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Old 08-05-2015, 11:33 PM   #1
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Was planning for used, but...

I've been searching the ads for used 2wd gas RB50 SMBs, but finding one in my area (southeast) is not easy. Now my primary vehicle is acting up, so I'm seriously considering (again) a new build. (It would be my daily driver and mobile office, and I may possibly fulltime in it in a few years.)

I was thinking Chevy, with a PH, but then I thought if I go with the Transit or ProMaster, then I won't have to get a top (I could get a van with a high roof) and it would cost less (right?). But they aren't as wide as the Chevy, so an RB50 couch/bed would be narrower in those.

I keep going in circles. I want a simple build (RB50), and I'm a less-is-more kind of person... except I live in the southeast so I think an air conditioner is a need rather than a want.

What do you recommend? Does anyone know what a basic RB50 build would cost (with A/C)? I get overwhelmed with the options and pricing, and when I try to look at the price sheet for a Chevy, the link doesn't go anywhere.

Do they have a SMB for Dummies book anywhere?
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Old 08-06-2015, 06:14 AM   #2
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Re: Was planning for used, but...

If you want AC then I'd strongly consider a hard high top over a PH, as you can't mount rooftop AC on the PH top.
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Old 08-06-2015, 10:31 AM   #3
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Re: Was planning for used, but...

If it's just 1 or 2 people, I think the fixed high top would be the way to go...especially if you are planning to use it as a mobile office/full time in it. The ceiling height of a van with a penthouse is lower than a stock van and you would have to crouch around in it if you wanted to go from one end to the other. With a fixed high top, you could comfortably walk to the front or back and as mentioned above, you could have a decent rooftop AC unit to keep you cool. Of course, to run the AC, you would also need either a generator (built in or portable) or access to shore power.

If you need sleeping for 3 or 4, then a penthouse is probably your only option. Also, if you decide to go with a new build, plan on it taking a couple months or more to get your build done. If your daily driver is acting up now, you may have to either get it fixed or buy a different daily until your van is complete.
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Old 08-07-2015, 01:02 AM   #4
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Re: Was planning for used, but...

Thank you both for your replies. It seems like a fixed top might be best for me after all.

I'm still chewing over some options, and appreciate your advice and experience.
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Old 08-07-2015, 11:55 AM   #5
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Re: Was planning for used, but...

You also might want to look at a walk through model with a hardtop. I also prefer a 50 model just because it doesn't feel so cramped but if I were after a mobile office I'd probably build around that. Lots of options. With my 50 model, I use the space behind the couch as storage but with mine I have the PH to sleep in. Grabbing stuff from the rear involves having to go outside and pull things from under the bed, where a walk through has access to everything from inside. Just a thought.
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