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Old 03-18-2016, 04:18 PM   #11
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Another option to consider is a new Ford Transit with a Quigley 4x4 conversion ... .
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Old 03-18-2016, 06:07 PM   #12
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Well......today I visited GTRV formerly the Canadian conversion company. They surprisingly are located 15 minutes from my house and have been for 10 years! They specialize in one-off Sprinter conversions and I looked at 2 in progress. Small operation, very detail oriented and will give me "whatever you want". I found a new 2016 144" 4wd cargo high top with the hi/lo option not far from here and my dealer is seeing if he can do a dealer trade for it. I'm ready to go I think....I just need to get educated on what to pay for the van. Auto Trader lists what I want for $50k and change. I want to offer a fair price. Anyone have any advice? Will the dealer be likely to "deal" or are these vans in such demand they get MSRP?
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Old 03-21-2016, 08:54 PM   #13
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Chris/Ruth, we have a 2015 170 4x4 with a custom interior layout done by the Austin, Tx group. We have taken it off road in Wyoming to test what it can and not do, it di well for the size of vehicle. As per the prior comments the 170in is long but the added room and convenience is a worth well trade. Yes, you can into places where turning can be a problem. At present when I don't know the road I get and walk it to make sure what is ahead. Having the trailer hitch helps with keeping the underside protected. We also did a 5 week trip this past fall, thru south central British Columbia and was on back road and logging roads and the vehicle did well. Having indoor toilet and shower was worth having the 170in Sprinter. Hope this helps.
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Old 03-21-2016, 11:34 PM   #14
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Just curious do you have the 170 ext long. I have that on order and just don't see much analysis of it's off road performance.
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Old 03-22-2016, 08:40 AM   #15
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My Sprinter is the 170" standard length body.
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Old 03-22-2016, 11:54 AM   #16
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I have the 144". My need for interior space is somewhat frugal. My RB SMB is only limited for my needs by not being able to stand up in all spaces even when the top is up. With careful planning and layout I think I will be happy with the 144" in terms of space and happy that the overall footprint is very similar to the my SMB. I've only driven a few miles in one but my sense of the interior space was that it felt very big compared to the SMB. I also like the ease with which you can stand up from either seat and move to the rear. Can't do that in the SMB.
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Old 03-22-2016, 04:45 PM   #17
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Chris I figured you'd already have down what you want! I will say the Espar Airtronic heater is sure nice. I think I ran it that night up on Sonora Pass and we were fairly close to each other. My D-4 starts a bit noisy then quiets down after it's fully up and running. Even on high, it's sounds slightly quieter than some of the propane heaters I've heard. I think there are several heaters worth looking into though. I added twin 4-D batteries and 2 135 watt panels which was a nice improvement for me anyway. Rarely drops to 60% if the heater and fridge run all night plus I usually run the water heater to warm up the engine for a couple of hours prior sunrise.

Have fun with your build.
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Old 03-22-2016, 05:51 PM   #18
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Thanks Dave. I'm reasonably certain I will have diesel heat. I'm meeting with 1der (Ray B) this weekend to pick his brain which is full of research on all things related to van conversions. He is amazing! He and Jennifer will make sure I make no mistakes. I appreciate your input and I remember the night on the pass. I did hear your furnace running but it only made me envious...and it drowned out your snoring!!!
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