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Reflections on 2022 MR AWD ownership after cross country 14,000 mile summer trip

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Just recently got back home after going coast to coast this summer (California to Maine). Some reflections on my experience with a 2022 AWD MR passenger non-ecoboost engine.

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(Glacier National Park Campground)

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1) The van drove well. After doing a coast to coast trip the previous summer in a Toyota Sienna, this time was noticeably more comfortable.

2) With the mid roof, I had to remind myself to check drive through clearances, but never found any that I couldn't go through (but didn't go to many drive throughs).

3) Its really annoying having to set ECO mode in the transmission settings every time I start driving.

4) MPG was decent, I have a pretty substantial bed system in it (https://boundlessadventuresystem.com) but averaged over 18MPG according to the trip computer. The one time I checked this with math and fill up gallons vs. miles traveled it seemed close enough. I could squeeze 19MPG keeping speed under 70mph, especially on flat stretches. I didn't do that much city driving and wasn't in traffic that much.

5) I thought I would miss not having cruise control, but never found myself wishing I had it.

6) Being able to pull over and rest in the back is great.

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7) Parking was relatively easy, didn't really have any less convenience than a minivan, though in the cities I had to avoid parking garages so that made me have to plan ahead more.

8) Had a strange occurrence where the horn started honking while on the FWY, which from the forum responses here, seems to be related to the door not being shut properly.

9) The auto-detect collision alarmed a couple of times for seemingly no reason, but at least the braking was never applies

10) A few times the auto-sensor detection staid my windshield was too dirty and needed to be cleaned.

11) Gas is a lot cheaper when not in California.

12) Carbon tint seemed to keep the heat out of the van really well. Even though my van is Carbon Grey it was never too hot (when driving with air on)

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(Boondockers Welcome Site)

13) Air conditioning kept up well, never had to full blast, even when it was 100degrees out.

14) Non-turbo engine was great, I never wished for more power, only rarely having to really get on the gas to pass people on hills.

15) Never needed the AWD to get me out of anything, but still was nice to not have to worry.

16) Sometimes wind does push the mid roof around, but only was white knuckling it a couple times, mostly it was fine. Even mini-vans get pushed in similar wind.

17) Boondockers welcome was great, only got on hotel night going across the country and back.

18) Walmart can be hit or miss, but was fine as well. Cabelas/Bass pro is good, but not enough locations in the middle of the country.

19) 90+ degree days turned into 80 ish degree nights sometimes, but just venting the front windows was enough to sleep ok. A roof fan would be better probably, but wasn't necessary for us and I don't think I'll be adding one.

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(Great Basin National Park - Upper Lehman Camp)

20) Colder nights (40degrees) was also fine, just threw on more layers to sleep. Much preferred to the hot nights.

21) in 6 seat configuration we often had to navigate around our "stuff" when going to sleep, but was tolerable. Some cabinet storage and a front overhead shelf would be nice to add.

22) In high wind the seals around the front door windows don't seem to hold that well.

23) Can't really see out the back when having a bunk bed setup. So rear windows are kind of useless, but never really bothered me for driving once I got used to the fact that the rear view is useless.

24) HID lights are great and really lit up the road well.

25) Extended tank would have been a good option, but also driving for more than 400 miles without stretching wouldn't be ideal, so I think the standard tank is probably fine.

26) Having black cloth to cover items stored on the dash helps cutting down annoying reflections

27) The van lighting up inside and out when opening the doors was annoying. I tried to update the settings to Police Mode dark, but despite the options changing it didn't seem to work. Also would be nice to unwind the windows with the remote, but again, that option didn't seem to work for me, despite the software saying it was applied. Perhaps I need a new USB interface device to sync with.

28) Our dometic fridge fit perfectly between the front seats and was great to have cold drinks and keep food.
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(Kansas)

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That was great. Sounds like it's a good fit for you! I came from a Sienna as well and it's a nice upgrade for sure.
Yes, I do still have the Sienna, its more nimble for tooling around town, also I have an older Odyssey that is so depreciated not sure its worth selling, so we are a three van family :p

For space its definitely an upgrade!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
In a couple of weeks we'll be going on a ~2K road trip in out '07 Odyssey that has 198K miles on it. Still runs great.
Nice, yes ours has similar miles and is a 2005 and drives well still, just the left side power door has jammed up and we have a check engine light code related to the Catalytic converter, so not sure we will be passing smog. Fingers crossed. I have a roof top tent on it. They are good vans.

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Nice, yes ours has similar miles and is a 2005 and drives well still, just the left side power door has jammed up and we have a check engine light code related to the Catalytic converter, so not sure we will be passing smog. Fingers crossed. I have a roof top tent on it. They are good vans.

View attachment 176949

Nice, yes ours has similar miles and is a 2005 and drives well still, just the left side power door has jammed up and we have a check engine light code related to the Catalytic converter, so not sure we will be passing smog. Fingers crossed. I have a roof top tent on it. They are good vans.

View attachment 176949
Maybe it’s an O2 sensor? Your map looks like you spent some time in NJ?
 

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Thanks for great write-up.

It is encouraging to see another passenger van owner's trip experience, in particular, the no-roof vent part. I ordered a 2023 MR XLT AWD NA motor passenger van as a travel van for two people. I also thought about carbon grey color before ordering, I think carbon grey looks great, but I eventually went for oxford white for 1) I am in Texas 2) I do not want to install a roof vent in order to be "stealthy" to my HOA. I plan to install a D-pillar floor vent though, if it is not sufficient, I plan to idle the engine to run both AC for 15-20 minutes.

How do you vent front windows and what is your air-intake?
 

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What model of Dometic fridge do you have that fits between the front seats? My friend just bought a 2022 transit AWD for work and he was just telling me he wanted to all something between the front seats.
28) Our dometic fridge fit perfectly between the front seats and was great to have cold drinks and keep food.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Thanks for great write-up.

It is encouraging to see another passenger van owner's trip experience, in particular, the no-roof vent part. I ordered a 2023 MR XLT AWD NA motor passenger van as a travel van for two people. I also thought about carbon grey color before ordering, I think carbon grey looks great, but I eventually went for oxford white for 1) I am in Texas 2) I do not want to install a roof vent in order to be "stealthy" to my HOA. I plan to install a D-pillar floor vent though, if it is not sufficient, I plan to idle the engine to run both AC for 15-20 minutes.

How do you vent front windows and what is your air-intake?
I just rolled down both front windows about half way or less ( I made some magnet bug screens that go on the inside). I had a small 12V fan (about 10/12" diameter blades) to push some air to the back. Also had a small personal battery fan. We have a bunk and the top bunk always seemed warmer than the bottom, so bed height/position may help with heat.

Roof fan is nice, no doubt, but if you can open windows/doors/rear that would be even better than running a fan. The problem is during the rain a covered vent would be nice, as opening other side openings is subject to rain getting in. However its not often super hot when its raining in my experience. Everything is a trade off :p

I would imagine the HOA wouldn't be able to call it a camper just from a roof vent though. For example, the passenger Sprinters has a very bulbous roof top air conditioner for rear passengers in stock form. Personally I didn't get one because 1) I don't really think its worth it for where I travel (if its too hot I wouldn't enjoy being there, its a pleasure vehicle not full time) 2) Cost for what you get 3) Cutting into roof can lead to leaks over time, no sealant lasts forever 4) MPG hit for anything on roof will be at least 1 MPG possible worse.
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
What model of Dometic fridge do you have that fits between the front seats? My friend just bought a 2022 transit AWD for work and he was just telling me he wanted to all something between the front seats.
28) Our dometic fridge fit perfectly between the front seats and was great to have cold drinks and keep food.
They don't make the same one, but I think the Dometic CFX 28 is the current equivalent.
 

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Wow all that way with no cruise control at all? Speaks to the drive-ability of the transit!

Great van, love the look of the medium roof passenger
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the write up -- I'm curious, any thoughts about the passenger van set up vs a crew van or cargo van? Do you wish you had less windows for more privacy?
I like all the windows. The tint is very dark, hard to see in unless you run lights inside. Its easy enough to cover some of the windows when I need more privacy, but its obviously impossible to have windows when there are none :p What I would love though is for a couple of the windows to open with screens, that would be awesome to have, but I can't justify removing perfectly good stock windows for that right now. Maybe one day!
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
😀 Hi Steve, thanks for sharing your experiences! That sure is some nifty bed frame system you got in there. Are you happy with it? How many pounds/people will it support? Do you have any pics of it in your van?
I'm happy with it. All 6 of my family can fit in it, though its snug. The top is a regular queen bed, the bottom is a bit less than that because of the jump seat that I leave in. Its flexible, so you can also have twin bunks instead of the big queen bed. If I were to do it again, I might opt for the shorter twin bunks, since I'm not really tall enough to need a full queen bed and it is not ideal to have to flip out the edge to exend to queen when traveling with all 6 of us. Not sure the weight limit, but its sturdy I wouldn't hesitate to put any number of people that could fit up too
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