I have so many questions, don't know where to start!

IwoZone

Long may you run
Hey all,

I'm looking at getting into the camper van conversion squad, however, besides perusing craigslist and ebay, I have absolutely no idea where to start!

What I am looking for/needs: I'm pretty tall, about 6'4", so am thinking that a good bet would be to find a van with a longer wheelbase and one that I can either install, or buy with a pop top already installed. Also, with the pop top, can you install roof racks for bikes, kayaks and surfboards? Looking to go way off grid for some rad camping, what are folks thoughts on solar cells? price? Do any of you fine folks have ideas of van styles/models/types to look out for? Oh, another super important question, can you install O rings inside vans that could support hammocks? Really want to save on space and have never had a problem sleeping in a hammock for long periods of time!

Any help, references, resources, or a friendly hello is much obliged. Thanks everyone!
 

opt overland

Observer
Hi there,

I see your in Colorado. If you ever near the Fort Collins area we have a meetup every Wednesday afternoon. Theres a wide range of vehicles and vans that show up. Craigslist and eBay are solid places to source a van, if you find a converted one I'd stay with the bigger names in the conversion game. And honestly most folks never really use the 4WD anywhere near its capability so in most cases if the conversion was done correctly you won't have issues. Do a pre-purchase inspection and you should be good to go.

Regular body vs. extended is all personal preference. Most folks that have families or plan to carry a lot of gear typically go with the extended version. If you wanna go way off grid, a 4WD conversion will be useful or at least AWD. You can certainly carry kayaks and the like on the pop top. Bikes are best stored on the rear of the van. Solar is good to have if your going to be out longer than the weekend without driving daily. Hammocks are doable, our kids roll with hammocks sometimes.

Cheers
Dai
@optoverland
 

Jb1rd

Explorer
My best advise is to scour these pages until your eyes bug out then scour again, it is truly amazing how much info is one here, and the Sportsmobile Forum too. 4wd is great for CO especially in the winter but a 2wd properly setup is a very capable rig as well and a hell of a lot less expensive. Knowing what I know now, I would have looked for an already built 2wd camper then added a lift and bigger tires and a locker. It is deceiving how expensive a proper build out gets, everything gets exponentially more expensive when you are dealing in a "specialty" market. That being said if you have access to a shop and tools and friends willing to help then a build is awesome and rewarding, or so I am told :ylsmoke: Anyrate good luck and welcome to the madness!!!
 

Bbasso

Expedition Leader
I agree, READ as much as you can possibly comprehend then read more...
As much as I like to type and others too, we have pretty much spilled the beans on the two forums already and with all the available pictures you should have a very wide selection of ideas to build from.
 

oldnslow

Observer
I can't speak for other vans, but my sister's Ford Transit T150 has some welded-in threaded bungs around the top that will hold a hook or ring for a hammock. We moved 2 of the included tie-down rings near the floor up to the bungs near the roof at the left front and right rear corners - instant hammock hangers! It worked great.
 

wjeeper

Active member
Hey all,

I'm looking at getting into the camper van conversion squad, however, besides perusing craigslist and ebay, I have absolutely no idea where to start!The "Found vans for sale" in this thread is a good starting point, I bet it you were looking for a specific van I am sure somebody would help keep an eye our for it!

What I am looking for/needs: I'm pretty tall, about 6'4", so am thinking that a good bet would be to find a van with a longer wheelbase and one that I can either install, or buy with a pop top already installed.With as tall as you are I think a fullsize van is the way to go! A pop-top is big $$$ but I am sure without a high-top or pop-top you would be miserable stooping over Also, with the pop top, can you install roof racks for bikes, kayaks and surfboards? They do it all the time with sportsmobiles
42e109db7fe75baa5a9c32e83195e72b.jpg

Looking to go way off grid Way off the grid? Aka 4x4 required? for some rad camping, what are folks thoughts on solar cells? price? Do any of you fine folks have ideas of van styles/models/types to look out for? I like the chevy AWD vans, but I am biasedOh, another super important question, can you install O rings inside vans that could support hammocks? Really want to save on space and have never had a problem sleeping in a hammock for long periods of time!Should be able to find a spot where they install the seatbelt harnesses that would be sturdy enough! My little brother crashes in a hammock in his work van and pockets the per-diem all the time

Any help, references, resources, or a friendly hello is much obliged. Thanks everyone!
.
 

IwoZone

Long may you run
Awesome, thank you! I found a sweet, partially converted old USPS van through a friend, and am in Denver to scope it out. Where do you folks meet-up in FoCo?
 

atoine

Observer
At 6'4", you can stand up in a High-Roof Transit.
We're converting one right now. The idea is to travel for a year with our mountain bikes & splitboard (alpine touring). It's insulated, heated, solar powered, has a fridge for beer, oven for muffins, etc, etc.
Ford-Transit-Camper-Van-Conversion-Slide-Out-Bike-Rack-1-small.jpeg

Kitchen-Progress-500px.jpg


This might help you in your quest:

http://faroutride.com/ford-transit-camper-van/


Good luck!
 

86cj

Explorer
Hey all,

I'm looking at getting into the camper van conversion squad, however, besides perusing craigslist and ebay, I have absolutely no idea where to start!

What I am looking for/needs: I'm pretty tall, about 6'4", so am thinking that a good bet would be to find a van with a longer wheelbase and one that I can either install, or buy with a pop top already installed. Also, with the pop top, can you install roof racks for bikes, kayaks and surfboards? Looking to go way off grid for some rad camping, what are folks thoughts on solar cells? price? Do any of you fine folks have ideas of van styles/models/types to look out for? Oh, another super important question, can you install O rings inside vans that could support hammocks? Really want to save on space and have never had a problem sleeping in a hammock for long periods of time!
Pp
Any help, references, resources, or a friendly hello is much obliged. Thanks everyone!

The fact you mention the lightest bed possible could put you in the right mindset for a lighter AWD GM 1500, they have around 2000lb to work with. Finding a raised roof AWD conversion van is one of the easiest ways to get into Rad camping spots, you can camp day one and tweak things as needed. They dont come in long wheelbase but that is also a big downside if you really want to get into Rad camping spots, 155" wheelbase is not first choice for rugged terrain. The 135" wheelbase is almost the same as a std cab pickup with a long box or shorter than most extended cab pickups, I have been able to fit into some tight spots. A heavy 2wd and good tires with a locker will do great if their is a bottom to dig into, 3" of rain while holed up in a Rad spot is not stressful if you have AWD, good tires and a locker, not weighing 9,500-12,500lbs aint all bad. Snow? That is just makes things pretty, no stress for the AWD vans here..
Check out Occassionaldirts AWD build...
My van sees alot of DD duties so I went for it instead of a 3500 Quigley and have not had to make any real comprimise to keep the 1500 alive so far, Rad camp spots have been plentiful. Everthing in life is subjective, so far my AWD has proven to be "Goldylocks" and the three bears sleep outside.....

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
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IwoZone

Long may you run
At 6'4", you can stand up in a High-Roof Transit.
We're converting one right now. The idea is to travel for a year with our mountain bikes & splitboard (alpine touring). It's insulated, heated, solar powered, has a fridge for beer, oven for muffins, etc, etc.
Ford-Transit-Camper-Van-Conversion-Slide-Out-Bike-Rack-1-small.jpeg

Kitchen-Progress-500px.jpg


This might help you in your quest:

http://faroutride.com/ford-transit-camper-van/


Good luck!

WHOA!! That is incredible!! I'm digging your ideas for a big ole adventure, definitely hit up San Juans for some rad AT experience, red mountain, silverton areas, lizard head pass. You folks have the right idea! Did you guys install solar?
 
Read. Then read a little more. Then go to another forum and read more. Once you've read two to four hours a day for four months or so, you'll start to get an idea what you want. Once you stack another two or four months onto the reading your ideas will have changed. By this time you'll have made notes on what you want, but they will change. At about six to eight months of reading you'll buy a van. It'll be the wrong one so you'll have to buy another one. By the time you get your second or third one you'll be pretty set on the platform. Then you can start the mod. Then that will change several times. Wait, I mean a hundred times. Then you'll hit roadblocks. Then you'll figure out how much money this is actually costing and selling your pride and joy truck didn't actually cover the cost. Then you'll dip into your second mortage line of credit cause it's cheap money. Wait, this just became my story.

Read dude, read. There are tens of thousands of pages of information here free for your reading. Nearly everything you could possibly need to know is buried in these pages. Except that the 97 Ford Expedition E4OD transmission is different than the 1997 Ford F-250 and F-350 E4OD transmissions in only one way. VSS. I didn't find that.

Back to the garage.
 

Jsweezy

Explorer
Read. Then read a little more. Then go to another forum and read more. Once you've read two to four hours a day for four months or so, you'll start to get an idea what you want. Once you stack another two or four months onto the reading your ideas will have changed. By this time you'll have made notes on what you want, but they will change. At about six to eight months of reading you'll buy a van. It'll be the wrong one so you'll have to buy another one. By the time you get your second or third one you'll be pretty set on the platform. Then you can start the mod. Then that will change several times. Wait, I mean a hundred times. Then you'll hit roadblocks. Then you'll figure out how much money this is actually costing and selling your pride and joy truck didn't actually cover the cost. Then you'll dip into your second mortage line of credit cause it's cheap money. Wait, this just became my story.

Read dude, read. There are tens of thousands of pages of information here free for your reading. Nearly everything you could possibly need to know is buried in these pages. Except that the 97 Ford Expedition E4OD transmission is different than the 1997 Ford F-250 and F-350 E4OD transmissions in only one way. VSS. I didn't find that.

Back to the garage.

Very accurate... as I work towards my third van purchase...
 

Pinnacle Campers

Chateau spotter
Read. Then read a little more. Then go to another forum and read more. Once you've read two to four hours a day for four months or so, you'll start to get an idea what you want. Once you stack another two or four months onto the reading your ideas will have changed. By this time you'll have made notes on what you want, but they will change. At about six to eight months of reading you'll buy a van. It'll be the wrong one so you'll have to buy another one. By the time you get your second or third one you'll be pretty set on the platform. Then you can start the mod. Then that will change several times. Wait, I mean a hundred times. Then you'll hit roadblocks. Then you'll figure out how much money this is actually costing and selling your pride and joy truck didn't actually cover the cost. Then you'll dip into your second mortage line of credit cause it's cheap money. Wait, this just became my story.

Read dude, read. There are tens of thousands of pages of information here free for your reading. Nearly everything you could possibly need to know is buried in these pages. Except that the 97 Ford Expedition E4OD transmission is different than the 1997 Ford F-250 and F-350 E4OD transmissions in only one way. VSS. I didn't find that.

Back to the garage.

....then it will never truly be done....or you built it and it's great for what you were doing when you designed it but needs/times change, and well it doesn't completely suit you now....

Every van has compromises, the "perfect" combination doesn't exist and the more you ask of it the less it will fit the bill. Keep it simple so you can modify, adapt, and adjust to your lifestyle as you go.

Can't you take VSS off the rear axle?
 

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