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Old 10-20-2017, 03:00 PM   #71
IPT
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I'm back . I was actually down in Hawaii...in a rented condo, not on the road. Fun none the less.

I am leaning toward the high roof. I will probably pull the trigger soon. Need to just jump in. I don't think I can go "wrong" either way, I'm swaying to the high roof mostly because of the climate I am in (cold...was 3 degrees this morning). if I were somewhere where it was hot, I think I would sway to the Pop Top. I love the concept of the tent and ventilation. Although the idea of standing up and walking around in the high roof is nice, with my layout I think it would not be missed if i didn't have it.

My child is young enough sleeping wont be an issue. If I can get a good convertible bench seat then i can sleep 4 adults too.

As for strength, there was a post on another forum I found interesting. If you wanted to search it's on the Sprinter forum: Greta Van Blau- '16 144 low roof 4x4 project.


---- Everyone has their preferences and risk tolerances in various categories. I looked at the FMVSS associated with the roof crush test. As a mechanical engineer I found the application of the standard meaningless in a dynamic situation like a crash. Applying a static force to the corner of the roof tells me nothing. In reality I would not want to be in a vehicle with either top (or any van or any vehicle for that matter) where forces are present that would test the structural integrity. The amount of force applied to the roof in the crush test is laughable. Large vans are exempt from FMVSS 208 which is a much more comprehensive occupant crash protection standard.

216 Calls for a force of 1.5 times the vehicles UNLADEN weight to be applied to the roof. If you load the van up with a camper build out and the roll if over in a crash you are going to see forces potentially equaling 10-20 times the vehicles unladen weight.

My problem with FMVSS's are they are not well grounded in simple physics. Take the LATCH system (lower anchors and tethers for children). They are the little bars that car seats click into.

The standard specifies the anchoring of the bars, and how the structure the bars are anchored to attaches to the structure of the vehicle. However the design of the system is fatally flawed.

The diameter of the bars is insufficient to handle the forces they see. I have a diono car seat that weights 42 lbs. My daughter weighs 25lbs currently and will probably be around 50lbs before she is out of that particular seat. Acceleration forces in an accident can reach 50g. Even with high strength steel like a normalized 4340 (tensile of 160ksi) you are exceeding the strength of those bars by quite a bit. Mind you the specification for how they are anchored is adequate. But that is meaningless if the bars themselves deform allowing the seat to become loose.

The roof crush test is similarly meaningless IMHO. I would rather have the rollover structure between the B, C and D pillar intact. Its hard to build hoop strength back into a roof after you have cut it and the roof crush does not really test the hoop strength of the vehicle.

All this to say screw being in either vehicle in a rollover. Screw being in any van or commercial vehicle that isnt subjected to the stricter 208 standard. Really, screw being in ANY vehicle in a rollover accident. I did it once, i hope to never repeat!!! ----
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Old 10-21-2017, 03:40 PM   #72
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IPT, circumstances with the low roof MB availability appears to have made this decision for most of us wanting a van anytime in the near future. I'm currently in AZ and have been in contact with Freightliner in AK, MB in Flagstaff AZ, MB in Austin TX, and MB in Syracuse NY.

As of today (10/21/17) there are less than 20 new low top 4x4 Sprinters at dealers in the entire US and most of them are either spoken for or do not fit my needs. We looked at one that was available in Flagstaff but it had very few of the options we wanted on our van and several options that we did not need including fixed windows in places that would cause us to change the build we had in mind. Basically it was not a good fit and would cause way too many compromises to work for us.

Three of the dealers I spoke with told me that no new low tops would be available for at least the next 2 years and one dealer said no more low tops from MB at all (I have a hard time believing this to be true but....).

The bottom line is that unless one is willing to wait at least 2 years or more just to get a van plus the wait time for the conversion, a high top appears to be the only viable option at this time. Last week I made the decision and was all set on getting a low top with a pop top. Due to the availability problem it is time for my wife & I to move in a different direction.

Bottom line is that we want a 4x4 Sprinter van to get out and start enjoying life on the road with now that I am retired and my wife is retiring next spring. Regardless of the rooftop style we will make due and be happy with whatever roof style we can obtain. I just never dreamed it would be so difficult to spend $130k!

Funny how life sometimes makes our choices for us.............
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Old 10-21-2017, 05:13 PM   #73
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Try these guys,Walters Mercedes Benz in riverside ca they always have a good sized lot stocked when I drive through that area plus if you tell em what you want/leave personal info they can look out for you 855-910-8965
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Old 10-21-2017, 05:45 PM   #74
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Try these guys,Walters Mercedes Benz in riverside ca they always have a good sized lot stocked when I drive through that area plus if you tell em what you want/leave personal info they can look out for you 855-910-8965
Thanks Zappo, I called them and no low roof 4x4 Sprinters in stock as expected.
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Old 10-21-2017, 06:45 PM   #75
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Low-top dropping from build inventory is a telltale sign of market forces. Maybe I should get to work on a high-top roof rack + pop-top combo after all.... Turning this over in my head, the mattress is now 49" wide, without that fugly fiberglass bubble.
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Old 10-23-2017, 01:11 PM   #76
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Going to pull the trigger this week for a high roof. Mostly because of the climate I live in, but as mentioned even if I wanted the low roof at this point the wait is not worth it to me. I need to get busy living .
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Old 10-23-2017, 02:28 PM   #77
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IPT,

Good call, life is better with a SMB in it!
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Old 10-24-2017, 03:08 PM   #78
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IPT,

Good call, life is better with a SMB in it!
LOL, Fritz. I'd say judging from your thread that is most certainly true!
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