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Old 07-03-2009, 07:41 AM   #11
Pax
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Re: Owners - Buying an SMB for paved use only??

Wow, thanks for all the ideas and shared thoughts!

bentriderken - I'll definitely see if I can get a look at yours, the way you describe the open feel of the SMB is really appealing. As I said before, this will also be our second car so I like the idea of it being truly multi-purpose. I've been in a Roadtrek and thought it felt "tight", I'll be truly happy if the SMB doesn't mirror that feeling (I've only ever seen one SMB and that was one I saw on the interstate).
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Old 07-03-2009, 09:25 AM   #12
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Re: Owners - Buying an SMB for paved use only??

Pax,

You may want to ask SMB if they still offer the Transformer model, and if they can give you the info on it. Of course, it depends on what amenities you are looking for.

A Transformer has a small galley unit (fridge, microwave, inverter, sink and a 6 gallon fresh water tank), quick release Captain's chairs, and a removable rear bed platform. My Transformer-like SMB also has a penthouse and a penthouse bed. So, I could carry 7 people comfortably (all forward facing), or I could remove the rear bed platform and seats and carry quite a bit or cargo. I will say the rear bed platform isn't good for people over 5'6" tall, unless you like sleeping with bent legs.

Also, the galley unit I have does not have hot water, though a water heater could probably be added, and there is no grey water tank, you'll need to use a bucket when stopped. One drawback is that in this configuration, there is very little fixed storage in the van, though that does increase it's versatility.


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Old 07-04-2009, 02:37 PM   #13
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Re: Owners - Buying an SMB for paved use only??

I too felt cramped in the Roadtrek. I was actually after the roomy Earthroamer.....the price scared me off that route. Actually the main reason I wanted four wheel drive was to be able to get in the backcountry. You might not need a 4x4 but not having to chain up in snow is very nice. After seeing the Roadtrek I thought the SMB would be too small. Being close to Fresno, Lynn at SMB said to come in and take a look. She made the comment that people are somewhat surprised in how large a SMB seems inside when they see one for the first time. She was 100% correct IMO. I’ve always owned a four wheel drive truck and having such a capable vehicle in the backcountry gave me more options in where I can go. Now I go in luxury.
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Old 07-04-2009, 04:16 PM   #14
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Re: Owners - Buying an SMB for paved use only??

Hi,

Well we do not own a SMB yet, but we are getting a 4x4.
You have to become clear if you want/need 4x4 or if it is just cool. If you really want/need a 4x4 and the $$$ are runnings short. Here are so Ideas:

- 2wd Vans do get pretty far. Here (in Europe) some People, but in thier 2wd Vanagons rear Diff. Locks (its a Rear wheel drive van). Helps big time
- Buy a used 4x4 Van and then have SMB build to your needs

- Get the SMB 2wd as you want it and save money to install a new/used 4x4 system down the road.

Just my Ideas, good Luck with your plans.

Mike
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Old 07-04-2009, 05:31 PM   #15
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Re: Owners - Buying an SMB for paved use only??

If off-road doesn't interest you, don't forget that the Sprinter is out there as an option also.
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Old 07-04-2009, 09:25 PM   #16
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Re: Owners - Buying an SMB for paved use only??

I should have added that Chevy has an all wheel drive van I believe that might help in snowy conditions if the Sprinter seems too large for some reason.
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Old 07-05-2009, 06:21 AM   #17
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Re: Owners - Buying an SMB for paved use only??

We're heading out on vacation today, off to Michigan for a few days, this time we're renting a cabin though...no more sleeping on the ground!

On the way back (next Thur. or Fri.) we'll be stopping at the SMB factory...thanks so much for all the input!! I've got a long list of questions for Nancy.
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Old 07-12-2009, 01:51 AM   #18
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Re: Owners - Buying an SMB for paved use only??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pax
...would you have bought an SMB or would you have gone for something like a Roadtrek??
I was going to get the Roadtrek but once I saw the Sportsmobile, their quality and it's available customization, I was sold. My SMB interior is built very similar to the Roadtrek 190 Popular and the outside is very stealthy looking. You can't really tell it's an RV versus a work van or handicapped van until you open the door.
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Old 07-30-2009, 11:41 PM   #19
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Re: Owners - Buying an SMB for paved use only??

Not sure I should post this on a forum dedicated to SM but I was in the market for one a couple years ago when I ran across a used Pleasure Way Traverse which is pretty much the RB50 floorplan on a Ford pop top van. It's really more like the Westy with a diagonal pop-up top vs. the full pop top on the SM rigs.

Mine is 2002 2x4 with the 5.4 V8 and almost 8" of clearance. I've had it on some pretty rough roads in places like the Sawtooth National Recreation Area and it does pretty well. A limited slip might be a good addition but I haven't done it.

I do miss a proper toilet (I don't like pooping in the middle of the floor) and shower but you've got to give up something if you want to go small.

BTW, I get 16-18 MPG with fairly light-footed driving. I bought the Traverse with 44k miles on it about two years ago and paid $16.8.

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Old 07-31-2009, 02:54 AM   #20
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Re: Owners - Buying an SMB for paved use only??

Nice looking van, do you have a bed up top?
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