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Old 12-06-2015, 12:05 PM   #1
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Fitz’ 2016 Sprinter 4x4 RB 150S Build

I am looking for thoughts from the collective wisdom of the group. The deposit has been made, the van is on-site in Texas waiting for its turn in line (March 2016 with a projected delivery date of May 2016) and it is time to work on finalizing everything.

The philosophy is to find someone who does something really well and then get out of their way and let them do it. Looking closely at all of the various floorplans we have selected the 150S as the one that works best for us, now I am asking for your thoughts on various options and/or minor tweaks that you think would work best with this build.

My wife is a geologist and she loves to “go”, thus sitting in one spot for more than a day or two seldom happens with us. We are moving up from sleeping in the back of the 4wd truck and we do believe that the Sprinter 4wd, while not as robust as our previous vehicles, should get us where we want to go (and back). The winch up front is for insurance, as we often go it alone and in those cases we need to be able to help ourselves.

Pertinent details of the van:
• 2016 4x4 (high & low) Pebble Grey Sprinter 144” RB (Regular Body) LR (Low Roof)
• Stock tires & wheels changed out to Method wheels with BFG KM2 tires
• Aluminess rear bumper with spare tire on one side, galley box (with Honda 2000 in it) on the other
• Post-delivery, most likely on the trip from Austin to the Bay Area where we live (because Mercedes won’t let SMB install), an Aluminess-installed Aluminess front bumper with winch and brush guards
• Still deciding, either Aluminess nerf bars (yes, they make them, they just aren’t shown on the web site yet) or sliders by Whitefeather (Aluminess doesn’t make sliders for the Sprinter (they are thinking about it))
• Powered Penthouse Top with full length Thule tracks on top (need a place for the 85 pound 1988 17’ square stern Grumman aluminum canoe)
• One semi-flex solar panel mounted at the front of the penthouse top
• Active safety plus package, cruise control, rear window wiper & defroster, etc.
• Window tint, sliding and rear doors
• Swivel seats (by SMB) on both driver and passenger seats
• Second alternator bracket plus high idle control (not planning to install second alternator at this time)
• SMB installed back-up camera

Specifics of the build:
• Delete propane option
• Diesel/110V furnace and water heater (Espar D5 hydronic)
• Single AGM 4D house battery
• Larger (17 gallon) fresh water tank
• Porta Potti, stored in standard cabinet space
• Exterior shower mounted on drivers side rear
• Standard microwave
• Storage compartment (XL storage) under rear floor
• Additional (extreme weather) insulation
• No built-in cooktop, portable stove for indoor/outdoor use (plus at least one Dutch Oven!)
• Isotherm 12V Cruise CR 65 2.3 cubic foot Classic refrigerator/freezer
• Carpet overlay with Loncoin floor below

Why Texas over much-closer Fresno? Van availability. We visited Fresno and really enjoyed the people there, but because this van was available in Texas it will be built and in our hands a year sooner than if we had it done in Fresno.

It’s the little details that count. For example, is the Londeck floor easier to clean and live with long-term than the Loncoin? Please provide your input on those items that one only learns from experience!
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Old 12-07-2015, 08:23 PM   #2
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Re: Fitz’ 2016 Sprinter 4x4 RB 150S Build

We need to talk. Almost 3000 miles on my 2015 4x4 pebble grey low top. PM me if you want to talk.
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Old 12-07-2015, 10:29 PM   #3
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Re: Fitz’ 2016 Sprinter 4x4 RB 150S Build

I pick up my modified low roof RB-150 tomorrow in Las Vegas. Aluminess roof rack, rear bumper with swing out wheel and storage box.

Our builds are similar, Loncoin floor, cherry cabinets, microwave, bigger Isotherm fridge, 30 gallon fresh water tank, outside shower, awning, penthouse, new tires (BFG), extreme insulation, solar panel, 2 AGM batteries, and lots of audio visual goodies to keep the kids entertained.
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Old 12-07-2015, 11:06 PM   #4
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Re: Fitz’ 2016 Sprinter 4x4 RB 150S Build

Quote:
Originally Posted by DocSavage
We need to talk. Almost 3000 miles on my 2015 4x4 pebble grey low top. PM me if you want to talk.
Thank you for all of the great information. It's really nice to speak to someone with essentially the same build (other than you with propane, me with diesel) and with plans to use the van in many of the same ways. Your comments have reinforced the direction we are heading and I look forward to comparing notes, pictures and etc. in the future.
I have the canoe "roller loader" from Old Orchard Canoe Kayak Experts (oakorchardcanoe.com) that works great for loading the canoe on my truck with a topper. Once I get the Sprinter I will see how it works on the much taller van, but I think it will be ok. As a suggestion, you might want to consider the narrower kayak version for one-man kayak loading.
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Old 12-07-2015, 11:17 PM   #5
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Re: Fitz’ 2016 Sprinter 4x4 RB 150S Build

Quote:
Originally Posted by trailsurfer
I pick up my modified low roof RB-150 tomorrow in Las Vegas. Aluminess roof rack, rear bumper with swing out wheel and storage box.

Our builds are similar, Loncoin floor, cherry cabinets, microwave, bigger Isotherm fridge, 30 gallon fresh water tank, outside shower, awning, penthouse, new tires (BFG), extreme insulation, solar panel, 2 AGM batteries, and lots of audio visual goodies to keep the kids entertained.
I wasn't aware that a 30 gallon water tank was available, I will have to check into it as maximum water storage is desirable. I'm sure it has to do with the configuration and placement of other appliances, I will see if anything larger than 17 gallons will fit in my build.
I am very curious as to how much room there is between the spare tire and the galley box at the level of the receiver hitch. I have asked both SMB Texas and Aluminess to send me a picture if they have a Sprinter in that configuration, which is what you have. Any chance you can take a picture from the back and post it or take a tape and measure the distance from the receiver over to the box on one side, the tire on the other and up to the bottom of the rear door?
Congratulation on tomorrow's pick up! I am getting yet another lesson in patience....
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Old 12-09-2015, 10:17 PM   #6
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@Fitz, curious about your decision on the penthouse v. high roof - I like the idea of a lower profile, sleeping up top and leaving "downstairs" as living / working space. One concern was cold weather and how warm it is with a penthouse. My wife and I have been discussing layout and needs, your configuration sounds very similar to what we want. What are your thoughts thoughts on heating it when out in cold weather.
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Old 12-09-2015, 11:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graton View Post
@Fitz, curious about your decision on the penthouse v. high roof - I like the idea of a lower profile, sleeping up top and leaving "downstairs" as living / working space. One concern was cold weather and how warm it is with a penthouse. My wife and I have been discussing layout and needs, your configuration sounds very similar to what we want. What are your thoughts thoughts on heating it when out in cold weather.
Once we saw the Penthouse there was never a question that it was what we wanted. DocSavage has the same configuration and lives in snow country, his practical application which he says works fine is to leave the top down when cold out and to sleep warm below, which is the plan we intend to follow once we transition from "planning" to "using".

You and I are both in northern California. Summertime use will see the top up, wintertime use when in the mountains will see the top down. In reality, I suspect we will sleep with the top down more due to stealth than to cold.
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Old 12-10-2015, 12:34 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Fitz View Post
I wasn't aware that a 30 gallon water tank was available, I will have to check into it as maximum water storage is desirable. I'm sure it has to do with the configuration and placement of other appliances, I will see if anything larger than 17 gallons will fit in my build.
I am very curious as to how much room there is between the spare tire and the galley box at the level of the receiver hitch. I have asked both SMB Texas and Aluminess to send me a picture if they have a Sprinter in that configuration, which is what you have. Any chance you can take a picture from the back and post it or take a tape and measure the distance from the receiver over to the box on one side, the tire on the other and up to the bottom of the rear door?
Congratulation on tomorrow's pick up! I am getting yet another lesson in patience....
So far I have about 700 miles on the new van and I am impressed with the Sprinter. I previously had a 2008 Ford EB built by SMB, and the Sprinter is so much better on the road, we will see how it does off road later this week.

I am happy to send you photos of the back of the van in relation to the trailer hitch. Ill send you a PM with my phone number, I am not clear on what measurements you need.
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Old 12-10-2015, 06:51 AM   #9
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I have a winch mounted on a 2" receiver hitch plate. When I install the Aluminess front bumper I will install a new winch, thus this becomes "extra". I want to know if there is enough room between the spare tire and the galley box to mount the winch (temporary use only) in the rear position. The winch is 20-1/2" wide, thus my first question is, do I have 10-1/4" clear on either side of the centerline of the receiver? If so, then I need to know height from centerline of receiver up to first obstruction, either the bottom of the swing arm or the galley box itself.
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Old 12-10-2015, 07:54 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Fitz View Post
It’s the little details that count. For example, is the Londeck floor easier to clean and live with long-term than the Loncoin?
On the Londeck vs Loncoin question - we've found Londeck preferable for ease of cleaning and maintenance. And we like the more consistent appearance of Londeck too, although that's just personal preference.
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