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Old 04-12-2016, 05:55 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 1
Van Suggestions

I'm in the very preliminary stages of looking at Sportsmobiles. Thought about the truck camper route, but it seems too hard to match a camper and truck (payload-wise). Might not be the best solution for some of the mountain camping I do either.

Really like the Ford E350 (even though they don't make them anymore). Just wondering if I can look at the passenger version, or if it needs to be a cargo version (with no windows down the side). Can Sportsmobile take out the factory Windows and make a solid wall? Really don't want huge windows down the side, but the passenger version seems much more easy to find.

Also, van colors... Really like the Coyote Tan with black trim look. Thinking Ford's Pueblo Gold is the closest to that based on pictures. Do the majority of people buy a van in any color, then have it painted?

Only concerns about a Sportsmobile right now is cost (upwards of $90-$100K), and the fact that North Carolina is a good ways from any of the Sportsmobile locations.

Just a few questions off the top of my head. I'm sure more will come.

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Old 04-13-2016, 12:11 AM   #2
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Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 462
As far as color goes I chose white so I wouldn't have to have the penthouse top painted. I wouldn't be able to stand a white top with a different color van and I already had enough upgrades on my van that I didn't want to spend more on the top. I would prefer something other than white but I'm happy with the choice.

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2013 E-350 6.8L V10 4x4 RB50, penthouse top, Aluminess bumpers
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Old 04-13-2016, 01:46 AM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 457

No one could be further than Western Australia from the nearest SMB dealer/builer,
so don't let distance put you off.

My project 08 Ford e350 extended 6.0 started as a white van for us$7,300 on Ebay
Motors in February 2014. Back then the Aussie $ was worth more than the US$.

I have wanted a Ford Sportsmobile V8 diesel eb for the last 4 years.

When you get you Ford 4x4 diesel Sportsmobile, it will take you almost anywhere
you want it to go, with your sleeping & eating ready, within a few minutes.

I prefer Propane heating & cooking, chepest & best over diesel alternatives.

Get a larger 200amp Alternator installed. Have 2 x 4D batteries, solar panel,
Magnum 2000 series pure sine wave inverter/ converter and then you can have
a very handy Microwave to go with Icy Cold 4 cubic ft Norcold Refrigerator.

Have Run Cool vents installed on bonnet for Extra Air flow.

Best floor plan is the eb50 layout, that has wide forward facing sofa-bed.

I have a 012 Ram 3500 crew laramie drw longbed 4x4 diesel with 014 Eagle Cap 1160 dual slide with sofa Truck Camper, very nice, luxurious, but it's just a road
warrior. The Sportsmobile takes to all those places a Truck Camper can't
still with power, water, toilet, shower, etc.

The building journey is great too & you learn a lot.
2008 Yellow Ford E350 6.0 diesel eb50 4x4, Front E Locker, Asheville Eng Rebuil 20th @ 261miles, ARP Studds, 200amp Alternator, Performance Aluminium Radiator, OnBoardAir, RoadmasterActiveSuspension, Front & Rear Aluminess with Spare Tire Carrier, Aluminess Roof Rack, Titan Aft 30gallon Fuel Tank.
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Old 04-13-2016, 08:04 PM   #4
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Location: SE Washington
Posts: 862
Once you get bitten by the van "bug", it is impossible to settle for anything else... A used truck with camper is a MUCH better value, but as you have mentioned, it's just not the same thing.

If you get a window van, it will stay a window van. Windows can be added to a cargo van. I don't know if SMB will convert a window van, but many have done it themselves. Just a preference thing.

Cargo vans are much harder to find, especially if you want anything other than White. They do exist though. Good luck finding the options you want, AND the color you want!
2009 E250 RB 5.4L "SilVan"
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Old 04-13-2016, 10:16 PM   #5
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Posts: 423
Amen Sheriff and DHal. Van bug got the best of me too.

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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 04-14-2016, 08:44 AM   #6
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 321
I converted a window van, I have kids in the back and was able to make the RB50 floorplan modified to use the front 1/3 of the windows. It's nice for the rear passengers to be able to see out a bit. I'd consider how much offroad driving you really do and look into converting to 4x4 later through another company, Ujoint, agile, etc. It seems they have taken the leading edge in making our vans handle like they should. Nothing wrong with an SMB conversion, it just seems like the specialty of the aforementioned companies. I'd say Include a fantastic fan and solar power, those have been to priceless additions for our family. We can go as long as we need without turning on the van as long as we get a few hours of sun each day. Swivel base front seats have been invaluable as well. There are so many little things that add up to the perfect rig for each person on here. I LOVE the rear aluminess bumper for storage of dirty stuff (grill, camp chairs, etc) as well.

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