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Old 05-14-2019, 01:39 PM   #1
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E350 Poptop Bed Options?

Hi all. Iím this close (see 1/4Ē between my two fingers) to committing to Fresno for a Penthouse install on my 2014 E350 RB. But, despite having read every darn thread in my search, I canít find the answer to this question:

SMB describes the poptop bed as the ďUpstairs Bed Option.Ē What I saw in my visit to Fresno was a bed that was hooked to the Penthouse ceiling that lowered easily when you unhooked it. But I see folks on the forum sometimes talking about bed sections? Is that an SMB option like what Iíve seen on the CCV videos where you can stack them up towards the rear?

So, you can tell Iím confused. What exactly are my choices with SMB... Solid bed/sectioned bed/no bed? Oh wise ones, please enlighten me! Pictures, anyone?

https://sportsmobile.com/penthouse-top/

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Old 05-14-2019, 03:15 PM   #2
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I would go for what I thought was the standard penthouse bed option in 2 pieces. The shorter one at the back and stays in place. The longer section hooks to the ceiling and goes up and down with the pop-top. That is the piece you unhook to join the 2 sections together.

The foam in the top bed is only about 2.5 inches or so thick so not real comfy for me and my back surgeries. Wifey has no problem with the upper bunk once in a while if I am twitching and kicking too bad in my sleep.
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Old 05-14-2019, 03:42 PM   #3
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There are 3 options:

no bed- this is self explanatory. Some people just want to be able to stand up inside.

Section bed- the bed is either 2 or 3 sections. Depending on your layout, this may or may not work. If you have a 50 layout (like a westfalia) where you cannot walk into the back of the van, this works just fine. The front part of the bed is suspended up near the ceiling with straps or whatever. HOWEVER, if you have a walk through layout, you may want to walk into the back of the van and it might be incovenient. Also, there are vans that have 3 equal sections and they are supposed to just be stacked up in the back of the van while you are camped. Again, fine if you dont walk to the back, but annoying if you do.

Single piece bed- This is one piece and can be suspended from the ceiling with straps front and rear. Think about it this way: if you cant walk to the back, how would you hook the rear part of the bed on the strap?

My preference is suspending the bed from the ceiling but I have 3 walk through models.

What layout do you have?
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Old 05-14-2019, 04:01 PM   #4
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In the first pic you can see the sections stacked up in the red box.

In the second pic you can see how the front part of the bed is suspended and the rear part is fixed. The rear of that van is inaccessible.

They also make a single piece bed that suspends from the ceiling.
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:19 PM   #5
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Eddy and Gramps, thanks for your replies. I can totally see now why I was confused! Gramps, to answer your question, my layout is a transformer style that Iím improving bit by painful bit. I say painful because Iíd love to have it all at once but couldnít afford it, so Iím doing it on the installment plan. My first big investment was 4x4, then a few smaller things, and now Iím gunning for the poptop. This weekend Iím getting an under-chassis storage box and, in a few weeks, a new floor with L-track for my seats. Then poptop, then electrical, then fridge etc., then... who knows? Itís been fun, for sure.

But I really like being able to walk through and will retain that idea throughout the design. So it looks like I need a fully suspended bed, as you suggested. Hereís my setup today:

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Old 05-14-2019, 09:33 PM   #6
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Awesome. Yeah, go fully suspended. I donít know why anyone would want the stacking bed.
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grampswrx View Post
Awesome. Yeah, go fully suspended. I donít know why anyone would want the stacking bed.
I don't think they do the stacking one anymore anyway. My 95 came with it and I screwed the front 2 pieces together with aluminum angle and hung them like the 2nd pic. Much more user friendly but harder to raise the top also.

SMB should really up their game with the bed hanging from gas struts like all of these new fangled truck topper campers. One easy push and the bed is up out of the way, no cables and cleats.
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Old 05-15-2019, 12:10 PM   #8
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This is what SMB shows on their website. Looks like there is a fixed area aft. Iíll check with them when I order to see if they actually offer a fully suspended option. Iím hoping somebody here who recently ordered one can enlighten us.




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Old 05-15-2019, 01:40 PM   #9
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Otter - on a side note... if still available I would suggest considering the power lift option. I don't see it listed as an option on the smb poptop page but it has been a god send for us on ours. FWIW

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Old 05-15-2019, 05:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigriver View Post
Otter - on a side note... if still available I would suggest considering the power lift option. I don't see it listed as an option on the smb poptop page but it has been a god send for us on ours. FWIW

Joe
Joe, power lift? You mean for the bed itself? Do tell me more!

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