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Old 02-26-2019, 02:22 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 130
Just Joined -- Co

Hello all, I just joined, and if I am honest, it was to PM a member in the classifieds about buying their rig. But since I am here, and whether directly via this forum or another means a SMB type rig is 100% in our future, I wanted to say hi.

My son was born with a rare and severe disability. We have been rather house bound for 7 years now and the love of camping and being out and exploring just hasnt gone away so we are looking for a vehicle that we can make a mobile base camp and provide all the needs for our son while being able to camp and explore.

The only overlanding based rig that seems right is a SMB style van, but for us it needs to be the right interior layout and 4x4. this makes things a bit more difficult, but we are keeping our eyes open and a forum like this seems like the right place to stay connected to the community and watch for the right rig.

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Old 02-26-2019, 02:52 PM   #2
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Location: Southern New Mexico
Posts: 10,186
A previous member here, Disabled Explorers, had a nicely setup van that he used to get mobility limited people out in the wilderness. Believe he sold the van some years ago, but if you look up his posts, you may get some inspiration.

SMB-less as of 02/04/2012. Our savings account is richer, but our adventures are poorer.
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Old 02-26-2019, 03:30 PM   #3
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Welcome. There are several companies out there offering mobility chairs/jump seats that can be installed in floor mounted/recessed l tracks. Lots of versatility with l track. Definitely worth exploring as you begin the build process.

AbiliTrax Van Seating for Wheelchair Vans, Commercial Vans & Passenger Vans
2014 Ford RB-50
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Old 02-26-2019, 04:43 PM   #4
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Location: Maryland
Posts: 3,406
Welcome aboard! Family will certainly benefit from the versatility of a Sportsmobile (or similar). Lot of nice Rigs on the market lately, and if you remain creative you may find a couple simple adjustments to an existing van may deliver the layout functionality you're hoping to acquire.
If you clarify what your needs are, I'm sure you'll entice members to deliver suggestions & ideas that may help accomplish your goal - lot of useful people here!
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Old 02-26-2019, 10:05 PM   #5
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Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
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Thanks for the warm welcome, its looking very likely I am on the trail of a solid purchase but will update with details next week once the deal goes through :-)

Critical pieces for me in the layout is a rear bed or bench that folds to a bed, third captains chair, bench just behind driver, or room to add one and solid house battery setup to run the requisite equipment my son needs (portable oxygen concentrator, 02/heartrate monitor, suction etc) and small fridge (dorm style, dometic/arb style, or similar) -- about 300 - 400 AH of battery with a decent solar setup and charging from the engine are the minimum, I will add a shore power connection and possibly a small onan rv generator later.

The captains chair is somewhat flexible so long as the floor plan allows me to add one (I have a good local fabricator that can do that for me simply enough). I think I have found a great van though, has 90% of the items I mentioned, a good price, and a straightforward enough internal setup that I can pick up where the current owner left off and make it the perfect setup for my family. We are very excited. This has been a dream and something in the planning stages for a long time now. Just had to wait for the finances and available vans to line up :-).
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Old 02-27-2019, 08:35 AM   #6
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Welcome Renegade! I love what you're doing here. Please keep sharing your journey with us.

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Old 02-27-2019, 11:53 AM   #7
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Location: Colorado Springs, CO
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Hi Scotty,

We certainly will. This dream of overlanding and exploring the many cool areas of our region and the US as a whole, has been a long long time coming and already started in other forms. The love of SMB started 5+ years ago when I started realized we would likely need a handicapped van for our kiddo. The rub is I dont like to do anything "standard" or "by convention" so when I found SMB did 4x4 conversions and non-standard interiors without the huge size of most RV type setups it was a perfect fit ... till I saw the price :-)

We have been able to manage with our Honda Pilot till recently as our son's condition as progressed. We now have more stuff to support his care and as he is bigger, a van is becoming necessary. For me, I would rather invest in a dream vehicle than buy just another van. So ... here we are. We have enough savings to make a solid purchase and then continue to invest in the platform over time.

Overlanding love started about 2 years ago when I bought a 1956 Willys Wagon with dreams of that being something we could use to explore in as a family. It turned out to not be the platform we hoped but we still have it -- just finished a 5.3L LS Swap on it so that is turning into a daily driver/grocery getter when we dont want to take out the van.

We intend to tell our story and track our adventures online via a website I have yet to build so I wont be linking it here yet, but I am sure I will cross-post a fair amount of our adventures here too. I am old school, and forums are cozy and comfy for me lol.

As I said above I dont like to do things "by convention" hence the moniker, renegade overland. Most of my family and friends down understand the financial side to investing in a classic like the willys or a 4x4 converted van platform like an SMB or similar. My wife and I have, however, embraced the renegade life. Our willys is named "Renegade Wagon" or "Ren" for short and the van is going to be called "Renegade Explorer" or "RenEx" for short.

Thanks again for the warm welcome I hope to settle in more as we look and hopefully soon purchase the van to get us started :-)
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Old 03-19-2019, 10:22 PM   #8
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Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 130
I realized I never followed up. I picked up my new overlanding/adventure van (1998 E350 7.3 -- Agile Offroad 4x4) 2 weeks ago from bemerritt in San Clamente. The drive home was great and my wife and I are already designing and planning next steps :-)
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Old 03-20-2019, 07:45 AM   #9
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Location: FL and VA
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Congrats, sounds like a great start.
2008 GMC 3500 Quigley Weldtec 4x4 Savana SMB
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Old 03-20-2019, 08:21 AM   #10
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Location: SF Bay Area, CA
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Congrats on the purchase and I'd love to see some pics of the Willys too!

- 2005 EB50 6.0PSD - SMB 4x4
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