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Old 02-07-2022, 04:05 PM   #1
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Newbie researching what to buy

Hey there. Iím Sarah. Middle aged, married to a very handy guy, and looking to buy a van that can sleep 3. I want a van because Iím a bad driver and donít want anything bigger.

We donít want to spend $70k on a new van. We donít plan on using it enough to warrant spending that much. Our plan is to take it out for a week each summer and some long weekends throughout the year. Most likely at a campsite. But who knows if always at a campsite.

While my husband is more than capable of building one, a neck injury prevents him from doing that much manual labor.

So I would love to find something for $20k-30k. A van with a pop top so if we take our 20 yr old daughter along sheíll have a place to sleep.

I was so excited when I learned of these older vans. They have a backseat that folds out to a bed, a small kitchen, and a pop top so you can stand in the van and itís an extra sleeping area. Like the pleasure way traverse. But I quickly became confused.

Is the older sportsmobile made by pleasure way?
What is the difference between the traverse and sportsmobile?
Are the traverse Or sportsmobile regular vans that a company coverts?
Are there others that will meet my needs?

Thanks ahead of time for any info you can give a complete newbie!
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Old 02-07-2022, 05:12 PM   #2
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Best knowledge is gained by conducting some research so you have a visual of the differences - options on each vary based on what the initial owner felt important & budget.
You can start with these, but there are many sites where you'll find used ones listed (Craigs list, Facebook, RVT, Ebay, etc)
https://www.rvtrader.com/Sportsmobil...bile%7C4906233

https://www.rvtrader.com/Pleasure-Wa...SE%7C764847305

Your budget limits you since many of these go quickly and for substantially more...deals come up periodically so you'd have to have the funding in place to be a contender.
Good luck on your search.
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Old 02-07-2022, 07:01 PM   #3
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Is the older sportsmobile made by pleasure way? - No, they are not the same company.

What is the difference between the traverse and sportsmobile? - The Traverse is just one particular model made by Pleasure-Way that happens to have a canvas top that is in some ways similar to the one used by Sportsmobile. Pleasure-Way did (and still does) make many other models.

Are the traverse Or sportsmobile regular vans that a company coverts? - Yes, these are all regular, factory-built vans that these companies take in and convert into campers.

Are there others that will meet my needs? - Yes, the number of camper van models probably number in the hundreds. However, there aren't very many that have the "pop-top" you made mention of. Most are made with rigid fiberglass high tops.
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Old 02-08-2022, 08:59 AM   #4
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Your confusion is understandable, "Sportsmobile" is a loaded term. Formally, it's the name of a specific company that has been upfitting stock vans into camper vans for several decades, but since it was one of the first and most successful, it sometimes gets used as a generic term for all upfitted camper vans, especially on this forum.

Regarding your budget, your timing is unfortunate. Between the #vanlife craze (is it winding down yet? maybe a little?) and the supply chain shortages in new and used vehicles, van prices are extremely high. Due to the constrained space, every van design involves trade-offs and prioritizations. From your description, my first question is how important sleeping 3 really is? If a 3rd person is a rarity, you might consider hauling a tent or rigging up a board across the front seats as a significant savings.

Quote:
Are there others that will meet my needs?
You might consider a truck camper. They tend to be much cheaper than vans with similar amenities, about as easy to drive, and easier to get. The main downside is the separation between driving space and living space instead of one combined area.
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Old 02-08-2022, 09:10 AM   #5
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In that price range you might get lucky and score a 2wd Ford with a sportsmobile interior. Otherwise look for one of the Dodges, they don't hold value as well.

Other notable pop top options: Tiger Astro, Vanagon. Or just start trolling for an older class B.

For any of the options in that price range, being handy is pretty much mandatory.
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Old 02-08-2022, 09:50 AM   #6
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It's not clear to me whether you should be looking for a Sportsmobile, Sportsmobile clone, a Class B RV, or a minimal conversion of some sort. Your post doesn't sound like you're the adventurous, off-the-beaten-path type that typifies the Sportsmobile crowd.

Keep in mind that, the more extensive the "build", the less useful the van will be for around town use, hauling stuff, people, etc.

I'm not recommending any of these but here are examples of some of the non-Sportsmobile options:

https://sacramento.craigslist.org/ct...442241495.html

https://sacramento.craigslist.org/ct...437709398.html

https://sacramento.craigslist.org/ct...431256895.html
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Old 02-08-2022, 01:40 PM   #7
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Welp, here you go!
https://www.sportsmobileforum.com/fo...tml#post307331

@OP you might mention where you're located. Might help generate more relevant leads for you
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Old 02-08-2022, 05:45 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by motovan_mn View Post
Welp, here you go!
https://www.sportsmobileforum.com/fo...tml#post307331

@OP you might mention where you're located. Might help generate more relevant leads for you
Yep, I saw that too and thought of the OP, perfect candidate.
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Old 02-08-2022, 08:43 PM   #9
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I’m in New York.
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Old 02-08-2022, 08:57 PM   #10
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I would not call myself adventurous. But I don’t mind camping in a tent. Although that’s a once a year event for me. I thought if I had a van I’d be more likely to camp because of the convenience of it. I have the summers off and figured I might plant myself at some campsite with a lake or ocean for a few weeks. And then take a few long weekends. But the comment that we’d need to be handy has me a bit scared. Not that my husband couldn’t fix things, but if things are breaking routinely it might take all the fun out it. Thanks for all the feedback. I have lots to think about and consider.
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