Join Date: Mar 2019
Detailed van information
Hello. Thank you for your message. My husband and I put this together about the van. I hadn't included it as I thought interested parties would want to message me privately but maybe it's better to include from the start. For a little background, we drove the van from Idaho to our current location in Argentina. We had the 4x4 conversion done at Buck's 4x4 in Boise, Idaho. Currently the van is being lived out of and is fully outfitted for 2 adults, 2 young kids.
Strong engine with low miles. The engine has been the champ of this trip. We had it completely gone-through — changed all the oils, spark plugs, lines, belts, filters, etc. — in September 2017 before we left. We’ve had no issues with the engine our entire trip.
All turn signals, lights etc. work as intended.
New Flow Master exhaust installed in Jan 2018. This gave the van an extra burst of power; we think our van is one of the quicker overlanding vehicles out there, which is nice when you’re trying to pass semis on small, two-lane highways in Central America….
The 4x4 system was completed by Buck’s 4x4 in Boise, Idaho in August 2017. The 4x4 system has performed admirably, gotten us to some cool, remote locations, and gotten us out of some bad, stuck situations. Plenty of power in four high and plenty of power and torque in four low (however, occasionally it will slip out of four low; we don’t know why).
The body. A few dents and scratches, little to no rust. Honestly, in pretty good shape for an 18-year-old body.
Container-able. Fits into a shipping container which will save you thousands of dollars shipping either between Panama and Colombia or overseas.
Great size. We feel this vehicle, while big, is just about the perfect size for traveling the Americas. Can still fit in most campsites and narrow streets.
New rear shocks in March 2019. The front shocks were replaced in Mexico in March 2018.
New front and rear brakes in March 2019.
New air filter in March 2019.
The interior. I’d give it a 7/10. Shows some wear here and there, like some dings in the wall and ceiling where my kids have thrown toys. A few surface rust spots on a few bolts, but nothing major (it’s hard to avoid all rust when you spend a lot of time near the ocean…).
The appliances. Older grill but works fine. The fridge is newer (bought in January of 2018) — functions fine, but is not the most efficient fridge (if you bought a new ARB fridge, you would save power).
The electronics. Most every outlet, switch, lightbulb, etc. functions perfectly. With the solar panels, we can get about three days off the grid if we are using the fridge; if we are not using the fridge, we can likely get a week-plus off the grid. Also, replaced house batteries (two 6-volts wired in series) in February 2019.
Storage. I literally built shelves on the side of the road with nothing but a handsaw and a drill. Then I had to modify the shelves when we replaced the fridge. Needless to say, they are not the most efficient or precise shelves, but they function. There is only a few connection points (screws), so these would be really easy to remove if you didn’t want them.
All other interior fixtures (grill, sink, cabinets, etc.) are in good shape, show some wear, but perfectly functional)
Fuel economy. We average between 10 and 16 miles per gallon — 10 if climbing to high elevations; 16 if mostly highway. It’s not great, but the van has plenty of power. Obviously your miles per gallon will change depending on where and how you drive and how much you store in the van. It also tends to perform better with better gas.
The Not So Good:
Our spare tire. To paraphrase a line from a Christmas Story: “Our spare tire is only actually a tire in the academic sense; it’s round and had once been made of rubber.” We lost a tire and wheel in Mexico. This spare will certainly work, but it’s not one of the newer tires and wheels (purchased in August 2017).
Two periodic leaks. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to why or when these two leaks happen, but they do, and we haven’t been able to figure it out. It is infrequent, however. One is in the top right, front windshield and one is in the pop top near the front fluorescent light bulb.
House fan. The mount broke; it still works, but we’ve not figured out a way to remount it.
Need to replace the right tie rod end.
Need to replace microwave (we think; it hasn’t been working, even with the 220v to 110v transformer, in 220v countries).
Campervan Accessories and Systems (Rated 1/10, 10 being perfect):
interior propane grill (7)
exterior propane grill (8) — purchased new in September 2017; pilot-light doesn’t work but lights fine with a regular lighter
propane heater (9) — we’ve hardly had to use this, but it gets nice and toasty real quick
sink and faucet (8)
gray water tank (5) — we lost the valve (which we still have in case you want to replace it) 4x4-ing over a barricade during the protests in Nicaragua.… however, we haven’t felt the need to replace it, since it just drains under the van and we only brush our teeth and wash dishes in that sink
porta-potty (9) — purchased new in January 2018
manual pop-top (7) — functions perfectly; mostly cosmetic on the exterior some of the clear coat is peeling
screen, netting, and canvas in pop-top (7) — canvas is dirty in a few spots, could likely be cleaned with a thorough cleaning; there are a few holes in the screens; we have tent/screen tape for this, which we will leave in the van, but since the holes are pretty small we haven’t felt the need to tape them yet
electrical system (8) — I kinda feel like there’s a drain somewhere (in other words, we should get more time from our batteries), but I haven’t been able to find it…. everything works fine, however
paddleboard cover (5) — it’s been beaten up a bit by the sun and the trip…
paddleboard (7) — a few dings and scratches, occasionally it takes on a little water but it tends to dry out after taking out of the water
paddleboard paddle (9)
Thule SUP Taxi (7) — fits two SUP and/or surf boards; locks and is mounted to the side of the van; the plastic has faded in color a bit
Yeti cooler (9.5) — hardly ever used (only for storage of food); just some scratches on the top; bought new in January 2018
sleeping bags (8) (2 adult negative 20 F, 2 kids) — adult sleeping bags are older; kids sleeping bags purchased new in September 2017 and only used a handful of times (despite this being a pop-top, the van stays pretty warm at night)
hammock (6) — one grommet is broken, but functions fine
ARB awning (8) — bought new in September 2017; haven’t used much on this trip
ARB tent/screen room that attaches to awning (8) — also bought new in September 2017 and haven’t used much on this trip; comes with two extra tent poles for an additional awning off the tent
foldable, camping end table (8)
2 bungee clotheslines and a bunch of clothespins (8)
2 adult folding chairs, 2 kid folding chairs (4) — still functioning, but who knows how long…
Trasharoo bag (4) — abused on the back of the van and in the sun but still functions fine
tools (7) (Makita power drill, Makita regular drill, Makita hacksaw, three Makita batteries and charging box, various screw drivers and wrenches and drill bits and miscellaneous tools) — all in pretty good shape
one exterior fresh water hose and one interior fresh water hose and funnel (8)
one shower hose (9) — hardly used
four exterior extension cords (8)
hitch extender (7)
Hi-jack lift (6) — we had this on the front of the van originally (you’ll see the connectors), but we moved it to the back because it was getting rusted
bottle jack (8)
2 fire extinguishers (9) — one old and one brand new (never used)
10 plastic leveling blocks (8)
set of safety triangles (9)
first aid kit (10) — brand new, never used
jumper cables (10) — brand new, never used
snow tire chains (10) — brand new, never used
full kitchens-worth of plastic plates, spatulas, cups, bowls, etc. (8)
metal silverware (9)
Ninja (small) blender (9) — hardly used
various new and used spare parts (8)
Tornado fan (8) — it’s a little touchy but works fine
various plastic baskets and containers (8)
2 shovels, 1 axe, 1 8-gallon jerry can on rear doors (7)
Various camping lights, headlights and flashlights (8)
Various bungees, straps and nets (7)
Steripen (10—never used)
12 volt vacuum
This is not a complete list. I’m sure we’re missing and/or didn’t identify something. We’ll do our best to represent everything as accurate as possible, however. Also, I’m no mechanic, but I’ll also do my best to answer any technical questions you may have.
As of now (late March 2019), we plan to sell the Sportsmoblie in the next three to six months. And we’d certainly consider selling it sooner for a full-priced offer. Obviously, like any overlanding vehicle, our Sportsmobile is best experienced and evaluated on-site. However, we realize that may not be possible. We’ll also do our best to make reasonable accommodations to deliver and/or ship it. Of the major South American cities, we’ll be closest to Santiago, Chile in next few months.
Besides our toiletries, clothing, and electronics, we plan to leave everything in the van. It’s ready to go. Head back up north. Or continue traveling the world. You can decide, after taking possession, what things you wanna keep or donate. However, if there’s anything on the lists above that you know you don’t want, please let me know, and we’ll decide to either keep them or donate them ourselves.
Please let me know what questions you have!