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Old 09-21-2007, 05:33 AM   #1
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SMB 4x4 as a daily driver/primary vehicle

Hello,
Leaning towards an smb 4x4, however, still have qulams of it being used as daily driver/primary vehicle for on-road duties.
Is your smb 4x4 your daily driver/primary (only) vehicle? If yes, how do you like it, your experience/feedback, esp. with respect to on-road, greatly appreciate?
Expected life usage of the smb: 90% on-road, 10% off road.
Thank you for your time.
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Old 09-21-2007, 10:47 AM   #2
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Mechanically, the 4x4 SMB is a fine daily driver. No problems there. IMHO, the shortcomings are obvious. This is a big and tall vehicle that is difficult to maneuver in tight places. Stop and go city MPG is also not great (13ish) for my 6.0psd. If you're OK on the size aspects of daily use, you should be fine.
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Old 09-21-2007, 10:59 AM   #3
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my concern relates mostly due to the fact it is a front solid/leaf spring,

from my experience, capable off road vehicle do not make for a nice/comfortable ride on road,

i know that the technology has since changed from way back then.. the era of the bronco/jimmy/blazer
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Old 09-21-2007, 11:24 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smb4me
my concern relates mostly due to the fact it is a front solid/leaf spring,

from my experience, capable off road vehicle do not make for a nice/comfortable ride on road,

i know that the technology has since changed from way back then.. the era of the bronco/jimmy/blazer
It's a heavy duty truck, and IMO, it rides, accelerates, and brakes like one. Don't expect the quiteness and ride comfort of an SUV.


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Old 09-21-2007, 11:30 AM   #5
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Smb4Me - I cannot comment on how it will work since I will not be getting my SMB for another month. However, I will be using mine (2007 E350 RB SMB 4x4 diesel) as a daily driver, at least for a couple years.

I currently drive a Chevy Avalanche 4x4, so the size of the vehicle will be about the same (not including height). I do realize that it will not be nearly as comfortable on road as the Avalanche, but that is a trade-off I'm will to deal with. I'm guessing gas mileage will be nearly the same.

I have a feeling that tires may be one of the biggest considerations for on-road comfort versus off-road capability. We are keeping the stock Ford tires initially, mainly because of costs. In the future, I plan on keeping the 16" tires as these should theoritically provide a better on-road "experience". I will probably go with some type of A/T tire. This should be fine for the type of off-road driving that we typicall do as well.

Just to give you a warning, finding insurance for this situation was a bit of a pain in the butt, at least here in California. Progressive, and some other insurers will not insure the SMB as a daily driver. I do know that State Farm and AAA do though...AAA gave me a great insurance rate quote.

Sorry I really diddn't provide any real information here, but I'm sure some others will chime in.
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Old 09-21-2007, 11:35 AM   #6
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My wife likes to drive the SMB waaaay more than the F250. It's very easy to drive and most parking spots are accessible even with the EB, as opposed to the crew cab long bed F250

It think the SMB is a comfy ride- no reason to not use it as a daily driver over that, unless your daily drive includes bumpy crapy roads (the bouncing will drive you nuts).
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Old 09-21-2007, 12:32 PM   #7
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one more vote from me for using it as a daily driver. I have remote start on the van and when I start it up to get ready to run errands the dog runs over and sits by the door.

I run the 110 ac while I'm inside for short errands and come back to a van that's just as cool as I left it, but with more dog nose marks on the windows.

The first guy who invents a coating that is dognose proof wins a candy bar from me

Also, my particular 4x4 conversion turns VERY tightly, and I rarely have a problem navigating parking lots.
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Old 09-22-2007, 07:40 AM   #8
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Buji - What is the turning diameter with your SK conversion? I've got my SMB conversion down to 44 feet and can't get less without going to smaller tires or removing the sway bar.

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Old 09-22-2007, 08:41 AM   #9
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Buji,

You say you run your 110 AC while parked for short errands. Is this a Starcool and if so my SMB manual says,

"INVERTERS" Convert 12V battery power to 110v to power microwave (O), hot water heater (O), computer, hand tools, etc. It will not run the Starcool A/C. (O) Are options

When I run mine on the inverter it does work good but I see on my solar controller that my voltage is dropping down to 11.68v and stays pretty steady at that. As far as I know appliances do not like to run on low voltage they will ware out prematurely. I would love to use my Starcool for the dogs when I run into the grocery store but I also don't want ruin my inverter or Starcool.
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Old 09-25-2007, 12:14 AM   #10
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Cal, I think I noticed it running at 12.6 or so (from 13.8) when I looked at it yesterday. Had it running when I ran an errand yesterday. I'll have to doublecheck that to be sure. I do know it's brutal on the batteries tho
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