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Old 03-05-2008   #11
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 748
that picture didn't come out very good, but you get the idea.

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Old 03-05-2008   #12
shortbus's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 128
shuttle van

Mike, as you mentioned, you can build your own sportsmobile, although it wont be as posh as a true one. One thing I did was peruse the government auctions online for 4wd vans, or find a fleet vehicle dealership as they often times have accounts with delivery companies like FedEX. These vans usually have High miles, but are maintained regularly and typically only need basic maintenance. you can usually pick up a late model van from them for $3-7,000. Then you can cut in your own windows, insulate and build accouterments as needed. With Halliburton in Casper you could probably find one from them no problem, as I see their 4wd vans up in Cody all the time. Hope that helps.

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Old 03-05-2008   #13
DurangoSteve's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
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Posts: 1,907
Originally Posted by COLDFEAR View Post
Doesnt get better then a Sportsmobile!

Sportsmobile Custom Camper Vans - 4WD (4 Wheel Drive, 4x4)
A buddy of mine bought a Sportsmobile a coupla years ago and it's been a nonstop money pit. Or, as Ross Perot would say, "Hear that giant sucking sound? That's the Sportsmobile vacuuming out your retirement fund."

Like an top of the line hooker, they're beautiful and well-equipped... and really expensive to buy and maintain.
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Old 03-05-2008   #14
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 129
I'd second what brendo said, VW all the way! A
lthough we have a camper, it is a '97 with a VR6 in it, and its not (too) slow over the passes. Drove 'er up to summit last week and she was still doing 60-65 at the top of the tunnel west-bound. I know that the older vanagons are way more affordable than the eurovans, especially the '97 newer with the 6 cylinder, and as long as you can enjoy the ride, you can't go wrong with the accomidations.
I know that they even made some of the vanagons in the VW Syncro (all-wheel drive) that look to have some pretty good clearance, although not as much as that rubicon!
What does education often do? It makes a straight-cut ditch of a free, meandering brook. HENRY DAVID THOREAU, Journal
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Old 03-05-2008   #15
Austin/ Santa Fe, Texas/ New Mexico
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Old 03-05-2008   #16
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the zoo, Montucky
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 137
"What once was a river. Now a ghost." Edward Abbey
My Adventures
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Old 03-05-2008   #17
the fort, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 672
westy all the way

my wife and i are in the market for a westy right now. here's how we're searching: i went to and told it to set my feed reader to search all craigslist sites in the rockies, the northwest, and in cali for the word "westfalia." i get probably 50 hits a day, some good, some not so good, for either westies or westy-related items like parts. you might have to fly to cali to pick it up and drive back, or you could pay to have it shipped here. either way, they're out there. but be warned - good condition westy vans don't go cheap. and if you want a syncro (4wd version of a vanagon), those are even more highly sought after. good condition westy syncros go well in excess of $20k.

from what i've been told, be prepared to replace the engine at some point if it hasn't already been done. subaru svx conversion or jetta tdi seem to be the most popular options. those aren't cheap either.
By the waterside I will lay my head.
Listen to the river sing sweet songs to rock my soul.
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Old 03-05-2008   #18
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Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,507
Scrath the westy more like astrovan for me the way my budget is. i still need to afford gas money to drive the thing.
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Old 03-05-2008   #19
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 84
You could just buy a Quigley 4wd generic cargo van and customize it as needed.

Quigley Motor Company, Inc.
Quigley Motor Company, Inc.

Would be a lot more clearance and room than a Subaru and 1/2 the cost of a Sports mobile. When you want to use it for winter camping and are looking into insulation and furnaces, toilet, etc Sportsmobiles (especially used) start making more sense economically. Also because they count as a 2nd home, you can write the taxes off an RV, but they are still hard to justify. You get stay at a lot of nice hotels for 30k.

One other option, the VW Syncro's can be modified to be quite versatile little machines as well.
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Old 03-05-2008   #20
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,128
You could also get a extra/quad cab pickup and get a camper shell.


You would have to take the kayaks on/off at night, but otherwise this is fairly sweet. Apparently they go for about $4k.

For a more cash (7-12K) you can get these:

Four Wheel Campers Product Listing

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