caravan purchase ?

Ok experts Here is what I need to know. I am looking at the caravans as another car b/c my family is exapnding to potentially 3 kids. I need to know what is the best one and what problems can I expect. I
have seen a lot of tranny prblems and brake replacment issue on here. I will be doing the mx and don't like to take it mx guys b/c i don't trust mx folks at garages even though I am sure there some excellent ones out there. I am looking for basic transportaion something my wife can put the kids in and go without having to re-arrange seven different seats. Additionally mx reliability is more important than cosmestic features and that goes for the littlle lady as well, she is not into the fru fru things.
looking at years 2000-2004 anystyle have already been at edmunds.com from some reviews but i need the mx view from you folks
any advice good or bad would be appreciated thx in adv
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I had a 1995 Aerostar that I purchased new. I put 140,000 miles on it with no repairs. I said -- No repairs.
I bought a 2000 Caravan last year. It had 36,000 miles on it. Now has 62,000.
1. New tires put on at purchase. Needed replacement at 60,000. ($250.00) 2. Two front end alignments. 3. Rear brake cylinders 150.00 4. Front Brakes 350.00 Including the rotors. 5. Transmission leaking $80.00 6. Tune up at 40,000 $300.00 7. Dealer says I need a a. new transmission solenoid ($340.00), b. transmission flush ($125.00), c. new clamps on transmission hoses ($80.00). {leaking again} d. Timing Belt ($350.00)
Whatever you do, be sure and don't get the 3.0 L engine -- don't think they are even putting them in any more. The four cylinder would be better, but it is way under powered too.
Take a look at the Fords. Wish I had.
I've got a new 3500 CTD -- I'm beginning to worrry.

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