Sportsmobile conversion – wish we had known location makes a difference
We had a disappointing & costly experience with a custom conversion of a Quigley regular-body Ford Transit from Sportsmobile West (Fresno, CA). SMB’s floorplan for the van was wrong, & no one at SMB West addressed the issue in 19 weeks. They just built the plan & 10 inches of open space “disappeared” (8 inches from the incorrect floorplan, 2 inches more in a production error), leaving the entry/interior space unusably tight. SMB West agreed to fix it, but first insisted we pay to send the van back because SMB Texas created the incorrect floorplan, not them. They finally did cover transport after arguing over almost a month. Then we all signed off on a rework plan that restored the lost 10 inches. But 2 days before pickup, our rep told us they hadn’t corrected the production error after all & lost another inch of open space to vent the heater. We pointed out two more errors that they fixed.
In the end SMB West delivered a usable van that seems nicely done. But since it took 30 weeks, was carelessly produced from start to finish, and cost us way too much in time/$$/frustration, we asked for a significant refund. SMB West’s president said only Texas could authorize a refund, but very grudgingly returned $551 to compensate for a smaller fridge and cabinets. He also said to “Go right ahead” & share our story with the community.
We wouldn’t choose SMB again. But if you’re thinking about it, here’s what we took away from our experience:
• If you need a custom plan, it may be wiser to go with SMB Texas since they can’t pass the blame?
• Over-specify your custom plan to increase the chance it will be implemented with some precision. Write in measurements of open space, dimensions of cabinets (even if they’re “standard”), and everything that’s important to you.
• Don’t assume that when SMB signs off on a plan it means they’ve committed to producing it. Checks for production feasibility and conformance to plan were clearly lacking in our case. Verify what they’re doing often to prevent late-stage surprises.
We hope this helps others avoid some hassles and achieve a better outcome than we did.