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-   -   Terrible fitting penthouse top (https://www.sportsmobileforum.com/forums/f9/terrible-fitting-penthouse-top-21080.html)

shadetreevanman 06-27-2018 04:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sunnyday (Post 229924)
It was explained to me that the company they get the tops from damaged their Ford RB mold when moving into a new factory. SMB is and was aware they now get defective tops for this model and have been trying to discontinue the Ford E series tops, but "the demand is just too high". I'm standing there dumbfounded as this is explained to me, as if it's not their fault. Why does this translate to the customer being stuck with a very expensive defective product? Terrible company all around.

It would be one thing if they notified you PRIOR to purchase and let you decide if you wanted to proceed, perhaps at a discounted price... but to fraudulently sell you a known damaged top, tweak it, wait for you to complain, and then try to tweak it some more, and then rationalize their actions as normal, it is unconscionable.

Sorry man, I would be ballistic. I strongly urge you to pursue satisfaction on this. Thanks for the warning. A buddy of mine was thinking of contacting them regarding an install. I'll have to show him your pictures.

As Vanimal stated, these types of events make me glad to be an avid DIY'er.

Good luck.

Dogmobile 06-27-2018 06:24 PM

I just had SMB West replace the canvas on my 2000 Ford EB a week ago, and I had a similar experience regarding quality control. Everyone there was very nice, but the quality of the work was a bit lacking.

Examples:

- Top latched down crooked
- Gobs of sealant stuck to the counter top
- Numerous screws and washers littering the floor
- Wiring left dangling
- Top bungee improperly threaded

Mindful of this thread, I was outside in the lot reviewing the work before leaving, when an employee came running out with some of my personal items they'd removed from the van to do the install. Well, nice of them to remember!

I asked him to address the dangling wiring. He looked worried but agreed to try. He would poke it a bit, then say "Good enough?" I had the strong impression that he was just a poor grunt who regularly got yelled at for not working fast enough. Just a guess, but that was the vibe he gave, so when it got to the point I thought I could handle the rest myself, I let him go. As I was finishing up, the shop foreman happened to walk by and I mentioned the items above, thinking he might want to know, but his only response was to wish me a good weekend. Hmmm, okay.

The kicker came two nights ago when I was camping in a moderate rainstorm and found that I now have leaks where the canvas attaches to the front and rear corners of the van roof (the pop top is still original). Never had a leak before. Yes, I will take it back to SMB West (with trepidation) when I return from Alaska, but this is not what I wanted to have to deal with.

Also, the new canvas has a stitching flaw that would cause most companies to reject it, or at least mark it as a second. I didn't see it until I'd already left, but I don't have much hope that pointing it out when I go back will have any result.

I love my SMB (which was originally built in Indiana), but based on this and other experiences at SMB West, I would definitely not order a new one.

For those who are curious, SMB West charges $2389 to replace the canvas. The job takes two days.

regis101 06-27-2018 06:35 PM

I woulda made them remove it, refund the money, and drive straight home sporting' a new sunroof. :d3:
Or make them tie the roof cut out back onto the van with flashing until a Plan B, like a high top could be worked out.

I once paid for seamless gutters on da haus. Came home from work and the craftsmanship was so terrible on multiple levels, I told them to bring a truck over and rip this s**t off my house 'cause I aint havin' it. Day after that, I came home to acceptable second attempt gutters. All was well. Geesh. We only want what we pay for, huh?

ctb 06-27-2018 06:52 PM

Hope you get it fixed so your satisfied, sorry for your problem...BUT on the positive side...still won't take away from the enjoyment you are going to get walking around in your rig, sleeping up top as the breeze blows through the windows/screens, and the views as you wake up....

I climb up on my ladder as my wife hits the power switch making little tweaks at the last moments, to assure as near perfection fit as possible...sometimes great, sometimes a bit of rubber seal over a gutter....no squeaks no rattling...BUT it is SMB North mfg/craftmanship...It was well done, snug and we are pleased...but then again it was SMB North...small shop, clean and very organized...When we go Sprinter, (though Scotty's white Ford van looks pretty good) it'll be from SMB North again....so if your in the market for ANY SMB product, awning to full van build..."Its North or Nothin'"

Sunnyday 06-27-2018 08:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dogmobile (Post 229952)
I just had SMB West replace the canvas on my 2000 Ford EB a week ago, and I had a similar experience regarding quality control. Everyone there was very nice, but the quality of the work was a bit lacking.

Examples:

- Top latched down crooked
- Gobs of sealant stuck to the counter top
- Numerous screws and washers littering the floor
- Wiring left dangling
- Top bungee improperly threaded

Mindful of this thread, I was outside in the lot reviewing the work before leaving, when an employee came running out with some of my personal items they'd removed from the van to do the install. Well, nice of them to remember!

I asked him to address the dangling wiring. He looked worried but agreed to try. He would poke it a bit, then say "Good enough?" I had the strong impression that he was just a poor grunt who regularly got yelled at for not working fast enough. Just a guess, but that was the vibe he gave, so when it got to the point I thought I could handle the rest myself, I let him go. As I was finishing up, the shop foreman happened to walk by and I mentioned the items above, thinking he might want to know, but his only response was to wish me a good weekend. Hmmm, okay.

The kicker came two nights ago when I was camping in a moderate rainstorm and found that I now have leaks where the canvas attaches to the front and rear corners of the van roof (the pop top is still original). Never had a leak before. Yes, I will take it back to SMB West (with trepidation) when I return from Alaska, but this is not what I wanted to have to deal with.

Also, the new canvas has a stitching flaw that would cause most companies to reject it, or at least mark it as a second. I didn't see it until I'd already left, but I don't have much hope that pointing it out when I go back will have any result.

I love my SMB (which was originally built in Indiana), but based on this and other experiences at SMB West, I would definitely not order a new one.

For those who are curious, SMB West charges $2389 to replace the canvas. The job takes two days.


Really sorry to hear your experience Dogmobile. I would like to hear more about the happenings when you see about getting it resolved. Being that my experience was a total joke from beginning to end I figured there's no way it's an isolated incident. My van before was a 1990 Ford Sportsmobile. Absolutely amazing quality and craftsmanship! 28 years old and still in beautiful shape....which is why I decided to go to them when building a new van. Unfortunately a bunch of clowns over there nowadays

rean1mator 06-29-2018 01:08 PM

sounds like not much has changed over there. I had a pretty horrendous experience with them a couple of years ago too. vowed never to take my van to them again.


Had the ceiling replaced due to a leak. I had a pretty large cargo/safari rack that I took off myself and brought with me in the van when I dropped it off. Our agreement was that they would do the job while I wait as I was leaving for a trip to Moab directly from the shop. I showed them the rack in side the van and let them know I needed it installed. We(me and Peter) both even climbed up on my roof to inspect it and discuss the rack install and I even gave him my old mounting hardware in a bag and told him he could either use it or use his own. Job gets done while I wait, I show back up after having lunch and they completed the job without installing the rack! Ok not a huge deal, but when I asked him why he didn't install the rack, he just pretended like we never even discussed it and completely refused to take responsibility for the mistake, claiming he didn't remember us even getting on top of the roof. Just had a dumb look on his face when I asked him what he was thinking when I handed him the large bag of mounting hardware bolts/screws to do the install with. They finally installed it after much back and forth but still completely refused to take responsibility for the mistake. Unreal.

MountainBikeRoamer 06-29-2018 04:27 PM

These accounts are terrible. If they are even half-accurate in their portrayal, then they'd still be reflective of some seriously beyond-unacceptable business and craftsmanship practices....man, I feel for you guys.

In light of all these (admittedly anecdotal) accounts of less-than-ideal interactions and transactions....and with the continued positive reports that come out of the other two SMB locations....

...is it time to start referring to "Sportsmobile West" as "Sportsmobile Worst" ?

:n5:

(Sorry, couldn't help myself....hehe)

Bellpilot 06-29-2018 06:50 PM

I had a great experience at SMB West with my prior van adding the PH and with the quality and durability of my current 2010 Ford E350 4x4 EB50 SMB built at SMB West. Many times with my prior SMB I had questions and asked for unusual items not listed at their store to finish up my build and was provided with the material at a reasonable price without hassle. Johnathan Felds has always been very gracious and willing to do what it took to make sure I was a satisfied customer regarding the workmanship and customer service provided by his company. At this point they have not lost me as a customer. Please let us know if and when your PH top issues are rectified by SMB West.

ctb 06-30-2018 02:00 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I've been looking at the pics of the top and noticed SMB West must use a different fiberglass top maker than SMB North? My top DOES NOT have that extra funky lip around th base causing that gap between top and drain rail...mine is a straight shot or rather a solid wall...it snugs up to the drain rail making a seal from top to drip rail so rain rolls straight off...make any difference?

snomad 06-30-2018 03:28 PM

When we dropped off our SMB at Agile, John Brindell immediately and correctly IDed it as Austin built. He said there were differences in the tops. (forgot what :b1:). It makes sense that each locale would use a fiberglass-top resource close by.

The idea that a known flawed top got used is repugnant. It is really bad for Sunnyday & it undercuts trust in the name on (many of) our vans.


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