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Old 10-16-2020, 08:53 PM   #1
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Cabinet construction

New to the RV world and considering the purchase of a Sportsmobile. Can anyone comment on the quality of cabinet construction? Joints? Actual material. Other manufactures have a lot more information.
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Old 10-16-2020, 09:28 PM   #2
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Cabinet construction

Depends, New....old? What chassis? And what location did the build. Most of the older Econoline builds were MDF with melamine, not great, they improved the materials used in some later builds to ply with a laminate, but looks like they still use T moulding and plastic countertops based on some recent sprinter builds Iíve seen.
Iíd say that if youíre interested in having a new build done, thereís so many great builders out there that are doing some amazing work. Where are you located?
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Old 10-17-2020, 05:41 PM   #3
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Depends, New....old? What chassis? And what location did the build. Most of the older Econoline builds were MDF with melamine, not great, they improved the materials used in some later builds to ply with a laminate, but looks like they still use T moulding and plastic countertops based on some recent sprinter builds Iíve seen.
Iíd say that if youíre interested in having a new build done, thereís so many great builders out there that are doing some amazing work. Where are you located?
We are in Dallas. Considering a new build although maybe we would be wiser to wait for the COVID RV bubble to burst. My challenge is accommodating my 6’4” husband. I was drawn to the pop top for this reason.
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Old 10-17-2020, 05:55 PM   #4
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We are in Dallas. Considering a new build although maybe we would be wiser to wait for the COVID RV bubble to burst. My challenge is accommodating my 6’4” husband. I was drawn to the pop top for this reason.

There are lots of better choices for a interior build out than SMB if you are willing to transport/drive the van to them.


Also, consider a Colorado Camper Van (CCV) [pop top). They are similar money but you get a power top and a much wider bed. For Comparison, on a Ford E series van the Sportsmobile bed is 39" wide and the CCV bed is about 50" wide. Sportsmobile has a powered poptop option as well..but it's even more $$.


Do a search on youtube for Colorado Camper Vans...pretty sure Derek has a few videos of the tops.



The Sportsmobile pop top is not tall enough to sit upright in bed...CCV tops come in two different heights but both allow lots more room to sit upright in bed.
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Old 10-17-2020, 11:13 PM   #5
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X2 on the CCV pop top if going that route....and yes, if considering a new build on either a Sprinter or Transit platform, there are so many better quality options out there now other than going with a SMB build.

In CO alone thereís around 6-7, a few that come to mind.

https://www.avcrig.com

https://mytourig.com

https://www.coloradocampervan.com

https://www.5280.com/2018/08/make-yo...ams-a-reality/
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Old 10-18-2020, 08:12 AM   #6
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JeanZB...for reference REF has a CCV top (tallest one) and I have a SMB top. I think REF started with a SMB top and had that replaced with a CCV top.
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Old 10-18-2020, 08:22 AM   #7
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We are in Dallas. Considering a new build although maybe we would be wiser to wait for the COVID RV bubble to burst. My challenge is accommodating my 6í4Ē husband. I was drawn to the pop top for this reason.
I wouldn't wait on anything. Every van converter is busy. If you want a van in a year you better get in line yesterday. #Vanlife is at it's strongest. Keep in mind there is a 100k SMB for sale right now (if not sold already) for just 5k or so below the original MSRP!

If your husband is 6'4" he's going to be miserable in any van with the top down, and the top is only up a little bit of the time you are in it. You might want to consider a Sprinter or Transit. I believe CCV is the only converter who will put a top in the already taller vans. I can't think of any members here who have one but I have seen them and someone here will know or link some pics/info.

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Old 10-19-2020, 09:06 AM   #8
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New to the RV world and considering the purchase of a Sportsmobile. Can anyone comment on the quality of cabinet construction? Joints? Actual material. Other manufactures have a lot more information.
Our 2017 Sportsmobileís cabinets are made with Armorcore (you can look it up). I was shocked when we first started looking at RVís at how bad 90% of the construction quality was. It is probably what the market bears though. Most people just donít want to pay the cost of high end construction.

Overall, we are very happy with our SMB build which was pretty complex. We ordered most of the mechanical and electrical options and virtually everything has worked perfect for 3 years.

The cabinet material and construction quality have been fine. The only issue we have had is that they didnít seal the edges of the plywood panels and we have had some bubbling on the edges where it has gotten wet (bathroom door, kitchen area, etc). This could have been prevented with a couple hours of extra work sealing the edges. Everything else is fine.

We will have our next RV made by Sportsmobile. They offer all the options and flexibility that we needed. There were no other non-custom Class Bís that had what we wanted. We debated using ARV which is higher quality but it would have been 2-3 times the price. I would use SMB again and just pay them a little more to go that last mile.
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Old 10-22-2020, 10:36 AM   #9
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We got into a 2009 SMB E350 a little over a year ago, so far so happy. I come from the marine/boat/yacht construction world, and I would say it's comparable to what I've seen there in middle of the road production boats. The joiner work and outfit is pretty good, there are a few places with wood screws that loosen up with vibration that might need either rebonding or a better approach, but no major complaints. The latches and trim is good, side door gasketing could have a better adhesive. It's generally quiet on and off road, which is a big tell on how well things are put together. If you're the custom or "gotta be perfect" type, then you'd probably want to go w/ a higher grade builder ($$$$), but for the grade SMB offers, its a high quality build. (Also, as others have posted, your into a 1-3 year wait on a newbuild.)
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Old 10-22-2020, 11:02 AM   #10
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FWIW, our 2000 EB30 California Sportsmobile cabinets are awful. Very cheap materials including hinges, latches and particle boards. After about a year of light off road and washboard dirt roads, almost all were broken.
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