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Old 07-19-2008, 10:58 PM   #1
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Quasi SMB Break In

A few months ago, I decided to take a month of work to spend time with my family and test out our sportsmobile. I purposefully took July off because it coincided with camping trips on both sides of the family. 1 week with my folks, another week with hers. 2 consecutive weeks sounds horrible to some, but to me it was great. Because we were camping with fairly unadventurous people, we camp annually nut to butt at the same lake every year. The bad side is I can see people when I look both directiont. The good side is - there usually is only 3 or 4 boats on the water at a time and the fishing is usually pretty good.

Anyway, the fishing was great. The weather was incredibly hot (114 F one day), totally smokey (due to all the fires in northern california, and one fairly close in chico) - but we all had a great time fishing, wakeboarding and hanging out.


We did have a few issues we figured out fairly quickly.
1. The penthouse bed is NOT comfortable. We quickly purchased a 2" memory foam from Costco and then the bed was very comfortable. Good thing we figured this out while staying overnight at San Elijo Campground before our 2 week vacation.

2. The air conditioner (starcool) is loud. While, the other trailers in the campground hardly made a sound, ours sounded like a busy intersection. At first I thought, who cares, I can't hear it... but that selfish though was quickly swept aside when I thought about my family who had to sleep in a tent beside us. Also - the heat pushed from the fans blew into an area we had designated as our lounge area. Bad idea.

3. The rolls of insulation made a big difference. I'd still like to insulate the canvas portion and not just the vinyl windows. It would also be good to insulate the overhead on the cab and the PHT. I don't know if there is any insulation up there, but it radiates a significant amount of heat.

4. Walking on the PHT isn't for the feint hearted. Every step I made on the roof made it sound like it was cracking beneath my feet. I even saw a few cracks up there that the previous owner tried to seal up (rather horribly I might add). I would be interested in seeing some of the newer line-x or rhino lining pht jobs people have. I also considered adding a plate to the top for walking on, but that will have to be a project for much, much later.

5. While up there, I my remotes & keypads were intermittent. I don't know why as they are functioning perfectly up here. You would think in a campground there wouldn't be much interference, but evidently there was. Don't rely on your keypad without checking first.

6. Trying to setup a Pack and Play in the open area of a EB50 layout for a kid to sleep in is not really an ideal location. In order for us to go to bed in the PH, we had to scale the pack and play and avoid waking up the little guy. And every morning, when I went to go fishing -- I had to use my ninja reflexes and scale the van with the utmost silence. We tried that and then sleeping with a moving and kicking child, which forced us to try the "canary" cage technique. Noah got the comfortable downstairs cushion blocked off by a pair of baby gates zip tied together. When it was time for him to sleep, we had the AC on and put him into his "bedroom", aka cage from the back doors. It worked well and now I'm going to have to make a better and cleaner gate that will work for our next trip. It shouldn't be a problem and I'll post how obnoxious I get with it. It would be better to have him up top, but I cant see how to securely put him up there and secure a baby gate as well.



7. I need to buy a shower, changing tent. My tarp & bungie cord technique didn't hold up very well and at the most inopportune times, gave the neighbors quite a show. I purchased an older version of the nomad2go, sprayer to use as a shower, but the pressure was too high and it felt like showering under a spray of needles. I'm going to have to eventually add a shower unit to my SMB.

8. A/C can be a godsend in 114 degree heat. Especially with a kid who needs to take a nap at 12 noon. I'm going to have to look at buying another 2000watt generator and the kit to add 30A service when hooking up two 2000watt generators - Or bring along one of those cheap "window" A/C that utilize standard 15A plugs.

9. I need to configure the Scangauge better.

10. I need to lengthen my 5way boat trailer plug as when I make sharper turns, it pulls the connector right out of the adapter.

11. I didn't need the microwave like I thought I would. Maybe next time.

12. Is it possible to adapt the propane cylinder to run an exterior coleman stove. That would be very nice as I wont have to carry all those small propane bottles and have to throw them away as well.

13. The pantry storage attached to the door is nice, but it always gets unhinged. It would be nice to make it removable and then mount it outside when you're camping so you dont need to go inside the SMB when you want a snack. We also utilized the pantry adjacent to the sink fairly often.

Well I guess thats it... hopefully next time it will be somewhere more scenic and remote
Joe
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Old 07-20-2008, 10:05 AM   #2
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Joe,

Is it possible to have Noah sleep behind the sofa, with the back of the sofa still up? Seems like you wouldn't need gates (he can't fall out) and he would be out of the open area in the EB50 floorplan.

Mike
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Old 07-20-2008, 11:42 AM   #3
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There are open positive wires in the gap behind the couch, at least in my setup.

The one thing I noticed about the Nomad2go is that every photo on the front page is of them doing "Power Washer" type work- no showers! It could probably be adapted to have less pressure, like by changing to a watering shower-head-style hose attachment.

The pantry lock screws down- you twist the wing and it tightens. If you're closing it correctly then it just needs to be adjusted. If you're talking about the front pantry door, those also slide around and pop if they are out of alignment or the screws are loose.

Also the pantry does come off. Un-screw and release the catch swing out the pantry a bit and then lift up. You can set it on a table or wherever... I lived out of my pantry in an Austin hotel room for 2 days while they did modifications to the SMB... but it would probably work on a picnic table too.
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Old 07-20-2008, 04:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jage
There are open positive wires in the gap behind the couch, at least in my setup.
By open, do you mean bare copper or simply wires that you can touch?

Are they 12V wires? If so, the pose no danger even if they are bare copper. Ok, there can be a risk if you short a 12V wire to ground, the wire can carry enough current to get hot enough to melt or vaporize the wire - that might happen after it has started a fire in places you can't even see. You can put 12V in your mouth and other than the bad taste, nothing will happen. The human body has too much resistance to allow enough current to do any damage. 12V won't hurt you, but the power it has can cause sever damage to other things.

If they are 120V from an inverter, it needs to be fixed before something bad happens.

Mike
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Old 07-20-2008, 11:20 PM   #5
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They are 12v hot and ground close enough that little hands could get both... maybe. Actually I guess the "bare copper" is actually back towards the rear under the passenger side cushion. It's nothing that a sheet of any solid material wouldn't fix, but it looks like most of the hot bare stuff is protected by the seat overhand or cushion overhang not insulation. Without considering pulling wires I guess it probably comes down to how long the kid's arms are.
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Old 07-21-2008, 08:58 AM   #6
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I guess I was thinking about the kid getting hurt. Never considered possible damage to the van. I guess the little hands that pull the kitty's tail could pull the wires also.

Mike
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6.0 PSD 4.10 Posi
Salem Kroger coil spring 4wd
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Prostate cancer survivor. viewtopic.php?f=8&t=11099
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Old 07-21-2008, 09:46 AM   #7
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actually the pic is deceiving. He actually sleeps behind the gate on the rear side and we slid a piece of masonite under the mattress behind the back of the couch to prevent him from touching anything. I dont have an "open" 50 layout. Under the mattress is a metal box approx 13" high.

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Old 07-24-2008, 12:54 PM   #8
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I too would like to know if you can make the oboard propane work with other devices such as a bbq grill/coleman stove.
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Old 07-24-2008, 10:06 PM   #9
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Apparently you can use a device called Extend-a-flow available at SMB or camping world. I have to pick one up and try it.
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Old 07-25-2008, 12:20 AM   #10
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Take pictures. I want to do this.
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