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Old 04-09-2008, 06:32 AM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Ogden, Utah
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Transformer Conversion

I have recently purchased a E-350 Club Wagon with a 4x4 conversion. I got a great deal on the van and am looking at a Transformer conversion but am wondering if there is anyone out there who has done the conversion. The cost is over 12k for for the conversion so I am now only thinking of doing the PH top. Can anyone share any personal experiences or info about this conversion.

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Old 04-10-2008, 12:59 AM   #2
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Location: Clovis, CA
Posts: 200

The Transformer is a really neat conversion if you find you need to have maximum storage and/or carry many passengers. SMB has many photos in thier archives that they should be able to send you that will more clearly show how the bed is designed and what the galley looks like. They have a break down of the individual component costs, so request that too as you may not want everything in the package.

Keep in mind a lot of the cost for the Transformer is the Large AGM battery, 2000 watt Inverter, Loncoin flooring, XL Storage box, and Trojan tire carrier. Eliminate these features and you'll trim about $4,500 from the cost.

The rear bed platform utilizes Ford seat brackets, so it securely clamps to the existing seat brackets mounted on the floor.

John K.

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Old 04-10-2008, 06:05 AM   #3
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Location: Southern New Mexico
Posts: 9,798
I have a Transformer-like conversion, with most of the Transformer features, so I can take detailed pics of anything you want to see. I have a number of various pics in my galley as well.

My van started life as a tour van for Japanese tourists going from San Francisco to the Yosemite area, so the previous owners (Western Elite Tours) set it up with individual Captain's seats and also had the removable rear bed platform. Since we bought it a little over a year ago, we swappped out one of the Captain's seats for the Transformer galley unit, and had the two rear Captain's seats swapped for a rear bench.

SMB-less as of 02/04/2012. Our savings account is richer, but our adventures are poorer.
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Old 04-11-2008, 07:05 PM   #4
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I considered the Transformer and ended up just doing the PH. I'm happy with that decision. I built my own benches for sleeping and eating. And when we're not camping I still have a van that can haul 8 people or carry a ton of stuff. That was important because I have 3 kids.

Plus, the weight of the van is held to a minimum. No extra camping gear, unless we're camping, so it doesn't hurt the gas mileage one bit. The PH may have added some weight, but not much.
2006 Chevy Express with an SMB PH and DIY interior and DIY gear trailer
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Old 04-13-2008, 06:54 PM   #5
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Location: Orange, CA
Posts: 115
I have the full Transformer conversion with the AGM battery, XL Storage, Galley module, Loncoin flooring, 2000 inverter. I saw my first SMB 3 years ago at one of the RV shows but with 6 children didn't think I could ever get a floor plan that would work for the family.

When I saw the Transformer I started looking for a used 4x4 van that I could convert. With the help of the scouts on this forum I was able to get a great deal on mine from a post in the classifieds. It is truly a versatile vehicle. It is my daily driver and on most weekends we are traveling to tournament style sporting events. Between games we put up the penthouse put on a movie, cook some meals or popcorn in the micro and never leave the parking lot. I do have to answer many questions from bypassers. On free weekends the 6.0 diesel either pulls our 30' trailer, finds 4x4 trails or when I can swing it, a boys only fishing trip.

I just returned from a weekend fish trip with my two boys on the Kern River. This is what the bed module looks like when packed.
Bring along a coleman stove, a Mr. Heater, hotdogs, marshmellows and you're set for a weekend fishing, 4x4'n and fun

I keep the fridge fully stocked and always on.
I do have to plug the shore power in a couple of times week because my commute is not far enough to fully charge the AGM battery. In the near future I plan on installing Solar to solve this problem.

Like John K said the bed module uses the existing stock Ford seat brackets and is easily removed for storage. There is more than ample space underneath for all your camping gear.

So if you are a male in menopause who is not a sportscar person that loves the outdoors with a plethera of children, the Transformer is the perfect vehicle.

2006 EB Transformer SMB 4x4 Diesel PH F/R Aluminess SOLD February 2015
2009 EB E350 V10 Quigley - Non-SMB
2005 4x4 Excursion 6.0 Diesel EB Magnaflow Superchip - Bulletproofed
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Old 04-13-2008, 11:04 PM   #6
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Location: Clovis, CA
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Hello Steve,

Nice post! You're the exact type person that the Transformer was designed for! Glad that it meets your needs so perfectly.

I hope SMB will send potential customers to this forum, it is great to see so many people participate in so many area's! It's all good info that EVERYONE can benefit from!

Thanks to ALL for your efforts!

John K.

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