Best vehicle for a gigging band?


I'm not in the market or anything. I just thought this would be a fun little topic to ponder.

So here's the scenario. You've got a 4 person band. Two guitarists with full stacks, a bass guitarist with a full stack, one guitar for each of them, and the drummer with a 6 piece kit, plus a PA. What's the best vehicle for transporting all 4 members, plus their gear, in the most fuel efficient manner possible? That fuel efficiency part is the real kicker. ;-)

I'm thinking a Ford Transit Connect would be your best bet in this scenario, though I wonder about using a smaller, more efficient vehicle to transport the people while towing the gear in a small trailer. Any ideas?

drumming sort of person

Where are they being transported to? There are no gigs anymore, unless you're paying to play.

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I haven't worked in a band context in a long time. I'm usually a hired gun and I just get told where to show up. I drive myself with my own gear. But with that much gear, it sounds like the early days of the Police - and even then they hired a box truck for the gear (with three roadies), and a large car for the band and the manager. Provided there were gigs to actually make money off of ;)


Senior Member
I think you are living in fantasy land! What guitar players do you know that only bring one guitar?

Get an old airport shuttle bus...preferably diesel.


Senior Member
Yeah, you'll end up running around 15 mpg, with a big diesel engine of some sort. That's a lot of gear to haul and it's not going to fit in a minivan.

I can fit my four-piece kit, a couple guitars, and a combo amp or a cab in my Scion xB, but that's about as much as it'll hold without doing some serious nesting and maxing out the rear suspension, which I have done before. (A piece of advice: don't drive through West Virginia on backroads if you have 120 hp and ~1000 pounds of sh&t in/on your car.) It'll hold a lot, but it's not a great arrangement if you're trying to set up in less than an hour.


Gold Member
First of all I would downsize the amp stacks to combo amps. In my experience the only need for full (or even half) stacks is to fuel the guitarists' ego. That will cut down on weight and allow the use of a smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicle.


Silver Member
A fun and amusing thread. My first thought was roadies and a service. :)

I remember, in my youth, traveling in anything from a ford van to a milk delivery truck to parcel delivery truck. If I had to do it again today, 35+ years later, I'd opt for a Mercedes Sprinter. That seems to work well for the Antique Archeology guys. :) They get a lot in that vehicle and I know there are options for adding seats for the 2 guitar players. :)


Senior Member
Gigging or touring band? If gigging, everyone can get themselves to the gig. The last time I worried about getting others to a gig was... high school. Touring is another thing altogether. A super-cab pickup truck w/ 8' bed and cap would work but not very economical. For economy, power and room - Rav4 w/ used U-Haul trailer.


Platinum Member
If everybody has full stacks, that's probably a pretty big PA. Not going to fit in anything too small. Maybe a trailer and med size SUV. Not sure if any of those are diesels. Maybe a used UPS delivery van? They're set up to be pretty fuel efficient. You'd have to modify it a bit to add comfortable seats.


Platinum Member
First of all I would downsize the amp stacks to combo amps. In my experience the only need for full (or even half) stacks is to fuel the guitarists' ego. That will cut down on weight and allow the use of a smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicle.
The same could be said about the drummer's six-piece kit... ;)

Our quartet uses a diesel van for both transporting and storing our equipment:
  • a four-piece drum kit with six cymbals
  • a bass stack (2x12 + 2x10 + amp) and a bass guitar
  • a guitar stack (2x12 + amp), an electric guitar and an acoustic guitar
  • a stage piano and a synth
  • three crates for stands and cables
  • two 2 m aluminum trusses, bases for the trusses and eight LED PARs for stage lighting
  • two foggers
  • digital mixer rack with processors and a headphone amp (we use IEMs)
  • 2x15 subs, 2x14 speakers and 2x8 auxiliary speakers
We used to go with a trailer, but packing it every time before embarking on the road became too much of a chore. Having everything ready to go is much more convenient and time saving...


Silver Member
Yeah, I would first ask why full stacks are necessary. I can answer that already, though. They're not. I drive a Jeep Grand Cherokee, and I could fit my six piece band's worth of gear all in my vehicle if my bass player would just use his 2 x10 rather than the 8x10. Given that most of the places we play provide a PA. If we're bringing a PA, ours takes up the majority of the space in my Jeep. But I have a trailer for that scenario.


Platinum Member
I think a cargo van is you're best bet the transit connect is a good choice for being a fuel efficient vehicle. those old astro vans are cheap and you can put a lot of gear in them but not as fuel efficient but its a 6 cyl. instead of a 4 cyl and you can find them in AWD which is cool for the winter time.

good luck,
I drive a Chevy astro van. I can get a very healthy PA including 2 subs, mains, monitors and lots of pa crappola. Drums and most band equipment. Not bad gas mileage.

If your drum kit and PA kit isn't crazy a Honda element would be fine.


Senior Member
I would say a trailer would be the best bet. I can't imagine bringing a full stack and one guitar. I would rather bring a 1x12 combo and 2-3 guitars.


I think I'd tone it down to a half stack for each guitarist, then hook a small trailer to a VW Golf TDI. The diesel can pull it, I think.