Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-26-2017, 08:35 AM   #1
Senior Member
TomsBeast's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Brentwood, CA
Posts: 920
Getting motivated to work on SMB

I don't know about you, but I have a tough time completing and 'checking off' items from my 'projects list', things my older smb needs.

Like everyone with full lives, this list competes for my resources, time, money, energy, with several other things that need the same.

I found a way to get going and keep pushing through, that dates back to my VW camper days, that works for me. I wounder what other guys and gals use to keep pushing through a tough project, without getting burned out.

I plan a trip. with a date. I make an ordered list of things that must get done before I shove off. I budget $$ and time for each task. A is a must, B good to finish, C usually small things that are nice to haves. I include all the pre-trip and vehicle maintenance things (ie; service the porta potti, bleach and flush out the fresh water tank, air up tires, oil change, new cord for the GPS unit) on the same list.

Then I add some 'stretch goals' of things I'd like to complete if time allows, but are absolutely necessary.

I'm about to leave for an 8day Nevada desert with my gal, and I'm looking back at the last 5wks worth of things accomplished, and wondering how I got them all finished in such a short amount of time. I even completed 2 things off the 'stretch goal' list

So what about you?

What technique do you use to keep your projects rolling?

1995 E350 7.3 Diesel, 4x4 high roof camper, UJOR 4" lift
TomsBeast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2017, 09:06 AM   #2
Senior Member
tlg's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 342
Leave the project/parts on the workbench. They keep staring at me and demand action. Like to keep that workbench clean so leaving items on it serves as motivation.

2014 Ford RB-50
tlg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2017, 09:33 AM   #3
Senior Member
MountainBikeRoamer's Avatar
Join Date: May 2014
Location: OrangeCounty, CA
Posts: 1,260
This is already a great thread!

I definitely struggle with the same challenges, Tom!
(And my rig is same year as yours too.) Finding the time and resources to stay on top of a "classic camper van" is indeed tough! I like your three-tier (A,B,C list) prioritizing scheme.

Beyond simply finding the time and $, there's also the layer of challenge (for many) of procrastination. Does that new house battery REALLY need to be installed before the upcoming weekend trip?

And in many people's cases (definitely true for me), something that is often labeled "procrastination" is actually often truly (at its root) a rigid insistence on chasing perfection. If I'm not careful, I can default to a behavior of "overplanning" each task and job, putting off actuallly starting the task for days....weeks.....months....until (in my mind) I've convinced myself I have it completely planned out, evey last detail, start-to-finish, ***every step***, such that I believe I'll get a perfect result.

Ya know what snaps me out of that craziness? A call to a buddy who is actually working on his own rig! Or a call to my retired mechanical engineer Dad, to talk through some of the challenges and have the reward of a great conversation as well.

The reality check. There IS NO such thing as perfect. The reminder that we're all doing our best, and to achieve greatness (or even just completion) you just need to stop imagining the task, you've got to jump in there and start DOING. Problems can be solved along the way, they don't always need to all be anticipated and pre-solved ahead of time.

Let's get that coffee pot brewing.
Mike T
'95 Ford E250 RB30 PH
MountainBikeRoamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2017, 09:46 AM   #4
Senior Member
86Scotty's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: TN
Posts: 8,416
Great thread idea. I always like to see something new covered, and it surprises me but I don't think this has been. Anyway.....I do EXACTLY what you do, Tom, and I mean exactly. Plan a trip, keep an ongoing list on my phone, small stuff and large, fun and not so fun, and then just mix it up and see what I get into when I have van or shop time. The 'stretch goal' stuff sometimes gets sold with the van because I tend to change projects more than others, but many times it gets done and I'm able to enjoy it.

Great topic. I hope it inspires others to get out of the hole I often find myself in.

Currently vanless. Weird.
86Scotty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2017, 11:38 AM   #5
Senior Member
boywonder's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: So Cal
Posts: 3,027
My method is simple....on the myriad of projects around the garage (and in the house, etc) I frequently do something, anything toward moving the project forward.....Like order a part....or remove a part for painting later, etc....the smallest thing...all the time.

....and I don't set timelines, since I have these at work for developing new products and that's a big stress for me and my team that never ends. The last thing I want to do is bring that to my van project.

I also typically work on several projects simultaneously, so that helps with the boredom/engagement part.

And for the procrastinators out there, there's this:
2008 E350 RB passenger 4WD SMB penthouse
2013 KTM 350 EXC
2008 KTM 250 XCF-W
2000 KTM 200 EXC
2003 Honda Element
boywonder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2017, 01:10 PM   #6
Senior Member
ShuttlePilot's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 462
The whole point of me owning the SMB is to let my Instant Gratification Monkey run my life as much as possible. (see Boywonders video link if confused). The 6.0 Diesel and the Monkey are often in conflict though.

2005 SMB RB 4x4 6.0 PSD
A rocket on the pad is safe,
but it's not what rockets are built for.
ShuttlePilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2017, 05:10 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Oregon Ciry Oregon
Posts: 2,488
I keep a list of the items that need to be done. Then try to do one two or more a day. It feel sgreat to check an ite off the list.
Read detailed trip reports, see photos and videos on my travel blog,
Visit my Patreon page:
Current van: 2002 Ford E350 extended body camper with Colorado Camper Van pop top and Agile Offroad 4WD conversion.
larrie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2017, 05:45 PM   #8
Senior Member
Flux's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Reno, NV
Posts: 1,389
I like to wait until it's 105 outside and I am supposed to be watching the kids to sneak out to the van and mess things up.
Tim - 2013 EB V10 Agile 4x4 SMB PH Ginger Army All Terrain Mobile HQ
Flux is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2017, 11:05 PM   #9
Senior Member
jpau00's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Fresno, CA / Dayton, OH
Posts: 155
Originally Posted by Flux View Post
I like to wait until it's 105 outside and I am supposed to be watching the kids to sneak out to the van and mess things up.
No joke. Every time I finally get a day off it is 103+

I like window shopping on Amazon, and I have a massive wish list set up for the van. I peruse through it whenever I get bored and it gets me refocused.
jpau00 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2017, 11:36 PM   #10
Senior Member
Otter's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Oregon
Posts: 947
Originally Posted by Flux View Post
I like to wait until it's 105 outside and I am supposed to be watching the kids to sneak out to the van and mess things up.



"PhoTo" - 2014 Ford E350 5.4L RB - Agile 4x4 - CCV Poptop
Otter is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sportsmobile SIP or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:32 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.