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Old 10-14-2012, 08:50 PM   #1
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My SMB Indiana Sprinter building experience

NOTE ADDED NEAR END OF BUILD: If you have not read this thread yet, you might want to just skip to my web site where I describe the final product in great detail and post lots of photos.
http://davidelmore.com/Sportsmobile.php

My Sprinter has arrived and building starts next month so I am starting a thread to document everything. No, I don't expect to provide as many details and insights as Chumley, and I do expect that there will not be any big problems. After all I have visited Huntington five times and and made detailed drawings so what can go wrong?

We picked up Vanessa from Rod Miller at World Wide Motors in Indianapolis last Thursday. Here she is:





Here are the options we selected:http://davidelmore.com/Sportsmobile/Elmore%20v3.pdf.

I can only say great things about Rod Miller and World Wide Motors. This new Mercedes dealer in Indianapolis is not the one SMB Indiana uses, but from the start Nancy said we could buy anywhere and either pick up and deliver ourselves or have it shipped directly to Huntington. Rod has been easy to reach (he answers emails on weekends!), very knowledgeable (he only sells Sprinters), and very detail oriented (every question, no matter how minor, gets all his attention resulting in printed literature and advice for example on aftermarket services). If you are thinking of a new Sprinter SMB from Indiana, even if you do not live near here, I suggest you give Rod a try.

The ride home confirmed my choices for options. The ride was firm but smoother than our F550 hauler for our big rig (combined weight 25,000 lbs!), now sold. The dual rear wheels and stabilizer bars left me feeling very comfortable on curves, in contrast to the Great West Sprinter we rented a few weeks ago (read here if you missed it).

When driving and parking it it is easy to believe that the van has a smaller footprint than the F550. When looking at it, however, it is hard to believe that it is smaller so I had to get a photo comparison:





The length is the same within a few inches, but the F550 is wider and has a longer wheelbase.

The construction specifications and equipment list for Vanessa that I have worked out with SMB Indiana are posted here: http://davidelmore.com/Sportsmobile.php. I am not posting on the forum since they change every week. I will, however, post photos as things progress. Nancy last told me construction would start mid November and be finished by Christmas. However, the start date has already slipped twice from October to early November to mid-November so no telling when it will be done.

Questions and comments are welcome. Soon it will be too late to make changes, so now is the time if you have any ideas for me.

David
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Vanessa: Sprinter 3500 170 EB with RV interior and lots of unique features including water below 0 degrees, screen door, diesel generator, huge rear storage compartment for 2-person kayak and much more. See my web site for all the details.
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:29 PM   #2
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Re: My SMB Indiana Sprinter building experience

David, Can't wait to follow along with the progress of your build!

Do both the front and passenger seats swivel? Make sure there is room for them to swivel in your design. Mine ended up a bit short there the driver side can't swivel all the way around.

tv
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Old 10-15-2012, 06:00 PM   #3
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Re: My SMB Indiana Sprinter building experience

tv,

Yes, they both swivel, and I am making sure the design allows for that. Much more on this topic here: http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/vie...php?f=4&t=9937. The driver seat will swivel about 135 degrees, not all the way around, but I don't see a problem with that.

David
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:11 PM   #4
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Re: My SMB Indiana Sprinter building experience

David,
Great looking design. Surely you've thought of everything. Pay attention to insulation in the "forehead" of the cab. I was astounded to pull the light panel and find that there was absolutely no insulation behind the headliner. Bringing the van home in July from SMB in Austin we could definitely feel the radiated heat.
We love our Sprinter and are confident that you will as well.
JIM
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:44 PM   #5
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Re: My SMB Indiana Sprinter building experience

David,

The Vanessa looks great I wouldn't mind having one equipped almost the same way...

Seems like you did a good job checking the right option boxes...

I think your build will go well mostly because you are intending it to go well already...

I am looking forward to your updates, thanks for sharing your build with us...

Its going to turn out great...


...Jamie
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:10 PM   #6
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Re: My SMB Indiana Sprinter building experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayBea
David,
Great looking design. Surely you've thought of everything. Pay attention to insulation in the "forehead" of the cab. I was astounded to pull the light panel and find that there was absolutely no insulation behind the headliner. Bringing the van home in July from SMB in Austin we could definitely feel the radiated heat.
We love our Sprinter and are confident that you will as well.
JIM
Jamie,
I discovered the lack of insulation above the headliner in my Sprinter. It seems that in cold temps below 30degrees, condensation occurs up there with all that airspace and drips out near the top of the windshield. Were you able to insulate that space. If so, what did you use? Thanks.

-don
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:21 AM   #7
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Re: My SMB Indiana Sprinter building experience

Don,
I suppose that the best way to insulate this area would be to remove the headliner first (something that SMB could do to add value). However, I was able to detach the cab headliner from the SMB installed van headliner. I then cut 2 strips of 24" wide Reflectrix to fit the outside portions and one 36" strip for the center. By pushing and pulling (through the light panel opening) I was able to get these strips all the way above the windshield.
This seems to help alot so far but it has been so dry here that I have never experianced the condensation problem that you mentioned.
Good luck,
JIM
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-light of the morning, looking for shelter in this thunder and this rain

2012 SMB Sprinter, 2500 EB Tall, Brilliant Silver Metalic
12vdc no inverter, 180 w Permanent Solar, 120 w Portable Solar
Queen platform bed
(Delivery Taken 7/23/12) NM 31357RVB
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:45 PM   #8
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Re: My SMB Indiana Sprinter building experience

SMB will make an overhead cabinet in this area over the front seats. That together with the padding under the cabinet should provide plenty of insulation. Also we will store the insulated window shades in this cabinet.

David
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Old 11-24-2012, 11:29 AM   #9
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Re: My SMB Indiana Sprinter building experience

Dave,
I have the forward cabinet that Sportsmobile installed under the cabin headliner as well. And it is stuffed with window curtains, blankets etc.

In my case, I still get condensation up above the stock MBZ headliner. I think that all of that space up there holds whatever humidity is in the outside air as you are using the van during the day. When the outside temperature drops, that moisture clings to the bare metal and starts dripping along the contour of the bare metal ceiling. Here is a pic of the space above the dome light, as you can see there is lot's of space up there.
The problem of course is rust. But a more immediate problem is water dripping on the electronics inside of the dome light assembly (factory alarm, auto windshield wiper control, etc.)

-don
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:43 PM   #10
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Re: My SMB Indiana Sprinter building experience

Don,

Thanks, I will discuss with SMB next time I go to Huntington. They are scheduled to start my build in about a week.

David
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