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John and Mandi

us --> van --> overland
7 yrs and 6 days - end of the road

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Sold the Camper & Truck and Got a Van, Man

May 4, 2014
by John

After selling the Bigfoot camper it was obvious we were changing our original plan. We have been toying with different ideas such as moving to an island, hiking Europe and several others before going back to touring the US in a van. This has been a theme for us ever since we bought the Pleasure-Way Lexor TD in 2010. We really liked the ease of use but it was really small for us and our two dogs. Four years later, both of our beloved dogs have left planet earth so we've come full circle. I remember joking with Mandi about selling everything we owned and just moving into that van to tour the US.

As it turns out, that is now what we plan to do. We sold our 2012 Ram 3500 at the end of March and bought a diesel 2001 E350 Qiugley 4x4 the beginning of April. It's been a whirlwind since then but the van is currently hanging out at the local diesel shop waiting it's turn for a tune-up. We'll probably see very little of it over the next couple months since we plan on having it at several various specialty shops for upgrades and fixes. The interior is nonexistent so it is a blank slate for us to build out to our liking. This will not be an inexpensive endeavor! The main goal is to keep the cost somewhere around what we got for our truck.

Advertising picture of the van

Advertising picture of the van

Advertising picture of the van with Penthouse raised

Advertising picture of the van with Penthouse raised

So what's the new plan, man?

Great question. There is no real plan. We have some ideas and have been scouring over our budget so we think we can squeeze about 4 years of traveling out of the numbers. This means we may be expanding the travel territory from North America to include Central and South America too. We have been following a few blogs and feel we'd enjoy breaking out of the US for a while. We don't really have a launch date so kicking around the US then dropping down to Baja is where we think we'll start.

First of all we need to build our van out. We have looked over the Sportsmobile website for ideas and have tentatively settled on something like the RB38 floorplan with shelving across the back. Our van has a Sportsmobile penthouse top (pop-top) so we're trying to come up with a good dual purpose "in camp" vs "stealth camping" layout. We have a ton of work ahead of us, including plenty of who cut twice and measured once moments, so while the van is touring the local beauty salon circuit we'll be refining what it will be on the inside.

Another area we will be focusing on is getting it weighed and possibly on a diet. These vans can become overweight behemoths rather quickly so we'll be paying close attention to every item, accessory and fluid we add to it. We'd love to have a fully optioned out land roving zombie crushing overland adventure machine but we also want it to be able to move, and more importantly, stop! I've always been a bit neurotic when it comes to gross vehicle weight ratings (GVWR) so this will be an interesting endeavor. I can already see my wish list getting shorter due to how heavy it already seems. I have also been scheming on how to swap the existing steel bumpers for aluminum ones to keep the "if I catch ya I'm gonna eat ya" appearance it currently has. Worst case it'll look more like a regular E350 and we'll have a good bit more money in the bank account for the trip.

If I catch ya I'm gonna eat ya

If I catch ya I'm gonna eat ya

You be at the beginning!Our "Practice" Road Trip →
Say what? (2)
Robin Malinosky-Rummell
Feb 10, 2017 at 08:31 AM
Sweet van! Great fun last night. Will probably go into west end for veggies and money today. Otherwise lazy! Robin
Feb 10, 2017 at 08:39 AM
Thanks, it is much different than how it was the day we picked it up. We will have to get together again soon! Our plans are much of nothing, maybe a nap, and a sprinkle of lazy too ;)
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