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Old 03-06-2010, 10:04 AM   #1
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ABOUT TO BUY USED

Hi, I'm new to the forum. One of my sons and I will be flying out tomorrow morning to purchase a used SMB. '93 gas with under 70k miles. We'll drive it home. One stop, however, to SMB West in Fresno. They'll check it out and tell me what might need to be repaired or replaced. I'm not new to vans or camping. My wife and I are sixty and we've done it all. Backpacking in the Sierras, tent camping along the rivers and beaches (even slept on the beaches back when you could still do that legally and safely), Ford truck with a shell, VW vans with beds, and finally a class C motorhome we used to go up and down the CA coast. I've done almost all of the work and maintenance on my vehicles, so I know a little. But I don't know as much as I'd like to know. So would anyone out there like to give me any suggestions about particular things my son and I should look for when we are checking out the rig. In particular, things that relate to an early 90's Ford van. I have a cashiers check in hand, but if I find a deal breaker, then we will fly back home instead of driving. Thanks for any help you can offer.
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Old 03-06-2010, 12:20 PM   #2
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Re: ABOUT TO BUY USED

Make sure the top goes up and down smoothly and the rubber edge is intact and closes inside the rails. Most of which can be adjusted/replaced, but better if it's all just in good condition of course.

I can't really think of much else specific to these vans to look for.
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Old 03-06-2010, 12:34 PM   #3
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Re: ABOUT TO BUY USED

What model is it?

Look for any problems with the top and operate it then check, windows, Zippers, tears, water marks caused by leaks (anywhere). If you can spray water on it would be great. Get all the engine records if possible. Include drive train records of oil changes. Test all the 4x4 stuff if aplicable. Take the test drive; You should Drive it if possible. See if the front and back axles track straight and true to each other (no bent frame). Fire up the propane heating system if it has it. Check the air conditioner compressor for coolant deposits and make sure it works. Look for rust along the gutter or where the top sits down on the roof. Fire up all the electrical and make sure all the plugs work off shore power and inverter. Run water through the system and Look under the sink to see if any water had leaked and take a look at the water tank. Sure there is more.

Use the search feature here for similar posts...there are several. Hope everything works out for you.
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Old 03-06-2010, 12:53 PM   #4
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Re: ABOUT TO BUY USED

Thanks for all the tips. I should have mentioned this is a 2 wheel drive and not a 4X4. It's an EB.
My general rule of thumb, whether checking out a house or a vehicle is to go front to back, top to bottom as you go front to back. I'll be making a specialized list of specific things to check extra carefully based on what I read here and my own experience. What helps the most is getting ideas from those of you that have the experience with the SMBs. So please chime in with your .02. Thanks again.
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Old 03-06-2010, 02:32 PM   #5
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Re: ABOUT TO BUY USED

Not a SMB check but a Ford check:

See if there have been any recalls, esp for the cruse control and if so, have they been taken care of.

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Old 03-06-2010, 03:27 PM   #6
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Re: ABOUT TO BUY USED

Have the seller cool down the fridge (probably will be hooked to shore power). Take along a fridge thermometer, and put it in the fridge as soon as you get there. Note the temp a few minutes later. Make sure it is getting cold enough. If not, that's your first speed bump.

If OK, then remove shore power and switch to 12V.

Do all your other inspections; this should take quite some time, including the test drive(s). Then as your final test before handing over the money, check the fridge temp again, to make sure that the 12V can hold the temp.

Fridges are pricey little buggers to replace...
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Old 03-10-2010, 07:08 PM   #7
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Re: ABOUT TO BUY USED

Thanks for all the help. As it turns out, the SMB was just too beat up. It would make for a great project but I'm pretty much past those days. My son (with me) and my wife (on the cell phone) both agreed that it was better to pass up on this one. So my middle son and I flew home. My wife was very sweet about the 600 cost for the day. She gave me no flak. She's a real sweetie. That's why I always say that the baddest macho man is the one who makes his woman happy. It all comes back. About the van, I did ask many many questions before flying to see it. The owner wasn't dishonest. I have to take the blame because I didn't ask enough DETAILED questions. So it's back to the drawing board. Thanks, again.
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Old 03-10-2010, 08:02 PM   #8
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Re: ABOUT TO BUY USED

Mine was a little rougher than expected, and I'd driven across a couple of states to pick it up. Of course I bought it anyway I was just disappointed with the extra wear and the extra mileage on the van's odometer when I got there.

So... now that you're passing, when SMB were you looking at? It will be useful info for others who are looking.
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Old 03-10-2010, 09:24 PM   #9
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Re: ABOUT TO BUY USED

Good for you for not settling for something you didn't want. In the long run $600 could have turned into alot more if its the wrong unit.

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Old 10-18-2013, 12:41 PM   #10
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Re: ABOUT TO BUY USED

What do you think about the 2005 Ford-350 EB SMB that is Ebay right now. (It is also on the SMB Pre-owned list in Indiana.... The one with waves on the side surfboard rugs inside? The photos show some water damage on the bottom of a cabinet and below a vent....owner says the damage is from leaving wet bathing suits on the floor, but looks more extensive to me. Just looking for some feedback...
Thanks

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dl ... vent-check
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