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Old 02-15-2015, 10:54 AM   #131
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Re: Full-time planning

100sqft: I appreciate your Sprinter van report. Thank you for all the fine details. I got my new Sportsmobile Sprinter --hightop RB--(see photos in my galley here in the forum--first click says album doesn't exist, but click again and it does)--got it in June 2014 and have struggled with the sliding door, too. I have favored the back door actually until recently. Check out the article "Zen and the Art of Sprinter Side Door Opening" -- http://roadtreking.com/zen-art-sprinter ... r-opening/ This article has helped me with that door and I am now using it a lot more.
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Old 02-15-2015, 02:20 PM   #132
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Re: Full-time planning

Doug. Reread my post and click on his blog and go to the last post in October 2014. There are pictures there.
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Old 03-11-2015, 10:14 PM   #133
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Re: Full-time planning

Thanks so much for your awesome thread and blog. I'm in the process right now of designing my first Sprinter conversion and have been pouring over threads, blogs, pictures, and manufacturer sites for several months now. Reading your design process and seeing the final build, then reading your blog and now your pros/cons has been extremely valuable as I plan my own build. Props, and thank you for taking the time to post all of this..

Regarding the backup camera and stereo: does anyone know if SMB will install a radio and camera of *my* choosing, or are you limited to the things they like/sell? I ask because I've also read through this guy's (http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=17258) four-year journey designing and building his own conversion. It's a beast to get through, but again reading the design-to-amendments-to-finish process has been fantastic, and I've seen several items he included in his build that I think are far superior to the factory options and better than any other aftermarket stuff I've seen. One major item I'd love to have: his backup camera, which he introduced in post #4 on the first page. If you page through the 100+ pages he's got pics showing it in action in many scenarios, day and night, with trailers or bike hitch attached, and I want. I also like his stereo, (see post #81 on page 9) because it's very easy to override the nanny guards that make an OEM nav system annoying as hell, the screen and sound are great, and it plays very well with his camera. (I've gone cheap in the past; after now having a car with built-in NAV, XM, with traffic and weather, I'm hooked. My in-dash NAV has never locked up, rebooted, or had a delay in updating, etc, which has happened to me many times on my iPad/iPhone. And they don't need a cell signal to work--you can't get weather on an iOS without it--and I'm a climber so will be going remote.)

I'm definitely curious on this--have you had any times you wish you'd had a 4x4 model, either for the traction or the clearance? I was considering avoiding a LB or EB for fear there wouldn't be enough clearance on rutted, 'hilly' dirt roads which I sometimes take. Not sure if you've had to deal with that much, but would love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks again for the awesome thread and blog--I look forward to seeing how your perspective changes over space-time.

Drew
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Old 03-12-2015, 01:28 PM   #134
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Re: Full-time planning

mindtrip: I'm short on time today, so I'll be brief. SMB-Fresno will install any camera/stereo you want, though you have to be insistent to override suggestions from their sound guy. Also, you may find the cost for installation to be high.

I've never had a clearance or traction issue with my 2WD EB, with one exception when I almost got stuck in some soft sand. I've never gone completely off-road, but have traveled some really primitive dirt roads, i.e. two bumpy ruts, and have even forded some small streams. The bigger issue for me is how stuff in the back gets tossed around. Also, it's not uncommon for me to drag the bottom of the bike carrier, but no real damage done.
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Old 03-12-2015, 05:34 PM   #135
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Re: Full-time planning

Thanks for the update, very much appreciated.

Good to know they can be arm-wrestled into what the customer wants. Though after reading multiple horror stories about SMB-West, I think I'm more likely to go with Texas or Indiana for an SMB build--many fewer complaints, and since I will be traveling no matter which location I go with, I'm not tied to a particular state or region.

Also glad to hear the 170 EB hasn't been too bad even on rutted dirt roads. We won't be going off-road, but the roads to climbing crags are sometimes rough/rutted/bumpy dirt. I have a friend with a 144" conversion who reports the same issue with things up high in the living space--it does waggle a bunch on the bumpy, the shorter vans are no better for this. He's never drug any parts though afaik, but I would expect to drag a hitch and carrier a bit on a long vehicle, which wouldn't bother me at all. Makes me lean towards a 170 for the extra volume.

I'll definitely be keeping an eye on your journeys, keep the great updates coming! And mostly have fun and be safe in your travels!!
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Old 03-12-2015, 05:40 PM   #136
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Re: Full-time planning

Quote:
Originally Posted by mindtrip
.... Though after reading multiple horror stories about SMB-West, I think I'm more likely to go with Texas or Indiana for an SMB build--many fewer complaints,...
Keep in mind however that SMBw by itself probably builds far more conversions than the other two combined.


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Old 03-13-2015, 09:03 PM   #137
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Re: Full-time planning

Fair enough Herb, thanks for reminding me of that. I know using forums to evaluate the quality of a manufacturer is using skewed data, to be sure; but then it becomes hard to know if it's worth using SMB at all, vs a local shop that does a lot of van conversions (and there are a couple here that do a fair number). If I'm going to have to drive there a lot to get errors/problems fixed (and I just finished reading about all of Chumley's headaches on his build), driving from Colorado repeatedly would get very old, very fast.
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:25 PM   #138
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Re: Full-time planning

With the cost of DEF added in. Seems like a lower cost gas engine might be a good choice
Which might lead me to a different van base since I never liked the smell of diesel fuel.
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Old 04-26-2015, 07:52 AM   #139
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Re: Full-time planning

Quote:
Originally Posted by dknightd
With the cost of DEF added in. Seems like a lower cost gas engine might be a good choice
Which might lead me to a different van base since I never liked the smell of diesel fuel.
Cost of DEF???
Its ONLY $12. for a 2 1/2 gal box. My sprinter uses 1 box every 8500 miles


http://www.walmart.com/ip/BLUEDEF-Diese ... l/16933407
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Old 11-30-2016, 08:55 PM   #140
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I too like the layout, I have read somewhere that fresno won't do cassette toilets, is that why you have porto potti?
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