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Old 06-10-2012, 05:07 PM   #1
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My new Sprinter

I am picking up a new Sportmobile Sprinter RB with the penthouse top in a few weeks in Austin. I wrote a detailed reply on design notions for this thread earlier but it seems to have disappeared into the ether. I live in Iowa and have been down to Austin once before settling on the design. I had already purchased the van at Georgetown Texas MB (Sprinter Guy Dave Graham) and they brought to Sportsmobile for the build. The van is a 2011 that was configured for a Sportsmobile conversion that fell through: low roof, swivel seats, tow package, heavy duty suspension, etc.

I was looking for something to travel in after I retire in 18 months and after looking around it became obvious that the Sprinter was the best platform - Ford and Chevy design and engineering are 25 years old and mileage is from the early 1970's and VW campers no longer exist and were never that great anyways. And I am not a "motor-home" person. I have done backpacking and car camping but mostly in the last several years I have been canoe camping - Boundary Waters and Utah and Ozark and local rivers. I am used to minimum gear but I am also looking for a bit more comfort for extended road trips to British Columbia, Alaska and the like.

I bought the van sight unseen and a few week later got down to Austin to discuss and finalize the design with Paul at Sportsmobile. This was the first time I had seen one of their vans. My first idea was to go with something like the RB50 because of forward facing seating safety but I decided that there would rarely be more than the two of us in it and I wanted to be able to walk from front to back and also not have the portapotty in the main living area.

I also had to have the penthouse for the tent/outdoor feel while sleeping and the power lift for the canoe on the penthouse rack. The final design is below.[img]MBvanlayout800[/img]
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Old 06-10-2012, 06:47 PM   #2
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Re: My new Sprinter

It looks to me like the plan did not show up in the previous post so I'll try again.

I had considered a bath compartment behind the driver's seat but that would be in the middle of the living area and the portapotty seems like a better solution. I put this in the rear under a bath cabinet. There is also a shower wand facing the back in the rear panel of the bath cabinet and I will have an extra length of hose for it. I had also planned on a flat plate water heater but the 3 gallon 110V made more sense to me because I could heat water while driving and store it.

The stove and furnace are propane because I think they will work better are less expensive than diesel equivalents. I had wanted a clear view down the passenger side at counter level but decided the closet storage was more important. The microwave will come in handy and the smaller refrigerator will be adequate for someone that has always used coolers or nothing at all. The gaucho is 48" by 72".
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Old 06-10-2012, 06:55 PM   #3
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Re: My new Sprinter

Vey jealous! Please post some pictures when you get the SMB. Congrats!
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Old 06-15-2012, 05:11 PM   #4
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Re: My new Sprinter

Congrats! It will be great to see some pics of your new SMB.
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:59 PM   #5
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Re: My new Sprinter

I will post some photos once I pick up the van. One of the things I decided to do without is air conditioning in the camper. I do not want a generator, noise and space considerations and too much added complexity in an an already complicated vehicle, and probably will not be around shore power often enough to make it worthwhile. With the penthouse I assume that it will be cool enough with some 12 volt fans for most conditions. I am a bit worried about the heat in Texas when we pick it up and do some shake down and test camping near Austin before returning to Iowa. I plan on getting a Fantastic endless breeze fan. Anybody camped in Texas in the summer with no ac?

Bill
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Old 06-21-2012, 10:18 AM   #6
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Re: My new Sprinter

I too have a sprinter on order to be converted at sportsmobile at Indiana. I have also decided to forgo the AC unit due to it increasing the height on top of an already high van. (We are going high roof option). I saw the Backwall AC Unit from another forum post within the forums and wonder how easy it could be adapted/mounted to a floor or wall within the sprinter (http://www.rvcomfort.com/rvp/products/s ... ckwall.php)

Can't wait to see your pics.

tv
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Old 06-28-2012, 12:44 PM   #7
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Re: My new Sprinter

Considering the temps are hitting 106 here in Atlanta on Saturday, we went back and added the roof AC.
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Old 06-28-2012, 08:35 PM   #8
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Re: My new Sprinter

For what it's worth, I, too, did not want any more height, so I opted for a Danhard interior a/c unit most of which is under the floor. Inside, it takes up about 15 inches of a cabinet that is about 20 inches wide.
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Old 06-30-2012, 11:46 AM   #9
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Re: My new Sprinter

I still have time to change my mind on top mounted versus interior. Obviously there is a big difference in the price between the two due to the extra labor to mount internally. At the end of the day, 9 extra inches of height may not be the end of the world since I don't yet have a garage big enough for the high roof option.
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:48 PM   #10
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Re: My new Sprinter

I have the new Sportsmobile sprinter today and have been driving it around Austin some. Tomorrow we will go back to Sportsmobile for orientation. I am a bit nervous to be going about in such a big shiny new machine.

It's pretty hot here and the last week or two made me wonder about my decision to not get a camping AC but I am sure that it will be fine. The regular van AC works well for just driving around and fans will be adequate most of the time after sunset and I do not plan to usually be camping in really hot conditions and the penthouse has good ventilation. I will post photos over the next few days.
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