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Old 07-06-2020, 05:10 PM   #1
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WTB - SMB prior to build

Long time lurker on the forum love the member interaction...with the whole covid mess finally convinced the wife that a build is in order, but she wants to buy first try it out for a year and figure out what we really use and what we don't (hard to argue with logic)

1) decent budget at $75K
2) layout is limiting factor need seat belts for 5 to fit the family
3) need cabin AC for TX summers

EB50 has caught my eye but am open to any and all layouts. I prefer diesel and I can be swayed to a sprinter chassis as we are toying with it on the build. Lastly based on feedback in this forum I am also good with 2 wd as I am not afraid of a conversion later if I fall in love with the van. Obviously being in TX would love something local to the state but beggars cant be choosers

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Old 07-06-2020, 05:16 PM   #2
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Not a bad approach, but there's certainly a big investment up front, that I assume that you want to recoup that and sell it when it's time to move on? Another option might be to rent an SMB for a month. Won't be quite the same shake-down cruise as a year of ownership, but far less investment.




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Old 07-06-2020, 05:21 PM   #3
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If you need full seatbelts (I.e., three points and not just lap belts) you have a hard time finding them for five in an SMB. The “50” layout bench has only one three-point belt as far as I know on the rear bench, with the other two being lap belts.
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Old 07-06-2020, 05:55 PM   #4
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The idea is recoup as much as I can on the re-sale, budget is slightly overkill but I dont want the wife to hate it out of the gate, and if I get really lucky the year turns into five and a build somewhere down the line...

lap belts work, the only way a I see getting the 3 point is if something had captains chairs which is why I threw in the sprinter for good measure
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Old 07-06-2020, 06:01 PM   #5
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When you say cabin AC do you mean while driving or while camping? The worst part of SMB (IMHO) is the starcool AC system which doesn't really work well when its hot outside and requires a generator or shore power. It's not like regular RV roof AC that will keep it 72 degrees all night inside. Mine will lower ambient temps by 10 degrees at most.
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Old 07-06-2020, 06:08 PM   #6
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WTB - SMB prior to build

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Originally Posted by Grampswrx View Post
When you say cabin AC do you mean while driving or while camping? The worst part of SMB (IMHO) is the starcool AC system which doesn't really work well when its hot outside and requires a generator or shore power. It's not like regular RV roof AC that will keep it 72 degrees all night inside. Mine will lower ambient temps by 10 degrees at most.
Agree. Starcool works great while driving (at least mine did) but only so-so on shore power. For some reason it has a lower BTU rating on 110vac than on 12vdc.

Transits now offer a nice crewvan option, but you certainly won’t find a used one built out (hard to even find a new base one).
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Old 07-07-2020, 05:14 AM   #7
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Sorry should have clarified I was hoping for the starcool or equivalent as its one of the big question marks since its a common thread of angst on this website, wanted to see how well it performed for my needs. If it limits the search to nothing then maybe I re-evaluate.
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Old 07-07-2020, 03:58 PM   #8
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Agree. Starcool works great while driving (at least mine did) but only so-so on shore power. For some reason it has a lower BTU rating on 110vac than on 12vdc.
I know absolutely nothing about Starcool, but couldn't you solve the AC/DC issue by running it on 12V DC via a converter when on shore power?
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Old 07-07-2020, 04:01 PM   #9
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Be aware that SMB offered other rear AC systems besides Starcool. Some may use that name generically (like Kleenex), but may in fact have a Danhard system, for example.
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Old 07-07-2020, 04:03 PM   #10
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I know absolutely nothing about Starcool, but couldn't you solve the AC/DC issue by running it on 12V DC via a converter when on shore power?

The van engine has to be running for the 12v sude to work as it uses the engine AC components.
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