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Old 12-30-2009, 03:03 PM   #1
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new guy looking for some answers

Hey y'all, I've enjoyed reading this forum, and learned a lot. Thinking seriously about getting the Sprinter (dodge or MB in '10). My wife and I have a 3 year old and a 4 year old and a lab. We want to use the rig for weekend getaways mostly -- live in SF Bay Area and have great stuff within 3-4 hours. But we also need to use this as a second family car to shuttle kids around and hit the store part time. So looking for either bench seating or additional captains behind two primary captains.

Does anyone have any configuration like this? If so can you direct me to some pics / specs. Saw a winnie / airstream that was close. But I am big on SMB quality and options.

Also, could someone elaborate (or point me to) more info about size limitations for regional / state / national parks. I heard that the LB version of this would preclude me from camping in state parks in non-designated RV sites. That is not where I want to be staying with this rig. Looking for the independence to go offroad a bit overnight.

Finally, it seems that the pop-up is really the only way to go to sleep 4 comfortably in a SMB. Any comments on that?

Thanks for any and all help. Looking forward to jumping in here.

Cheers
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Old 12-30-2009, 04:12 PM   #2
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Re: new guy looking for some answers

Hi Johnnymac

I have an 08 SMB rb50 with the pop top. Note that you can only get the pop top on the RB (144") model so that eliminates the concern of whether LB or not (but perhaps a longer model could sleep 4 efficiently tho?). Note that the 50 model comes with a bench/couch with 3 belts... but, the kids would be out of striking distance! ( just kiddin!)

It is only my girlfriend and I in ours but i have witnessed several friends with small children (1 or 2) and occasionally a dog "manage" weekend trips in a Westy. All I can say, it is rather obvious the SMB RB50 is more space friendly then the Westy. I think 4 adults could easily camp in the SMB poptop but there would have to be some dancing going on to avoid a lot of collisions, and if it were bad weather out or more then a few days, it could get wearisome. BTW, all our friends' kids love our poptop.

The Sprinters are great handling vehicles and are surprisingly easy to maneuver and park (I do try to park "strategically" tho - ie leave myself some space) and have tons of space to carry things. no wonder they are such a popular delivery vehicles - DOH! Mine is getting 20mpg. So as a 2nd vehicle that you can camp out of, hard for me to imagine something better (unless you need 4wd, but note that there is good clearance for some "easy" offroading - look for another topic already posted on this subject).

As to limitations in campgrounds, State parks etc., I have found the the RB model (which is ~19') fits in most places where I have seen limitations signs. I am pretty sure I could park in tent sites and get away with it... until someone complains when I turn on the Espar water heater! On a recent trip to Zion NP, we were able to drive thru the restricted tunnel without an escort whereas most bigger RV could not. But the checkin lady at the Zion campground entrance noticed the electrical hookup on the side of the van and so she "forced" us to camp with the big boys. I think it will just come down to where, when, and who you are dealing with and how good a sweet talker you are... but perhaps someone else knows the "rules" better (especially out in CA).

hope that helps...
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Old 12-30-2009, 08:36 PM   #3
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Re: new guy looking for some answers

yeah it really does monkey. I appreciate it. and appreciate the vote of confidence. You don't have any pics of your rig posted anywhere do you?
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Old 12-30-2009, 08:50 PM   #4
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Re: new guy looking for some answers

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnymac

Also, could someone elaborate (or point me to) more info about size limitations for regional / state / national parks.
For California State Parks (and other states + Some Federal Campgrounds) go to this website:
http://www.reserveamerica.com

Pick a campground and work through the options. It will give you the maximum lengths of the campsites.
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Old 12-30-2009, 09:30 PM   #5
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Re: new guy looking for some answers

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnymac
yeah it really does monkey. I appreciate it. and appreciate the vote of confidence. You don't have any pics of your rig posted anywhere do you?

just set up my gallery here on sportsmobileforum.

I need to figure out how to rotate pix but you'll get the picture!
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Old 12-30-2009, 10:35 PM   #6
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Re: new guy looking for some answers

My brother got the super long Sprinter and put a gaucho behind the front seats and fold down bunks on the same wall in the back, only problem is his kids (similar ages) roll off the upper bunk so they quit using it.

The pop-top (from Ford/Dodge experience but I imagine the Sprinter is the same) is the most awesome thing for kids, and plus it keeps you compact enough to fit in most any campsite. And if you're 22 feet and the limit is 20 if they ask say you think it's 19? Nobody has gotten out and measured and my non-Sprinter is 22' and I've been in 14' spots without a problem. Since it doesn't look like a bubbled out RV you can get away with a lot.
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Old 12-31-2009, 01:23 PM   #7
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Re: new guy looking for some answers

Thanks Charlie for the links.

Monkey boy that is one great looking rig. darn near exactly what I have in mind. Did you get yours at SMB west?

Jage I like your style! and you guys all have confirmed my thinking about the pop-top.

Any other Sprinter SMB rigs in the SF bay Area? (already saw Keith's -- thanks for the hospitality) Especially interested to see the pop-top. Also get to LA, San Diego and Seattle frequently so could pay a visit there too.

Cheers
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Old 12-31-2009, 01:33 PM   #8
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Re: new guy looking for some answers

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnymac
Thanks Charlie for the links.

Monkey boy that is one great looking rig. darn near exactly what I have in mind. Did you get yours at SMB west?

yup.
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Old 12-31-2009, 01:40 PM   #9
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Re: new guy looking for some answers

is a gaucho a bed?
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Old 01-01-2010, 07:36 PM   #10
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Re: new guy looking for some answers

I also looked at the pop-top sprinters before mine, however, you can not stand up in the vehicle without the top popped. I have owned a pop-up camper before, and I'm not sure if you've ever slept in one, but they are extremely loud in the wind, and also they don't stay heated very well. The furnace in mine was constantly going on and off all night, and waking us up. Have you thought about a high-roof with a modified lopes arrangment???? That would give you the seating you need, and also the capability to sleep 4 comfortably. Just my 2 cents for what its worth. Also, if you are going to have one built right now, the standard roofs are ALOT tougher to find out there. The rumor is the new MB's won't be out til at least end of April early May, and they are going to be significantly higher priced than the current deals out there. If you search hard, you can find 2008's on dealer lots around the country that they are selling at significant losses. PM me if you want any details on the specifics of whats out there, I have been looking extensively lately. Thanks
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