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Old 04-01-2011, 03:08 PM   #1
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Rethinking the Gaucho - Brainstorming - Any Ideas

Hello -

I'd like to get some brainstorm ideas about a new gaucho design and some out of the box thinking.

We are in the design process for our SMB RB PH Sprinter Van. I like the 131s design with the gaucho and have been looking at how to get at least 17" of open space in the back, a closet, a pantry, a 4CF Ref Cabinet, and a gaucho on the driver's side. This is tough given the lengths of the RB and the gauchos.

I researched what Westfalia has done in Europe and they fully utilize the Captain's Chair space as part of the bed. Different concept, because they don't use a gaucho, but I liked the efficiency of using the space. SMB uses the gaucho extension, but it doesn't give you as much space as using the captain's chair itself or turning the chair sideways and using the space above the cushion. I realize the captain's chair cushion is higher than the gaucho cushion.

Nevertheless, I was thinking. If the gaucho was shortened and raised to the same height as the Captain's Chair seat cushion one could put a pad across and use that for the leg room on the bed gaining several inches beyond the current extension concept. Especially, if it is used as a single bed. Yes - the gaucho goes above the window a bit, and I need to watch the headroom.

I'm headed to Fresno for my design session in a few weeks.

What do others think of the idea? Any other thoughts or suggestions on how to use the captain chair cushion or the space just above as part of the gaucho bed. For those of you with gauchos what would you do to incorporate this space?

I thought I'd open it up to the community for brainstorming before I head to Fresno.

Any out of the box thinking appreciated.

Thanks,
Bernard
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Old 04-02-2011, 02:48 PM   #2
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Re: Rethinking the Gaucho - Brainstorming - Any Ideas

Are you thinking of turning the captains chair in a 180 or a 90. It would work in the 180 not a 90.

I am not sure the Captains chair is higher. It goes up and down 3 or 4 inches and the bottom will tilt up or down so it might work out great. If you get a heated captain's chair you could use it as a foot warmer!
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Old 04-03-2011, 02:05 AM   #3
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Re: Rethinking the Gaucho - Brainstorming - Any Ideas

Bernard,

How tall are you?
Have you tried the SMB online design tool?
It would be nice to see a diagram of your proposed layout.
I met Liz from SMBW at an RV show last fall and she offered some sage advice about creating a design. She basically said to make sure the driving seats and the bed are comfortable since you will be spending the majority of your time in those two locations. We haven't designed our SMB yet but I will make sure we keep those thoughts in mind. Using the driver's seat as part of your bed may be a slick way to create a bed and maximize space but will it offer you a good night's sleep?

Have fun with your design! Keep us posted on your progress
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Old 04-03-2011, 08:20 PM   #4
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Re: Rethinking the Gaucho - Brainstorming - Any Ideas

Thanks for all your thoughts. I will be turning the chair 180 degrees.

I've drawn a couple of designs with the SMB online tool and have spoken with Jonathan at SMBW. A also created a design document with design criteria, design options, and pictures. Now it's just a matter of waiting until our design consultation session in May.

Since we both have Internet businesses we are also figuring out how to ensure constant Internet communication and making the Sprinter its own wifi hotspot.

The gaucho will primarily be for my son who is 11 now and will travel with us for several more years and then who knows - at that point the van and the PH will only be for two.

I have have to say its been a blast figuring this out so far. My wife is already commenting that I'm addicted to the Sprinter.
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:25 AM   #5
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On Our Way

Quick update...

After hours of thinking through how we want to use the Sprinter, multiple design iterations using the online tool, and spending about 5 hours with Jonathan at Sportsmobile West climbing through different vans we finally designed our dream camper (I think) on Friday. We took the attitude of designing the dream camper (initially not worrying about price) and then backed out items that were not the highest priority to hit our target budget.

Needless to say we were both exhausted after the day and needed to recharge with a good Sushi and Sake dinner.

We will be using a modified RB 131 plan. The key difference is that we are going with a 60" gaucho. In investigating how Westfalia outfits the Sprinter in Europe I noticed that they use the space of the driver's seat for the bed. So I played around with turning the seat 180 degrees and then using the seat area as part of the bed. If SMB makes the gaucho 2" higher it will be even with the front seat, by adding a simple foam pad or backpackers pad the bed (for one person) goes from 60" plus another 18" which is perfect for our son. This allows me to add a refrigerator, pantry, closet and leave 17" in the back for porta potti or plastic bins.

Our start date is May 16 and I can't wait. If folks are interested in more details about our plan, let me know.

Bernard
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Old 05-10-2011, 02:52 PM   #6
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Re: Rethinking the Gaucho - Brainstorming - Any Ideas

Bernard,
Congrats on finishing your design work. You must be very excited.
Where did you get your Sprinter from, SMB or dealer?
What color?
Any factory accessories?
Best of luck with your build. Please share pictures
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