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Old 12-26-2016, 02:34 PM   #11
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Just came across this new video

I don't know if I want to laugh or cry.

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Old 12-26-2016, 02:36 PM   #12
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This looks tough

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Old 12-26-2016, 02:49 PM   #13
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Just came across this new video

I don't know if I want to laugh or cry.
That video is a joke. There was zero testing of any 4x4 capabilities.
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Old 12-26-2016, 02:49 PM   #14
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Sportsmobile is making a model using Econoline cutaways which are still being produced converted to 4x4 by adding their own body which is slightly wider than the Econoline van body. Not sure they would sell one with just the empty body or if you have to get a full conversion.

You seem to have listed all the other options if you want a van with rugged 4x4...
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Old 12-26-2016, 02:51 PM   #15
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since we have another thread on chinooks, they had E350 4wd models.

OP might want to cast a net.

we each have different needs- if I ( not likely) were looking for true off road capability, it would be a 4wd van with a poptop conversion...more clearance, less weight.

my neighbors 99 Ford sportsmobile burned down in his driveway...he kept the running gear and swapped it in under a PW excel model to make his own 4wd class B.


for cost I would expect anything for a ford or chevy to be 1/3rd the cost of an MB.
every nut and bolt and...
the aftermarket is so much more limited


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Old 12-26-2016, 03:34 PM   #16
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I find unbiased to be mostly biased by non Sprinter owners talking about something they don't know diddle about.

Sprinter-Source will give you the widest range of opinion and it is not all biased pro Sprinter.

Here is the first RV Sprinter 4x4. Advanced RV took delivery and tested it in an extremely muddy field that had two feet of snow just a couple of weeks before. I know I was there collecting Maple sap in that jeep.



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Old 12-26-2016, 06:53 PM   #17
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As per Sprinter (4 x 4 ), Transit, GMC/Chevy, or Promaster first thing is what capability do I get at what price. I was advised by a dealer who does sell 4 x 4 conversions and even though he does not sell GMC/Chevy, he recommended going with a steel box frame van, which currently is limited to GMC/Chevy and Nissan. The loss of the E350 is sure making this more complicated. Also I am finding with the 4 X 4 Sprinter other than tires and suspension you are locked in to their brake based AWD ETS. You can not add a locking differential. I am looking at Quiggly and Advanced 4X4 for the conversions.
In addition to Quigley and Advanced you might consider U-Joint in NC and in particular Agile Offroad in San Diego which makes both custom 4x4 conversions and also upgrade kits for Quigley and Quadvans to provide full on/off road performance.

Also check out SportsmobileForum for a wide range of user experiences on 4x4 van campers. One benefit is that since Sportsmobile builds on Ford E-series, GMC, Nissan, and Sprinter 4x4 chassis equally there are users who have owned two (or more) of the different types and can compare them based on firsthand offroad experience.

And you don't need to have a Sportsmobile to benefit from the forum, they have an active Homebuild section where DIY builders share and compare ideas with Sportsmobile factory build owners.
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Old 12-27-2016, 05:08 AM   #18
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Excuse me for having some other priorities to take care of today, but now that I am back, appreciate everyone's input. There was a Sprinter Crew van I was very interested in, and unfortunately it was sold today (not to me). They are hard to come by right now, but I am not quite ready to make a decision just yet.

Davydd and BBQ thanks for referencing the Advanced RV video of the muddy field test. I had not seen it before. I am afraid that does not bode well for muddy roads in Utah during August thunderstorms. Although that red Utah mud can get any vehicle stuck. David how is that Willys built out ? Locking differentials ? Those rear tires are pretty beefy!

I was beginning to move away from choosing a Sprinter because people were telling me you can not upgrade the differentials on the 4 x 4 Sprinters. Also the volume of mechanical complaints online is significant. I am trying to get some first hand knowledge of the long term integrity of a unibody chassis when used regularly off-road. I was told today by someone who shares my fondness for Eaton True Trac Differentials that ARB makes a differential upgrade for the Sprinter. I forgot to write down wether it is an E-Locker or something like the True Trac, but I intend to call ARB directly when they get back from their holiday schedule.

Rockymtnb thank you for your suggestions. Particularly for pointing out the Sportsmobile Forums. I do intend to build the interior myself, in stages as I can afford to add things on. I will start with a bed and cabinets, so I have a place to sleep while traveling and a more secure area to lock things up under the bed which will be in the rear of the van.

It figures by the time I have saved up enough to do this, Ford stops making the E series vans. I just got done waiting twenty years for someone to replace the VW Syncro which the Sprinter sort of does, but not quite. I am not sure the E Series is what I want yet, but it sure would help if I could find and test drive one at the local Ford dealer. I expect I will be able to find a used one somewhere in the next couple of weeks to check out.
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Old 12-27-2016, 12:24 PM   #19
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Are you looking for a 4x4 short Sprinter with low roof?
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Old 12-27-2016, 01:16 PM   #20
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OP, when you say "off road use into remote areas", it might be helpful for you to define for yourself exactly what you mean by that, because it would help your analysis of what you need. There's a world of difference between a mountainous area with muddy old logging roads, and (for instance) what we have in West Texas in the way of old ranch tracks.

And speaking of which, if anyone knows of a vid that specifically evaluates van off-road capacity within the context of departure angle and breakover angle limitations, please post it. Some of these upfitters are lifting, sure, but what specific range of scenarios does that then open up? It's never been clear to me.

Prior to buying our Class B, my husband and I spent some time taking our Toyota minivan deep into both Big Bend National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park, into areas that are typically restricted to Jeeps. It was worth it, but it was slow-going - a time-consuming process of routinely hopping out and dealing with bedrock ledges and other obstructions by piling up small boulders in order to raise the wheels enough so that we could clear.

Looking back on those experiences, I'm having trouble visualizing any Sprinter or similar van handling those kinds of conditions no matter how tricked out it might be. Even lifted, there still remains the severe limitation of the wheel base.
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