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  1. #1851
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    the most beautiful place in the whole wide world
    Posts
    1,410
    thanks folks. Just discovered Roadtrek as well. If I sell one of my children I may be able to get into a used one.

    Sprinter chassis, sleeps 4 pretty comfortably from what I can tell from the layouts. Anyone have experience with Roadtrek? thanks.

  2. #1852
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    aspen xtreme/hakuba
    Posts
    434
    There are probably over a dozen companies doing Sprinter conversions.Roadtrek is one of the better ones.Some claim you can sleep on the chairs that recline.I couldnt,or wouldnt want to.The only ones that could sleep 4 are the larger class c type with a bunk above that are based on the Sprinter cutaway. Just check out all the many different floorplans.New ones are very pricey ,maybe 120k, so you may want to look at used.Even those are rarely under 50k.
    “THE EDGE, there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.” HST

  3. #1853
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    101
    If you intend on using these vehicles for skiing, you will probably have to "dry camp" without using the fresh water systems. You can use the toilet by flushing with RV antifreeze. However, you may or may not be able to dump in sub freezing temps as the antifreeze becomes a thick slurry at those temps and although it won't burst your pipes, it won't flow through them very well either. Also consider single rear axle vs. dual. Single wheels are easy enough to put chains or cables on while the tight clearance between the wheels of dual axle rear ends makes putting chains on the outside wheel a pain in the ass. You might consider an Escape brand trailer. http://escapetrailer.com/trailers/the-19-foot-escape/ More robust winter trailer, sleeps 4 and gives you a 4wd vehicle for less than the $85000 you would spend on the sprinter.

  4. #1854
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    The CH
    Posts
    1,417
    yardsale2: How do trailers tow in the snow?

    Are all 4 humans adults? Have you considered a truck camper? 2 sleep in bed and two in dinette. This combo gets you 4WD pretty cheap.

    This 24' class C has the beds and you can buy it new for $50K
    http://coachmenrv.com/product-detail...odelID=54#Main

  5. #1855
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    calgary
    Posts
    711

    Ski RV's, who's sleeping in parking lots?

    Quote Originally Posted by Todds View Post
    yardsale2: How do trailers tow in the snow?

    If the trailers wheels have the same track as The tow vehicle, they tow fine in the snow. If they are narrower or wider, the tires try to fight to get into the tow vehicles tracks. This can make the trailer more unstable and want to "wag its tail" as I like to call it. As long as the tongue weight is sufficient though and the tow vehicle capable, it's okay. But slow and careful is the key.
    Man, It was great...

  6. #1856
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    the most beautiful place in the whole wide world
    Posts
    1,410
    thanks for the info and suggestions, keep them coming.

    Current car fleet: 2007 Honda Fit and a 2005 Outback. Our dumb 'Master Plan' is as follows:
    Buy a <22' RV that gets good enough gas mileage, is easy to drive, easy to park and drive as a 'normal' car occasionally when you need the space. Which also sleeps 2 adults and 2 8 yr olds and a dog. Primary usage... 3 season camping, mtb roadtrip vacations + occasional skiing overnights. If 4WD or chainable, the RV would completely replace the need for the Outback, as it is primarily used for family trips today, we use the Fit for around town (Fits are awesome btw, I can fit a 29er mtb in the back with seats folded flush.) If not 4WD or chainable, we'd keep the Outback for pow days or dump it and find a used a cheaper option for occasional use where AWD is mandatory (like if PNW ever gets snow again).

    Which is why I'm interested in Sprinter conversions or the Rialta, as from what I can tell they get decent mileage (pretty close actually to the lackluster Outback), they drive pretty easy, they are compact enough to fit in normal spaces. Our boys are at the perfect age to really enjoy road tripping, camping, biking vacations and 4 people + dog + gear/bikes in the Subaru even with a big roof box gets a little tedious. Yes, I know these are first world problems. A towable camper isn't ideal for our needs.

    Of course as many have pointed out, I need to become the recipient of some obscure Nigerian estate windfall to pay for most of the Sprinter conversion options I've seen. Besides Roadtrek, are there other sleep 4 Sprinter conversion options that are popular enough to support a used market?

  7. #1857
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    below the Broads Fork Twins
    Posts
    6,112
    Saw a couple of t@bs last weekend in Idaho, they have some various sizes and can go from cheap to huge and pricey.

    For a cost effective & reliable rig you could either trade the Outback for an SUV that's tow/sleep worthy and combine it with a t@b to have two separate sleeping compartments and some modicum of a kitchen, etc that an RV affords. Or just get a large enough t@b and upgrade your Outback (if need be) to something capable of towing it.

    http://www.tab-rv.com/

    a used one http://www.rvtrader.com/listing/2010-THOR-TAB-114768696
    Success has many fathers, while failure remains an orphan // Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not the fish they are after - HDT

  8. #1858
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    55
    Funny I replaced an outback with a AWD family adventure van last year. It's a Chevy express 8 passenger, cost was about a wash but then I had Colorado camper van add a pop top. With a bed platform in the back My 2 kids and dog fit pretty well but my Kids are younger than yours. If you want to prioritize winter camping I'd look at a high top instead of poptop and add a ton of insulation.

    We're a 2 car family so the van pulls daily driving duty pretty well. Do you have any DIY skills or have any custom shops nearby? That might be your best bet.

  9. #1859
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Marin born -> Chico State -> CH -> France -> Truckee
    Posts
    460
    I've taken mine out a couple times so far and am super happy with the simplicity of this setup. Its been great being able to get into tight campsites and unhook it, throw a tongue lock on it and have my truck available for shuttles or running into town (my buddies with cab-over campers are stuck once camp is set). Albeit these fiberglass rigs are hard to find and have a cult following but if you are diligent you can snag one for ~$5000. I see it as the back of a sprinter van without the front compartment part... And its only $20 every 5 years to register at the (California) DMV +$70/year to insure. The sprinter van was the dream but for $40,000 less you get this similar amenities setup and aren't buying a new vehicle. Dry weight of my scamp is 1,000# and if my 4cyl Taco can pull it, a real Murrican' car could haul it and you wouldn't even know it's there.

    The r-pods and tear drops look rad as well, usually +++$$$ though.


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    http://skivino.com

    IG @Jskierpx

    "Can switching to Geico really save you 15% or more on car insurance?"

    "Do people really call 911 thinking they will get seen faster in the ER?"

  10. #1860
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    4,466
    Quote Originally Posted by jskierpx View Post
    I've taken mine out a couple times so far and am super happy with the simplicity of this setup. Its been great being able to get into tight campsites and unhook it, throw a tongue lock on it and have my truck available for shuttles or running into town (my buddies with cab-over campers are stuck once camp is set). Albeit these fiberglass rigs are hard to find and have a cult following but if you are diligent you can snag one for ~$5000. I see it as the back of a sprinter van without the front compartment part... And its only $20 every 5 years to register at the (California) DMV +$70/year to insure. The sprinter van was the dream but for $40,000 less you get this similar amenities setup and aren't buying a new vehicle. Dry weight of my scamp is 1,000# and if my 4cyl Taco can pull it, a real Murrican' car could haul it and you wouldn't even know it's there.

    The r-pods and tear drops look rad as well, usually +++$$$ though.


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    Nice.

    I'm looking at the r-pod but those things new are like $18-26k +. Used ones are still in the $13-17k range depending on year.

    You pull the scamp with a 4 banger no problem? Any mountain pass driving? I imagine loaded the thing is closer to 1700lbs.

    The r-pods are like 2900lbs dry, 3600-3900 loaded. Wondering how a 6 cylinder would do.

  11. #1861
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Wish I knew?
    Posts
    2,607
    Sportsmobile?

  12. #1862
    WestCoastPDR Guest
    Any of you maggots got anything one this?

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    I'll be installing mine in a few weeks and the lift kit should go on shortly there after.

  13. #1863
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    101
    Quote Originally Posted by Todds View Post
    yardsale2: How do trailers tow in the snow?

    Are all 4 humans adults? Have you considered a truck camper? 2 sleep in bed and two in dinette. This combo gets you 4WD pretty cheap.

    This 24' class C has the beds and you can buy it new for $50K
    http://coachmenrv.com/product-detail...odelID=54#Main
    Limited experience in towing in the snow but mostly ok. The advantage of the trailer is you park it somewhere less adventurous, then take the SUV to a snowy trailhead (or in town to the grocerie store). On the other hand, if you have a lifestyle that requires a truck anyway, your suggestion for a truck camper also makes sense. Again it comes back to winter capability. Lance brand campers offer winter capable units.

  14. #1864
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Sandy, Utah
    Posts
    11,001
    Quote Originally Posted by WestCoastPDR View Post
    Any of you maggots got anything one this?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I'll be installing mine in a few weeks and the lift kit should go on shortly there after.
    Had this and it was way claustrophobic for me personally. I only have a normal topper not extended so when using as sleeping platform I couldn't sit up and getting in and out was tough (6'3" 195lbs) and you couldn't sit on the benches as the roof was too low. Now I just use a futon mattress in the truck bed and there is plenty of room. YMMV.
    http://www.firsttracksonline.com

    I wish i could be like SkiFishBum

  15. #1865
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    101
    Chaka,
    I just noticed you are looking for 3 season capacity. Sorry for the tangent about winter capability. We liked the Realta for all the reasons you suggest although I don't see where it would sleep four in any configuration. I think they claim 19mpg or so.

  16. #1866
    WestCoastPDR Guest
    Ski dog. What type of truck did you have yours in. Mine is going in a GMC Sierra with a non ext hight cap but my wife and I are also short. 5'3" and 5'5" respectively. I taped off all the holes in the bed area and then put down a bedrug which I hope will help absorb the moisture and keep things warm too. The leer cap is carpeted as well.

  17. #1867
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    110
    Quote Originally Posted by Chaka View Post
    thanks for the info and suggestions, keep them coming.

    ... occasional skiing overnights.

    Which is why I'm interested in Sprinter conversions or the Rialta, as from what I can tell they get decent mileage (pretty close actually to the lackluster Outback), they drive pretty easy, they are compact enough to fit in normal spaces.
    The problem with all these van conversions is the large glass surface which has something like an R1 insulating factor -- basically nothing. You will find that keeping it warm at night in sub-freezing temps means that the furnace is running almost constantly. RV furnaces are loud and suck battery big time. Then there is the freezing water problem, meaning if it is staying below freezing during the day and cloudy you need to keep the furnace running then too.

    Yes, the Sprinters get great gas mileage. We rented one which got 16 mpg -- mostly highway. It was pretty slow going up steeper hills though, dropping to 45 mph floored. Yes, good gas mileage is nice, but how many miles are you going to put on it a year? Do the math and getting 6 mpg more but paying an extra $20K is probably not going to make a lot of sense.

    The best ski-capable rig for 4 people and a dog is going to be a truck camper. Truck campers are basically insulated boxes that are much easier to keep warm. Some have double-pane windows. We put styrofoam blocks cut to fit in the skylights to make it even better. The furnace is needed, but doesn't run excessively. Most sleep 4 people, but make sure you look at one with a large enough dinette bed for when those kids get bigger.

    Our rig is a 2013 Arctic Fox 990 on a 2012 F350. It works great in the snow even with DRW. It is 22' long. I've never needed chains. Carries plenty of propane and with 2 AGM batteries and solar, no problem running the furnace for a couple of days. We mounted a ski rack on the ladder on the back to keep the skis outside. It has a real bathroom you can stand up in and plenty of water capacity for showering. The tanks are fully insulated and heated without requiring electric tank heaters to keep them from freezing.

  18. #1868
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Sandy, Utah
    Posts
    11,001
    Quote Originally Posted by WestCoastPDR View Post
    Ski dog. What type of truck did you have yours in. Mine is going in a GMC Sierra with a non ext hight cap but my wife and I are also short. 5'3" and 5'5" respectively. I taped off all the holes in the bed area and then put down a bedrug which I hope will help absorb the moisture and keep things warm too. The leer cap is carpeted as well.
    06 Tundra 6'5" bed. been in it down to the mid 30's no carpet in the cap itself only added some to the floor 5" old school futon mattress and a sleeping bag im usually hot. open the side windows a bit and condensation isnt a huge issue. Have slept in it with both daughter and myself and no real wettness.

    Even at your heights you will not be able to sit up indian style in the back with the bed platform without at least turning your necks to the side my 7 yr old daughter can just sit upright and is nearly touching likely shes about a foot shorter than your wife right now...id say in mine it was maybe a 3'5" space between top of bed to roof of cap. It always just freaked me out that if I had to get out in a hurry it would simply not happen. I thought about taking the entire carpet kit boxes down like 3-4" but it just seemed way too complicated and id likely never have it level all the way around.

    I really wanted to like it...i just like it way better with the full bed of the truck. If i was stuck in a rain storm on a camping trip sitting in the cab wouldve sucked and with the platform in there sitting in the bed wouldve been impossible for extended period at my height. Again and extended cap it would likely be just peachy...

    06 tundra limited (6"5" bed), leer cap (normal size), CURT roof basket with basket extensions. If i dont bring the dogs I rarely use the basket. If whole family is with. Wife, 7 yr old, 3 yr old in the truck and I pitch a small tent and sleep outside with dogs.

    Good luck.
    http://www.firsttracksonline.com

    I wish i could be like SkiFishBum

  19. #1869
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    the most beautiful place in the whole wide world
    Posts
    1,410
    Quote Originally Posted by yardsale2 View Post
    Chaka,
    I just noticed you are looking for 3 season capacity. Sorry for the tangent about winter capability. We liked the Realta for all the reasons you suggest although I don't see where it would sleep four in any configuration. I think they claim 19mpg or so.
    Yardsale2 - Primarily 3 season but ideally 4 season... lots of the posts here like the one below are opening my eyes up to the winter RV challenges beyond the obvious 2WD/4WD issue. Check out the Rialta QD configuration which has a double in the back and converts the 4 front captain's seats into two small beds which seem ok for kidz.

    Quote Originally Posted by skysos View Post
    The problem with all these van conversions is the large glass surface which has something like an R1 insulating factor -- basically nothing. You will find that keeping it warm at night in sub-freezing temps means that the furnace is running almost constantly. RV furnaces are loud and suck battery big time. Then there is the freezing water problem, meaning if it is staying below freezing during the day and cloudy you need to keep the furnace running then too.

    Yes, the Sprinters get great gas mileage. We rented one which got 16 mpg -- mostly highway. It was pretty slow going up steeper hills though, dropping to 45 mph floored. Yes, good gas mileage is nice, but how many miles are you going to put on it a year? Do the math and getting 6 mpg more but paying an extra $20K is probably not going to make a lot of sense.

    The best ski-capable rig for 4 people and a dog is going to be a truck camper. Truck campers are basically insulated boxes that are much easier to keep warm. Some have double-pane windows. We put styrofoam blocks cut to fit in the skylights to make it even better. The furnace is needed, but doesn't run excessively. Most sleep 4 people, but make sure you look at one with a large enough dinette bed for when those kids get bigger.
    Skysos- thanks for the great insights, lots to think about.

  20. #1870
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Land of Brine Shrimp and Magic Underwear
    Posts
    5,827
    Acquired this! '03 E350 1ton extended body with 7.3 deisel, 240K miles, mechanically sound and STRONG for $4K. Think I scored. Gonna build it out as primarily a 3 season camper. 4x4 is prohibitively expensive considering my budget and how much the Van is worth but I think I'm gonna lift it and put in a rear locker and 33" tires and that'll do pretty well, even in snow. I need to get a sliding door extender to clear the new tires and fender flares. I'd also like to put in a couple sliding windows and eventually put in a pop-top. Anyone have experience in stalling windows or a pop-top? Will post more pics as it progresses. Pumped!

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    There's nothing better than sliding down snow... flying through the air.

  21. #1871
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    The CH
    Posts
    1,417
    Chaka,
    Do some more research on the Rialta. I have no first or second hand experience with them. I seem to remember reading that people had problem getting them serviced. Maybe I just read a post by one grumpy person. Who knows. Some info here:
    http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fu...g/1/page/1.cfm

  22. #1872
    WestCoastPDR Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Skidog View Post
    .
    What's everyone using now a days to safely heat enclosed areas like a pickup campershell. Mr buddy's with 2 CO2 detectors incase shit ever got real. I'm planning on some cold weather camping in the back of my truck. Like Wyoming cold.

  23. #1873
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Sandy, Utah
    Posts
    11,001
    Quote Originally Posted by WestCoastPDR View Post
    What's everyone using now a days to safely heat enclosed areas like a pickup campershell. Mr buddy's with 2 CO2 detectors incase shit ever got real. I'm planning on some cold weather camping in the back of my truck. Like Wyoming cold.
    Mr buddy is preferred from the people I know. Crack a window a little.
    http://www.firsttracksonline.com

    I wish i could be like SkiFishBum

  24. #1874
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Golden
    Posts
    2,709
    [QUOTE=beaterdit;4507753]Acquired this! '03 E350 1ton extended body with 7.3 deisel, 240K miles, mechanically sound and STRONG for $4K. Think I scored. Gonna build it out as primarily a 3 season camper. 4x4 is prohibitively expensive considering my budget and how much the Van is worth but I think I'm gonna lift it and put in a rear locker and 33" tires and that'll do pretty well, even in snow. I need to get a sliding door extender to clear the new tires and fender flares. I'd also like to put in a couple sliding windows and eventually put in a pop


    Windows and sun roofs are pretty simple. Kits are available with templates, etc. Drill, jig saw, bolt in. Measure once or twice also...check for wiring, frame, etc. My Dad and I did some in an E-150 a long, long time ago.

  25. #1875
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Land of Brine Shrimp and Magic Underwear
    Posts
    5,827
    Quote Originally Posted by goldengatestinx
    Windows and sun roofs are pretty simple. Kits are available with templates, etc. Drill, jig saw, bolt in. Measure once or twice also...check for wiring, frame, etc. My Dad and I did some in an E-150 a long, long time ago.
    Good to know. Been looking at horse trailer sliding windows because they're cheaper and always open. Haven't found any dedicated kits yet but I'll try again to track some down and compare prices.
    There's nothing better than sliding down snow... flying through the air.

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