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  1. #1
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    Where would you buy a vacation home?

    So my wife and I are looking to get a place in the mountains, but wow is it hard to narrow down where is the best place. We MTB, road bike, and ski, and all of them are about equal on our fun list. I figure most people here probably ski/board as well, so any other input is appreciated. Here's what we're thinking so far.

    Summit County area- Good all around. Not the best mountain biking though, and still very crowded for the ski season. Close to Denver

    Durango-Best mountain biking/road biking, but only a so so resort for skiing, especially considering how much terrain is in Summit county. Also, it doesn't look like huge snowfall totals. It is close to Silverton though. It's a long ass way back to Denver.

    Aspen- Good skiing, no nothing about the MTBing, but very expensive.

    Wolf Creek-Best snow in the state, but don't know much about the MTBing in the area. Major plus is I have an uncle with some land there that he would sell me.

    Crested Butte-Great snow, but we know nothing about the MTBing in the area.

    Any other thoughts or opinions?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by hitek79
    Any other thoughts or opinions?
    Give your money to charity and camp or stay at hotels.
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  3. #3
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    No.

  4. #4
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    I heard that Commerce City is real nice...

  5. #5
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    Sheesh. Did this place suddenly become TGR? Everyone's a comedian.

  6. #6
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    Look into the mountain biking in CB a little more.... and then compare the RE prices with the other locations. You might have your answer.

  7. #7
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    I guess you have a lot of money Hitek. Lucky you.

    I thought about buying a place at one time to make it a short term rental (to help pay for it since I DON'T have a lot of money) and then use it when I want. The problem was when I did the cost analysis, it takes a really long time to make it pay for itself. Plus the wear and tear on a short term rental is huge. You have to have a good management company and they seem to want a huge portion of the cut.

    I felt in the end, I was enchanted with the idea more as having a property and as an investment than I was about having a place to go. And in the end, having a single place to go kinda made me feel like I was limiting my options. Renting and camping is way more flexible and cost effective IMO. I figured putting my money elsewhere was a better investment (of course I was wrong since I put it in stocks)

    I also though, and still think, the properties are overpriced in the areas that I would want to have one in.



    Durango is a good option. I would pick there.

    Wolf creek doesn't have great access to biking.

    Crested butte has some of the best biking in the state. I looked there but the properties were way too high.

    Steamboat is another expensive but good place.
    Last edited by lidarman; 12-20-2008 at 04:31 PM.

  8. #8
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    Vail.

    If you're gonna do it. Do it right. Heard of their Arabelle at Village Square yet?

    http://www.vrdc.com/vrdc/info/lg.ara.aspx

    Buy a condo, and when you need to rent it out, just post here. ;-)
    Biker? I don't even know her.

  9. #9
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    What do you like to ski? Steeps? Greens? If you're stuck on resort skiing I'd say Crusty Butt. If you don't mind working for your turns anywhere would do.

    FWIW, I'd consider Tahoe and Sun Valley.

  10. #10
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    Well I definitely don't have a ton of money and the money I do have didn't come from luck, but I've been waiting for the last 3 years for this bubble to finally burst, and IMO in the next 6-12 months mountain real estate will be coming down substantially. Vail is already saying sales are off by a whopping 40%. I was up boarding at Beaver Creek the other day, and the longest lift line was maybe 10-15 people.

    Vail is out of my range. Summit county is not.

    I'll definitely look more into the CB area. It seems to fit a lot of our criteria.

    As far as renting it out while it's not being used, that all depends on price, and what I thought I could make off of it. I definitely won't be buying beyond my means, hoping that rents will make up the difference.

    Thanks for the more straightforward answers everyone.

  11. #11
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    Opps, just saw your post Walt. I like challenging stuff, but I've never done any BC stuff. It does have to be in Colorado, as our family all lives in Oklahoma, so we don't want to move any further away.

  12. #12
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    I'd keep in mind that there's plenty of great mountain biking in this state if you're willing to look for it. It may end up being some wacky unused backcountry that no one knows about, but that's not a bad thing.

    From you're list, I'd look at CB for sure. If you want more affordable real estate (from what I remember) also look at the Fraser Valley. Good snow and great riding.

    I've heard that there's actually some really good backcountry riding around Wolf Creek, too.
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  13. #13
    Rolling
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    Quote Originally Posted by hitek79
    and IMO in the next 6-12 months mountain real estate will be coming down substantially.
    I guess "substantial" is relative. $300k instead of $600k for a condo that should be $150k is what I have a problem with.

  14. #14
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    True.

    My parents live in a 4000 sq foot house on an acre of land on a golf course. It's worth maybe $270,000. Why? Because it's in Oklahoma. There's a reason we live in Colorado though, even though our lifestyle would be much much different there.

    Should that condo really be $150k? Not if the market says it should be more.

  15. #15
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    Two Words

    Black hills!!

    Waaaaaay Cheaper!!
    Killer Trails!
    No PEOPLE!
    Beautiful views!
    No People!
    Great Properties!
    Good MTB scene!

    Look I would still live there if family were closer. Truly a special place.
    pouring like an avalanche coming down the mountain

  16. #16
    Yappy little dog!
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    Quote Originally Posted by hitek79
    Sheesh. Did this place suddenly become TGR? Everyone's a comedian.

    If you make more than minimum wage and live in a house with more than two rooms, they hate you. Welcome to Liberal Land.

    I have a bid in on some land near Fairplay. Great MTB, rural, and Summit County is just over the hill.

  17. #17
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    I've seen some awesome youtube footage from the Black Hills. I just love the snowboarding here too much to give it up.

    I've looked in Fairplay, but wow, that wind is brutal in the winter. Brutal. It's certainly cheap enough though.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by hitek79
    I've looked in Fairplay, but wow, that wind is brutal in the winter. Brutal. It's certainly cheap enough though.

    Surround yourself on three sides and it's not as bad as you think. Just get off of the 285 corridor.

    Edit: You want wind? You have no idea what it's like at my home in Golden. So bad, the builder had to replace all the roofs six months after completion. I clocked a 110 MPH gust that actually destroyed my pergola last year.

    NTM WEATHER STATION

  19. #19
    Rolling
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    Quote Originally Posted by hitek79

    Should that condo really be $150k? Not if the market says it should be more.
    This is an interesting statement given the current environment and the nature of this thread.

    If you really know what the "market" says, awesome. I wish I did.

  20. #20
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    You were the one stating that a condo selling for 300k should really be worth 150k. My point is that if price is your only concern, move to someplace like Omaha, or Oklahoma City. You've got to pay to play. That being said, in the near future, that price to enter should be coming down nicely.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by hitek79
    You were the one stating that a condo selling for 300k should really be worth 150k. My point is that if price is your only concern, move to someplace like Omaha, or Oklahoma City. You've got to pay to play. That being said, in the near future, that price to enter should be coming down nicely.
    Exactly. That is why I decided NOT to get a vacation home. You are running in circles.

    It's your money. Spend it as you chose and good luck. Hope all the wonderful advice here has helped.

    But how you think the prices will be coming down nicely and also state the market sets the price is odd given the market right now is a firecracker.

    Good luck. But if you are some market prediction genius, why-TF are you asking about where to buy a place from a mtb site? Kinda weird ya think?

    To me, it's not about economics, it's about some cool perception of having a property...great if you are wealthy.

    Enjoy your romance.

  22. #22
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    Hitek79,
    If you want the most potential ROI and have tons of fun stuff to do, you should try to buy in Eagle county, Look for condo's around Eagle-Vail or Avon. I bought a 2 bedroom 1200sf condo for $240k almost 4 years ago. I am 15 min from Vail and 5 min from Beaver Creek. It's value peaked around 480k a year ago but is now hovering around 400k. It doesn't look like it will go too much lower but we will see. There is a very limited amount of 2 bed condos in Eagle County. So it buffers the effects of the bubble burst a little.
    As far as Beaver Creek is concerned well don't let one day speak for all. I work daily in BC and the only really busy day of the week is Saturday. There are certainly exceptions like holidays but I have off Sunday and Monday and I rarely wait in a lift line. Monday's are like ghost towns and always have been. Sunday is just a little more crowded.

    Someone mentioned WP and I would consider it the most value for your money. I lived there for 5 years and it has lots to do. I am sick of the mountain and really don't like the town much anymore but it does have what you want. Keep in mind the forest will be all dead from Pine beatles in 5 years.
    Steamboat is a beautiful place and I love the mountain but the town is a dump IMO. It needs a major overhaul and the village is dumpy to say the least.

    I get the most options living in Eagle county but I pay the price for sure. But I live 1 mile from work. Have killer MTB trails in my backyard and 2 world class Ski resorts within 10 miles of me. Great backcountry access, excellent fishing rivers, excellent water-sports. Excellent culture! Moab 3.5 hours away and GJ/fruita ~ 2hours.

    But renting is probably the better option because home prices are not rising so why buy? There is no real reason to buy a place if it's value is not going up other than if you really want the place. It will be a while before prices rise again. I suggest vacationing in the places you picked and get a feel for them. A $250k mortgage is going to cost at least $1500mo plus your down payment of min 10%. $1500 x 12 months = $18000. That's a lot of money that you can use to try out some places. Your first year of payments is almost all interest anyway. On depreciating RE, it's wasted money in a sense.
    So I say go out and try some places out. Watch the local markets closely and when prices stabilize or start to rise, Buy!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmosebar
    Black hills!!

    Waaaaaay Cheaper!!
    Killer Trails!
    No PEOPLE!
    Beautiful views!
    No People!
    Great Properties!
    Good MTB scene!

    Look I would still live there if family were closer. Truly a special place.


    My moms side of the family spends a lot of time up there. It is a nice place and a little more down to earth. Deadwood is a lot of fun.

  24. #24
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    For me the better question is not where to buy a vacation home, but where to buy land for an eventual retirement home. It's best and easy to make trips and to try new places now, but eventually it would be nice to settle in someplace where you can wake up, make some coffee, look at the montains and breathe the brisk air. Take the dogs and wife on a hike in the morning, and then ride all afternoon long.....
    I'm 31 right now, and if I wait to buy anything until I nearing retirement, the prices will be unreachable. Of course, I don't have the extra money now, so it's just a thought in the back of the head.

    I have thought that durango would be ideal but it is already getting big and crowded. So it may lose its charm. It's a small town, but the morning/afternoon traffic is getting thicker. I have also thought about GJ. You miss out on the small mountain town atmosphere, but you are in an ideal jumping off point for most places. It's big enough to be a stand alone town so you don't pay big premiums. I don't ski so that is not important.

  25. #25
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    "Steamboat is a beautiful place and I love the mountain but the town is a dump IMO. It needs a major overhaul and the village is dumpy to say the least. "

    wormvine, with all due respect, steamboat is changing, most of the old dumpy buildings downtown have been scraped, and rebuilt in the last two years, ALL of ski time square is currently in the milner dump, awaiting a $200,000,000 rebuild, we have resloped the lower mountain, and are currently rebuilding the mountain base area. The arrival of Interwest has fueled millions of reinvestment in Steamboat, and if you haven't been here in a while, you would be blown away with the town's remodel. Hopefully this ecomonic crash will not slow this much needed redevelopment. I'd suggest it to hitek79 but I'm from Oklahoma, and the drive back down there sucks.

    IMHO, Salida would be a good fit for a vacation home. Great MTB trails, Monarach Mt for skiing, CB just over the pass, rafting/fishing on the Arkansas, cheap homes without a resort to drive up prices, and it's a much shorter drive from OKC.

  26. #26
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    Buy a VW Eurovan with a Westfalia camping conversion. 2 person bed, fridge, roof pops up and then sleeps another 1-2, power, gas attachments, and you can just up and leave and even if you don't find a place, you can park the van and sleep. Especially practical for weekend trips.

    Of course, you can also purchase the comparable American vehicle.

    Too bad Mercedes doesn't make the (overpriced in the US, but ubiquitous here) G-wagen. With the dough you're looking to spend, you'd do quite ok buying one of these or a Defender 110.

  27. #27
    skillz to pay billz
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    I bought my vacation house in nederland, and live in it year round.

    skiing, 14 minutes away
    biking, 360˚ from the garage

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbsbiker
    "Steamboat is a beautiful place and I love the mountain but the town is a dump IMO. It needs a major overhaul and the village is dumpy to say the least. "

    wormvine, with all due respect, steamboat is changing, most of the old dumpy buildings downtown have been scraped, and rebuilt in the last two years, ALL of ski time square is currently in the milner dump, awaiting a $200,000,000 rebuild, we have resloped the lower mountain, and are currently rebuilding the mountain base area. The arrival of Interwest has fueled millions of reinvestment in Steamboat, and if you haven't been here in a while, you would be blown away with the town's remodel. Hopefully this ecomonic crash will not slow this much needed redevelopment. I'd suggest it to hitek79 but I'm from Oklahoma, and the drive back down there sucks.
    It's been about a year in a half since I was there last. I am very glad to hear that there is redevelopment. I plan to hit Steamboat once this winter so I look forward to seeing the changes. I love the lower altitude of Steamboat. Very lush in the summer. Great for the Aspens. Tough to get to from the front range(not that I care) cause I am only ~2 hours away via 131.

  29. #29
    183 BRO's before hoes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by schnauzers
    If you make more than minimum wage and live in a house with more than two rooms, they hate you. Welcome to Liberal Land.

    I have a bid in on some land near Fairplay. Great MTB, rural, and Summit County is just over the hill.
    What are you talking about, most of them are dentists.

  30. #30
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    I do like Jerk's idea...a lot, and have been toying with it actually. If I have the $$, I'd buy near Breck, Frisco, or Vail. I like the riding there and the towns are nice to walk around in, regardless of tourist density. In fact, I'd rather be aroudn tourists that mountain folsk who hate everyone they think is a tourist. CB is nice to ride around but too far and too rural. I think Durango would be nice but I'd rather buy somewhat close to Denver since I'll be primarily escaping on the weekends.

    Fraser valley would be nice as well- not much of a town but close to Denver and the riding and snow is good. Still, the Breck/Frisco & Vail area would be tops, followed by the Fraser area near WP.

  31. #31
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    The more I read here, I think I like that area the most as well. Especially now that Epic passes are so cheap. A quick search of Beaver Creek, and wow. Big money there. Summit County really doesn't look all that bad price wise. And thinking about it, I do like the idea of being able to get to Fruita easily on I-70. We'll look into the Minturn/Eagle/Edwards area. Maybe they're priced a little better.

    What are everyones favorite trails in the Summit/Eagle county areas?

  32. #32
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    I don't know anything about the housing market, but for recreation I would say Summit. Vail has never appealed to me as a place to own since 90% of the places have a bird's eye view of I-70.

    I think summit mountain biking is pretty awesome as well, though the season very short. I live on the front range, but last summer I rode 5 days on trails in and around Breckenridge, a different trail each day. I don't the names of the trails, but there seem to be a lot of nice rides. Of course there is always Keystone if you are in the mood for lift-served.

  33. #33
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    Being from Boulder and having spent the last 7 years living in OKC and San Diego I would take the whole "vacation home" plan and invest into the "retirement home" strategy that someone else had mentioned and live in the south part of OK ( or extreme northern TX). Lots of trees, hills (think Turner Falls or Davis for you local boys).

    You could basically buy a ranch for that money and build your own trail system with technical features (skinnies, north shore ladders etc). I mean you could have a real workshop, pool, tennis court, basketball court, 9-hole golf course (okay, the last one *may* be a stretch). Want the beach? Drive 1.5 hours to Dallas and catch a really cheap flight to Mexico for the weekend. Want to ski? Make the same drive to OKC, catch a cheap flight out to Denver and book a weekend package. Hike? That area actually has some decent hiking and climbing.

    I guess my point is that living in areas where there is a ton of lifestyle gives you the least flexibility financially speaking. Areas like OKC might be short on lifestyle compared to CO, but the cost of living is like being from another time. With the financial flexibilty comes time flexibility which is what allows people to play *and* have the scratch to do it.

    Lets face it, if you're a working stiff, it all sounds like run, bike, hike but at some point the reality of making a living in those areas becomes an issue. Rich people don't like places Steamboat and Telluride by accident, ya know.

    I can say without a doubt, I would *much* rather live somewhere "less desireable" and be able to enjoy life and provide for my family than work in some "desireable" rat-race that offers plenty of lifestyle but will basically drive you into the ground trying to keep up with the $$$.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by hitek79
    I was up boarding at Beaver Creek the other day, and the longest lift line was maybe 10-15 people.
    Denver suburban limit stops at Vail, which is why I had fresh lines at BC all fuggin weekend. That's the norm.
    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

  35. #35
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    If you can afford single family homes in an area without an HOA, that is a good way to go. Because of amenities and lots of maintenance required by the weather, you will find condo HOA fees to be pretty high. Add management fees to that and you will have some monthly expenses to keep in mind.

    Summit County was my primary home for over 7 years, and I would highly recommend it. Tons of great riding. Close to Denver. 4 hours and 19 minutes to Moab. We never skied on weekends or during holiday weeks, and we drove to Denver when everyone else was coming up the hill. Reasons I left included high cost of living and too short of a mountain biking season.

    We plan to eventually live there part time again, but just in the summer and fall. We would like to own real estate somewhere it makes money, and then use that income to rent in Summit County during July - October, Queenstown NZ during November - February, and then probably back in Fort Collins for March - June.

  36. #36
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    Get a bad a$$ RV/truck camper and live in all those places whenever you want! It's like having your own place wherever and whenever you so choose it rocks! O and you don't have to worry about HOA fees or management companies or what the fu#$%ing "market" is doing . Enjoy whatever choice you make my friend.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrcolo96
    Get a bad a$$ RV/truck camper and live in all those places whenever you want! It's like having your own place wherever and whenever you so choose it rocks! O and you don't have to worry about HOA fees or management companies or what the fu#$%ing "market" is doing . Enjoy whatever choice you make my friend.
    That's what we did.

    Here are a few pics from our vacation home!

    Aspen, Fruita, Yosemite (way down there), Wyoming, Canyonlands, Banff, Breckenridge...

    We looked at buying in the mountains but always came back to the fact that there was SO much out there to see.

    Good luck however you decide!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  38. #38
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    That's what I'm talking about Lactic!!!v If I could post pics up here (dam recession has forced me back to dial up :O) I'd show my vacation home in some killer spots to! I roll a Stroker with an Okanagan truck camper and love the flexibility it gives. Take mine up in the winter for snowboarding and back country stuff.

  39. #39
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    " I would take the whole "vacation home" plan and invest into the "retirement home" strategy that someone else had mentioned and live in the south part of OK ( or extreme northern TX). Lots of trees, hills (think Turner Falls or Davis for you local boys). "

    I would offer that Arkansas is a better choice for that reigon, they have great trails(Quichita,Womble,Sitmo?) a great racing scene, and lots of national forrest. most of TX, and OK is private property, and that limits your recreation. But then there's the summer heat, and no skiing.

  40. #40
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    I'm holding out for a forest fire in the Grand County to pick up some real estate around Fraser.

    _MK

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

  41. #41
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    Wow! That's actually pretty badass Lactic. Tell me more about it if you don't mind. Wouldn't mind having some figures either if you'd PM me.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by hitek79
    Well I definitely don't have a ton of money and the money I do have didn't come from luck, but I've been waiting for the last 3 years for this bubble to finally burst, and IMO in the next 6-12 months mountain real estate will be coming down substantially. Vail is already saying sales are off by a whopping 40%. I was up boarding at Beaver Creek the other day, and the longest lift line was maybe 10-15 people.

    Vail is out of my range. Summit county is not.

    I'll definitely look more into the CB area. It seems to fit a lot of our criteria.

    As far as renting it out while it's not being used, that all depends on price, and what I thought I could make off of it. I definitely won't be buying beyond my means, hoping that rents will make up the difference.

    Thanks for the more straightforward answers everyone.
    The Butte has all you will need and the real estate prices are favorable as there is a long list of foreclosures there right now.
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  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrcolo96
    Get a bad a$$ RV/truck camper and live in all those places whenever you want! It's like having your own place wherever and whenever you so choose it rocks! O and you don't have to worry about HOA fees or management companies or what the fu#$%ing "market" is doing . Enjoy whatever choice you make my friend.
    Plus, you can have your deadbeat racer friends pile in for a warm place to sleep and a bacon and egg breakfast when you take it racing in the summer.
    Now with more vitriol!

  44. #44
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    Thats right Godzilla and I get to supply them with all the crap they forget. NOT ANY MORE MY FRIENDS. Will only help out the ones who help me out from here on out ( your in the circle so no worries my friend)

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by hitek79
    Wow! That's actually pretty badass Lactic. Tell me more about it if you don't mind. Wouldn't mind having some figures either if you'd PM me.
    www.sportsmobile.com

    www.sportsmobileforum.com

    We've had ours for over a year and a half and have already put plenty of miles on it and some very memorable trips. Ours is the EB-50 floorplan which is like the typical Westfalia VW conversion only proportionally much bigger and spacious. It has a propane heater for ski trips, a fridge for food and beer, DVD, satellite TV via Slingbox, sink, drives 5 and sleeps 4, and plenty of storage so I can leave it packed with the toys year round.

    Price range can be pretty dramatic depending on the options you chose. Check out the USED section on the SMB website and that will give you a clue as to cost.

    Feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions.

  46. #46
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    Can you send them a used van? My dad owns a very small Ford dealership, so I could get a van from auction much much cheaper than new. That could cut down on the expense quite a bit I bet. Either way, that's possibly something I could talk the wife into trying. She loves traveling, but it's really one to rough it, if you know what I mean.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by hitek79
    Can you send them a used van? My dad owns a very small Ford dealership, so I could get a van from auction much much cheaper than new. That could cut down on the expense quite a bit I bet. Either way, that's possibly something I could talk the wife into trying. She loves traveling, but it's really one to rough it, if you know what I mean.
    Yes, I believe that Sportsmobile will do a conversion on a slightly used van but we're talking within the last 3-4 years. I have seen several guys pick up a used van (gasser or diesel), have SMB do the penthouse and interior conversion, and then send it out for a 4x4 conversion by Quigley or similar. More cost effective than going new turnkey. Also consider the vans in the USED section. Lots of good deals to be had there and quite a bit of selection compared to 12 months ago.

    My wife's tolerance for camping and sleeping on the ground steadily decreased for several years. We considered the mountain property, popups, and teardrop campers. The Sportsmobile was the absolute perfect choice for us that combined the best of all of these. She is now excited to go on week long roadtrips and has discovered a new found appreciation for the desert (Moab, Fruita)!! We now take 2 week-long trips each year with our 2 dogs as well as 15+ weekend trips a year throughout Colorado and the West.

    Cheers!
    Last edited by Lactic; 12-22-2008 at 09:30 PM.

  48. #48
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    lactic, way cool!

    i checked out their website and i really wish i had the money to buy one. looks like fun, enjoy it!
    BMX: '00 S&M DBC
    Hardtail: '04 Norco Sasquatch
    DH: '05 Giant Faith
    Road: '01 Giant TCR2
    Trail: '08 Rocky Mtn Slayer 70

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