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Old 09-18-2016, 08:53 PM   #121
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The LED lights installed in the van are great and they really light up the inside, but they are too much when you want just a little light. For now I have ordered a couple small USB LED lights and we will see how they work, if we want something else they will be no problem to install.
Fitz, my wife and I had the same opinion; that the standard SMB LED lights in our Sprinter RB150 build were too bright for happy-hour and dining etc. We ordered some Luci Lights to hang from our ceiling, or move around as needed. Some are colored. They are all solar powered and collapsible. Search this forum for descriptions. The partner of member 1Der was once selling these. They give off a great mood, and I highly recommend them.

Dale
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Old 09-18-2016, 09:01 PM   #122
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Sounds good. We'll touch base middle of the week. I have the 2 gal RotoPax if you want to verify size before ordering. Hope I can modify the tire carrier to hold it either between the tire and door or on the outside. I'll have to get some measurements and see if it's possible.
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Old 09-18-2016, 10:55 PM   #123
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Had one of those "you should have known that" moments tonight.
These vans are big, much bigger than my little Honda daily driver!



When you go to wash them. set aside the time and make sure you have a helper. In my case, my helper was sitting over on the BBQ sink...



A little Patron Silver always helps get the work done...
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Old 09-19-2016, 07:13 AM   #124
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multi-mount winch on Aluminess rear bumper

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[snip]
BTW, probably the best help of all was forum member Snowy meeting up with us at the campground the first night out. He went through the systems with me and his input and insights were invaluable – THANKS SNOWY!
[snip]
You're very welcome. It was just as good for me to see your observations since our vans are similar.

On another note, I think you were wise to go straight for the Aluminess rear bumper/storage box. I held off, thinking I might be able to avoid the expense, but I think I am probably going to land where you started. I will post winch stuff on my build thread, but I have a question for you here: Is there clearance to store /use a multi-mount winch in the rear receiver hitch location under the accessories you have attached to the swingarms on the Aluminess rear bumper?

Thanks.
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Old 09-20-2016, 08:53 AM   #125
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Thanks for the writeup! It's great that we're getting some detailed write-ups from start to finish as I think it helps everyone. We'll get ours started soon after we nail down some details from our visit in Oct.

Do you have any insight as to what MB would decline on warranty coverage with the winch bumper? I know SMB can't install a lot of things due to their Uplifter rating with MB, but curious if you know how the bumper would impact a warranty claim. As SMB explained, a bumper may minimize your ability to seek damages from MB in the event of a crash and the airbags don't deploy. (Not something I'd ever do). And I'm guessing MB may decline warranty work on something directly related to the bumper install itself. But, that doesn't seem like it would be much.

Does the bumper remove the headlight cleaning system? That's a feature we use extensively on our other cars given the mud/slush combo we often get here in Colorado.
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Old 09-21-2016, 08:19 PM   #126
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Fitz, did SMB wire for your multi-mount winch this with a solenoid, and if so, where did they put the switch? If you get a chance, could you post a pic of where they put it if they did this?

Thanks,
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Old 09-22-2016, 12:36 PM   #127
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Fitz, I've been following your build. Great job. I see you ordered the carport from Pacific Metal. I looked at that too. I first thought that it could be delivered as a drop shipment and I could construct it, but apparently their crew has to deliver and build it. I live in socal, so its quite the trip for them to deliver and set up. The company is much closer to your location, so that is a good choice. I may have to consider another option. Now that you have flint home, is the height of the carport you posted earlier still going to be sufficient?
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Old 09-23-2016, 12:09 AM   #128
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On another note, I think you were wise to go straight for the Aluminess rear bumper/storage box. I held off, thinking I might be able to avoid the expense, but I think I am probably going to land where you started. I will post winch stuff on my build thread, but I have a question for you here: Is there clearance to store /use a multi-mount winch in the rear receiver hitch location under the accessories you have attached to the swingarms on the Aluminess rear bumper?

Thanks.
Snowy
Sorry for the late reply, after a week and a half off (why doesn't the work get done when gone?) this is the first night I was able to get home with enough light to take pictures.

Here is a shot of the area you are interested in. Aluminess bumper on the back, spare tire (265) on a swing on the driver's side and Aluminess Deluxe box on the passenger's side:



And here are three shots showing relevant dimensions, everything shown is in reference to the 2" receiver. I can do a better job of defining the space if you need, the sun was setting and I was rushed!





Here are two pictures showing a 2,000 pound pull winch attached to a standard ball inserted into the receiver. Plenty of room, simple application, easy to use if you think this is enough pull.




And here is what an 8,500 pound Superwinch on a receiver insert looks like fully inserted and with the hitch pin in place. Note that to make this fit I had to remove the handle on the top right side of the winch that is needed to reverse the winch, but a half a day with my friend Lars and his garage machine shop and a new handle can be fabricated to fit under the Aluminess box.





What will I end up doing? I do not know.

A 2" drop receiver adapter would allow the Superwinch to be inserted with no modifications, but would introduce a moment into the equation. Using a straight receiver extension would result in no modifications and would move the handle out in front of the Aluminess box, but would result in the winch "hanging out there" (maybe not a bad idea when you consider the protection it provides to the leading edge of the Aluminess box.) Modifying the winch handle would be easy enough and would eliminate the need for any kind of an adapter. Keep in mind that all three of the above options leave the winch in the way of swinging both the spare tire and the Deluxe box, thus the winch would need to be removed to gain access to the rear doors.

Backing up to the little pull winch, installation is simple and easy - you remove it from where you have stored it only when you need it and then you hope it is large enough. On the flip side, you hope the Superwinch isn't too much pull...

Hopefully this helps. Part of my build included running enough power to the back receiver area so I can power a full size winch if I so choose (I like having options), but I must admit the simplicity of using the little pull winch (add a snatch block to double the pull to 4,000 pounds) appeals to me. And of course there is always the option of sourcing something that fits better into the available space. What is clear is that it is possible to do and that there is enough room available to accommodate a winch in this location.

I would appreciate any and all comments on this! We all know Sprinters aren't rock crawling beasts like some of our bigger SMB brothers, the goal here is to be able to pull the van out if I stick the nose somewhere where I shouldn't have and the need is to simply pull it back, and then try again or turn around and try again another day!
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Old 09-23-2016, 12:40 AM   #129
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Thanks for the writeup! It's great that we're getting some detailed write-ups from start to finish as I think it helps everyone. We'll get ours started soon after we nail down some details from our visit in Oct.

Do you have any insight as to what MB would decline on warranty coverage with the winch bumper? I know SMB can't install a lot of things due to their Uplifter rating with MB, but curious if you know how the bumper would impact a warranty claim. As SMB explained, a bumper may minimize your ability to seek damages from MB in the event of a crash and the airbags don't deploy. (Not something I'd ever do). And I'm guessing MB may decline warranty work on something directly related to the bumper install itself. But, that doesn't seem like it would be much.

Does the bumper remove the headlight cleaning system? That's a feature we use extensively on our other cars given the mud/slush combo we often get here in Colorado.
Regarding the build thread - You are welcome! My goal was to do my best to provide the answers that I was looking for when I was going through the process. Besides, misery loves company, and if I can encourage anyone to spend the $'s to do the same, then I feel the better for it!

Regarding the front winch bumper and the warranty - I simply do not know the effect on a warranty claim, nor do I really care. What I do know is that my wife and I are safer with the bumper up front, plus we have the added benifit of being able to help ourselves with the winch if needed, something we have had to do in the past.

SMB told me the reason they couldn't do the front winch bumper install had to do with the front collision sensor and the fact that MB didn't want them to modify it as it would negate the warranty. For what it's worth, here are a couple of pictures of what is affected.

Here is the bumper looking straight on. Note the small rectangular "window" above and to the left of the winch fairlead:



And here is a close-up of the "window":



The collision sensor is mounted behind the window and it was a simple job for Aluminess to relocate the sensor, and then about a five minute job to adjust it once installed.

Regarding the headlight cleaning system - you are correct, it had to be removed as part of the bumper installation. I've never had them so I don't expect to miss them, but I do believe the bumper configuration will tend to provide some lever of shielding. I'll eventually get in the snow and find out for myself, but that represents a small use case for us thus I don't consider this much of a loss.
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Old 09-23-2016, 08:13 AM   #130
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[snip]
Here is a shot of the area you are interested in. Aluminess bumper on the back, spare tire (265) on a swing on the driver's side and Aluminess Deluxe box on the passenger's side:
[snip]
Thanks so much Fitz. SURE GLAD I ASKED! The total price of the rear solution, installed, with tax, looks like it would be $5K, and may not work for me after all. What a great example of the value of this forum! For starters, I notice your 265's appear to be right up against a constraint on the swingarm. Not sure what that is for, but I am guessing that 285's would not fit, which would be a show-stopper for me right there. Secondly, I hear you on the portable winch (for sand or snow). May not be enough for mud, but prolly enough come-along to get you out of a bind if you don't get yourself in too deep before you use it. I have the Warn 4500 on multi-mount, and tow straps and pulley from crawler, so in theory I have ~3tons of pull (synthetic rope and vehicle mount probably weaker links before 9Klbs of pull). The dimensions are somewhere in between the two pictures you show, but the pics are perfect for me to assess.

Thanks again. Pics speak a thousand words on these things, and I really appreciate you taking the time to take and post these.

Snowy
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