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Old 08-17-2008, 12:18 AM   #1
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If you were a kid, what would your SMB wishlist be?

Actually if you were the parents of twin two year olds and dreaming about building an SMB from scratch, what would your SMB include? What layout would you go for? What are must-haves with kids? Where do you put the kids' carseats (ours will be in car seats for a LONG time--the babes aren't even 20lbs yet).

Before having kids (don't we all say that?), we were big adventurers...quit corporate jobs and climbed, camped, ski patrolled, did search and rescue for a couple years. We're bent on getting back out there!

Looking forward to your replies and hearing your experiences!
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Old 08-17-2008, 08:50 AM   #2
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Our son is coming up on 2.5 years old, so the installation of a car seat was a critical consideration for us. In order to maximize the available forward facing seats, allowing for hauling of our son and his future friends, we opted for a Traveler configuration. Well almost a Traveler configuration, but we found a used SMB that was very similar to this configuration, and then we had it modified after we bought it.

We have the penthouse bed, and the removeable rear bed as well.


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Old 08-18-2008, 12:03 AM   #3
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A diesel engine so I couldn't hear the fighting in back seat or the "are we there yets".
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Old 08-18-2008, 01:32 AM   #4
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Forward facing sofa like the 50 series, with child seat anchors (you'll have to request this from SMB). Only draw back is that they'll need to be removed prior to making the sofa into a bed.

You can also use 3rd and 4th captain seats for the child seats to install on. They do take up additional floor space, but child seats can be left installed and not interfere with making the bed.

For a more custom floorplan, inquire about the Freedman seats. They offer a two person seat designed for child seats that actually folds flat, then up out of the way.

The Traveler model Herb mentioned is a great unit for transporting children, and just about anything else.

Take the time to "test" fit the child seats at SMB and take a test drive with them installed. Make sure you're comfortable with the positioning of the seats.

Good Luck!
John K.
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Old 08-18-2008, 11:20 AM   #5
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Thank you all for your replies! I hadn't heard of the Freedman seats--I'll have to check those out. We are leaning toward four captains chairs to be able to keep the carseats installed and to have the bed made up for late night arrivals (which is very typical for us...play all day, drive when the kids sleep...until we have to pull over to avoid falling asleep ourselves).

What layouts do you have? We're thinking of EB 31 with a PH or something similar.

Any thoughts on toilets/showers/kitchens? We think definitely yes on a portapotty. Any suggestions on where to store this? We're leaning away from the shower (space is limited, especially if we go with 4 capt. chairs).

Thanks!
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Old 08-18-2008, 02:32 PM   #6
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There are a few used SMBs with multiple Captain's seats, for sale on Sportsmobile's site. FYI.


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Old 08-19-2008, 12:26 PM   #7
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The outdoor shower is a nice item to have. If it's something you wouldn,t use much a flat plate heat exchanger would do in a pinch (the engine has to be warm or running). Of course there are portables. I find it nice to be able to rinse off after a long hike or wash up at least every few days. A sink is OK and I use mine but avoid washing dishes as much as possible and use paper plates ...etc. With these items your adding a water tank, water pump, plumbing, the maintainance of the cleaning and preping for freezing temps and although not needed a gray water tank. Worth it IMO but thats just me. I am somewhat reluctant to drink out of my water tank. Check out this link if you haven't yet and look at the link to the porthole. Maybe I'm just paranoid. Several owners claim they have had no problems drinking from the tank. But I'm lazy at maintainance and still have the same water in it from six months ago
http://autoramblings.com/

Good luck in your design.
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:45 AM   #8
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When I was a kid the popup was all I cared about, although we did get stuck on the side of a mountain once, gunwale deep in mud and pointing at a cliff. However as I recall my biggest concern at the time was getting mud on my egg-salad sandwich. As an adult I understand 4wd would have been nice, but as a kid it was all good.
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Old 08-20-2008, 05:25 PM   #9
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Ditto on the forward-facing seats (installed in such a manner that neither can hit the other). Our rear seat faces sideways and its a concern. If the kids are sitting within each others' wingspan, a good stereo is a must so you can drown out the "he hit me -blaaaawaaa!"


Damn I'm a horrible parent.
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:57 PM   #10
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Thanks for the great stories--I only tent camped as a kid, so I really appreciate hearing your memories of pop-ups and mud vs. eggsalad sandwiches! We are planning to have a pop-up and 4x4, so good news on those fronts!

Screaming matches between our twins have just begun and the word "mine" is just entering their vocabularies...so I can see how this is going to quickly progress into necessary division and a good stereo!

Does anyone use DVD players to distract/entertain the kids? If you have two kids do you have two portable (or permanent) DVD players? Any other things to think about building in on this front? MP3 player jacks, for instance? Is there a thread somewhere else I should read on the DVD/Music, etc front?

Cheers!
P.S. I'm sure you're a great dad!
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