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Old 11-23-2007, 12:57 PM   #1
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Location: Bend, Oregon
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We need help!!

We are considering a fully loaded EB 4x4 and need some feedback from owners. We are trying to compare a Lance cab-over with a Chevy Kodiak to the Sportsmobile and we need help. We’d like to know the pro’s and con’s of the Sportsmobile, if there are any, and if anyone drives it as their family vehicle.

We love the idea of being able to “just pack and go”. We love rafting and fly fishing and want to leave for the summer of ’08. We are a family of four, one of us being a dog, and we’re wondering if it will be big enough for us.

Also, is there anyone in the Bend or Portland Oregon area that would be willing to give a tour of your van and let us ask you a bunch of questions?

Thanks for any help!
Ross and Ashlyne
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Old 11-23-2007, 02:44 PM   #2
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Ross,
I started out with a Ford F-350 and a new Lance Camper two years ago. I really liked the amount of interior space the Lance offered me but there were draw backs. I did'nt like the way the whole setup handled on the road. I really could not go very fast on the road and if there was any wind it severely impacted the driving. Also with that large camper I really couldn't go all of the places that I wanted to go. Even down backroads to get to the secret fishing spot were difficult or I just could'nt make it at all. A final trip comming back through the Bay Area where I was blown all over the road by the wind made me decide to get rid of the camper and search for something different. For me the Sportsmobile was the perfect solution. It handles perfectly on the road, has enough space on the interior for me, and allows me the ability to get to those remote spots.
I use my Sportsmobile for hunting and flyfishing adventures. I do occasionally miss the extra room of the Lance when it is pouring rain outside and I am trapped inside with three dogs and one of my hunting partners. So far the Sportsmobile has worked out perfectly for me. In reality it is just me and my dog or dogs so you might get someone elses opinion about the whole family in the van.
On a side note if you decide to got the route of a cabover camper don't limit yourself to the Lances(I was not impressed with their workmanship.) Just my .02
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Old 11-24-2007, 07:01 AM   #3
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Re: We need help!!


Ross and Ashlyne;
We've tried most all RV types, with the exception of 5er's.
Now retired, we use our SMB primarily for towing our TT.
Still whenever we're on the road we do drop the trailer and go SMB'ing for several days at a time.
Although most of the time it's me and my "Trophy Bride" we occasionally take the grandkids along.
We've not spent a great amount of time with them in the SMB, usually just towing the tt to a site, but it could become overwhelming if confined in bad weather.
Although we love our SMB, in Your circumstances I wouldn't rule out a "Poptop" truck camper as a compromise.
JMHO,
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Old 11-25-2007, 10:20 AM   #4
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We moved from a popup pickup camper to the SMB. The differences we noticed are:

- The pickup is more useful after you remove the camper. We still have the pickup.

- It is a joy not to have to go outside to put the top up on the SMB. When it is raining, snowing or simply mosquito infested I can stay in the SMB to raise the top.

- Same thing for access to the camper. I could crawl through the window to get into the camper, but my wife never could do it. So, you wind up going outside to get inside the camper. With the SMB you are already inside.

- The SMB DC refrig is greatly superior to a typical camper 3-way fridge.

- With the penthouse up, the SMB has much better ventilation.

- The step up to the SMB is much lower and does not require a 3-4 step ladder. And we have a 4wd with permantly mounted side steps.

- Our SMB has more interior room than our p/u camper. Longbed p/u and the camper had an 8' floor vs. E350 Extended w/penthouse.

- The SMB has more little storage areas. Although a hardside p/u camper probably has more permanant storage than a popup SMB.

- With the SMB, you can get a soda or?? while going down the road. Try reaching the refrig in the p/u camper while underway.

- The SMB has a wonderful support group (forums like this).

- The Lance has more repair facilities nationwide. And most of them can work on the SMB also. For warranty work, you have to take your SMB to SMB.

- Both are similar in size, driveability, parking, length, weight, etc.

Mike
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Old 11-25-2007, 11:40 AM   #5
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I considered getting a cab over for my F250 crew cab and went with the SMB instead. Now I see cab overs and think "Wow, that could have been me. Thank goodness I have the van."

Apart from size, weight and go-more-places drivablity, the fact of feeling like you're outdoors with the van in camp and the doors open is very appealing. I've read others' opinions also who feel a traditional RV is more "you're inside or you're outside" whereas the van is more integrated like a tent (although you can choose to close up and the world outside goes away).

If you get a Lance or Kodiac you need to come back and share your experience and how you like it!
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