Sportsmobile gets a lot of write-ups in various magazines. The following are quotes from some of the publications that may be of interest to you.
Also see magazine reviews under 4×4 main menu button “Articles.”
Headline: Here are 10 of the coolest recreational vehicles roaming the roads today.
“Designed to take its owner way off the beaten path, the Sportsmobile 4WD is an off-road RV based on a Ford E-350 van. The standard suspension is replaced by a heavy-duty 4-wheel-drive system that includes an Advance Adapter Atlas II 2-speed transfer case that gives the Sportsmobile 10 forward gears and the ability to crawl over the most challenging trails. Crank up the Penthouse top to get 6 feet 10 inches of headroom and a bunk for two. The most popular interior option adds a galley with stovetop, refrigerator and sink, a dinette, and a second berth. The Ultimate Adventure version (shown here) features optional off-road bumpers, a winch, auxiliary lighting, roof racks and other extras. Available with gas or diesel power, these custom RVs sell for $85,000 to $100,000.”
Sportsmoible note: These custom RVs sell for $65,000 to $100,000. Two-wheel drives start at $55,000.
MSN.com Autos – Charles Plueddeman
“The Sportsmobile is a world-class platform, and proved itself to me on a major overland trip into Copper Canyon, Mexico. The combination of a spacious, comfortable living area, good storage volume and payload, diesel power (we averaged 16.2 mpg), and excellent trail capability is a rare find in North America.
From driving comfortably at 75 mph to crawling at 0.5 mph over technical terrain, the versatile performance is a notable accomplishment by Sportsmobile.
This expedition camper van is ready for an around-the-world overland trip.”
Scott Brady – publisher of Overland Journal
“A Sportsmobile 4×4 can be an alternative to owning and maintaining a family car and RV. Its versatility, functionality, livability and drivability, combined with the ease of parking in standard size parking spaces, make almost any destination reachable without sacrificing comfort. Besides, you’ll be the envy of the carpool lane.”
Off Road Magazine – M.M. Morrison
“For our test we chose Sportsmobile’s most popular floorplan, the RB-50, because of its abundant storage space and open layout. Incorporating the company’s popup/fold-down roof provided a more aerodynamic profile for improved fuel economy when driving on the highway and a lower center of gravity off-road. When it’s time to make camp for the night, the top’s built-in electric motors raise the roof at the touch of a button to provide a full 6.75 feet of stand-up height. With a roomy upper bed and fold-out sofa, it can sleep four adults.”
Truck Trend Magazine – Alan Rider
“The Sportsmobile/Quigley 4×4 throttles easily along the highway and stops competently, courtesy of the upgraded brakes. At the access road to a backcountry trail, a gentle tug on the transfer case engages low range. Low-effort steering allows the driver to pick a line across the humps and bumps of the deeply rutted trail. Even with street tires, this full-size van handles the thick mud like a competent four-wheel-drive truck, aided by its Dana drive axle gearing. Its supple suspension provides good wheel articulation.”
Motor Trend Magazine – Sue Mead
“Tired of camping in RV parks that feel more like the infield of a NASCAR race than they do the great outdoors? Time to get out of town with a Sportsmobile 4×4 van. Sportsmobile has been converting vans into self-contained rolling cities since 1961. It started with the humble Volkswagen Transporter, then expanded to the Ford Econoline in 1962.”
Auto Week Magazine – Mark Vaughn
“For the outdoor enthusiast, the Sportsmobile 4×4 is ideal. It’s capable of hauling plenty of gear to the back country and then slog its way through the mud, sand and rocks to put you in camp as close to the quarry as possible.”
Trailer Life Magazine- Jim Brightly
“Could this be the perfect Southwest exploring tool? I have yet to see one better. It has the brute powertrain of a HUMMER (and I don’t mean a H2) and the finesse of an RV. It will go most places any off-road truck can and do most things an RV or toy hauler can do. With trailer in tow, you can even bring all of your toys along for the ride.”
Back Country Explorer Magazine – Rob McPherson
“The most striking aspect of the Sportsmobile 4×4 Rally was the wide variety of people who love these four-wheelers. From newlyweds to retirees, independently wealthy technophiles to ingenious low tech hermits, individuals to growing families – they were at this event.”
Four Wheeler Magazine – Mark Williams
“A Sportsmobile 4X4 is about the same price as an upscale SUV. It can be outfitted with every option one would want in a motorhome. Specialty equipment to support a particular interest, such as hang gliding, wind surfing, hunting, fishing, photography, or even chasing a hot-air balloon can be installed. And unlike a motorhome that sits parked 10 months out of the year, the Sportsmobile can always be used as a first or second family car, as well as for vacations and adventure travel.”
Truck Trend Magazine – Lazelle D. Jones
“While the ride height is increased 4 inches on the Ford van, surprisingly there’s no sensation of tippiness or excess lean. The ride quality is indistinguishable from a normal van’s. Despite the added height of the van, the center of gravity is barely raised, since the added components are mounted so low.”
Popular Mechanics – Mike Allen
“A Sportsmobile 4×4 is far more than just a luxury purchase for occasional use. It can be a practical investment for everyday transportation, weekend excursions and extended off-road expeditions.”
Four Wheeler Magazine – Michael Rudd
“We love our Sportsmobile. It’s the most comfortable traveling vehicle we have ever driven. The 4-wheel drive allows us to get to trail heads, lakes and campsites that we had to hike to years earlier. To quote a parking attendant, ‘This is an incredible machine.’ Thank you for your friendly, honest service and excellent craftsmanship.”
Robert & Allison Simpson
“I want to say how much Sandra and I enjoyed our first trip to Colorado in our new 4×4 Sportsmobile. In a nutshell, I can say that everything you promised and claimed about the product was as you said it would be. Quigley also does an excellent job with their work because it was very comfortable to drive all day. It has an above-average ride.
“The bed works well for one child in the drivers seat area; however, I would suggest putting some kind of strap on it because it is difficult to handle. I finally tied a rope around the hinge so I could carry it from the back of the van to the front. I’m certain we will enjoy the Sportsmobile for many years to come.”
Dennis & Sandra Floren
“I had a great trip home. On the advice of some local friends, I headed south through Natural Bridges National Monument and then down Highway 261 to Mexican Hat, the Navajo Reservation, and Monument Valley. 261 is a paved 70 mph road, which ended with a sign that said, “Caution, Steep Gravel Road Ahead, Many Sharp Switchbacks, Road Descents 1,100 feet in 3 Miles, Proceed with Caution” — a true
Sportsmobile 4×4 invitation if there ever was one! Well pulling out onto the gravel is like driving your van off the top of a 100 story building. The views are amazing, probably 100 miles to the south overlooking Valley of the Gods and into Monument Valley. The road is actually in good shape with two full lanes — it’s just the height that provides the “pucker factor.” Anyhow, if you ever find yourself in the area again. I highly recommend it.
“It was great meeting many of you and look forward to seeing you again soon.”
“Driving across the high plateau of Wyoming pronghorn antelope country in our new Sportsmobile (a one-ton, Ford diesel van, 4×4, 54 gallon tank, camper conversion, big tires, CB radio), in other words a vanagon on testosterone, or a Westfalia on Viagra. We are king and queen of the road. We literally ride so high we look over the roof racks of Ford Explorers, Jeep Cherokees and underdeveloped Chevy Tahoes.
“Now for the down side: no more anonymity ever again in life, unless you stare coldly straight ahead as you drive down city streets and freeways. Everyone tries to frantically wave and get your attention giving you a thumbs up, which they expect you to return with a smile and thumbs up. Charlie can’t determine if it’s thumbs up or a finger from some airheaded Berkeley liberal complaining about our diesel purchase. Little kids go crazy with excitement. Barg looks out the window nervously and can’t figure out what the excitement is about — should he bark, watch, or ignore them? We’ll all have to figure it out.
“But the most exciting thing of all is that Charlie is one step closer to being respected by the trucking community. They always marveled at his driving statistics: now on his 66th cross-continent drive, and don’t forget 15 trips to Alaska. Now with this diesel, he has to fill up where they fill up, with his CB ‘good buddies’ from Mayflower, Beacon and UPS. We ride so high that instead of the truckers seeking a little cleavage, they look us almost right in the eye and give us that honorable nod. Charlie melts with respect and admiration. He is one step closer to being on the cover of the American trucker, his lifelong ambition. He has heard twice before they have given honorary covers to non-commercial truckers. He can only wait and hope. Still haven’t gotten the unsolicited horn honk or thumbs up from them. The would make him wet his pants.”
Charlie and Julie Berger
“We’re still in Moab, just stopped for gas, can’t leave. People keep asking to see our van and it’s a mess, covered inside and out with red muck!
“Our van really is remarkable, but even more remarkable is the Sportsmobile family you have created. A group so diverse in talents but so similar in their desire for adventure, the love of the outdoors, and their eagerness to enjoy and share their experiences and talents.
“Even with one day of bad weather, this year’s rally in Moab was the best! Great trails! Great price! Great shirts! Great food! Great entertainment! The four-wheel drive trails were challenging and a real learning experience and confidence booster. Even though you made it appear that planning and preparation for this event was effortless, we know months of planning and preparation went into this event. We enjoyed it thoroughly. We’re glad we were able to be part of it!
“Thank you for Moab, and thank you for our Sportsmobile. It’s an awesome machine!”
Joe and Karen LaValley
“Although it has been a few months since taking delivery of my Sportsmobile 4×4, I wanted to express my great satisfaction with the van and my entire purchasing experience with Sportsmobile. This has been a dream project of mine for many, many years. Finally last year all those things necessary for its fulfillment came together.
“I know my project was a little out of the ordinary from your normal build outs, and that created a few challenges as we implemented my design. Your desire to work with me and achieve my goals as closely as possible is truly appreciated. I am extremely happy with the outcome.
“The 4×4 conversion and other modifications seem to be of equal professional quality. I could not be more satisfied with the design and implementation of the Sportsmobile 4×4 conversion. It is far superior to anything else on the market. I get numerous comments on the 4×4 conversion from knowledgeable and experienced 4×4 people who are amazed at the design, component choice, execution and functionality of the package.
“As you know, I will be using this van as a simple home and equipment transport in some quite rugged and unusual traveling and expedition environments in Mexico. I expect the van to fulfill all my expectations quite nicely.
“Above all else, you and the people at Sportsmobile’s desire to provide a purchasing and after-sale environment that places the customer’s satisfaction as number one, which is the sign of dedication and professionalism that is unfortunately absent from many of today’s businesses.
“Now if I can just spend as much time traveling in the van as I do giving impromptu Sportsmobile van tours and discussing its merits with friends and strangers who are in awe, I will really enjoy it even more.”
“For our first Sportsmobile trip from Washington State, we headed south and camped in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Joshua Tree National Park, Mojave National Preserve and Afton Canyon. While we were hoping for lots of warm sunny weather, we had quite a bit of rain and even some snow.
“The desert photo (top left): Moonrise at Mountain Palm Springs campground in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park — the clear desert sky was filled with bright stars, visible even though the moon was so bright.
“The snow photo — on our way home we drove through Central Oregon, which is high desert country, and camped at Oregon’s LaPine State Park. In the morning there were a couple inches of fresh snow on the ground and it was still snowing. Despite the weather, we still had a great time.”
Brian and Kelly Rutherford
“When I showed for the clinic, I heard people kind of snickering about the van and its size. Most of the club members are jeepers/early bronco owners. Some of the participants looked at the van and said, ‘No way that thing is going to make it through the day.’ Only a couple of club members actually knew what I had and what it is capable of. Those who knew were very curious to see the van perform as most of them had never seen a Sportsmobile in action. I think the van surprised a lot of people. At the end of the day there was a group of people looking over the van and its suspension. People were amazed. Thanks for a great product.”
“Oh my God!!! Am I a happy camper of what!!! 1 1/2 years ago I saw my first Sportsmobile, so it has been a long gestation, but well worth the wait and all the research and homework, and I now know I not only made the right choice in choosing Sportsmobile, but also as regards floor plan, components, etc. It would be more accurate to say that you and your team and i shared a dream, but that all did the hard work (aka ‘the pregnancy’) to make it a reality, and now I’m the proud father! Thanks again to you all!
“My first getting acquainted outing, I pulled into the campground, breathed a sigh of relief, and spent the next day getting organized. It was starting to get toasty, but I went climbing nonetheless and had a great time. After a couple of days at the campground, where most of the climbers stay, it was hot, dusty, noisy, and not very esthetic. I remembered I had bought this machine to avoid or get me out of such situations. Without knowing what I’d find, I headed out to higher ground, and went up a fairly steep, deeply rutted forest service road and found a beautiful, cool, quiet, grassy turnout with great views that was a wonderful campsite. I didn’t have to use 4W, and the van just laughed at the ‘challenge’! Thought it was a bit further from the climbing, that was where I spent the next several nights, and took my first van shower. The shower which I expected to be wimpy and tepid like my solar shower bag, blasted me with a REALLY hot shower which had more pressure than that in the house I had just sold.
“I truly was not prepared for the gawking, squawking and talking I would be facing in my new home!! At this beautiful overlook on the one-way loop road in Red Rocks, I was sitting on a bench admiring the view after a great day for climbing and I overheard a guy exclaim to his friend, ‘I’m more interested in that van than I am in the view!’
“After a week in Red Rocks, and a buffet in Vegas that my sister insisted I enjoy, I was nervous about how to get out of town, but was effortlessly guided out the door by the ‘GPS Lady’ to Hoover Dam. I went on to another climbing area in Arizona, which is much more isolated and where I really enjoyed the camping again. I had a campfire and the scene was rather reminiscent of that portrayed on your 4×4 brochure (the one that got worn out from showing it to so many people).
“So I arrived in Santa Fe, where my friend Jerry told me the bike rack parts had indeed arrived, and we got into ‘the project’ with dull drill bits and worn hacksaw blades, but eventually prevailed. I’ve proudly shown my new home to many of my friends, mostly to show them I wasn’t telling stories when I said I was moving into a van like the one in the brochure.
Once again, I wasn’t prepared for the ‘van envy’ that would ensue! Honestly, I did not buy this machine as a status symbol, and laughed with disbelief when Josh told me ‘even Hummers will give you space’ (or something to that effect).
“I’m frequently asked about cost, which sometimes people find breathtaking for a vehicle, but in addition to it being my HOME, I also think you have put together a truly quality product accompanied by importance given to client/customer education and service. I’m sure you can tell by now that for me it has been well worth it to have the vehicle/home fantasy come true!
“By the way, I love the way the van handles, and how effortlessly the diesel powers the vehicle. In spite of that, both the van (aka ‘Len’s Place’) and I are quite ready to get out of increasingly congested Santa Fe and hit the road! I’ve developed a 12 point ‘pre-departure’ check list, so I don’t drive off with the top up or something else equally mindless . . .
“Anyway I don’t expect this honeymoon to end anytime soon, and I’m headed off to New York in a couple of days, due there in about two weeks. I think I mentioned we’re doing a five-day road trip, followed by a family event, after which I’ll have about five weeks to do the Canadian tier before the Rally.
“So I’m no doubt not the first, and doubt I’ll be the last, to sing your praises. As I said before, this is the best ‘home’ ever! And you certainly may use any or all of this blather if anyone cares to stand/sit long enough to hear/read it!”
“Hey everyone at Sportsmobile. Again I’m interrupted by someone stopping by to see my Sportsmobile. I’ve been on the road now for six weeks with my weiner dogs. Since arriving in Canada, Ontario, I’ve been the object of attention. This rig is a man-magnet everywhere I go. I kid you not, they have not seen anything like this vehicle, and I’ve been the center of attention everywhere from Ontario, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and all the way to northern Newfoundland.
“When I pass by road works they really gawk. A man and his son, both plumbers with a van, stopped me at the laundromat to really get a good look. They loved it and commented that they wondered if anyone made a 4-wheel van. The interest is great because of their long winters and their love of camping, hunting, fishing, so this vehicle is a dream for many I’ve seen. Kids are the most impressed. When I drive through the provisional campgrounds looking for a site, everyone stares. And everyone comments when I’m sitting inside.
“I’m waiting for the ferry from Nova Scotia to Maine, and a woman walks by and says, ‘Oh my, the front seat swivels to face the back.’ You don’t need to respond to this e-mail. I just wanted you to know that you may want to advertise a bit in Canada. I keep sending everyone to the Web site to order online. I have stayed in the Sportsmobile every night since leaving on June 8 — on the road traveling with the weiners.”