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Old 06-24-2013, 05:12 AM   #21
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Re: Full-time planning

Quote:
Originally Posted by 100sqft
...
*Adding a front receiver (hitch) to a Sprinter is not a common thing. They'll check into it.
Outside van has a couple different front hitch receivers:

http://www.outsidevan.com/front-hitch.php

Here is one I actually saw in person where I snapped a picture. The bumper is supposed to be bolt on with no welding required:

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Old 06-25-2013, 08:39 PM   #22
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Re: Full-time planning

Aw, nuts! The one issue that came up when I went over my plan with SMB was whether it would fit the weight limit of a 2500 Sprinter. I know there are plenty of readers that prefer the aesthetics of duallies, but I didn't like the way they intrude into the interior or the hit in mpg that comes along with them. So I set out to convince myself that there wouldn't be a weight problem. After all, there seem to be plenty of 2500s on the SMB website that are as built out as my plan. I tallied up all the boardfeet that would be in my build (yes, I can be that obsessive at times) and multiplied by the 1.7 lbs/sqft that SMB told me. Then I added in the weight of all the appliances, batteries, water tanks, etc. That summed up to about 2400lbs. Then I guesstimated that other things that hadn't been accounted for, such as fabrics, cushions, wiring, fasteners, etc might be another 300lbs, though I feared that could be a lowball number. Add in myself and one other passenger for another 350 lbs. At that point, I'm less than 400lbs away from the 2500's weight limit, and I haven't even begun to account for food and personal possessions. I'd just proven the opposite of the result I wanted.

So, I gave in to the fact that I need the load capacity of the 3500 chassis. But my plan, with the shower stall wrapped around the wheel well, was particularly vulnerable to the intrusion of the dual tires. After thrashing through some design alternatives, I decided that the only way to keep the features and usability that I wanted was to go with a LB Sprinter 3500. This permits the shower to sit back clear of the wheel well entirely. The revised plan is below.


I'm not quite as fond of this plan as I was of the original. There's the loss of mpg, finding parking spaces will be incrementally harder, and the way the bath sink cabinet sits on the wheel well is kind of funky. However, on the up side is that the weight issue is behind me, and I pick up a couple closets that in the long run as a full-timer I'll probably be glad to have. Knowing that I've now got a plan that should make both SMB and MB happy means I can put that phase of planning on the shelf.
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Old 06-26-2013, 01:47 PM   #23
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Re: Full-time planning

Hey Mr. 10x10,

I understand your issues with the dually fitted 3500.

I like the dually setup but did not sacrifice much with the width of the wheel wells with my layout.

I may have given up a couple MPG with the dual tire set up but it's so had to tell where the mileage went. I got the lower geared rear end (higher numerically) and would not give that up so there went some. The rig is so heavy that I gave up some, it's tall, I drive mstly mountain roads, etc...

My biggets complaint is the hassle of checking the tire pressure and adding air into the inner rear wheels.

I thought I would ask what you know about the "super single" rear tire used by MBZ in Europe? I saw a mention and picture in the "2014 Sprinter" thread on this forum and that might be your salvation, if offered in the US.

Good luck and love the dialog going on here.


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Old 06-26-2013, 09:41 PM   #24
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Re: Full-time planning

Chumley- As far as checking the pressure of the inside tires, I found these:
http://www.gemplers.com/product/M400...0130627023031s

Not necessarily the ones I'll buy, but at least I have an idea of what's available.

I think all the information I have about Super Singles came from the same sources that you've seen. I was hopeful at first, but when I read that you have to carry separate spares for front and rear, I lost interest. I'd be interested though to hear if anyone in the U.S. has had a positive experience with them.
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:15 PM   #25
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Re: Full-time planning

Is there a way to reduce your board feet? Or reduce the per sqft weight?

I realize you want things to look nice, a la the matching stowable table, but having matching cherry and a chandelier is really more of a class A thing- not that I haven't seen some really beautiful faux cherry Sprinters, but if weight/board foot is what is pushing you into a dually and a less desirable layout, maybe something can be done with the materials (e.g. non-standard doors, lightened draw sides) to keep you out of the at-limit-empty situation.
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Old 06-27-2013, 02:46 AM   #26
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Re: Full-time planning

100sqft,

Great design you've got going on. Looks like you've spent some time figuring this out.
I kind of like Jage's thought process.
I would stick with your original 2500 EB and work backwards with a weight budget.
For me, simple is better for something mobile on wheels.
Nice to have some amenities but also nice to have simplicity.
I guess a lot depends on how much time you plan to spend inside the van vs outside.
I wouldn't want so much cabinetry inside that it felt closed in unless you had a very specific requirement like K9Sprinter did. Speaking of, haven't heard from him in a while.
I like your shower pan idea. I'd like to hear more details about that.
I thought of doing a shower pan in the aisle area that can be covered up most of the time.
The center of the van has the most ceiling height compared to the sidewall of the wall.
I'm tall and tried to use the compartment baths and it was a no go for me. Too confined.
Attached is the rough layout I put together a few years ago and haven't looked at it since.
I've since made some mental changes like the marine toilet will probably be a porta potty.
The bed in the back is the same as you have but I had thoughts of leaving the isle open and creating some type of fold out extension to widen if necessary. A large portion would still be static if you wanted to take a nap. Underneath would be storage cabinets.
There is a 2nd bed that converts from a dinette.
I would nix the 2nd sink, especially for going solo. Too small an area to require two sinks.
That would simplify your plumbing needs too.
As I hope to do in the future, I would try to mock up the design before building.
What seems reasonable on paper takes on a whole different perspective inside the van.
It's really not that big when you're inside. Things fill up fast. You've been to the SMBW factory so you've sat inside a bunch of these builds already. They are very unique and make efficient use of space.
The beauty about doing an SMB build is that you can get exactly what you want or close to it.

Best of luck!
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Old 07-01-2013, 03:59 PM   #27
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Re: Full-time planning

Quote:
Originally Posted by 100sqft
.....cut......

I think all the information I have about Super Singles came from the same sources that you've seen. I was hopeful at first, but when I read that you have to carry separate spares for front and rear, I lost interest. I'd be interested though to hear if anyone in the U.S. has had a positive experience with them.
As far as I know Mercedes has never made the super-single Sprinter option available in the US. You can find additional information from sites in Europe and Australia, but for now it remains a moot point for us in the US. One European site quotes specs as including a "full-size" spare but I don't know exactly what that means. Could it be a misprint? Or would they fit a larger spare tire at front or a smaller spare tire at rear on a limp-home basis? Don't know yet but will keep searching for details.

Iím interested in the very largest van I can possibly get that I can park at home without my home owner association giving me grief over it. To me the super single model would provide the higher weight rating Iíd want while looking less ďcommercial or RVĒ than the dual wheel model.

For what itís worth, the distance between wheel arches is not the same as a standard van. From one MB WEB source for existing model (2014 may be different although itís doubtful):

Standard single rear wheels = 134.9 cm = 53.1 inches

Super-Single rear wheels = 122.8 cm = 48.3 inches

Dual rear wheels = 97.8 cm = 38.5 inches


To prevent hijacking this thread Iíll include more information that may be of interest to some on the 2014 model thread. And good luck with your full-time van. Seems like a great project.
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:26 PM   #28
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Re: Full-time planning

Chance- Thanks for the additional information on the super-singles. Interesting that the wheelwell depth is different. I had thought I might just be able to order them from an overseas supplier and install them on a single-tire Sprinter, but now that seems unlikely. I also wonder if this is just a marketing choice by MB, or if there are US regulatory restrictions.

Windguy- I really like the example layout you posted - it gives me food for thought. What has driven a lot of my design decisions is that this is not just for a week or two at a time, but is going to be my home, possibly for a couple decades or more. So I want a roomy shower (no trudging to a communal shower on chilly mornings). I also want a bed in back that can be made up full time, and still have a seating area up front. I also plan to do a lot of dry camping so I need to be able to carry enough food (cold and room temp) and water for a week, possibly two. Nor do I want a real Spartan existence: I want a good selection of pots/pans/appliances for cooking, and tools/materials for hobbies. With some modifications, your plan might get me there.

Jage and Windguy- With your encouragement, I'm going to examine the weight issue more closely. One obstacle is that there isn't any single item (or two) that I can toss out and solve my problem. It's more "death by a thousand cuts". However, I will now work on a barebones design to see what can be done on weight reduction. I know this is vanity, but I want the end result to look presentable to others. My younger daughter already has accused me of being the creepy old guy who lives in a van, plays the banjo, and has a pet squirrel. (The latter two items are speculative at this point.)

Because it might be of interest to the community, I'm including below my estimates for the cabinetry weight (wood only) for the components of my design. I also estimated that other things such as wiring, cushions, fabrics, and fasteners might add up to 300 lbs. I'd be interested in opinions whether this seems high or low. Water and appliances are yet another category.

Shell (1/2" Corelight on floor, ceiling, and side walls): 673 lbs
Rear custom cabinet: 31.5 lbs
Shower enclosure: 112 lbs
Bath sink cabinet and counter top: 30 lbs
Closet: 78 lbs
Pedestal under rear gaucho: 60.5 lbs
Cabinet S7 (no appliances): 52 lbs
Pantry: 100.5 lbs
Galley cabinet, counter, and extension: 122 lbs
Gaucho x 2: 60.5 x 2 = 121 lbs
All overhead cabinets: 118 lbs

In putting this list together, what jumps out at me is what I call the "Shell", but it also seems the hardest to reduce. Ideas?

At the end of my initial weight estimation, I got within 400 lbs of the 2500's limit and threw in the towel. I'm also now going to take a closer look at what food and personal possessions would actually weigh.
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:10 PM   #29
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Re: Full-time planning

Well what is Corelight? Why is it your material of choice for all walls and floor?
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:17 PM   #30
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Re: Full-time planning

Jage- Corelight is what SMB is calling their current version of cabinet plywood. You can see the term on the "Sprinter Options Price Sheet - 2013" on their website. From my observation at the factory, it's a sandwich of fiberboard on the outside and plywood on the inside, 1/2" thick in all. It's the stuff that weighs 1.7 lbs/sqft that I've mentioned in previous posts.

My first stab at a barebones plan has shaved about 400 lbs off the weight of my previous EB plan. That's plenty of margin, but it is quite austere. I'll probably add a few things back in when I've got an idea what my possessions will weigh.
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