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Old 06-04-2007, 06:17 PM   #1
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Picking Up the SMB Photos

Well, it's official I own an SMB. Here are the SMB centric photos from my return trip. Most of these are coming down 550 in Colorado and some are in Arizona or New Mexico along the way.


I know I don't look happy but I am. It's just been a LONG trip.


I realized that I should make the bed because more than once people asked to see inside the van.









Altitude! Up and Down and Up and Down in Colorado...









Yeeeeouch! Having the big tank is great- consider that ALL of that is @2.89/gal when the rest of the trip it was 3.15 and up, usually in the 3.30s with only one place at 3.07.
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Old 06-04-2007, 07:29 PM   #2
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Looks great! How'd the towing go? I recently retrofitted Ford trailer tow mirrors, which was a relatively easy upgrade IMO. I'll be towing my car hauler with my Bronco aboard this Thursday up to the mountains, so I'll see how my SMB does with 6500 lbs behind.

BTW, I love the photo of the SMB reflected in the back of the tanker truck. It's always kind of hypnotic while driving down the freeway. The color of your SMB is great. Will this mean we'll be seeing a darker green SMB emoticon? Congrats on the SMB.


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Old 06-04-2007, 08:04 PM   #3
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Power wise it wasn't as robust as my F250 with the 7.3, but it towed just fine. I felt like the back end kind of pulled around, leaving the front loose, but that could be the SMB lift or bad shocks. There was no tongue weight as I was flat towing so I don't know what the deal was.

The engine held pretty good, although there doesn't seem to be a brake like in the 7.3. I used 3rd a lot coming down the mountains. The actual brakes did pretty good until Tucson when they started to feel a little soft.

I wound up being a lot more patient as the turbo is really loud and the power and handling weren't quite what I'm used to. Let me know how it goes with a trailer- I'm bringing an empty single car back from Indiana in July.
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Old 06-04-2007, 09:39 PM   #4
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I had an '02 F250 (7.3L PSD), so by the end of this weekend, I'll have something to compare to when it comes to towing relatively heavy weight. Do you have any kind of brakes connected to your Jeep? Did you take your trans out of OD on the downhills? It can be easy to forget the simple things sometimes.

One reason I bought the used trailer I did, was it had electric trailer brakes on both axles. If you do a lot of mountain towing, an exhaust brake would probably be a wise investment. I haven't taken that step yet.

As for the turbo, I think the 6.0L is louder in general (at least compared to the 7.3L in my ex-pickup), but I also noticed that the previous owner of my SMB had sound insulation installed in at least the front doors (probably more than that), so the sound isn't bad. It is very hard to hear anyone from the front seats when you're in a rear seat though.

BTW, before I scrolled further down from the first picture, I was thinking you weren't exactly looking like a happy new SMB owner, but then I scrolled further down...


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Old 06-04-2007, 09:53 PM   #5
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I engine brake most of the time here in the CO mountains even when not towing. It will save the brakes. I use.. O/D off, then 3, 2, 1. I tap the brakes only if someone is behind me to give them warning.

Glad to hear the trip went OK. Too bad we couldn't meet up, but I hear you were able to take delivery earlier then expected.
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Old 06-04-2007, 10:12 PM   #6
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Yeah Ken, and it was a too long trip (thus the wonderful look) both going and coming. I'll be back in September in Ridgeway and then around Meeker.

There's no break assist on the TJ, and I didn't need to take it out of OD very much. Usually it was ~45mph or less (3rd) or it was 65 where having it in OD was enough. I like a rig that slows itself down even in OD and 3rd worked well for everything steep, especially considering the Jeep as dead weight.
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Old 06-04-2007, 10:14 PM   #7
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Oh yeah, and I looked at that first pic again... that IS me happy.
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Old 06-04-2007, 10:50 PM   #8
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I'd hate to see you in a bad mood.
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Old 06-04-2007, 11:39 PM   #9
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Hey, man, you have enough sleeping bags, blankets and pillows for a family of ten. I hope you were comfortable!
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Old 06-05-2007, 08:19 AM   #10
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Yes, well, I've been "burned" in the past by not having enough blankets- we camped in Yellowstone in an aluminum truck cap and froze with similar acoutriments. There is a big difference with an insulated van, not to mention the heater, so it did turn out to be overkill.

Also it didn't really occur to me until I started throwing my blankets down that the bed was not my usual air mattress, which needs a sleeping bag between you and it because the air inside the mattress gets cold and it's like sleeping on a block of ice.
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