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  1. #1
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    Adventure Van Envy

    I would love to build an adventure van to trip around for MTB, surf, ski etc. Singletrack Sampler is making it happen with the help of some of his friends!

    If you have one, lets see it. Any novel ideas on features, build out, etc?


  2. #2
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    Here's my favorite. There's advantages to building your own if you have the resources

    https://youtu.be/wY6p29t0-lg

  3. #3
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    Game changer. Loon Lake/Rubicon Trail.

    Adventure Van Envy-p1040636.jpg

  4. #4
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    I don't know... I just got back from 10 days in Moab, and if you want to be one of the cool kids you certainly HAVE to have one. My problem with them is and will always be that I don't want to break camp every time I want to drive to a trailhead, town, bike shop, restaurant, shuttle ect.... Plus the added fact that you leave everything you own and value at every one of those places while you ride has also kept me from investing the huge amounts of money required to do it right. I get it, their trendy and they certainly have their place, but for me, a small adventure trailer towed by a 4x4 truck will always win out.
    My set up is essentially a bit larger than the back of a Sprinter at 6' x 12' with the added benefit that my bikes go inside while I'm driving in shitty weather. It's got 32's on it and lifted 6" and I've dragged that thing places it had no business going, plus it's at least a foot shorter than a sprinter with headroom for me at 5' 10". Queen bed, sink, stove, storage, shower, heater and everything I could possibly need are in that rig for about the grand total of 5 grand.
    I'll even get the occasional sprinter guy come over and look at it, though they are usually too busy setting up or breaking down camp so that they can drive to the trailhead. I get that they are easy to poach a parking lot camp site and that is certainly appealing, but if you think that the local LEO's aren't hip to that you're fooling yourself. They were ticketing in Moab this past week for guys camped at trailheads and I've seen it in Arizona as well.

    MTBR cant seem to figure out the basics of resizing pictures and I'm too lazy to do it so I only have this one old picture.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Adventure Van Envy-dsc03104.jpg  


  5. #5
    Keep on Rockin...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Allan View Post
    I don't know... I just got back from 10 days in Moab, and if you want to be one of the cool kids you certainly HAVE to have one. My problem with them is and will always be that I don't want to break camp every time I want to drive to a trailhead, town, bike shop, restaurant, shuttle ect.... Plus the added fact that you leave everything you own and value at every one of those places while you ride has also kept me from investing the huge amounts of money required to do it right. I get it, their trendy and they certainly have their place, but for me, a small adventure trailer towed by a 4x4 truck will always win out.
    My set up is essentially a bit larger than the back of a Sprinter at 6' x 12' with the added benefit that my bikes go inside while I'm driving in shitty weather. It's got 32's on it and lifted 6" and I've dragged that thing places it had no business going, plus it's at least a foot shorter than a sprinter with headroom for me at 5' 10". Queen bed, sink, stove, storage, shower, heater and everything I could possibly need are in that rig for about the grand total of 5 grand.
    I'll even get the occasional sprinter guy come over and look at it, though they are usually too busy setting up or breaking down camp so that they can drive to the trailhead. I get that they are easy to poach a parking lot camp site and that is certainly appealing, but if you think that the local LEO's aren't hip to that you're fooling yourself. They were ticketing in Moab this past week for guys camped at trailheads and I've seen it in Arizona as well.

    MTBR cant seem to figure out the basics of resizing pictures and I'm too lazy to do it so I only have this one old picture.

    Good advice.

    Breaking camp every time you need to travel is a hassle.

    Utility trailers, if you have the time and ingenuity, can really be dialed to your needs.

    For years I've been planning on getting one. They are not expensive, can be re-sold, and are practical for lots of things - not just biking.

    My biggest issue has alway been the concern they'd end up being too heavy and slow to pull around. I like to travel as light as possible. Sure, if you are drive a bigger vehicle no problem. But my truck is rather small.

  6. #6
    Ariolimax columbianus
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    after diggin da van thing fo a bit, think I'd rather have a fuso...https://snowboarding.transworld.net/...4x4-tiny-home/

    been day dreamin about this setup fo sometime too....I still like my 4x4 trucks.
    https://www.gofastcampers.com
    Last edited by nativeson; 04-15-2018 at 01:28 PM. Reason: add link

  7. #7
    gimme friction
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    Would really like to see photos/specs of your 5k build. Thanks!

  8. #8
    jms
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Allan View Post
    with headroom for me at 5' 10"
    Yeah, I've noticed that a few time. ; ) Aside from that I can personally attest to it being a pragmatic, economical and well thought out rig, and it's definitely seen a few places that would seem to require a C-130 and parachute drop. Maybe a few more windows and a touch more headroom on the next version.
    My Favorite Peeps:

  9. #9
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    Nice little build segment in this video. https://youtu.be/PNs68O5JSKg

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jms View Post
    Yeah, I've noticed that a few time. ; ) Aside from that I can personally attest to it being a pragmatic, economical and well thought out rig, and it's definitely seen a few places that would seem to require a C-130 and parachute drop. Maybe a few more windows and a touch more headroom on the next version.
    With age and spinal compression you won't even have to duck in a few years

  11. #11
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    My buddy had a sprinter kitted out for mtn biking, and he sold it last year...it sold immediately, he had huge interest in it. He then bought a brand new sprinter and is in the process of kitting this out. He has the skills to do it, but he's working so hard at work that he just can't find the time, so what was supposed to be done last fall, still is a work in progress. Now he understands why the conversion companies charge so much. When he gets his van done it will be truly amazing and state of the art, but who knows when that will be.

  12. #12
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    i saw one set up for adventure. mtn biking and kayaks..the inside was fitted with hammocks!! super lightweight, everything modular.

    i love them. i saw this one at the hospital..

    want:Adventure Van Envy-002.jpg
    Santa Cruz 5010 C
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  13. #13
    fc
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    This just went on sale. Matches Bay Area home pricing. Adventure Van Envy-30420486_1822322454735504_8334527090959526063_o.jpg
    IPA will save America

  14. #14
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    that couldnt climb the mountains we like to visit.
    Santa Cruz 5010 C
    Surly Crosscheck.

  15. #15
    AKD
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    If anyone is in the market for a Eurovan, we have to ditch ours (long story, but our kids are going to school halfway across the city this fall and we need something that's a little easier to park). 2001 EVC with 111k miles, and we've replaced just about everything on it that's going to break.

  16. #16
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    You can find shuttle buses for super cheap

    04 6.0 dielsel Ford shuttle bus for $2k off Craigslist. I put about $2500 into tuning the motor and new batteries etc. This thing has made a trip to Seattle and back to the Bay along with many Tahoe trips and wine tasting excursions. It's older so kinda loud but usually everyone is partying inside or watching a movie. I see these things pop up very frequently and most owners need them gone.

    You can find killer deals on them and if you remove the seats there is so much room for everything.

    Definitely not as cool as a sprinter van but can you really complain if you score one of these for like $5k?

    Only problem is you need to be able park it somewhere, this may be more challenging than you think.

    One other thing....these buses are waaaay safer for transporting people and gear than a 15 passenger van. Many church groups and other organizations have stopped using 15 passenger vans because the insurance on them can be very expensive and they are not safe. IIRC 15 passenger Vans are the most dangerous vehicle to ride in.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Adventure Van Envy-20131126_070413.jpg  

    Adventure Van Envy-20131128_141847.jpg  


  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantastic79 View Post
    04 6.0 dielsel Ford shuttle bus for $2k off Craigslist. I put about $2500 into tuning the motor and new batteries etc. This thing has made a trip to Seattle and back to the Bay along with many Tahoe trips and wine tasting excursions. It's older so kinda loud but usually everyone is partying inside or watching a movie. I see these things pop up very frequently and most owners need them gone.

    You can find killer deals on them and if you remove the seats there is so much room for everything.

    Definitely not as cool as a sprinter van but can you really complain if you score one of these for like $5k?

    Only problem is you need to be able park it somewhere, this may be more challenging than you think.

    One other thing....these buses are waaaay safer for transporting people and gear than a 15 passenger van. Many church groups and other organizations have stopped using 15 passenger vans because the insurance on them can be very expensive and they are not safe. IIRC 15 passenger Vans are the most dangerous vehicle to ride in.
    I've looked at those as they come up pretty often. 4x4 models are pretty common in the midwest. Looks like a ton of fun. Added bonus is that you don't have to pull the cab if (really just when) the turbo or heads blow up.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

  18. #18
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5k bike 50cent legs View Post
    Woah....that is pretty cool

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Allan View Post
    I've looked at those as they come up pretty often. 4x4 models are pretty common in the midwest. Looks like a ton of fun. Added bonus is that you don't have to pull the cab if (really just when) the turbo or heads blow up.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
    Yep. Can confirm, one of the first things I did was split the turbo when I got the bus. Ran great afterwards.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantastic79 View Post
    Yep. Can confirm, one of the first things I did was split the turbo when I got the bus. Ran great afterwards.
    brilliant bud!! never thought of that!

    did you modify the interior?
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  22. #22
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    Adventure Van Envy-rv-1.jpg

  23. #23
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    Lusting for a stripped 250-class Transit with Eco Boost & enough "garage space" for Mtbs & eTrials bike inside. Will use for most future riding+camping trips. Probably 2019 & DIY camper-convert.

    I kinda like JKW's rig for motos & Mtbs, but too-little living space.




    Currently have a 2001 Tundra with a 7x18 Wells Cargo for long trips with multi motos and/or cooking stuff. Ordered with everything insulated & +6" height for my 6' friends. Same problems as JKW with stuff in back of truck disappearing. Grrr...

    Trailer is just narrow enough to see down its sides with oem Tundra mirrors. Will keep trailer long term for same future use.

    Adventure Van Envy-img_0555-xl.jpg

    Adventure Van Envy-p1020412-xl.jpg

    Adventure Van Envy-img_0559-xl.jpg

    Adventure Van Envy-img_0561-xl.jpg

    Tundra gets horrible gas mileage pulling trailer. 250-class Transit with Eco-boost will pull better & cheaper.


    Catfish ...

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boomchakabowwow View Post
    brilliant bud!! never thought of that!

    did you modify the interior?
    Ya know....I had all these ideas about modifing the interior but never got around to it. Then after a few trips I realized the interior was fine the way it is. Plenty of room for cargo and people. It came with heavy duty ratchet strap system on the floor in the rear of bus. Used for wheel chairs. That systems helps me tie everything down and has worked great so far. I have a 5th wheel so I don't really need to modify the bus into an RV.

    I did add a sub some new speakers, lcd TV with a disco ball and a cheap YouTube karaoke system. But left the rest of the bus stock. It even has the original bus schedule calendar inside it.

  25. #25
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    click on this....end of thread

    http://forums.mtbr.com/cars-bike-rac...s-1025345.html

    I don't think anyone has done it better; this has given me a goal for retirement for sure!!!
    " ...the moonlit swamp Krampus is a king among bikes." - geraldooka

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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by sXeXBMXer View Post
    click on this....end of thread

    http://forums.mtbr.com/cars-bike-rac...s-1025345.html

    I don't think anyone has done it better; this has given me a goal for retirement for sure!!!
    My new personal heroes!

    http://faroutride.com/

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5k bike 50cent legs View Post
    Ha! That's Andrew Taylor. He grew up with my boys. My youngest son has one of his old (2015) Norcos. I ran into him in Annadel a few weeks ago. Super nice kid.
    Why Johnny Ringo, you look like someone just walked over your grave.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by sXeXBMXer View Post
    click on this....end of thread

    http://forums.mtbr.com/cars-bike-rac...s-1025345.html

    I don't think anyone has done it better; this has given me a goal for retirement for sure!!!
    dang!! that looks like fun.

    i wonder how you finance something like that? you come out the other side having to start from scratch?

    i'm jealous they can just "let go" like that..i have my eye on the prize..retirement.
    Santa Cruz 5010 C
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boomchakabowwow View Post
    dang!! that looks like fun.

    i wonder how you finance something like that? you come out the other side having to start from scratch?

    i'm jealous they can just "let go" like that..i have my eye on the prize..retirement.
    i
    yeah...i wish I could just "up and quit" what I do, but I have not "finished all of my plans" yet for career success, so I need to stay a bit longer...plus, I don't make enough money to ferret away funds to do some thing at that level....though i have started to now since retirement is on the horizon

    it will happen though, and I would have no problem getting rid of my house, and all of the crap that society has told me I need, but really don't. As a punk rock/metal head guy on the road, I lived in my van for 3-4 years back in the 90's, and in many peoples living rooms and basements before that, so I know what it is like to do without...pretty liberating actually.
    " ...the moonlit swamp Krampus is a king among bikes." - geraldooka

    15 Surly Krampus
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  30. #30
    fc
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    On our post Otter ride, three of the folks who joined gave out their houses to live and explore in a van or bigger. Pretty amazing!!!
    IPA will save America

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by sXeXBMXer View Post
    i
    yeah...i wish I could just "up and quit" what I do, but I have not "finished all of my plans" yet for career success, so I need to stay a bit longer...plus, I don't make enough money to ferret away funds to do some thing at that level....though i have started to now since retirement is on the horizon

    it will happen though, and I would have no problem getting rid of my house, and all of the crap that society has told me I need, but really don't. As a punk rock/metal head guy on the road, I lived in my van for 3-4 years back in the 90's, and in many peoples living rooms and basements before that, so I know what it is like to do without...pretty liberating actually.
    Well, the first step to true happiness is to become a Sharks fan! Blue Jackets?

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