Why a Grand Caravan? First cost. We got an amazing deal on this van since it was repo'd from its original owner. We basically got a brand new van at used van prices. Second is that living in a small town in rural North Carolina we'll be able to find more mechanics (and parts) to do any repairs we may need. We have a full warrantee, but plan on keeping the van for a long time so repairs will eventually become inevitable. Third is that my father owns one, so he's been giving it a year long test drive in the harshest Canada can throw at a vehicle, so I have every confidence that it can handle anything North Carolina can dish out.
Why did I trade in the PT? Its simple - we rarely need two cars. I live 2.8 miles from work so most of the time I bike/walk to work. The cost of keeping two cars on the road is within our budget, but not worth the expense. I can find better things to do with my money (*cough* new iMac *cough*). Plus not having a second car is great encouragement for me to bike to work, which is proving to be a Good Thing(tm).
I have already added a personal touch to the car in the form of how I mount my car GPS. As you are probably aware most GPS mounts for cars use suction cups to attach to the car. You are also probably aware that the suction cups work about as well as George W Bush's foreign policy. The Grand Caravan has a small cubby hole in the dash which seems to have no purpose and is the perfect size for the suction cup on the GPS mount. I added some velcro to the bottom of the suction cup and the cubby, and now I have a removable GPS mount that will stay when I want it to, and doesn't affect my view when driving.
The mini van has a stigma of being for soccer moms, and for guys signals the end of freedom and the onset of domestication. For me it is the exact opposite. This van will allow me to travel America with my wife, kid, and dogs without worrying about space. It is freedom, baby!
Time to hit the highways and do some exploring!