best homemade van build forum, expo forum for van builds seems dead

lcavalletti

Observer
Ive been using the sportsmobile forum lately, as it seems more active than the expo homebuild van forum (this forum).

This forum used to be pretty active but now it seems dead with a new post every few weeks and no replies, and the same build threads stuck here for months. Anyone know something I dont?, is there a new forum somewhere where everyone moved over to? Or is van life popularity dying outand campsites are getting empty ( I wish)
 

mgmetalworks

Explorer
Van life is very much alive and well. It's not that...

Transit owners have the Transit forum. Sprinter owners have a few good forums. For me it's relevance, content and thread engagement. This section has not been meeting those criteria IMO so I spend more of my time elsewhere.
 

Recommended books for Overlanding

86scotty

Explorer
Sportsmobile is kind of dead these days too compared to a few years ago. I used to post lengthy, picture heavy threads on all my builds there and it was really alive for a few years, not just my stuff of course. When you stumble across them some of the old build threads here and there are pretty amazing still.

I think people have branched out. Lots are doing their builds on Instagram and other social media, and then there are the people who do them on Youtube.....which I hate. I don't want to watch TV, and I certainly don't want to watch ads to see it. So 2000's. :D
 

brianjwilson

Some sort of lost...
Lots of home builds here, lots of smart and skilled individuals too. I don’t post much of mine here because there are a few highly opinionated people who I’d really prefer not provide input...? Sounds stupid but some days it just isn’t worth the energy.

On the other end, you sometimes get asked the same question over and over from different people who haven’t done any of their own research. Lately I just don’t have time for it personally.

What specifically are you looking for? There is some good info on sprinter forums, sportsmobile, lots of YouTube channels etc.
 

Christian P.

Expedition Leader
Staff member
I can assure you that our stats are not down - we get the same traffic overall as before. This specific section may be more quiet, but I would venture to guess that's because the #vanlife crowd is more active on Instagram.
 

shenrie

^^^ hates cars
I was stoked to find the smb forum after fb killed all the other forums I used to frequent. Then it started slowing down on the content I enjoyed. It happened right about the time it was sold or reformatted or whatever changed. So I started spending more time here and ya, the content I enjoy is down here now too. Social media killing off the forums again. Hate it, but that’s the trend :(

Expo and the smb forum are the only ones I check anymore. Wife just started an Instagram page, but to me it looks identical to her fb page. Baby, dog, and pix of peoples meals...boring.
 

Gr8ful

New member
I just joined & just bought a great 1993 7.3 IDI diesel ambulance, Ford E-350 cutaway with a Horton ambulnce body, no rust, no decals to deal with except the ones I'm putting on & 88k original miles. Came from a small affuent suberb fire dept who realy take care of their equipment. These are a super heavy duty build, everything works, have front & reat heat & air, seatbelts for 6, 2 in the front & 4 in the back, new tires & batteries this year, 165 watt altenator, pure sine wave inverter, more storage than I'll every need & will have to take some out, a control panel up front & in back showing temp, rpm, voltage & amps charging. I have a wlk thru screen door for the side door in the box & a 55x55 for the back pair of doors. Has lights on the sides & rear to set up camp, super insulated & I got the 55 page buils sheets so I can know where every wire goes. I just ordered a step pump 6 gallon shower bag. Have to instal a sink, propane cooktop, I'll put 100# tank where the O2 bottle went in the full height lockeroutside microwave & a small air cond. I can get solar panel up to 500 watt for 50 cents a watt but then have to park in the sun. I bought a Lifan 4 stroke 2k genset for $169 from Home Depot that runs 8 hours 1/2 load per gallon tank so with the big alt & genset I can always add solar later if needed. A lot of diamond plate alum & SS which I like & plan to use diamond plate rubber floor. Here's a great hack for a 24"x42" table I'm going to change a few things & use
Amazon has 16" foldable HD shelf brkts I want to add width to the cot/3 seat bench seat & it will fold completly out of the way & a right across from the cot I can move the plywood to some sliding door cabinets for a work surface to run a little unimat lathe/mill & reload target ammo. Really not much to convert & be very compfy for 1 & cozy for 2. So if anyone has ideas or comment please do as I want to get it right the 1st time. Here's one with same size box but I won't have the bathroom or the dinette & much more storage https://pleasureway.com/plateau-xl-td/ Thanks for taking time to read my dribble but I'm so exited about this thing. Drove it 200 miles home on cruise at 75mph & everything worked like new & looks like new all for $2k & the $200 I spent at the license bureu converting it to a motorhome & paying fees & taxes. Should have under $3k if I don't add solar & another $500 for 1000 watts if I do as I have everything but the panels. Thanks again & again all help & ideas welcome!

 

Choff

Adventurer
I Was and still am an old vanner, customized vans in the 70's, 80's and still driving a 2005 AWD Savana Van.
It's great to see the van craze back again
 

Eagle05

Adventurer
I can't wait until that fad is over with to be honest.

For years no one understood why I had a van instead of a truck. All of a sudden it's cool again. I'd rather to be the odd ball lol.
You could always come to Alabama. I've only had my Sprinter for a few months, but I'm already sick of the jokes and comments about why I have a van and what I'm going to do with it. If you even mention Van Life, you get a lot of confused faces. Definitely the odd ball.
 

Eagle05

Adventurer
Lots of home builds here, lots of smart and skilled individuals too. I don’t post much of mine here because there are a few highly opinionated people who I’d really prefer not provide input...? Sounds stupid but some days it just isn’t worth the energy.

On the other end, you sometimes get asked the same question over and over from different people who haven’t done any of their own research. Lately I just don’t have time for it personally.
That's too bad. My wife and I talked a few times about buying your Tacoma when it was for sale a few years ago. I always liked reading your build threads and hoped you'd have more on your E350 and Sprinter vans.
 

Choff

Adventurer
I still get comments on van being the drug van type culture, the mine set of people that think that have no idea what vanning and vans are used for these days.
My wife and I still van camp on trips to south to see our kids, van camping is secure and a comfortable way of traveling.
I like driving vans because they are different and you see way to many pickup trucks now days on the road !!!
 

Recommended books for Overlanding

Dreaming of Jupiter
by Ted Simon
From $16.29
Vehicle-dependent Expedition Guide
by Tom Sheppard
From $133.97
Drive Nacho Drive: A Journey from the American Dream to t...
by Brad Van Orden, Sheena Van Orden
From $15.95
Long Way Down: An Epic Journey by Motorcycle from Scotlan...
by Ewan McGregor, Charley Boorman
From $5.69
Road Fever (Vintage Departures)
by Tim Cahill
From $7.49

Raul

Adventurer
Yes, the forum feels slow, not busy at all. Still great people. I guess people is out enjoying their vehicles. Me, on the other hand, have not been able to make much progress. This summer has been brutal, I can not believe we are at the end of fall and yesterday afternoon my car was indicating 101F outside temp. Hopefully as things cool down I'll be able to share more progress.

Since we are venting: we get quite a few people that do not contribute much, asking questions and not following them up when people reply to them (here and in forums in general). The expectation of free service is appalling, at least say thank or better yet, follow up and let us know if the response you got was useful.
 
Top