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Old 10-19-2015, 11:41 AM   #1
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3 years with a Nissan NV SMB

It's been awhile since I posted anything here, but we have put 51,500 miles on the odometer over the course of 15 trips. Longest time spent in our SMB was 2 months; most trips are 1 month.

Our NV is a solid vehicle. No issues and average 15.4 mpg. Since so few people know about or have seen NVs, we have service completed at NV "commercial" dealerships. (Not every Nissan dealership can service NVs.) This can be a challenge finding one in certain parts of the country. The Nissan dealership in Tucson can service NVs, so we have major service done here. OEM Firestone Transforce HT tires have turned out to be a good tire for the trips we take. Still have life in them, but plan to replace them before our next extended trip.

No major problems with the SMB conversion. As others have noted, work quality can be shoddy. In our's, the cutouts for the outlets were too big/irregular and both pulled out. The outlet under the counter was broken, and probably was when installed. Solution was to re-enforce the cracked outlet and keep a screw driver handy. The rubber coating on entry step wore down to the wood; paint on bed liner fixed this.

I'm not interested in "not a van" or "ugly" comments, or even NV demise predictions, but I do question the way Alan or Nissan marketed this SMB. According to Alan, 30 were built and sold though Nissan dealerships. Not enough business people know about cargo NVs, let alone potential RV buyers. Who goes to a Nissan dealership to buy a RV? NVPs (12 Passengers) are another story. Dealers can sell every one built, but they are not building enough (1 out of 20 is a NVP). Owners love the towing capacity. The NV high top is popular with home built campers.

Will SMB build another NV SMB? Probably not...

Back to the NV owners forum.
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Old 10-19-2015, 12:06 PM   #2
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Re: 3 years with a Nissan NV SMB

Glad to hear that you are happy with the NV platform and that you have not had any major issues. Looking forward to the 100,000 review.
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Old 10-19-2015, 12:43 PM   #3
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Re: 3 years with a Nissan NV SMB

I would love to see some pictures of the inside of your van.
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Old 10-19-2015, 01:16 PM   #4
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Re: 3 years with a Nissan NV SMB

Quote:
Originally Posted by macmcintire
I would love to see some pictures of the inside of your van.
That's what I was thinking! I'm always interested in options/variations, and your mention of towing capacity caught my attention. Would be nifty to see what it's like inside.
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Old 10-19-2015, 01:53 PM   #5
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Re: 3 years with a Nissan NV SMB

Love that penthouse.
Also looking forward to seeing the inside.
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Old 10-19-2015, 07:01 PM   #6
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Re: 3 years with a Nissan NV SMB

Floor plan choices were restricted by Alan/Nissan to RB30 and RB50. Although I don't agree with this cookie cutter marketing, it met our needs, a basic (if not simple) camper van.

We have the RB50N, which every former Westie owner and most current E-series owners are more than familiar. Since our V8 NV was still at SMB West and not the dealer, we swapped out the 10 gallon water tank for the larger tank and added hot plate. We really don't know what the dealer experience would be like.

Taking interior photos is not that easy, or maybe it is easy, and they just don't look very good. As a result, I long ago deleted them. SMB's site has Nissan info and some photos. There also is the Jonathan orientation video and another video of what may be a custom NV high top build. Looks like they used a modified RB30 plan, adding interior, driver side racks for surf boards and a basic interior shower.

Rumor has it Nissan may offer an extended version, and there is hope the new Titan diesel will make it onto the NV assembly line. Cummins has one for long term testing.

See you in 50K...
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Old 10-20-2015, 09:23 AM   #7
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Re: 3 years with a Nissan NV SMB

Thanks for the report. Keep in mind that all the 'ugly' comments come when any new van is released. Look at the Promaster, newer Sprinters, and that hideous Transit. The truth is that automotive designers go cutting edge, always have and always will, and it takes awhile to grow on the public. I think your van looks great.

Also, I'm really impressed with the 15.4 mileage average. I was reading some horror stories about Armadas (same 5.6? right?) and how they get absolutely horrible mileage and figured the NV was the same. 15.4 in any full size platform gas engine gives me hope.

Thanks for sharing!

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Old 10-20-2015, 11:29 AM   #8
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Re: 3 years with a Nissan NV SMB

It is the same 5.6. It is a great hwy cruiser, but we prefer secondary roads, maintained gravel roads and to a lesser degree barely maintained gravel, clay (dry) and sandy roads if the destination is worth it. (We have't tried the gravel road west of Page, AZ to get to Kodachrome Basin, UT. On paper, it looks like 25+ miles. Instead we stay on pavement to Kanab... The long way to get to Kodachrome Basin.)

NV SMBs also came with a V6. Better mpg. You may have seen the NV "Magic" build video posted here long ago by David E Anderson. He is a climber and videographer with a great blog worth checking out even if you are not a climber. Check Vimeo for the build. Another soon to be built 2016 NV high top will be using Anderson's floor plan, modified slightly. Their plan is to live in it full time for 2+ years. There will be a blog, "Travels with Charlie," the name of their NV. They chose the V6 because Anderson gets 17+ mpg.

Some home builds and NVPs have done the 4x4 conversion, and some dealers in the NE and in Canada sell them already converted by Quigley. Outside Van has an over the top conversion, "Kodiak."
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Old 10-20-2015, 11:33 AM   #9
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Re: 3 years with a Nissan NV SMB

I've seen the conversions. They are sweet!

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Old 10-21-2015, 05:30 PM   #10
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Re: 3 years with a Nissan NV SMB

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