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Old 12-03-2007, 02:21 PM   #1
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Has SMB made any build changes . . .

. . . similar to the changes the Badgers made? Such as:

(1) moving the water tank and tubing inside the insulation to avoid freezing;
(2) relocating various tubing / cable from under the vehicle to a less vulnerable area;
(3) any other of the changes the Badgers made.

Love the SMB, but a few improvements never hurt.

Thanks.
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Old 12-03-2007, 08:15 PM   #2
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RobC,
When I was specking out my new Sportsmobile last April I was fully aware of the Bagers website and the changes that they had made. I asked many questions that were brought up by the Bagers and I was impressed by the replies to my questions. I'm sorry I can't remember exactly what I asked but all of my questions were anwsered. Some changes have been made by Sportsmobile and some others were not changed but they gave me reasons why they didn't make the changes which made sense. I do know that Sportsmobile is very aware of the Bagers website along with the Yahoo website and this website and they have posted responses and info on all of the websites. They have been quick to respond to "issues" as far as I can tell.
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Old 12-03-2007, 08:39 PM   #3
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The next person to pick up a "50" look at the wall behind the fridge and see if it's finished and fits the floor, that will be a good sign!
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Old 12-03-2007, 11:25 PM   #4
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When I toured SMB Fresno in September I asked a few questions relative to the Badger’s Website. I concur with Peasbug that SMB is very aware of the modifications they have documented. Just a couple specific items come to mind.

Regarding the flatplate heat exchanger. SMB will not mount it inside the van. Whether right or wrong, they are adamant about not having high pressure engine coolant inside the cabin area. They also claim that if the exchanger is inside the cabin it will reject heat into the cabin which will become uncomfortable and put more cooling load on the rear A/C system (if so equipped). I know that others (Ken Z) have moved it into the cabin. Perhaps he can follow up with a six month follow-up report.

Regarding the solar controller. I don’t know who switched first, but SMB now uses the Bluesky controller that is listed on the Badgers site.

Regarding insulation in the walls. Others have made comments that it would be better if SMB would use expanding foam in the cavity walls. SMB answer to me was that they would not recommend it. I believe they told me that there is a lot of condensation and perhaps active drains in the cavity that need to weep to the outside. Expanding foam would plug the drains and not allow condensation to escape. This would lead to premature corrosion.
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Old 12-04-2007, 08:04 AM   #5
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My RB-50 that I picked up in March has paneling to the floor behind the fridge.
By the way, my fridge was REALLY noisey and had serious vibrations. The portable stove would move around on the counter and a few times the light fixtures on the penthouse top would vibrate when the top was up. I've been working with my semi-local (closest) Norcold dealer to get it replaced. They had never seen a Norcold that small, but agreed it really made too much noise. Took awhile, but finally got a new cooling unit to go on the existing fridge. Picked it up on the way to Baja last month. We've now had a chance to use it and it is MUCH quieter and the vibrations are gone. The thing will never be totally quiet, but this I can live with. Those of you with lots of vibrations, get with a Norcold dealer and get 'er done while still under warrantee if you can.
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Old 12-04-2007, 08:24 AM   #6
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For winterization I would add a check valve where the line tees of to go to tank & other. This would be inside van and you could have entry hole plugged with foam. The existing system has a drain valve after the city hook up, so after filling you could drain that section and have your system contained. I haven’t tried this yet because but it appears that it would work. It seems like this would be easy for SMB to implement. The interior picture is taken from the www.Badgertrek.com. It seems like it would work any feedback?
You can find the valve at http://www.shurflo.com/pages/RV/rv_cate ... ysAcc.htm#



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Old 12-04-2007, 10:51 AM   #7
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EVERYBODY asks SMB to make the Badger's improvements. I even asked for a few. They will do a lot of them. However, it is clear the the Badgers did not like ANYTHING that SMB designed and built, or perhaps they are simply the type of folks that just like to take everything completely apart when they get it and put it back together their own way. They nearly rebuilt the friggin' thing from chassis up. I don't know why they didn't build their own camper from scratch.

I'm pretty happy with most all that SMB built on my van. But then again, I'm not traveling with the entire inventory of a computer electronics store.
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Old 12-04-2007, 07:03 PM   #8
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I think the Badger influence is stretching beyond SMB.... I think that some of the changes made to standard offerings from Aluminess were also influenced by the Badgers.
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Old 12-04-2007, 07:06 PM   #9
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I think that the Badger's issues arouse due to the fact that they full time in the van. If we all lived in our vans full time we would probably find more faults. It's also clear that the van has seen lot's of offroad use. I for one think that it's great. There is nothing wrong with critisism. It ony helps to make things better. SMB is clearly a cut above most all other US RV manufactures. The leaders of any industry have to listen critism from thier users. Speaking of critism I was under my van today and I discovered an area of the engine cradle that was not trimed back far enought to clear the front diff. You can clearly see where the front diff is hitting the cradle every time the van "bottoms out". I have been faily unhappy with the front suspension on my van since new. Maybe fixing this will make a difference. I'll let you all know.
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Old 12-04-2007, 07:20 PM   #10
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Jammy you need to document that so I can check mine!

Personally I bought mine thinking I was getting the best of everything, as Nancy said, "No one has ever been disappointed by the fit and finish of the van." in response to my concern about driving 16 hours to pick it up at the last minute.

The previous owner clearly had lots of problems and I inherited them. Supposedly this was a show model for SMB, like the orange Toyo van is now. I assumed that because of that everything would be top notch. Of course anytime I spend top dollar I expect perfection. The stuff that is wrong isn't stuff you see when you stick your head in the van an look around though, so who can say. I just wish they'd have been a little more careful here and there, and that the quality showed even when peeling back the cover.
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