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Old 01-09-2011, 09:31 AM   #1
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anybody have experience with these guys???

http://www.boulderoffroadvans.com/home

looks like they have some nice stuff.
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:47 PM   #2
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Re: anybody have experience with these guys???

I ran into a guy who works there down in Baja Sur a few months ago. He had an older converted E150 (late 70s early 80s) if I recall correctly. He was cool and seemingly very knowledgeable. If nothing else, nice to see them out there using their product in rough conditions. If an E150 can last that long, and he had it loaded down, I'm sure their heavier builds would be even more robust.
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Old 01-09-2011, 01:06 PM   #3
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Re: anybody have experience with these guys???

yeah, hoping their products are reasonably priced too. got a lot to order with limited funds. story of my life.
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Old 01-09-2011, 01:54 PM   #4
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Re: anybody have experience with these guys???

FWIW,
I asked the current owner of this thing: http://b190.com/modules.php?name=gallery2&g2_itemId=857 what he thought. Seems to be mostly happy--maybe as happy as an SMB owner even. Original owner who had it built only kept it 500 miles so he was probably totally frustrated by the time it was done. Typical.


Here's his reply:

First off, we love our van, and are quite pleased in general with the lift and the 4x4 conversion. But we don't really know the guys at Boulder Off Road, as it was the P.O., Dave, who had all the work done. So, your friend might check with him (I think he may also still be on this site, "the Beast"). Dave gave us the detailed bill for all the work at BOR, and it's safe to say that he upgraded to the best in most cases. But he had only driven the vehicle about 500 miles after the conversion at the time that we bought it. So, the 5000 miles or so that we're put on in the first year would qualify as the conversion "shake-down test". And a few things have needed fixing. Some, but not all, repairs were no doubt caused because we did take it on some rough four-wheel drive roads. I'll list the fixes here:

1) The gas tank leaked when filled to the top. We learned that the tank had likely been dropped to do the conversion, and when replaced, the gasket was folded over and didn't seal properly. Our mechanic fixed that and it is fine now--didn't even need to replace the gasket.

2) A weld on one of the sway bars failed on the White Rim. The welder in Moab who repaired it complained about the flimsy weld and poor design. I can't evaluate whether we were too hard on it or whether it was really under-designed. Just something to watch out for, I guess.

3) We had trouble with the automatic trans. fluid overheating when in 4-wheel drive. We have since added a transmission cooler and synthetic fluid, but I think this is something that the BOR guys might have done as a precaution. Everything runs hot in 4-wheel drive on our van, and the fuel economy plummets, too. But it is an animal!

4) BOR's spiffy stainless-cable style front brake fluid cables tended to rub against the wheels on tight turns, and were dangerously abraded by the time we noticed it. We had those replaced with more conventional cables that stay out of the way. Not as shiny, but safer.

5) The 4x4 shifter rattles like crazy at highway speeds. We've tried a bunch of things to dampen it, but turning up the radio works best.

Otherwise, I think most everything BOR did has held up to our abuse, and we're game to abuse it further in 2011. We like to take our van on winter ski trips too, and the 4 x 4 provides great traction. If your friend has a B190, the only other comment is that it'll be even taller and more top-heavy after the conversion, so will necessitate caution on rough roads (the microwave has tried to escape more than once, and all our gear has fallen from the closets and cupboards and landed on the floor) and it's easy to scrape tree branches on back roads. It may look gnarly, but it is not a jeep. If he has a regular-height van, that may not be an issue.

Finally, I think BOR has a good reputation overall. Apart from Sportsmobile and a few others, there aren't many out there who can do the whole conversion and get repeat customers. BOR has been around for a long time, and people love them. We're just not close enough to Lafayette to use them, and we've found the mechanic we need in Breckenridge.

Your friend may also wish to check out ExpeditionPortal.com for more on conversions. But he's probably already been there.


Sound like a routine reaction to a van conversion. They are never perfect...

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Old 01-09-2011, 06:04 PM   #5
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Re: anybody have experience with these guys???

wow.. thanx for that. Im really just wanting some aftermarket goodies like the rack, ladder, bumpers and other little things but also have interest in lifting my quigley a little higher so we shall see. thanx again for going the extra mile.
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