Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-20-2009, 10:51 AM   #1
Junior Member
cyberspaeth's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 18
SMB Owners: What's the one thing you'd do differently?


New guy here. Been lurking a month or two and now it's time to post.

Spouse and I will be buying a small RV and SMB is at the top of the list. We have no RV experience, and it's been many years since we've even done much camping (We're former backpackers and car-campers from 1960's to 80's). Now we plan to hit the road for extended periods researching where we might move, and seeing the wilds we haven't yet. We hope to start next summer or fall, and work up to perhaps a year-long trip.

I'm overwhelmed with questions but we're considering SMB (used or new) and a couple other options. This is pretty intimidating - it's a big purchase with many risks.

Any advice is welcome, but I'll start by asking: If there was one thing you would change about your SMB purchase, what would it be?


cyberspaeth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2009, 12:13 PM   #2
Site Team
Ford_6L_E350's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Washington - Ridgefield
Posts: 4,727
Re: SMB Owners: What's the one thing you'd do differently?

That's a very hard question. We are quite happy with the van the way it is. My wife would like more windows.

But, since the only part of the SMB that has given up problems is the engine, I think going with a gas engine would be our answer. However, I really like the diesel. But, several thousand dollars less would be nice. And, we really don't need the power of the diesel. Probably a 5.4L with the 5r110 trans would work for us.


Alaska to Key West, Labrador and more
Prostate cancer survivor. See Thread Prostate cancer and Sportsmobiles
2015 VW GTI 2020 Fiat 124 Spider
2012 E250 Hitop camper
Ford_6L_E350 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2009, 01:25 PM   #3
Site Team
daveb's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Turlock Ca
Posts: 10,174
Re: SMB Owners: What's the one thing you'd do differently?

Youíll probably find this answer will vary from person to person. If you havenít already read these posts, you might want to take a look.
Myself, as a diesel owner would have to think hard about switching to a gas engine. Engine failure is a critical factor when it comes to where I take my vehicle. This really bothers me when on the trail. Having to ďdrive inĒ a diesel mechanic to replace a sensor could be very costly. On the other side, mileage and diesel fuel prices are a much better value. But who knows how the price of diesel is going to go. Then you have to weigh the extra cost of the engine itself including regular maintenance. For now Iím happy with my diesel but if you were to ask me last year when the prices were close to five bucks a gallon I might have given a different answer. This also dovetails into another constant problem Iíve had and that is the Espar products. I was hoping for a low maintenance solution for cab and water heating, unfortunately this has not been my experience. I continue to have trouble with both units. The funny thing about it was that the Espar product line was another reason to go Diesel. In fairness to Espar, there are owners who havenít had the problem like I have.
2006 Ford 6.0PSD EB-50/E-PH SMB 4X4 Rock Crawler Trailer

Sportsmobile 4X4 Adventures..........On and off road adventures
daveb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2009, 02:14 PM   #4
Senior Member
Angel's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 480
Re: SMB Owners: What's the one thing you'd do differently?

After 13000miles and 10 months, can not think of a major thing I would do differently. I added on board air and want to get my back up camera on a switch so I can use it going forward.

2008 SMB E350 EB V10 White with Cruiser Top; EB-17 modified floor plan; Salem Kroger 4X4;
285/75/17E tires; Named: "The Lighthouse"
2000 Isuzu Rodeo V6 4WD
2006 Chalet LTW 15ft. Folding Travel Trailer 14 in. tires
Angel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2009, 05:01 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Pasadena, CA
Posts: 785
Re: SMB Owners: What's the one thing you'd do differently?

I would have omitted a water heater of any sort. I've got the flat plate and it works fine, but I use hot water very infrequently and a solar shower bag works fine 95%+ of the time.
2006 SMB 4x4, EB-51, 6.0psd
EMrider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2009, 05:10 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Helena, Montana
Posts: 613
Re: SMB Owners: What's the one thing you'd do differently?

We should have gotten a third Solera solar panel. The two solar panels generate only 110 watts a peak performance. I might replace them since they are beginning to generate less energy, with one or two Kyocera rigid panels.

Also, we put off getting a Aluminess side ladder to access the roof. You can't do anything with a roof rack or check the solar panels without a side ladder.

2006 Baja Tan SMB 4X4 EB50 PH 6LPSD
Mohawk Royalex Solo 14 foot canoe (light white-water)
Mad River Kevlar Explorer 17 foot canoe (flat water)
Dagger Royalex Legend 16 foot canoe (white-water)
Maravia New Wave 13.5 foot raft (fishing and white-water)
Ed in Montana is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Sportsmobile Registry

The Toaster



Add your Sportsmobile
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sportsmobile SIP or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:39 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.