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Old 07-17-2008, 10:07 PM   #1
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California or Texas for Sprinter Conversion

Hi All,

I am considering getting a 2007/08 144" Wheelbase Sprinter with the high top(about 76" of headroom- not mega roof). Perhpas a 150S plan or something similiar

Can some of you give me your experience with California or Texas for the conversion. I know that Texas has been doing Sprinters for much longer and California specilizes on Ford 4X4's.

I have had 4 pop top mini van camper conversions over the years and am looking for more space. I am not considering the penthouse top as neither it or the high top will fit in my garage.

Thanks,

Sinbad
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Old 07-21-2008, 07:56 AM   #2
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I cannot speak to Sprinter conversions, but I can tell you that I was/am very happy with the service I have received at SMB TX.

They seem to go out of their way to make the customer service a good experience.
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Old 07-21-2008, 08:22 AM   #3
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I have no personal experience with the Sprinter conversions, except for poking around the finished ones at SMB west.

I would recommend, given the amount of money you will put into your vehicle, that you actually visit SMB at both Fresno and Austin and go with whichever you feel more comfortable with. A couple of roundtrip airplane tickets are a small investment, even at today's prices, compared against the cost of a converted vehicle and how long you will likely own that vehicle. My $0.02


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Old 07-21-2008, 09:17 AM   #4
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Where is home? is either location a closer drive?
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2008 Ford 6.0PSD EB/E-PH SMB 4X4 Aluminess f/r bumpers (13.5mpg avg, 15mpg hwy) 52k miles [Texas McBeast]
2006 Toyota Prius (48 to 68 mpg) 120k miles [Penelope]
2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon (15 to 18 mpg) [Johnnie]
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Old 07-21-2008, 09:34 AM   #5
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Hi,

I live in Northern California, much closer to Fresno. I have been to the Fresno plant 13 years ago.

Sinbad
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Old 07-21-2008, 10:13 AM   #6
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For me, I think that geographic proximity would be a major consideration. If Fresno is much closer, I would probably want them to perform the build since that would be the much more convenient location for any service issues.


If you were to visit both CA and TX and find that TX was far better, then I am not sure what I would do.....
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2008 Ford 6.0PSD EB/E-PH SMB 4X4 Aluminess f/r bumpers (13.5mpg avg, 15mpg hwy) 52k miles [Texas McBeast]
2006 Toyota Prius (48 to 68 mpg) 120k miles [Penelope]
2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon (15 to 18 mpg) [Johnnie]
2012 Mitsubishi MiEV (no gas required) ($.50/day in electricity) [Evie]
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Old 07-21-2008, 10:51 AM   #7
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I didn't think Fresno actually built Sprinters. I thought it was like the 4x4- even if you order through Austin, Fresno builds the 4x4 system.

Even if Fresno does it's the forte of the Texas location so I'd go there, deal direct and all. Plus having had work done at both locations... yeah, definitly would got to Texas.
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Old 07-21-2008, 12:17 PM   #8
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...and if you go to Texas, I know a guy that lives and works close, so he could get over and look at things.... (and they are used to him wandering around the shop!)

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2006 Toyota Prius (48 to 68 mpg) 120k miles [Penelope]
2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon (15 to 18 mpg) [Johnnie]
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Old 07-21-2008, 01:53 PM   #9
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Sinbad, my van was built in Fresno but now I live in Texas. Whenever I want Texas to fix something, they have to call Fresno to get permission to do the repair since Fresno covers the cost of the job. I have had an issue with the sewing of the penthouse windows not being square. They jimmied it as much as they could in TX, but I believe that in order for the windows not to be stretched on the diagonal, it needs to be removed and re-sewed. If I was in Fresno, I think I could convince them of this, but since TX can always say, "we can't get the approval", my leverage is less.
Long and wordy way of saying I'd have your van built in Fresno, near where you live. Face to face negotiations are always better.
And you should visit again. Alot has changed in 13 years, I bet.
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Old 07-21-2008, 02:00 PM   #10
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Right, but the question is if Texas had built the van would they make Fresno ask for permission, and then deny that anything was wrong?

Fresno definitly used the "you have to bring the van to us" to keep me from getting warranty service on the leaking roof. To be fair Texas also failed to fix the leak (actually they failed to find it!)
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