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Old 11-04-2017, 08:37 PM   #1
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Hello from Nunavut!

Hello guys. Pretty awesome to find this site. Super informative and down right the shit!

Lots of infos here. My brain is already toast after looking around the site. I'm almost in the tailend of my job here in Nunavut. I have a new job waiting for my in Whitehorse, Yukon.

I've decided to buy a van and drive from Toronto(HOME) to Yukon. A year ago, my wife and I did a 3 year bicycle trip from Alaska to South America. We want to do it all over again this time with a Van. We'll still bring the bikes, pick and choose where to ride.

We rented a Dodge van for a month in Utah during our trip and loved the idea. Then we briefly met a guy from California in Peru driving his SMB. Well I actually don't have an idea what an SMB is but I do have a general idea what kind of van we'll use. That brief encounter sealed the deal.

So here are some that I'm considering.

https://www.kijiji.ca/v-cars-trucks/...ale/1309408912

https://www.kijiji.ca/v-cars-trucks/...ationFlag=true

https://www.kijiji.ca/v-view-details...dId=1306798389


I'm not a handy guy but I have 1 year to biuld this thing up and learn how to do some field repairs. I might upgrade this to an AWD, lift kit, bull bars, rooftack etc. Of course we'll use it to drive around Yukon while we're at it.

For now, my questions are:

RWD or FWD?
7.3 or 6.0?
Is gas ok?
How high is high milaege for a used vehicle like this? I'm worried that something will fall apart sooner or later.
Basically I need info on which model and vehicles I have to stay away.


I need a lot of advise to be quite honest because I have no idea where to start. I read somewhere in the forum about the budget for a build. Is $25-30K good enough to make me confident that I'll be driving a pretty road worthy van?
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Old 11-04-2017, 08:59 PM   #2
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Welcome, I'm from Toronto as well! Honestly, I wouldn't buy a van here. All the old vans I see here have rust. Of course, if you don't really plan to have it long term and rust doesn't bother you, that's ok, but I wouldn't put that much money into a rusty shell. If your budget is 25-30k, why not just buy a pre-built camper rather than spend so much time building one?

P.S. your 3 year bicycle trip must have been insane!
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Old 11-04-2017, 11:09 PM   #3
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It was insane looking back. We mostly avoided the pavement and the highways especially in South Am. There are a lot of places to explore still so the van will help us make that happen. Leaving it at a certain city and ride 2-3 weeks loop here and there then drive again to the next destination and repeat.

I never really know I can buy a prebuilt SMB for $30K.

My reasoning behind buying now is since I'm moving to Whitehorse next month, I definitely need a vehicle to haul our bikes and all our camping stuff etc. plus a place to sleep in while lookng for a place to rent. I probably need a vehicle to get in and around town while we try on settling down.

We will buy a vehicle to transport our stuff so we thought, well might as well buy a van and build it as we go.

I guess bow that you gave me the idea, I can still buy a cheapo van and buy me some more time searching for the pre-built.

Can I possibly build a camper with lift, convert it to AWD, custom bumpers and roof racks for less than $25K?
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Old 11-05-2017, 07:05 AM   #4
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No, but you can find one done mostly already for that. You can't have a 4wd conversion done anywhere anymore for less than 15 and most are going to be close to 20 out the door. Custom bumpers and roof racks are going to be 5k at least.

Have you considered a late model GM AWD van? If you aren't hardcore crawling they are a great choice. Simple and cheap to lift as well.
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Old 11-05-2017, 08:14 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by 86Scotty View Post
No, but you can find one done mostly already for that. You can't have a 4wd conversion done anywhere anymore for less than 15 and most are going to be close to 20 out the door. Custom bumpers and roof racks are going to be 5k at least.

Have you considered a late model GM AWD van? If you aren't hardcore crawling they are a great choice. Simple and cheap to lift as well.
I am nowhere near hardcore. And AWD might be enough or a rear-locking differential. I'll Be on the lookout for a GM AWD then.
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Old 11-05-2017, 10:52 AM   #6
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Since you are a canuck like me , everybody here will quote dollar values with no idea of the difference in costs due to exchange etc.
Sportsman https://www.sportsman4x4.com 4x4 in Kamloops is only van 4x4 upfitter in Canada. They do fords,chev and gmc. Its a lot more expensive to build up a van here due to our dollar and the smaller market here.
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Old 11-05-2017, 12:58 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by reelchef67 View Post
Since you are a canuck like me , everybody here will quote dollar values with no idea of the difference in costs due to exchange etc.
Sportsman https://www.sportsman4x4.com 4x4 in Kamloops is only van 4x4 upfitter in Canada. They do fords,chev and gmc. Its a lot more expensive to build up a van here due to our dollar and the smaller market here.
Oops, you are correct, I didn't think of that. More expensive in Canada then I'm sure. Lots of late model AWD Chevys around though, here and there I'm sure. They are an often overlooked great platform.

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Old 11-05-2017, 01:34 PM   #8
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Hello from Nunavut!

Yes awd chevy's seem to be a good option especially when not needing extreme 4x4 setups.
Just to get a truetrac LSD with 410 gears I was quoted 2300$ Plus a 4 hour drive to get there etc etc. Sporty vans are very uncommon around here. Sprinters have taken over now.
My van draws a crowd sometimes, people want a tour...
My new wheels combo has definitely added to the draw..


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Old 11-05-2017, 01:41 PM   #9
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Here's one for sale in kamloops fresh from sportman.
https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https...gY435XS0sN3yVA
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Old 11-05-2017, 01:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reelchef67 View Post
Since you are a canuck like me , everybody here will quote dollar values with no idea of the difference in costs due to exchange etc.
Sportsman https://www.sportsman4x4.com 4x4 in Kamloops is only van 4x4 upfitter in Canada. They do fords,chev and gmc. Its a lot more expensive to build up a van here due to our dollar and the smaller market here.

With that said, will it make more sense to just drive all the way down to Portland and get the conversion done with Quadvan in Portland?
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