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Old 06-16-2017, 08:13 AM   #1
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How hard is it to get warranty work done on a ford or mercedes based SMB?

Hello,

I am curious about how hard it is to get warranty repairs done on a smb in each of the 3 categories below?

1) ford e350 based-can you take it to any ford shop to get work done on engine or transmission? or anything under the hood? Has ther been issues with ford if transmission problems due to atlas 2 being coupled to tranny?

2) same as 1) but for mercedes? this is more simple since there isn't any alterations to suspension right and drivetrain?

3) I dont live in fresno (in oregon), so smb is not close. So how would it work if something in the living area breaks, say the fridge for example, and obviously I cant take it to SMB? how could I get it fixed?
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Old 06-16-2017, 08:52 AM   #2
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We've been taking our Ford E-350 SMB to our local Ford dealer since we bought it. Warranty work has not problem even when the transmission went out and had to be replaced. They might say that certain things are not covered by the warranty since the vehicle has been modified. But when that happened once, the fleet dealer salesman who worked with SMB said that he would go to bat for us but ultimately didn't need to.

I suggest finding a dealer who you like and stay with them. I suspect that they appreciate the continued business and thus are very helpful. I have been religious about following the Ford service recommendations and service managers see that effort when they look up our van. If they say that a filler needs to be replaced due to the mileage, I just have them do it.

As for other items like a refrigerator, there are RV shops around that deal with those things all of the time. However, I have either replaced the item myself or taken it to Fresno (3 hour drive each way but worth it in my mind).
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Old 06-16-2017, 12:06 PM   #3
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Yeah I have had some issues with Ford saying "that's an aftermarket part" or similar. Overall most of the dealers just treat it as a stock vehicle though. For example I had a high amp aftermarket alternator installed and a while later a starting battery failed. I had to do some talking to get them replace the battery under warranty even though they installed the aftermarket alternator for me. Obviously they suggested it was the new alternator that made the battery fail... BS! The Atlas TC might require a special tech to look at it but most 4x4 shops are familiar with em. You have to remember that Ford uses their manual to service the vehicle. I have a high volume transmission pan so if Ford services it, the low stick throws they off a bit. Even the Starcool jacks with them at times. I ran standard oil through the warranty period but used the twin AMSOIL filter system. I don't know if the engine had bombed before the warranty ran out whether or not Ford would have blamed the aftermarket filter system.

As far as the non-engine stuff SMB installs, as Jack posted, you'll have to find somebody to service it. I'd be discussing that with SMB. In the past they had paid for repairs made by other companies for owners that lived a far distance away but I'd check.
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Old 06-17-2017, 08:04 PM   #4
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One option if buying new is to just buy the vehicle locally on your own and take it to SMB for the conversion. SMB had no problem with me buying my Sprinter from my local Freightliner dealer.
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Old 06-17-2017, 09:39 PM   #5
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Mercedes/Freightliner warranty work has been great for me in the first three years. The Seattle dealership replaced a snapped seat height ratchet at no charge, and the dealer here in Memphis has done the Nox sensors twice, plus a faulty trailer wiring harness. Now that I'm outside of three years, only major emission or engine problems are covered so we'll see.

I've never had a problem getting service on the van if you look for the Mercedes dealerships that are Sprinter-certified. The techs here in the South are always curious to peek at the conversion.

The appliances and interior build are a big question mark for me. SMB Texas said all the components have their own manufacturer warranty. But the location of some items like the water pump and Magnum inverter would be hard to reach without removing a bunch of other stuff first. And I worry most RV places will not be interested in taking apart an SMB to fix individual components. Guess I will cross that bridge when I come to it.
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