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Old 10-16-2014, 12:47 PM   #1
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Is there a new top 10 list for my future SMB ?

I just joined this forum.
I just yesterday bought my first E350 2014 5.4L
I just sent it to Quigleys.
I just made a deal with the Austin Shop to convert it.

Now What ????
Question :
If one of you SMB veterans were buying a new one , what would you put on it ?
( I'm, not planning on rock climbing or going into deep water )

Thanks for your help in advance.
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Old 10-16-2014, 01:09 PM   #2
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Re: Is there a new top 10 list for my future SMB ?

Congratulations and welcome to the forum.

What Next? - That all depends. I assume you have not finalized your layout with SMB.

If you want suggestions on what to put in it and where, you've come to the right place but it would help to have some general info.

What part of the country do you live in?
What's your general age?
Any family / pets along for the ride?
Do you see yourself primarily doing...
. Weekend campouts
. Extended road trips
. Tailgating at the football game
. Off road wilderness exploration (minus rock climbing)
. Live in it down by the river
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Old 10-16-2014, 02:25 PM   #3
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Re: Is there a new top 10 list for my future SMB ?

I really don't think much has changed from the original list posted here mainly because like Bill is stating, a lot depends on the owner.

Example:
Solar is great unless you're always in a place that's overcast all the time.

Heavy battery reserves are nice unless you're only using the van for weekend trips.

The list can go on and on. You can see my views for what I think are the best 10 things in the original list on the site along with the worst 10 things list you've put on your van. But I understand there are new options to choose from.

I think if I were to do my van over, one item I would not skimp on is insulation.
I also have made upgrades to my van on a yearly (or more) basis and would suggest if you want something get it while you're specing the van. I can't choose for you, only for me because what works for me might not be something you need.

Right now SMB is putting door cabinets over the above counter top storage because I'm tired of stuff falling out while off roading.

Another out of the box item I plan to change is adding a separate freezer so I can make ice while in the backcountry. It will double as a backup fridge. I saw one build that had twin smaller refrigerators rather than a single large model. Not for ice but on a true expedition it's a great backup and for a single weekend trip you would only have to load the smaller one.

I plan to add a removable hitch for an additional spare tire for long extended trips.

Hidden security is something to look at.

I've seen some roof top water heaters that might be of value to some and have always wondered if Aluminess could build a rack with tubes that water could run through to help produce and hold heated water. For those with a hard top that might be useful if on extended trips.

A water filtration system to fill water tanks from non potable water sources is kind of new.

I added Maxtrax's to my vehicle.

Kind of wish I had a heavier full float rear axle...the list could probably go on.
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Old 10-16-2014, 05:52 PM   #4
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Re: Is there a new top 10 list for my future SMB ?

yeah, it can drive ya nuts (in a good way) trying to put in everything all at once.
So, decide on the proper interior to meet your intended use and add inputs as you feel their absence.
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Old 10-16-2014, 07:05 PM   #5
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Re: Is there a new top 10 list for my future SMB ?

What's your general age? Mid Fifties
Any family / pets along for the ride? My Wife
Do you see yourself primarily doing...
. Weekend campouts. YES
. Extended road trips. yES
. Tailgating at the football game NO
. Off road wilderness exploration (minus rock climbing) SOME
. Live in it down by the river. NO
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Old 10-16-2014, 09:07 PM   #6
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Re: Is there a new top 10 list for my future SMB ?

Here is some of my hindsight perspective, FWIW. I took delivery of mine just under a year ago:

1) 4x4

One thing I did not like about my 2013 Quigley conversion was that I had to get body work done to make room for 33" wheels. I also had to buy 33" wheels (rims plus tires). The thing looked frankly ridiculous the way it came from Quigley: their main customers are commercial not consumer enthusiasts with 'aesthetic' concerns, I gather. Ka-ching!

Another thing I didn't like is that you can't get a large gas tank. Range is limited and the gas gauge is not accurate. I may yet have a custom one built by that outfit in California or somewhere else - double ka-ching! The Ujoint tank will not fit my Quigley. In the long run I think I would have spent less going another route.

If I were to do it again I would probably buy the van on my own and send it to Quadvan or Ujoint to have the 4x4 conversion done with extra fuel capacity and the fenders/wheels/etc included.

That said, I am very happy with what we do have. We aren't rock crawlers, just snow and ice and muddy logging roads, that sort of thing. I have no experience doing what we didn't do, so I don't know what gripes I would have if we had gone one of those other routes. And at the end of the day we have a pretty unique vehicle that works just right for us.

2) Wilson RV cell phone booster. Better to have the cables run while the conversion is being done.

3) Custom Road Shower: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=11431

4) Cheap Penthouse air conditioner: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=14101

5) The fancy shunt-based battery monitor. I actually requested it with my rig, but it got dropped from the order somehow and although I bought it afterwards third-party I still haven't installed it. I know that by the time I get around to it I will have to replace my house batteries, because without a good monitor I'm just not maintaining them well. More ka-ching. (By the way, what the H*** is it with a modern RV electrical system that can't just bloody stay properly topped off by driving around with a high capacity alternator and a modern charging system? Seriously? It has to be plugged into the freaking wall regularly in order to not destroy the batteries?)

Honorable/dishonorable mentions:

I bought a 48 inch Dometic Elite Oasis II door awning that I am going to try to mount on the roof rack, covering the rear doors. Enough times out in the rain loading and unloading, etc, plus the situation where you are parked with the rear doors open, and a rear awning seems to me like a no-brainer ... I don't know why there isn't a 'stock' one like the side awning, I definitely would have bought it. I can't recommend this project yet because I'm not far enough along, but I plan to post on it when I find one of those Round Tuits.

Folks have mentioned Five Star Tuning in other threads. I bought one in the hope of getting another mile per gallon or so out of my V10, which would pay for the gadget. I ran the van on the economy tune for several weeks and basically noticed no difference. YMMV (literally), and I wasn't after what some folks expect from their custom tunes -- just a bit better mileage on 87 octane gas. For me it was a bust, though it could still be a fantastic product for other uses.
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Old 10-17-2014, 09:35 PM   #7
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Is there a new top 10 list for my future SMB ?

Hmmm, should've posed this question before you sent it off to Quigley, not that there's anything wrong with that, but there's some great options out there for 4X4 conversions these days, and you've already made plans with SMB Austin, there's not much left...other than your layout and ad-on's. Are you looking at a pop top?
In no particular order......
1.Solar
2.CCV (Colorado camper van) high profile pop top w/insulated canvas
3.transfer flow 46 gal fuel tank(or as large as you can go)
4.chip tuner (I went with DP-tuner for my 7.3, 5 star has some for gassers)
5. Scanguage II
6. Sound deadening/insulation
These are fixes I've done for quigleys shortcomings-
7. Ramsey's fox shocks(or SMB's new fox shocks) ranchos suck (ya, I said it)
8. Deaver rear leaf springs (to get rid of the original leaf springs and the blocks they put under them)
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Old 10-21-2014, 01:08 AM   #8
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Re: Is there a new top 10 list for my future SMB ?

It might not be too late to divert the ship-through to QuadVan. Another member on here did that not very long ago.

As mentioned above, Quigley targets commercial buyers. They build to a price point. Because of this, you don't get a great ride, off-road ability is more limited, and you can't get the goodies like lockers or a TransferFlow tank, or even decent looking wheel and tire packages. And since they build their own suspension, not every dealer will work on the front end, not to mention the one-off parts used.
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Old 10-21-2014, 10:45 AM   #9
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Re: Is there a new top 10 list for my future SMB ?

The one thing that we use the most in our SMB is our furnace. Even in the summer months it gets wicked cold at night in the Mountains.
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