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Old 08-12-2010, 07:12 PM   #1
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Our new SMB

First we'd like to thank everyone who let us look at their rig, billwillson, sdwindansea,... Given all the decisions we had to make it was very helpful.

We ordered an E350 v10 gas engine van from Ford in October 2009. In the January/ February 2010 timeframe it was shipped to Quigley for a 4x4 conversion. Then it was shipped to Indiana to have a modified EB45 interior installed. I picked the van up from Indiana in the middle of April and drove it home to San Diego.


Ford:

Issues: At 9000k the transmission oil pump went out and a cooling water hose clamp. This stranded the van in Arizona for a week, but all the work was covered under warranty.

Quigley:

Issues: None really, just an ignorant female driver who has only ever driven zippy, subcompact cars dealing with a steep learning curve. I found the front suspension lacking and we retrofitted a rear swaybar to help with windage. Slowing down helps... I was disappointed about the performance of the van in sand but with 80 psi in the tires, what did I expect? We are toying with getting a compressor.

Sportsmobile:

Things we love: the loincoin floor for its durability (we also got a carpet but removed it), the flush mounted stove, the propane refrigerator, the corrian counter top, the fact that they allow the driver's seat to rotate in Indiana, all the storage in the corridor design (we are really glad that we got a corridor plan), the pantry, the cellar, and how cool the interior of the van stays with the top up and all the screens open.

Things we have had issues with: Shifting cabinets, I have found the 1 inch of padding on the loft bed not to be enough and so we now take a thermarest, the fiberglass sink won't take a hot pan (duh! more user error), we have had a couple of holes develop in the popup canvas and have to watch carefully that the canvas bows out, away from the hydraulic arms when the top is being lowered. Initially there only seem to be 3 threads on the lock down hooks engaged which seemed a bit close, but we haven't had any problems.


We got good service from Quigley and excellent service from Sportsmobile Indiana. Indiana provided knowledgeable input, excellent suggestions, follow through and responsiveness. We would like to thank Nancy, Jim, Chad and the team in Indiana.
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Old 08-12-2010, 07:48 PM   #2
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Re: Our new SMB

Do you have a door or large window open while you lower the top. With the side door open I've never had the canvas get under the top. When the top come down, you need to displace a lot of air. If you don't have a big opening (door or large window) pressure can buildup in the cabin and push the canvas out and under the top.

Mike
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Old 08-12-2010, 07:57 PM   #3
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Re: Our new SMB

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimAndAnnie
we have had a couple of holes develop in the popup canvas and have to watch carefully that the canvas bows out, away from the hydraulic arms when the top is being lowered.
Never heard of that happening, what do you think caused it? I've had it want to push out under the top. Mine has velcro straps that can be adjusted so the canvas is not sucked up against the rams or bars. Are you saying it was caught in a scissor motion?

glad most went good though.
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Old 08-12-2010, 08:48 PM   #4
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Re: Our new SMB

Congrats! Definitely sounds like a new adventure.

Curious, though, being from San Diego, why you went the Indiana route rather than Fresno?
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Old 08-12-2010, 09:25 PM   #5
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Re: Our new SMB

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffrey
Congrats! Definitely sounds like a new adventure.

Curious, though, being from San Diego, why you went the Indiana route rather than Fresno?

Kinda wondering myself.........
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Old 08-13-2010, 10:54 AM   #6
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Re: Our new SMB

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffrey
Congrats! Definitely sounds like a new adventure.

Curious, though, being from San Diego, why you went the Indiana route rather than Fresno?
I did the same thing. Fresno wanted too long to build our van. Indiana could meet our schedule. All vans at Indiana are custom (~40/yr) and Jim/Nancy will work with you to make sure everything is going to work for you. And going to Indiana means I can stop and visit family on the way.

Mike
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Old 08-13-2010, 11:50 AM   #7
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Re: Our new SMB

Annie and Jim, congratulations on the new SMB. Really happy to hear you got what you wanted. You are obviously on a great forum to get advice and answers to questions. I believe they went to Indiana for the swiveling front, driver seat.
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Old 08-14-2010, 01:47 PM   #8
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Re: Our new SMB

On the subject of the holes in the canvas...we know to have a door or large window open, but it is always a possibility that we forgot. The canvas has holed on at least two occasions and in each case we think it was a scissor motion that caused the hole. Also the holes are on the same side, in similar locations.

On the subject of Indiana...we went there because they could meet our schedule and Nancy and Jim were great to work with. Given that it was the last year of the diesel Ford vans, Fresno seemed to have a lot of Sportsmobile 4x4 conversion work.

Thanks to everyone for your replies. Hope to see you on the road!
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