Three years ago, we decided we were going to invest in an camper van. Like most, we started looking exclusively at VW Westfalias and VW Adventurewagens. We stopped after realizing the price of the VWs were climbing and we aren’t fans of the cab over/forward command layout either.
We then started looking at Class B RVs, van based RVs that are smaller than conventional RVs and fit in normal parking spaces. We were looking at three specific coach builders: Roadtrek, Pleasureway, and Coachmen. All three build quality RVs which are very affordable on the used market. However, we wanted something slightly more simple. Enter Sportsmobile.
Sportsmobile is an upfitter/conversion/coach builder with facilities in Fresno (California), Austin (Texas), and Huntington (Indiana). They convert cargo vans and passenger vans into functional Class B RVs. Their signature is the “penthouse” top.
What attracted us to the Sportsmobile is that some are not outfitted with everything, they retain their resale value, and they have a high floor (more space underneath the van), and low top.
The Dodge based Sportsmobiles are cheaper and parts are readily available. Our Sportsmobile is a 1996 Dodge B3500 extended body van (1 ton chassis). At her heart is Chrysler’s wonderful LA 360 based Magnum 5.9 v8. She is rear wheel drive, lifted, and rolling on 30″ 10 ply all-terrain tires.
She is a EB10-esque floor plan with a stove, sink, 3-way fridge , dinette, pop-top, solar power, furnace, outdoor shower, and toilet. She carries six and sleeps four comfortably. We have plenty of plans, repairs, and upgrades we will be doing over the next few months and hope to have her on the road early 2017.
Check out our travel adventures with this van here!