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Old 12-26-2017, 05:20 PM   #1
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Is there life after Sportsmobile?

I have been a van camper guy for 43 years, and a pop top owner for 37 years.
First pop top was a 70s era air cooled vw westfalia.
Second pop top was 80s era water cooled vw westfalia.
Third pop top was 89-91(don't remember) 4WD vw westfalia.

In 2003 I decided I needed more ground clearance and HP, and contracted
SMB West to build me a '03 Ford PSD RB50 Quigley 4WD.

After 14 years, I wanted something more than just a weekender type vehicle, that I could stand up in with out popping a top.

I did not want to buy new, or spend a lot on my next vehicle.

I tow a boat, so I didn't feel a Sprinter type vehicle would work for me.

I bought a 2004 Roadtrek 3500 class b van, and am very happy with it.
It is basically a low rider, so I am gonna lift it a little, but don't see myself doing the full blown expedition modifications to it.

I didn't know much about this company before I purchased it, but I was pleasantly surprised to see the quality of workmanship on this 13 year old vehicle with 80K miles on it far exceeds what I got from SMB West on the day I took delivery of my brand new van they built for me.

This is just an interim vehicle for me for a few years until I retire. I will then buy something newer with less miles on it. If I keep my boat, I will probably buy this exact vehicle with 4WD and have it lifted.

If I get rid of the boat, I will seriously consider a Sprinter.

I just looked at the new Winnebago Sprinter 4WD, and it looked cheap to me.

I was very dissatisfied with the quality and service from SMB West, so I can't really see myself ever owning another SMB.

If the quality of the Roadtrek Sprinter is as good as my current vehicle, I would probably buy one of those.

So, to answer my own question, yes, there is life after Sportsmobile.

If you are looking for an alternative to a SMB, I highly recommend a Roadtrek.
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Old 12-26-2017, 06:07 PM   #2
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You can have both...
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Old 12-26-2017, 07:43 PM   #3
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I know a lot of folks who love their older Roadtreks. I had a 1997 RT that was great--the current owners of that rig are in Baja with it now, working on their tans.

That said, the company has changed hands a couple of times in the past decade, and a few forum searches may suggest a contrast between past and current quality in these rigs. Pay attention, and--of course--do what is right for you.
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Old 12-26-2017, 08:14 PM   #4
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TXX,

Yep, that's the ticket.
It appears to be the factory Quigley IFS 4WD conversion.
When Roadtrek does their 2WD conversion, it drops the vehicle around 2 inches from stock height.
That pic is probably considered at least a 6 inch lift.
That vehicle used, would be around $65-75K.
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Old 12-26-2017, 08:46 PM   #5
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Why can you not tow with a Sprinter? I thought they would tow around 5k or so. How heavy is your boat? My 2015 Transit with the Ecoboost v6 has a 6' ceiling and will tow around #7500 I think. I got it for less than $30k.
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Old 12-26-2017, 09:19 PM   #6
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86S,

My boat weighs around 6900-7300, depending how much crap I have in it.
Thanks for giving me another option with the suggestion of your vehicle.
Is your Transit a camper?
I want a full RV camper type of rig.
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Old 12-26-2017, 09:20 PM   #7
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Sprinter 2500 is SRW and tow rated @ 5k lb. Sprinter 3500 is DRW and tow related @ 7500 lb.
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Old 12-26-2017, 09:31 PM   #8
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Tom,

Definitely don't want DRW.
Isn't the 4WD a 3500?
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Old 12-27-2017, 07:52 AM   #9
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86S,

My boat weighs around 6900-7300, depending how much crap I have in it.
Thanks for giving me another option with the suggestion of your vehicle.
Is your Transit a camper?
I want a full RV camper type of rig.
It is more or less a camper but not a factory build. I have put a stink/stove, fridge, furnace, batteries and a bed platform in it. Soon it will have a more complete cabinet build out with microwave, inverter and more storage.

There are lots of great Transit camper van builds over at the Transit forum.

Ford Transit USA Forum
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Old 12-27-2017, 03:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Tom,

Definitely don't want DRW.
Isn't the 4WD a 3500?
2500 is SRW and can be 2WD or 4WD. 3500 is DRW and can be 2WD or 4WD.

As a former teacher, I always told my students, Never believe something just because you heard or read it somewhere. Go do research at several factually reliable sources. The world is too full of both people who are simply mistaken as well as propagandists spreading intentionally false information. It will make me happy if you don't take my word for it and go check it out for yourself.

Happy New Year to you!
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