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Old 09-01-2017, 12:23 AM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 714
Here is the link for water. Scroll to the bottom and click on last button. As you can see, fresh water is stored inside the van to keep it from freezing. The size of your tank or tanks depends upon how much internal volume you want to commit to water. At 8.8 lb/gal., water is fairly heavy. Diesel is just under 7 lb./gal.

Since the trailheads you need to reach sound like you will not spend much time on rocky roads in summer, you might consider a 3500 DRW. This isn't good for extended offroad because rocks can jam between the two tires and cause serious abrasion. The DRW can carry more weight than the SRW 2500. DRW is also less likely to high center in snow due to more surface area to support weight.

If you did go with a floorpan like mine and you put your house battery under the center rear where the spare normally goes, you could put a considerable amount of water beneath the elevated Flarespace bed. You'd need to think about your grey water tank to capture the used shower water, or open the drain and allow it to flow to the ground. If you use biodegradable soap, that shouldn't be a problem at trailheads. Not something to do in town or parking lot though.

Exactly how long does your driveway allow your rig to be? Do you have enough spare length for a rear mounted spare tire and Aluminess box, or do you need to sacrifice that extra length on the rear? If so, you'd need the spare to go underneath. Some do front mount of spare, but it reduces air to the radiator, something to avoid if you're going to be in hot weather.

For good showers, you either need propane and a water heater/tank, or you can use the very small (but expensive) tankless diesel burning D5, which also provides hot air.

If your trailheads are going to be extreme, you might want to consider the SMB classic, built on a Ford E-350 cutaway with high lift and true 4wd conversion. It is slightly longer than the 144" Sprinter, but much shorter than the 170" Sprinter. At 73" it is 4" wider inside than the Sprinter is at the floor, but the walls DO curve to the inside. Currently, none are available with tall roof, only the penthouse. That wouldn't do too well for winter showers. It is an amazing offload motorhome though. SMB West is the only one of the three factories that builds this. (BTW, where are you located?)

Keep the questions coming. The more we know about your needs, the more we can help. If you ask the moderators to retitle this thread, more people will see it's a build thread and will open it, read, and offer opinions. I also encourage you to go ahead and contact SMB for some direct information.

TomH is offline   Reply With Quote

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