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Old 04-18-2018, 11:54 PM   #1
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Some Advice Please

Hi All, My wife and I are getting serious about buying a camper van. Our previous van life was living for a year in a Westphalia VW in 1986, in Europe and US. We think we are looking for a 4WD, electric top (maybe CCV), stove, sink, toilet, sleeps 4 and heat. We live in central California, so needs to be able to be registered in CA. Our main use will be for trips 1-2 weeks long, camping in Eastern Sierras, cross-country skiing, mountain biking and camping.
We are both working still, so we are not looking for a project but a ready-to-use van. We would be happy with the right used van and pay up to $60K or so. We did visit Colorado Camper Van facility last fall and were liked what we saw. We hope to set-up a visit to Sportsmobile, but it seems they have a long wait times and somewhat expensive.
Suggestions and leads would be appreciated. Also what is the general opinion of Colorado Camper Van vs. Sportsmobile vs. other?
Thanks, Jay
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Old 04-19-2018, 07:00 AM   #2
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In today’s market, any converter is going to have a long wait, that is just the reality of the situation.

You are in central CA, thus SMB in Fresno isn’t that far away. Suggest you go, take a look and have a conversation.

If you haven’t already, suggest you look to the used listings found on the SMB website. As you have no doubt figured out, buying a quality used van takes a lot of research and the ability to move fast when what you want is located. Reading this forum and the listings that are posted here will provide a lot of education.

Good luck! Your price range will buy a lot of van, but it will be a job in itself to locate the right one. Our case is similar in that I am still working. We chose to spend the additional money and buy new in order to get what we wanted, knowing full well that an additional year or two of work will be the result. We have had the van for just over a year and a half and have no regrets with the decision we made.
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Old 04-19-2018, 08:10 AM   #3
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I agree with Fitz above. If you want new you're going to wait a long time. Doubtful you would even be able to enjoy it this year. I would recommend looking for a used one. Look here in the classifieds every day because they move fast. Also, the 2/4wd vans section on the Expedition Portal has a 'vans for sale' thread that gets new ones daily but less of the ones there are full conversions. Craigslist is your friend.

If you get more specific here and let us know exactly what you want many here will help you find it. You were fairly specific above but be even more so. Brand, layout, etc. if that's important and all.

Don't forget the classifieds on Sportsmobile.com!

Welcome and good luck.

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Old 04-19-2018, 09:54 AM   #4
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I haven't seen any used ones on SMB West's site for quite sometime, nor is there any Ford's on the Texas site, and although it's springtime, one usually sees a lot of them at this time of year in the past.

Good luck!!!!

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Old 04-19-2018, 09:21 PM   #5
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Ccv

I am having Derek do another build for me. They do great work for a fraction of the price. They are just now starting to get busy. Any question about them let me know
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Old 04-19-2018, 09:55 PM   #6
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I just spent a day with another member fixing incorrect work that Derek and his crew recently did, or rather, attempted to do. My advice? Do your homework, determine the capabilities of whatever shop you are looking at, and go into it with your eyes wide open.
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Old 04-20-2018, 12:01 AM   #7
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That’s a pretty vague blanket statement there Fitz, care to elaborate?
Anyway, there’s pros and cons with all the upfitters out there, and there’s more than a few threads already on this subject. It sounds like you would be looking at a Sprinter or maybe a Transit build out, both are available with 4wd, and both supported by SMB and CCV, unless a E350 sounds intriguing, less space, but certainly more capable off road.
I helped friends here figure out their Transit 4X4 build, in the end they went with a CCV top and SMB interior, came out nice.


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Old 04-20-2018, 03:39 AM   #8
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I left it vague on purpose because it is too easy to be overly negative. This was a case of not following the manufacturer’s clearly written instructions when installing a component in an otherwise nicely done CCV top. I understand that these things happen, I guess the real message that I failed to pass on to the original central CA based poster is to think about after-the-sale support when determining who will do the work. My van has been to SMB in Fresno a couple of times for warranty service since we owned it, much easier done than a trip to Colorado.
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Old 04-20-2018, 06:41 AM   #9
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Thanks for the clarification, in this case it sounds like it was an issue with how a 3rd party part was installed, not an issue with their top. While a bummer things didn’t go well for the install of this part, it does go back to the old statements “stick to what you know” and “buyer beware”.


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Old 04-20-2018, 12:43 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by James4 View Post
I haven't seen any used ones on SMB West's site for quite sometime, nor is there any Ford's on the Texas site, and although it's springtime, one usually sees a lot of them at this time of year in the past.
Good luck!!!!
James[/COLOR]
Where are you looking on their website? There's a bunch of 'em for sale.

Here's just a sampling of the penthouse-roofed 4x4 Ford SMB's listed for sale on there right now. If you are open to fiberglass tops, there's even more of 'em you can choose from.

SMB West is definitely stocked better than anyone else for pre-owned E-series SMB's for sure.

SPORTSMOBILE WEST PRE-OWNED
https://sportsmobile.com/preowned-sp...bile-west-inc/

2004 Ford EB E350 Diesel 4×4 (Bulletproofed)
$65,000

https://sportsmobile.com/inventory/c...bulletproofed/

1997 Ford E350 RB V-10 4×4
$40,000

https://sportsmobile.com/inventory/c...0-rb-v-10-4x4/

2002 Ford EB E350 V-10 4×4
$49,999

https://sportsmobile.com/inventory/c...e350-v-10-4x4/

SPORTSMOBILE TEXAS PRE-OWNED
https://sportsmobile.com/preowned-sp...ile-texas-inc/

2006 Ford Econoline 6.0L Diesel 4×4
$68,000

https://sportsmobile.com/inventory/c...sel-4x4-68000/

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