Second Sportsmobile Super Soooz here
A little bit about me. I work for education and so I get the summers off. In my 30's, I joined a motorcycle club and became an avid camper using my BMW GS and then two VStroms. During part of that time, I bought a Sportsmobile pop up and ended up with an air cooled KL225 trials-ish, plated bike to put on a hitch. Took that around until I had my share injuries and eventually stopped riding motorcycles. I still van camped and now I am on my third one. Two of them were Sportsmobiles.
I had a 2001 Dodge Ram 350 that I put about 70K on it before selling it at around 120K to some dude who then flipped / resold it to a couple that ended up taking it all the way to Patagonia, Argentina from California. It was the pop up canvas type. I could not believe it had that much life left in it! Should have kept it and drove it around a few more years. Bought it in San Diego for 6,800 and sold it for $6,800 after just doing the usual tires, shocks and a few other things to it plus the maintenance. I took that all up and down California, the Rockies and lots of Nevada. It made its way to Baja a couple times too. It even went to Burning Man a few times! And yeah, that does speed up the rust on the underside a bit.
Now, I have another that I bought with 70K miles on it about four years ago. That's been up and down California and Nevada. I just took it to Saline Valley (now that the road is better) and it did just fine. The hard top is fantastic for stealth camping. The air conditioner is not working and was just here to download the specs for the two Starcool manuals that I found. It's the second day of summer and I want to try to fix it again. I am also going to do something about the oxidized color band that goes around the fiberglass. I am going to look to see what you guys did with your stipes on your oldies but goodies. I already worked on removing the stripes on the white van paint. I'm not showing you the results either since I f'd up on several places.
How much did I pay for my third van that is a Sportsmobile and the one I have now? 18K after bringing it down from 24. I had a hell of a time with the coils before I pushed a mechanic to go through the electrical from the coils down the line. Mechanics kept replacing the cracked coil plugs until I told the last one to go back into the shop and (like I asked), go look down the line till you find the reason for the skips and cracks. Fifteen minutes later, he called back to say he found copper wire sticking out of the line and then proceeded to rebuild that part for $700.00. Now that's fixed and so are some rusty spots that were fixed at a shop. I figured if the rust comes back in ten years, then I can buy a new van for a second life of vanning later on in my retirement. For 18K, I think I'm still ahead.
I am planning on retiring in one year and I'll be 58 years old. When I do that next June, may do a whole Van Life thing for a several months till I get sick of it. Then I will park her in front of my retirement house for regular use like I usually do now. I love taking off in my van and I sure hope that you guys use your vans like I do. I have seen so many wonderful places. We are so lucky, are we not? Tell you what, though. The gas prices are hard to reason with when it comes to a short three or four day stint up and over the Sierras or down to Big Sur or just past Mt Tam. Is basically twice the price right now. Everyone pray and touch kiss their parking fairies for relief on the gas prices, please!
Proud member of the Oakland Motorcycle Club
Weekends were made for adventures. Weekdays were made for chores and getting ready for the weekend.