Hi there !
As said in my introduction post, I plan to travel in and outside the USA. So I'm planning a SMB as my mobile home for several years. I present here my actual project and I would be pleased to read your comments and advices based on your own exprience...
Of corse, it would be easier to find a used SMB with specifications I want but I guess it will not be easy to find... So I'm thinking to build a new SMB.
As I will travel for years, I choose a Ford E350 Extended Body. E350 to suit a Sportsmobile 4x4 conversion and EB to have enough place for such a long trip. I know that EB vans have a little less capacity for off road due to the long rear overhang.
I still hesitate between Voyager top (my first choice) and Penthouse Top. As I will mostly travel through cold places where I will certainly find temperatures of 5° or less, I guess the Voyager top is more insulating. Does someone have experience on this ?
Of course, Penthouse top is an advantage when driving and for hot weather but I fear to have really cold in North...
As I will travel in South America, Siberia, etc, I definitely have to choose a diesel engine (much easier to find in acceptable quality all over the world...). And as Ford no longer delivers diesel engines in E350 since 2011, I only have to choices:
- to find a pre owned 2008 to 2010 6.0 Powerstrocke Diesel cargo van. Alan from SMB West explained me that they cannot do conversion on vans older than 2008 anymore because Ford as changed lot of parts. And I want a SMB conversion for reliability...
- to find a used E350 EB older than 2008 already SMB 4x4 converted. But I guess it's not very easy to find, espacially with a Voyager top and EB51 or EB50 floor plan...
A question about mileage: what's exactly a "low mileage" E350 ? In other words, what would you consider as an acceptable mileage for the 6.0 diesel engine from 2008 to 2010?
For exemple, I saw this one
with 93,000 miles. In your opinion, could such a vehicle be a good base or does he have to high mileage?
And where is the best places to find such used vans ?
4) Floor plan
As I will mostly travel alone, my best choice would be an EB51 standard plan. It seems to be the RB50 plan in an EB body, which leaves a 20'' space behind the plateforme bed, to load whatever you want. Any comments on this EB51 plan?
In case of buying a existing SMB, I could also consider an EB50 standard plan and move the plateforme bed forward...
That's for the van. I will send other posts for 4x4 conversion, options, etc...
Already thank you for reporting your experience and comments... ;-)