Or How I Ended Up with a Vintage Sportsmobile
It all starts with a bee in your bonnet. An idea that takes hold and just won’t let go.
It was 2017 and I started casually looking at camper vans. There were specific requirements and a few skirmishes broke out between the sexes when I included my then beau on what feature sets would constitute the correct vehicle.
I’m not particularly risk adverse and can be quick to make a decision. My beau methodical, a deep researcher, and disimpassioned. When I became tired of waiting for Plan A and was willing to make a Plan B vehicle work, he was searching online for “the” van. And while I was trawling the Bay Area looking at junkers, the planets aligned for those online searches.
A closely watched eBay auction timed out on a vehicle that met almost all of my requirements. I checked it before bedtime and realized that none of the offered bids met the reserve. It probably hadn’t sold. Out of bed at 4 am, I called back east and soon became the owner of a 1999 Sportsmobile camper van with less than 10,000 original miles on it and in immaculate condition.
Not a chip in the paint (that still had its factory showroom shine) and the engine looked like you could eat off of it. The van is rugged with a Ford E350 5.4 liter V-8, and a class V hitch. Someone built her for serious outdoor play, but then kept her in a garage for 20 years.
This vehicle is SO clean it is almost too good to be true.
And so, at midnight on a Monday in early August, I hit the adventure button, rolled the dice, and jumped on a plane to New Jersey to pick her up. We gave ourselves 10-days for a cross-country home journey. It turned into 14-days.
The best laid plans. . .