BUILT TOUGH WITH FORD PARTS
This 4-Wheel-Drive Ford Camper Van Is an Overlanding Beast
Ford discontinued the passenger version of its classic Econoline van after the 2014 model year — but the company still produces cutaway cab versions. And American-based Sportsmobile is converting those cutaway cabs into robust 4×4 Overlanding camper vans.
Let’s get into the specs. These bad boys use Ford’s 6.8-liter V10 with 305 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. They are 7 feet 10 inches tall with the “penthouse” top, which pops up for extra room inside. The Sportsmobile vans have 16.5 inches of ground clearance and a 44-degree approach angle (the same as a Jeep Wrangler JL Rubicon). They also can tow up to 10,000 pounds.
The standard off-road conversion kit uses an Atlas gear-driven transfer case, Fox shocks, a Dynatrac Pro Rock 60 front axle, a quick disconnect front sway bar, and the brake rotors from a Ford F550. Of course, there are many other accessories available.
As one would expect, the Sportsmobile conversion does not come cheap. The base van alone is $32,580. (You could save $350 by going with a 6.2-liter V8, but why bother?) External body mods, including the penthouse top, cost $36,195. The off-road conversion adds $20,945. And you probably want the $1,950 option package with essentials like captain’s chairs and power doors and windows.
Tallying those costs together puts you above $90,000 (a.k.a. new Land Cruiser money), and that’s before converting the interior shell into viable living quarters with storage. At least you can buy it in the U.S., unlike this awesome modded Toyota van.
Customers who want their burly Ford overlanding van to have a bit more oomph may want to hang tight for a bit. Ford is updating the E-Series cutaway cab for the 2021 model year with the 7.3-liter Godzilla V8 (which makes 420 hp and 450 lb-ft). That should be available sometime in 2020.