Is it common and acceptable to reach out to a recruiter I have previously interviewed with via SMS to enquire whether there are any suitable open positions at their company? If yes what is the best way to go about this and if not what would be a better way?
Recruiters hands hundreds of contacts per month. And I am pretty sure they don't save all their numbers in the phone.
Sending an SMS after a couple of years would, besides being unprofessional, at best trigger an head scratch along the line "who is this?".
If you want to recall your last contact, give him a call and explain who you are and that you are looking for a job, thus sending him an update CV. He/she will tell that he/she remember you and, before reading the mail you will send him, will scroll through his folders searching for your file to actually remember who you are.
In this way you will get the recruiter's attention and will also stress that you are serious about your job search.
Treat the recruiter like you would a hiring manager unless you are a highly sought after professional (i.e. you invented C++). Texting a hiring manager for a job is extremely sloppy. Send a formal email, request a meeting, take your updated resume to the meeting, etc.
My answer assumes that you are not applying for a job at McDonalds/Subway, if that's the case, then a text message should be fine.
Unless your prior contact with this person has previously established that SMS is their preferred method of communication (and something tells me that if this were the case you wouldn't be asking this question) then I would say No.
For the most part texting is still seen as an informal method of communication and while it is gaining ground in more and more "official" environments many would still consider it too casual and unprofessional for such an inquiry - especially given the time lapse from your previous contacts.
The timescales also provide further reasons why this is a bad idea - the person may no longer have your contact details saved (and therefore not know who you are) or they may have moved on from the company they were previously at and the phone number may have been reassigned to a different person. Either of which could easily see your message being disregarded and leave you with no idea as to what has happened.
Emailing this person would certainly be a safer bet in terms of being considered professional and the longer format would allow you to more easily re-introduce yourself and communicate your request and current situation. The downsides to e-mail are similar to the SMS message in terms of the elapsed time and of course it may be lost in an e-mail deluge.
Calling the number is perhaps a better option as even if the original recruiter no longer has the number the person who does may be able to help or put you in touch with someone who can.