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Old 09-27-2011, 12:27 PM   #41
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Re: Why a van?

Quote:
Originally Posted by j.whitbread
I don't know if it's possible but a truck camper with a service body would provide a lot of good storage. A place outside for the dirty things like chains, tow ropes, shovel. And a good place for a generator, air compressor, welder, fuel, tools, etc.
Here's an Alaskan Camper hard shell pop-top with the shell in the down position. It is on a utility bed with the storage you describe. If you look around their site, you will see many other pictures of Alaskans on regular beds, wider Alaskans on flat beds, and big pickups with Alaskans that are towing travel trailers at the same time. It is possible to have a rear slider window and a tight crawl through between the cab and cabin.

http://www.alaskancamper.org/Desktop-Pages/Image8.html

Same vehicle towing Airstream, pop-up open:

http://www.alaskancamper.org/Desktop-Pages/Image44.html

Same Vehicle, top up and closed:

http://www.alaskancamper.org/Desktop-Pages/Image30.html

Home Page:

http://www.alaskancamper.org/sitemap.html

For those who mentioned loss of cab space, the cab and cabin are combined in Provan's Tiger CX, Bengal Tiger, and soon to be released Siberian Tiger, as well as EarthRoamer's XV-LT and XV-LTS, and I think Global Expedition Vehicle UXV-500 and UXV500. You don't have that loss of space and can utilize the cab as part of the living space. You also don't have to go outside in rain or heavy mosquitoes. The downside of this design, however, is that you can't pull the camper and use the truck in original pickup form. The older Tigers are unibody with fused cab/cabin, while the new Siberian as well as the two ERs and the two UXVs mentioned all have the cabin on a 3pt rail and a flexible boot between cab and cabin so the frame and vehicle can flex under torsion.

http://www.tigermotorhomes.com/home.htm

http://www.earthroamer.com/

http://globalxvehicles.com/
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Old 09-27-2011, 02:59 PM   #42
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Re: Why a van?

Many thanks for these references. All are truly great vehicles but the price point is way above the Van/Camper combo but it seems you get what you pay for with better engineering and integration even if you do lose some flexibility.
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Old 10-09-2011, 07:04 PM   #43
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Re: Why a van?

Apparently Unicat is getting in on the pickup based expedition vehicle market as well. From the linked page, click on "Amerigo" then find Ford F-550:

http://unicatamericas.com/en/index2-Programm.html
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Old 10-10-2011, 03:38 PM   #44
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Re: Why a van?

Took a look and corresponded with their chief sales honcho. Minimum starting price for the Amerigo is $350K - gulp ! And the top prices get up into the $750K level. For my purposes way too much of an overkill given that a new Toter set up is $300K fully equipped and there are plenty of used ones for a lot less.

Makes an SMB look cheap - or at least inexpensive. Now to find some 40 ply tires ! I know - no such thing but at least something that is not going to blow given our deteriorating roads.
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Old 10-10-2011, 04:38 PM   #45
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Re: Why a van?

You got me on price - and that's about it

Not everything in life is about money
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Old 10-11-2011, 01:04 AM   #46
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Re: Why a van?

Saw one of these come through Tahoe the other day and looked it up: http://www.tigermotorhomes.com/home.htm I think this is the same company that used to convert the old GMC Safari/Chevy Astro AWD minivans.

Check out the video. Solid maple cabinets!
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Old 10-11-2011, 07:53 AM   #47
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Re: Why a van?

I have and they make a nice rig. The problem I thought I had was price at $150K ! But compared to their competition they are a bargain albeit because their product is not nearly as well engineered as the genuine Expedition quality vehicles have to be. I am torn between the svelte proportions of the SMB as compared to these vehicles which are much bigger - as in say the size of a full EMT ambulance.
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