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  1. #1
    fc
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    Van conversions - let's see them.

    This year, more than ever, I've seen a lot of my friends get a 'sprinter' van and convert it. Some live in it and seize the day. Others get away as often as they can.

    Many of them do the work themselves.

    Can you share photos, builds and ideas? Wish list? Lessons learned? Let's build a knowledge base here of how to get it done.

    fc
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Van conversions - let's see them.-cmaper-van-conversion.jpg  

    Van conversions - let's see them.-diy-sprinter_rear-storage_web.jpg  

    Van conversions - let's see them.-sprinter-van-conversion4-traipsingabout-diyrv.jpg  

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  2. #2
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    I prefer to keep mine mostly empty. If I need to sleep, I'll take a folding cot or use a yoga matt.

    I've considered buying some tent fabric or something that would allow me to keep doors/windows open and mosquitos out, but that's about it as far as modifications.

    Van conversions - let's see them.-20150620_121632.jpg

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by coke View Post
    I prefer to keep mine mostly empty. If I need to sleep, I'll take a folding cot or use a yoga matt.

    I've considered buying some tent fabric or something that would allow me to keep doors/windows open and mosquitos out, but that's about it as far as modifications.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    What is your bike rack setup? And which van?
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  4. #4
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  5. #5
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    Work in progress

    Van conversions - let's see them.-img_5687.jpg

    Not long after I brought it home. Doing a buildout for a family of four plus our dog. I did some of the work and it is now at Van Specialties getting the rest of the work done.

    -A
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  6. #6
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    Van conversions - let's see them.-20160826_145554.jpg

    Van conversions - let's see them.-20160827_185519.jpg

    Just bought this, this weekend. So far so good, I'm looking into roof mounted awnings and a cargo box up there. Plans plans plans.
    No idea about the sideways pics.

    Edit: Thanks for the pic fix fc!
    Last edited by Troutinco; 08-29-2016 at 09:02 PM.
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  7. #7
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    ...
    Last edited by ACree; 08-29-2016 at 11:31 PM. Reason: replied to wrong post
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    This year, more than ever, I've seen a lot of my friends get a 'sprinter' van and convert it. Some live in it and seize the day. Others get away as often as they can.

    Many of them do the work themselves.

    Can you share photos, builds and ideas? Wish list? Lessons learned? Let's build a knowledge base here of how to get it done.

    fc
    Great topic. Much better than 'are plus bikes for beginners'.
    If it's not powered solely by you, it's a motorcycle.

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  9. #9
    fc
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    Van conversions - let's see them.

    Quote Originally Posted by ACree View Post
    Great topic. Much better than 'are plus bikes for beginners'.
    Are Sprinters for beginners?
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    Are Sprinters for beginners?
    Depends on their budget I suppose.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ACree View Post
    What is your bike rack setup? And which van?
    I just use a feedback rack and 2 bungee cords. Very simple and works well for 1 bike on each side.

    A friend of mine has a pipeline rack. It's a far better setup, but it does take up more room.

    I have a 130" wheelbase low roof ford transit. My friends below is a 148" medium roof ford transit.

    Van conversions - let's see them.-screenshot_2016-05-19-13-24-26.jpg

  12. #12
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    Wink

    Two weeks ago, back in Whistler, I was doing a small quick fix to me seatpost and I needed a T25, the one on my multitool was not enough. Saw the mega van parked on the corner of and went there to ask if they had a T25 for me and guess what, it was Brian Lopes and this is his van.

    Van conversions - let's see them.-img_20160818_133030.jpg

  13. #13
    fc
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    Less is more!

    Mine's more of a tiny van life,camping trip kinda thing BUT it fits in the garage and averages close to 30 mpg! Nissan NV200

    --- Ken Bennett

    NV200 is on the left
    Van conversions - let's see them.-6a00d83451b3c669e201b8d0df8c31970c-800wi.jpg

    NV200 setup
    Van conversions - let's see them.-14188446_10209247952650312_4228448829638076786_o.jpg
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  14. #14
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    I've been researching for years and I'm going to pull the trigger this Fall. Mid height Ford Transit passenger van with typical elevated bed with bikes below. Insulated, wood ceiling and walls. Ceiling fan, solar, 12v fridge. Metal cabinets similar to this one I saw a couple of years ago.

    Van conversions - let's see them.-sc-bed.jpgVan conversions - let's see them.-sc-cabinets.jpg

  15. #15
    fc
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    mobile and efficient garage
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Van conversions - let's see them.-1454676_528178780606462_269695653_n.jpg  

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  16. #16
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    Not a Sprinter

    Not a DIY, and may be old school nowadays. This is my 2001 Ford Econoline E-250, with camper conversion by GTRV. Sleeps 4, hauls 4 bikes. Equipped with stove, fridge & sink. It's my adventuremobile.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Van conversions - let's see them.-img_5760-800x600-.jpg  

    Van conversions - let's see them.-two-racks.jpg  

    Van conversions - let's see them.-gtrv4.jpg  

    Van conversions - let's see them.-gtrv1.jpg  

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  17. #17
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    Van conversions - let's see them.

    Love my Sprinter!


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    Double post

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    My 50 dolla 1996 Grand Voyager, works quite well after staying in it more nights than i can count. The brilliant part is how i can use the seatbelts to secure the bikes .



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  20. #20
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    What a great thread. I love seeing these conversions and the creativity that goes into them. I'd love to get one myself some day.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  21. #21
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    We built out a 2011 Sprinter to carry 6 bikes plus camping space for people/dogs for a 5 month road trip. The MacTrac on the floor worked really well for staggering bikes with wide handlebars (4 bikes facing rear of truck and two bikes, wheels off went sideways behind them). Now our kids are older we've gone back to using our old Eurovan. You can stuff almost anything in a Eurovan Van conversions - let's see them.-bike-mounts-1.jpgVan conversions - let's see them.-bike-mounts-2.jpgVan conversions - let's see them.-bike-mounts-3.jpg

  22. #22
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    Buildout by Outside Van?

    Why back to the Eurovan? That's an interesting move.
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  23. #23
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    Those GTRVs are sweet. It's a bummer they are so hard to find. A friend has one, and I'm jealous of the bargain he got.
    If it's not powered solely by you, it's a motorcycle.

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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbkers View Post
    Now our kids are older we've gone back to using our old Eurovan. You can stuff almost anything in a Eurovan Click image for larger version. 

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    And sleep 4!
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  25. #25
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    Yeah, I love my GTRV. Bought it new in '01 and have spent over 500 nights in it. A lot of the Sprinters only sleep two.
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  26. #26
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    Yes, Outside Van. Love those guys. We've been talking with them about building us a Metris. Being from Europe, we're used to smaller campervans.

    Loved the Sprinter and sad to see it go, but it was built for a long trip, so has a lot of things we don't need for weekend/weeklong trips. Plus, our kids would rather spread their crap out in a tent these days (and they're too tall now to sleep sideways).
    https://m.flickr.com/#/photos/510011...7655192712530/

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbkers View Post
    Yes, Outside Van. Love those guys. We've been talking with them about building us a Metris. Being from Europe, we're used to smaller campervans.

    Loved the Sprinter and sad to see it go, but it was built for a long trip, so has a lot of things we don't need for weekend/weeklong trips. Plus, our kids would rather spread their crap out in a tent these days (and they're too tall now to sleep sideways).
    https://m.flickr.com/#/photos/510011...7655192712530/
    Just wow!!!
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  28. #28
    fc
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    Let's see moar van cowbell.
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  29. #29
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    Yes, more please.

    In particular:

    - detail on electric set up
    - detail on galley builds
    - bike and gear storage

    detail and pics highly appreciated!
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    Just wow!!!
    Ill second that!



    Not to take away from the awesomeness that is mtbr, but for all your expedition vehicle needs, check out:

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    BE SURE to linky link any/all cool builds, tips, tricks, and what not here so those of us/you that dont get sucked into the expo vortex can scope out the goods too!
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    Van conversions - let's see them.-12985515_10102971938423426_1094178470518668301_n.jpg

    This is my Astro, is got a mild lift and bigger wheels. So far, its a not very modified inside.

    I just took out the rear seats. Laid an extra layer of home carpet padding and cut a new piece of house carpet to lay over the sorta grungy factory vehicle carpet in the cargo area for camping on the floor. Also made a cheap canopy with a tarp screwed onto a wooden clothes rod.

    Mods will slowly increase with time. Camping upgrades will be modular for street legal passenger seating for shuttle days.

    Has a 4.3L V6 Vortec that are proven to be super solid motors. Every component that GM bolted to the V6 is standard running gear on larger V8 motors, including the transmissions. The little V6s hardly put out enough power to stress the components. One downside is no factory skid plates.

  32. #32
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    If it's not powered solely by you, it's a motorcycle.

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  33. #33
    fc
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    Very nice Acree
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  34. #34
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    This is a new Winnebago Model. It's not on their website. I guess they are doing a soft opening to see how well it goes over.

    New 2017 Winnebago Paseo 48P Motor Home Class B at Lichtsinn RV | Forest City, IA | #717224A

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by morganfletcher View Post
    Here's ours, up in Tahoe last weekend:

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BKRx3bfjUjq/

    Lots of cool conversions here:

    Sprinter RV's & Conversions Write-Ups - Sprinter-Forum

    One of my favorites, a rabbit hole:

    Building my Adventure Van (2011 NCV3) - Sprinter-Forum

    Morgan

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by morganfletcher View Post
    Here's ours, up in Tahoe last weekend:

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BKRx3bfjUjq/

    Lots of cool conversions here:

    Sprinter RV's & Conversions Write-Ups - Sprinter-Forum

    One of my favorites, a rabbit hole:

    Building my Adventure Van (2011 NCV3) - Sprinter-Forum

    Morgan
    Mercedes should give a bonus to Geek. He has surely sold a lot of vans for them with that thread.
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  37. #37
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    To the people with the small vans (Nissan NV, Transit Connect, Astro, Voyager etc.): are they long enough for a 5'11" dude and his short wife to stretch out in? I'd love to have a full size E150 or something like it (Sprinters and such are WAY outside my price range), but I live in the city and spots are tight sometimes. This will be my daily driver/bike hauler/weekend road tripper to replace my 99 B2500 (which I love and has been very reliable, so I want something with similar reliability that's easy to work on and get parts for). I want something I can drive and park in the city, but be able to haul two bikes and some camping stuff to state parks when the wife has a triathlon (or if I get my sh*t together enough to enter a MTB race). Sleeping in a vehicle would be nice when I don't want to mess with a tent. The downside there is that the bikes would probably have to sleep outside (locked to the van of course, and covered).

  38. #38
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    Here's a prototype. I hope they follow through with production. Lots of good ideas for custom or home builds as well.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6FQ-FD1Ma0

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by MooseKlaw View Post
    To the people with the small vans (Nissan NV, Transit Connect, Astro, Voyager etc.): are they long enough for a 5'11" dude and his short wife to stretch out in? I'd love to have a full size E150 or something like it (Sprinters and such are WAY outside my price range), but I live in the city and spots are tight sometimes. This will be my daily driver/bike hauler/weekend road tripper to replace my 99 B2500 (which I love and has been very reliable, so I want something with similar reliability that's easy to work on and get parts for). I want something I can drive and park in the city, but be able to haul two bikes and some camping stuff to state parks when the wife has a triathlon (or if I get my sh*t together enough to enter a MTB race). Sleeping in a vehicle would be nice when I don't want to mess with a tent. The downside there is that the bikes would probably have to sleep outside (locked to the van of course, and covered).
    I will say 2 people can fit and I am right around 5'11" myself. I have the LWB Transit Connect, and can put an oversize air pad down no problem. The SWB model would be too short in my opinion. So far I really like this new van.
    I will be working a new bike carrier system for it this weekend and will post up pics. I think it will be a much better design than what I had pictured up before in this thread.
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    Thanks for the input Troutinco. I think I'll add a LWB TC to the list of used possibilities in a couple years. Ground clearance is the only other issue I'm seeing right now. I don't exactly go offroading, but we did bottom out the wife's Fit last weekend camping in a field...

  41. #41
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    136 Promaster

    I bought a Ram Promaster, 136 low roof for a combo contractor rig/camper van. Here's a photo (unfortunately others wouldn't load).


    Van conversions - let's see them.-img_1146.jpg

    It's wide enough (6'1) that we can sleep sideways, which saves room. Put in a heater and stove, no plumbing. Auxiliary battery, lights, charging stations all run off the alternator.

    If I was going for a full time camper rig I'd have gone bigger/taller, but this is my daily driver. FWD worked great last winter.

  42. #42
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    My microRV attempt from the Mazda5.

    I converted the back of our beloved Mazda5 to have sleeping quarters for two. Added drawers for the clothes and other miscellaneous items, and stored the food and other stuff in plastic boxes.

    The 'bed' area was about 65 inches long, which conveniently allowed the front seats to be in a normal driving position with the bed installed. On the other hand, it did not allow for very comfortable sleeping for my less than average 5'6 frame, even with the seats folded about 6 more inches forward and my feet up against the rear window. If I had to do it again, I would figure out a way to have one more piece attach to the front end of the bed, adding another 9 inches perhaps, with the seats folded all the way forward.

    Of course, the other problem is cooling. Trying to fall asleep in a campground outside of Charlotte NC, where it's still above 90 degrees at 9:30 at night was torture. We ended up running the AC in the car almost the whole night (yes, I had a carbon monoxide alarm). Sleeping in Shenandoah National Park at elevation was much nicer. We attached netting to the windows with magnets, so our only concern was a potential visit from bears.

    Overall, it was a good experiment, but it makes me want to build the real deal, in the form of a 130WB med roof Transit...

    https://goo.gl/photos/vHtk9LMvm4QLiSQc9

  43. #43
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    New Carrier

    I finished my new bike carrier for my transit connect. I used "superstrut" found at lowes. It is basically like what I had in my Frontier bed from factory that i traded in.
    So all the same attachment equipment worked the same. Now I can slide, adjust, remove, add carriers as needed. I am sure I can fit 3 bikes across on it.

    Van conversions - let's see them.-carrier-2.jpg

    Current final mounting points.
    Van conversions - let's see them.-carrier-3.jpg

    I need to test out my sleeping pad, but I am sure it will fit just fine. I also need to clean up the cut edges on the crossbars. I like this build much better than that original hunk of wood contraption I had.
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  44. #44
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    Here's mine;

    Van conversions - let's see them.-thumbnail_0409161223%5B1%5D.jpg

    I've made and installed 2 bicycle holders and a motorcycle chock. It came with the shelving, I have an aux battery I'm hooking up, and I put my overlander fridge in it. When camping, I load it up with everything out of my pop-up tent trailer and sleep on a padded cot.

    Van conversions - let's see them.-dscf0858.jpg

    Van conversions - let's see them.-dscf0891.jpg

    After I'm finished painting and hanging gutters on the house, I'll attempt to turn it into something like this one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ACree View Post
    The Escape Pod is mine. Happy to answer questions people have about it, but it's probably best if you ask them in the comments on my site (sprintervanusa.com) because I'm there more than I am here.



    We built it with biking in mind, either going away for a week or two of dry camping so we can ride Bend, Moab, or such like, or for taking to cyclocross races on the weekends. It's pretty modular - cabinets, bed, bench seat all come in and out as necessary. We did all the work ourselves.



    Because it's DIY, it'll never be finished, but we're probably at version 0.98 at this point.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by MooseKlaw View Post
    To the people with the small vans (Nissan NV, Transit Connect, Astro, Voyager etc.): are they long enough for a 5'11" dude and his short wife to stretch out in? I'd love to have a full size E150 or something like it (Sprinters and such are WAY outside my price range), but I live in the city and spots are tight sometimes. This will be my daily driver/bike hauler/weekend road tripper to replace my 99 B2500 (which I love and has been very reliable, so I want something with similar reliability that's easy to work on and get parts for). I want something I can drive and park in the city, but be able to haul two bikes and some camping stuff to state parks when the wife has a triathlon (or if I get my sh*t together enough to enter a MTB race). Sleeping in a vehicle would be nice when I don't want to mess with a tent. The downside there is that the bikes would probably have to sleep outside (locked to the van of course, and covered).
    The Astro has about 7ft of "bed" space. I used to sleep in the bed of my 97 Nissan Frontier (basically a B2500) and the Astro has way more room and bumper to bumper is a shorter vehicle overall. Myself, the girlfriend (both 5'11") and two dogs crash in the back just fine.

    Also it's 4x4; so romping around off the beaten path is actually possible. Way more power than a 4cylinder import truck.

  47. #47
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    Your site is the best how to for a DIY set up I've seen . Just picked up a low roof Transit with Sportsmobile poptop and may take on part of the conversion ourselves, following your example. Planned uses sound similar. Overnights and road trips, and a base for bike races. With luck the maiden voyage will be a gravel fondo this weekend.

    Side note to anyone buying remotely: escrow.com is a terrible company, avoid at all costs. 6 days and counting for them to release funds to the seller and thus get the title in process to me.
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  48. #48
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    It's not a sprinter but here's my rig. 2005 Ford van. I recently installed on-board air with a 2 gal. tank so I can take care of all my tubeless tire needs.

    Van conversions - let's see them.-cockscomb.jpg

  49. #49
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    Sprinter Adventure Rig

    Van conversions - let's see them.-screen-shot-2015-12-17-6.23.22-pm.jpg

    Here's the garage of our 2014 Sprinter.

    You can find our entire build at:
    Re-Defining "The American Dream"

  50. #50
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    Rough Draft

    Van conversions - let's see them.-ec899c187d2060dd-photo.jpg

  51. #51
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    More pics and details please!

    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    it's not a sprinter but here's my rig. 2005 ford van. I recently installed on-board air with a 2 gal. Tank so i can take care of all my tubeless tire needs.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  52. #52
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    We're currently converting a Ford Transit van.

    It's a work in progress but at least we got a bed, the bike drawer, electricity, cold beer (refrigerator) and heat!

    We are documenting the whole build, in case it could help a fellow mtbiker:
    Ford Transit Camper Van | FarOutRide.com


    Van conversions - let's see them.-img_20160616_120658-01.jpgVan conversions - let's see them.-img_20161007_164244-01.jpegVan conversions - let's see them.-img_20161007_164526-01.jpeg

    CHEERS!


    --------------------
    Currently building our dream camper van for epic adventures!

    Ford Transit Camper Van | FarOutRide.com

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by atoine View Post
    We're currently converting a Ford Transit van.

    It's a work in progress but at least we got a bed, the bike drawer, electricity, cold beer (refrigerator) and heat!

    We are documenting the whole build, in case it could help a fellow mtbiker:
    Ford Transit Camper Van | FarOutRide.com
    My gawd, that is awesome!!!!
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  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomFL View Post
    More pics and details please!
    I used push to connect 3/8" nylon hose with a swivel T fitting to go to two drops on my rig from a 2 gal air tank. The compressor is continuous duty but the tank allows a quick shot for airing up tires or even an air tool like an impact wrench for lug nuts or a blow gun. Overkill really but the PO had already installed the compressor for airing down tires for off-roading. I needed the air tank for actuating an ARB air locker when I did an axle swap to a full float dana60.

    The compressor is located underneath the vehicle along the frame rail. https://www.extremeoutback.com/produ...3+007-555.html
    Van conversions - let's see them.-compressor-3.jpg

    I located the air tank behind the axle when I swapped from a semi to a full floater to handle the weight of the camper conversion.
    Van conversions - let's see them.-air-tank_1.jpg

    Mounted to the floor in front of the house battery.
    Van conversions - let's see them.-air-tank_2.jpg

    Added an analog air gage at the existing bulkhead fitting and ran another line to the rear bumper.
    Van conversions - let's see them.-air-gage.jpg

    I added an Spod for the extra interior switches with a digital air zenith gage that shows starting battery voltage on startup and then switches over to displaying air pressure. A 105psi pressure switch is used to turn compressor on and off via an electronic relay based on pressure. Turns compressor on at 85psi and off at 105psi.
    Van conversions - let's see them.-spod-panel_air-pressure.jpg

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by atoine View Post
    We're currently converting a Ford Transit van.

    It's a work in progress but at least we got a bed, the bike drawer, electricity, cold beer (refrigerator) and heat!

    We are documenting the whole build, in case it could help a fellow mtbiker:
    Ford Transit Camper Van | FarOutRide.com


    Click image for larger version. 

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    CHEERS!


    --------------------
    Currently building our dream camper van for epic adventures!

    Ford Transit Camper Van | FarOutRide.com
    Wow! Amazing site...thanks for putting that together.
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  56. #56
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    Not mine. Lots of great ideas.


  57. #57
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    Sprinter Adventure Van

    Our 2011 Sprinter 144" camper van has been sold, but I believe the new owner will keep the site alive:
    https://sprinter-action-van.squarespace.com/

    After spending years camping in pickups, an FJ62 LandCruiser, a VW Westfalia, this has definitely been the best of the bunch. Very practical camping (like the VW), but with with greater comfort and much greater storage and hauling capacity. Currently set up to carry two bikes inside; I'd do a hitch mount to carry additional bikes (in order to preserve the massive "garage" area.

    Van conversions - let's see them.-van-interior-table-couch.jpgVan conversions - let's see them.-van-interior-bed-gear.jpgVan conversions - let's see them.-van-interior-long-shot.jpgVan conversions - let's see them.-van-garage-bikes.jpgVan conversions - let's see them.-van-interior-garage-wide.jpgVan conversions - let's see them.-van-side-slider-open.jpgVan conversions - let's see them.-van-rear-moto.jpgVan conversions - let's see them.-van-exterior-threequarter.jpg
    Last edited by BendErik; 03-21-2017 at 08:20 AM.

  58. #58
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    Very nice. Who did the conversion work?
    If it's not powered solely by you, it's a motorcycle.

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    Most of what is visible was done by Van Specialities in Portland. But we did extensive sound dampening and the first layer of insulation. Plus I can't tell you how much time has gone into planning (before the build) and tweaking (after the build). My neighbors probably think I'm obsessed, but hey, it's great to have everything dialed.

  60. #60
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    This is truly the ultimate way to live the MTB Explorer lifestyle!

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  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cayenne_Pepa View Post
    This is truly the ultimate way to live the MTB Explorer lifestyle!

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  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsdc View Post
    Some people want riches and fame. I just want to be this guy.

    Equipment ? R U Nuts Adventures

    "All in need are some tasty trails, a cool buzz and I'm fine."
    I swear I see his van nearly every trip I make to Sedona or Bend. He's doing it right.
    If it's not powered solely by you, it's a motorcycle.

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  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by ACree View Post
    I swear I see his van nearly every trip I make to Sedona or Bend. He's doing it right.
    I saw him Sedona today in fact. His life is better than my vacations (old thread that met with some rancor).

  64. #64
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    I see from a van site that Mikesee has done a build. Perhaps FC could get him to do a detailed write up on it.
    If it's not powered solely by you, it's a motorcycle.

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  65. #65
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    Bumping this great thread to get some input from the newer Sprinter Blutec owners! I'm overwhelmed by all of the negative reviews on the internet about the Blutec Vans having issues with the emissions system and EGR valve,,,,Are these isolated cases? How many miles do you have on your Blutec sprinter and has it been 100% reliable? I am in the market for a van and have been torn between the Transit line and Sprinters,,, Thanks a bunch!

  66. #66
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    Loving ours

    I need to get some updated pictures of our rig up on here.

    We have put around 15,000 miles on ours since we got it. We had Van Specialities in Oregon do a big portion of the build after I did some of the 12V work, audio, sound deadening, some insulation, and the exterior work. It has been very nice for our family of four and pooch to get out of Dodge quickly. We are looking forward to many weekend getaways this summer.

    Van conversions - let's see them.-nmvan.jpg

    Cheers,
    -A
    Disclaimer: I'm a fan-boi for Jenson USA.

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by armenian View Post
    Bumping this great thread to get some input from the newer Sprinter Blutec owners! I'm overwhelmed by all of the negative reviews on the internet about the Blutec Vans having issues with the emissions system and EGR valve,,,,Are these isolated cases? How many miles do you have on your Blutec sprinter and has it been 100% reliable? I am in the market for a van and have been torn between the Transit line and Sprinters,,, Thanks a bunch!
    Hey,
    I'm not a Sprinter owner but try
    https://sprinter-source.com/forum/

    It's a community of sprinter owners, there is plenty a discussions about Sprinter reliability.

  68. #68
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    I have a '16 with the I4 (4 cylinder) engine, and I think if you read up on them, many believe the 4 cyl to be a more-reliable engine than the V6. At least I hope so.

    And so far, so good: 45,000 on mine since purchasing it 12/15.

    Van conversions - let's see them.-img_5302_zpsj1eytkgx.jpg

    Schmed
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  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by armenian View Post
    ... I am in the market for a van and have been torn between the Transit line and Sprinters,,, Thanks a bunch!
    There's a lot to like about the Transit. I rented two of them before buying a Sprinter, and put 2,000 miles on the rental Transits:

    Transit positives:
    - tons of dealers for warranty work - way more than mercedes
    - great handling - yes - better than mercedes!
    - 3 engine choices, 2 gas, 1 diesel

    Sprinter positives:
    - better mileage (25 mpg in my 4 cylinder diesel vs. 14 mpg in the transit ecoboost)
    - looks better (subjective, I know)
    - crew van is an option (main reason I bought a Sprinter)
    - better seats (material is typical German quality vs. rental-car Ford quality)

    Schmed
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    2012 IndyFab Planet Cross CX
    2013 Kona Raijin SS
    2016 Scott Big Jon

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by armenian View Post
    Bumping this great thread to get some input from the newer Sprinter Blutec owners! I'm overwhelmed by all of the negative reviews on the internet about the Blutec Vans having issues with the emissions system and EGR valve,,,,Are these isolated cases? How many miles do you have on your Blutec sprinter and has it been 100% reliable? I am in the market for a van and have been torn between the Transit line and Sprinters,,, Thanks a bunch!
    I don't have a Sprinter, but I have a diesel motorhome and l've looked into Sprinters and diesel trucks a lot. It's scary. All the diesel emission requirements have complicated their engines and getting it fixed when it breaks down is expensive. That's why I have my eye on a gas Ford Transit van. Cheaper, more reliable, cheaper to fix, many more places to go for repair ... America!

  71. #71
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    Please elaborate on what you're doing about showers!

    My wife and I just spent 28 days living in the back of our 2003 Sienna minivan, driving from Vancouver and dispersed camping/riding in Lake Havasu, Prescott, Phoenix, Sedona, Hurricane, Boise etc...

    The bed/insulation/sleeping worked out really well, but we really struggled with showers. When it was really hot, our dry bag solar shower was OK (but leaked like crazy, including the replacement). But whenever it was cooler, it was a pain. We had to pay to stay in RV parks a few times just to use the showers.

    How are you guys incorporating showers into your builds? And where are you filling up with water when you travel? (I'm assuming dispersed camping on BLM lands, forest service roads etc...)

    Thanks.

  72. #72
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    We have a '15 with the V6, we have 30,000 miles on it (we got it with 10,000 on the clock). We have had no issues with the emissions so far. Only issue we had was a bad fuel pump, taken care of under warranty. Did not have the time to do the build out myself and lucked into a great deal on a demo from RB Components. Super happy all around!Van conversions - let's see them.-img_2500-600x800-.jpg
    "The rides to short to not kick against the pricks" M.F.

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by TooSteep View Post
    Please elaborate on what you're doing about showers!

    My wife and I just spent 28 days living in the back of our 2003 Sienna minivan, driving from Vancouver and dispersed camping/riding in Lake Havasu, Prescott, Phoenix, Sedona, Hurricane, Boise etc...

    The bed/insulation/sleeping worked out really well, but we really struggled with showers. When it was really hot, our dry bag solar shower was OK (but leaked like crazy, including the replacement). But whenever it was cooler, it was a pain. We had to pay to stay in RV parks a few times just to use the showers.

    How are you guys incorporating showers into your builds? And where are you filling up with water when you travel? (I'm assuming dispersed camping on BLM lands, forest service roads etc...)

    Thanks.
    In a minivan you're pretty limited to what kind of solar shower you buy or build. Beyond that, lakes, rivers, streams etc leaves actual showers. Most towns that serve as a jumping off point to outdoor destinations have Hostels including the towns you mention. Most Hostels charge about $3 for a shower. Also a lot of sanctioned campgrounds have showers and water.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by TooSteep View Post
    Please elaborate on what you're doing about showers!

    My wife and I just spent 28 days living in the back of our 2003 Sienna minivan, driving from Vancouver and dispersed camping/riding in Lake Havasu, Prescott, Phoenix, Sedona, Hurricane, Boise etc...

    The bed/insulation/sleeping worked out really well, but we really struggled with showers. When it was really hot, our dry bag solar shower was OK (but leaked like crazy, including the replacement). But whenever it was cooler, it was a pain. We had to pay to stay in RV parks a few times just to use the showers.

    How are you guys incorporating showers into your builds? And where are you filling up with water when you travel? (I'm assuming dispersed camping on BLM lands, forest service roads etc...)

    Thanks.
    Our plan is an external shower at the rear of the van (130 wb low roof transit, sportsmobile poptop). You see that a lot on Outside Van and Van Specialties builds. Previously we had a Chalet LTW A frame trailer, which had an external shower on the drivers side. You're not going to get a shower like home but it will work to get most of the post ride grime off.
    If it's not powered solely by you, it's a motorcycle.

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  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by TooSteep View Post
    Please elaborate on what you're doing about showers!
    We had to pay to stay in RV parks a few times just to use the showers.
    We have used RV Parks for showers, but have NEVER stayed in one. I've never seen an RV Park that won't let you use their showers for a small fee. Anywhere from $3 to $6 for a shower charge, but I'm not gonna stay there.
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

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  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by TooSteep View Post
    Please elaborate on what you're doing about showers!
    Another option for showers can occasionally be found in the local public pool/aquatic center. I've used the one in Bend several times, as well as one in Moab and Park City. As an added bonus you can use the Jacuzzi and pool too.
    free-flowing meat waves of possibility...

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by TooSteep View Post
    Please elaborate on what you're doing about showers!

    My wife and I just spent 28 days living in the back of our 2003 Sienna minivan, driving from Vancouver and dispersed camping/riding in Lake Havasu, Prescott, Phoenix, Sedona, Hurricane, Boise etc...

    The bed/insulation/sleeping worked out really well, but we really struggled with showers. When it was really hot, our dry bag solar shower was OK (but leaked like crazy, including the replacement). But whenever it was cooler, it was a pain. We had to pay to stay in RV parks a few times just to use the showers.

    How are you guys incorporating showers into your builds? And where are you filling up with water when you travel? (I'm assuming dispersed camping on BLM lands, forest service roads etc...)

    Thanks.
    Solar shower works pretty well for us. If it's not up to temp, we heat a quart or so of water on the stove and add it, that usually gets things up to snuff. We string a tarp across the rear doors for privacy if needed.

    We also have an Anytime Fitness membership at home and can use their facilities anywhere else, that works out pretty well for a deeper clean.

  78. #78
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    This is just the thread I've been looking for. We are just starting our conversations. and well crap, I blew up my knee a few weeks ago and am waiting on surgery so I have LOTS of time for research now.....

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by formica View Post
    This is just the thread I've been looking for. We are just starting our conversations. and well crap, I blew up my knee a few weeks ago and am waiting on surgery so I have LOTS of time for research now.....
    Always sucks to be injured in summer. I guess the bright side is having time for research. It can consume all available time...and then some. So many options out there, it can definitely lead to paralysis by analysis. Tons of info out there at the sprinter source forum, expedition portal, sports mobile forum, ford transit and pro master forums. Not to mention the websites people have done to document builds.

    Had you been at Kettle Fest I'd have given a quick tour of ours on its maiden voyage.

    A write up for this thread will come in time.


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    Last edited by ACree; 07-25-2017 at 09:09 PM.
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  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by ACree View Post
    Always sucks to be injured in summer. I guess the bright side is having time for research. It can consume all available time...and then some. So many options out there, it can definitely lead to paralysis by analysis. Tons of info out there at the sprinter source forum, expedition portal, sports mobile forum, ford transit and pro master forums. Not to mention the websites people have done to document builds.

    Had you been at Kettle Fest I'd have given a quick tour of ours on its maiden voyage.

    A write up for this thread will come in time.


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    Doh, my hub was there... he's to shy to go up to people and say "show me your van".

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by formica View Post
    "
    Doh, my hub was there... he's to shy to go up to people and say "show me your van".
    He was an outlier then in that regard.

    Putting two and two together, I rode with him a bit on Saturday.
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  82. #82
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    I read throught this thread and numerous others. Right now, I'm not being terribly successful in coming up with a list of van conversion companies. We are not going to build it out ourselves, just aren't. In the time/money equation we'd rather play in our spare time.

    So far I've come up with
    Sportsmobile
    Outdoor Vans
    Sync Vans
    Terranaut
    Van Life Customs
    Van Specialities

    I'm sure I've missed some. Also trying to track down who is reputable seems to be a bit of a challenge. Many of the boutique builders don't have a lot online.

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by formica View Post
    I read throught this thread and numerous others. Right now, I'm not being terribly successful in coming up with a list of van conversion companies. We are not going to build it out ourselves, just aren't. In the time/money equation we'd rather play in our spare time.

    So far I've come up with
    Sportsmobile
    Outdoor Vans
    Sync Vans
    Terranaut
    Van Life Customs
    Van Specialities

    I'm sure I've missed some. Also trying to track down who is reputable seems to be a bit of a challenge. Many of the boutique builders don't have a lot online.
    Here's another one: https://www.coloradocampervan.com/

    Van Specialties does really nice work. Sportsmobile has been around the longest. I'm not familiar with the others. What vehicle are you planning to do your conversion around? There's a few others to look at for 4WD conversions like Agile, UJOINT, and Expovan. ExpoVans, expedition vans and 4-wheel van conversions and parts

    It really is a custom deal. Expensive and no two projects are the same.

  84. #84
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    Just cut to the chase...

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  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by formica View Post
    I read throught this thread and numerous others. Right now, I'm not being terribly successful in coming up with a list of van conversion companies. We are not going to build it out ourselves, just aren't. In the time/money equation we'd rather play in our spare time.

    So far I've come up with
    Sportsmobile
    Outdoor Vans
    Sync Vans
    Terranaut
    Van Life Customs
    Van Specialities

    I'm sure I've missed some. Also trying to track down who is reputable seems to be a bit of a challenge. Many of the boutique builders don't have a lot online.
    Reputable can be in the eye of the beholder.

    Sportsmobile has been around forever. Lots of satisfied customers and a few vocal dissatisfied ones. Their interior designs are kind of dated IMO. Our van is a Ford transit with a sportsmobile poptop that previous owner had installed (before he sold the 2015 van with 1800 miles on it..). They seem to have a niche with poptops.

    Outdoor Vans, should that be Outside Vans? Very expensive. Looks like a lot of marketing and hype with them. Very nice modern interiors, although on the minimalist side for my taste.

    Van Specialties - been around 40 years or so. No standard plans, although they do have standard cabinet designs. Pricing well below Outside Van from what I can tell, and in the same range as Sportsmobile. They are at an 18 month wait list as of early July. That's up from 12 months in March '16, that was really 14 months by the time work started.

    Ours is a combination of Sportsmobile and VS. The prior owner put a Sportsmobile poptop on and stopped there. We had VS do the rest of the interior (power, water, heater/water heater, fridge, cabinets, interior trim). I'm happy with how it turned out. There is no doubt it's expensive and really isn't a rational financial decision. It's all about how much you value your weekend recreational time.

    If you can swing a trip down there, going to VS in person is well worth it.
    If it's not powered solely by you, it's a motorcycle.

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  86. #86
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    Here's another one: Van Haus Conversions - Custom Van Interiors
    This thread covers all the bases: 4x4 Van Resources - Expedition Portal

    I just returned from 4 weeks living in my van. It's the ultimate get-in/get-out vehicle for mtn bike trips. But an expensive game to get into. My 2005 SMB is now worth 20K more than what I bought it for in 2010 as the 3rd owner.

    Van conversions - let's see them.-gravelly-range.jpg

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    Another to add to the list is RB Components. We are very happy with our van. I think I commented above, we have had ours for a year now and have put close to 25,000 miles on it. So far so good. Besides the normal vehicle maintenance and a loose nut or bolt hear and there we have had no issues with the Sprinter or RB's build. Yes some may consider them to be expensive, they are in the range of what the going rates are in my opinion.

    I would give them a look or call to discuss (I also know they have some of the best turnaround for getting vans on the road). If you have any specific questions drop me a message.

    Bob
    "The rides to short to not kick against the pricks" M.F.

  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by formica View Post
    I read throught this thread and numerous others. Right now, I'm not being terribly successful in coming up with a list of van conversion companies. We are not going to build it out ourselves, just aren't. In the time/money equation we'd rather play in our spare time.

    So far I've come up with
    Sportsmobile
    Outdoor Vans
    Sync Vans
    Terranaut
    Van Life Customs
    Van Specialities

    I'm sure I've missed some. Also trying to track down who is reputable seems to be a bit of a challenge. Many of the boutique builders don't have a lot online.
    We had Van Specialties finish our build. I did some of the work and then had them do the rest/stuff over my head. We are loving our van. They were great to work with. Give Rob a call and you will be impressed too.

    Van conversions - let's see them.-screen-shot-2017-08-02-10.58.57-am.jpg

    Cheers,
    -A
    Disclaimer: I'm a fan-boi for Jenson USA.

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    This is who we'll be using in 2019!!
    2017 Intense Primer
    2016 Santa Cruz 5010

  90. #90
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    So many options,

    So little money.
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

    Work Truck - Dassault Falcon 7X

  91. #91
    Wandervans
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    You could always rent instead of own. Much cheaper. Checkout www.wandervans.com. The founder and staff are long time mountain bikers.
    Live to ride!
    18 Cannondale Jekyll Carbon
    16 Diamond Back DB8

    https://www.facebook.com/wandervans
    wandervans.com

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilycook View Post
    The founder and staff are long time mountain bikers.
    Are you one of these, or just a groupie?
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

    Work Truck - Dassault Falcon 7X

  93. #93
    Wandervans
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    Are you one of these, or just a groupie?
    One of them.
    Live to ride!
    18 Cannondale Jekyll Carbon
    16 Diamond Back DB8

    https://www.facebook.com/wandervans
    wandervans.com

  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by BADDANDY View Post
    Here's mine;

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I've made and installed 2 bicycle holders and a motorcycle chock. It came with the shelving, I have an aux battery I'm hooking up, and I put my overlander fridge in it. When camping, I load it up with everything out of my pop-up tent trailer and sleep on a padded cot.
    After a year and a half of using my van quite regularly, I decided a van was for me, but the bare boneness sucked and I didn't feel like a full conversion would be fun, so I started shopping for a used Class B Sprinter. I stumbled upon the recently released Transit Class B, and after some financial moves, became able to afford a glamping rig and step into the 22nd century RV wise.

    Van conversions - let's see them.-thumbnail_0103181233a.jpg
    2015 Giant Stance 2 - 1 X 10 11/42 30T
    2016 Diamondback Insight 2

  95. #95
    Don't worry, be happy!
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    What brand is that Transit conversion?

  96. #96
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    ^^^ Winnebago Paseo?
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

    Work Truck - Dassault Falcon 7X

  97. #97
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    Maybe. More than a Revel!! I wonder why. We just got a Travato K and it's not nearly the sticker price of the Paseo.

  98. #98
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    Hmm, I guess I should update as my last inquiry was about conversions. Long story short, I blew my knee this past summer and that pushed us into the decision to quit thinking about it and do something.Frankly, all the possibilities with a custom build were making my head hurt. Some friends of our bought a Winnebago Travato and suggested we go look at one. We purchased a Travato K two weeks later. This is not Grandpa's Winnebago!!

    Our first outing was to Central Oregon for eclipse viewing. We were out almost every weekend at bike fests after that. I could hang out in my recliner under the awning while my hub went riding. He could then grab a nice hot shower.

    The first morning we woke up to rain and only had to reach over to turn the heat on, wait a few minutes and then have coffee in our jammies.....I didn't miss the tent a bit! Plus, being on crutches all summer I never could have tent camped very easily.

    Van conversions - let's see them.-20728740_10210227629146855_4713555437928812432_o.jpgVan conversions - let's see them.-21083349_10210329387090740_5321181009583336006_o.jpgVan conversions - let's see them.-20171118_150558.jpg

  99. #99
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    ^^^^ Sweet! Congratulations!

    Did you sell that bike?
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

    Work Truck - Dassault Falcon 7X

  100. #100
    Don't worry, be happy!
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    Not yet. Carbon trance advanced size L, 2015 version with a pike. Message me if you want more info

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