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Old 02-03-2010, 02:29 PM   #1
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Looking for advice

Hello to all,

I'm new to the forum and I am looking for advice/guidance/suggestions. I live in San Diego, CA, on the weekends and work in Los Angeles during the week. I have been contemplating a SMB to utilize during the week and during weekends/vacations to get out to all the places I have wanted to go to where I have seen SMB's at. What I am looking for is advice on the following.

1.If I were to purchase new from SMB what would suggestions be for 1.) having it outfitted initially, keeping in mind cost and that I would like to customize/add to the vehicle later. (Basically, I would need to just sleep in the vehicle at night, Monday thru Thursday. I usually head back to SD via two wheels come Thursday night or Friday Afternoon. 2.) Also keeping in mind that I want to use the vehicle for its intended purpose during weekends and time off.

2.If possible, I would be looking to finance (to take advantage of tax deductions). A search of the posts seem to show a lot of problems with financing right now based on the economy, etc. Any advice, experiences, tips or examples would be helpful.

Anything else anyone thinks would be helpful.

Thanks,

A newbie!
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Old 02-03-2010, 05:18 PM   #2
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Re: Looking for advice

Heres what we need to know:

-Budget if ya cant get financing
-4x4 or 2wd
-Extended or regular body
-PH or fixed top
-Ya like gas or diesel?
- Pith helmet or cowboy hat?
- Kids, wife, ? for possible floor plan
- shower situation if you are gonna use it as Mid week accomadation

thats a good start

i dont know the financing deal now
i think it is luck of the draw

welcome to the obsession
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Old 02-03-2010, 05:31 PM   #3
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Re: Looking for advice

I agree with the fact that we need more info before we can offer advice...
2wd vs 4wd is your most important choice...
If 4wd then you are looking at the Ford Van
If 2wd then consider a Sprinter for much more space

If you already ride a moto then you can do a 2wd Sprinter and add a dual sport for going to remote areas.

Tell us more so we can suck you in more
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Old 02-03-2010, 06:35 PM   #4
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Re: Looking for advice

If you only want mild 4wd, then a GM van will work also.

Whether you admit it or not, you have a much better idea of what you need than we do. Go the Sportsmobile website:

http://www.sportsmobile.com/1_dyo.html

Review the available floorplans and you may find something you like. If not, you may do like we did and modify an existing plan, or you may want to create your own floorplan. The tools for making your own floorplan are on that page.

Mike
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Old 02-05-2010, 11:47 AM   #5
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Re: Looking for advice

To take a stab, if I were you I'd get the PH top and sleep up there, using the van inside for m/c transport. Go with 4x4 so you can go all the places you've seen SMBs... you can put together a rudimentary interior that has room for bikes on your own (or pay someone to do it) once you get more clear on your camping needs.

Alternatively you could buy one of the two Brian Lopes style Sprinters listed on the SMB previously owned section, or see if SMB would build you a Lopes style Ford or Chevy.
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Old 02-05-2010, 12:51 PM   #6
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Re: Looking for advice

If you are planning on staying in it almost nightly I would look at a fixed top even if it is just the "contempo" top as up and down daily is alot of wear and tear on a ph. This is why I built mine with one as even with camping as often as I do when I go racing I would have to go up and down twice a day. Easier for me to onload the bike and set up and just leave everythig at the track and drive off whenever I want.
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Old 02-05-2010, 06:44 PM   #7
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Re: Looking for advice

You know, I have been thinking about a fixed top also. Even the contempo would be OK with the 5'9" standing height. I am 6'1", but that might be OK. I was thinking about a platform bed in the back at about 35" above the floor. Make the platform 48" or so long with an extension at night that comes forward another couple feet for sleeping. Your bed could then be the full width of the van instead the 50" we have in our RB50. You could easily get 2 to 4 bikes in the back under the platform bed. You might still have room for a couch in front of the platform. I have also thought about just using a couple of nice folding chairs inside that you could also take outside to sit by the fire in. Has anyone done 4x4 with the Contempo top?
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Old 02-05-2010, 07:28 PM   #8
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Re: Looking for advice

I looked around at the SMB site and found this one to answer my own question. It would be nice not to have to raise and lower the top and it would surely rattle less on the washboard roads. The biggest drawback I see is the loss of ventilation. You would need to have lots of windows and a couple of fans I would think. On the flip side, it would probably be warmer in cold weather.



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Old 02-05-2010, 08:13 PM   #9
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Re: Looking for advice

Wasn't that van for sale in the Classifieds a number of years ago? I think there may have been some interior pics.

As for ventilation, you should ask if a Fantastic Fan can be installed in that top.


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Old 02-05-2010, 10:50 PM   #10
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Re: Looking for advice

I think there was a different Rage films van for sale. I seem to recall a better top for walking around on.

I believe rnj has a contempo top, although 2wd he's the only person I actually know with a contempo.
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