Minivans are the way to go for all my gear and traveling with or without family. The stow away feature is a must, but lowers the van too much for bad dirt roads. What you get for the money is far beyond what a car or SUV can deliver. If they would only come up with better gas mileage. I think that a continuously variable transmission would help a lot. Also a computer assisted economy mode, and maybe a smaller engine.
The stow away is fab. The new reverseable seating with table is also. You can make a great deal. Do try for side rear air bags, if they are not standard yet.
Standard side air bags. Better mileage, even if a smaller engine is needed. CVT trans etc.