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Old 01-29-2012, 07:43 PM   #1
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WANTED: High roof, no pop-up, with queen bed

Hi! Been through the listings, but here is what we're looking for.

High roof
not a pop-up
170 wheel base (extended body)
power

Then ideally we would remove any couch in the back and install the bed above a place for the bikes. Or if there are two beds, convert the one in the back to hold the bikes or some option like that.

Nothing over $50,000 (because then we'd just buy a basic used van and get a custom interior built). We're seriously looking at some between $10k-$15k, older models, but will consider something $20-$35K if it is closer to meeting our needs (so we have less customizations to do and/or in better working condition than an older model) and in good working condition. Perhaps a pipe dream, but thought we'd throw that out there since we've found several possibilities that may fit the bill.
We would pay more for: shower, stove/fridge, solar, storage for bikes already set up, 4wd....

The other option is if you know someone selling an empty cargo van with high roof that we could then customize.

Thanks for any suggestions!
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Old 01-29-2012, 08:15 PM   #2
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Re: WANTED: High roof, no pop-up, with queen bed

How tall are the bikes you want to put under the bed? If you build a platform that high up off the ground you won't have much room to sleep. Expecially if you plan on getting a regular thickness mattress on your platform.

I have one of the tallest toppers around with 75" of standup height. I built a platform for an extra long full mattress (54"X80") so it's 6" narrower than a queen (60"X80"). I have 32" of storage under my bed platform and 30" of headroom above my bed. I could get by with less headroom but I don't think I could loose enough headroom to get a full size bike underneath. Unless you are talking about a bicycle with the front wheels off mounted on a rack.

I did pretty much the same thing you are trying to do. I looked for several years for the best value used 4 wheel drive platform to start the project with. I ended up with a 92 E350 extended body that started life as a wheel chair van. I am a bit of a minimalist and don't really need or want all the bells and whistles found in your basic SMB. I paid a little less than your low price but the van needed a fair amount of work.

Check out my gallery for other views of my interior. This is the way my bed platform turned out.
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Old 01-29-2012, 08:36 PM   #3
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Re: WANTED: High roof, no pop-up, with queen bed

If a queen bed is essential, you'll need to get a Sprinter. The body of the Ford is angled such that you can't get a Queen out of a raised bed. A Full is possible.
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Old 01-29-2012, 08:52 PM   #4
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Re: WANTED: High roof, no pop-up, with queen bed

You guys are awesome - thanks for the responses and love your pic.

We're both over 6' tall, so thinking 'queen' but yes a narrower bed could also work. I wasn't thinking a full thickness mattress, but some foam mattress. Don't need too much headroom, but don't want to feel claustrophobic either. But maybe we need to recalculate some measurements Our other option is to convert the Honda Element with a DIY bed frame above the gear bins (talk about NO head room in that! We found a photo of someone else doing this, but certainly not as fun as something we can hang out in especially during rain/wind/snow) Traveling 2 people with 3 bikes to 24-hour races. We drive up to 17 hours away!

We could also put the bikes vertically in the back, then put a removeable platform for the bed over the central area. But ideally we do want the bikes inside (lots of snow to ride through is messy to clean up later, and more secure inside a vehicle). May be easier to put two bikes inside and one outside though.

We may be able to afford a fancy new custom in about 2 years, but right now we're trying to figure out a way to make this happen in an economical fashion. Seems like something pretty decent is do-able for under 20k, or something a little nice for up to 35k. Would need to finance something over 20k for sure though.

Thanks!
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Old 01-30-2012, 01:10 AM   #5
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Re: WANTED: High roof, no pop-up, with queen bed

Since you mentioned the Element, you've checked out the E-camper poptop for the element, right? We've got some friends that have one and love it. Different category than the van, but functional for what it is meant to do.
http://www.ursaminorvehicles.com/camper.htm
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Old 01-30-2012, 09:08 AM   #6
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Re: WANTED: High roof, no pop-up, with queen bed

Yes I've seen the Element's poppers, thanks, not really what we want though.
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Old 01-30-2012, 02:31 PM   #7
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Re: WANTED: High roof, no pop-up, with queen bed

I would think, given your budget, getting a good solid van with no top and then getting a used high-top would be the way to go. The fixed tops themselves are easier to come by used than the pop-ups anyway (not that I've ever looked for either myself).
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Old 01-31-2012, 01:42 PM   #8
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Re: WANTED: High roof, no pop-up, with queen bed

this one may come close....it is a Sprinter van with a big, high storage area in back under the bed.....only a little out of your price range....you can see the pics at the sportsmobile factory, used west coast vans site.


2007 Sprinter RB 3.0L Diesel
VIN#: 182042
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Miles: 39,750

Custom Sprinter, Upgraded Audio/Video, CD/DVD/ Nav, Satellite Radio, Speakers, Subwoofer, Back-Up Camera, Alarm, Microwave, Sink, Refrigerator, Inverter, Porta Potti, Espar Airtronics (Furnace), Espar Hydronics & Flat Plate (Hot Water), Exterior Shower, Gaucho, 3 piece Bunk Bed, Roof A/C, Generator, Awning, Exterior Light, Attic Fan, Ladder, Thule Rack, Tire Carrier, Seats 5, Sleeps 4.
$59,900
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Old 01-31-2012, 01:45 PM   #9
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Re: WANTED: High roof, no pop-up, with queen bed

Here is the website url for the used sportsmobile page with the sprinter van....


http://sportsmobile.com/z-PO_calif.html

(could not get any pics to copy and post from that site)
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Old 01-31-2012, 05:06 PM   #10
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Re: WANTED: High roof, no pop-up, with queen bed

Thanks for the tip on the expensive van, I've seen some of those. Like I said, if I'm going to spend over $50k, I might as well buy a new conversion and get exactly what I want (with a used van should come out to $50-$55k).

We're now considering possibly investing in the shell of a high-roof van now, and throwing a make-shift bed and bike rack in there for now, then getting the upgrading in 2-3 years when we can. If I can get one of my sponsors to pay me for riding with a wrap of their ad on the van, then this is a probable option!

I like the suggestion of buying the hard-top, that was something I hadn't thought of. We walked into a 2000 van yesterday, but we barely-not-really fit standing up I guess the real high-roof version didn't start until 2005-ish. But perhaps an older van with a new higher roof may work... We'll see.
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