Our new Rocking 'R' Rig

Blackeye

Adventurer, Overland Certified OC0008
After pulling the trigger in Feb 2008 and making all of the decisions, we just took delivery of our new 2008 SPORTSMOBILE (SMB). Even though we are still in the "honeymoon" phase, we are so pleased with all of the choices we made and with the way SPORTSMOBILE West brought it all together.

Our maiden voyage (Yosemite, Cottonwood Cyn to Bodie, up US395, then west to Lassen, up to Redding, out to Hwy1 and back to SMB to pick up our truck) was primarily to try out the various systems and get a feel for things. We are so stoked! It is the perfect rig for us at this point in our lives. Here are a couple of shots:









more to come...got to get back on (off) the road!
 

slooowr6

Explorer
:drool: :drool: Wow, congrats on the nice SMB! :clapsmile

Did you get a chance to try it on any off camber trail?
 

adventureduo

Dave Druck [KI6LBB]
:smileeek: Beautiful!! Love that rack! You're killing me posting those photos.. im hours away from getting ours! Congrats!!!!
 

SunMan

Adventurer
That's pretty much what I'd call bad *****. No kidding you're stoked!

Maybe you could post some interior pics?
 

T.Low

Expedition Leader
SunMan said:
That's pretty much what I'd call bad *****. No kidding you're stoked!

Maybe you could post some interior pics?


Uh, yeah, what he said.

Congratulations. Looks awesome.
 

boblynch

Adventurer
The exterior shots are great. Post a few details on your selection criteria and some interior pics when you get time. Enjoy!
 

cellularsteve2

Adventurer
Blackeye,
Love your rig! It is awesome with that rack. Tel us what all the antennas are for and it looks like you have a Tracvision but I can't tell. If so how do you like it?

Congrats!
steve
 

Blackeye

Adventurer, Overland Certified OC0008
First of all, thanks for all of you kind words. Secondly, I am sorry for the "non-reply". We've been out rolling around CA and NV in the rig almost since we got it. We’ve driven a variety of on-road and off-road conditions and we are stoked with all of it. I'll post up some interior pics and some info on our selections / design elements soon.

The tires are COOPER Discoverer STT in LT325 / 65 / R18 (E rated) mounted on AMERICAN RACING Punisher rims.

As to the questions about the antenna farm, 1) is the DIAMOND ANTENNA NR770HB Dualband VHF/UHF Mobile Antenna Ham antenna with the DIAMOND ANTENNA K9000LRM Motorized Mobile Antenna Mount

https://www.expeditionexchange.com/diamondantenna/

This antenna is for the YAESU 144/430 MHz Dual Band FM Transceiver (Ham Radio) 2) is a WILSON ELECTRONICS RV / Trucker Spring-Mount Cellular Antenna for the WILSON ELECTRONICS Wireless Amplifier Cradle Kit, 3) is the new GARMIN GA 29 Low Profile marine Antenna for the GARMIN GPS 376c 4) is the K40 CB antenna and 5) is the KVH TRACVISION satellite antenna.

In addition to manufacturing both the front and rear bumpers, the brush guards, the ladder, the swing-out tire mount and the swing out “galley” box, Dave Hoskins at ALUMINESS

http://www.aluminess.com/

pulled off an incredible feat by creating the rack for the fixed top. The top has curves in multiple directions and Dave and his team worked tirelessly to make it work. We wanted to mount the forward facing HELLA Compact 4000 Series off-road lights, the three sets of HELLA work lights, the antenna farm, the two KYOCERA solar panels and the LED marker / brake / signal lights from LED Trailer Lights. This wasn’t going to work if we had to mount them onto the “Voyager” fixed top and so ALUMINESS took my design and ran with it. It really changes the look and accommodates the aforementioned items perfectly. If that were not enough, ALUMINESS designed the mounting system for the two THULE Sidearm bike rack mounts.



They’ve worked great on and off road.

More to follow…
 

adventureduo

Dave Druck [KI6LBB]
Looks killer Blackeye... where'd they bring in all the wires/cables? That's the hard part!

Whats the front LED for?
 

Blackeye

Adventurer, Overland Certified OC0008
Since I am not at the computer that much, I’m just getting caught up on replying to the various questions.

Q - Did you get a chance to try it on any off camber trail?A - We ran on some roads out near Bodie, CA…nothing too radical. We also ran on some pretty good stuff going up Hi Mountain Road from the Arroyo Grande / Lake Lopez side. We ran that at night and I was really impressed with the visibility, the suspension, the 4x and the power. (Not to mention the comforts of home when you get to the camp.)

Q - Maybe you could post some interior pics?A – I will get some interior shots up soon.

Q - Post a few details on your selection criteria and some interior pics when you get time.A – The selection process was based on how we intend on using the rig. I wanted my wife involved in the decision making process at every step of the way. (I didn’t do this with my recent foray into adventure motorcycling.

http://blackeye.smugmug.com/gallery/3173413_aZrg5#177127217_2AHKz

Although it has been a great and exciting two years, it was in the end a not the best way to go about it.)

After having had several off-road vehicles (D-90, Range Rovers, Hummer, etc.) we wanted a small self-contained adventure vehicle. We looked at various concepts but mutually decided on the SPORTSMOBILE 4x4 Ford van. We wanted the fixed top for the convenience of being able to stand whenever and as soon as we stopped. It is a trade-off from height and COG but through judicious and creative packing, we have kept the weight down low. The decision to build the rack was both utilitarian (mentioned previously) and cosmetic. We wanted to change the look of the fixed “voyager” top. Since it is my intention to travel with my wife to wherever we decide we want to go, I wanted the ability to keep her as comfortable as possible. That was the basis for many of the selections listed. The following represents our “build list”:

  1. FORD E350 Van with 6.0 Power-Stroke diesel
  2. Voyager fixed top
  3. SPORTSMOBILE EB-50 floor plan
  4. 40x25 awning window
  5. Carpet Overlay
  6. DAY/NITE shades at lower windows and at van side and rear doors
  7. ULTRALEATHER Captain Seats, sofa and mattress
  8. 16.5 gallon fresh water tank
  9. 3cf NORCOLD 12v refrigerator
  10. Portable Stove
  11. LONPLATE (diamond plate) rubber flooring
  12. Solid Surface counter top and sink
  13. Front and rear 12v air conditioning system
  14. Windshield / Cab Screen
  15. Tinted windows
  16. ESPAR Airtronic heater
  17. Porta Potti
  18. Interior and exterior shower
  19. Flat Plate water heating system
  20. Privacy curtain
  21. XL Storage-EB with locking XL storage lid
  22. Safety mirror with outside air temp and compass
  23. Heated captain seats
  24. HELLA map lights (x2)
  25. AGM 4D auxiliary battery
  26. 2 KYOCERA Solar panels with the BLUE SKY Controller
  27. TRIP-LITE inverter 2000
  28. Microwave
  29. COBRA CB with K40 CB Antenna
  30. HELLA work lamps (2 ea at both side and rear)
  31. HELLA Twin Supertone horns
  32. KENWOOD DNX8120 stereo with XM, DVD, GARMIN NAV, iPod, Bluetooth
  33. KVH TracVision satellite TV antenna and receiver
  34. POLOROID 19 inch HDTV with separate DVD
  35. Back up sensor system
  36. DYNAMAT sound deadening
  37. FIAMMA awning
  38. Window curtains at upper windows
  39. Upper bed (3 removable panels)
  40. Attic Fan with thermostat and rain sensor
  41. Upper side cabinets
  42. ALUMINESS Trojan front bumper
  43. ALUMINESS Trojan rear bumper with large Galley box
  44. Nerf Boards
  45. HELLA Rallye 4000 Euro-beam driving lights (x2) at front bumper
  46. HELLA 4000 Compact driving lights (x4) at rack
  47. HELLA 500 fog lights (x2) in front bumper
  48. HELLA 550 backup lights (x2) in rear bumper
  49. WARN 12,000lb winch in front bumper
  50. BUSHWACKER flares
  51. EXTREME AIR compressor with remote switch
  52. AMSOIL oil by-pass oil filter system
  53. HELLA remote tire pressure monitoring system
  54. Black FORD grille
  55. ALUMINESS ladder (passenger side / rear)
  56. ALUMINESS "Custom" roof rack
  57. DYNATRAC full-floating axle
  58. 18” AMERICAN RACING Punisher Wheels
  59. COOPER Discoverer STT LT325 / 65 / R18 (E rated)
  60. PANELTRONICS (#9960013) 8 switch horizontal auxillary switch panel
  61. DIAMOND K9000LRM Motorized Mobile Antenna Mount
  62. DIAMOND Antenna NR770HB Dualband VHF/UHF Mobile Antenna
  63. YAESU FT-8800R Dual-Band FM Transceiver Radio w/ detachable face kit
  64. WILSON Signalboost Cellular Amplifier Kit
  65. GARMIN GPSMAP 376c global positioning system
  66. GARMIN GA 29 remote GPS antenna
Q - …it looks like you have a Tracvision but I can't tell. If so how do you like it?A – We do have the KVH TracVision but, to be honest, I haven’t turned on the TV yet.

Q - ... where'd they bring in all the wires/cables? That's the hard part!The crew at SPORTSMOBILE West and Randy with Integrated Audio Solutions (SMB’s audio / video source) did a great job in coordinating the wiring. They ran all of the wiring for the solar, communication and lighting through wiring looms and then through the roof. It was definitely not their first rodeo.

Q - Is there a place to stand on the rack? It would provide a nice view.The rear area behind the solar is a storage deck. There is so much storage in and under the rig that I will likey only use this area occasionally. Yes, we can stand up there and might use it for scouting and photography.

I will post some more pictures when I get a chance.
 
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