Perhaps we’ve been influenced by watching too many vanlife and skoolie videos on YouTube, but we’ve been itching for a new adventure and ability to travel a lot more than we currently are able to.
So we purchased this very clean and extremely low mile 1996 Dodge Sportsmobile camper van! Well, technically signed the papers but not yet taken delivery because the purchase is subject to one minor repair which should be completed in the next few days.
For those of you unfamiliar with Sportsmobile, go check them out! They have been converting ordinary vans into adventure vehicles since 1961 and build some really awesome vans that we can’t afford new!
We plan to live and travel in her full time. We’ll be making some modifications to her, but not quite sure how extensive, especially interior wise since it is all there in great working condition!
Here’s some pictures of our new home on wheels. Scroll down below if you’d like to read more about how she is equipped.
Our yet-to-be-named adventuremobile is equipped with a gasoline powered generator which runs off the main fuel tank, a 120v water heater, microwave, an auxiliary A/C system, Porta Potti, Sportsmobile’s “penthouse” pop top, fresh and gray water tanks, city water and shore power hookups (along with a cable TV hookup, which will definitely go unused!) double front swivel chairs and 2 jackknife couches and other misc features.
We plan to add solar panels and lithium batteries, get rid of the old grandpa-style spare wheel cover and hubcaps, possibly change the Porta Potti to a Nature’s Head RV composting toilet if we can find the room for it, add an awning and make some minor cosmetic changes to begin with.
Mechanically she is in excellent condition with only 2 owners and 58,000 miles on the odometer. She needs new shocks as the currently fitted ones are original and soft, but she is otherwise ready to roll.
Originally we were considering a skoolie conversion with a shorter bus like a shuttle bus or building our own van conversion but we decided against that partially due to the benefit of having something turn key and ready to roll when we are, and partially due to the cost associated with a build out like what we’d want to do.
We’ll see how this whole thing goes and if we decide that we like it, we may find ourself a donor van that we can build exactly into what we want, perhaps 4×4 and diesel, similar to the modern Sportsmobile Ford E-Series platform.