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Old 05-27-2013, 06:03 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 51
Older SMB Reliability

I'm considering full timing in an RV for a year or two while traveling the the continent. Let's assume 15,000 to 20,000 miles a year.

What kind of reliability should I expect from an SMB purchased in the $10k to $30 range ? Assuming everything was handled by a shop, what do you think the annual costs of maintenance and repairs might be? What about the down time?

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Old 05-27-2013, 09:28 PM   #2
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Older SMB Reliability

When I bought my 89 E150 gasser said that they run a long time and are inexpensive to repair. He also said the new vans are more expensive to repair. Have had no trouble with mine.

Read detailed trip reports, see photos and videos on my travel blog,
Current van: 2002 Ford E350 extended body camper with Colorado Camper Van pop top and Agile Offroad 4WD conversion.
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Old 05-31-2013, 01:21 PM   #3
Join Date: Apr 2013
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Re: Older SMB Reliability

Thank you. Does anyone have any thoughts on the later model Dodge Ram SMB reliability? What makes/years you recommend for the best odds of getting a reliable model in the $10k to $30k range?
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Old 05-31-2013, 04:15 PM   #4
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Re: Older SMB Reliability

Answering your questions is like trying to nail jello to the wall.

Each of these vehicles is unique.

$10k to $30k will get you anything from an empty box in excellent mechanical condition to a fully equipped, tricked out piece of crap.

Here's how I would go about it...

1. Decide the minimum equipment you must have.
2. What equipment would you like but don't require.
3. What equipment will you absolutely not pay for.

Find a vehicle in your price range that has all of 1, some or none of 2, and none of 3.

Now see if the seller has complete maintenance records, have a mechanic check it out, research the internet for potential problems with the particular model.
2002 E350 7.3 PSD
Quigley 4x4, EB50 floorplan
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Old 05-31-2013, 06:16 PM   #5
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Re: Older SMB Reliability

^What he said, but basically an SMB is a camper van. It's a camper, and it's a van. Any RV shop will be familiar with any appliances and maintenance issues you have on the camper side, and any auto mechanic is going to be familiar with a Ford, Dodge or Chevy van. They are about the most common vehicles on the road, especially a Ford van.
Good luck in your search, and don't overthink it. For the money you are considering spending you can get a very nice vehicle, just look at all of the typical items you would look for in a used car, but perhaps have an RV place check out the camper side of things.

Good luck

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Old 06-03-2013, 04:21 PM   #6
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Re: Older SMB Reliability

Thank you for the advice!

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