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Old 09-20-2013, 11:33 AM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Rociada NM
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Planning to purchase my 2nd SM

I am a previous SM owner('05 EB50 V10 SM 4X4) Looking again, but I do not require HD off road capability this time around. Getting old. Just mud & snow as I live in norther NM mountains. Off road travel will likely be limited to NF roads. Looking for nice highway ride as well.
1) Considering GMC extended van with Quigley or Ford extended with Quad Van 4X4. The Ford van
has the same wheelbase as the regular. GM uses a longer WB on the extended. Any opinions
regarding handling or highway ride?
2) My '05 had a 12v fridge (smallest...perhaps 3cu ft.) It was marginal. barely froze ice in moderate
temps. Now considering the larger 12 v. Have they improved? I really hesitate do to the 4cu ft
3 way.
3) Any comments about Quigley vs Quad Van? SM No complaints about SM 4X4, but it is more $$$
& I don't need a rock crawler.
4) Plan to maximize battery and solar capacity and add AC for occasional inverted 12v operation for
short periods. Any problems experienced?
5) SM offers a 110v 2 1/2 gal. water heater. Not planning an inside shower, but will use an outside
shower occasionally . (muddy dogs) Any comments on the small water heater. It should
minimize propane use, and save space.

Thanks for suggestions. Looking forward to getting back into a SM
Wayne waynebrock@desertgate.com
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Old 09-20-2013, 12:43 PM   #2
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Re: Planning to purchase my 2nd SM

If you don't need off road or ground clearance I would look hard at the Chevy/Quigley. The longer wheelbase should provide a better ride than Ford, and I would think that the IFS 4x4 would provide better handling on pavement. Are there any Chevy EB 4x4's on this forum who can advise?

Another advantage of Chevy is their 6 liter gas V8 with 6 speed transmission. At least on paper, that drive train looks like a very good fit for a heavy van.

As far as the hot water heater, I guess everybody's use and needs are different, but I just think space is too limited in our vans to dedicate such a large chunk to a seldom used appliance. A 110v unit would only be usable when hooked up, on a generator, or very sparingly with the batteries. A 110v unit probably couldn't be used in the winter because it would need to be on all the time to prevent freeze up?
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Old 09-20-2013, 02:26 PM   #3
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Re: Planning to purchase my 2nd SM

I can't speak about whether the 4WD conversion would help or hurt a LWB Chevy/GMC but I've driven them a LOT at work and they are pretty hard to turn tight due to the longer wheel base. If you look close at most extended Chevy delivery/fleet vans they've got dents in the lower body just in front of the wheels from backing over or running over stuff. They just turn awkwardly with all of that length.
I like them too but I would test drive one before I committed.

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Old 09-20-2013, 05:01 PM   #4
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Re: Planning to purchase my 2nd SM

The Chevys we have at work are all wheel drive and the guys get to just about all the same places as the 4x4 Fords they had before... mainly flat land mud & sand. No snow here and I don't have a clue how AWD handles in that.

All the guys like the Chevy ride over the Ford.

Passenger foot space is different (I thought better) and is worth looking into.

I have the big fridge and if you want ice it freezes stuff below. Maybe that is just mine.

If you frequent or live in areas with snow, a flat plate might have issues. I've never had a problem with mine (Espar+flatplate) but run it before bed time and in the early morning when temps drop into the low 20's. I don't know anything about the gasoline version of Espar.
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