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Old 12-12-2019, 10:52 AM   #1
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Oregon Vanner

Ok, so I am doing this a little backwards. I have been lurking on this site for a long time since 2015, but with all of the help that I recently got from the group I wanted to introduce myself properly. Vanning for me started with a 1969 Dodge A100 that I used to haul motorcycles around that I restore and race. But when my wife and I learned that we were having a child, it was time to find something that was safer, more reliable, and certainly more comfortable.



Our search eventually led us to a 1994 E150 Winnebago conversion, the McVansion. It was no Sportsmobile, but in my mind it was a great starting point for a comfy camper that needed a few things. We removed a captains chair, kept the gaucho, removed some of the cabinets for better storage, added a swivel base to the front seat, an ARB awning, of course some went up to 32" tires.



We hit the road, did a tour of Norther California to Lassen and surrounding areas.



Back in Oregon, we used the van for camping and hauling motorcycles around. I love vintage motocross and trials, so the van was a fixture of PNW races (I restore and race British bikes, Greeves is my brand of choice for all of you moto nerds).



The van did amazing. After a new radiator and water pump, we really never had to do any major repairs and we really felt that having a van was an important part of our family, and our adventures were a worthwhile investment.



The last two years, we made trips out to the Alvord Desert with friends to camp and explore. On our last trip, I told my friends that I wanted to go everywhere that they go...them in their Jeeps and 4wd overland vehicles, and us in our McVansion. They did not go easy! We followed them all around the edge of the playa, and got stuck twice requiring some winching. But I appreciated their willingness to include us in the fun (off roadrers LOVE the chance to pratice using their recovery gear).







Our last trip in the van was to Canada. We took the ferry across to Vancouver Island and explored for 5 days, camping all the way. Since my wife is pregnant again (due any day), we spent the trip imagining this van setup with two kids...and as we drove home we both decided that we needed a bigger van, or at least a different setup. When we got home, we drew plans for gutting the interior and doing a whole new build out...but it just kept costing more and more and it would have taken us forever to complete. Never delay your adventures if you don't have to!

So we listed the van for sale, thinking that we could sell it and then be ready when the right van came our way. Well...I was not prepared for the van selling 2 hours after I listed it. I experience some depression, some sleepless nights...wondering if we will ever be able to find a van to replace it! I posted on here that I was looking, and I got some great feedback from people who were selling or just offering advice. We have found a new van to replace ours, which I will post about later. But thank you for welcoming me into your community, and i cannot wait to share more adventures!
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Old 12-12-2019, 01:27 PM   #2
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Great story and looks like you used the van to its maximum potential. Excited to see what the new van has in store for you and the growing family
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Old 12-13-2019, 04:50 AM   #3
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Yeah, great story. Congrats on finding a new van. Look forward to reading about it.
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Old 12-19-2019, 12:44 PM   #4
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This looks very similar to the Van I am looking at, do you have interior photos by chance? Curious to see how you laid it out.
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Old 12-20-2019, 05:40 PM   #5
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Hey I looked for some interior shots and I couldn’t find any! Sorry....but we had a side facing gaucho in the rear and then one captain chair behind the driver seat. I have been watching the comments on your first post, and I have to agree that...if I were you...I would either get an e150 that is nicer and use it as a 2wd van for a while. Or, wait for an e250/350 if you want to convert to 4wd.

I bought my e150 for $2200 with 160k miles and it had a house battery, inverter, camper setup etc...I then spent $1500-2000 to get it up to mechanical snuff for me. I sold it for $4500 but it was because of the upgrades that I was able to sell for that.

We toyed with the idea of a lift, LSD, etc but decided that for the cost it would make more sense to just buy a newer e350 so that’s what we did. I am glad we started with our van and so that’s why I encourage you jump into vanning at whatever level you can, but also...don’t settle. Get a good rig that you can trust. I hope that helps!
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Old 12-22-2019, 11:26 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by lmpetersen View Post
Hey I looked for some interior shots and I couldnít find any! Sorry....but we had a side facing gaucho in the rear and then one captain chair behind the driver seat. I have been watching the comments on your first post, and I have to agree that...if I were you...I would either get an e150 that is nicer and use it as a 2wd van for a while. Or, wait for an e250/350 if you want to convert to 4wd.

I bought my e150 for $2200 with 160k miles and it had a house battery, inverter, camper setup etc...I then spent $1500-2000 to get it up to mechanical snuff for me. I sold it for $4500 but it was because of the upgrades that I was able to sell for that.

We toyed with the idea of a lift, LSD, etc but decided that for the cost it would make more sense to just buy a newer e350 so thatís what we did. I am glad we started with our van and so thatís why I encourage you jump into vanning at whatever level you can, but also...donít settle. Get a good rig that you can trust. I hope that helps!
Yeah I agree. I was a little bummed out at first but I understand that everyone just wanted to help me out by informing me of a better choice which I do appreciate. The wife and I are now searching for a 250 or 350
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Old 12-26-2019, 11:45 AM   #7
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Great story!
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Old 12-26-2019, 02:31 PM   #8
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Welcome! Great Story
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Old 01-01-2020, 03:50 PM   #9
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Our new van

Well I promised I would update. Thanks to this forum, we found our forever van, a 2011 EB Sportsmobile. I had several replies to my thread about seeking a van and one person had actually built a van EXACTLY the way we would have and he lived 13 miles from us. So after looking at it, we just took the plunge. It has the hard vinyl floors, a rear fold down bed with forward facing seating for the kids, three swivel captain chairs, and most importantly a penthouse top. We love it, and already took it up to the local ski resort for a day of skiiing. What a difference! Regarding price, I know that this site is often used for pricing them so I am happy to answer questions via private message, but we paid fair market value (base model, plus upgrades) and were willing to in order to avoid having to our own build. Time spent using it is worth something.

Future modifications include:

- rear tire swing out
- awning (already ordered awning and brackets from 1der)
- more interior lights
- ARB intensity lights(once you have them on another vehicle you canít not have them)
- roof box
- and maybe eventually 4wd, although thatís a ways out.





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Old 01-01-2020, 04:27 PM   #10
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Looking good man! That is an awesome find for sure!
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