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Old 04-21-2010, 07:12 PM   #1
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where to buy? IN or TX?

I am considering a SMB but am at a very early stage.
I live almost equidistant from the Indiana SMB location and the Texas SMB location. What are the differences? I have been told the IN location is the original but that the owner lives at the Texas location. I have visited one of these two and was somewhat favorably impressed. I do not want so say which one just yet. Any ideas or help on which is better and why?
Also I am inclined to favor the Ford over the Chevy/GM. Any thoughts on which platform is better?
Any help on these issues and any others would be appreciated.
Thanks,
dbaug
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Old 04-21-2010, 07:39 PM   #2
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Re: where to buy? IN or TX?

For me the decision was based on which site could build/deliver my van in the time frame I needed. Availability of transportation may be a factor also.

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Old 04-21-2010, 10:41 PM   #3
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Re: where to buy? IN or TX?

Are you after a 4x4?
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Old 04-21-2010, 11:51 PM   #4
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Re: where to buy? IN or TX?

I bought my van in Ohio. Had SMB North install an electric PH top. Then drove home to the Fresno area. SMB West is doing the rest.

In this process, I have learned the hard way that there are differences between the three. I say "the hard way" because had I taken the time to learn about the differences, my personal preference would have led to a different decision.

Here's what I learned:

1. The people that work at both locations are great people and are very pleasant to work with. Zero regrets there.

2. They use different manufactures for the PH top. SMB North's top is smooth. SMB West's top has grooves. I prefer smooth.

3. SMB North's custom paint looks exactly like the paint on the van. SMB West uses a LineX like material that does not match as well, but appears to be significantly more durable. I would have prefered more durable.

4. SMB North's PH bed is a single piece. For my RB it is 72" long. It does not fit around the electric motors nor does it account for the rear latch. SMB West makes their bed in two pieces. The rear piece fits around both the electric motors and the rear latch. Overall it is longer. I am 72" tall, so longer would be better for me. I would prefer to have it fit around the motors. Due to the hight of my seats, it would be good to be able to store part of the bed elsewhere for added headroom.

Anyone want to buy a 72" PH bed ? I have an extra one...

5. SMB West covers the electric motors. SMB North did not.

6. I still can't figure out why Dan Quayle has a museum.

I can't speak to TX. Hope that helps.
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Old 04-22-2010, 05:48 PM   #5
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Re: where to buy? IN or TX?

When I went to add a battery and inverter, Indiana was like "we don't touch them once they're built", whereas Fresno and Texas said, "no problem". I get the feeling that at Texas your motors would get covered and you could get a 5 piece 12" each sectional bed, if that's what you wanted. Of course it would take longer.

That's fascinating about the tops- I always wondered why some were smooth. And West used to paint match the tops just like Indiana, so I wonder if the ribbed top has leak issues they think the Rhino type lining will address, or if it's just easier/cheaper for them. I like that my top paint matches. I can always Herculine it, but I'd guess you can't paint match and clearcoat over bedliner.

If you hadn't been to any, my gut would say Texas, but I've never been to Indiana (despite living nearby for most of my life!). If you went to one and were impressed you should go there, unless there is some outstanding reason not to, in which case that leaves you with the other anyway. The original owner's location probably shouldn't be a factor, unless you just want to meet him, which I've done at both Texas and Fresno, although neither was planned.
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Old 04-22-2010, 06:30 PM   #6
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Re: where to buy? IN or TX?

I think there are other threads on this same question here. And, I think no one can really give you the final answer. I got my van from Indiana and was very happy with the whole process. And, by the way, I have a 2 piece bed in my van. I have heard that Indiana won't do everything the other two will do. I have also come to believe that might be a good thing. I think whenever I got pushback about something that wasn't something they'd do - I got an equally good reason as to why. (aka: I wonder if someone else might do whatever you ask knowing full well it won't hold up, won't be worth the money or will turn yellow with age - the latter being why they wouldn't give me the color cabinetry another location was offering.) I ended up respecting their kind of 'older but wiser' stance. That being said, maybe you want someone who'll be accomodating regardless.

I have had some issues with a couple things - some TOTALLY my fault. Indiana has fixed/dealt with each of them for free or darn near. Very fair.

But, at the end of the day, I really don't think you'd go wrong with any of them.
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Old 04-22-2010, 08:06 PM   #7
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Re: where to buy? IN or TX?

Our top penthouse top came from SMB North and is grooved.
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Old 04-22-2010, 08:25 PM   #8
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Re: where to buy? IN or TX?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LenS
Our top penthouse top came from SMB North and is grooved.
Smooth is new.
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Old 06-29-2010, 10:32 PM   #9
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Re: where to buy? IN or TX?

We are new....so new we pick up our SMB in two weeks. We only went to Indiana....Jim and Nancy, the secretary, were terrific~! We viewed other vans and EBs in the process....new, but no complaints at all. We felt really comfortable...and they were very accomodating...good luck~!~!
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Old 07-01-2010, 06:24 AM   #10
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Re: where to buy? IN or TX?

Indiania didnt even know what an engine driven 12v AC was !!!!!!!!!!!
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