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Old 04-18-2020, 06:32 PM   #1
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Location: Bellingham WA
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Help: Ford Sportsmobile Which to Buy...

Hello everyone im still new to this forum & wanted to ask a few of you guys who owned your own Sportsmobile what to look for & whats the best floor plan to go with?

We are very excited to hopefully be SportsMobile owners soon.

Found a few vans want to pull the trigger - Possible options are RB30 Floorplan Pop up top or RB50 Fixed High top.

So here is what im trying to figure out, i personally think that the RB50 is much better plan for us bed in the back so that we can have the walk space and not fold the bed every time plus there is under bed storage hides away nicely.

Does anyone currently own or owned RB30 and can tell from experience how it was or is for camping and how practical it is?

Need to make a decision, both are 2WD,

2003 RB30 e350 Ford Extended 7.3 Diesel Pop up top 84k asking $27K

2005 RB50 Ford e350 v10 6.8 High top Asking $25K

Is that fair asking price? Thanks in advance

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Old 04-18-2020, 06:50 PM   #2
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EB30 - not as easy if one needs to get up at night. Forward facing rear bed format is best but you have a catch 22 there. The diesel is the ultimate prize but if the floorplan isn't a winner, then it will always have a bitter taste. I would pause on the idea of having to maintain a V10 in that van chassis. The v8 is difficult enough to service.

If one of them doesn't get your heart racing then pass.

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Old 04-18-2020, 10:28 PM   #3
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So.....I see in your profile you’ve already got an ‘08 E350. What engine? And why not use that to create the camper best suited to your needs? Plenty of upfitters out there these days putting out really nice stuff, certainly updated from a 17 year old SMB build, but it would be more $$ in the end.
Both seem well priced, although not having seen them....who knows, but a 7.3 with very low miles is certainly desirable, if the layout works for you.
You could always gut and rebuild.....I only say that cause that’s what I just ended doing to our 7.3 SMB RB50 after owning it for 13 years.
'03 Ford E350 7.3L Diesel
(de)SMB'd Custom RB-50
Quigley 4X4 w/Deavers & Agile Offroad's R.I.P. package
CCV High Profile Pop Top
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Old 04-19-2020, 12:45 AM   #4
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How many people? How long are your trips? What kind of activities? Physical ability of getting into a penthouse bed? Body stature as SMB bed is pretty narrow for two large framed people.

These considerations are super important to determine the layout best suited to your usage.

Just two with occasional third adult or teenage kid, three or more weeks long trips - RB 30 layout will be best but if spending that much time in the van and not heading technical offroad (these are 2WD) I would be very much leaning to the EB (extended) vs the (RB) regular body. The extra 22" is huge. The walk through gives you access to your storage without getting out of the van, long counter plus your couch is positioned to look out the side door.

Kids or additional adults that need to face forward, weekend or long weekend trips - RB50 will be best. But the RB50 has a High top not a pop top. That might be a dealer killer if you are on the taller side or are doing lots of summer/warm/hot weather camping.

V10 vs 7.3 - a 2005 V10 is a nice setup as it comes with the 5R110 tranny. I would have no qualms whatsoever going with that powertrain and maintaining it. The 7.3 is a completely different relationship. You have to love diesels and you have to know the maintenance will be $120 to $200 oil changes every 5k miles. The v10 has great drive ability. The 7.3 needs a Hydra Chip to get it to wake up in the vans. 2003 7.3 is a good year for 7.3.

The price points on both vans is very good depending on condition and maintenance records.

REF brings up a great point - why not build out what you have. Add a Colorado Camper Van top and get a build done in the northwest at Van Haus or one of the other reputable builders and have current tech / materials. Either one of those years from SMB will leave you scratching your head when you start to look behind the curtain.
Beastie 3: 2002 7.3 EB Cargo: Agile TTB, CCV Mid Top, Custom Walk Through, Lots of stuff added.
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