Origins of the 14 Passenger Van
There are many different styles of 14 passenger vans. Some are used for entertainment and travel while some serve more practical purposes. These vans have an interesting history that reveals how their design evolved and changed over time.
Like 12 passenger vans, the 14 passenger van became popular right around the early 1970s. They grew in popularity and there was an increase in sales noted in the 1980s. One of the most popular 14 passenger vans is the conversion van. These vans come with a wide range of floor plans. The earliest models were cargo-style vans with seating installed and some sported intricate artwork on their exterior. In the 1970s conversion vans came with carpeted interiors and they were commonly used by touring bands. As their popularity grew, these vans became a day to day form of transportation.
The 14 passenger vans of yesteryear had similar problems to the early 15 passenger van models. These vans were often large with a short nose and a doghouse compartment that housed the motor. The compartment was underneath the cabin of the vehicle and rested in between the front seating area. The larger body made the vehicle more difficult to maneuver and rollover accidents were common. Carmakers adapted the body of the 14 and 15 passenger vans to make them more stable, safer to drive, and to increase the passenger room in the interior.
The 1980s and 14 Passenger Vans
The design of 14 passenger vans changed dramatically during the 1980s. A focus was put on comfort, on luxury, and on style. The new conversion vans were being built with special interior lighting, real wood trims, padded, comfortable seating, and these vehicles appealed to retired individuals looking for a travel vehicle as well as families seeking vehicles for transporting large families. These vans soon became a popular form of transport for camping and on the road trips. Almost simultaneously, governmental organizations started investing in conversion vans for their use. An increased focus on safety was demanded and regulations were enacted to ensure vehicular and passenger safety. Due to the luxury feature add-ons and the demand for improved safety features, the cost of 12 and 14 passenger vans increased.
The increases were paralleled by a decrease in the number of units sold annually. A rise in the cost of fuel caused many consumers to seek out alternative vehicles; the 14 passenger van houses a V8 engine so it used far more fuel than a V6 or four cylinder engines did. What's more, the bodies of 14 passenger vehicles were far from aerodynamic and its lack of aerodynamic features diminished the fuel efficiency of the vehicle. Later, when the SUV and the minivan entered the vehicle industry in the 1980s, a greater decline in the purchase of 14 passenger vehicles was witnessed. It wasn't until the 1990s that a rise in passenger vans was noted; there were more than 200K units sold in the mid 1990s. In the year 2007 only 20K units of passenger conversion vans were sold and this is the same amount of vehicles sold each year till this day. Commonly they are purchased for family transportation purposes or for organization and business use.
The Style History of 14 Passenger Vans
Conversion 14 passenger vans were often created with two different styles: a high or low top roof. Low top conversion van offerings are the oldest type of conversion van; these vans still sport the same roof that the carmaker added to the van when it was originally manufactured. The low roof diminishes interior space, but it maintains the aerodynamic properties of the van. By the 1980s low top vans were no longer popular. People wanted add on features like flat screen televisions, DVD players, VCRs, and other entertainment options. With minimized room in the interior, the flat top roof proved impractical. Thus, car makers began creating conversion vans with high top roofs; this is where the roof is removed, cut away, and replaced by a high raised roof or elk top. This feature alone is a major characteristic of the modern conversion van.
The roof elevation allowed for a greater ceiling height. It gives passengers the ability to stand while in the vehicle, and it offered up more interior space for entertainment add-ons. The elevated roof proofed beneficial to those that utilize conversion vans to transport the disabled too; it made for more room for wheelchairs and wheelchair lift use. Great storage areas are gained from the elk roof inclusion as well. While the design of the elk roof has had subtle changes to its angling over time, to improve lighting conditions and to reduce leakage potential, the raised roof option still remains popular.
The Use of 14 Passenger Vans
The conversion van capable of carrying 14 passengers is often used as a travel van. A conversion van can hold anywhere from 7 to 15 passengers, depending upon its body size. The seating can be arranged in different ways, but there is always a concentration on ease of ingress/egress and passenger comfort. Sometimes captain chair seating is offered, but there are also vans with bench seating in the third and forth rows. In some cases these seats can fold down when they are not in use, thereby offering up additional cargo space for travelers. The body of a travel van will commonly sport entertainment features like televisions and stereo systems. They will also be fitted with cabinets for storage, big, tinted windows, and some have shades for passenger privacy. When televisions were added in the 1980s the equipment was bulky and large so it was commonly mounted to the van's floor. Now, with flat panel LCD/LED HDTVs, the televisions can be mounted near the ceiling for a better viewing experience. Families like these vans for traveling, especially if they have children since they are often sold with one or more electronic gaming systems.
More Information On 14 Passenger Vans
For a variety of 12 to 15 passenger vans for purchase or rental, please visit http://www.conversionvansdealers.com/Used_Conversion_Vans.html to see the offerings from Image Van Sales.
Consumers don't often seek out 14 passenger vehicles to own because they're not practical for a small family. Instead, these vehicles are offered as hire vehicles or rentals for special purposes.
About 14 Passenger Vans
Ford and Chevrolet are the two main makers of 14 passenger vehicles. These conversions vans are typically made to meet the specifications of a rental company or a limo service. Some larger residential facilities also use these vans for transport. These vehicles are more often than not used as family vacation rentals or by organizations and businesses. You will commonly find that the rental vans don't have as many luxury features as one might find in a limo offering. Nevertheless, the 14 passenger vehicles are still built to offer exceptional style, comfort, and good on the road handling.
Rental companies target consumers that require group transport to and from airports, seaports, travel transfers, or corporate event transfers. They also target groups that are traveling for business purposes, concerts, dinner parties, sporting events, proms, weddings, and more. You can get point to point transfer services and if you opt for chartered services there is usually a four hour minimum required. These vehicles are ideal for ten to fourteen passengers. Fewer passengers allow for more cargo or passenger space. Whether you get a 14 passenger vehicle from a limo service or a chosen rental company, these vehicles are always offered with a no smoking provision since they are for general public use.
Chevy 14 Passenger Vans
Chevy 14 passenger vans include the Express which can have a configuration matched to 12 to 15 people. These Rental Offerings are created with driver and passenger airbags, head curtain side impact airbags, single zone climate controls, rear climate controls, and AM/FM stereos. Top of the line models come with CD players, cruise control, rear window defoggers, floor mats, power steering, XM Satellite radio, power outlets, antitheft systems, MP3 players, leather wrapped steering, remote vehicle start up, Bluetooth® connectivity, and more. These vans are sold in LS and LT trims, both offering roughly 11 mpg in the city and 16 mpg on the highway. The Express has generous dimensions, measuring 244.1 inches in length, 79.2 inches in width, 82.8 inches in height, and sporting a wheelbase of 155 inches. For full vehicle specifications visit http://www.chevrolet.com/vehicles/2011/express/.
GMC 14 Passenger Vans
GMC Savana passenger vans are equipped with seating for 12 to 15 people. They come with interior climate controls, OnStar® navigation, XM® radio, Bluetooth®, and you can get power reclining seats, custom cloth seats, convenience packages, reclining bucket seats, daytime running lights, dual stage frontal air bags, and a power package. These passenger vans sport four wheel disc, antilock brakes, chrome appearance packages, and you can get it built with a chrome grill. You also have the option of getting a radiator grille cover. These 14 passenger vans come with your choice of a Vortec 5.3L or 6.0L V8 engine with Flex Fuel or SFI and FlexFuel functions. Like Chevy options they come in two trims, the LS and the LT. Color options include black, white, red, tan, green, blue, silver, white, and inside can be designed with neutral colors.
Power Packages include the add-on of black mirrors, power adjusted mirrors, and turn signals embe
dded in the mirrors. The mirrors are also outside heated. You can opt for an engine block heater, a heavy duty battery ideal for cold climate areas, heavy duty trailer equipment, and trailer wiring as well. For full vehicle specifications visit http://autos.yahoo.com/2011_gmc_savana_passenger_van/.
Customized 14 Passenger Vans
Conversion 14 passenger vans are often supplied to consumers through limo services. These vans might also be used by schools and organizations. These vehicles are made by companies that specialize in making van conversions. National Van makes 9 and 14 passenger vans with a choice of bench or center aisle seating floor plans. The company also makes a national shuttle series of vans. With center aisle seating arrangements you get a driver's captain chair, and two rows of seating on the left positioned behind the driver with a third row of seating on the passenger side. The vehicles are equipped with your choice of a 4.6L or a 5.4L V8 gasoline engine or a 6.0L diesel motor. You can get the vehicle with optional running boards, steps, or an entrance grab pole. Additional options offered you include 36 inch or 48 inch powder coated, perforated steel steps; a 48 inch or 86 inch ambulance-style step that folds down; spare wheelchair holders; a stretcher mount; an integrated bus step, aluminum running boards, and customized striping or vinyl lettering on the exterior and/or windows of the 14 passenger van you buy. For full details visit http://www.nationalvans.com/models/optional_equip.html#.
Rivers Bus & RV Sales
Rivers Bus & RV Sales makes customized 14 passenger vans with three different floor plans to choose from; this company's Van Terra is an ideal van to use as a shuttle bus. It is made with a Cutaway chassis from a Ford E-350 and the inside is spacious and neatly designed. This vehicle is stable while still offering the flexible maneuvering of a van option. This vehicle can be created with double rear exit doors, an area for luggage, an area for wheelchairs, and it can be built with a variety of seating configurations. Some options that come with the van include things like clearance lights, LED running lights, a single or double leaf electric door entrance, a hand/grab rail, carpeting, courtesy dome lights, a color coded GLX wiring harness, single/double rear door, air conditioning, a PA system, a mobile theater system, a goose neck microphone that is foot activated, a stereo system, vinyl graphics, black out windows, and more. For full information and to review the floor plan options for the 14 passenger vans that the company has to offer, visit http://www.riversbus.com/jacksonvillervsales/.