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Old 01-11-2012, 12:45 PM   #1
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SMB Provan Tiger comparison

Does anyone have experience with both the SMB and the Provan Tiger CX or Bengal? Can you comment on their comparison relative to comfort, off road capability, reliability, etc., recognizing a likely SMB bias on this forum of course.
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Old 01-11-2012, 03:25 PM   #2
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Re: SMB Provan Tiger comparison

It's not a Ford van with 4 wheel drive. I think there is a widespread attachment to the platform first. Everyone has an experience with a Ford van. Practically everywhere you stop, in traffic, you get thumbs up from all walks of life.
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:12 PM   #3
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Re: SMB Provan Tiger comparison

Hi;

Nor is it a Dodge van, a Sprinter van, or a Chev van!

Regards,

Gavin
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:57 PM   #4
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Re: SMB Provan Tiger comparison

One key difference is the separate body. While the Tiger has a full shell, it's still not the same as a full body. You will hear all the creaks and groans as the body twists when off-roading. Not that vans are perfect, but look at how much pickup beds move in relation to the can, and imagine that same movement in a fiberglass shell. Also, a van will also give you better maneuverability with its better sight-lines and shorter wheelbase. First time I crested a steep hill in my Dodge work truck, it was pretty unnerving seeing nothing but hood and sky. The vans have much better visibility over the hoods.

As far as the RV systems go.... a lot of it will be similar, just depends on the price points you opt for when optioning out the rig.
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Old 01-14-2012, 07:16 PM   #5
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Re: SMB Provan Tiger comparison

I have driven both, but camped in neither. SMB and Tiger are the two motorhomes we have been considering for some time as we save up for the purchase. If it were just me, I'd go SMB. My wife grew up in a house like one on that Clean House show and gets really claustrophobic. She feels the Tiger gives just enough space for her to stay sane.

The pickup frame on both the CX and Bengal is considerably reinforced to the point that there is virtually no flex. Many people in Tigers will go off pavement onto graded unpaved roads, but only a few go onto rough roads and into real boonies like many SMB owners do. A Tiger cannot handle off road/jeep trail conditions that highly modified SMBs can. The members on the Yahoo Tiger Owner Members Board state that they do not have twisting and flexing problems nor creaking noises. The pickup comes without the rear bed, then Provan cuts off the rear wall of the cab and fuses the cabin to the cab. The cabin is not fiberglass; the frame and covering are both metal.

The Siberian Tiger, which will be released in a few weeks, is built on an F-450 crew cab diesel. The frame is not reinforced and is allowed to flex. The cab and cabin are connected with a bellows passage like the EarthRoamer XV-LT and XV-LTS. The Siberian will have a forward facing above cab queen bed with storage on the sides. It will be the height of a Bengal and 2 feet longer with extra internal storage, external storage, and a dry bath. EarthRoamer is soon to release two new pickpup based models as well: one on a 1 ton and another on a 3/4 ton.

The CX, Bengal, and Siberian Tigers offer more space than an SMB, but they are taller, longer, harder to park, more prone to hitting overhead obstacles, more difficult to maneuver, have less departure angle, and are more limited in the places they can access in comparison with the Ford 4x4 SMB (particularly the regular length bed/penthouse roof model). They are available in regular, extended, and crew cabs; Chevy, Ford, and Dodge Ram manufacturers; gas or diesel; 2wd or factory 4x4 (4x4 SMBs are retrofitted by SMB West).

Here is the link to the Tiger owner's group:

http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/tig ... omeowners/

If you have more specific questions, you may post here, PM me, join the Tiger group, or any combination. Good luck.
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Old 01-14-2012, 08:31 PM   #6
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Re: SMB Provan Tiger comparison

The Tigers seem to be neat rigs. A couple advantages come to mind:

1. Availability of the most modern diesel engines whether GM, Ford or even Dodge.

2. Huge aftermarket for full sized pick-ups. Especially in drivetrain and suspension stuff.

3. Gorgeous interior.

4. Easier to work on.

Some disadvantages:

1. They look pretty tall and kind of frumpy. The vans are pretty unique and do attract attention. I much prefer the looks of the vans myself.

2. Tons or rear overhang will be a problem off-road.

3. They seem to be about the same price, but the SMB 4wd system and tires looks much more capable out the door.

FWIW
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Old 01-15-2012, 09:59 PM   #7
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Re: SMB Provan Tiger comparison

Quote:
Originally Posted by SMoaB
I like the looks of the Tigers. A couple advantages come to mind:

3. Gorgeous interior.
I think the EarthRoamer XV-LT & XV-LTS have the most gorgeous interior of all. OTOH, IMHO, Provan has nailed the most well designed floor plan there is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SMoaB

Some disadvantages:

1. They look pretty tall and kind of frumpy. The vans are pretty unique and do attract attention. I much prefer the looks of the vans myself.

2. Tons or rear overhang will be a problem off-road.

3. They seem to be about the same price, but the SMB 4wd system and tires looks much more capable out the door.

FWIW
AT
Agreed on all counts. SMB and ER both have a vehicle that looks worthy of the far reaches of Moab. I have seen a couple of Tiger owners give their vehicles a better look with Aluminess bumpers, Hella lights, mud guards, suspension lifts, Rickson wheels, etc., but they don't usually come from the factory that way. At least the cops are less likely to stop the Tiger for looking like part of an enemy invasion force.
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Old 01-17-2012, 04:57 PM   #8
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Re: SMB Provan Tiger comparison

We would've definitely looked at the Tiger solutions more closely except for one major disadvantage for us. I cannot imagine using them as an every day driver like I do with our SMB.
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:19 PM   #9
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Re: SMB Provan Tiger comparison

just my 2 cents, but any RV with the bed always "open" causes the need for extra size which is not always worth having. The ability to raise the top on a SMB and/or take the few minutes to make the bed, is well worth the reduction in size. Other thought is that riding in a van you seem to have better visibility.
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Old 01-18-2012, 05:20 PM   #10
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Re: SMB Provan Tiger comparison

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl
just my 2 cents, but any RV with the bed always "open" causes the need for extra size which is not always worth having. The ability to raise the top on a SMB and/or take the few minutes to make the bed, is well worth the reduction in size. Other thought is that riding in a van you seem to have better visibility.
Ironic, I just left a thread on ExPo where people were discussing how much they loved their SMBs, but traded to an ER to have more inside space:

http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/t ... ortsmobile
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