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Old 04-24-2007, 06:34 PM   #1
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Should I look for EB or RB vans with 4x4?

Hey I'm looking for a used Sportsmobile and I'm wondering what everyone's opinion is of EB vs RB, both for offroad and for space inside with some version of the "50".

Thanks!
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Old 04-26-2007, 08:27 PM   #2
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Re: Should I look for EB or RB vans with 4x4?

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Originally Posted by jage
Hey I'm looking for a used Sportsmobile and I'm wondering what everyone's opinion is of EB vs RB, both for offroad and for space inside with some version of the "50".

Thanks!
The extra storage room available in the EB is substantial and we find that it is almost always fully utilized. For 4x4 use, there is probably more chassis flex and stress on the suspension with the EB, but nothing beyond reason or spec. You may also scrape the bottom more often on climbs etc....with the EB. For us, the extra room is very well worth the minor downsides.
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Old 04-26-2007, 08:41 PM   #3
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My DW wants to know exactly how much extra space there is..?
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Old 04-26-2007, 10:21 PM   #4
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Take a good look at the SMB website. All your answers are there.

I don't think four wheel drive is warranted in the long bed except for the pulling power you may need to tow a big toy. For real off-roading, don't even consider it. I have decades of 4x4 experience, and currently own my second Land Rover.
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Old 04-26-2007, 11:53 PM   #5
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Yeah, see that's kind of six of one with me. I've been wheeling for years as well and plan to flat and trailer tow my Jeep behind the van, but I also expect to put the van thru some paces when needed. So it needs to be both a steady tow rig for the toy and capable in and of itself... the RB is also cuter and the EB has the extra space. It will probably depend on what come up for sale in the next few months.
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Old 04-27-2007, 10:19 PM   #6
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RB vs. EB

Should you be looking for a 4X4 to climb trails, you need to consider the angle of depatrtue. The Ford EB has an additional 19" behind the rear axle. While transitioning from a level surface to a steep slope, the rear of the EB could come in contact with the ground. We have yet to have any difficuilties with either of our Ford SMB 4X4 RB's on trails.
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Old 04-27-2007, 11:12 PM   #7
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Either? So you make up for less space by taking two?

Heh heh. Couldn't resist... :twisted:
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Old 04-28-2007, 09:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
I don't think four wheel drive is warranted in the long bed except for the pulling power you may need to tow a big toy. For real off-roading, don't even consider it. I have decades of 4x4 experience, and currently own my second Land Rover.
I don't think that the decision is quite this simple. Everyones use slightly different. My family is 4 people (wife and 2 children). We went to the SMB because we outgrew the Syncrowesty. The EB was a no brainer. I don't think that the rb cabinetry would accomodate the clothing and gear (wetsuits, etc.) for 2 weeks in a remote area for 4 people. I have competed many of the black diamond trails at Hollister Hills SRVA in my EB and only scraped the rear end a couple times. This was just playing around to see where the van would go. I have yet to be in a real life situation where the EB has limited me not reaching a desired campsite or completing a trail because of the rear end. I'm not saying that I can go where ever a landrover or jeep can go but 4 people eating and sleeping in a landrover for 2 weeks is no fun!
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Old 04-28-2007, 11:01 AM   #9
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Hi Seth,

Howdy neighbor!

Of course you are correct about each family's needs dictating what they drive in. I wasn't referring to family use or passenger count in my comment. I was recallng how many great trails I've been on that have taken me to the most remote and beautiful canyons and valleys in the west, that a van of any kind just won't fit in, at least without serious brush scraping and possible body damage. Not to mention the wheelbase length and tight switchbacks. Keep in mind that this is the bulk of my 4x4 travels and so my comments reflect my own experiences. I am painfully aware that when I'm trail hunting in my soon-to-exist Sportsmobile, I won't be able to take any trail I find, including many that I really want to go back to. I still have my Rover for that.
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Old 04-28-2007, 10:11 PM   #10
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Jeffrey, I guess the most important thing to remember about a sportsmobile is that it is a compromise. It's not a class A RV or a Rover but rather a mix of the two. If you think of it this way then it's a great vehicle. If you make direct comparisons then it comes up short. BTW did you ever find a RB50 in SB to look at?
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