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Old 12-04-2008, 09:59 PM   #21
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SMB is in the job of developing solutions as part of their builds. What I meant was let them decide what components were needed to solve the solution for what you wanted.

You wanted an inverter to run your rooftop AC. Let them figure it out.

We did not want to use up all the space under the galley for a grey water tank, and we had no space under the van for a tank. Because we wanted some sort of grey water storage capability, even if samll, SMB was able to find atank to maximize the use of a space in front of the rear wheel well, above the bottom of the van. Some special plumbing and wa-la.
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Old 12-06-2008, 09:05 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg In Austin
You wanted an inverter to run your rooftop AC. Let them figure it out.
Well, since they had already stated categorically that it couldn't be done, why are you sure they would have "figured out" anything but to tell me, once more, that it "couldn't be done?"

This is really starting to feel like some sci-fi B-movie in which we are in different universes. Let me try this again: SMB had already stated, clearly, repeatedly, and certainly that a sine wave inverter would not start the roof A/C, and in their experience, never had. Did you copy that? Why would "letting them figure it out" be any different than demanding that they make the van fly or run on plutonium?

I'm happy for you that you live locally and could make your van available to them on an unlimited basis until they muddled through to a working solution. It might be worth considering that, since you lived locally, not only could you pester them indefinitely, but it would also be far easier for you to sue them to make good on their obligations to deliver a working product, because I bet they considered that, too. I'm at a loss as to what other means you think we all have at our disposal to compel SMB to deliver on their obviously meaningless boasts and promises.

As I've said before, I'm happy, on balance, that we got the van, but SMB did not live up to their own alleged standards or those of an honest, professional, reputable business. I think it's fair to caution any prospective SMB buyers that, in order to obtain what SMB claims they can deliver, you will need to :

a.) move to Texas (or CA or IN) until they can fix everything that will be screwed up upon delivery,

b.) plan on taking delivery of a 96%-finished product and doing the last 4% yourself, or

c.) retain counsel in TX (or CA, or IN) to sue SMB to live up to their commitments.

If the Almighty Sysop whose Name must be neither uttered nor scribed wishes to add an option "D," I'll be interested to read it.
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Old 12-06-2008, 10:42 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethereal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg In Austin
You wanted an inverter to run your rooftop AC. Let them figure it out.
Well, since they had already stated categorically that it couldn't be done, why are you sure they would have "figured out" anything but to tell me, once more, that it "couldn't be done?"

This is really starting to feel like some sci-fi B-movie in which we are in different universes. Let me try this again: SMB had already stated, clearly, repeatedly, and certainly that a sine wave inverter would not start the roof A/C, and in their experience, never had. Did you copy that? Why would "letting them figure it out" be any different than demanding that they make the van fly or run on plutonium?

I'm happy for you that you live locally and could make your van available to them on an unlimited basis until they muddled through to a working solution. It might be worth considering that, since you lived locally, not only could you pester them indefinitely, but it would also be far easier for you to sue them to make good on their obligations to deliver a working product, because I bet they considered that, too. I'm at a loss as to what other means you think we all have at our disposal to compel SMB to deliver on their obviously meaningless boasts and promises.

As I've said before, I'm happy, on balance, that we got the van, but SMB did not live up to their own alleged standards or those of an honest, professional, reputable business. I think it's fair to caution any prospective SMB buyers that, in order to obtain what SMB claims they can deliver, you will need to :

a.) move to Texas (or CA or IN) until they can fix everything that will be screwed up upon delivery,

b.) plan on taking delivery of a 96%-finished product and doing the last 4% yourself, or

c.) retain counsel in TX (or CA, or IN) to sue SMB to live up to their commitments.

If the Almighty Sysop whose Name must be neither uttered nor scribed wishes to add an option "D," I'll be interested to read it.
Dude,

Greg is

a) trying to better understand the situation
b) trying to offer understanding
c) trying to offer a recommendation that SMB Tx finish what they started
d) discussing a topic you posted for discussion

I personally know what a pain it is to have to bring a van in for warranty service for what should have been done right in the first place, but you seem to consistently jump down anyone's throat who asks any questions and who doesn't immediately jump on the bash-SMB bandwagon. If you don't want to discuss a situation, don't post it. This is a discussion forum.


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Old 12-06-2008, 01:23 PM   #24
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Yes, I think you all are going to have to agree to disagree and move forward. E, Herb is correct your responses to other opinions are not helping your cause. I do appreciate that you have brought these issues to the forum, as I believe the information is useful even it's not really what we wanted to here. IMHO I see your issue with the generator (as that is the thread that started this) a little trivial. Sure it would have been nice if they had all season oil in at the beginning, and certainly you should you should let sportsmobile know, they should at least document the fact so one would know and could perform the applicable change prior to the cold season.

It is obvious that your real distress comes from the inverter/air-conditioning problem. In that area I would tend to have to agree with you, SMB dropped the ball. Based on what I have read, the only difference in a supported option on the SMB website is that you wanted a different inverter then they normally sold. From all accounts the MagnaSine is a good quality inverter and should have worked. While this was outside of what sportsmobile normally does I assume they agreed to this up front. The start up current issues of a air-conditioner are certainly not anything new, especially in the RV market. I would suspect that it may be possible that the manufacturer of the air-conditioning unit may void the warranty if the compressor went out and they found a hard start device installed. This of course is a guess, as I have not checked. In any case that would not make the solution that SMB gave you any more correct. They obviously came up with a dirty solution to the problem, IMHO they should have at least let you know of the problem instead of you finding how they worked around it yourself. They certainly should have had better communication about the issue as they could not meet your requirements.



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Old 12-06-2008, 07:16 PM   #25
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Let's be fair on both sides, the other Greg (in Austin) isn't exactly being understanding that SMB Texas has already given their final answer, which seems to be a combination of "we don't know" and "no".

Personally I think I understand where Ethereal is coming from.. I think back to my leaky, leaky, leaky again top and just even now.

What technical discussion there is, is buried in the rest of this discussion. I for one would like to see a new topic (Electrical/Electronics maybe?) that deals with the problem, investigation and possible solutions as opposed to who is right, wrong and to blame in the matter!
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Old 12-06-2008, 08:42 PM   #26
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Jage,

I am not sure it is a matter of being understanding, rather since this is a thread about quality, I was trying to offer another possible solution to get where one might like to be without the problem.

If you want a particular function, give them the challenge and have them solve it.

An Analogy : I don't think if someone asked you to provide a program or system that would accomplish A, B, and C.... and then said you had to do it with this hardware you have not used and with a language you did not know, but to integrate it with the other systems that you already built.... that it would be easy for you to do and you might not get it right the first time.

This is not their first time around the block. They have been doing this a long time. They have learned along the way.

I already gave the very similar example of what happened with our need for sn inverter to run our AC and to also run our SC with a Honda 2000 Generator.

Don't bring yourself a headache that you can possibly avoid.

I have seen that SMB works pretty well this way. As does Aluminess.
But it is not always going to be without issue. What is these days with something this complex?

Another example:
I asked ALuminess to do something they had not done before, to create a box that would hold a generator and 3 Jerry cans. They did this. In doing this they also wanted to add their new door seal. The new seal changed the dimensions of the actual openings above and below the shelf, leaving the box not able to function for what it was designed. You could not get the generator in the bottom section and you could only get two jerry cans in the top. It was the good intentions of adding the new tighter seal with flange that caused the problem, the dimensions of the box itself were fine.

SMB was able to be creative and without making new punctures in the exterior of the box, and without losing the flange that allows the better seal.

SMB was able to cut the shelf and create a lip for the shelf to sit on. This lowered the shelf just enough to get the Jerry cans in the top section. WIth the shelf loose the generator could then be set into the bottom with the shelf slightly lifted.

I had suggested other possibilities that would have weakened the structure, but they were able to be creative and solve the problem.

Was this worth ranting about because of the Aliminess quality problem? NO

I will also not rant about not having recovery points on my rear bumper, or that the light mounting brackets are at different heights

Aluminess does a great job, ...even if they are not perfect.

SMB is the same way. They do a great job, but they will not be perfect.

It sounds like the offered inverter was also not the solution, and may have contributed to the problem since it was a new variable.

Give them what you want and let them solve the problem. If they seem to be saying no, ask again or ask again in a different way.
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2008 Ford 6.0PSD EB/E-PH SMB 4X4 Aluminess f/r bumpers (13.5mpg avg, 15mpg hwy) 52k miles [Texas McBeast]
2006 Toyota Prius (48 to 68 mpg) 120k miles [Penelope]
2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon (15 to 18 mpg) [Johnnie]
2012 Mitsubishi MiEV (no gas required) ($.50/day in electricity) [Evie]
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Old 12-06-2008, 11:34 PM   #27
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Greg (in Austin) isn't exactly being understanding that SMB Texas has already given their final answer, which seems to be a combination of "we don't know" and "no".
Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner! Yes, this thread would have been over in about three posts (actually, it would have never been started) if G-in-A could come to grips with the fact that there are some things which any competent RV shop ought to be able to do, which SMB would rather brush off on the customer.

Once more, I have never said all or even most of SMB's work is sub-par. They are quite good at most of what they do, but seem utterly disinterested in putting any effort into the areas in which they struggle, like a talented high-school athlete who doesn't think he should have to be bothered with learning math.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg In Austin
Give them what you want and let them solve the problem. If they seem to be saying no, ask again or ask again in a different way.
Yep, that must be it. Just keep asking: then they'll be able to build an aircraft, a spaceship, perpetual motion machine...
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Old 12-07-2008, 10:59 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethereal
They are quite good at most of what they do, but seem utterly disinterested in putting any effort into the areas in which they struggle, like a talented high-school athlete who doesn't think he should have to be bothered with learning math.
...and that is exactly why I included the story of the work they (SMB) did on an inverter and AC system where they spent lots of time and got it right.... all on their own.

To help the discussion be balanced rather than a solely a rant, and so that folks that do read this will understand that your experience is not indicative off all experiences.

BUT it seems like you don't want anyone to mention any positive experiences, and in this case it was in almost exactly the same arena, same systems you were describing.

The thread is about Quality or not, so why can there not be two sides?
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2008 Ford 6.0PSD EB/E-PH SMB 4X4 Aluminess f/r bumpers (13.5mpg avg, 15mpg hwy) 52k miles [Texas McBeast]
2006 Toyota Prius (48 to 68 mpg) 120k miles [Penelope]
2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon (15 to 18 mpg) [Johnnie]
2012 Mitsubishi MiEV (no gas required) ($.50/day in electricity) [Evie]
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Old 12-09-2008, 12:23 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg In Austin
...folks that do read this will understand that your experience is not indicative off all experiences.

BUT it seems like you don't want anyone to mention any positive experiences, and in this case it was in almost exactly the same arena, same systems you were describing.

The thread is about Quality or not, so why can there not be two sides?
The particular experience(s) I related in this thread is isn't even indicative of every experience I've had with SMB, as I've said. But I ask again: is a soldier who is loyal 90% of the time considered "loyal?"

No one is suggesting SMB always screws up their work, unless you are unfortunate enough to have an Amsoil system on a 6.0 PSD, in which case they seem to have achieved a pure 100% failure rate. But I am absolutely asserting that they are inconsistent, both in doing quality work in the first place and in caring about fixing what isn't right to begin with.

I think anyone preparing to shell out $70K-120K for a camper van deserves to know that the product they will receive will be mostly right, and the things that are wrong may or may not be deemed worth bothering to fix by the company that just took their money.
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Old 12-09-2008, 12:51 AM   #30
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Okay, guys, I got it - SMB is made up of human beings and is just like EVERY other company, domestic and foreign, from whom I have bought stuff, cheap and expensive, over the last half a century. It all depends on which employee or employees you're dealing with, how you deal with them, and what kind of luck you're having that day. Given what I see happening with vehicle sales and loans in my area, we may not have much longer to discuss SMB as an extant company. Hope I'm wrong, but my dad LOVED his Studebaker and I used to fly PanAm a lot.
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