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Old 01-12-2017, 02:40 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by MountainBikeRoamer View Post

buying a used camper van, and then getting it brought up to speed....."is like buying (and attempting to renovate/restore) both a classic car AND an old apartment at the same time."

Now THAT is a signature worthy quote!!!

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Old 01-12-2017, 03:39 PM   #42
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From the sounds of it you may not know exactly what you need/want at this point so my suggestion would be to find a low cost fully built out SMB and use it for a bit.
Thanks, Ben, appreciate all the feedback and hearing about your experience. That really helps ease some of my concerns...guess I was just looking for some success stories with older SMB's. I'm definitely going to keep on the hunt for something similar to what you described - a good starter SMB.

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+2
buying a used camper van, and then getting it brought up to speed....."is like buying (and attempting to renovate/restore) both a classic car AND an old apartment at the same time."
That is a great quote, which I'm sure is very true...and, part of the reason that these things scare me so much. But, like Ben said, having the basic infrastructure from the start makes a big difference - can sort of fix and improve things as they pop up.

I think I'll continue to focus on an earlier SMB and hopefully I'll get lucky like MountainBikeRoamer and catch one the first day it's posted!
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Old 01-12-2017, 05:28 PM   #43
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There is some sage advice floating around on this thread, without a doubt. It's they way I've always pursued most hobbies and most certainly vans. The biggest thing, if you think you like the lifestyle, is to get one and get rolling! You can plan your uber-wicked $100k plus Sportsmobile or whatever after you learn what you really want. Anyway, I'm basically just repeating what's already been said so I'll quit but..........

As far as 'older' SMBs go, the interiors, appliances and tops of these things haven't changed much, well, ever. The upholstery is just different for the most part. I would strongly urge folks with it being 2017 to go with a 97 or newer Ford or Chevy if you can, I'm not well versed on Dodges. As for Sprinters the earliest ones we've seen are about 2005? so any of them are modern enough.

Here's why: These are big, heavy vehicles. Anything older than late 90's is going to be pre ABS, traction control, etc. etc. and is just not going to go, stop or handle anywhere near as well as that Japanese thing you drive to work every day. Sportsmobiles bring to mind long trips and offroad ventures for most, so try to go as new as you can but still not new new. I'm very happy with the late 90's/early 2000's Fords because they essentially haven't changed since then......at all. They are very comfortable to drive even for less courageous ladies or younger drivers.

Just a thought. That sweet vintage late 80's SMB might look cool but if you plan to put a lot miles on it you may regret not spending just a bit more.

YMMV

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Old 01-12-2017, 08:22 PM   #44
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Upgrading my 98 Ford's front end (brakes/suspension) to a take-off setup from a 2012 Ford was perhaps the best upgrade I've done to my van. Better brakes, swaybar, etc., for a relatively low cost. Definitely recommended if you get one of the older E-vans!
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Old 01-12-2017, 09:16 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by 86Scotty View Post

Anything older than late 90's is going to be pre ABS, traction control, etc. etc. and is just not going to go, stop or handle anywhere near as well as that Japanese thing you drive to work every day.

YMMV

...you forgot OBDII.....which was required in passenger cars in 1996 and light trucks shortly thereafter.....

Not having OBDII is a deal breaker for me....makes diagnosis quite simple most of the time.....or at least part of the time....OK some of the time
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Old 01-13-2017, 07:07 AM   #46
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Very true, and very important for me as well. Thanks for adding that.

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Old 01-13-2017, 07:36 AM   #47
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Good call on the OBDII - that thought hadn't even crossed my mind.

I agree that finding something around 97 or newer would be ideal.

Found this the other day...great mileage, but still seems steep:

https://sacramento.craigslist.org/rvd/5922229531.html
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Old 01-13-2017, 07:46 AM   #48
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Good call on the OBDII - that thought hadn't even crossed my mind.

I agree that finding something around 97 or newer would be ideal.

Found this the other day...great mileage, but still seems steep:

https://sacramento.craigslist.org/rvd/5922229531.html
Does seem a little steep to me as well, but personally I could never tolerate that floor plan, essentially with a huge divider splitting the floor plan in two.

That's where the balancing act comes in. A great price on a configuration that you don't really care for, or a high price on a configuration you can't live without.


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Old 01-13-2017, 08:04 AM   #49
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I don't love that floor plan either but floor plans are entirely subjective. That rig is at a dealer so of course it's overpriced. You could probably get it for $25k.

Psst - If you post links to SMBs on this site they disappear rather quickly.

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Old 01-13-2017, 08:17 AM   #50
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I don't love that floor plan either but floor plans are entirely subjective. That rig is at a dealer so of course it's overpriced. You could probably get it for $25k.

Psst - If you post links to SMBs on this site they disappear rather quickly.

Might be worth a call to see what they're willing to do. And, yeah, I know posting on here is a dangerous game, ha. But, it's been on CL for nearly a month...we'll see if they even have it still.
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