Another two Sportsmobile design failures.

thedirtdiz

New member
I'm glad I read this thread. I just installed some new Black Rhino Wheels and got a full size spare. I Have a Yakima basket for the top that I haven't installed and a wheel lock to store the spare. I liked the look of the Aluminess but after reading this, I think i will stick with the roof top storage.
 

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stormlover

Adventurer
I'm glad I read this thread. I just installed some new Black Rhino Wheels and got a full size spare. I Have a Yakima basket for the top that I haven't installed and a wheel lock to store the spare. I liked the look of the Aluminess but after reading this, I think i will stick with the roof top storage.
In defense of Aluminess the failures of the rear bumper are at least partly the result of overloading the swing arms. It's a 150lb limit and folks with generaters, rotopax, water jugs, etc can load way more than that. Just a 35" wheel can be 80lb. I've got 8 years on my bumper with 0 issues.
 

stormlover

Adventurer
Ha, I've heard that saying applied to boatmen. Those are those who have flipped and those who will. I flipped in Lava Falls on my 77th Grand Canyon river trip.

I'm generally pretty happy with the construction and assembly of my 2005 sportsmobile. The use of MDF is what bothers me most but it's not like I have things breaking left and right.
 

waveslider

Outdoorsman
Every time I had the need to do something to the SMB I reached new levels of disbelief of how idiotic (or incompetent) the person had to be that installed that particular thing. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Never again.

I wonder how the guy that bought the floor model ATW from SMB is getting along. That thing was a rat's nest of wiring from stem to stern. It was an absolute joke.
 

rltilley

New member
I wonder if many issues are on non-standard/custom builds? I have a 2013 RB50 and have had no issues so far. I haven't been able to use it as much as I'd like so maybe issues are waiting to show up later. The RB50 is kind of the standard build so they likely have that one down.

Sent from my STV100-1 using Tapatalk
 

chet6.7

Explorer
In defense of Aluminess the failures of the rear bumper are at least partly the result of overloading the swing arms. It's a 150lb limit and folks with generaters, rotopax, water jugs, etc can load way more than that. Just a 35" wheel can be 80lb. I've got 8 years on my bumper with 0 issues.
Aluminess should be more upfront with that weight limit.The picture below is from their site.Dodge-Ram-Rear-Bumper.jpg
 

Osprey!

Observer
but if I was going to go the van route I would buy something stock, have a company do the pop-top, then have the interior built myself. For what they're charging it seems like fit/finish should be higher quality.
That's where I'm at. Minimal interior that is removable (mounted to L Track) so I can quickly and easily reconfigure for the intended use, including as a cargo van. I loved having my expensive bikes inside the van on the last trip as we drove through slush, salt, and rain. 4x4 conversion starts this month. Pop top is next.
 

chet6.7

Explorer
Every time I had the need to do something to the SMB I reached new levels of disbelief of how idiotic (or incompetent) the person had to be that installed that particular thing. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Never again.

I wonder how the guy that bought the floor model ATW from SMB is getting along. That thing was a rat's nest of wiring from stem to stern. It was an absolute joke.
Was it this guy?
 

waveslider

Outdoorsman
Yeah, I don't know. If it was, I recommend that he NOT open the small access panel immediately to the left of the entrance way. He seems wound up tight to begin with, he might pop.
 

chet6.7

Explorer
He has a number of videos about the crappy job SMB did on his ATW.
SMB must operate under the "There's a sucker born every minute" principle.
 

RacerAV

Active member
man ive read a lot of problems on the SM vans... always wanted one but not with that price tag and those issues!!
 

Clutch

<---Pass
I don’t think Ford really intended for the E-Series to be an off-road vehicle in the first place. Meant to be a service van for plumbers and airport shuttles. We had a couple few for our swimming pool/wood burning stove business. Always thought they were POS myself.

Making it 4WD is done by companies outside of Ford. One of the main reasons to buy a Sportsmobile is the pop-top. Arguably one of the worse things you can do the structural integrity of a van body is to cut a massive hole in the roof.

Sure it is marketed as an off-road vehicle, but that is what marketing is, a bunch of lies to try and get consumers to buy products.

As they say YMMV...
 
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