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Old 05-21-2010, 01:06 AM   #1
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1988 Vintage Sportsmobiles?

Hi all, I just got my 1st SMB last year, a 1988 Ford E-150 RB 2WD in very good condition. Always wanted a rig with a full pop-top, not the half-pops like VW...and I love it (except the gas mileage). Anywho, I was wondering if anyone has an older SMB like mine (you know, with the beautiful stick-on "wood" interior finish) and what they have done to update, modernize, etc. I have already taken a heat gun to some of the stick-on "wood", stripped it off, and replaced with wallpaper to add a little spice. Now, instead of one big boring wood room I have 3...kitchen, living room, and back area (still wood)...looks great. Also I have modified cabinets and whatnot to make the space more usable. Does anyone else have anything they've done to their older SMB?
Love to hear your ideas and upgrades...interior or exterior.
cheers, ed
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ES-Kitchen-post-sized.jpg   ES-kitchen-pre-400.jpg  
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Old 05-21-2010, 12:26 PM   #2
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Re: 1988 Vintage Sportsmobiles?

The wallpaper is genius! Looks really good, nice job thinking that up
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Old 05-23-2010, 12:02 AM   #3
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Re: 1988 Vintage Sportsmobiles?

thanks, I first thought paint, but the particle board under the "wood" didn't make a good smooth base. Then I figured wallpaper would stick nicely...and it did. I also used the same wallpaper to cover the fridge door, also formerly "wood". And the red splashguard and picture frame add a little pop. Gonna re-do the curtains there at some point.
I just finished the opposite side of the van, the "living room", in a different wallpaper, which also came out really well. Haven't finished the trim pieces nor hung the picture nor made new curtains...but they're coming soon. I'll post a picture when it's done.
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Old 05-23-2010, 08:33 AM   #4
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Re: 1988 Vintage Sportsmobiles?

Very ingenious and it looks great as well ! I plan to keep this post out of sight from my Bride or I will be on my next little project . Did you use a Vinyl Wallpaper in your kitchen area .
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Old 05-25-2010, 08:52 PM   #5
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Re: 1988 Vintage Sportsmobiles?

I have a 92 with the same interior. I am pulling out the cabinets and carpet and installing marine grade vinyl and then re-do the MDF cabinets with lightweight wood pre-laminated. Not a lot of stuff I found a Smeva european stove w/glass top that I installed and switched out the facet to a pull out nice moen. Most of my upgrades have been exterior by finding steals on craiglist....
Yakima Megawarrior basket and yakima racks and rocket box = $150
Rims = $200
Lift = $400
Spare tire carrier - $250
Front and read offroad bumpers with hella lights -$300
Bushwackers - $25.
Exterior water tank and shower - $100
If you are patient, you can find great deals on CL periodically like I did.
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Old 05-25-2010, 10:04 PM   #6
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Re: 1988 Vintage Sportsmobiles?

to answer Greggde's question above...I used regular paper wallpaper because I liked the warm finish...and it's still somewhat washable. I was thinking if it got trashed in a few years I'll just change it out and get a whole new look. The hard part of stripping the fake wood and cleaning up is already done...the papering was (relatively) easy. However, I was thinking the other day that the kitchen window might allow the wallpaper to get wet if i left it open during a rain and the wind was right (or wrong, as the case may be). I actually didn't even consider marine wallpaper like rogers is doing, probably because I didn't know they made it...hmmmm, ya learn something everyday. well, I'll keep ya posted on that rain thing.
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Old 05-25-2010, 11:09 PM   #7
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Re: 1988 Vintage Sportsmobiles?

nice stuff James, glad there's another old-schooler out there. I'm the other way around...I've been concentrating on doing up the interior, probably because the wood stuff was peeling all over anyway and the cabs were all disjointed. That must be a major project on your cabinets, and i was thinking about it (mainly to save weight and up the mpg), but decided against...for now! Any idea how much weight you'll save and what that might translate into for mpg savings??

I did have the energy, however, to make a cutout in the back cabinet (into some dead space around the wheel well) to allow a portapotti to sit tighter back there (see the pix)...that came out pretty nicely, and I got a little bonus cabinet out of it. Made that with a drawer piece that I took out from under the fridge. But the floor space saved is huge (not really, but it really helps to tuck that portapotti in there a bit). You got one?

I can't make out your external mods from the small thumbnail of your rig, but you have 2 things that I've been trying to engineer for myself, the roof rack and the shower.

I have all kinds of questions on your shower. Is the external water tank for the shower heated? where did you put the shower head fixture? is it gravity or pump fed? shower curtain (for the ladies, of course)? have you posted any of your project pictures on the forum? I've been thinking about how to mount one of those rubber outdoor heat-in-the-sun showers, but the pop-top gets in the way of every configuration I think of...I like the sound of yours.

I've been holding out on the exterior mods because all the ones I have planned seem interconnected, so I can't do just one until I figure out the big picture. I've been trying to devise a roof rack/awning/shower system. I was thinking of welding up 2 rails the full length of the top to allow multiple fixtures (rack feet, awning hardware, shower tank, etc.). It's def tricky, trying to keep the weight and wind resistance down...I don't want anything dragging on the outside to reduce my already miserable mpg.

Good thing I'm keeping this rig for awhile. Thanks for the Craigslist tip. If it's ok, can i email you to get pictures of your exterior mods...and maybe that fancy stove?
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ES-Back Cab-after-400.jpg   ES-PortaPotti-after1-400.jpg   ES-PortaPotti before1-400.jpg  
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