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  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayPee View Post
    Make sure they cost at least $100k and use them as your daily driver.
    Hey, I said norcal, not bay area !!

  2. #102
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    I'm going for one of these....70's shaggin wagon.

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    Such a long long time to be gone
    and a short time to be there

  3. #103
    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by griz View Post
    I'm not moving it...fc will have to
    Ha, ha... no way.
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  4. #104
    fc
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    Some pretty amazing builds from our fellow mountain bikers and they are documenting every step of the way.

    Building our dream van for MTB & splitboarding dream adventures!Travel vans.  Any advice?-ford-transit-camper-van-conversion-slide-out-bike-rack-1-small.jpeg
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  5. #105
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    It is a good idea to post in that forum too. Way more options knowledge there in Car and Biker forum
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  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by squashyo View Post
    Good list so far...some of these are a bit burly for every other day vehicle but drool.
    I don't like writing in forums much but I write this to save you some time and possibly $:

    SMB's are sweet. We use ours almost everyday...Bought a low milage used 4x4 2005 EB350 at a crazy price. Rode terribly. Put Deaver Springs SMB kit on it and problem solved. Issue with early SMB's is the factory did nothing to seal the cuts they made for 4wd, propane, plumbing etc and it becomes a mouse nest if you live in or near the woods...or have mice anywhere near your house. I'm not sure how the new ones are but they are unaffordable. There are many great options out there and you can pretty much have anything done to a vehicle if you write the check.

    Some things to consider: Who & How much are you carrying, and where.
    If you really want a 4x4 SMB style vehicle with a pop top this is the route I would take if doing it again:
    Buy a used EB350 Diesel, either 6L or 7.3. Get the engine "bulletproofed" look up bulletproof diesel online for more info. Then check out coloradocampervan.com. Their pop tops go up 40"(10 more than SMB). They also have a high roof top that extends your cabin another 10". Also they install a metal subframe in the roof of your van that stiffens it up significantly. Then if you still want 4x4 either have CCV do it or send it to ujointoffroad.com in NC...They can do anything 4x that you want.
    The interior is up to you if you're handy.
    Enjoy.
    "Luck favors the Prepared"

  7. #107
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    I find it rather funny that someone complained. Of all the things in the world, this thread being in the wrong place actually disjointed someone.

    Thanks tshred...I'll check it out.

    I saw a 4x4 Sprinter with a pop top conversion on the road yesterday and holy smoke it was the one. I chased the driver down and he said it was awesome...but really expensive. Back to the drawing board.
    I'm not sure how this works.

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by squashyo View Post
    I find it rather funny that someone complained. Of all the things in the world, this thread being in the wrong place actually disjointed someone.
    Easy squashyo...I handled it. I might get banned but, I handled it

  9. #109
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    Wouldn't want to spoil all the rest of the awesome content on this forum as of late.
    I'm the problem....

  10. #110
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    Someone has to pee in the cornflakes here at some point, so here goes.

    Unless you have a ton of money and/or really love trying to work on diesel engines, Sprinters are kind of lame. We had a couple as demo vans (v6, 2008 vintage), and both of them experienced frequent fuel delivery problems, as well as a couple transmission failures and ultimately an engine grenading (admittedly, at around 300k miles). For myself, separate from this (because they still represented something that I thought I really needed) i purchased a low roof 2013 Sprinter new off the lot. The sliding side door rattled slightly from new, and neither myself nor the dealer were ever able to fix that. It was kinda "porpoiselike" when cornering on bumpy roads. The fuel economy (diesel) was never as good as Sprinter nerds say (20.5 mpg for the life of the vehicle). And it experienced three major problems with the fuel delivery during 60k miles, fortunately all under warranty. After failure number three (DEF injector failure, resulting in burned up particulate filter), I limped it home from Mexico, the dealer fixed it, and two weeks later I drove it from one Ford dealer to the next until finding the right gas ecoboost low roof Transit. Traded the grey pig in and never looked back.

    Sprinter pro: Nice driving seat/steering wheel/pedal ergos. Dealers are snooty and expensive but they treated warranty work well and without question. Super duper easy oil changes, like easier than any vehicle anywhere else ever. Too bad you have to use THIRTEEN quarts of Mobil 1 synthetic. Ouch.

    Transit pro: SOMUCHMOREPOWER! Doors don't rattle. Handles circles around the Sprinter. Brakes are better. Transmission is better. 58k miles and nothing has broken yet. 87 octane pump gas. 19mpg for the life of the vehicle so far, tripping traction control lights the whole way...

    ALL tall vans get blown around a lot in crosswinds. Some people don't mind that. ALL tall vans will fail to fit in most indoor parking structures. Some people don't mind that either. Personally, I don't need to stand up in a van, but it's nice to have somewhere to sleep when the weather gets bad. There are tons and tons of old Ford E vans and Chevy vans for sale for close to nothing these days, and if it isn't going to be a daily driver, they are a mighty cheap way to get a rolling roof over yer head.
    hold my beer...

  11. #111
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    Saw this Nissan at the rose garden yesterday. It is a big boy and it looked sweet. It was set up to transport people mainly. Get Low Nissan NV Cargo NV3500 HD Price Quotes at CarPriceSecrets.com It was the SL model with more windows than the one shown.
    Suicide by single speed. Work in progress.

  12. #112
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    Have you considered a trailer? Like a modified military Humvee trailer or pre-built off-road type? Typically you get a rooftop tent on the trailer and whatever amenities and storage below.

    The downside of a van is that if you go camping you have to drive your bed around if you do anything other than stay put. This in some places may lose you your spot. The trailer can be parked and you can pull it with a posh diesel SUV or whatever truck. I suppose you may not like pulling a trailer which would be a deal breaker.

    Off-Road Trailer Buyer's Guide - | TAP Into Adventure!

    Travel vans.  Any advice?-blue_ridge_expedition_trailers_tap_2%5B1%5D.jpg

    _MK

    Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not just surrounded by a*holes

  13. #113
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    I'm not saying that isn't cool but sort of want something more centralized? I want to be able to access my cockpit from the back unit and visa versa. But i see the benefits there.
    I'm not sure how this works.

  14. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by squashyo View Post
    access my cockpit from the back unit.
    Pervert.

  15. #115
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    For that much $$ I can just sleep in a tent. Which is what I do.

    What I am looking for is keeping bikes and other gear comfortably inside my car. Also less hassle with setting up and breaking camp, storing and preparing for trips and so on..

  16. #116
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    FWIW, a buddy of mine is selling a Merc Sprinter kitted out specifically for bike racers/adventure touring. No bathroom, but room to store tons of bikes, solar panels, fridge, stove, beds, etc...I've asked FC and JC if I can post it here, but if anyone is interested send me a pm...I'd love to buy it if I could get my better half on board...

  17. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    Pervert.
    Would be nice to have easy access to essential behind the driver seat. I'm looking for some kind of reach around.
    I'm not sure how this works.

  18. #118
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    Travel vans.  Any advice?-img_20170511_200432050-01-1.jpg

    Lot's of good ideas here. All the options are a compromise in one way or another. Here's a few quick thoughts and a snapshot of the camper I use.

    Trailers: Big advantage is the ability to drop the trailer and still drive and explore. However I dislike driving trailers, and they are limited to 55MPH in Cali. That's a deal breaker for me anyway.

    Sprinter: Excellent utility and space, but potentially expensive and maintenance and reliability has very mixed reviews. ($$). I feel like I'm delivering bread or something when in one. I found them to be pretty so so comfort-wise and power is ok but not great. Not a great daily driver. Great for stealth camping.

    Vans: All over the map and some fun choices. Anything VW is a deal breaker for me. The newer Nissan and Ford posted above may offer some good choices. Potentially better driving than many of the earlier van 4x4/camper conversions.

    Pop Up Camper (I have a Four Wheel Camper "Hawk" model): Biggest disadvantage is that most are fairly small inside unless you commit to full build of a frame mounted unit, which has it's own disadvantages, such as cost and it's a fairly permanent build. Also, no walk through access from cab to camper. Not great for stealth camping since you pop the top up to use. Some great advantages though:

    -easy to replace just the truck
    -easy to replace (or sell) just the camper
    -excellent resale value, a rarity in the RV world
    -stick it on a Ford 3.5 ecoboost or similar and it will haul ass, unlike most of the options posted here. (be sure to get the heavy duty payload or spec a high payload build)
    -no expensive conversion needed like with a Sprinter
    -fairly easy to remove and use your truck as a truck
    -very very comfortable if you select the right truck to haul it
    -built for off road use. Camper design is proven for rugged trail use
    -they make various size units for anything form Tacomas to full size super duty long bed crew cabs
    -pretty easy as a daily driver, but ideally you would drop the camper for long term daily use

    I should add that this is still very new to me so no long term views yet...

    ronski

  19. #119
    gimme friction
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    I'm intrigued by the pop-up camper idea. Two key questions tho: do they make them for short-bed trucks, and how are they to take on/off, really?

    Quote Originally Posted by ronski View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Lot's of good ideas here. All the options are a compromise in one way or another. Here's a few quick thoughts and a snapshot of the camper I use.

    Trailers: Big advantage is the ability to drop the trailer and still drive and explore. However I dislike driving trailers, and they are limited to 55MPH in Cali. That's a deal breaker for me anyway.

    Sprinter: Excellent utility and space, but potentially expensive and maintenance and reliability has very mixed reviews. ($$). I feel like I'm delivering bread or something when in one. I found them to be pretty so so comfort-wise and power is ok but not great. Not a great daily driver. Great for stealth camping.

    Vans: All over the map and some fun choices. Anything VW is a deal breaker for me. The newer Nissan and Ford posted above may offer some good choices. Potentially better driving than many of the earlier van 4x4/camper conversions.

    Pop Up Camper (I have a Four Wheel Camper "Hawk" model): Biggest disadvantage is that most are fairly small inside unless you commit to full build of a frame mounted unit, which has it's own disadvantages, such as cost and it's a fairly permanent build. Also, no walk through access from cab to camper. Not great for stealth camping since you pop the top up to use. Some great advantages though:

    -easy to replace just the truck
    -easy to replace (or sell) just the camper
    -excellent resale value, a rarity in the RV world
    -stick it on a Ford 3.5 ecoboost or similar and it will haul ass, unlike most of the options posted here. (be sure to get the heavy duty payload or spec a high payload build)
    -no expensive conversion needed like with a Sprinter
    -fairly easy to remove and use your truck as a truck
    -very very comfortable if you select the right truck to haul it
    -built for off road use. Camper design is proven for rugged trail use
    -they make various size units for anything form Tacomas to full size super duty long bed crew cabs
    -pretty easy as a daily driver, but ideally you would drop the camper for long term daily use

    I should add that this is still very new to me so no long term views yet...

    ronski
    Johnny Ryall rode MTB

  20. #120
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    Yes they make them for several different size beds and different trucks. To get it off you have to attach the 4 camper jacks to the corners, release 4 bolts inside the camper which are a little awkward to get to, then crank it up. Use a power drill to do the work. You can then lower it on to a simple rolling platform that you build or leave it in place. The pro's that installed it at the factory took about 20 minutes to install it. I'm slower so far. Bottom line, not something you want to do every day but not too bad. Most people don't drive around with the jacks on. They add weight and are asking to get torn off. Many people buy used but they are hard to find and get snatched up immediately.


    Home - Four Wheel Campers | Low Profile, Light Weight, Pop-up Truck Campers

    https://www.allterraincampers.com/

    Hallmark RV | The Best Pop-Up Truck Camper

  21. #121
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    Ron can you store a couple bikes in that camper when driving?

  22. #122
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    Yes. It's pretty tight. One friend from Tahoe stores his vertically on the back. Some bigger bikes with really wide bars could be a problem.

  23. #123
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    Ron, thanks for the links. I think this is my future!

    Curious if you looked hard at the All Terrain Campers, as they are relatively local in Sacramento. Looks like about $4k less than the 4 Wheel product for a similar build, albeit with an icebox vs a 3-way fridge.

    I'd love to see some more photos of your camper 'in the wild' as the season progresses!
    Johnny Ryall rode MTB

  24. #124
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    ATC has a great reputation. From what I can tell, ATC is known for being more accommodating to customizing orders. FWC has a reputation for being a little nicer than ATC. FWC is in Woodland so you can visit both. I liked the Hawk model better than the choices from ATC and I have 2 friends that already have FWC campers. I also have a friend that works for FWC, however, he had left the company when I bought mine, but has since returned. By all means, if anyone is serious, give him a call, he's a rider and long time volunteer for the SBTS. His name is Mike Olds.

    Here's couple links of forums where you can get a lot more info. You can back up through the links on these sites for discussions on other types of campers, vans, trailers etc.


    Truck Campers - Wander the West

    Pop-up Truck Campers - Expedition Portal


    The Car and Biker forum right here on MTBR is worth a look too:

    Car & Biker - Mtbr.com

  25. #125
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    I was wondering the other day what happen to mike olds? haven't seen him at a trail days

  26. #126

  27. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by burpp View Post
    I was wondering the other day what happen to mike olds? haven't seen him at a trail days
    I've seen him at a few events. I thought he should bring a camper to the races and represent because that is at least part of the target market. Great guy! I don't think he is on MTBR.

  28. #128
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    I've got a Chevy Astro AWD. It's a great vehicle for me. I needed something affordable and AWD. I've converted the inside to be a minimalistic camper, it's got a bed with some storage. I don't like to cook inside and never really see the point in having a whole kitchen inside a small van, so the rest of the setup is typical camping gear - my stove, table, water, ez up, etc can be set up quickly outside of the van.



    A cheaper alternative to the Sportsmobile is a Chevy Express AWD (hard to find in AWD but possible) or just a regular 2WD Express can be found easily. You can get a pop top for them too and it can sleep 4. Of course the VW's are cool, but overpriced IMO. The sprinters are also very cool, just out of my price range.

    Good luck! Van life will change your life!

  29. #129
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    Unbelievable...this thread hasn't been moved yet

  30. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte View Post
    Nissan reliability sucks.
    Not according to Consumer Reports. Both rate "much better than average" for recent years. Toyota reliability is a myth. Also check the recall record for Tacoma.

    And the Nissan actually drives well. According to CR, the Tacoma highs are "off-road ability, braking, acceleration", and lows are "ride, seat comfort, driving position, high step-in".

    By contrast, the Frontier highs are "powertrain, acceleration, agility", and lows are "rear seat room, heavy tailgate, turning circle".

    So which is the better truck?

  31. #131
    fc
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    My buddy paid me a visit in his new travel van. Crazy mofo.Travel vans.  Any advice?-img_6941.jpg
    taller than tacoma


    Travel vans.  Any advice?-img_6982-1-.jpg
    good visibility


    Travel vans.  Any advice?-img_6987.jpg
    many buttons

    Travel vans.  Any advice?-img_6988.jpg
    car seat friendly

    Travel vans.  Any advice?-img_6993.jpg
    ladder required

    Travel vans.  Any advice?-img_6994.jpg
    taller than most

    Travel vans.  Any advice?-img_7001-1-.jpg
    bike rack ready
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  32. #132
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    I don't think carseats are designed to be used sideways like that.
    I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass... and I'm all out of bubblegum.

  33. #133
    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by gddyap View Post
    I don't think carseats are designed to be used sideways like that.
    True. I think they are out of the safety parameters for sure. I could not get down from the truck. Then the mom grabs the baby and just scrambles down.
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  34. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveBro View Post
    Not according to Consumer Reports. Both rate "much better than average" for recent years. Toyota reliability is a myth. Also check the recall record for Tacoma.

    And the Nissan actually drives well. According to CR, the Tacoma highs are "off-road ability, braking, acceleration", and lows are "ride, seat comfort, driving position, high step-in".

    By contrast, the Frontier highs are "powertrain, acceleration, agility", and lows are "rear seat room, heavy tailgate, turning circle".

    So which is the better truck?
    The Toyota?

  35. #135
    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronski View Post
    The Toyota?
    Was there a question? Lolz.
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  36. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronski View Post
    The Toyota?
    Sure, if you dislike good ride, handling and seat comfort/position.

  37. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveBro View Post
    Sure, if you dislike good ride, handling and seat comfort/position.
    Consumer Reports... Any mountain bike round ups in recent issues? Need to see which ones have good ride and handling!

  38. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveBro View Post
    Sure, if you dislike good ride, handling and seat comfort/position.
    nah it drives beautifully, i had one for 5 or 6 years and it was most un truck like on the highway, more like a car, quiet and plush. I had zero problems with it and one very minor recall, i miss it. Surely the nissan and toyota are worlds better than the merc, there are countless horror stories concerning sprinter reliability and a good number needing serious motor work @ 100k miles. The point of these vans is high mileage and owning a long time, it would absolutely suck having to deal with mercedes out of warranty. The old econolines ,if treated well, go forever. So if i hit lotto and ford does a factory 4x4 Transit I'm in

  39. #139
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    I have read just about as many horror stories for Tacoma. Not really horrifying though.

    Tacoma is pointless though. Not enough space. It's for college kids.

  40. #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    I have read just about as many horror stories for Tacoma. Not really horrifying though.

    Tacoma is pointless though. Not enough space. It's for college kids.
    lolz.
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  41. #141
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    Quad cab full size truck with a mid rise bed cap/camper on the back. Build a raised bed half way across truck bed, other half to store bikes. Lots of room under the built up need to store stuff. Have a giant cab and back row of seats for stuff also.

    Mine is can go to full Queen sized raised bed for family trips, bikes can go on the roof or my hitch carrier. Works great and cost almost nothing.

  42. #142
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    I'm not sure how this works.

  43. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    Tacoma is pointless though. Not enough space. It's for college kids.
    I agree, toyotas are tiny.

  44. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by griz View Post
    I agree, toyotas are tiny.
    Thin but loooong.
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  45. #145
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    I regret not having done the same. It is not always about money but about attitude

  46. #146
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    Wait...so all you people say "I want a Tacoma...but it's too small." You know that Toyota makes a vehicle that adresses EXACTLY that issue right? And it's an awesome truck. I don't understand how people aren't able to make that leap in this discussion.

  47. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini2k05 View Post
    Wait...so all you people say "I want a Tacoma...but it's too small." You know that Toyota makes a vehicle that adresses EXACTLY that issue right? And it's an awesome truck. I don't understand how people aren't able to make that leap in this discussion.
    Tundra is still a pickup truck. Not an efficient use of space compared to a van. Don't want it either.

  48. #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by griz View Post
    Unbelievable...this thread hasn't been moved yet
    Almost as unbelievable at times is the reading, comprehension or both with where some threads tangent off to. Like someone asking about comfy road touring motorcycles like a HD Road King or Beemer only to have suggestions thrown in for a Vespa w/paneer boxes. 😳

    Those Sprinter® and the Sportsmobile™ type units are pretty cool but involve some coin and specific use. I get what squashyo is looking for. Someone mentioned the Awd Astro vans. Although older I think they're a good setup for the right need. I saw one parked at the bottom of the 7-11 trail near China Camp one day. Small lift with A/T tires and setup for bikes. Not sure if it was awd or not but as mentioned a similar setup in 2wd can get a lot of places safely. I think it was one of the members(former maybe?) on here.
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  49. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    My buddy paid me a visit in his new travel van. Crazy mofo.
    Are they going to renovate the inside? looks like a small studio apartment!

  50. #150
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arctic Pride View Post
    Are they going to renovate the inside? looks like a small studio apartment!
    for sure. full remodel on that cabin.
    IPA will save America

  51. #151
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    Quote Originally Posted by squashyo View Post
    I am thinking about getting a new car that leans on travel and bikes. There was a big Tacoma bump going on but I don't think that will work as there may be times when I am hauling wife and 2 kids to near and far locations. I am looking to step up from a traditional mini van which served me well to something that is more travel/camping friendly, can maybe do a bit more off road, but yet doesn't get 2 miles per the gallon. I would look at getting a more RV type vehicle but this car will also be something I need to drive around town (it will be our second car). I can't see hauling an mini RV just to go ride Demo or pick up some cheese at Trader Joes, for example.

    Does something like this exist? Any suggestions?
    Josh, I've had three of this type of vehicle over the last 50 years.
    A '69 VW microbus, a custom built '85 Dodge van from BiziBodi in Fremont, and a '98 Dodge Durango SLT.
    Long story short the Durango is by far the best one and still running strong after 250K miles!!
    The Westphalia Pop top was horrible to drive, but great when you got there!

    Travel vans.  Any advice?-screen-shot-2017-06-12-11.44.09-pm.jpg

    The Van was great to drive to the next hotel and would carry everything easily.
    Can't find a picture of the van, but the girls liked it a lot!

    The Durango will go any where towing or carrying anything in any weather!

    Travel vans.  Any advice?-screen-shot-2017-06-12-11.47.20-pm.jpg

  52. #152
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    Any updates squashyo? After our trip to Tahoe, I know you need a new set up...or maybe just clean out your van

  53. #153
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    Quote Originally Posted by griz View Post
    Any updates squashyo? After our trip to Tahoe, I know you need a new set up...or maybe just clean out your van
    The Squashyo van... it is legendary around these parts. I think the entire Doobie Brothers CD collection is stashed in there, somewhere.
    IPA will save America

  54. #154
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    Still hunting! Found this site today though: https://www.poptopheaven.com/more_info.asp?RM=FC
    I'm not sure how this works.

  55. #155
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    The Squashyo van... it is legendary around these parts. I think the entire Doobie Brothers CD collection is stashed in there, somewhere.
    Just shut up and Listen to the Music and ignore the Black Water rolling on the floorboards. On second thought, clean yo van!

  56. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by squashyo View Post
    Still hunting! Found this site today though: https://www.poptopheaven.com/more_info.asp?RM=FC
    So those guys are the knock-off of GoWesty.

    GoWesty is a full-restoration shop that takes in Eurovans, Vanagons, and earlier generations of VW homes-on-wheels, knocks out the obvious mechanical things, and mods it to owner liking.

    PopTopHeaven is sort of the Zetra 303 to GoWesty's Lightning 608. They know that GoWesty is oversubscribed, so they offer what appears to be a similar service at the same price. But their mechanical prowess is not nearly that of GoWesty.

    If you're seriously looking at VW campers, check out TheSamba.com. If you're looking in that direction, there's a deal thread here (https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/vi...c.php?t=644675). I'd strongly advise a 2001-2003 Weekender. Earlier Eurovans have significantly less horsepower and are getting harder and harder to source parts. And while the full camper (we've got a 2002 EVC) is nice with a sink, fridge, 2-burner range, closet, sprayer, and 18 inches of added wheelbase, you miss the downstairs queen size bed with a family of 4, and you can replace the living amenities with about $300 in gear from REI.

    I'm in SF if you ever want to crawl around an EVC.

  57. #157
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    Quote Originally Posted by squashyo View Post
    I am taking it slow but what I want in a vehicle that I can stand in, can convert to a camper vehicle easily, is comfortable for long haul trips with the family, that can be driven as an all around vehicle (and one that the wife can drive without paranoia), can handle a little off road (think Pinecrest shuttles), isn't totally ugly or rape-van looking, and yet, somehow, does not completely break the bank.
    It's amazing how Volkswagen+Westfalia used to completely own this market, or at least be the starting point for any discussion of it (at least for the non-euro-skeptic among us), but these days has their head so far up their corporate *ss that they seem unable to produce and market a product that literally thousands of people on dozens of internet forums are calling out for.

    /'93 EV Weekender, 180k miles, great vehicle
    // turns 25 next year, have to put it out to pasture... can't trust it on long trips anymore
    Greg LeMond for graybeards: "It doesn't get easier... you just go slower"

    If You Can't Fix It, You Don't Own It

  58. #158
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    Quote Originally Posted by EddyKilowatt View Post
    It's amazing how Volkswagen+Westfalia used to completely own this market, or at least be the starting point for any discussion of it (at least for the non-euro-skeptic among us), but these days has their head so far up their corporate *ss that they seem unable to produce and market a product that literally thousands of people on dozens of internet forums are calling out for.

    /'93 EV Weekender, 180k miles, great vehicle
    // turns 25 next year, have to put it out to pasture... can't trust it on long trips anymore
    I think part of the problem is that they only sold something like 3,000 EVCs in the 2001-2003 model year time frame. So the demand for importing the LWB vans just wasn't there. Weekenders are a different beast, and in hindsight I wish I'd gone that way with a family of 4. Some good deals in the Samba deal thread lately.

  59. #159
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    I'm also a 2002 EVC owner. 150,000 miles on it and have had it for 9 years, since it was at 50,000. I love my van and have had a lot of great adventures in it but it is no longer a 100% reliable vehicle. It always gives me pause when I plan trips over high mountain passes. I'd never take it over something like Sonora Pass for example. I've had the transmission rebuilt about 20k ago but I'm sensing a need for replace the timing chain, which will require a engine rebuild.

    I'm planning on getting a Recon Camper as a replacement. The Recon is about 3 feet shorter but it'll be new and cost around 45k. It'll also get 25-28 mpg. The waiting list is about a year.

  60. #160
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    If this is going to be your second vehicle, that you'll daily drive i absolutely wouldn't even remotely consider a camper van. who in there right mind would want to drive one of those every day, and it would serve little to any utility in daily life.

    Get a truck and then get a slide in bed camper. as for both the truck and the camper, you can base what you get on your desire for size need and utility, but then you'll have a truck that you can drive every day and use for "truck stuff" as needed, like buying a new lawnmower, getting some gravel, moving furniture, whatever, crap that all of us have to deal with. but when you want to go camping, you back it and there ya go, awesome camper setup.

    truck wise, just think about your needs for hauling and interior comfort, and since you have a family it might be a good ideal to go with a crew cab so you have four doors, and maybe a long bed so you can run a nice roomy camper. we run a 1999 F350 with a sunlite pop up camper. we love it, totally awesome setup, and when we are not camping i don't know how we ever lived without having a truck around. If an F350 is a little beyond what you might need, check out the new ecoboost F150's. personally we haul butt heavily loaded in the mountains, so the 500+hp modified diesel works great for us.

    here is ours setup as a river shuttle rig. did the south Platte last weekend, heading to the upper Colorado tonight.

    Tim M Hovey

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  61. #161
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    Going to stop next week to check M-B Metris Explorer conversion.. Not 4x4, but thinking maybe I can get without it, RWD with good tires snap-on chains good enough, and for climbing trips, my friends have proper Jeeps..

  62. #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by NotQuiteClimbing View Post
    I'm also a 2002 EVC owner. 150,000 miles on it and have had it for 9 years, since it was at 50,000. I love my van and have had a lot of great adventures in it but it is no longer a 100% reliable vehicle. It always gives me pause when I plan trips over high mountain passes. I'd never take it over something like Sonora Pass for example. I've had the transmission rebuilt about 20k ago but I'm sensing a need for replace the timing chain, which will require a engine rebuild.

    I'm planning on getting a Recon Camper as a replacement. The Recon is about 3 feet shorter but it'll be new and cost around 45k. It'll also get 25-28 mpg. The waiting list is about a year.
    Heh, we're at 110k and about to drive it out to Leadville. What could go wrong?

    The Recon looks nice, but small for more than 2 people. Cheap, too, even when tricked out with all the sink/sprayer/solar options.

  63. #163
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    Quote Originally Posted by euroford View Post
    If this is going to be your second vehicle, that you'll daily drive i absolutely wouldn't even remotely consider a camper van. who in there right mind would want to drive one of those every day, and it would serve little to any utility in daily life.

    Get a truck and then get a slide in bed camper. as for both the truck and the camper, you can base what you get on your desire for size need and utility, but then you'll have a truck that you can drive every day and use for "truck stuff" as needed, like buying a new lawnmower, getting some gravel, moving furniture, whatever, crap that all of us have to deal with. but when you want to go camping, you back it and there ya go, awesome camper setup.

    ...

    here is ours setup as a river shuttle rig. did the south Platte last weekend, heading to the upper Colorado tonight.

    Sweet camper/all-around rig. Sounds like it's served you well.

    The Eurovan weekender is a solid daily driver (it's a normal sized minivan that sleeps 4, tows 2,500 pounds, gets 20 mpg). Reliability issues with the tranny aside, mechanically it's pretty easy to diagnose and fix. And you can take out the seats and fit a lot of stuff inside (full size plywood).

    For those of us living in really urban areas where an F350 wouldn't fit in the garage (silly earthquake retrofitting), a weekender or EVC is a nice compromise.

    That said, I bike to work instead of drive the EVC, which is "my" car.

  64. #164
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    well, I guess if you live in the city, your pretty limited and an F350 really wouldn't be the right tool. I used live in Downtown Chicago and all I had was a ford focus, now when we visit, finding someplace to dock the truck is needless to say a challenge.

    we have a huge 2+ car garage with an attached shop and the truck still doesn't fit, its about four feet too long! but we have tons of extra driveway and yard to park, in fact no cars in the garage now as its taken up by rock crawler projects and the summers outdoor gear.

    living in the city probably negates much of a need for a truck anyways, its not like your doing major remodels or landscaping work. in the future, if you end up in a town or the country, a truck and camper is pretty much the way to go though!
    Tim M Hovey

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  65. #165
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    How do you get the camper on / off the truck?
    Round up your 8 strongest friends?
    I don't see any jack poles.

    Sent from my SM-P900 using Tapatalk

  66. #166
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    the jack poles have two bolts each, i just grab the electric impact and pull them off to get them out of the way.
    Tim M Hovey

    Nukeproof Mega 290
    1950 CJ3a
    1999 BMW 540i
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