"Wants" Checklist for buying an Astro/Safari

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"Wants" Checklist for buying an Astro/Safari

Postby powbob [OP] » July 18th 2016, 8:51pm

Hi gang... Hoping for some enlightenment from those in the know, while I continue searching for the right one. At this point, I'm searching for a low mileage 2003-2005 AWD Astro or Safari. I plan on doing a 3" or 4" suspension lift as well. I spend many many weekends exploring deserts, as well as rough mountain roads where I live in Wyoming. I don't necessarily have any need to tow anything just yet, but I'd love to have that as an option down the road, as well as possibly using for spare tire carrier, or bike carrier.

Since I want the tow package, I see those were more prevalent on the passenger models. I'd also like the luggage rack, which I don't think ever came out on the Cargo, but I've seen a few cargo models with a tow hitch. Leads to question 1:

1) In order to attach a Thule style roof rack for surfboards, bikes, sea kayaks or whatnot, does one need to drill holes, or will having a stock luggage rack or that ladder rack make it easier..? (Not sure if there are rails or what the different variations are on these 3 years' models). I'm assuming that having a stock luggage or ladder rack makes it easier to install a Thule style rack.

2) Is it safe to assume that the Astro LT is always going to have the tow package and luggage rack...? (I see one for sale listed as an LT, with both features, just not sure if other trim types also have both).

3) Next, I see single headlights, vs full headlights. Can someone tell me what those variations are all about, which is preferable and upgradable..? I'm old enough to need as much help as possible when driving at night in mostly rural areas. Eventually I may add extra off-road lights of some sort.

4) I'm also building a bed into the back so I will lose all the rear seats, and wonder if the stock passenger or cargo front seat swivels around, or is that a luxury one would need to add later...?

5) Do any 03-05 cargo models have the Dutch doors in the back...?

These are a few questions I have for now... Appreciate everyone's help..!
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Re: "Wants" Checklist for buying an Astro/Safari

Postby Sailing_Faith » July 20th 2016, 3:57pm

Welcome,

I have a tule carrier mounted on the stock rack. Yes, it does fit just fine.

None of the vans I know of came with seat swivels from the factory. Several threads here on how to make one or modify ones available. I just put mine in yesterday and it is a great mod to have... Can't wait to use it.

I think your year range is well advised, the bigger brakes would be nice to have.... Might find more if you open the search up a bit and consider going back to 96. The newer interior, and headlights are the same from 95-05, but 95 was a transition year that some suggest avoiding.

Good luck!
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Re: "Wants" Checklist for buying an Astro/Safari

Postby Mr_Bowtie » July 22nd 2016, 11:59pm

Just find yourself a nice clean well maintained van and the rest you can add if need be.
The headlight options - Most people prefer the newer looking light, but I had the single headlight on my '96 and liked them.

'95 had the older dash yet.

I would love an AWD '03 and newer van....love those 6 lug wheels on there. :chevy:
1985 Astro - 350/700r4....loud & low! :chevy:
'96 Dodge 2500 Ramwagon Van
'68 VW Bug 1600cc
'00 Grand Prix GT
'00 Subaru Outback Legacy sedan
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