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Old 07-22-2014, 08:20 PM   #1
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Sportsmobile vs Conversion Van

So I am on the fence here. I am looking at trading vehicles, right now I drive a Ford Explorer but it doesn't fit my family when my folks or my in laws come into town. They are getting up there in years so something like a van would work out better. I have a five year old and he sits in a car seat that takes up at least if not more than a full size adult. So this got me thinking about the VW Westy's, but I have looked at a handful of them and they are tight on space, need a lot of work (because of their age) and not terribly reliable. Which really doesn't sound like a great buy for a daily driver. I continued looking and found both conversion vans (which allow for a great ride but no camping) and the Sportsmobile/GTRV that not only allow for the daily driving but also camping.

So - My budget is $20k or less, what are your thoughts? I can get both with under 100k, lots of life left in them. Would you buy your Sportsmobile again? I am thinking of getting a sportsmobile and down the road possibly converting it to 4x4. Maybe not - but I am reliving my Wrangler days in my mind here...
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Old 07-22-2014, 10:56 PM   #2
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Re: Sportsmobile vs Conversion Van

With your child being 5 years old, I think you need a forward facing seat for him. Layouts with a rear captain chair seem to be a little rarer than the standard "50" or "30" layout. The other thing to consider is the seating for the 4th and 5th passenger.

Heres a link to one with a third captains chair.
http://sportsmobile.com/preowns/256


I really like this one. Doesnt say if it has propane or not.
http://sportsmobile.com/preowns/264
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Old 07-22-2014, 11:15 PM   #3
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Re: Sportsmobile vs Conversion Van

The second one doesn't have propane. I asked about installing one there at their shop and they said no modifications to an older unit like this. Things must be cranking there to turn down add ons. No biggy as I would look to install an Espar, propex or similar f/a unit. The other thing missing is water. So no heat or water - it can be added but not through Sportsmobile. Theres another one with 100k EB, http://www.sportsmobile.com/preowns/24
I've got a call in on this one I can't tell but it looks like there is some body damage to the lower passenger side. Anyhow, I'll be keeping an eye out. Second captains chair and need seat belts in the other seating.
Do we know if the rear benches have seat belts? Can we carry someone in the bench with belts, like Mom and Dad legally?
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Old 07-22-2014, 11:51 PM   #4
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Re: Sportsmobile vs Conversion Van

I have a gaucho bench in mine and it has seat belts. I would imagine that the dinettes have seat belts too. Not sure what state you live in, but in CA, I don't think seat belts are required in an RV behind the drivers seat. May not be required but definitely should be worn at all times.
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Old 07-23-2014, 07:51 AM   #5
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Re: Sportsmobile vs Conversion Van

If you are willing to modify cabinets a bit, it is possible to add a third captain's chair to an existing build. On my EB I removed the sink cabinet just inside the barn doors and added a seat there. There is still room to install a small sink cabinet behind the seat, but I haven't gotten around to it yet and honestly don't miss having a sink in the van.

See viewtopic.php?f=13&t=9212&hilit=captain%27s+chair
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Old 07-23-2014, 11:41 AM   #6
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Re: Sportsmobile vs Conversion Van

The Red EB is sold. I'll be keeping an eye out for others. Feel free should you find one out in the universe to send me the link direct,
bshillam@hotmail.com

Thanks much!
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:05 PM   #7
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Re: Sportsmobile vs Conversion Van

Put in an offer on one today - I am also continuing to keep an active eye out for others if this one doesn't pan out. I will probably know tomorrow if the seller is willing to accept.
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Old 07-26-2014, 09:58 PM   #8
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Re: Sportsmobile vs Conversion Van

Now the ball is in my court. I put in an offer and the owner counter. It's reasonable - taking the weekend now to think about it. Slightly more than I wanted to pay but it would be a great cruiser. Really comfy for the family!
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Old 07-26-2014, 10:29 PM   #9
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Re: Sportsmobile vs Conversion Van

Sweet! Keep us posted!
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Old 08-08-2014, 11:52 AM   #10
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Re: Sportsmobile vs Conversion Van

Still haven't bought yet - the wife leans towards the comfy feel of the leather appointments of the conversion van aspect. I for one remember my 4x4 days of the Wrangler and lean more towards the utility factor of the Sportsmobile. Has anyone made the trade from conversion to Sportsmobile? Other than the top and camping factor what are the advantages of the Sportsmobile? Comments, suggestions, objections, etc appreciated. As well, I have never had a van, currently I am looking at another with 154k on the Ford Chassis fully equipt and I could probably pick it up around the $6k mark. What are your thoughts on this unit? Other than some paint it appears to be all functioning.
Thanks much!
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