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Old 09-12-2013, 12:15 AM   #1
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Trying to decide on two potential SMB's

I'm new to the SMB scene and really, in camping in general. I camped a few times when I was a kid, but nothing really too extensive. My wife loves being outdoors and recently mentioned that we should get something to go on weekend camping trips with. She mentioned a vanagon because her parents had one when she was younger. I looked into the Westfalias, but the high price, lack of power, and somewhat specialty vehicle really didn't do it for me. Luckily I found the Sportsmobile and have spent quite a bit of time learning about these machines.

I've decided that a Transformer style rig would suit us the best. I don't need a full camping rig with closets and tons of storage and would rather have a van that could double as a utility vehicle as well. I have found a couple examples that is within my budget and need your guys' help in determining what I should consider in each vehicle.

The first van... http://sandiego.craigslist.org/csd/cto/4045098127.html
This has the 5.4, 2wd, and EB. The van has a gaucho bed in the back and electrical outlets throughout. I don't know what type of "house" electronics it has, but its there. The seats behind the driver and passenger seats are pretty interesting since they look like they've just been placed in there. None of the rear seats have seatbelts, which I would need to switch out. It has ladders, led lights, and a roof rack. My only concern so far is that there arent any windows towards the rear which may make for car sick passengers.

The second van.... http://denver.craigslist.org/cto/3933603428.html
This van has the 5.4 as well, 6 inch lift, 2wd and has a CCV top. This van has 4 captains seats and nothing else in the rear. It doesnt have any aux power, or anything extra. What I like about it is that it has lots of windows.

I guess my question mainly is what are the pro's and con's in your opinion about each van? Since neither of them have much in options, I guess I could ultimately find a van and just have a top put on right? Everyones input is appreciated.
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:24 AM   #2
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Re: Trying to decide on two potential SMB's

It looks like the silver EB van has a lot more in options and goodies, but at 6k more. Oh, the extra 2 feet is hard to replace too. I don't think your passengers would have a problem with the windows in the silver van, they are enough. If you want to seat four though, the CCV van is hard to beat because it already has 4 real seats, more windows and belts. I think the CCV van is the better value here. The top alone is worth 6-7k, so the van is not far from a giveaway after that, plus it has rear AC if that's important to you and the other one doesn't. I have a CCV van and the queen bed up top is hard to beat. The SMB bed is much narrower, PH windows are smaller, etc.

If you can't decide on either, though, a used passenger van with similar mileage can be had in the 5k range with a little looking, then you could add either top you prefer for an additional 6-7k.

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Old 09-12-2013, 08:23 AM   #3
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Re: Trying to decide on two potential SMB's

I think the CCV is the way to go too. Rear passengers + no rear window is the perfect recipe for a huge mess all over the floor (and seats and dashboard probably). It looks like the CCV van has rear air which is a must for rear passengers.
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Old 09-12-2013, 11:15 AM   #4
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Re: Trying to decide on two potential SMB's

Are there any advantages or disadvantages in the 1/2 ton vs. 3/4 ton chassis? The silver one is an E250 and the green one is an E150. I wont be pulling any type of trailer.
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Old 09-12-2013, 01:21 PM   #5
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Re: Trying to decide on two potential SMB's

First one steals the show!
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Old 09-12-2013, 02:04 PM   #6
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Re: Trying to decide on two potential SMB's

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikracer
Are there any advantages or disadvantages in the 1/2 ton vs. 3/4 ton chassis? The silver one is an E250 and the green one is an E150. I wont be pulling any type of trailer.
I did not notice that. The E150 looks like it could be approaching GVWR empty. The 250 will have a heavier duty chassis and running gear (until 2006, after that the E150 also adopted the HD chassis). Also it could be harder to find aftermarket (suspension, running gear etc) stuff for the E150.
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Old 09-12-2013, 02:28 PM   #7
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Re: Trying to decide on two potential SMB's

I think I may be leaning more towards the 2003 SMB. I like that its an EB and it already has a few thousand dollars worth of mods that I would have wanted as well. If I were to put a pair of captains chairs behind the driver and passenger seats, each rear seat could have a window on either side to look out of so that helps. If I were to get it and get really ambitious, I could also install a window in the rear (thanks Jage for the input on that).

The tough part at this point is to determine what the van is worth to me. Also, how are these rigs insured? Are they insured as the base vehicle or as RV's under Sportsmobile? I tried looking up the value on Nada (I think) and there are a ton of SMB models. Not sure which this one would be.
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Old 09-12-2013, 02:40 PM   #8
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Re: Trying to decide on two potential SMB's

I sure like those ccv tops but the SMB has less miles and beefyer van. Tough choice
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Old 09-12-2013, 03:04 PM   #9
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Re: Trying to decide on two potential SMB's

I didn't notice the CCV was an e150 either. I'd go for the SMB based on that. The E150 is a pretty light chassis.

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Old 09-12-2013, 03:30 PM   #10
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Re: Trying to decide on two potential SMB's

The SMB looks like the one based on your criteria, although that CCV top is nice!

In one pic of the SMB I see an Aluminess bumper sitting to the side on the sidewalk. See if he'll throw that in!
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