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Old 05-15-2018, 06:34 PM   #1
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Question Sportsmobile, Texas vs North ?

Anyone have experience dealing with Sportsmobile in either their Austin, TX location, or the "North" one in Huntington, IN ? I'm specifically looking for opinions on what each location might do well, how their customer service stacks up, any differences in build quality/reliability (as well as general feedback on that brand).

I'm not looking for a rugged, 4x4, take it to Moab van, just a well-built mainstream Class B with the typical features. Like the fact that they can deal with custom floorplans.

And yes, I know there's a Sportsmobile forum site. Signed up there, asked a lot of the same questions, and discovered that there's a fair number of members who will tolerate no dissent from the party line that Sportsmobile is anything other than the best RV builder on the planet. I'm actually looking for more realistic reviews, thanks
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Old 05-15-2018, 07:21 PM   #2
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I had some initial talks and designs with Nancy at North. She was nice and helpful and quick to follow-up on questions, quotes, and adjustments to my plans. I came to the realization that to create what I really wanted (on a short PM 1500) that the price started to get more than I felt comfortable spending. That probably doesn't help much in your decision, but it was my experience. Had I been willing to toss down $100k+ I would have felt good having it built by North.
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Old 05-15-2018, 08:35 PM   #3
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Usually North has shorter wait times
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Old 05-15-2018, 11:58 PM   #4
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I spoke with Nancy at North...very helpful. Nancy was very quick to answer my questions and willing to help. I found that the price was going to be way more than I wanted to spend. I was hoping to cut out a few items to get the price down, but I have a beer budget and they are serving champagne. I know this doesn't answer your question, but I never got a return call from three different dealers on ordering one so, if I had the money, North would have my business.
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Old 05-16-2018, 12:18 AM   #5
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Some years ago, I discussed a build with the fellow in Texas - whose name escapes me at the moment. But I found him very knowledgeable and helpful... and patient. I have friends who got their rigs from the Texas branch and were totally happy with what they got and the service.
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Old 05-16-2018, 12:27 PM   #6
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Had ours built at SMB north. Great customer service from the staff there.
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Old 05-19-2018, 03:13 PM   #7
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How do you feel about the build quality you got in conjunction with what you paid ?
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Old 05-21-2018, 12:35 AM   #8
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Our Sportsmobile Sprinter was built at the Indiana (North) facility. We purchased it used to obtain a unit quickly while we determined what features we wanted in a custom built unit.

Perhaps most surprising to us has been what excellent support SMB provides to even a second-hand buyer. Both Nancy at SMB North and Paul at SMB Texas have sent us replacement parts and upgrade materials at no cost (not even shipping!). I understand now why they have such loyal customers.

I think you would be quite happy with either North or Texas. One difference we noticed when planning a new custom unit is that North is a little more conservative with technology and new materials. Texas seems more willing to tackle advanced systems such as the petrol fired Espar/Rixen combo. North is by far the smallest of the three SMB facilities and I suspect they limit their scope to systems and layouts they know well - and they do an admirable job of it.

Of course any unit can have problems but the two really bad Sportsmobile screw-ups I've heard of both came out of the Fresno plant and involved complications with cutout penthouse roof section metalwork and welding. That shouldn't be an issue if you're getting a fixed roof unit.

We'll plan to use Sportsmobile Texas for our next unit, largely because the Austin location is a bit more convenient for us. Our only other alternative might be Safari Condo's XL Flex unit which features a height adjustable bed not available from SMB. Unfortunately obtaining a Safari Condo in the USA is quite the logistical challenge.
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Old 05-22-2018, 05:41 PM   #9
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I've been talking to them both on and off about our plans (Sprinter). They have both been super responsive and helpful. I also had a chance to visit North in Indiana. It's a small operation but I came away impressed with the quality of the build.

I'd echo rockymtnb's comment that Texas seems to be more willing to tackle new technologies and be somewhat more flexible. (This shows up in other comment threads.). i.e. Texas will now install Lithium batteries, but North will not. For me, North is a lot closer which will probably tip the balance.
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