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Old 04-21-2013, 05:32 PM   #31
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Location: TN
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Re: Sportsmobile realistic for family of five on a teacher s

^^^ What Jage said.

Originally Posted by taverre
I could also start adding kitchen and other stuff as I can afford. At this rate, I should be able to get a new Econoline with extended back and penthouse for 35,000. Anyone else try this and greatly regret it, or have success?

Would I be that much better off buying a used cargo van and doing these mods myself as I can afford? Also, trying to thumb through the general info posts to get a grip particulars, I'm finding I come away with more questions than answers. Is there a newby set of articles that defines and lists the main things to consider. .
I did this, but I didn't buy a new one. Do you have any real need to buy a NEW van for this experiment? There are many great used ones out there, and the Econolines aren't much different from 2012 back to 2000 or so, and the same basic body style all the way back to 92. Econolines are everywhere, by any measure the most widely used vehicle in the U.S. for small fleets and service companies. They are pretty bulletproof and will stay together almost forever. That said, if you want to do this slowly yourself and expirement with size, modifications, etc. why buy a new one over a used one you could easily resell if it doesn't work out?

As far as articles, etc. defining the main things to consider, just start reading away in the ground-up builds section, or van body, or mods & accessories, etc. All of em practically. Spend some time on Sportsmobile's website looking at their VAST number of floorplans, they are very helpful as you consider your needs.

Or just ask away around here about specific ideas. We're all van nuts here.


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Old 04-21-2013, 07:32 PM   #32
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 24
Re: Sportsmobile realistic for family of five on a teacher s

Thank you for breaking it down for me. It really helps to hear the kinds of things I need to be set on from the start vs options I can figure out or change as I go. I like the Colorado camper van idea. I spoke with Derrick on the phone last month and he seems like a great guy. Honest and helpful. I also like the rooftop that sticks out, I think this would help accommodate the extra kid or three. As far as new vs used, here is my concern: I am looking at the only way I can afford this would be if I sold my current car, and financed a van, using it as my camper and daily drive. I'm thinking if I finance a new one, hopefully there will be very little maintenance costs. If I finance a used one and in addition to a monthly payment something big needs to be repaired I will be in a bad spot. I might be too young financially to afford this, but I want one dang it! I think I better get one with everything I need to start so I can roll it all into the car payment. Additional features probably will not happen for a while after the first purchase.

Probably the best move would be a used van/shell, CCv rooftop, then bench/bed back seat with one extra captains chair up front, then visit the SMB store to add the better parts as I can afford over the years.

Thank you all for your suggestions and tips. If anyone else has experience camping/owning a SMB with a young fam of five, and can weigh in on how you found the experience, please do.

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Old 04-21-2013, 10:39 PM   #33
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Location: Corvallis, OR
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Re: Sportsmobile realistic for family of five on a teacher s

FWIW - I bought my van only 4-yrs old and with only 105,000 miles from Enterprise ride share for only $12,500. The only pressing maintenance issue was spark plugs, since they were due at 100k and Enterprise just replaces the vans instead of losing a day of operations. The van was pretty much like-new, and came with extras like all captains chairs and reading lights for all seats, plus all maintenance records since new and a 150k powertrain warranty (which I never had to use).

Of course.... once I had the van the upgrades started. And now with 350,000 miles, I still have a very lengthy wish-list of items to add to the van still. And that's really what ends up costing the big bucks on these vans

2000 E450 dually V10 wagon
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