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Old 08-24-2015, 09:53 AM   #21
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Re: Sprinter4WD Miami Build

Well how time flies - tomorrow is pickup day at SMB Texas.

I can't describe how it is to be finally thinking of closing down the planning/building phase of this van and into the using/enjoying phase. All I can say is that it still feels like it is worth it - this van will have all the features for us that you just can't get in any class B on the market.

Tomorrow will involve going through the acceptance process - I'm not sure what the SMB process typically is, but having owned several RV's I'm sure there will be a walkthrough. For me, since this is a custom rig, I plan to go through each item in the specifications as well as the floorplan and test them out and check them off.

I'm hoping there won't be any issues. Realistically though there probably will be just due to the complexity of these vans, and my expectation is that SMB will fix/correct those before I leave Austin for the Northwest. This is one of the reasons I chose SMB in the first place - even people who had the most frustrating problems were taken care of, and SMB didn't stop until the issues were fixed. I do plan on taking an overnight "shakedown" cruise in the local area before I head out of the country.

If anyone has any suggestions for SMB acceptance procedures - I'm all ears :-)
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Old 08-24-2015, 10:22 AM   #22
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Re: Sprinter4WD Miami Build

Video recording the walk-through is great, since your brain will probably be in overload, over-excitement mode, and you'll stop really listening after the first 10-15 minutes.

Also, I would plan for a couple nights camping or at an RV park nearby, so you can identify and rectify any issues before you drive hundreds of miles away.

Congrats, and post lots of pics.


Herb
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Old 08-30-2015, 03:47 PM   #23
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Re: Sprinter4WD Miami Build

I'm back from my trip to SMB Texas in Austin. The summary is that I wasn't able to pick up my van because they are making some modifications due to a reasonable misunderstanding about the build specifications.



First my impressions though - I LOVE this van! After waiting for so long to see it in person, it really exceeded my expectations. To be honest, I had been harboring some fear that all my custom choices of seat material, wall color material, headliner material, etc. would look ugly. I mean, I am not an artist, so I worried that the picture in my head wouldn't look like the reality. The truth is that the color scheme I chose didn't look like I was imagining, it actually looked way better IMHO! I spent so much time with the rig and took so few pictures!



This is a very custom build, meaning that I have a long list of custom things like the refrigerator, power inverter, induction stovetop, layflat sink, police scanner, battery monitor, porcelain toilet, micro-convection oven, and on and on. This is an all electric build like the Roadtrek E-trek, but on a short 144"WB 4x4 platform. We went with 75" length beds in a U configuration and a 42" wet bath.

As I went down my hundreds of lines of specifications I found some minor things that were missed or that needed to be changed. I made a list of these things. One thing that made me very happy is that I didn't find a single workmanship problem - and I was being critical. What I mean is that while I did find a list of things that needed to be changed or got missed, there wasn't a case of anything being done poorly or with poor workmanship. Everything SMB did was well done as far as I can tell. This looks promising for quality years down the road.

I feel it's important to point out that there were two items on the list that are "hard to fix". One is that the inverter, including all of it's wiring, needed to be moved from the extreme drivers-rear of the van to the extreme passenger-rear of the van. The second is that the sewer plumbing needed to be moved. The black tank exit pipe needs to be relocated, meaning that the shower has to come out and the black tank pulled up as well. Both of these hard to fix items are due to miscommunication - but reasonable miscommunication - not any kind of incompetence.

Now here is the important part. At no time did Paul, Kevin, or anyone else at SMB try to tell me that this was my fault. They explained what they thought happened and set about figuring out the best fix. They didn't use any words like "you are going to have to pay extra for that" or "that is going to be expensive". They just pointed out that they would need extra time, mostly because parts needed to be ordered to accomplish the fixes. Also, being highly electrically inclined and modestly mechanically inclined, I can see that they aren't trying to cut corners on these changes - they are doing the best high quality change possible.

THIS is why I chose to go with Sportsmobile in the first place - this is why they have such high satisfaction ratings. If they make an error they don't spend time arguing about it like many shops would, they just focus on how to "get it right" in the customers eyes. I read reviews about this before ever choosing SMB Texas and I am really happy about that right now.

On Friday I will head down to pick up the van for a shakedown cruise - at that point they will have the list of items fixed and I'll get to enjoy an SMB on the road.
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Old 09-28-2015, 04:02 PM   #24
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Re: Sprinter4WD Miami Build

Hello Sprinter 4wd! I just put my name on Dave the sprinter guy's list to get a production slot for a 170 4x4. There are 14 people ahead of me. How did the process work getting a van from Miami? Was there much of a waiting list? Or could you get a production slot right away?
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