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Old 09-13-2011, 10:37 PM   #1
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SoCal - Thousand Oaks area owners - edumacate me

Hi all! Especially anyone in the Thousand Oaks area (give or take an hour)...

I've been reading the forum for a while now, imagining what it's like to travel in an SMB. This forum has tons of great info and opinions and I feel that I'd like to take the next step toward owning a used SMB. However, there is so much info, so many options, configurations, years, pros, cons, etc., that it can be tough to know what to look for. I think I need to see some SMBs and talk to owners to gain a better understanding.

My wife and I've done multi-week road trips (camping, mountain biking, hiking, etc.) for a number of years, most recently in our Honda Element. Outside California the weather, bugs, and lack of space on the inside have made me think about upgrading. I'm not experienced with 4x4, gas vs diesel, etc., but am looking to get that experience and understanding. We'd be using the SMB for a lot of travel in the southwest, but also in the midwest and east (spent a week in the Smokies last year and can't wait to go back).

I know, the Valley of Fire get together is coming up and would be the perfect place to see so many SMBs and talk to their owners, but unfortunately I can't make it that weekend. In any case, would any locals be willing to show me their vehicles and discuss their experience, pros, cons, etc.?

If anyone is feeling generous and likes getting bombarded with tons of questions, please feel free to reply, email, or pm me. Thanks in advance!
-Kevin
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Old 09-14-2011, 10:09 AM   #2
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Re: SoCal - Thousand Oaks area owners - edumacate me

Kevin, if you are ever in the San Diego area, let me know and I will gladly show you our SMB. However, I have a feeling you will not have much trouble finding someone a bit closer to you. Also, a trip to Fresno is not a bad idea if you can take a day off, although you will definitely want to talk to a current owner for their real world experiences as well.
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Old 09-14-2011, 12:28 PM   #3
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Re: SoCal - Thousand Oaks area owners - edumacate me

I think your query might be too broad- I think you should go to the dealer (Fresno) and get a better idea. If I got a commission or you had a specific question, I'd probably talk your ear off, but going from an Element to a van of any type, I don't see how you can lose except in gas mileage and handling.
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Old 09-14-2011, 01:18 PM   #4
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Re: SoCal - Thousand Oaks area owners - edumacate me

sdwindandsea: thanks for the offer. May be an excuse for me to plan a mountain biking and camping trip. I'll let you know if we make it down that way.

jage: yeah, I admit I kept it broad so that we could see as many vehicles as possible. However, the things I'm sure about: RB, pop-top; leaning toward: 4x4, less instead of more interior storage. Dunno about: gas vs diesel, 4x4 drive chain, stove, hot water, shower, etc. It would just be 2 of us traveling. It would also be a daily driver. Fresno would be great if I can turn it into a Yosemite trip. For the record, I love our Element, just feeling the need to expand. Feel free to talk my ear off.
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Old 09-15-2011, 12:18 PM   #5
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Re: SoCal - Thousand Oaks area owners - edumacate me

Buy this:
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=7226

According to your list you won't find better, IMHO. The Aluminess can likely be sold in a heartbeat if you'd prefer to tone down the look and Transformers just don't appear that often.
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Old 09-15-2011, 12:22 PM   #6
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Re: SoCal - Thousand Oaks area owners - edumacate me

Quote:
Originally Posted by jage
Buy this:
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=7226

According to your list you won't find better, IMHO. The Aluminess can likely be sold in a heartbeat if you'd prefer to tone down the look and Transformers just don't appear that often.

I already offered to Kevin to show my SMB, no purchase required. I just need to find some free time to show it; doing a garage sale this weekend, and out of town next week.

Thousand Oaks is only 20-30 minutes away from me.


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Old 09-17-2011, 09:32 PM   #7
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Re: SoCal - Thousand Oaks area owners - edumacate me

It's not a Sportsmobile.
It does not have 4 wheel drive.
It has no poptop.

It is a van with big tires.
It has some custom stuff.
It's available to look at.

And it's in Thousand Oaks!
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Old 09-18-2011, 03:29 PM   #8
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Re: SoCal - Thousand Oaks area owners - edumacate me

My SMB is a good example of one setup fairly well without being over the top. I'm in Santa Barbara. Contact me!
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