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Old 09-20-2009, 10:51 AM   #1
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SMB Owners: What's the one thing you'd do differently?

HI,

New guy here. Been lurking a month or two and now it's time to post.

Spouse and I will be buying a small RV and SMB is at the top of the list. We have no RV experience, and it's been many years since we've even done much camping (We're former backpackers and car-campers from 1960's to 80's). Now we plan to hit the road for extended periods researching where we might move, and seeing the wilds we haven't yet. We hope to start next summer or fall, and work up to perhaps a year-long trip.

I'm overwhelmed with questions but we're considering SMB (used or new) and a couple other options. This is pretty intimidating - it's a big purchase with many risks.

Any advice is welcome, but I'll start by asking: If there was one thing you would change about your SMB purchase, what would it be?

Thanks!
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Old 09-20-2009, 12:13 PM   #2
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Re: SMB Owners: What's the one thing you'd do differently?

That's a very hard question. We are quite happy with the van the way it is. My wife would like more windows.

But, since the only part of the SMB that has given up problems is the engine, I think going with a gas engine would be our answer. However, I really like the diesel. But, several thousand dollars less would be nice. And, we really don't need the power of the diesel. Probably a 5.4L with the 5r110 trans would work for us.

Mike
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Old 09-20-2009, 01:25 PM   #3
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Re: SMB Owners: What's the one thing you'd do differently?

Youíll probably find this answer will vary from person to person. If you havenít already read these posts, you might want to take a look.
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=2380
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=2374
Myself, as a diesel owner would have to think hard about switching to a gas engine. Engine failure is a critical factor when it comes to where I take my vehicle. This really bothers me when on the trail. Having to ďdrive inĒ a diesel mechanic to replace a sensor could be very costly. On the other side, mileage and diesel fuel prices are a much better value. But who knows how the price of diesel is going to go. Then you have to weigh the extra cost of the engine itself including regular maintenance. For now Iím happy with my diesel but if you were to ask me last year when the prices were close to five bucks a gallon I might have given a different answer. This also dovetails into another constant problem Iíve had and that is the Espar products. I was hoping for a low maintenance solution for cab and water heating, unfortunately this has not been my experience. I continue to have trouble with both units. The funny thing about it was that the Espar product line was another reason to go Diesel. In fairness to Espar, there are owners who havenít had the problem like I have.
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Old 09-20-2009, 02:14 PM   #4
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Re: SMB Owners: What's the one thing you'd do differently?

After 13000miles and 10 months, can not think of a major thing I would do differently. I added on board air and want to get my back up camera on a switch so I can use it going forward.

Angel
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Old 09-20-2009, 05:01 PM   #5
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Re: SMB Owners: What's the one thing you'd do differently?

I would have omitted a water heater of any sort. I've got the flat plate and it works fine, but I use hot water very infrequently and a solar shower bag works fine 95%+ of the time.
R
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Old 09-20-2009, 05:10 PM   #6
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Re: SMB Owners: What's the one thing you'd do differently?

We should have gotten a third Solera solar panel. The two solar panels generate only 110 watts a peak performance. I might replace them since they are beginning to generate less energy, with one or two Kyocera rigid panels.

Also, we put off getting a Aluminess side ladder to access the roof. You can't do anything with a roof rack or check the solar panels without a side ladder.
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