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Old 02-02-2014, 07:07 PM   #11
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Re: And her name is Bivy...

your build ideas sound great. keep us posted.
compared to what you've been packing (cramming) inside your plane, the Sprinter will feel roomy.
enjoyed your website pics and videos. very nicely done.
I'm envious of your adventures.
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Old 02-02-2014, 09:37 PM   #12
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Re: And her name is Bivy...

Wow, I've just made my way through most of your pics and adventures on the link. Quite amazing pics! Thanks for sharing and archiving all of that! It will take me a long time to completely read it all, but I look forward to it.

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Old 02-25-2014, 01:38 PM   #13
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Re: And her name is Bivy...

It is getting closer to our SMB build time, but I've done a few other things to Bivy in the meantime:

1. Put Koni shocks on (from Sprinter store)
2. Put spring assist kit in back (the rubber bumper touches even when this van is not built out and is empty and light, which surprised me, but they said that was normal).
3. Installed heavy duty sway bar, then immediately uninstalled it. It turns out it doesn't fit a lot of 2014 vans and the rubber bushing holding the bar just pops out of the bracket under load. The sprinter store is working on the problem and will ship me a solution.

During this work I had the wheels powder coated black and new tires put on. I chose Cooper AT3's as they are a good aggressive tread, a good reputation in the snow, yet have a reputation as being quiet. They are indeed quiet. I upsized the tire to a LT265/45/16 E as many have on this forum. No problem I can see and the spare even fit into the bracket (some reported you had to bend the frame a little)

As you can see, these tires can drive through mud puddles with ease.

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Old 02-25-2014, 05:34 PM   #14
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Re: And her name is Bivy...

The other Bivy project I completed was adding a rear camera. The multimedia guy at SMB can do it, but it isn't difficult and saves a little money.

It was actually more difficult than I thought, since I have the factory tow hitch I thought tying into the reverse light wire would be simple. Its not. The Sprinter monitors all the lights and thus there is 12V on all the wires all the time. Whoops, that was a surprise. So I used the ground wire there at the rear and to be safe I didn't try to steal 12V from anywhere, I ran a dedicated fused 12V power wire from the "key on" terminal under driver's seat under the chassis and then back to the rear along with the video coax.

Here is the easiest way to get the reverse sense wire. Grab the top of the plastic trim that covers the drivers side pillar next to the windshield. Pull and pry it loose. Unwrap a section of the bundle of wires and look for the white wire with the blue stripe. That's it, that wire runs to the back to one of the reverse lights. Tie in there (I strip insulation, solder and wrap), then it is easy to snake a wire back down the side and over to the radio/screen.

(Now for those searching the forum on how to do reverse sensing, one guy on the forum put a normal push button behind one of the rocker switch blanks on the dash. He cut the tabs that hold the blank in place, but not all the way. So you can press and hit the button behind. He also tied this to the reverse sense wire so he had a way to instantly turn on the reverse camera. I haven't done that yet, but brilliant idea)
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Old 02-27-2014, 05:03 AM   #15
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Re: And her name is Bivy...

Then theres also the reverse power lead in the radio harness... meant for rear camera's.
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:11 AM   #16
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Re: And her name is Bivy...

Quote:
Originally Posted by k9sprinter
Then theres also the reverse power lead in the radio harness... meant for rear camera's.
Dang, I suppose that is here on the forum somewhere but I missed that. Oh well.
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Old 04-22-2014, 11:15 PM   #17
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Re: And her name is Bivy...

I did some additional work on Bivy. I bought and installed two more Mercedes OEM rocker switches for a 32 inch long top forward facing LED bar light and also a smaller rear light. I also installed, for security purposes, an air horn. The lights and air horn can be activated both in the cab or back by the bed. (I read somewhere that is a good security feature - being able to turn on the outside lights and blow a horn. It'll scare the bears in any case.)

So there needed to be a lot of fuses, relays and switches. I did all this before turning the van over to Sportsmobile for the full conversion. I thought they would finish the job by actually installing the rear switches but they said they will not touch someone else's wiring, which makes total sense. So they will make the rear wiring available to me and I'll install rear switches for the lights and horn when I get the van back in June.



At the same time I ran wiring to the back, I also pulled down the headliner and sold it, along with the rear seats. I sold it to a guy with a lot of kids who is going to buy a cargo Sprinter and build it up into a passenger van by buying parts cheap from guys like me.

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Old 04-22-2014, 11:24 PM   #18
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Re: And her name is Bivy...

So we've dropped off Bivy at Sportsmobile West for the conversion. It'll be a platform-bed-in-the-back, keep-things-to-a-minimum-to-keep-the-windows-clear conversion. But with some nice features like their extreme insulation package, Espar heater, marine toilet/shower, and full Aluminess roof rack with two solar panels.

She's been there nearly a month, and true to their word, not much visible has changed. Apparently they do a lot of prep under the vehicle, etc. These photos show the back windows cut out and also the cutouts for the two fantastic fans.

Can't wait for June!

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Old 04-23-2014, 08:31 AM   #19
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Re: And her name is Bivy...

Saw it at production line, looks good. Will work on roof rack and solar panels. Did you already install compressor for air horn?
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:26 AM   #20
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Re: And her name is Bivy...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxmaster
Saw it at production line, looks good. Will work on roof rack and solar panels. Did you already install compressor for air horn?
I didn't get a big air horn, I got the Stebel Nautilus which is rather compact. But it is very loud. I just ran wires through the boot under the driver's seat and found a (hopefully) protected place to mount it under the vehicle. It may not last under there with the moisture, but then I'll get another and move it.
http://www.amazon.com/Stebel-Nautilu...tebel+nautilus

There is a guarded toggle switch next to the brake lever and power plug on the driver's seat pedestal. We shouldn't hardly ever use the horn so I didn't bother running wires to the dash. I'm wondering if some SMB employee will think, "I wonder what this switch does?" It should give them quite a start.

What did you mean "will work on the roof racks.."? Do you work there?

Thanks
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