Re: Why SMB?
I'll add another item to this discussion with a short story. Back in 2000, we needed to get out of a lease on a Jeep Grand Cherokee which we were using for camping, etc. We went to a sportsman's show and Sportsmobile was there. We had never seen a SMB before or even knew they existed. Prior to this show, we had always held the position that, as old backpackers, we'd never own a traditional RV. But SMBs were different. After talking to Alan Feld (owner of SMB West) at the show for quite a while, we left, thinking about how we might finance it! The next day, I suddenly realized that we were on a path to purchase a $80,000 4x4 SMB (remember, this was back in 2000) without really knowing anything about these vehicles.
So the next day, I e-mailed a writer/friend of mine who test-drove RVs for a couple of RV magazines for a living...everything from small conversions to 40-foot plus pusher luxury buses...and asked him about Sportsmobile vans. He wrote back that he was of the opinion that SMBs were one of the highest-quality RVs that he had ever tested, even the $250,000 RVs. He added that, if he could afford one, he'd buy a SMB. Coming from a professional RV writer, that was a very comforting recommendation!
As for the larger gas tank question, one more advantage. We have two 28-gallon gas tanks which gives us 56 gallons for about a 675-mile range. Yesterday, I filled up in Arizona near the Arizona/California border for around $3.59/gallon. That allowed me to bypass the gas stations around Bakersfield, California (with the highest gas in the country according to the national news tonight at $4.79/gallon) to get back to the Bay Area where gas is ONLY $4.11/gallon.
'01 Ford EB50p Quigley 4WD