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Old 11-29-2010, 05:01 PM   #1
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Introducing myself

Hello! I have been lurking and using this site as a resource for a couple of years now. I still can't decide if I want to buy a used rig or build one. I'm getting close to pulling the trigger. It will be a diesel though.....

Thanks

Brad
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Old 11-29-2010, 05:27 PM   #2
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Re: Introducing myself

welcome and good luck. let us know what you are looking for in your van
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Old 11-29-2010, 05:41 PM   #3
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Re: Introducing myself

Well, I want a portable office. I am an avid fisherman and explorer trapped for now on the East Coast (hail from AZ and miss it). I've always wanted an adventure camper. I've spent a lot of time wheeling and exploring growing up and have owned other 4x4 rigs.

I now own a small consulting firm in DC and my clients could care less where I am most of the time. So I want to take my show on the road for the summers.

What do I want? Ford. Diesel. Would prefer the 7.3, but those are getting hard to find. I know the shortcomings of the 6.0, so I guess I'm in the market for a 2006 or later. I need water (fresh and gray) and a fridge. I've worked around vehicles and construction my whole life, so I am comfortable getting dirty, so to speak. I would like an outdoor kitchen and don't want a cooktop indoors. Heat would be nice, but not essential. I want expanded headroom and am currently leaning to a permanent top, not a pop up top. I will need satellite comm capacity and good electricity, but I think I can get by with solar. Other than that, my needs are pretty basic......I mean I have a lot of wishes, but not necessities.
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:23 PM   #4
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Re: Introducing myself

From what you said I would lean towards DIY. Not only will it be easier to find a 7.3 to build, but you can customize to your needs and take cues from fold out kitchen trailers or other non-standard SMB/GTRV/etc items without getting a bunch of "features" you don't need. My SMB would certainly make a less than ideal office, if I could even stand to work in it.

That said, I've found the payoff of buying and being able to use my SMB immediately more valuable than anything else. In addition living with those "features" gives me a much better idea of what is necessary, useful and enjoyable. If you take joy in the building and planning itself that's great, but otherwise consider that it might steal a whole summer or more, which might make buying used a lot more attractive.

Maybe look seriously on both lines and see if a good built van comes up before the perfect 7.3L cargo.
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:04 AM   #5
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Re: Introducing myself

Good points. I know I could save a ton of money doing it myself, but I know how long it takes me to finish projects and I don't really have a great place to work on things. I've talked to Chris over at Ujoint a bunch and would probably have him do the conversion. On the other hand, I'm currently drooling over Blackeye's rig and may fly out to take a look at it if he doesn't sell it this weekend.

Its a tough trade off - I do almost everything myself, but buying a rig I could take off in tomorrow is very appealing. Also, my business will buy it and buying a completed rig makes tax time much easier.

I hear what you are saying about working in the van. That's what a comfy folding chair and an awning are for! Even at home, I spend a fair amount of time at the picnic table in the yard.
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:56 AM   #6
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Re: Introducing myself

Blackeye's rig would definitely be a nice rig to jump into, and the fixed top makes walking around "easy".

I'm truly jealous. I wish my employer would buy me an SMB


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Old 12-02-2010, 09:50 AM   #7
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Re: Introducing myself

Quote:
Originally Posted by BroncoHauler
Blackeye's rig would definitely be a nice rig to jump into, and the fixed top makes walking around "easy".

I'm truly jealous. I wish my employer would buy me an SMB


Herb
My employer is still my own pocket! I will get to depreciate it on my taxes, but it is still a huge investment for my tiny company......

I'm pretty sure I want the fixed top over the pop-up. I'm 6'4" so no top is really going to be tall enough.
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Old 12-02-2010, 04:33 PM   #8
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Re: Introducing myself

For a DIY take a look at my album. I think I have everything you mentioned except for built in plumbing. The SMB Penthouse gives almost 7' of headroom which might be more than a bubble top. Just my 3 cents. If you have any questions let me know.
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Old 12-11-2010, 08:24 PM   #9
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Re: Introducing myself

Good luck with the decision. It sounds like a good problem to have! My fixed top affords 6' 8" of headroom after the 1 3/4" of insulation and flooring went down.
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