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Suburban as camper?

Discussion in '1936-Present Suburban' started by fwr, Apr 23, 2003.

  1. fwr

    fwr Registered Member

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    I gave up trying to find an affordable 4x4 camper van, and started thinking about trying to turn a suburban into a 4x4 camper. I know its been done, I've seen one around town here in Boulder, but I haven't seen it lately to go take a closer look. Anyone ever seen this done? Any advice/ideas? Thanks,

    Forrest
     
  2. azblazor

    azblazor 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Depends on what you mean by "camper". I've spent lots of time "camping" out of a suburban.
     
  3. heavy4x4

    heavy4x4 1/2 ton status

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    Yes, please explain what you mean by camper. Are you going to use it like an RV? Just take it to camping sites and tent-camp?

    I've spent a night or two sleeping in the back of the 'burb. Let me tell you, if it's just you or maybe one other person, you don't need to do any mods. Don't know of many people that need more than an 8' long bed...just bring a pad to sleep on and a blanket and you've got an instant camper.
    Let's not forget how cool and versatile suburbans are? /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif What other vehicle can you take to a lumber yard and bring 4x8 sheets of plywood home one day and the next day have a place to sleep out of the rain? /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  4. 88sub4x4

    88sub4x4 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Let's not forget how cool and versatile suburbans are? /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif What other vehicle can you take to a lumber yard and bring 4x8 sheets of plywood home one day and the next day have a place to sleep out of the rain? /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]
    I don't think it can be said any better then this! /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  5. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    You may have seen a Choo Choo custom high top conversion Burb. Its a Suburban conversion van.

    Graft the pop top off a VW Westfailia on it. It will give you a perment Bed space /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

    [​IMG]
     
  6. fwr

    fwr Registered Member

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    I meant by "camper" something like this:
    http://www.sportsmobile.com/4x4/intro.htm
    only cheaper. I'd like to have a sink/stove/fridge/bed setup inside it. I have summers off, and want to spend part of this time travelling. I had a camper van once that was great on road, and trouble off. After I got it stuck 20 miles from the nearest paved road and spent a muddy day walking, I swore I'd get a 4x4 camping rig. Easier said than done.

    Grim-Reaper, were you being serious about the Westfalia pop-top? They fit? That isn't what I saw, but it's an interesting idea. Thanks for the input,

    Forrest
     
  7. 85burbanator

    85burbanator 1/2 ton status

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    you could fnd an old sub frame and graft an old van or bus body to it. one of my buddies dads did that but it got destroyed when his house and garage burnt down. it was nice but deffinatly not finished
     
  8. K5 NUTT

    K5 NUTT 1/2 ton status

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    Why haven't you considered a Blazer Chalet?

    There is the rarest of the rare for sale in Rifle with no motor or trans for $1500...its a 76 Casa Grande...the ultra rare Jimmy version....add a tbi engine with a 700R4 and bang..great mileage and you can go where ever you want!

    www.blazerchalet.com


    DW /forums/images/graemlins/usaflag.gif
     
  9. bpiccioni

    bpiccioni 1/2 ton status

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    Forest

    Why not get yourself a decent trailer that has a bed, fridge and stove already inside it and you can keep the /forums/images/graemlins/burb.gif's OEM interior for it's incredibly versatility. Plus, it will be easier to get rid of should you ever decide you need to do that.

    Sure, it's no fun pulling a trailer through the really soupy stuff, but you can drop the trailer at the trailhead and use the /forums/images/graemlins/burb.gif as your away vehicle!

    Ben
     
  10. heavy4x4

    heavy4x4 1/2 ton status

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    Yeah. I kinda like that idea.

    As soon as you start adding weight to the 'burb (especially on the upper half), you won't have a very good vehicle to go through the rough stuff. Your center of gravity will be higher making it more likely to tip. Not to mention just the added weight in general will really limit where you go. Also, when you're bouncing around off-road, are you really going to want to hear pots and pans clanking around and falling all over the place? /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif /forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif
     
  11. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I meant by "camper" something like this:
    http://www.sportsmobile.com/4x4/intro.htm
    only cheaper. I'd like to have a sink/stove/fridge/bed setup inside it. I have summers off, and want to spend part of this time travelling. I had a camper van once that was great on road, and trouble off. After I got it stuck 20 miles from the nearest paved road and spent a muddy day walking, I swore I'd get a 4x4 camping rig. Easier said than done.

    Grim-Reaper, were you being serious about the Westfalia pop-top? They fit? That isn't what I saw, but it's an interesting idea. Thanks for the input,

    Forrest

    [/ QUOTE ]
    I haven't seen it done but the roof on the Vannogons are flat like a sub. It would be worth getting out a measuring tape and check the width and length.
    As far as the cooking gear. Masive cargo room in a burb. You could rig up something that slides out the rear. You could get one of those sport SUV tents that wrap around the back and create some room. Camping with a Colman stove is not so bad and you cna rig up a sink easy. The big problem you have is it's still not a van so building the insud out is going to mean sliding around on your butt to do anything. With a pop top I would keep the rest portable. Might put a RV heater in it in place of the Spare tire and build a outside rack for the spare.

    I will be camping in my burb some. I'm just bringing a canopee and a folding table and doing the coleman stove route. That for just when I'm camping. My burb is a tow rig.
    When the whole family goes we have the Airstream. Now I am building out my Sub as the ultimate tow rig. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif I'll be doing write ups for the site.
     
  12. mosesburb

    mosesburb For Rent Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    I have to agree with K5NUTT on this one. I never really thought much about the Chalet Blazers until Dug (K5NUTT) was gracious enough to let me live out of his for a few days when I was up in Colorado. Heat(!!), water, stove, a bed that looks like it should kill you but in actuality is very comfortable. An excellent all-around unit. Chek out the Chalet website. If you are not planning on storing more than 4 people in it, it's great! Check it out /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  13. fredekr

    fredekr Registered Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I've seen one around town here in Boulder

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Really? I'd like to see it too! I'm in Boulder and have a Blazer conversion, similar to the Chalet, but different. See the website link in my sig.

    I too drooled over sportsmobiles but that's h3ll of a lot of $!! It might be for the better anyway: not to drag Sportmobile's name in the mud, but I know one guy who has a very new one and has had a not-fun time "negotiating" with the company over post-purchase issues... he found out too late that others have had the same experience... "best buddies before the sale, worst enemies after" is what he said /forums/images/graemlins/ignore.gif

    cheers,
    Kevin
     
  14. a77blazerchalet

    a77blazerchalet 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    extremely old dead thread brought kicking & screaming back into the present time...means I'm having too much fun digging though the old stuff in here.

    How 'bout a 'burb version of this much modded German Land Cruiser? http://www.google.com/translate?u=h...jekte/hdj100.htm&langpair=de|en&hl=en&ie=UTF8 Seems to be a minor trend of mimicing the VW Westfalia concept on other such vehicles, I saw this roof whack job done to a Dodge Caravan, too.

    Land croozer motorhome.jpg
     
  15. desertrat67

    desertrat67 Hawk Driver

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    That looks pretty good. very slim lined with the roof of the truck when closed and opens up pretty big.
     
  16. Czechsix

    Czechsix Registered Member

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    I just built a rear "deck" and did a carpet cover for it. Throw a sleeping back and pad on, and it's perfect. All the rest of the crap is still underneath, and I built it so I can still fold the rear seats up for passengers. I've been thinking about doing that poptop too...depends on how deep my roof rust is. hehe.
     
  17. uplandhawaii

    uplandhawaii Registered Member

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    Got any pics of that deck? Sounds interesting.
     
  18. Czechsix

    Czechsix Registered Member

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    Not much to it, just 2x4's, 5/8 ply and some carpeting. I'll take a pic of it tomorrow, and post it on wednesday. Gonna be away from here for a couple of days. With the 4' width of the panel, it leaves a gap on one side that I use as a storage slot for some folding chairs, a folding table, and some other junk that works better stored upright.

    The one thing that I really like about the carpeting, other than it's nicer to sleep on, is that I can use velcro straps to hold stuff down on the deck, I hate having crap sliding around during sudden stops, going downhill on the trail, etc. Carpeting was some basic blue indoor/outdoor that I bought at Home Despot. Matches the stock blue interior pretty close.
     
  19. a77blazerchalet

    a77blazerchalet 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Similar (if not the same) tilt up roof in this German web site - just discovered his English translation pages. Don't know why such a roof couldn't be adapted to a Blazer top. Probably could be done with some cleverness and a bit of reinforcement for the sides.

    hzj_klappschlafdach_01.jpg
     
  20. throttleissues

    throttleissues 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I like those pop tops. I've never seen a 'burb or blazer with one, but I think it'd be sweet. I was really tempted to buy a 4X4 'burb I saw before with the solid raised top (custom conversion van type) but didn't have the cash at the time.:doah:
     

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