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Old 07-09-2014, 08:08 AM   #41
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Re: And her name is Bivy...

Great pictures! I like the setup!
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Old 07-09-2014, 08:59 AM   #42
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Re: And her name is Bivy...

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Originally Posted by 86Scotty
Love it! And a great parting shot. Where did you camp on Sonora Pass?
Yes, Sonora Pass is a beautiful area and not very crowded past Pinecrest. We camped off of Clark Fork road. Just some gravel forest service road that had unimproved campsites every now and then. The second day we camped just before the summit, again on a forest service road that was short and only served two unimproved campsites. We like the unimproved sites because we don't have to worry about our dogs bothering the neighbor.
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Old 07-12-2014, 05:32 PM   #43
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Re: And her name is Bivy...

congrats on your new home on wheels.
thanks for sharing pics of your build. great looking van.
you'll now be hiking and climbing the Sierras in style though flying in was pretty nice too, but it's not an SMB.

PS - love the dogs. hope you are aware that Bivy is their van and your job is to take them places in it , along with bringing good kibble and the occasional belly rub
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Old 07-13-2014, 10:10 AM   #44
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Re: And her name is Bivy...

Like the SMB, but love your flying adventure web site. Enjoyed the videos! You guys are living right.

Phil
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Old 07-15-2014, 11:56 AM   #45
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Re: And her name is Bivy...

My wife and I love the Sonora Pass area, we just haven't been able to find an appropriate campsite since we don't know the area off of the road very well.

Are there any streams near these sites, next to the Stan? Sorry, don't mean to horn in on your favorite sites for the world to see but we love the area. I assume east of the Dardanelle store (BTW: has anybody reopened it yet?)? Any other pointers?

We usually ride the motorcycles over 108 since the traffic is low and the road has got to be one of the best motorcycling roads in the west. The views are magnificent towards the crest. But maybe that should be our secret...

Thanks.

Chumley
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Old 07-20-2014, 02:11 PM   #46
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Re: And her name is Bivy...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chumley
My wife and I love the Sonora Pass area, we just haven't been able to find an appropriate campsite since we don't know the area off of the road very well.

Are there any streams near these sites, next to the Stan? Sorry, don't mean to horn in on your favorite sites for the world to see but we love the area. I assume east of the Dardanelle store (BTW: has anybody reopened it yet?)? Any other pointers?

We usually ride the motorcycles over 108 since the traffic is low and the road has got to be one of the best motorcycling roads in the west. The views are magnificent towards the crest. But maybe that should be our secret...

Thanks.

Chumley
The forest service is currently shutting down dispersed camps next to rivers and streams but there are still forest service roads to camp on. New rules state they want you to be only a few feet off the trail and I'm seeing lots of new signs each year pop up stating closed to vehicle traffic

So far the majority of the camps cut off to vehicle access have been by water or meadows. There are a few nice spots to camp at if you can find them but with a SMB just pulling off the trail works for a lot of people. The Dardanelle store was open a few weeks ago.
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Old 08-15-2014, 11:09 AM   #47
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2 Month update on new SMB Sprinter - Bivy

We've had our SMB for two months now and have had a chance to scratch up the sides, bottom out the undercarriage and generally put her to good use. Here is the scoop:

We are still impressed with the build quality of the SMB. A few pieces of trim came loose and I added a couple of screws. Other than that everything has held together and no big mistakes. Except for the D5 issue below, all systems are running well.

They had tried to talk us out of the Captain's bed as being kind of hokey. The Captains bed is a plywood platform and cushion that unfolds onto the front seats to make a bed. It isn't very tall, but it turns out to be perfect for dogs. They get to get off the floor, look out the window and not be on our bed. Recommended for anyone with dogs.

I've had fun with my own projects such as adding strip LED lighting in the cargo area, adding swivel seats, adding an LED light bar, wiring in switches for lights and an airhorn near the bed, etc.

There was an Espar D5 issue, and I can tell you that SMB either knows nothing about Espar, or they don't want to bother trying to help you trouble shoot. They said to please follow the directions in the manual (which was to turn on the switches and thermostat), and if it doesn't work drive it to Fresno. They then gave me the number of the guy who designed the system for SMB, and he helped me troubleshoot. It turned out that SMB missed on screwing in one of the wires into the terminal block behind the switch panel, and it had slipped off. Once that was reconnected the furnace starting roaring again.

So far, knock on wood, we are pleased and having a lot of fun. In fact, here is a trip report from a trip we did with Bivy to Sequoia National Park to climb:
http://www.supertopo.com/tr/Saber-Ri...s/t12491n.html
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Old 08-15-2014, 12:33 PM   #48
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Re: And her name is Bivy...

One thing I am disappointed in is the cooktop. Why didn't they (the mfg, not SMB) put more holes in the burner so the thing heats better? We were making coffee and had friends in a car next to us. Our friend finally got out his portable camp stove, fired it up and had water boiling before we did. Not a big deal, but a tad embarrassing.
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Old 08-15-2014, 04:44 PM   #49
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Re: And her name is Bivy...

My wife loves the Dometic cooktop and says it is faster than our electric stove at home. The right burner is much faster than the left one. Did your friend boil the same amount of water?

David
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Old 08-15-2014, 06:22 PM   #50
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Re: And her name is Bivy...

Quote:
Originally Posted by llamadave
My wife loves the Dometic cooktop and says it is faster than our electric stove at home. The right burner is much faster than the left one. Did your friend boil the same amount of water?

David
The backpacking stoves these days are pretty nice in that they pressurize the gas, whereas propane will never be under a lot of pressure by itself as it just uses the partial-pressure of the liquid turning to gas. And we were up at altitude so maybe it wasn't a fair comparison. But it just seems lethargic to me.

Really, a silly thing to complain about. I think I'll stop.

Hey - I just ordered a photo from you online!
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