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Old 05-29-2016, 04:27 AM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Just right of the big pond on the left...
Posts: 76
First build thoughts

Long time lurker and getting serious about picking up a van for a first build. I have caught the bug and have been surfing here and checking out the SMB site and sponging up all I can.

Not sure if this should be in a different place but here's my thoughts. If this should be somewhere else my apologies, please move it.

First off I'm looking to keep this as stealthy as possible as I'll be using it occasionally at work and it needs to blend in and not look too much like an RV when parked at the mall or whatever.

So far I really like the 50 layout and am leaning towards the RB in favor of the extra maneuverability and offroadability (<--- totally cromulent word).

I don't want the popup top because I want to maintain stealth and don't want to chance any leaks.

Undecided on which 4x4 (quadvan, SMB, ujoint...). I won't be doing anything serious, the main thing is getting over the pass through the snow in the winter. Other than that will be mild wheeling just to explore. Most important is ride quality and driveability on the roads. Looking at a small lift to clear 33's. I think this will give me the clearance for the 4x4 while still maintaining that somewhat stock work truck look.

Wanting to put probably 3 - 100 watt panels up top with at least one if not two fantastic vents. I know it's a give away but it's a must. Not sure on the battery inside, that sort of leads me to my questions below.

Of course the Aluminess bumper with the spare tire and locker box, again a give away but it's a must I think. And a front mounted hitch.

I plan on touring the SMB factory soon and will be asking a ton of questions but does anyone know how flexible they are as far as using custom wiring, fridge size? Will they install fantastic vents, solar panels, and dynamat?

Sorry for the long post. Insight is always appreciated.


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Old 05-29-2016, 04:36 AM   #2
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Just right of the big pond on the left...
Posts: 76
Also, forgot to I'm cruising TruckTrader and others I'm seeing very new, say 2014's, with super low miles from work vehicle rentals companies. I know they were probably abused but I'd also expect that they would have more miles. You know, sell just before warranty expires. I'm seeing like...

Hengehold Trucks | For Sale - 2014 Ford E250 Econoline Cargo Van - XLT

Any thoughts on something like that? Price seems high but I'm considering taking a look.

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Old 05-29-2016, 08:25 AM   #3
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Posts: 426
Be sure to check out Agile for the 4x4 conversion.

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2002 LX470 expo ready
2008 Ford E350 EB V10 4x4 Sportsmobile PH top
Custom off road trailer
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Old 06-03-2016, 07:32 PM   #4
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Just right of the big pond on the left...
Posts: 76
Definately. I think Agile as at the top of my list right now. Had to rule out ujoint only because they're a bit too far away.

I still need to research a little more the differences between SMB, Quadvan, and Agile. I've read a few threads on here,only a billion and three more to go....
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Old 06-04-2016, 08:23 AM   #5
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 439
Don't rule out UJOR as there are a bunch of shops who've done the conversion all over the western US. I did mine in my driveway over 2 weeks and I'm an avg do it yourself guy with no special tools/lift or anything. Besides Chris' support and instructions/videos were super helpful and simple for the DIY'r. Just sayin'...

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2002 EB51 7.3L w/ Stage 2- UJoint 6" 4x4 Conversion
2001 RB50 V10 Quigley- SOLD
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Old 06-05-2016, 04:04 PM   #6
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Location: SE Washington
Posts: 880
It might be more stealthy to have the EB van, and keep the stock rear bumper?
2009 E250 RB 5.4L "SilVan"
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Old 06-06-2016, 06:39 PM   #7
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Salt Lake City
Posts: 74
In my book no such thing as a "stealth rig". A person can be stealthy but park any full size rig in a spot it isn't everyday and it is out of place. However, SMB's/campervans are parked on the street and in parking lots everyday. Does that mean someone is sleeping in them all? nope. The big question is does anyone care? Don't give them one.

Having or/not having a poptop will not make you more stealth. Unless you have no windows, a pad lock on the cargo doors and a partition. Everyone knows the gig if you have a shorepower or water connection, a fantastic fan, conversion windows. You're not fooling anyone. Build the rig you want.

If you want to be stealth, then be stealthy: climb in the rig quick and quiet, don't use lights, don't put up more curtains than during driving, sleep below the window line, get to sleep quick/wake early, and don't fog up the windows. Do all that and it likely doesn't matter what you're driving, you'll probably be left alone for a night or two.
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Previous Rig: 1996 EB Dodge with Contempo Top
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Old 06-12-2016, 10:19 PM   #8
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4x4 van=not stealthy.

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