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Old 02-25-2021, 11:09 AM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2021
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Cool SMB West Delays?

Hi All. I'm new to this forum so hoping to get your collective wisdom. I'm trying to figure out what is going on with the Fresno facility after they parted ways with Sportsmobile out of Texas. I placed a deposit in 2019, paid for the 4x4 Sprinter in Q3'2020, and I'm continuing to wait for the remaining buildout to be completed. I'm now hearing June of this year, 8+ months past the original estimated completion time, and there continues to be no confidence or definitive commitment regarding the real date when I will receive the completed van. My understanding is that parts delays and Covid impacts on the production crew are to blame, but I don't know how long to wait before cutting my losses and trying a new builder. Is this an industry-wide problem, or is this specific to SMB West? Are other builders hitting their delivery schedules? Any insights will be appreciated! I really like the folks at SMB West but the ongoing delays are troubling.

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Old 02-25-2021, 08:12 PM   #2
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Sorry to hear this.
Can you get a refund?

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Old 02-25-2021, 08:48 PM   #3
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Van Specialties in Portland is 12-18 months out.
2001 Ford RB 7.3 Quadvan (sold)
2006 Sportsmobile EB Transformer 6.0
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Old 02-28-2021, 10:49 AM   #4
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Do you know if they have your van in from Mercedes? We put in our order in April of 2020, taking a van that they had already ordered for their inventory. It still took until almost October for the van to even show up in Fresno. Fortunately, they got it into the production line pretty quickly, since we'd finished the design, and it is supposed to be done in a couple of weeks, however when we first ordered it, we were told that we should be able to pick it up in late December or early January, so not 8 months late, but still 3 months later. In my conversations with our design person at SMB West, he mentioned all of the issues that you brought up in your question, i.e. trouble getting parts and losing production time due to COVID. I don't know too many other places that build out vans to their customers design, so I can't speak to timing, but there are a lot of articles out there about how new RVs, particularly class B, are getting hard to come by. Good luck!
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Old 03-03-2021, 07:58 PM   #5
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Every shop in the country is backed way up...
Not just due to California type lock down impact to the actual shop but all the vendors along the way are backed up.
SMB West is great, if you call and actually talk to them and ask they might be able to tell details like where in the process your van is.
Cabinet, finish interior, waiting on parts or ???
It is more about the process and parts than some end date.
Go out and play in the dirt!
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Old 03-07-2021, 11:37 AM   #6
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Vehicle manufacturers around the globe have been cutting production due to unavailability of parts, especially computer parts.
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Old 03-07-2021, 01:09 PM   #7
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It is worth the wait. We have a 2017 Sportsmobile 4x4 Sprinter with the Agile RIP. It is amazing.
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Old 03-07-2021, 02:03 PM   #8
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VanLifeDreamer, sorry to hear of your delays. We get our SMB this month and have seen similar delays with regard to pandemic supply chain disruption and SMB-West working at keeping Covid out of the factory by sending folks home to quarantine, with pay I understand, so a hat tip there for a small 60 person company.

The forums I visit say a custom van build has been 18+ months wait for some time now because of the popularity of "van-life" and pandemic-driven sales.

The other difficulty, as of a few months ago (perhaps you know?), is automotive semiconductor shortages. As far as I know, every manufacture has furloughed workers and either slowed factories or closed them because of the lack of semiconductors here in the States and abroad.

An overview on this found here:

So if your Sprinter isn't already built, you may see delays from Mercedes.

Hope the thoughts help.

Hang in there and good luck!


E -
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Old 03-08-2021, 01:46 PM   #9
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Thanks for the info!

Thanks to all of you that have posted replies. I guess it's comforting to know that this is an industry challenge and not something exclusive to SMB West. Evidently the van was received locally in late Q3/early-Q4 after a short shut-down at the MBZ South Carolina, so it's now a build-out dynamic. I fully appreciate that we can't control covid and the impacts to the Fresno team and to the supply chain. I originally selected SMB for the job because of the reputation for craftsmanship, and that confidence remains. My fingers are crossed that things get back on track! My key contact there has been great with design recommendations and trade-offs. Anyone that is still waiting, please keep me updated on your experiences and I'll plan to do the same. Happy travels!

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