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Old 08-22-2012, 09:41 AM   #1
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All Terrain Warriors and Sportsmobile West Partnership

http://www.expeditionportal.com/vehi...rtnership.html


All Terrain Warriors
http://www.allterrainwarriors.com.au...tor-homes.html
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:17 AM   #2
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Re: All Terrain Warriors and Sportsmobile West Partnership

Excellent news for my desire to explore and camp in remote areas, but likely traumatic for my wallet.

The SMB is ideal for family road trips and the more rugged exploring I enjoy doing solo or with my kids. But I have always known that to get my wife on board for extended trips, I'd need more comfort than the SMB.

There aren't many options for off road capable and relatively comfortable vehicles. I know of ER, GXV and hopefully with this partnership, SMB enters that category.

R
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Old 08-23-2012, 06:55 AM   #3
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Re: All Terrain Warriors and Sportsmobile West Partnership

Too bad SMB isn't looking at the F650 platform (I know, a different animal all together). You can get that platform with a 6.7L Cummins and a six speed manual transmission.


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Old 08-23-2012, 09:11 AM   #4
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Re: All Terrain Warriors and Sportsmobile West Partnership

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Originally Posted by BroncoHauler
Too bad SMB isn't looking at the F650 platform (I know, a different animal all together). You can get that platform with a 6.7L Cummins and a six speed manual transmission.


Herb
Herb,

I'm no expert on the strengths and weaknesses of various platforms. But all I've read suggests that the 6.7psd has been a success for Ford. For me, that is a neutral to positive purchase consideration with an F-450 platform.

My recollection is that the F-450 only comes with a dual real wheel setup. I wonder if they will be converting these to a SRW configuration?

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Old 08-23-2012, 12:07 PM   #5
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Re: All Terrain Warriors and Sportsmobile West Partnership

Curious. I'm guessing Sportsmobile is doing this as one way to investigate new strategies now that the Ford E-Series (RIP 2013) and other traditional American full-size vans are coming to an end. Am I right here?

The ATW looks pretty rugged (& cushy inside), but I think it's a tad large for exploring wooded areas. The old RB Ford E-series van really hits that sweet spot of being as large as possible while still fitting down overgrown tree-lined logging roads (& turning around when needed) -- and also into a standard parking space. Not too wide or long.

While the ATW gains some space efficiency by using a FC truck as a platform, and has a nice pass-through to the truck-cab driver area (something most pickup truck-based platforms don't seem to have), it still doesn't really take advantage of that cab space as living space when camping like the van-based Sportsmobile does -- with turn-around seats etc..



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Old 08-23-2012, 12:13 PM   #6
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Re: All Terrain Warriors and Sportsmobile West Partnership

I take some of that back. The custom-bodied ATV "Conquerer" does take advantage of the front cab space as living space with seats that turn around:



That's a beautiful-looking machine!



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Old 08-23-2012, 12:29 PM   #7
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Re: All Terrain Warriors and Sportsmobile West Partnership

That thing looks like it belongs on the Moon. Very cool and rugged looking. It looks like it has a pretty narrow wheelbase though. I wonder how it handles freeway speeds. The ability to cruise safely under control at freeway speeds and be a competent off road vehicle is another thing the E-van does well.

Competent off road vehicle within reason that is. It's not a 72 Toyata FJ40 don't ya know.
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:41 PM   #8
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Re: All Terrain Warriors and Sportsmobile West Partnership

Quote:
Originally Posted by BroncoHauler
Too bad SMB isn't looking at the F650 platform (I know, a different animal all together). You can get that platform with a 6.7L Cummins and a six speed manual transmission.


Herb
well if it mounts on an F450, it'll mount on an F650. Frame rail width, cab-axle lengths, and of course the cabs are all the same. The F650 has better visibly and even better turning than the 450/550. The engine-driven air compressor is really nice too.

One of our trucks is a F650/Cummins/6MT. I like driving it, but our other drivers don't. You are in 4th gear by 35 MPH, so driving around town = lots of shifting. The Allison 6-speed should be a good combo. One of our 650s has the 5AT, but its gradability is not as good, so it can stall out if you don't rally it on logging roads . Our next F650's will probably V10's however, and I'm looking forward to seeing how a V10/6AT performs.

One problem with the F650 for an off-road camper is height. A 4x4 F650 is getting WAY up there, and by that point I suspect low tree limbs would really limit where you could go.
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:52 PM   #9
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Re: All Terrain Warriors and Sportsmobile West Partnership

I am looking forward to seeing what they do with the F-450. Maybe kind of an updated version of the Provan Tiger?

What I love about the E-350 Sportsmobile is the smaller size and weight compared to the Earthroamer / GXV. I also love the way a Sportsmobile looks.

That moon unit looking thing is not for me. . .

I do know that with the E-350 cancelation, Sportsmobile better get it right, or they will end up just one of innumerable Mercedes Sprinter van converters.

Best,

Ed
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:35 PM   #10
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Re: All Terrain Warriors and Sportsmobile West Partnership

To me price point is the biggest issue. $80k-$125k is a sweet spot for a dedicated 4X4 camper in my opinion. Over that and you start running out of potential customer's quickly. Look at EarthRoamer, they are barely making it with a $200k+ platform.

I'm assuming the new cabs will not be as customizable as the current platform, probably 3-4 layouts with standard and optional items. There are going to be considerable costs in transporting them from Australia. The Australian dollar is strong so no benefit from currency conversion. ATW needs to make money, SMB needs to make money, don't know how they can possibly sell them for less than $150k.

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