Originally Posted by 86Scotty
Glider, you should back up a bit and share about your long patient quest for the right rig and how I sent you this CL link on a whim. There's a lot more to this story than rain gutters.
Well, you know how it goes...it just takes awhile to find a rig that ticks all of the right boxes.
I'm a paraglider pilot. All of my flying sites are long drives from home. And flying a paraglider is a fickle business. The weather has to be just right. It can look great in the morning, but by the time you get to the launch site, it can be all wrong. Launching a paraglider when the weather is wrong is not just foolish. It is literally a suicide mission.
Bottom line: I decided that the best way to support my paragliding habit was to get a van that I could live in on long weekends. That way, I could hit the road on a Thursday or Friday night, not knowing exactly what flying site I would end up at, but waking up the next morning much closer to likely sites. Spend the day flying, snooze in the van, and get up the next day and do it again.
So I bought a 1997 Roadtrek with 120,000 miles and a lot that didn't work for $6,800. And I learned a lot. By the time I was done, I had installed a new propane tank, and gone through nearly every system in the rig. Once I started driving it, I realized two things: first, I needed four wheel drive in order to have a useful paragliding base camp. (Honestly, I don't know why I failed to consider this before buying the RT. I certainly knew better. Oh, well. Live and learn.) Second: The RT made a fantastic mobile office for me. I spend a lot of time at remote project locations. The RT was a fantastic business tool.
But it wasn't 4WD. So when someone I knew fell in love with it, I sold the RT, and began my hunt for a combination paragliding base camp and mobile office.
I have binders full of information about pretty much everything there is out there. XP Camper, Earth Cruiser, 4 Wheel Camper...I looked at 'em all. I drove a bunch of different rigs. But I kept coming back to Sportsmobiles.
The search continued. I checked out a lot of SMBs. Drove a few. Came close to buying Mobi, the Jackson Kayak rig, but it wasn't quite right. Came really close to buying Rusty. But once again, the stars were not in alignment. There was a rig at SMB North that I thought about for quite some time--it had a lot going for it, and it had been on the list for many months. I called Nancy to make an offer two days after someone else had stepped forward. Then I visited SMB Austin, and really liked a 6L EB they had parked out front. Which led me to doing a ton of research on the 6L Power Strokes. In the end, I decided that a gasser was a better choice for me.
Many wonderful people helped me along the way. Ramsey stepped up early in the process, and was always around to offer advice. 86Scotty jumped into the game, and sent me leads and ideas. John McKee, of Quadvan, shared his expertise. And many other forum members answered questions and shared their knowledge.
In mid-October this year, 86Scotty sent me a link to a CL listing for a 2006 SMB in the DC area, with 39,000 miles on the odometer. One week, and much research later, the seller and I came to terms. 86Scotty hopped on an airplane, picked up the Silver Streak for me, and made the 8 hour drive back to his place, sending me photos, videos, and texts the entire trip. That was a very fun day.
So now the Silver Streak is mine. 86Scotty has gone through her from stem to stern, and with every bit we learn about her, I am more and more impressed. She is in lovely shape. I asked 86S to do a rather full list of maintenance items--changing the fluids, servicing the generator, installing new coach batteries, installing replacement tires, checking function of all systems. He is also doing a full POR 15 sealing of the rain gutters as a preventative measure, and is doing some interior work for me, as well.
The SS is going to hop a ride to my place with a transport company sometime late this week or early next week. Once she arrives at my place, the next step will be the 4X4 conversion. And then I think maybe I'll go flying...
I am very excited about my new van. Many thanks to 86Scotty for all of his help. My friend, you are the master!