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Old 11-10-2007, 10:41 AM   #1
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Intro & request ya critique my order plans

Hello SMBers, I have been monitoring & thought I'd intro myself. After years of 'thinking' of ordering a Sportsmobile we are finally ordering in early January from Indiana. Have monitored yahoo but only noticed this forum recently. Great to have 2 places to get a SMB 'fix.'javascript:emoticon('')

We live in the Hudson Highlands (hour north of NYC) getting several big snows a year. We'll road trip the whole East Coast (not West much.) When it's me it'll be state & national parks, when it's us it'll be hook-ups or even hotels. Travel with 4 (embarrasingly small) dogs most times & they need a/c.

6 of the 9 vehicles we've owned were 4x4's but we're going 2WD on the SMB. (price reasons.) Never thought of Sprinter until they came out with penthouse top this Fall but compared estimates of Sprinter 150S and Ford EB 50 and landed on the Ford as more bang for the buck. (though I'm not confident the engine would outlast a Sprinter engine.) But hey, I'm a big guy so the extra room will likely be worth an engine rebuild someday.

Okay, this is getting long, sorry. Let me just list my intended order. Would appreciate suggestions, critques, painful mocking of my options, etc. since you guys have real world experience on what matters and what doesn't.

Planned order: 2008 Ford EB 250 Pueblo Gold w/limited slip axle, engine traction control, gas engine. EB 50 plan with penthouse & bed, tan leather, grey cab, dark longcoin floor, propane stove & furnace, starcool, black hoop steps, solid surface counters, add batt, microwave, 2000W triplite, lumbar adj seats, plastic mats, porta potti, day/nite shades on rear & side doors.
Will I regret not getting: propane water heater, porta shower or trailer hitch?

Thanks for your time.
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Old 11-10-2007, 04:12 PM   #2
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Sounds like a great van. I generally go for simplicity. Fewer things to break, store, figure out...

I for one am a little sorry that we didn't get a "50" style plan. I think the big floor space in the middle and storage in back is generally useful.

I believe trailer hitches can be added later at minimal additional cost. Our 1997 had a trailer hitch that has never been used.

I think you might be happier with an outside shower. Even the folks with the big RV's usually use the campground showers when they are available. A Sportsmobile is a small place to generate all of that humidity

If you don't have the shower, you may want to skip the water heater as well. We have a 12v saucepan to heat up water for doing dishes. Or, we heat up water and put it into a thermos for later use.

Good luck on the purchase.

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Old 11-10-2007, 05:05 PM   #3
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Thanks. All good points. I also have been thinking the less gadgets, the less to maintain (or winterize.) And as for the 50 plan having that middle space we went round and round considering so many different plans (and using the design your own site) and at the end I just couldn't think of anything that would have that all important open feel of the 50.
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Old 11-11-2007, 06:53 AM   #4
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SMB specs

Mike, you might not need the trailer hitch, but check out with SMB what all comes with the "towing package". Our diesel came with some add ons with the towing package (plus the heavy duty alternator) that help with going up steep hills. I can't remember what all was involved with the package, but it might be a good idea to check it out with SMB East.
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Old 11-11-2007, 02:21 PM   #5
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Thanks Ed. That makes sense. Seems logical to make sure the van is ordered in a way that if we need to 'add' things later (trailor hitch, or for that matter perhaps even 4x4) that the basic things you'd need for that upgrade are already on the van.
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Old 11-23-2007, 06:03 PM   #6
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Okay, so a slight change of plans after further consideration & researching of this forum. I'm going to step up to the plate and go for 4x4 on my SMB. Not looking to be a rock crawler, just looking to get the traction and reliability I need in our snowy winters & the durability to handle the dirt road we live on and will be commuting in and out of every day.
I would say half of this should be blamed on all you "Fresn-ites" and your postings about your 4x4 rigs. The other half, surpisingly, can be blamed on the home front. Where I was told, "If you're gonna spend that much on that crazy thing it BETTER be 4-wheel drive." To which I replied, "If you say so."
So, interior options will remain as stated in my first post but, for the 4x4 this now means: EB 350, V10, limited slip, towing package, 4.10, Quigley 4x4(I see favorite here is Sportsmobile 4x4 but for price reasons and the fact that I'd like to buy out of Huntington, it'll be Quigley. I get that this means large turning radius.) Not "pimping it out" too much...but will get: rear sway bar, extra leaf spring, breakover shift, bush wacker flares, black hoop steps, side ladder (for snow removal from top) & reverse sensing bumper (so I don't crush our Subaru.)
Not planning a lot of other 4x4 options. Questions are: "Do any of you see any glaring omissions that I'll regret later?" Also, "Am I correct in thinking that I can add the high end front bumper at a later date?"
Thanks for any ideas. (Gotta love this forum, very helpful.) Guess I need to change my auto signature.
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Old 11-23-2007, 06:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikewTV
Okay, so a slight change of plans after further consideration & researching of this forum. I'm going to step up to the plate and go for 4x4 on my SMB. Not looking to be a rock crawler, just looking to get the traction and reliability I need in our snowy winters & the durability to handle the dirt road we live on and will be commuting in and out of every day.
I would say half of this should be blamed on all you "Fresn-ites" and your postings about your 4x4 rigs. The other half, surpisingly, can be blamed on the home front. Where I was told, "If you're gonna spend that much on that crazy thing it BETTER be 4-wheel drive." To which I replied, "If you say so."
So, interior options will remain as stated in my first post but, for the 4x4 this now means: EB 350, V10, limited slip, towing package, 4.10, Quigley 4x4(I see favorite here is Sportsmobile 4x4 but for price reasons and the fact that I'd like to buy out of Huntington, it'll be Quigley. I get that this means large turning radius.) Not "pimping it out" too much...but will get: rear sway bar, extra leaf spring, breakover shift, bush wacker flares, black hoop steps, side ladder (for snow removal from top) & reverse sensing bumper (so I don't crush our Subaru.)
Not planning a lot of other 4x4 options. Questions are: "Do any of you see any glaring omissions that I'll regret later?" Also, "Am I correct in thinking that I can add the high end front bumper at a later date?"
Thanks for any ideas. (Gotta love this forum, very helpful.) Guess I need to change my auto signature.
More of a question than a comment. What's a "breakover shift"?


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Old 11-23-2007, 06:51 PM   #8
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A couple of comments afterall.

Do you ever anticipate carrying any gear on the roof? If so, the electric penthouse lift may be a worthhile investment, though somewhat pricey ($1k I believe). From what I've hear, even a small load on the roof makes manually lifting the penthouse an ordeal. I don't believe SMB (at least Fresno) will retrofit the e-lift. Of course, this then just about necessitates rook rack rails on the penthouse to attach the load.

An integrated navigation system is nice to have, though you could have it added later, or you could use a non-integrated system.

Seat heaters are nice for cold weather, but they can make long drives in normal weather more tolerable if you have any back problems.

If you're ever going to tow, consider the Ford tow mirrors, though these can be retrofitted as I did.

Have you visited the factory? Definitely a relatively small investment for such an overall large expense. Make sure you understand all the options, and try to see as many firsthand as you can. Downside is, you'll probably end up spending more for those I've-got-to-have's.

Keep us posted on your order and the build process.


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Old 11-23-2007, 08:03 PM   #9
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Thanks for the reply Herb. Here's the scoop as I understand it on the break over shift. Nancy Nix from Huntington said I needed it if I was going to have a swiveling driver's seat (which I am.) Based on that I took it to mean it was a version of the 4 wheel shifter that could allow the chair to swing over it. But if anyone out there knows otherwise let me know. (My last exchange with Nancy was rushed and I didnt' get a chance to confirm this but will eventually.)
I am indeed planning a trip out there. I'm headed out in January to what will likely be a freezing cold Huntington, IN. But, I can't wait! (not many chances to see SMB's around here. Seems like so many folk are out West. Closest I've seen was GTRV.

As for the electric PH lifter, may not need it. My thought was for extra storage I'd get a Stowaway II or one of the Thule hitch mounted storage containers (whichever is most water tight.) Also my thought with an electric PH raiser is...what happens if it goes on the fritz and I'm in the middle of nowhere. I've never been into standard RV ing but I have heard of folks with slideouts that wouldn't slide in....not much fun.

Thanks again for the ideas.
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Old 11-23-2007, 09:20 PM   #10
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I don't have swiveling front seats, but the explanation makes sense. I have the SMB 4x4 system, and the Atlas t/c shifters could be in the way of a swiveling front seat. Maybe someone with a front swivel seat (and Quigley?) can confirm this.

You've mentioned the cold upstate NY winters. Is an engine block heater an option for the V10? They come standard on the diesels, though Ford only attaches the "cord" if you order the option.

BTW, I can't see any complications with installing an aftermarket front bumper at a later date.


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