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Old 11-21-2020, 02:20 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Boise, ID
Posts: 6
Idaho Peeps Here

Hey Everyone,
Guess I should have made this post awhile back.

Located in Boise, ID. I am the father of two wicked smart girls that love to rip on wheels and sticks. They are 6 and 8 and their biggest goal in winter is to steal my powder turns. We have been into Int. Scouts and Toyo Landcruisers...well since I was 16. Now we are looking for our first van. We love to ski, want to sleep at/near resorts and limit our lodge interactions. One b/c lodge food is usually expensive and crappy, and two, I work with COVID-19 patients and would just rather keep my interactions with the public low to keep everyone safe as possible. I'm not reckless and take extra precautions at work, I just feel like a ticking time bomb at times.

As the girls will likely join ski and mountain bike teams, we need a mobile base. Especially to chill and drink the beer my brother and I brew at Broke Brothers Brewing LLC. (Neighborhood nano-brewery) while the kids finish up their day.

-4x4 is required, lockers are nice, but not nec.
-I love the EB - since I will be rolling with my wife and 2 -girls (think lots of crap to bring) - but I'm open to RB. prefer more of an open plan.
- prefer forward facing seats for the kids
- not looking at DRW - driven too many ambulances on the snow
-Needs to have Thule/Yakima rack capabilities for ski box or other capable mode of ski transport. Not opposed to installing this myself.
-Rear furnace a big deal, not opposed to installing an ESPAR/furnace for the right van ($$).
- I'm hesitant on 6.0L, but that is b/c my best friend's SMB has one and he just keeps pouring money into the engine. Bulletproofing is helpful. The wife is worried about the economy of the V10 so I don't know what is best at this point.
- I'm only considering pop-tops at this point.
-tow hitch rq, but also not opposed to installing it for the right van
-Other features we love: hot water, ext. shower, solar, microwave, stovetop, fridge, swing-out spare, gen box, winch bumper. Lower mileage will get the head nod from the wife real quick.

Over the past several months I have looked at over 100 vans and driven a few. This market is crazy! Asking prices tend to be all over the place, esp in the $50-75k range. Anyway, Cheers all!

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Old 11-22-2020, 02:02 AM   #2
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Location: iowa
Posts: 661
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Well, you could tell your wife v-8, v-10 whatever it takes....it all gets under 12mpg so it really doesn't matter eh? The REAL question is inventory...there are so many folks plopping down cash for vans so fast I always apply the "money talks, BS walks" attitude if it is really something you want....like buying a house...whats $5-10K more if you really want it? If you plan to use it 5-10 years, will it be worth that over that time? Will the van craze still be out there? Will SMB's still be holding their value b/c they just become more and more "classic" (and) as there will be parts for E series YEARS to come? I don't know...just look for something close and buy it! You'll never look back...well probably...

'13 MDX 'BigBlackmobeebs'
'01 Lexus 430 LS 'Luxobeebs
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Old 11-22-2020, 08:31 AM   #3
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Location: West Central Mountains, Idaho
Posts: 229
From what you've described as the intended use for your van (primarily winter camping with four people and lots of gear) I'm actually thinking an E-350 may not be the ideal rig. For starters, it will be tight to squeeze you all in. Then you're planning on preparing meals and using the "bathroom" facilities with a family of four? I've got a 2001 and find it more of a three season rig when it comes to the water system(s). When planning to camp in freezing temperatures, I do not use either the fresh water or grey water systems (have had plumbing issues with both due to freezing and broken parts).

It's great that you have a friend with a SMB to get a feel for the size and fitment of a family of four. I personally think that you'll find it too small for comfortable winter excursions and if your wife isn't comfortable......???

Best of luck with your search and with the list of wants/needs you've listed a van in the 65K+ range seems inevitable.

2001 Sportsmobile RB50 7.3
West Central Mountains, Idaho
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Old 11-22-2020, 08:34 AM   #4
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Location: TN
Posts: 8,734
Glad you're ok. I doubt you'll get the bumper back good enough to suit you. Probably just replace or totally rebuild.

Prepare to get sued. It's just the norm these days. How many people in the other vehicle? Were they totally and completely fine, because a few days later they'll decide they aren't. I've had it happen. It's infuriating.
Currently vanless. Weird.

Real name Eric
Finally found a pic of my first camper,
a 1986 Serro Scotty
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Old 11-22-2020, 04:02 PM   #5
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Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Boise, ID
Posts: 6
We definitely plan on four season camping. We currently sleep all four in the back of my first gen Tundra, sleeping platform over the wheel wells. I fully understand winterizing plumbing, etc. I have come a long way from sleeping under a tarp in the back of my Tacoma in a snow storm just to get the goods. We are an adventuring family, kids started skiing at 16 months, backpacking at 2 yrs, full on mtn biking now at 6 and 8. I foresee trips to Moab, white rim, Whistler, big sky, you name it, spring summer, fall winter. We also live to explore the backcountry roads. I’d put my wife’s ability to rough it up against anyone. We have done numerous self-guided raft trips, hunting camps, winter yurts. I guess the point I was making is that if I’m looking at spending $60-80k on a vehicle, does it make sense that I would get something I would have to use our buddy heater before spending a few more grand on a furnace?
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Old 11-22-2020, 09:39 PM   #6
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Oregon
Posts: 1,143
Your plans with your kids sound like a blast. And not too different from mine, with all the skiing, four season fun and all. A couple of thoughts:

- def go for an EB if you can find it. I have the RB and the extra length inside really gives you options. If parking is an issue - as it was for me - then the RB is great.

- avoid the 6.0 unless youíre interested in and skillful at engines/bulletproofing. Itís just a hassle.

- If your budget is $50-75K, youíre looking at an older model, for sure. Mine is a 2014 and I already have $75K+ into the van+build. If youíve looked at !00 vans, you probably already know this. I wanted a ďnewerĒ van that would give me fewer problems, so I paid the price for the base unit. If youíre okay with age = potential problems, and the ability to fix them/pay for fixing them, youíre in the ballpark.

- a current quote for a Webasto house heater is $3500. Donít worry too much about adding it. Itíll save you from holding out for one that has it. Propane is ok, as long as the system is good. Be prepared for moisture inside. But youíre also looking for hot water. That will mean that youíll be mostly built out inside, so youíll need to be careful about room for 4 sleeping. If you forego the hot water, your choices of floor plans may be expanded i.e., not limited to the full build-out of a Sportsmobile plan.

- tow hitch receivers, racks, gen boxes, swing out tire carriers, are all relatively easy/cheap to add. Bumpers with winches, not so much.

- I wouldnít make fuel economy a consideration. If it is, you probably need to go with a Sprinter and forego the Econoline. The V10 vs the 8 isnít really all that much difference We all hover around 10-12 mpg when all the extras are added on.

- in all, I would say, the older you go, the more likely youíll find all/most of the things you want. Pay more for a newer model.

Good luck with your search! You guys will have a blast!
"PhoTo" - 2014 Ford E350 5.4L RB - Agile 4x4 - CCV Poptop
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Old Yesterday, 09:20 PM   #7
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 440
Welcome bud,you might want to consider a small tear drop trailer with snow chains haha for the kids so in between feedings you and wifey can relax and move around a little as well? Plus no offense but kids want their own space these says so they can be all secretive on the web

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