bikes when transporting those, as well.

 

I guess that an alternative could be to create storage within the lower section of the earlier generation floors and create a flat floor that way and save more money by starting with an earlier version. What is the height above the rear raised floor and if this were horizontal along the whole rear floor, what would the height above that be to the headlining?

 

As I am 6'2", with the front seats all the way forward and all the way back, what are these 2 lengths available between the back of the front seats and the inside of the rear hatch/door? This is unlikely to be less in the model I am considering than whatever earlier version you may own, it at least would give me somewhere to start.

 

From the floor between the 1st and 2nd rows of seats to the ceiling, what is the available height? And what is the width between the rear frame/trim of the 2 sliding doors which I'm guessing is approximately the narrowest point?

 

I visit our mainland each year for a bike race and having something with more accommodation space could see me staying for longer to check out our big island a little more than when I lived there. Our ferry service charges the same (gov't subsidised) up to 6m long vehicles anyway.

 

Does anyone know what sort of roof-racks the 1st 2 generations can use or the roof's weight limits? Our ferries can give almost unlimited vertical space for bringing back mainland bargains! :-)

 

Finally, what sort of fuel usage do you get? All the hybrid generations seem to weigh about the same and have similar engines, so knowing this would be great, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Alphard unusually doesn't mention fuel consumption at all.

 

Much appreciated in advance.

 

David.

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, TassieDevyl said:

Hello All from DownUnder in NW Tassie,

 

As my Toyota Corolla approaches 30yo I've been thinking about which Toyota to replace it with. Beforward.jp has been a source of temptation to me for years, but today I discovered the Alphard/Vellfire models. A nice mix of a Prius Alpha/V and a Hiace in my opinion.

 

I drove the last generation Toyota Hiace here as an RAC (Tas) road-service tech for a couple of years. It was terrible in our "Roaring 40's" cross winds, so I can not imagine how much worse the taller and longer SLWB version would be. How does an Alphard or Vellfire behave in windy conditions?

 

Although I have NOT seen any references to the 2015+, 3rd-generation models here, perhaps one of you can answer a few simple questions for me based on your own version!

 

The flat rear floor of the 3rd-gen has me very interested in perhaps just removing both rows of rear seats for camping and bicycle transport as this was what I'd been thinking to do with a Hiace Commuter (bus), too. My Corolla hatch has done a great job of allowing me to sleep in the driver's seat, but who is getting any younger? I'm also tired of needing to remove the front or both wheels from my bikes when transporting those, as well.

 

I guess that an alternative could be to create storage within the lower section of the earlier generation floors and create a flat floor that way and save more money by starting with an earlier version. What is the height above the rear raised floor and if this were horizontal along the whole rear floor, what would the height above that be to the headlining?

 

As I am 6'2", with the front seats all the way forward and all the way back, what are these 2 lengths available between the back of the front seats and the inside of the rear hatch/door? This is unlikely to be less in the model I am considering than whatever earlier version you may own, it at least would give me somewhere to start.

 

From the floor between the 1st and 2nd rows of seats to the ceiling, what is the available height? And what is the width between the rear frame/trim of the 2 sliding doors which I'm guessing is approximately the narrowest point?

 

I visit our mainland each year for a bike race and having something with more accommodation space could see me staying for longer to check out our big island a little more than when I lived there. Our ferry service charges the same (gov't subsidised) up to 6m long vehicles anyway.

 

Does anyone know what sort of roof-racks the 1st 2 generations can use or the roof's weight limits? Our ferries can give almost unlimited vertical space for bringing back mainland bargains! 🙂

 

Finally, what sort of fuel usage do you get? All the hybrid generations seem to weigh about the same and have similar engines, so knowing this would be great, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Alphard unusually doesn't mention fuel consumption at all.

 

Much appreciated in advance.

 

David.

 

 

 

 

Hello David,

 

Welcome to the Forum.

 

Third generation models are quite rare, so far, in the UK.

Roof racks for generation 1 are also rare.

Bikes (cycles) can be carried on a tow bar, although they are not easy to come by either.

Do you intent to remove the rear seats?

 

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Hey Roger,

 

Thank you, and thank you for responding to my wordy message, too.

 

I suspected that 3rd-gen must be rare due to looking through alphardclub topics before posting. Since our local automakers all closed shop back in the 2010's Japanese imports are easier now, so am working out just what I'd have imported as everything is, new or second-hand.

 

Unlike Prius Alpha/Vs which have been sold here new, Alphard/Vellfire models have not been. Perhaps I'd arrange the import of a suitable tow-bar or roof rack along with the vehicle as local custom stuff always costs more. I like to be able to tow a trailer, even with my 1.8l Corolla. As my bikes are worth more than the Alphard would be, me thinks they'll always be stored inside, even if I transport them on the outside.

 

As I'm single (for now?) I've no real need for more than the front passenger seat, although maybe 1 of those recliner rears I've seen might stay! Depends on just what space is left when all the rear seats are placed flat in the end, I guess. In a HiAce, I've always thought to removed most if not all of those many 'bus' seats to open up the space. As I'm a qualified mechanic, as long as I have somewhere to store them, I can always put any back in if needed rather than pay for the fuel to drag them around 24/7

 

I found a 2010 Vellfire at 160,000kms for sale on the mainland for AUD19,000, but it's an ordinary 4cyl not a hybrid

 

Any rough measurements available, Roger?

 

Cheers,

 

David.

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I am a little confused.

 

Are you talking cycles, or motor cycles ?

 

IMHO, with the rear seats removed,  I believe you will get two motorcycles in abreast of each other; but you will need to remove the middle seats.

Depends on the bike width, and will be 'tight'. I believe with the rear seats folded outwards (and upwards) as per Gen 1, you will get one motorcycle inside; you will need to remove one middle seat.

 

The width of my Gen 1 facelift is 5 feet between the middle doors when closed.

Between the rear wheel arches is the narrowest position which I cannot measure as I have a rear conversion.

Height ? The tailgate opening is the limiting factor if you are loading the items in a vertical position.

 

If you are speaking about cycles, many have quick release wheels which reduce the cycle size significantly.

With a little carpentry to separate cycle to cycle and prevent cycle to cycle damage; I would guess you can get 4 to six in easily.

It depends on how many spares you carry to the races, and your sleeping requirements.

 

At 6'2" you will not be able to use a hammock across the front seats; so will probably need to retain at least one middle seat and a folded rear (if they fold on a Gen 3).

 

Beware middle that may not fully recline, and those with fixed armrests; as they can compromise sleeping options.

 

MOST important, with whatever you decide is ensure you have a opportunity for local Hybrid servicing which can be very difficult here in the UK.

A source for parts is important, and a competent mechanic is essential unless you are capable.

 

 

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Thanks for all that, Roger.

 

Bicycles, but I ride XL sizes so they're almost 110 cm tall and are 170 cm long. Yes, the wheels come out relatively easily, but it would be nice not to need to do that every time.

 

For my mainland annual race I'm imagining having no rear seats, sleeping length ways on one side with 2 bikes carefully stored on the other side.

 

The local Toyota dealership should be able to service anything especially needed due to having other local Toyota hybrid models but I'd double-check that before any such purchase. I can do basic servicing but haven't worked in a workshop since 1999, myself. I've jump-started a few starter batteries in hybrids and done wheel changes but nothing more.

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5 hours ago, TassieDevyl said:

Thanks for all that, Roger.

 

Bicycles, but I ride XL sizes so they're almost 110 cm tall and are 170 cm long. Yes, the wheels come out relatively easily, but it would be nice not to need to do that every time.

 

For my mainland annual race I'm imagining having no rear seats, sleeping length ways on one side with 2 bikes carefully stored on the other side.

 

The local Toyota dealership should be able to service anything especially needed due to having other local Toyota hybrid models but I'd double-check that before any such purchase. I can do basic servicing but haven't worked in a workshop since 1999, myself. I've jump-started a few starter batteries in hybrids and done wheel changes but nothing more.

 

Yes you should check with your local Toyota Dealer what their scope of services are.

 

Most, if not all, Alphards/Vellfires in the UK are Grey Imports; that is not imported through the 'normal' channels.

If 10years old or more they escape certain regulations for the UK.

 

However, as they are an unofficial (but entirely legal) import most, but not all, official Toyota Dealers will not work on them.

 

You should check the import status in Tasmania with your local dealers.

It makes it so much easier, if not less expensive, to have them be able to work on your vehicle.

 

No rear seats? Do you mean no middle seats as well ?

My guess is you are too tall to sleep (comfortably) lengthwise solely on a middle seat.

However, sleeping on a (skinny) single mattress on the floor alongside your bikes would be feasible.

 

The latter vehicles do not have the seating flexibility of some of the older models.

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