SOLD (in one day)
You have seen them on Instagram under #balboamotorhomes or lined up at the Cardiff Reef parking lot. Here is your very rare chance to buy one in exceptional condition.
The Balboa is a class B conversion van that comes in Ford, Chevy, and Dodge cabs and is an iconic vintage portable beach house or camping rig. It is special in that it fits inside a standard parking space therefore can be used at places that ban RVs (California State beaches for example....). Way cooler than a sprinter van, chinook or Quigley van conversion.
This is one of the nicest remaining Balboas anywhere and has seen a lot of upgrades, renovations, and improvements. The few that have sold recently sold over $30k and were not nearly as nice as this one is so I've set the price very fair for someone who knows how rare and special this van is. This is a turnkey van that has seen regular mechanical attention and is capable of making a cross-country journey tomorrow with no additional preparation. Everything is in working order and its mechanically sound ready for its next adventure.
1973 Dodge Balboa
Offered at $30,000 - *excluding personal items
75,300 Original miles!
One of the nicest remaining Balboas of the ~1300 made between 1970 and 1974. The Balboa was produced by Jensen Marine in Costa Mesa at the same production facility as the Cal20 sailboat. The rear fiberglass shell was built using the same construction method as the sailboats and has proven to be a very durable shell for being watertight and resistant to the sun.
As the hull on this Balboa was recently refinished using 2 part marine epoxy paint, it could easily go another 50 years.
Original Engine, Dodge 360 cubic inch V8 - Excellent condition, Runs great.
Transmission fully rebuilt by Oceanside Transmission 2022 ($3000)
Starter replaced in 2022
The carburetor was rebuilt by a classic car carburetor specialist 2021
New coil 2023
New spark plugs 2023
New spark plug wires 2023
Manual heater shutoff valve system installed 2021
New electronic ignition module 2021
New electrical voltage regulator 2021
New ignition switch 2023
New front brake hoses 2023
Rear brakes fully rebuilt, parking brake adjusted 2022
¾ of the front suspension was rebuilt from new parts 2022
New tires, 3 peak snow rated 2021
New rims 2021
New spare tire on matching new rim
New fuel filter and fuel hoses 2022
New headlight switch 2022
Replaced heater controls at the dashboard (used part from another van) 2021
Replaced fuel gauge in dashboard 2021
Backup camera with hardwired video cable 2021
Engine doghouse soundproofed 2022
2 Trojan 6-volt golf cart batteries, 450 amp hours (will run the fridge for 3 days) 2022
Renogy 1000-watt inverter hardwired to all 110 electrical outlets
Battery charger hardwired to exterior shore power input for easy charging
Victron battery monitor with Bluetooth to the Victron app for battery monitoring
Battery isolator enables the engine to charge the house batteries when running
Trickle charger hardwired to maintain the starting battery when plugged into shore power
A waterproof exterior 110-volt outlet was installed on the left rear of the van exterior
Extensive electrical rework and improvement since the purchase
New LED tail lights 2021
New vintage reproduction backup lights 2021
New Old Stock rear porch light, 1970s vintage, sourced from a Ford dealer 2021
Light switches and water pump switch relocated to rear entry of van 2022
Power “bypass” installed at firewall electrical harness (known Dodge weakness) 2021
New interior LED lights, floor lights, dome light, and ceiling lights, 2022
New LED exterior running lights all around.
New propane stove was installed 2022
New 110-volt mini fridge/freezer, runs off 110 power from inverter 2021
New toilet 2021
New 15-gallon holding tank 2022
New holding tank/fresh water tank monitoring system with remote display 2022
New faucets in sink and bathroom 2021
New water pump 2023
New water supply lines 2021
New butcher block countertop, soap dispenser, and new stainless sink 2021
Added exterior shower with yacht quality brass shutoff valve 2021
30-gallon fresh water holding tank
15 Gallon propane holding tank, new regulator and valve installed 2022
Exterior quick disconnect at the rear of the van for propane fire pit connection 2022
Custom rear bumper extension including substantial rework of rear bumper mounting beams and new holding tank supports. Custom aluminum surfboard holders. ($4000 Work done by Stewart Fabrication, Baja 1000 race truck fabrication shop)
New interior marine vinyl cushions with new foam inserts ($2000) 2023
Extra spare cushion to convert the right dining table into a bed
Hull exterior fully sanded, repaired, and repainted with two coats of marine 2-part epoxy paint
New ceiling vent, roof fully waterproofed 2021
Windows sealed using 3M 5200 marine sealant 2021
Curtains and new curtain tracks 2021
Front window covering curtain 2023
Right side window sun shade 2023
Left side window sun shade, age unknown, good condition
New laminate waterproof flooring 2022
Full-size spare tire on the matching rim.
Known Issues or needed upgrades:
1. The fuel gauge in the dashboard works perfectly from full to ½ then it reads empty even though the tank is still half full. The dashboard gauge was replaced from another van in working condition in 2021. We suspect the rear sending unit at the gas tank needs replacement to function correctly. I haven’t bothered with this repair as I just refill the tank at the halfway mark (it's a big tank).
2. The right large window screen doesn’t fit perfectly so I leave it off the van in storage. It's sort of OK fitting, no issues but I don't like it rattling around. The left screen fits perfectly.
3. The original battery charger works great but it's over 50 years old. Eventually, it will give up. Many of the other Balboas are still using their original charger as well, this model of charger seems indestructible so far. It is working great so I haven’t replaced it.
4.The cruise control does not work.
5. The 50+ year-old propane interior heater was intentionally removed for safety. If you camp in a cold climate you will want to investigate a new interior heater. I left the external vent intact for this purpose if you want a heater. The van is well insulated and we have found a portable Mr. Buddy heater to be adequate for SoCal.
Located in Cardiff. zip 92007.