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Old 04-29-2021, 12:31 PM   #11
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Yea,don't get me wrong, I liked my vans also for those reasons. But.... the EVIL
Wood Rats like it better. 5K in damage Now when it's off the truck on the sawhorses the little bast......s can't get to it. Plus..... I've said MANY times how I feel about the 6.0.
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Old 04-29-2021, 12:45 PM   #12
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I am also firmly in the van camp for the above reasons.

The van provides the most usable interior space for the given vehicle outside size. The diagram below shows an RB E-350 cutaway overlaid on a F-350. Note how the shortened hood of the E-350 buys you a couple extra feet (21") of interior space, and that doesn't even include the fact that the cab gets re-used as camping living space in the van. An EB van would be about the same length as the F-350. Why do pickup trucks need such giant hoods?



But, of course, with a 4x4 van you pay the cost (reliability, and $$$) of a custom conversion rather than a tried-and-true factory 4x4 system.
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Old 04-30-2021, 06:01 AM   #13
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Thank you all for the great feedback! I sold the camper. Now shopping for a van. Am the high bidder on an auction. Will see how it goes. I agree, that a van would be more useful for me than a camper truck, mainly because of the pass-through and lower center of gravity, along with more usable floor space.
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Old 04-30-2021, 09:57 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by geoffff View Post
I am also firmly in the van camp for the above reasons.

The van provides the most usable interior space for the given vehicle outside size. The diagram below shows an RB E-350 cutaway overlaid on a F-350. Note how the shortened hood of the E-350 buys you a couple extra feet (21") of interior space, and that doesn't even include the fact that the cab gets re-used as camping living space in the van. An EB van would be about the same length as the F-350. Why do pickup trucks need such giant hoods?



But, of course, with a 4x4 van you pay the cost (reliability, and $$$) of a custom conversion rather than a tried-and-true factory 4x4 system.
Geoff that's a very succinct version of my lifelong conundrum, and I know I'm not alone. I really dig the overlay too. It makes me a bit dizzy but it also clears a lot up. In this case, a picture is worth a lot more than a thousand words.

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Old 04-30-2021, 10:26 AM   #15
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The second biggest reason for going with a van,,,,it gets the babes.
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Old 04-30-2021, 10:30 AM   #16
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The second biggest reason for going with a van,,,,it gets the babes.
Oh boy, I'm swinging back to truck then. I've had one babe for twenty something years and don't want another. That's not being harsh, she'd likely say the same.
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Old 04-30-2021, 11:46 AM   #17
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Hi Everyone!

I am a noob on this forum. Sold my Sprinter because it got stuck everywhere. It was a dually and I live in MN. Had it completely converted to a nice home on wheels. Well I sold it and bought a 2008 Ram 4x4 with a 90s camper on it. Put a lift, some Timbrens and K02s along with a Hellwig sway bar. Now she goes anywhere, (almost lol). Well, I'm just not happy about how heavy it is, and am looking for a Ford diesel E350 van to convert. About to pull the trigger on one. My question is, with all I will have to invest to convert it to a 4x4, then the camper conversion, Am I really going to love it more than my camper truck? Your opinions would really help.

Well if you had a Sprinter you probably have seen the differences as far as camping goes compared to a pickup camper. How big is your camper? Having to crawl out of the camper to get something in the truck cab is an issue for me. Access getting in and out is probably my biggest gripe with a P/U camper and why I prefer the SMB 50 type build with side barn doors. Everybody has different needs. I do prefer my electric pop top. Makes the living space feel more roomy compared to a hard top IMO and I enjoy the open feeling of the large windows when sleeping. Usually I use the top bed to sleep and gear in the back...YMMV. Not sure how your sprinter was build, but my passenger chair in my Ford rotates and another must have for my needs. I also use my awning often which is a big plus having easy access to the living area. I often set up the awning with sides and use a propane fire pit during bad weather or even with snow on the ground to warm up and enjoy the evening.


Unless you build a very basic campervan, weight can be more than a pickup/camper. My van weighs about 11.5K loaded up with fuel water and equipment when I'm by myself. I take my van on some fairly rough trails but there is a limit compared to a Jeep. I do think a pickup has a huge advantage for off road extraction over a heavy van if there is a need to be towed out of rough area. Other than my 6.0 shutting down in the middle of nowhere, having to be towed off a bad trail is always a concern of mine. EDIT there are some nice pop top type 4x4 campers out there I have been looking at.
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Old 05-02-2021, 11:05 AM   #18
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Amen to that, and after 30 years with Uncle Sam....I too would go for my van every time! Good Luck to you!
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Old 05-02-2021, 12:00 PM   #19
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It is really going to be on how you plan to use it. I've had a PopUp camper on a 1 ton crew cab short bed and currently have a 2003 SMB RB.

Pickup Truck Pros:
1) Can separate house from truck to use truck for other purposes
2) Long wheel base for towing and road travel
3) Many trim options, electronics, drive modes, etc.
4) Can decided between diesel / gas and transmission options (at least with Ford)


Van Pros:
1) Shorter overall length
2) Shorter wheelbase, better approach, departure, and brake over angles for off road use
3) Shorter and sloped hood for more visibility when offroad and more living space
4) With pivot seats, the cab creates open space with the living space
5) More open to the outside with big side doors and rear doors
6) For Ford's new e350 cutaway chassis, you get a 40 gallon tank.

I like the Van as I feel we can cruise on fast highways, pass when we need to, but have more capability for the places we like to go. It's just a more open feel when driving, when camping, when loading.

I did love my truck camper too. However, it was more difficult for my dog getting in and out of the truck , and yes, getting in and out of the bed Both Options are a terrific way to go, but one will be a little better for your style and travel plans.
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Old 05-02-2021, 04:01 PM   #20
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Consider the difficulty and costs of repair and maintenance of the van motor. It is stuffed into a very tight space and much of the motor is hard to get to leading to expensive labor costs. Also, the batteries are hung underneath and are hard to inspect and replace
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