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Old 01-09-2013, 12:32 PM   #11
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Location: Central Coast, CA
Posts: 192
Re: Forum Newbie About to Take Possession of a Sprinter SMB

Graham,

Welcome to the forum. As has been said this is a great forum with an incredibly knowledgable and respectful membership. If you have a question there will likely be a good response. Being a member of various other forums I am amazed that this one is so active for one dedicated to a single upfitter. I owe jage a huge debt of gratitude for creating and maintaining this forum. This forum helped me incredibly through my build in ways I am sure no one knows.

Congratulations on your purchase. It looks like you have what many of us drool over – potential, and you got a good deal to boot. I would love to hear more about your plans as they develop. There is so much you can do with what you have. Where are you going with it?

I am the last person in the world to give advice on relationships. My friends think my wife should be nominated for sainthood but…

Here I go with my obvious comments so you may want to just skip this and accept my welcome to the forum...

Is there a way to draw your wife in by asking her what she would like in an SMB conversion? Would it help to take her to the SMB website and show her some of the vans? Could you show her some pictures in the trips forum to whet her appetite? Just some thoughts, likely you’ve done all of that.

My wife was just as keen on our Sportsmobile and had a lot of input on the design. She also loves to camp, motorcycle tour (on her own bike), sea kayak (including camping), whitewater boat (solo canoe and kayak), and hike. So why do I mention this? When we met 20 years ago I don’t think she had ever had any dirt under her fingernails. She was very professional and quite main stream and conservative in her interests. Fashionable and a bank officer she was above all of this and she too had had a very bad experience camping when younger. My history had always been kind of being in your face and going to extremes quickly and had experienced some bad results. Stupid stuff like taking someone for a moderately fast motorcycle ride or challenging hiking right off the bat since that is what I normally did and wanted to share what I did, also probably an immature sink or swim test of their tolerance level. So with my wife I actually took her out on that first trip geared for her. I know that many of you are thinking “duh” but I just want to share this… I took her to Yosemite in the fall when the crowds had thinned and the fall colors were coming out. I did all of the work and focused on making it pleasant for her. It was car camping to an extreme with a large tent, air mattress, my special bacon wrapped trout dinner and moose turd pie for breakfast (corn beef hash cooked with eggs in a little depression on top, lots of cheese and some onions for good measure), chairs around a charming fire and a lot of pampering. Oh, I shouldn’t forget that first we went to the outdoor recreation shop and got her some appropriate clothing too. I don’t know if the experience was perfect but 20 years later she is the one asking about the next trip and providing suggestions. I may have just gotten lucky. To this day when we tell people about the things we do they are surprised that my petite and professional looking wife is doing all of this. In general what we are doing is not necessarily main stream so we could be pulling people outside of their normal comfort zone.

Everybody is different and every relationship is unique but this all worked for me.

I hope that you will keep us updated on your build. This is all a learning experience and the more members share the more the next “newbie” that joins in will pick up valuable information more quickly.

Good luck.


Chumley
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Charlie is the best antidote for a tough week at work. I get to see a different side of this great country and relax in different places on every trip. My vacation home is parked where money can't buy residence. Life is a long journey and my magic carpet is named Charlie.
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:18 PM   #12
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Join Date: Dec 2012
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Re: Forum Newbie About to Take Possession of a Sprinter SMB

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chumley
Graham,

Where are you going with it?

Chumley
Two possible interpretations of that question - how will I use the van or what am I going to do in terms of further mods?

I'm taking it out next weekend for my first overnight trip and hope to get a better feel for what I want, but I'm leaning in the direction of keeping it simple and just adding a couch to the rear that can recline into a bed a la http://sportsmobile.com/2_rb-150sm-pt.html and then just getting it insulated and finished out on the inside (wall and floor coverings, new stereo, maybe a tv). And an awning if a PH top with no factory gutters can accommodate one.

Given my wife's attitude (and I do appreciate your perspective and suggestions), this is mostly going to be a long weekend getaway mobile/fly fishing basecamp for me or me and a buddy or two. I live in Dallas and other than July - September, the weather's pleasant and there are some decent trips within a few hours. So it's car camping with a bit more comfort and no tents to mess with. I'm a 37 year old professional with new kiddo, so the multi-week excursions I see some folks post about just aren't in the cards at this stage in my life.

Given the above, I'm leaning against water and propane systems and trying to bring this van up to a typical SMB build level. I picked up a Coleman catalytic propane heater that I think will keep it plenty warm in the sort of conditions I'll encounter. I'm leaning towards a simple butane camping stove and "camp kitchen" I can throw in the back in lieu of trying to retrofit a sink and cooktop into the existing cabinet.

I think you guys have some great rigs, but given my needs and the van I bought, I may be able to be all in for $25k and have something that serves my needs well.

Thanks to you and the other members for all of your posts - I'm learning a lot.
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:09 PM   #13
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Re: Forum Newbie About to Take Possession of a Sprinter SMB

Graham,

You covered my question which was meant to be where you were going with the design.

You brought out a good question with your comment about a typical SMB build. I really wonder what the typical build is? Maybe someone can answer that.

Glad to hear you have the situation figured out (accepted) with who will be your camping buddies. Like you said, time with buds is important too.

Congrats on the rig.

Chumley
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Charlie is the best antidote for a tough week at work. I get to see a different side of this great country and relax in different places on every trip. My vacation home is parked where money can't buy residence. Life is a long journey and my magic carpet is named Charlie.
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:36 PM   #14
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Re: Forum Newbie About to Take Possession of a Sprinter SMB

I was referring to the folks who pick out a floorplan on the SMB site, do some customization, pick colors and get a full upfitting. Propane or diesel heat, water heater, toilet/shower, the whole 9 yards. That's a typical build in my mind, but I could be off.
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