Craigslist: Classic Suburban Camper with LS Power for #OverlandingLife


I saw the link to this vehicle in one of my #socialmedia feeds. At first I was “meh, another jalopy modified by a stoned hippy who had too many brownies”. Then I took a closer look and was kind of blown away. Right away I started checking the couch cushions for the forty grand I may have accidentally dropped and forgotten about.
Based on a 1990 Suburban 1500, someone integrated an old camper top into the Suburban body. But they seemed to have done it really well. Then, they have spent considerable effort outfitting this contraption. Finally, the rig itself was updated with a modern LSx V8 and proper electrical upgrades. And a lift kit, too. Holy…
If one day I suddenly disappear, don’t worry about me. Know that I am happy because I am driving this vehicle somewhere far away from civilization. It’s not like I have this planned out or anything…


From the ad:

Custom 4×4 Suburban Camper Van – $45,000

This is probably one of the most unique and versatile RVs you’ll ever see. Fully customized inside and out, and capable of handling any terrain. True 4WD vehicle, seating for 5, sleeping room for 4 (2 adults and 2 children), self-contained and ready for whatever adventure you have in mind. Ready to go camping, hunting, ice fishing or whatever other adventure. Incredibly easy to drive and fit almost anywhere. Please note: This is a BIG truck. If you aren’t used to driving trucks or oversized vehicles, this may not be for you!
The vehicle has been almost completely redone and can go for long or short trips. Custom engine swap upgrade to a 2004 High-Output 6.0L LS Engine and 4L80E transmission means it’s equipped for whatever you can throw at it.
Has all the electrical hookups for a campsite, but can also function fully self-contained. See the list below for all accessories and upgrades. Over $120k worth of work has been done to this vehicle. You won’t find another RV like this anywhere!
Mechanical:
• Custom Engine Swap w/ 2004 6.0L LS Engine with 317 heads, High Output w Custom Motor Mounts & 4L80E Transmission (trans has 3 year, 100,000 mile warranty)
• 280 amp Mechman Alternator (180 amp at idle), this is basically a generator…
• 500 amp Battery Isolator
• New AC Compressor
• New Radiator
• New Steering Box
• Upgrade Cross-over Steering setup
• Custom Floor Shifter
• Bilstein 5100 Shocks w 4″ lift
• Offroad Wheels and Tires
• Custom Rear Lighting
• Interior Switch Panel (12 Switches, 8 wired, but unused)
Body:
• 1990 Suburban 1500 with 1980’s Ford Falcon Camper Top
• Powder Blue with Real Wood Paneling and Hand Crafted Lighthouse Art on Each Side
• Custom Rear Cargo Box w/ Stairs
• Rear Flood Light
• Roof Mounted Front LED Bar
• Rear Mounted Ladder
• Side Exterior Lighting
• Heavy Duty Door Steps
Living Space:
• Custom Hand Built Cabinets w/ Marine Locking Knobs
• Custom Counter Tops
• Custom Kitchen Sink with Overhead LED Light
• Bench Seat with 3 Seat Belts, Folds Down into Bed
• Custom Wood Paneling Throughout
• LED Reading Lights
• Marine Overhead Lights
• Two Electric Roof Fans
• Roof Mounted AC/Heat Unit (Can be run off batteries)
Amenities:
• Microwave
• 12V Refrigerator
• 1500 Watt Induction Cooktop
• Custom Aluminium Water Tank Inside Vehicle (in Cabinet) ~15 gallons
• Water Pump and Kitchen Faucet
• Outdoor Shower
Electrical:
• 3 Optima Yellow Top 12V Batteries (Total 165AH)
• Alternator Connected Charging
• 3000 Watt Aims Inverter/Charger
• 120V Inlet on Exterior of Vehicle
• 2 120V Receptacles with USB plugs (one interior, one exterior)
• USB Plugs in the Front of Vehicle
Audio:
• High Powered Sony Head Unit (40W x 4)
• Polk Marine Speakers Custom Mounted in Door and Dash
• Memphis Audio 8″ Subwoofer
• Waterproof Marine Outdoor Speakers
• Bluetooth and App-based Control


Homemade campers always give me the creeps. But this is different. This really nicely done. And there don’t seem to any “cons” or missing or incomplete things. This isn’t a half-asses project. And the pictures are good, as in the vehicle is clean. It’s as if someone is actually trying to sell it and get their money for it, on Craigslist of all places. I’m shocked!


Please, someone guy buy this so that I don’t have to tell my kids that we can’t afford swim lessons because daddy needs to get away for a bit and may never come back.  
Source: Rockies Craigslist



34 Comments

  1. I don’t know what they wanted achieve, but they’re trying too hard.
    That rear bumper! You’ve just eliminated about half your vehicle’s off-road capacity. The first tight dip you go into you ain’t coming out of it.

      1. Uh-uh. I’m not throwing down a year’s pay for something I need to find another bumper for, and then re-attach the ladder to that.
        “Custom” isn’t “good”, it just means no one else knows how it was built & will have a hard time repairing it in a jam.
        Also, the weight distribution. All the cabinets, sink, microwave, the driver, and if I’m not mistaken*, 35 gallons of fuel are all on the same side of the truck.
        * My 1991 C1500 longbed had the larger tank, and I think it’s the same frame? Nothing in the ad says anything about increased fuel capacity. I hope it doesn’t have the smaller tank.

  2. $45,000 huh? For that kind of money, I could stay in a decent hotel and eat nice meals that I don’t have to fix in a camper, probably several times. Also I don’t have to find parking for this “camper”….

    1. Back when we had an SUV to pull our pop up camper we did the math on how much extra money in gas we were burning compared to an Accord. Turns out it was enough to pay for a week in a hotel instead of a campground. We sold the SUV & the camper and bought a Prius.

  3. I don’t see the claimed $120k, and I don’t see the $45k asking. I can easily see $45k into it, but I don’t see paying $45k for it. I can buy or build a rig more specific to my needs and wants for that price.

    1. You could get a Blazer Chalet for about 10% of the price, upgrade the suspension (they were underspecified by GM), do the LS/4L80 (or 6L80) swap, throw in some boondocking capacity via extra batteries/generator, and still have money left for 100,000 miles of gas and maintenance.
      http://www.blazerchalet.com/venezuelan77b.jpg

  4. Came here expecting to be the only one not feeling the love for this but you all are picking at the same things – the rear bumper and akward egress, bizarre exterior paneling and the price. Other than those, it’s cool for its intended purpose.

        1. Honestly, I admire the engineering, but the aesthetics are terrible. One look at that exterior paneling, and you know things are off. I mean, it doesn’t follow the contour of the rear wheel housing at all, nor does it extend to the rear. It looks like a toy’s decal applied by a 6-year-old giant.
          Then there’s the bumper, as already mentioned. No explanation needed.
          Nix the wood cladding, replace the rear bumper with something smaller than a golf cart, and paint it something other than godawful baby blue, and it might be appealing at $30k.

          1. This is the perfect Lemons race car. It fulfills (maybe) the spirit of the rules but also doubles as lodging for the driver and crew. Note the front nerf bar cleverly disquised as a ladder.

          2. I’m okay with the choice of ’58 Chevy, but I’d be tempted to dress it up in Impala trim so as to inspire just the right level of outrage, because clearly a vehicle like this is all about subtlety.

      1. Thanks, not what I picture when I hear Ford Falcon! Surprising they were allowed to use the name, that Ford hadn’t ‘kept’ it given they were still using it globally.

  5. This is a relatively small quibble, but no room in the thing for a dining area, which would be part of the appeal for something relatively self-contained (gotta be able to hole up somewhere in bad weather).
    That said, since I’m not going to seriously consider buying it, I like it well enough, although I’ve also seen someone graft a Westfalia top on a Suburban, and it works better than I’d expect.
    http://www.reid.org/~dreid/89suburban/top/top_01.JPG

    1. I’d be inclined to believe the ‘Burban absorbed a Westie. It’s got that cat-that-ate-the-canary look on its face.

  6. An inspiration borne from a pair of toilet seat lids, one on each side? There must be at least 500 pounds of wood and laminate on that thing! Pass.

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