View Poll Results: Can it be done?
It's not do-able in the regular body, even with the high top. 1 11.11%
You need some major adjustment(s), but it can be done. 1 11.11%
You are on the right track. 3 33.33%
You're there. Just the details left. 4 44.44%
Voters: 9. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-08-2012, 04:54 AM   #1
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A motorcycle inside a RB - Critics Welcome

There are a lot of roads I have dreamt about riding a motorcycle on for 10+ years now. I am finally going to bite the bullet and just go for it. Traveling with me will be my motorcycle and my 20lb dog. My motorcycle at it's longest point is just under 80", about 28.5" wide and 44" tall and weighs about 450 lbs. We will be full-timing in the Sprinter until we no longer want to do it or until we run out of cash.

Generally we will stay where the weather is good for riding, temps around 55-85F and clear skies. And where there are nice twisty roads - Blue Ridge Parkway in SE US, Canyons in Colorado, Highway 36 in the State of Jefferson, etc. I am going to try to spend a weekend each month at a different racetrack too - so that may take me to places, I would otherwise avoid, like Florida. I also enjoy hiking and cycling, and will be trying to take in as many NP/SP/BLM lands as possible. Family may bring me as far north as Pennsylvania for the winter holidays.

My timeline is not tight, I'd be happy to wrap things up and hit the road within 2-3 years. I wanted to stay with the 144" RB, because I intend to boondock as much as possible, and would like to have the ability to stealth park wherever I may be. I do think I will go with the 3500 hightop for extra payload and vertical storage space.

I've attached some very rudimentary sketches, of my concept for my SMB. As you will see, everything is very tight. When the motorcycle is inside the vehicle, there won't be much moving around. I actually tend to create little caverns for myself within my small home already, so I don't think I will mind the tight spaces - prefer 'em really.

I'd like to leave the shelves open, rather than creating cabinets, so that they can be more easily accessed, but would use attachments such as cargo nets, bungee cords and tie downs to keep everything secure.

This is in the earliest stages of planning - everything is subject to change. I'm looking to you experienced SMB'ers to tell rip my plan apart. Tell me what is feasible, and what's ridiculous.

I plan to put 2-3 solar panels on the hightop roof. I am debating whether to go with Air conditioning or just a fan; I have no plans of including a generator, which do you recommend? Will the weight be too biased toward the back or should this be fine? I also would like to carry a bicycle, is a roof rack or hitch-mount a better option.

The first attachment is the view from above. The bunk and the front storage area are transparent - because they sit off the ground - everything else is at ground level. The bunk will be 48" from the floor to allow plenty of room for the bike underneath. The driver and passenger side storage units would be custom and are shown in the following 2 attachments.

One thing I am having trouble leaving behind is my garden. If I can make it work, I am going to try to incorporate a vertical garden, sort of like a refined version of a pallet garden, behind the driver's seat. Maybe I am totally pipe-dreaming at this point, but I think it may be do-able.
Attached Thumbnails
SprinterRBhightop.jpg   drivers side wall.jpg   passenger side wall.jpg  
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Old 09-08-2012, 07:39 AM   #2
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Re: A motorcycle inside a RB - Critics Welcome

Once I woke up properly and figured out the first two sketches represented a side view , rather than a top-down view, it made a lot more sense to me.

Looks do-able, but I do have some concerns about the interior gasoline storage area. Even with well sealed, quality cans, any fumes, seepage, or fuel on the exterior of the can will constantly remind you of the gas while you're driving, or relaxing in the van.

I know Aluminess has a rear bumper for the Sprinter which can include a tire holder, but I don't know if they have one that can include a storage box and/or jerry can holder.


Herb
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:05 AM   #3
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Re: A motorcycle inside a RB - Critics Welcome

I think your plan is workable but the gas fumes coming off the motorcycle and fuel storage would get to me. I'd also make sure you have an easy to clean floor under the motorcycle parking space. It's gonna get dirty.
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:13 AM   #4
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Re: A motorcycle inside a RB - Critics Welcome

You might want to move the garden back to the tall-cabinet marker. That way the drivers seat does not interfere with it. Will look forward to seeing the photos.
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Old 09-08-2012, 09:29 AM   #5
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A motorcycle inside a RB - Critics Welcome

I love the garden idea. I too have left my garden for a couple of trips and came back to total ruins. It seems like no one can care for one's own garden like they can. I will never have room in a Ford but I see how you could do a small "hot house" in a Sprinter. I'm wondering how plants would fare with the constant changing temps, that's my problem. I've certainly noticed how quickly our fresh fruits and veggies go bad in the heat and changing temps of our van.
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Old 09-08-2012, 10:12 AM   #6
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Re: A motorcycle inside a RB - Critics Welcome

The battery boxes are 10x16 inches. I think you need more space for them, or maybe they can go below the floor if there is nothing permanent above them, such as the inverter. Spilling gas on the inverter would be very bad... Gray water holding tank can go below the floor. No point in having an A/C without a generator. Fan will run well on battery power. No furnace? Winter in Pennsylvania will be cold.

David
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Old 09-08-2012, 10:20 AM   #7
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Re: A motorcycle inside a RB - Critics Welcome

I'd be very concerned about the shelves vs. closed cabinets. Closed cabinets with secure latches. Not for normal everyday use, but in case of an accident everything on a shelf becomes a missile. Shoot, I worry about stuff on shelves at home in earthquakes too.

Don't worry about your driving, but the drunk that runs a redlight or the teenage texted in mommy's big SUV.

The motorcycle and gas fumes worry me less, a lot less.

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Old 09-08-2012, 12:20 PM   #8
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Re: A motorcycle inside a RB - Critics Welcome

Thanks for all the replies right away!

I too was a bit concerned with the gas can storage. Primarily the cans would be empty, but sometimes you need to bring your own race fuel with you to the track. I am very open to solutions for storing the cans outside the vehicle. I just found this, I don't think that will cut into the stealthiness too much.

I planned on the floor being the marine vinyl throughout. I figure I will carry a piece of cardboard to place under the bike, just in case. Thankfully I have a nice tight European bike and not a leaky one.

The goal is to spend as much time outdoors as possible, but on rainy days and in my sleep I don't want to feel gagged by fumes. How much air would 2 of the ceiling vent fans move? Would 2 fans create enough current to have "fresh" air in the van?

86 - I didn't consider temperature changes as a factor in the garden. Hmmm. I think I might end up frying eveerything - maybe this is an element that is just out of reach.

Dave thanks for the battery size, I was looking for that. The area I left is 15"x17" obviously will need to re-work that. Do you know the height too?

Ford - Making cabinets would have to be very creative so that things could be accessed since there is very little room between the shelves and the motorcycle. I don't want to leave things completely open as I am not looking to be hit with projectile missiles. My idea was to secure the "stuff" on the shelves with cargo nets like this. Do you think I need to re-think this?

Those of you who travel with dogs, do you find that they pretty much find their own places within the RV? I figure I will start out putting her bed at the foot of the passenger seat and then move it based on where she hangs out. The plan is to not leave her alone for more than 4 hours - I don't like to take the motorcycle for rides longer than I can be at 99% or better anyways. 4 hours is still a long time for a dog to be alone in a vehicle. How much power will leaving 2 fans and a small radio playing draw? What other concerns would I need to look after for her safety?

Thanks again for all the replies! Lots to think about, but it's going to be a fun ride!
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Old 09-08-2012, 12:48 PM   #9
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Re: A motorcycle inside a RB - Critics Welcome

Not sure on the battery box height, probably 10-12 inches. The Fan-Tastic vents really are fantastic. One should be fine. With the fan at one end and a window open at the other end you will have plenty of fresh air and on low draws under 2 amps so should run all day if needed. With a thermostat you can have it run only when it gets hot and it will automatically close if it rains (I assume you will return pretty soon if it rains).

David
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Old 09-08-2012, 03:30 PM   #10
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A motorcycle inside a RB - Critics Welcome

I bet your dog will be fine. Just use common sense and don't let her/him burn up or freeze. I think people freak out a little much about leaving pets in cars, but this is your house on the road, not a car.
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