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Old 07-31-2017, 10:59 PM   #1
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Penthouse Addition,any input?

We are looking at adding a top to our new to us 2010 SMB RB E350 come November when they can get us in.
One question is does the third Brake light stay in its original location or is it part of the new top?Am looking at rear view cameras and thought about mounting it in that vicinity.
Also are there any other additions that we should consider while it is being installed.We live in the mountains where it snows and was wondering about levels of insulation that they might offer.
Thanks Roger
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Old 07-31-2017, 11:27 PM   #2
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I don't think SMB offers any type of additional insulation for their canvas like Colorado Camper Van does. The main option would be power lift, solar prewiring, cross bar tracks and raptor liner.
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Old 07-31-2017, 11:35 PM   #3
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^^^ all of which are great to have.
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Old 07-31-2017, 11:39 PM   #4
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One question is does the third Brake light stay in its original location or is it part of the new top?Am looking at rear view cameras and thought about mounting it in that vicinity.
On the Ford-based Sportsmobiles, the third brake light gets relocated to the rearward-facing surface on the tail end of the penthouse roof. The original lamp remains in place on the steel roof, but the brake-lamp wiring is re-routed to the new lamp which is incorporated into the penthouse roof.

(Interestingly, on the Dodge-based SMB penthouse builds, that third brake lamp seems to usually remain in its stock/original location, and the penthouse edge is simply notched with a square cutout to allow that third tail lamp to remain visible when the penthouse roof is lowered.)
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Old 08-01-2017, 05:18 AM   #5
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Living in Southern Southern California, insulation has not been the biggest concern for our rig and penthouse top. We're mainly seeking to cool off most of the time; and even the winter get aways put us in mid weather.
We have slept in 30*f weather top up, bundled up in layers and sleeping with primo bags and a huge blanket. Ok as a novelty. Ok with a great heater.
Second the pre wire solar, automated lift; we use the two panel bed option. Love the extra room to stand and store gear.
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Old 08-01-2017, 09:15 AM   #6
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We use Thermo-o-rest Camprests for seating. They are 1" think. In cold weather we unsnap them and put them against the penthouse walls in the sleeping area. Two of them cover the back (where our heads are) and about 4 feet of the side walls. If we want to bother we can also add our two backpacking Therm-o-rest shorties on either side to cover an additional 4 feet of the side walls. Most the time though we do not bother but snuggle into good sleeping boags.
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Old 08-01-2017, 11:17 AM   #7
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... we use the two panel bed option. Love the extra room to stand and store gear.
Piggybacking on the OP's post, thanks:

EmMay, I'm considering the SMB Penthouse for next year and have wondered about the bed. When I visited Fresno, Jonathan toured me through a model with a solid bed that angled up at the front, which he pulled down to climb into. I didn't see a two panel bed. What's that like? Pros/cons? Can anybody direct me to pics?

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Old 08-01-2017, 05:25 PM   #8
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Two things I wish I had on my top... bug screens that zip out if damaged and a window/screen in the back like the front has. The photograph model top allows the front screens to be opened to shoot out of but on mine, but not the back two. I sleep with my head toward the back and I wish those windows screen would open.
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Old 08-01-2017, 05:48 PM   #9
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Piggybacking on the OP's post, thanks:

EmMay, I'm considering the SMB Penthouse for next year and have wondered about the bed. When I visited Fresno, Jonathan toured me through a model with a solid bed that angled up at the front, which he pulled down to climb into. I didn't see a two panel bed. What's that like? Pros/cons? Can anybody direct me to pics?

.
We had a walk through layout with a one piece bed. The entire bed could be hooked up to the top of the penthouse so you can stand up and walk through front to back. When you're ready to use the bed upstairs, you unhook it at both ends and set it on the rails.

I think the 2 piece beds come with the 50 layout since you wouldn't ever stand up in the back. If you do a google search for "sportsmobile penthouse bed" you will see some pictures of beds with a seam in the middle. You can essentially stack the front piece onto the back piece to create the standing room in front area of the van.
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Old 08-01-2017, 08:24 PM   #10
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Otter, et al,
The two piece bed option: the aft piece is slightly smaller than the fore. A small to medium sized human could sleep on it alone with the larger portion pushed all the way forward, removed entirely or left in its suspended position attached to the PH ceiling.
We usually leave the aft portion down as a shelf.
We sleep below, rarely sleep on the PH bed, it's too narrow and not as soft as our foam/mattress below.
We purchased it knowing we would rarely use it ourselves, but it's available for on e of our crew in a pinch and makes a fine shelf to boot...
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