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Old 07-02-2018, 07:46 AM   #11
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The camper is under 5k lbs when dry, but when we load it up, it might be closer to 6k.

https://www.rvusa.com/rv-guide/2012-...2650bh-tr12719

The titan I have now is rated to like 9500 lbs, but I really wouldn't want to haul much more than what we do now with 6k in the camper. I don't really want to downgrade my hualing capability from the titan if I can. That's why I was leaning towards the larger engines.

I know this is a sportsmobile forum, but there are quite a few home brew builds and such, so I was looking for anything that would fit my need.

For example, I just missed looking at a e350 with a 7.3 diesel in it, that would have been a DIY build project from the ground up.

Yeah, the sideways seats won't fly with the wife/kids.

I'll keep looking and thanks again for all the help!
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Old 07-02-2018, 03:51 PM   #12
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Well welcome to the club (eventually...lol)...might have to take the FIRST one that ALMOST fits all your needs and re-do or sell that one after awhile and get another one that has EVERYTHING on your wish list when it comes along...these all seem to be snatched up when up for re-sale, so jump in ASAP and start the 'fever' .....next thing you know your wife will want to go to SMB North to pick out an design your 'new' build....can't wait to see what you end up with!
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Old 07-03-2018, 11:34 PM   #13
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If you get to the Philly area and want to look at a Sportsmobile, drop me a line. Ours is nothing special, a 2WD EB with PH top, but maybe it would give you some build ideas. We added a third captainís seat when we bought it.
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Old 07-05-2018, 08:12 AM   #14
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Thanks for the offer. Not sure I'll be in Philly any time soon.

I've seen a few good deals go by on the Explorer YF7 conversion vans. They have some on the Chevy 2500 frame with the 6.0L engine as well.

Any thoughts, comments, complaints about these conversions? I'm a little suspicious since the deals I've seen on these are way better than some others.

I like these for the seats and high roofs (Some of them) and the bed in the back, and I can figure out how to customize it for my needs later. I've seen some deals for as low as 20-25k for under 100k miles too.

I don't like how low they are, and they always have the skirting, but I can live with it.

Thoughts?
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Old 07-05-2018, 11:38 AM   #15
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I like the conversion vans a lot. I think its a good place to start. Lots of kit for a decent price. Keep in mind, if you plan to add a pop top, SMB will only add it to a van with a standard roof. If the conversion includes a bubble top, you can't put a pop top on it later.

If you take the skirting off, you could then rhino line the lower panels to cover up all the ugliness left by the skirting. Just a thought.

I think the prices vary because they aren't super popular anymore. So some people just want to get rid of them. They also have AWD chevy ones, if that interests you.
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Old 07-05-2018, 11:45 AM   #16
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Pretty much every conversion van Iíve seen is on a 150 chassis, which is no good for the kind of towing the OP is looking to do.
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Old 07-05-2018, 11:52 AM   #17
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Hey all, thanks for taking this ride with me and helping with the research!

Here is the site for the Explorer van conversions.
https://www.explorervan.com/chevrole...sis_option.cfm

Looks like they exclusively use the 2500 chassis now for some reason.

Another angle I've been considering is buying a handicap van and taking the lift out and storing it. It's a long story, but my Mother requires a handicap van and I like the idea of having backup in a pinch. Also, many handicap vans go cheap for the same reasons gramps mentioned... the families just want to get rid of them when they are no longer needed. If you have access to auctions or estate sales, they sometimes go really cheap...
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Old 07-05-2018, 11:54 AM   #18
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One more point. I travel to texas a couple times a year for work. I would be happy to grab a southern, no salt van and drive it back after one of my work trips...

4x4 is a plus but not a necessity. I love the idea of finding a cheap explorer 2500 coversion in AWD... but that's a bit of a unicorn.
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Old 07-09-2018, 09:02 PM   #19
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Stumbled upon maxacceleration's rig... holy cow, this is the ticket!
http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...ld-5127-4.html
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Old 07-12-2018, 10:59 AM   #20
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Update on the search:
After perusing some build threads and watching the classifieds and craigslist, I'm understanding that I will likely need to go the DIY route in order to get what I want for what I can afford.

I like the high tops and pop tops, but getting someone else to install them is way too expensive. So I'm thinking I need to find something that already has one of these.

I am fairly handy, have a 3d printer, etc, but my extra time is limited.

If I put all of this effort into a build, I don't want to have to start over in 5 years due to engine failures, rusting out, etc.

With that said... I feel like I'm looking for the unicorns. Low mileage, high tops, 6.0L gas engines or diesel engines. Either convert a high top work van, or start with the rare 1 or 3/4 ton conversion van . I'm also on the lookout for handicap vans and turtle tops to cheat as well.

Thanks for all the advice so far, and keep them coming! If you see something, let me know! I'm all for flying south and driving something back rust free!
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