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Old 10-14-2012, 09:09 AM   #1
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'12 E250 RB 5.4L w/ SMB penthouse custom build

Picked up the new van yesterday. 2012 E250 RB 5.4L with tow and power package (windows, locks, cruise).

Taking to Action Van in San Clemente end of this week for lift, shocks, steering stabilizer, wheels, tires, rear wheel spacers, and 4.10 limited slip.

Following week I'm taking to SMB in Fresno for penthouse install (manual - no roof racks).

Immediately after that it's likely going to RV Interiors & Custom Cabinets in San Diego to get finished out. RB 50 type floor plan.

Side and rear glass swapped for ones that open. Any idea if this glass can easily be converted or do I need to buy new windows.

Driver side window install over galley. Large passenger side window by bench seat in back.

Swivel captains.

3.6 cu ft Norcold
Suburban furnace, stove, and water heater
Indoor/outdoor shower in the back
25 gallon (hopefully) h2o holding tank
5 gallon gray water
Inverter (not sure which) Zantrax, Magnum, etc?
4D battery - undermount (minimal electronics)
Solar system (single panel, not sure which charge controller)
Insulation and Decor paneling
Sound proofing, sub floor, and dura ceramic tiles
LEDs
Outside porch light
Awning (not sure which one)
Aluminess rear bumper w/ spare holder and large box (bike racks on top)
XL under storage
Fender flares (not sure which ones)
Cabinets (likely bamboo)

I've wanted a SMB for 20 years and have come close to buying a few times. Last week I came really close to buying a used one but the mods and compromises became too much. Instead, I've decided to do it exactly as I want. I hope to keep and use this thing for 20 years.

I rock/mtn/ice climb, mountain bike, surf, etc. Wife is 11 weeks pregnant with our first and she too is excited for this project. Hoping to have it all completed by Christmas.

This site and it's members have been invaluable in my pursuit of fulfilling this dream.

Peace
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Old 10-14-2012, 09:11 AM   #2
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Re: '12 E250 RB 5.4L w/ SMB penthouse custom build

I feel really fortunate and quite happy my dream is coming true.
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Old 10-14-2012, 09:24 AM   #3
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'12 E250 RB 5.4L w/ SMB penthouse custom build

Cool, congrats on the new toy. It looks nice. Keep us posted!

Btw, the only one if your questions I can help with is inverters. I've had great luck with my Tripp-lite 1250 Rv model.
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Old 10-14-2012, 10:18 AM   #4
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Re: '12 E250 RB 5.4L w/ SMB penthouse custom build

Jim,
Looks like a great starting point and sounds like you have done your homework. Your list of items sounds good. Are you getting an inverter/charger combo or just an inverter? Make sure the inverter will unbond the neuteral and ground wires when on real shore power or you will find yourself tripping GFI outlets at home. Most 30amp RV park services don't have GFI but at home it is likely you do.
Had a 5.4 in my old Supercrew and it was a nice motor. Very reliable and good overall power, although it likes to rev when towing. If you plan to do a lot of towing you might consider 4:56s but if you aren't that would be overkill. I put 4:10s in my Supercrew and found it wasn't quite enough, but my Supercrew was 4wd and towing a 20ft trailer. Troyer Tunes out of Texas does very good custom tuning for the 5.4 as well. That combined with an intake and exhaust really helps wake up the motor.
What are you doing for a toilet?
Eric
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Old 10-14-2012, 10:28 AM   #5
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Re: '12 E250 RB 5.4L w/ SMB penthouse custom build

Since you're getting the suspension stuff done first, make sure you let them know of your other plans and any possible estimates of weight you'll be adding to the van, so they can compensate for the extra mass.


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Old 10-14-2012, 11:09 AM   #6
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Re: '12 E250 RB 5.4L w/ SMB penthouse custom build

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimHefner
I've wanted a SMB for 20 years and have come close to buying a few times. Last week I came really close to buying a used one but the mods and compromises became too much. Instead, I've decided to do it exactly as I want. I hope to keep and use this thing for 20 years.

I rock/mtn/ice climb, mountain bike, surf, etc. Wife is 11 weeks pregnant with our first and she too is excited for this project. Hoping to have it all completed by Christmas.

This site and it's members have been invaluable in my pursuit of fulfilling this dream.

Peace
Why no 4X4 given your lifestyle?
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Old 10-14-2012, 12:14 PM   #7
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Re: '12 E250 RB 5.4L w/ SMB penthouse custom build

Thanks for the tips on the inverters. I'll check into the Tripp-lite as well as the neutral thing. I'm still getting up to speed but I'm taking pages of notes.

I don't expect to be towing but simply wanted the larger cooling capacity of the 'tow package'.

For the head we'll likely have a little porta potty for only in 'worse case' scenarios. Local facilities and the original outdoor outhouse are first choices.

No 4x4 as I really don't need it. The only place I'd probably wish I had it is the sand of Baja. However, I stopped surfing down there about 5 years ago after all the cartel nonsense starting happening. Yes, I know many people that still go but it ain't for me. 4X wasn't worth the extra weight, expense, maintenance, mileage, for the .1% of the time usage.

Thanks for all the replies!
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:04 AM   #8
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Re: '12 E250 RB 5.4L w/ SMB penthouse custom build

There have been reported issues plugging a Tripp-lite into a GFI plug. These units do work with a GFI plug. You need to follow the procedure outlined in this thread: http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/vie...hp?f=14&t=8212. It is not well defined in their documentation.

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Old 10-15-2012, 10:03 AM   #9
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'12 E250 RB 5.4L w/ SMB penthouse custom build

I can second Eric's recommendation on the Tripp Lite. In fact I bought mine on on his recommendation. I have the RV 1500, only because the 1250 was out of stock at the time. I haven't had any GFCI issues with mine. Actually at home that's what it's plugged into. It's been installed several weeks. Just pay close attention when buying because they have many similar models.
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:54 AM   #10
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Re: '12 E250 RB 5.4L w/ SMB penthouse custom build

Me neither Brian. in fact, this is the first I've heard of this issue. Can someone with an SMB tell us which model Tripp-Lite they usually use? I think mine is an RV1250ULHW or something like that.
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