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Old 06-20-2013, 12:15 AM   #11
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Re: Full-time planning

Hi, I like your plan and illustrations. I like all the glass -we did the same on our 144 Sprinter PH and love it for seeing out. Get as many of them as possible with tilt out vents with screens. As 6-2 person I would go with a shallower cabinet over the sink so you see out (slightly downward gaze) when you are standing up in the galley.

Don't know where you live but assume you are planning a/c with all the glass. That means finding space for a permanent or portable generator. The Sprinter chassis has plenty of space below the floor for the house batteries and they are not the low point underneath. Solar can still be useful to run every thing else if you want to avoid the noise when parked.

Consider having an awning installed. We just retrofitted our 2012 with one shipped to AK from SMB and love it for rainy days and for creating an outdoor space - the tall van also feels less intimidating sitting next to it with the awning deployed. And your galley location could make a phantom screen door possible.

The rear doors will not have a lot of utility with your plan but you may want a rear access storage under the bed for fire wood and small BBQ. We had them make oversize doors for the storage cavities. Useful for setting things on or working on small stuff and with them oversize they open at a nice about 40 inch height when swung 270 open next to the sliding door.

Get a good sound system installed. The guy that works with SMB West does an awesome installation job. We have ours set up to with jacks in the galley to allow it to also amplify the laptop for watching videos to avoid taking up space with a monitor.

For privacy and solar control get a Fancher see through exterior windshield cover that also works great as bug screens for the cockpit windows for cross ventilation. Great quality and their price is also slightly less than the standard white SMB version http://fanchers.com/63/Sprinter%20Winds ... Covers.htm The Fancher version comes with a nice cover bag and it stores nicely in the gap behind the gaucho back cushion. There is a photo of our van with the cover on in our gallery. One tall person can place it over the large high windshield by your self, but it is easier with a second pair of hands if that person is not short.

PS ask for a credit for deleting the standard SMB pillows. They are nicely done but relatively useless space consumers, ours are now in our basement.

Happy trails!
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Old 06-20-2013, 04:35 AM   #12
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Re: Full-time planning

Toying with a pencil and printed out design graph I came up with a similar plan but am now thinking a higher permanent bed with a thick mattress would be better for full timing. Better sleeping comfort and more storage below . My wife I both hate the loud electricity sucking heaters and opt for catalytic instead. Have some 12 volt outlets sprinkled through out for fans so you can cut down on AC use. Fantastic vent fan is a must have. Dual sport bike sounds like a good idea. Porta potti may not be best if having guests. I was told that where you put your bathroom would allow much bigger tanks but SMB West will fight you over it. Texas and Indiana appear to be more custom oriented. If SMB West won't give you a bigger tank then go porta potti. They can be dumped anywhere but get the. Curve it's awesome. I love mine. Best of luck.
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Old 06-20-2013, 06:10 AM   #13
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Re: Full-time planning

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Originally Posted by 100sqft
...

LenS- I hear what you're saying about the larger table. However, looking at how I work at home now, I just put my feet up and have a notebook computer in my lap. If I need extra papers, I spread them out beside me on the couch. One reason I've specified a solid wall between the shower and rear gaucho rather than just a shower curtain is that I may one day mount a fold-down desktop to that wall if I decide I need it. Here's another question I intend to ask SMB: Can the stowable table be made from the same material as the solid-surface countertop rather than cheapo laminate?
We personally have rarely used the tabletop that came with our SMB. It always ends up easier to just have a laptop in your lap, or tablet in bed, or you eat quick enough that setting a table just never fits in. Since the table legs for the table top sit under the gaucho, they rarely make it out from under the bed.

BTW, I LOVE your 3D design! Man I wish I had that when we made our SMB plans...

tv
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Old 06-20-2013, 01:55 PM   #14
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Re: Full-time planning

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Originally Posted by 100sqft
dhally- Do you carry your motorcycle on your RV? If so, is the carrier front or rear mounted. Are there pros and cons for those alternatives? I'd like a really lightweight dirt bike, but am leaning toward a dual-sport for off-road and street-legal operation, which is an issue in California, and perhaps elsewhere. Any opinions would be appreciated.
I use a trailer now but that sorta limits where we can go with the van. I would like to get a rear MC carrier, but it will retrict access to the rear doors. With our RB layout we need that access frequently.

I have used a front mount carrier in the past and hate it due to headlight and vision obstruction. The rear carrier should work well, except mrs. dhally would probably have issues trying to load or unload the bike by herself. This is all based on Ford chassis, don't know if Sprinter has the tongue weight capacity for heavier singles.

As far as motorcycles, street legal is the only way to go, unless you're not trying to get somewhere. Many states allow conversion or outright licensing of dirt bikes. If you're full-timing, you can pick which state is your "residence", eh? Try Idaho or Montanna.
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:27 PM   #15
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Re: Full-time planning

Quote:
Originally Posted by 100sqft
Thank you all for the supportive comments.....

Here's another question I intend to ask SMB: Can the stowable table be made from the same material as the solid-surface countertop rather than cheapo laminate?
You might not want to do this. We have a Corian table in our Coach House 241 and it weighs A TON! I am planning to make a duplicate from core-lite ply with laminate over (to match the Corian) and store the factory table against the day when we might want to sell the coach. We just got back after a month and almost 5000 miles bringing her home from the factory near Sarasota, FL to San Francisco (we took a few detours...!)

If you need to mount/demount the table every day, definitely consider getting one as light as possible. Corian and most of the other solid-surface materials are very dense.
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Old 06-21-2013, 09:58 AM   #16
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Re: Full-time planning

So many great suggestions. Thank you to everyone. Even in my prior months of lurking, I appreciated what a helpful community this is.

Spenard- I'll definitely check out the cabinet sightlines. An an awing is a must. I'm really reluctant to go the generator route - I just don't like the noise. Maybe I'll get a separate Honda unit or something similar. I like the idea of fold down tables on the rear doors. My experience is that sound system quality is all about the speakers. I'm looking into some called Focal Access. Pricey, but very highly rated. Ha! The pillows always did seem extraneous to me.

stanw- I plan to have not only a Fantastic Fan, but one or two of their portable units too. A marine toilet isn't out of the question yet. I plan to check the size of both options on my visit.

dhally- Thanks for the answers on the motorcycle issues. Very helpful.

tonyvoudy- I expect a similar lifestyle for me. The table will be mainly for when I have visitors.

chromedesigns- Good catch, I hadn't even thought about the weight of the thing.
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:16 PM   #17
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Re: Full-time planning

I took the tour of SMB-West today. I'm going to unpack this in stages, because I gathered a lot of information. You might want to head over to my gallery. The pictures I took are somewhat idiosyncratic since I tried to concentrate on things I hadn't seen before. And... there's a special treat. A new project I hadn't heard that SMB was working on.

The short story is they say my plan is fine, no important changes. We are a bit concerned about the weight, and I can't go with dualies because it would really mess up my shower design. Something for me to chew on for a while. They actually weighed one square foot of their cabinet material for me - it's 1.7 lbs. I'm going to see if I can guesstimate the weight of the cabinets I've specified.
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:35 PM   #18
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Re: Full-time planning

Nice layout -- is this going to be an extended-length Sprinter? I will be very interested to see how this turns out, we were also designing a "2-cabin" layout like this, with separate fore and aft sleeping areas.
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Old 06-22-2013, 11:47 AM   #19
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Re: Full-time planning

chromisdesigns - This design is based on the EB Sprinter, which is just shy of 23', not the LB which is a bit over 24'. Have you posted your two-cabin design yet? I'd love to see it.
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Old 06-23-2013, 10:11 PM   #20
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Re: Full-time planning

So, in the hope that this information will be useful, or at least interesting, to others, here's what I learned on my visit to SMB-W. Some of it's picky little details, and some of it was probably already known to the forum community, but it was all interesting for me:
  • *Both 200Ah batteries can be mounted under the chassis
    *There is no slack season at SMB
    *Their cabinet material weighs 1.7lbs/sqft. They actually cut 1 sqft for me and weighed it
    *The wooden bases for seats are 15" high
    *Adding a front receiver (hitch) to a Sprinter is not a common thing. They'll check into it.
    *Contrary to what the website currently says, the light gray solid surface countertop is not discontinued
    *If a dinette or gaucho extends as far forward as allowed on the plan, the driver's seat can still swivel about 130 degrees
    *They are now covering the driver's and passenger's headrests to match the seat upholstery.
    *In website pictures the backrest of gauchos is a separate piece. Now, it is captive, with a fancy mechanism that takes it over the seat to end up on the outside edge
    *There should be no problem making my rather crazy showerpan using marine vinyl. That will actually give me an extra inch or two of headroom that I need
    *Shelves inside the galley cabinet can be adjustable height, independent on each side
    *I suggested they could make the galley backsplash more secure against being pulled on by extending the rear wood panel of the galley up behind it. They said no problem.
    *When the sliding side door closes, it is tight against the back of the galley
    *SMB now offers their own screen for the side door
    *The various control panels take very little depth in the cabinet they're mounted on. The deepest is the fuse panel which only takes a couple inches.

Finally, I want to acknowledge how very nice and accommodating everyone was. I dealt with Jonathan, and he cheerfully spent close to 4 hours working with me. Several times he went off to get an answer from a workman, or see if there was a sample in the shop of something I wanted to see. On my way out, even the secretary went out of her way to help us with suggestions for lunch and sightseeing in Fresno.
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