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Old 01-16-2009, 10:31 PM   #1
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What was a mistake or waste of $$$ on your van?

Jage's 10 Best List got me thinking.
There's so much I love about my van but every time I climb up into it, I see that more black paint has peeled off the hoop step. Some mistakes were mine, like not remembering that I'm only 5'4" when picking items from the SMB menu.
So my list for most aggravating waste of money:

1. Choosing the sexier black hoop step instead of plain aluminum
2. Fantastic Fan--I've never used it once
3. Baja box--I can't reach into it without a step ladder
4. Bug screen for the side door--the velcro peeled off the van in one month, nothing worked, a real PIA
5. Hella tire monitoring system. Frustrating, erratic, useless, expensive, stupid POS

Well, at least it's a shorter list than the things I'm glad I added, so I guess I'm still ahead!
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Old 01-16-2009, 11:25 PM   #2
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1. The trip to Fresno to "fix" the leaky top the 2nd time.
2. The placement of the 2nd 4D. It could have easily gone under the EB with the first, but instead is cut into the wall and removes a whole section of storage.
3. The LED cigarette lighter flashlight. I moved it to my Jeep where the power outlet is key on, so it's only on when driving.
4. The position of the external plug for solar.
5. The replacement water fill valve that froze and broke again
6. Not doing the reflectix sooner
7. The Lightforce lights- they're big and practically useless without putting more money into lenses, block the storage area
8. Not rerunning the hot water line before this winter
9. Putting sharp pointy aux light switches where I catch them with my knee occasionally, and also can't see them
10. Getting new tires without having a place to hang the spare (a 33" tire takes up a LOT of room in the van, and there aren't tie downs anywhere inside)

Well I had to stretch things a bit to come up with 10.
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Old 01-17-2009, 11:59 AM   #3
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We frequently use the BugScreen for the side door, but the one for the rear doors has never been installed, so:

1 - BugScreen for rear doors

2 - Privacy curtain for interior. We always put up the windshield and front door shades, so we don't need/use the interior curtain.

3 - Side exterior light. If the side door is open, it is behind the door. Never use it.

4 - Can't think of a number 4

Mike
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Old 01-17-2009, 01:55 PM   #4
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1. Had both drivers and passenger side seats to swivel around. Have only used the drivers side once. Love the passenger side one though.
2. still thinking.............can't think of anything else.



Isnt it funny though some of the things others don't like we love.
Love the sliding privacy curtain use it at least half the time when camping so much easier than putting up the window curtain. Also when just going in to change clothes can just pull the curtain that is behind the front seats.

Also love the outside light by the door. Put it on at night when doing a bathroom run.
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Old 01-17-2009, 09:16 PM   #5
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1. The ($87) privacy curtain. Ours isn't a slider, it snaps to the ceiling. Used it once, its now in cold storage.
2. We added a ($300) circ pump on the coolant loop to the Flatplate to extend the time hot water is available. Rarely use it.
3. The SMB ($138) exterior shower curtain. Its a real PIA to setup. A $40 shower tent works much better.
4. Having SMB prewire for a future inverter. After living in it for awhile I changed my mind on the location so it was a waste of $$$.

If building it again I would not change anything else.
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Old 01-18-2009, 08:25 PM   #6
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1. The bug screens front and back. Velcro keeps falling off. Worthless IMO but there might be a way to get the Velcro to stick.

2. The awning. It’s rarely used and has caused nothing but trouble.

3. The porta potty. I’m scared to death of it.

4. The Yakama tracks and load warrior. The basket is too small so I plan to add a rear rack that is permanently mounted.

5. Solar panels that must be glued down to the top.

6. The top section of the custom rear box. I made a design mistake on this which will soon be resolved.

7. Air bags. I wish I had gone with better springs.

The portable fantastic fan would have been on the list until I took a trip to Moab in late June, now I won't be without it.

My wish list has also changed from when I bought the van but a list still exists. I'm sure there will always be something on that list.
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Old 01-19-2009, 03:17 AM   #7
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Re: What was a mistake or waste of $$$ on your van?

The privacy cloth that snaps to the ceiling and walls around the windshield and front windows area? We actually use that quite a bit, when "stealth" camping.

And the portapottie -- It gets a lot of use, and it works well!

There's nothing I'd really call a definite mistake or waste of money, but if I wanted to save some cash when doing it all over again, I might leave off:

1) The awning -- We use it rarely, and its rattling has cracked the body paint.
2) The ARB front locker -- I can't say I've every really needed it, but someday it'll save my ass
3) The rear A/C -- We rarely have rear passengers, but then again someday we might.
4) Rotating driver seat -- We only do it about once a year.

Pretty much everything else we get a lot of use out of. There are some features like the TransferFlow gas tank and the rear tire carrier that have been great -- after I poured a lot of time / money into getting them to work right.
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Old 01-19-2009, 02:45 PM   #8
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Re: What was a mistake or waste of $$$ on your van?

1. Outdoor Shower curtain (Its PIA to put up and can't use it in Campgrounds here in CA)

2. Hella TPMS, doesn't work half of the time

3. Outdoor light (Driver side) not bright enough to use when hooking up. Should have gotten a work lights instead.

Other than those three things, we love our SMB!

EDIT: Awning brackets from SMB. They failed after 11 mos. of ownership and the awning came down on us while parked on the beach.
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Old 01-19-2009, 11:54 PM   #9
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Re: What was a mistake or waste of $$$ on your van?

1. Microwave
2. Stock FORD springs that I had to replace with Deavers...to correct a problem that shouldn't have needed correcting on a $100k vehicle. SMB, are you listening?
3. Living with stock SMB interior lighting for as long as we did. LEDs are the way to go.
4. 17" rims...should have gone with 16" for tire availability.
5. The stock SMB propane stove (counter mount).
6. Baja Box...not applicable to our use on the road.

-Jeff
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Old 01-20-2009, 03:23 PM   #10
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Re: What was a mistake or waste of $$$ on your van?

Porta Potti. It was a gift, but its a waste of space. Camp shovel takes up much less room.
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