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Old 01-07-2018, 08:59 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Anchorage, AK summer/Sedona, AZ winter
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Finally planning our build!

I am SO GRATEFUL to the many forum members that have shared their ideas, plans, mods, successes & failures on this site! It always has been and will continue to be a major asset to us and our van.

A big shout out to Tim (FITZ) who I visited in CA and spoke to on the phone many, many times. Its people like Tim that reinforces the fact that there are great people (initially strangers) that are willing to give you a hand and spend time with you to help you out.

My wife & I have lived and worked in Alaska for over 35 years. Weve also been lurking on this site for nearly 7 years, traveled to SMB West twice (several years ago), almost bought a couple used E350's, but decided to put it all on hold until we retired. Having a rig in Alaska while we both worked full time just didn't make sense to us.

Well, I retired 1 1/2 years ago and my wife is retiring in May, so we finally bought a MB 4x4 Sprinter!

Our build will hopefully start at SMB Austin in the next couple months and we are getting into the nitty-gritty of details.

The van: 2017 144" low roof 4x4 with a planned penthouse top and the RB150S build, 2 100 wt solar panels on the roof w/ inverter. We will have an Aluminess rear bumper, deluxe box, tire carrier, and 2 bike trays mounted above the deluxe box. We are also installing Van Compass Rocker Guards & ladder and ARB onboard air and eventually VC Skid plates and 7500# suspension upgrade. We also plan on adding the Agile Warn winch built into the front bumper. Most other things will be standard on the build except for a larger fridge, some additional 110vt outlets & USB outlets throughout, and rheostat controls on the interior lights so that they can be dimmable.

As many of you know, each decision on these vans (especially the 144 wheel base) is a compromise one way or the other. One decision I am contemplating is what fridge to install under the galley counter. We will be traveling for long distances and extended times and want to have the most fridge & freezer space we can squeeze in. Has anyone installed a fridge with the compressor remotely mounted (outside the fridge) and if so, has SMB installed one for you? Any pros or cons if you have?

We are considering the Vitrifrigo C130RBD4:
Vitrifrigo C130RBD4-F-1 (Old # C130LAC) 4.7 CU FT AC/DC Refrigerator with External Comp
It has 4.7 cu ft of space including .6 cu ft of freezer space.

It should be able to still fit under our galley counter however, since we will also have a single induction cooktop, the counter will have to be raised an extra 2 reducing some of our view out the side window behind the counter. Probably worth it to us for the extra fridge space.

I would love to hear from individuals that have installed larger than standard fridges under the galley counter and what your experience has been with particular manufacturers. Also to see if anyone that has mounted the remote compressor.

Any other thoughts or comments on the "extra" particulars of our build would be appreciated!

Thanks again to all for helping get us to this incredible point in our lives!

Paul & Annie
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Old 01-07-2018, 09:26 PM   #2
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Paul,

Great to see you at this point in the build, looking forward to following along!

Have you finalized on the house battery system yet? Others here will want to know what you chose and why.

Also, others will find the process you went through to get the van you wanted quite a story, one worth sharing! All I can say is that you knew what you wanted and you went to some extreme lengths to get it. I admire that.

Fitz
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Old 01-07-2018, 10:46 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by akfiredude View Post
I am SO GRATEFUL to the many forum members that have shared their ideas, plans, mods, successes & failures on this site! It always has been and will continue to be a major asset to us and our van.

A big shout out to Tim (FITZ) who I visited in CA and spoke to on the phone many, many times. Its people like Tim that reinforces the fact that there are great people (initially strangers) that are willing to give you a hand and spend time with you to help you out.

My wife & I have lived and worked in Alaska for over 35 years. Weve also been lurking on this site for nearly 7 years, traveled to SMB West twice (several years ago), almost bought a couple used E350's, but decided to put it all on hold until we retired. Having a rig in Alaska while we both worked full time just didn't make sense to us.

Well, I retired 1 1/2 years ago and my wife is retiring in May, so we finally bought a MB 4x4 Sprinter!

Our build will hopefully start at SMB Austin in the next couple months and we are getting into the nitty-gritty of details.

The van: 2017 144" low roof 4x4 with a planned penthouse top and the RB150S build, 2 100 wt solar panels on the roof w/ inverter. We will have an Aluminess rear bumper, deluxe box, tire carrier, and 2 bike trays mounted above the deluxe box. We are also installing Van Compass Rocker Guards & ladder and ARB onboard air and eventually VC Skid plates and 7500# suspension upgrade. We also plan on adding the Agile Warn winch built into the front bumper. Most other things will be standard on the build except for a larger fridge, some additional 110vt outlets & USB outlets throughout, and rheostat controls on the interior lights so that they can be dimmable.

As many of you know, each decision on these vans (especially the 144 wheel base) is a compromise one way or the other. One decision I am contemplating is what fridge to install under the galley counter. We will be traveling for long distances and extended times and want to have the most fridge & freezer space we can squeeze in. Has anyone installed a fridge with the compressor remotely mounted (outside the fridge) and if so, has SMB installed one for you? Any pros or cons if you have?

We are considering the Vitrifrigo C130RBD4:
Vitrifrigo C130RBD4-F-1 (Old # C130LAC) 4.7 CU FT AC/DC Refrigerator with External Comp
It has 4.7 cu ft of space including .6 cu ft of freezer space.

It should be able to still fit under our galley counter however, since we will also have a single induction cooktop, the counter will have to be raised an extra 2 reducing some of our view out the side window behind the counter. Probably worth it to us for the extra fridge space.

I would love to hear from individuals that have installed larger than standard fridges under the galley counter and what your experience has been with particular manufacturers. Also to see if anyone that has mounted the remote compressor.

Any other thoughts or comments on the "extra" particulars of our build would be appreciated!

Thanks again to all for helping get us to this incredible point in our lives!

Paul & Annie
Congrats Paul & Annie!

I'm just starting my Sportsmobile journey..... I'm eager to see what you learn, moving forward.

Bravo Tim (Fitz) for being so kind!

cheers

John
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Old 01-07-2018, 10:50 PM   #4
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I am installing the Webasto Cruise 165 refrigerator in a 144", but it isn't under-counter. Feel free to peruse my build thread. The latest plan is an attachment in Post 82.
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Old 01-07-2018, 11:12 PM   #5
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Fitz, I am still under the weather with this flu so I will post more later.

I am going with a single house battery as I mirrored much of your build with the 2- 100wt solar panels. I'm also having a exterior connector installed for a future portable solar panel. The van has the variable high idle control to help out when needed as Annie & I plan on being off the grid quite a bit. I did leave the option open to add a 2nd house battery near the passenger rear wheel well if we feel the need in the future. Why the single house battery? After talking to you, Paul Meyer at SMB, and reading other posts, I think it will work for us (especially since we do not have any rear AC). The space & weight of additional batteries is not desirable. If it wasn't an additional $10k, I would have loved to go lithium!

Tom H, thanks for the reply. I am envious that you are installing a larger fridge of that size, but like I said before, everything is a compromise with these vans.

John, good luck with your journey, it's been a long one for us but we are happy to be at this stage. Lots of great info on this forum.

Paul
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Old 01-08-2018, 04:08 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by TomH View Post
I am installing the Webasto Cruise 165 refrigerator in a 144", but it isn't under-counter. Feel free to peruse my build thread. The latest plan is an attachment in Post 82.
Awesome Tom - thanks.

May I ask - where did you order the Webasto Cruise 165 refrigerator from?

What is the approx cost of the bump outs?

cheers

John aka Los Angeles.
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Old 01-08-2018, 09:28 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by LosAngeles View Post
Awesome Tom - thanks.

May I ask - where did you order the Webasto Cruise 165 refrigerator from?

What is the approx cost of the bump outs?

cheers

John aka Los Angeles.
Both are items on SMB's normal list of options; they order and instal them. You can find pricing info on the manufacturers' sites. Note that windows in the Flarespaces are extra. Also, on a 144" Sprinter, if the drive's side has no slider, the bump out can be 5" deep. If there is a slider (as is typical on the passenger side) the bump out is limited to 3". On a 170" WB, both can be 5".

https://www.indelwebastomarine.com/u...pright-silver/

Flares for Mercedes Sprinter 144" Wheelbase Vans €” FLARESPACE
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Old 01-20-2018, 03:10 PM   #8
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New fridge option

I have noticed the new slim line fridges that are used in many of the new European design rigs including the Hymers and in looking around I found the model T1090 made by Thetford but apparently not marketed on this side of the pond , but it can be ordered for approx. $1000.00
Attached Thumbnails
product-image-3136-Thetford-T1090-Compressor-Fridge-T1090-2.jpg   product-image-3137-Thetford-T1090-Compressor-Fridge-T1090-5.jpg   product-image-3138-Thetford-T1090-Compressor-Fridge-T1090-2.jpg   product-image-3140-Thetford-T1090-Compressor-Fridge-T1090-DIMS.jpg  
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Old 01-20-2018, 03:16 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Aerosport View Post
I have noticed the new slim line fridges that are used in many of the new European design rigs including the Hymers and in looking around I found the model T1090 made by Thetford but apparently not marketed on this side of the pond , but it can be ordered for approx. $1000.00
cool looking fridge....

pardon my ignorance, but what advantages would this model have?

thanks

John
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Old 01-20-2018, 03:22 PM   #10
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Slimmer profile only 16.5 inches wide, shape also conforms to van wall curvature so it can be mounted higher. My personal preference is to have fridge higher more at eye level
than bending down to look in it. Also has lower wattage usage mode for night or to conserve battery power.
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