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Old 11-23-2010, 03:23 PM   #11
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Re: SMB-W Nissan Van 4x4 Camper Conversion Coming??

I think they are kind of ugly myself. It really all depends on how useful the chassis is. I do not understand why it would need to be "converted" to 4x4. It shares the Titan chassis and that can be had in a 4x4 already. Maybe we just misunderstood and it is "Convert a 4x4" not "Convert to 4x4"

I think it looks better as a regular top maybe okay with a pop-up?


This could be interesting...

Can you say Slideout?


Thi last concept is actually close to something I was thinking about for my Van. I was looking at a BedSlide on CL from a Shortbed PU (6') that is rated at 1200lbs and still able to slide at that. It would just fit behind where I have my rear seat mounts...
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Old 11-23-2010, 05:35 PM   #12
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Re: SMB-W Nissan Van 4x4 Camper Conversion Coming??

It will be interesting to see what happens. I wouldn't mind having the reliability of a Nissan that's for sure. My 01 Xterra has been put through hell off road and has 148,000 miles on it. It's been in the shop 2 times, one for a recall in 01' and the other for a timing chain preventative replacement at 110k miles.
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Old 11-23-2010, 08:03 PM   #13
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Re: SMB-W Nissan Van 4x4 Camper Conversion Coming??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bones_GSXR
....Maybe we just misunderstood and it is "Convert a 4x4" not "Convert to 4x4"....
That may well be the case. I am not clear on this point from what Jeff said to me yesterday. Even if it does come already having 4x4, I would imagine there would need to be significant upgrading by SMB to some of the drive systems and certainly suspension upgrades. It surely would not come from the factory "rock crawl" ready.
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Old 11-24-2010, 05:17 PM   #14
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Re: SMB-W Nissan Van 4x4 Camper Conversion Coming??

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomH
[We must not be reading the same things. I surely would like to read the info you have if you could point me toward your sources. From what I've read, Ford believes that Sprinter will overtake the market with their higher mileage vehicle. When I met with Alan Feld in September, he told me that fuel efficiency is the great concern for the future and as an example, he said that UPS had built all of its own trucks in the past-those infamous brown box trucks.
.

Actually, those UPS trucks were/ are built by Grumman Olson for UPS. And for the longest time they used Ford 300ci straight 6's. Those engines produced all the power one would need under 2500 RPM and would easily last 300k.

Efficiency is not always about Fuel Economy. It is about how well a vehicle can do a particular job and what the total operating cost over the life cycle of the vehicle will be. Fuel economy is one factor. A Ford Econoline cannot compete with a UPS truck in cubic freight capacity. It isnt supposed to. An Econoline van is built for passenger duty as well as the needs of trades people. UPS needs volume and the ability for the operator to jump in and out of the vehicle with a package quickly.

As far as Fuel Economy goes, what will it be if you put 4000# of MDF interior, raise the profile by at least a foot and put high rolling resistance tires on a Sprinter, Nissan or Transit?

Some people brag about how Vanagons get such great fuel economy. Then after the reality of living with 80 HP and an engine that spits out connecting rods set in they convert to Subaru. What is the life cycle cost of those "efficient" vehicles compared to those gas guzzeling american vans?
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Old 11-24-2010, 05:59 PM   #15
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Re: SMB-W Nissan Van 4x4 Camper Conversion Coming??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver350
Some people brag about how Vanagons get such great fuel economy.
What great fuel economy? My experience with Vangons and Westfalias (air and water cooled) is 16-18mpg. My SMB has averaged 16.5mpg since I bought it. On and off road included. 18+ on the highway.

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Old 11-25-2010, 08:35 AM   #16
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Re: SMB-W Nissan Van 4x4 Camper Conversion Coming??

A quick video tour of the High top interior. Looks promising to me.

1. Peter Bedrosian, Senior Product Planning Manager, Nissan North America, gives quick overview of the all-new Nissan NV



2. Sherri Weller Nissan Commercial Vehicles @ Work Truck Show 2010

http://link.brightcove.com/services/...d=595091762001

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Old 11-25-2010, 01:53 PM   #17
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Re: SMB-W Nissan Van 4x4 Camper Conversion Coming??

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomH
I also learned one other tidbit of information from Jeff, and that is how the three Sportsmobile divisions are related to each other. I asked Jeff if the Nissan thing doesn't work out, and the Transits don't prove to be a great platform, if he thought Alan might consider trying a 4x4 pickup truck platform like EarthRoamer does with the F550. Jeff affirmed that EarthRoamer has an excellent product, but that it would completely depend on whether the owner of the Texas division approved it or not. Apparently, the owner in Texas owns that division, but also owns the franchise rights. Though Alan owns the SMB West division, SMB is basically a franchise and the other two owners can only do what the owner in Texas will allow. Jeff indicated that Alan was the more cutting edge of the three and that it took a lot for Alan to convince the guy in Texas to let him begin doing 4x4 conversions. People kept bringing Quigley vehicles in for conversion to campers and Alan saw the opportunity to expand into that market. Obviously, this has been a great success.
TomH, thanks for sharing that info. I was curious about the SMB company organization.
Was planning to scour the wiki here but you saved me the time

sorry for the deviation from the original topic, but your other post regarding the use of Sprinters vs Ford vans for commercial use was also interesting. Using a low maintenance diesel engine that gets good fuel economy should be a huge consideration for any business whose fleet puts on a lot of miles. I see more and more Sprinters cropping up in my local community now. The dry cleaner that does deliveries, the local surf shop that has four locations and an airport shuttle service. I'm wondering it the major airport shuttle services here in LA like Primetime and Supershuttle will transition from a regular van to a Sprinter.
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Old 11-25-2010, 09:48 PM   #18
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Re: SMB-W Nissan Van 4x4 Camper Conversion Coming??

I too would like some good old Japanese reliability in a van. Looking at the NV2500/3500 dimensions on the Nissan web site, the wheelbase is 6" longer than Ford, the overall length about 3 feet longer, but the length to back of driver's seat is the same at 10 feet. Doesn't sound like a good trade-off for interior room vs. maneuverability, or for off-road clearance geometry.
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Old 11-30-2010, 11:32 AM   #19
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Re: SMB-W Nissan Van 4x4 Camper Conversion Coming??

Here's some more information about the FULL SIZE Transit van (and yes, the Transit Connect is the little one you can get here right now). Check out the Westfalia site:

http://www.westfalia-van.de/en/models.html

The Transits are the Nugget, the big Nugget and the Euro-something or other. The Nuggets look pretty well designed. Bear in mind that europeans tend to travel before they retire (can you say "at least 6 weeks vacation a year") so vans are designed to be useable for families, not just for couples.

Just for fun, look over some of the other designs they have, I think the small Mercedes vans are pretty amazing as well.
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Old 11-30-2010, 11:40 AM   #20
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Re: SMB-W Nissan Van 4x4 Camper Conversion Coming??

Forgot to add this:

http://uk.cars.yahoo.com/car-reviews/ca ... 04831.html

I know that fuel economy is sore point here as it seems to create serious flame wars between those brave few who still think global warming is a myth and the rest of us, but note that at least for UK gallons, the Transit vans with the largest engine average about 34 mpg, and get nearly 40 on the highway. My E-series gets 13 mpg on a good day.

Just sayin'
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