Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-07-2011, 04:35 AM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 554
Mojave Overnighter

Had my dad and brother in from Australia for a few weeks. We had planned on taking the van to Pismo to camp and rent some quads in the dunes but it was pretty cool there. My dad wanted to head out to his old riding area in the Mojave from years ago where it was warmer so off we went. Camped at a spot that used to have some great riding before the BLM closed much of it.

It was around 100 degrees so we just arrived late afternoon, BBQ'd some great steaks and listened to some tunes as we caught up on life throughout the night. The cabins used to be adopt a cabins that friends would stay in on riding trips but it seems they have been shot up and trashed in the last 6 or so years, sad. We did have a rabbit friend come running up to join us for dinner.

Avoided a near possible tragedy with my Colorado Camper Van built top bunk bed partially collapsing. I was down below sitting on the front of the futon reaching for a sleeping bag as my brother was climbing up onto the top bunk when the last two wheel pins/bolts? appear to have just snapped causing my brother and the bed to come crashing down. So lucky I was leaning foward as the bed is heavy and metal framed so if someone was actually asleep and that hit them it could have been over, for good. Or at least some serious injuries going on, not good.

Very scary and it really shook my brother up a bit. Not sure if those pins holding the wheels to the bed were untreated steel, aluminum or what. One side of the bed landed on my counter top trim, taking a chunk out. The other side landed on the futon mattress. When I heard the first section snap I froze and thought ahh hell here we go again. Although Derek from Colorado Camper Van is a nice guy and this bed was creatively built I personally haven't had good luck with his work at all on my van. Mechanical stuff has so far been fine but some of the interior and eletrical work not so much. This is my opinion only and I have shared it to this point on this forum with only those who have PM'd me personally with questions.

Luckily by this point my dad was feeling no pain from a great night so we stuck him on the bench seat. He was out before my brother and I even made it to the Futon. Turned out to be a short trip, but one with some scary moments and great memories. As for the upper bed I completely removed it when I got home and it is sitting ready for the trash pickup....and while I will figure out another uppper bed I will have to think and research carefully about who will help on the next one.

Van in front of cabin

Van, cabin and the Dez - Used to be a great hill climb up the mountain until the BLM marked it closed


Cabin 2

Gettin ready for dinner


Top Bed Close Call


2006 Ford E-350 V10 Agile 4x4 SMB EB50

2000 Ford E-350 7.3L Quigley 4x4 hard top with custom interior by Xtreme Fab - Sold
KTMRIDER is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2011, 10:29 AM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Western Colorado
Posts: 1,228
Re: Mojave Overnighter

Ouch, glad he id ok!
Desert Solitaire
2003 7.3L EB 4x4
Timberline 4x4 conversion
saline is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2011, 10:35 AM   #3
Senior Member
BajaSportsmobile's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Rancho Nuevo (Cabo/Todos Santos) B.C.S. and San Diego, CA
Posts: 1,952
Re: Mojave Overnighter

Those look to be garage door rollers - Home Depot or Lowe's. Simple idea.
Four time Baja 1000 winner, four time Baja 500 winner. Solo'ed the Baja 1000 to LaPaz/Cabo twice.
4-Wheeling since 1972, Desert Racing since 1989.
BajaSportsmobile is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2011, 10:38 AM   #4
Senior Member
rockbender's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Bend, OR
Posts: 800
Re: Mojave Overnighter

Looks like a great place!

If this is a topic for another thread, that's fine; however I'm curious about the bed failure. From what I can see it looks like the rollers and track are from a garage door type setup? How many rollers are supporting the entire bed structure? Does it look like the rollers had a wear groove at the point of failure?
2009 Express AWD, CCV Top & 50-ish home build. Daily driver/camper/kid hauler
rockbender is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2011, 12:29 PM   #5
Senior Member
Ultrasport12's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Bay Area ,CA
Posts: 761
Re: Mojave Overnighter

KTMRider...Glad everyone is OK...that could have been very bad...the pictures look like it was great fun while it lasted.

I agree with what Rockbender said that it looks like something had cut the shafts almost like a pipe cutter would thus making them thinner and eventually fail. I have seen a lot of garage doors rollers in my day (one of my good friends was a garage door tech and I used to help him from time to time) and although the wheel part looks like it might be a garage door part those shafts are much larger in diameter, plus garage door shafts are always solid not tubular. That said I think garage door pin/roller might be a good repair choice as a 16 foot wide wooden door is very heavy and those rollers work fine for years, but it might depend on how close they are together and if they would fit into your track you have. I have a feeling that the wheels that you have are fixed to the shafts and that the part that held the shafts did not have any bearings or bushings to make it roll smooth without wearing the shafts. Over time as you opened and closed the bed it was always cutting the shaft a little bit more every time and till it got so thin it snapped. It wasn't a question of IF it was going to fail it was WHEN it was going to fail. No rotating part can be metal to metal without a bushing or bearing of some type as it will always act just like a pipe cutter witch is also just metal to metal. Also it looks as if the part that held the shaft had a small/narrow concentration point which just speeds up the process.

No Matter how mad you are at the bed don't throw everything away until you get it fixed you might need a part of it to make it even better...BTW the van still looks great...
Good luck on your repair....
2008 Ford E-350 V-10 EB
Transformer Interior
U-Joint Off Road 4x4 kit in the garage
2004 F-350 Dana 60
Ultrasport12 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2011, 08:44 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Carmel Valley, CA
Posts: 634
Send a message via AIM to Skywagon
Re: Mojave Overnighter

What do the wheels do?
2008 RB 50 Pueblo gold, Diesel, 4X4, Aluminess
Skywagon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2011, 08:56 PM   #7
Site Team
daveb's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Turlock Ca
Posts: 10,394
Re: Mojave Overnighter

Sorry to hear about the damage Eric. Glad nobody was hurt too bad. So what is that bed supposed to be able to support? I think the SMB beds are designed to hold 500lbs or more.

BTW, nice pics...too bad people have to destroy the old buildings. That really tics me off.
2006 Ford 6.0PSD EB-50/E-PH SMB 4X4 Rock Crawler Trailer

Sportsmobile 4X4 Adventures..........On and off road adventures
daveb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2011, 09:22 PM   #8
Site Team
Gooseberry's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Covina
Posts: 1,317
Re: Mojave Overnighter

Keep the bed just find a new way to mount it and attach it to the van. Put rails on the bed to set on the rails for the wheels. It still can still fold up just not as smooth as it was with the wheels.
Kelly, Claudine, Sophie dog, Bell the redheaded step child and Gooseberry RIP.

Most the time the Copilot is Now Sophie dog the noise maker.

2000 7.3 PS Quigley/RB30 with a 6 window poptop.
Gooseberry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2011, 01:52 AM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 554
Re: Mojave Overnighter

Created a new thread related to the bed failure and for gathering ideas on creating a new upper bed:
2006 Ford E-350 V10 Agile 4x4 SMB EB50

2000 Ford E-350 7.3L Quigley 4x4 hard top with custom interior by Xtreme Fab - Sold
KTMRIDER is offline   Reply With Quote

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

2007 Ford E-350



Add your Sportsmobile
» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

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 10:39 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.