Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 02-12-2020, 05:10 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
BrianW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 3,441
SMB, Roadtrek, Truck Camper?

At the risk of being cast out as an apostate, I'm starting to think about moving on from our SMB and into something with a few more amenities (especially an indoor toilet). We still love our SMB, but after renting a nice, new truck camper for a month two years ago we kinda got to like the amenities that other types of rig offer.

We've been looking seriously at Roadtrek 170 (RB) and 190 (EB) vans, and are also considering a pickup truck and truck camper combo. Right now we're leaning to the Roadtrek because we're still campervan folks at heart.

So... I welcome any thoughts or advice from others who may have gone down this route. Part of me says just to figure out a better way to put the Porta Potty in the SMB, but the Roadtreks we've looked at are pretty tempting. The only attraction to the truck camper route is being able to do away with an extra vehicle, as I'd use the truck as a daily driver.

We are two adults and a mid-teens son. Our traveling style is roadtripping and touring, staying at most three nights in one place (usually 1-2). We've spent up to five weeks living in our EB SMB, so we're used to smaller spaces.

While most time is spent on pavement, we do like to explore fire roads and the like. Even though our van is 2WD, the high clearance of the Ford E250 and the LS rear have never let us down. We just about always have bikes on the back and all the requisite gear inside. Our SMB has a ton of storage, which the other options don't really offer. The limited clearance of the Roadtreks is one of the biggest negatives in my mind.

I've also thought about getting a new(er) Transit and building out a somewhat basic camper, but not sure if I want to embark on that right now.

The thought of selling our SMB, though, is somewhat heart-wrenching, as we have so many great memories made in it and it's still in very good condition and ready for the next trip. I know it intimately and love the E-van platform (the Roadtrek is a Chevy Express).
__________________

BrianW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2020, 06:35 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: San Clemente, CA
Posts: 1,209
Can you rent something that is more up your alley to test it? For example a revel or something like that? Just a thought.

Truck campers are awesome if you can use the truck the rest of the time. Owning a 2006 SMB and two transit campers right now, I would have a real hard time getting another e-series unless I really needed the off-road capability. Driving a transit (especially a turbo one) is so easy compared to an econoline.
__________________

Grampswrx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2020, 06:54 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Twoxentrix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
Posts: 1,543
Garage
Here is a great example of both worlds:



__________________
TwoXentrix
"AWOL"
Twoxentrix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2020, 07:12 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Scalf77's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 1,669
Very much in the same position, except my kids are out on their own or in college. The wife really wanted a little more space and yes a proper bathroom. We chose to go the route of ordering a Transit AWD, about a month ago. I am cleaning up a few things on my sportsmobile and will be putting it up for sale as soon as that is done. It will be a sad day to see it go, lots of memories. I am looking forward to building out the new Transit though.


-greg
Scalf77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2020, 08:14 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
vandiesel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 676
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scalf77 View Post
Very much in the same position, except my kids are out on their own or in college. The wife really wanted a little more space and yes a proper bathroom. We chose to go the route of ordering a Transit AWD, about a month ago. I am cleaning up a few things on my sportsmobile and will be putting it up for sale as soon as that is done. It will be a sad day to see it go, lots of memories. I am looking forward to building out the new Transit though.


-greg

Very curious exactly what you ordered. Can you post your specs? Which dealer did you go through?



-Brad
__________________
2001 Ford RB 7.3 Quadvan (sold)
2006 Sportsmobile EB Transformer 6.0
vandiesel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2020, 10:21 PM   #6
REF
Senior Member
 
REF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Boulder, CO.
Posts: 1,999
Send a message via MSN to REF
SMB, Roadtrek, Truck Camper?

We were contemplating this same thing over the last few years in preparation for our current full timing with our 12 yr old. We decided that we didnít want to give up our van, but wanted and needed something bigger with a few more creature comforts that would make life easier on the road.
We had looked at countless combos and gone to several RV shows, but decided that towing a travel trailer behind the van would suit our needs the best. It affords us the opportunity to still keep and use the van, plus we are able to drop the trailer at a campground, RV park or storage facility for longer stints and go off in just the van for the day to explore or accessing those more remote areas we love to go and spend a few nights or a few months without the trailer, all of which weíve done since on the road. We went with the Lance 2185, itís got a great layout with bunks in the rear and a convertible sofa that lays down to provide the platform for the bed.
Click image for larger version

Name:	Adjustments.jpg
Views:	22
Size:	44.9 KB
ID:	31733
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1999.jpg
Views:	17
Size:	14.3 KB
ID:	31734
__________________
'03 Ford E350 7.3L Diesel
(de)SMB'd Custom RB-50
Quigley 4X4 w/Deavers & Agile Offroad's R.I.P. package
CCV High Profile Pop Top
REF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2020, 04:41 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: FL and VA
Posts: 934
Garage
I'm in the same situation as well. I love traveling in the van and it is great for me by myself, but not enough space/amenities for my wife and I. So I've been pondering the whole thing as well. My wife says a truck camper isn't big enough. I've been looking at bigger RVs, but can't make myself go that route yet.

So for now I've ordered a custom aluminum 6x12 plus v-nose cargo trailer that I will make into a bedroom with bathroom/shower and extra storage, maybe a small kitchen extension. It will have recessed wheels/tires so the track is very similar to the SMB and a cargo rack for carrying things like a canoe, gear, etc. SMB will be used for the living room and kitchen, if you will, and for back country excursions where we drop the trailer as REF mentioned as needed. This will also allow me to bring my motorcycle or other toys. Bed will be on vertical e-track or the like so we can raise it out of the way to use the cargo portion of the trailer.

We visited a Lance dealer and liked what we saw as well. They do have 20-year PVC roofs I believe.

I want to stay away from anything too heavy that requires weight distribution and anti-sway. If the trailer and van idea works, but the cargo trailer isn't enough, then we'll look at a bigger trailer. I still am jonesing for a vintage Airstream.
__________________
Chris
2008 GMC 3500 Quigley Weldtec 4x4 Savana SMB
2006 BMW HP2 Enduro
marret is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2020, 08:25 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
BrianW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 3,441
While Iím sure trailers work great for some people, unfortunately we donít have any place to park one, plus they donít really fit the way we travel. I would never have even thought about a truck camper until we rented one for a month for a trip to Alaska. It was really nice and had plenty of room for three of us, with nice amenities (An oven! And shower! And freezer!).
BrianW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2020, 10:00 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Otter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Oregon
Posts: 1,048
Garage
Hey Brian. Having recently gone through this same process but the other way (trailer full of amenities with teen to E series camper buildout, no kid), I can sympathize with your thoughts. I was about to respond with some of mine when I realized I donít know the layout of your SMB (got a couple interior pics?) and, specifically, the amenities youíre seeing in other rigs that you donít have. Iíve got a bunch of thoughts about bathroom amenities, having gone from a full shower to a porta potty. Having a teen to accommodate in a small rig can sure create privacy issues.

One general thought Iíll share is that the fancier you get, the more work it is, which Iím sure you know. That trailer full of amenities - even in a small 16-footer - had a lot of things that could go wrong. Iím luxuriating now in the simplicity of having just enough but not too much. A fine line.
__________________
"PhoTo" - 2014 Ford E350 5.4L RB - Agile 4x4 - CCV Poptop
Otter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2020, 01:52 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Durango, Colduhrado
Posts: 533




Nice bathrooms to boot!
__________________

__________________
All things being equal - fat people use more soap.
eddyturn is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Sportsmobile Registry

"Campy"

campy

2006 Ford E350

Belize
Add your Sportsmobile
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sportsmobile SIP or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:06 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×