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Old 05-29-2018, 07:49 PM   #1
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I am brand new here but have been looking into Class B units for several years. I love their compactness and mpg's. They have everything I need except, possibly, the ability to go where I want to go. I travel quite a bit and use the interstate and other highways to cover many miles. But, most of the places I want to get to are, at best, at the ends of rugged rocky switchedbacked or muddy roads. At worst, they are challenging, in places, to my Jeep 4wd. When I look at the ground clearance of an RT, I imagine parts being torn off by potholes and rocks. To be sure, these units have the benefit of added storage placed low to the road surface. But, am I right to think these Class B's are really only usable on more civilized paved surfaces? I've seen a few 4wd units but even they look pretty low slung. I'm a reasonably civilized guy, but I also have a need to escape from civilized touristy places. Any suggestions on how I can get to those remote trail heads?
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Old 05-29-2018, 08:25 PM   #2
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I have lifted my 210 Popular 4 inches and will be converting it to 4WD next month.

My build thread here -

http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f8...uild-6756.html

From this -





to this -







Photog also lifted his Roadtrek here -

http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f8...190v-1552.html
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Old 05-29-2018, 10:21 PM   #3
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Thanks Hondo. Your post gives me a little more optimism for getting one of these units up and off the highway. Your post led me to others that seek to do the same. I will, clearly, need to enhance my knowledge of vehicle suspension systems beyond my current basic knowledge. These posts have also raised another concern with regard to safety and handling with raising an already high center of gravity even higher. I don't want ot overstate my experience in off roading but, I sometimes travel back roads that have a whole lot of horizontal incline, especially when navigating around a rock or a hole or a whatever. Sometimes one feels outriggers would be a good thing. A high center of gravity is not a plus. I am trying to get a realistic sense of what capabilities I can build into one of these Class B's and still be safe.
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Old 05-30-2018, 12:29 PM   #4
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....But, most of the places I want to get to are, at best, at the ends of rugged rocky switchedbacked or muddy roads. At worst, they are challenging, in places, to my Jeep 4wd. ....
We spend a lot of time on forest roads and dirt roads with no problem, you can increase clearance, add bigger better off road tires, even add 4WD to a Van, but Camper Vans are NOT 4WD Jeeps. Even 4WD lifted Vans are NOT 4WD Jeeps. If the locations you want to get to challenge your Jeep, your gonna either be STUCK, or do damage to a Camper Van. Vans are wider and taller than a jeep, with less turning radius, less clearance, and a longer wheelbase, and simply will not FIT in some of the same places as a jeep.. You'll have dishes, electronics, furniture, plumbing and cabinetry in a Camper Van; none of which was really built for (especially in a RT) "rugged rocky, muddy roads".
Possibly consider a Sportsmobile our Outdoor Van built for your intended use, OR, get just a wee bit more civilized...
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Old 05-30-2018, 01:05 PM   #5
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.

You can build the most capable 4 wheel drive system.
You can install the most badass off-road tires.
You can have lockers coming out of your ears.

Nothing matters.

The only way you can go anywhere challenging is to get that 8,000 lb off your back.

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Old 05-30-2018, 01:21 PM   #6
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If you really want to go off road with a van and not just go down rough roads then I think the only real option is not an OEM Sprinter 4wd system but something that will get you larger tires and more clearance and a real 4wd system. Maybe a used Sportsmobile on an Econoline van or if they are actually making it, the new Sportsmobile built on an Econoline cutaway with their shell mounted on the back. Or a Quigley Chevy Express is another option. If you want to do it in a Sprinter then you should look at an aftermarket 4wd system that is more suited for off road than the OEM system. Just my opinion...
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Old 05-30-2018, 02:53 PM   #7
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Cliffhanger,

You can also check out my thread (see signature). I have a 2WD Roadtrek with a locker and a good 4"-5" lift. It's still not back from the shop. They're finishing up alignment but I should have it Saturday and look forward to finally seeing how capable it is.



But, to be honest, I only built it for mild offroad. I plan on making it easier going down dirt roads, accessing hard to reach camping spots and beach camping... But nothing close to rock crawling and I hope to avoid mud and snow (but that's just because I come from Canada).

I believe the main issue at this point is the "furniture" in the van. Any rough bump causes really loud and annoying noise in the back. It's like taking a drive in your home kitchen.

Yes I'll definately be able to enjoy it in wilder areas but let's not get carried away.

I chose not to upgrade to 4x4 because I don't think I'll be able to reach areas where it will be necessary (and budget too). But I did make sure I had the means to get out of trouble (Maxtrax, winch, tow points).
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Old 05-30-2018, 03:26 PM   #8
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A lot of good thoughts and ideas here. Mat I really like your Mobile. It may be in line, realistically, with what I'm trying to accomplish. I'm not trying to go true off road. I'm just thinking of those occassional times when the road, in sections, did get really tough. In most cases, with care I think one could work this RV through. The other option being considered is towing a teardrop with my Jeep. These, allegedly, can be towed over very rough terrain or they can be dropped for a week while taking the 4wd the rest of the way.
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Old 05-30-2018, 04:07 PM   #9
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How long are the trips you are planning? How many passengers/campers?

Because a lift like Hondo and mine are in the 10k$ and above.

It seems you are planning short trips so I'm thinking the teardrop is a better choice for you.

We built ours to travel the pan-american highway but most likely ship it to Europe instead (includes more adventurous trips to Morroco, Turkey and beyond).
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Old 05-30-2018, 05:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Cliffhanger,

You can also check out my thread (see signature). I have a 2WD Roadtrek with a locker and a good 4"-5" lift. ...



....


Badass

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