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Old 03-25-2014, 08:59 AM   #1
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Planning Sprinter 170 2500 Travel with 4 dogs.

Introduction.. New Here

I have been exploring the SBM site and planning my project for a while now. More recently I have been reading peoples experiences here. Thank you for many of the very detailed accounts of your experiences. I have learned a lot. My writing tends to be very short. I was a manufacturing Engineer for 25 years before being laid off 11 years ago. I got into playing Frisbee (disc) with my dogs and have a 3 time world champion. 4 years ago we moved to a 2 acre property in Fallbrook, 50 miles north of San Diego. Lot's of space for the dogs. I do part time dog training on site. While not necessarily a craftsman I build lots of stuff myself.

Goals of my project.

Retirement travel for my wife, I and our 4 dogs.
Travel to east coast , northwest, State and National Parks from San Diego.
Weight and cost are important.
Lots of storage space.
Likely 1-2 years away.


My plan. Drawing later

Behind driver: double stacked dog crates, Cabinet, Refrigerator, Closet
Behind Passenger: Cabinet counter with sink about 48" .
Rear: Raised, removable platform bed completely open under for lots of storage and 1 dog crate assessable from front.
Don't want to fill up all the space with stuff... Dog got to go somewhere when we are stopped.
Simple plan. No propane, No shower, No black water tank, No built in heater. 250-400 Amp Hr Battery bank. Portable Generator.
Air Conditioner


I am planning a first SMB West visit in May 2014

Questions

Who should I talk to? Are there a number of salesmen / planners?
How much planning info can I do before they want a commitment / deposit?
How long is the tour? Can I take my time and ask lots of questions or will they rush me through?

Thank you for your inputs.

Al
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Old 03-25-2014, 09:52 AM   #2
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Re: Planning Sprinter 170 2500 Travel with 4 dogs.

I visited SMB West once years ago. At that time they were very hospitable - no pressure and showed me the shop.

As far as planning, there is a layout tool on the SMB web site with dimensions, also pdf files you can print out. You could measure your dog crates and the area required to open their doors and sketch it onto a Sprinter floor plan. My first reaction is there isn't enough width to have dog crates on one side and a galley on the other side.

Many people who carry dogs want air conditioning, to keep the animals safe when stopped in hot weather.
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Old 03-25-2014, 10:07 AM   #3
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Re: Planning Sprinter 170 2500 Travel with 4 dogs.

Here is my basic plan. Upper cabinets are not shown for simplicity. The "Custom Cabinets" are the dog crates. The ones in front are stacked 2 high and open to the center. The one in the back is under the platform bed and opens to the front.

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Old 03-25-2014, 03:13 PM   #4
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Re: Planning Sprinter 170 2500 Travel with 4 dogs.

dhally,

Thanks for reply. AC was a given. I added it to my list.

Al
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Old 03-25-2014, 04:29 PM   #5
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Re: Planning Sprinter 170 2500 Travel with 4 dogs.

Why do you need SMB at all?
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Old 03-25-2014, 04:55 PM   #6
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Re: Planning Sprinter 170 2500 Travel with 4 dogs.

Stan,

1. "not necessarily a craftsman"
2. Electrical worries



Al
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Old 03-25-2014, 10:37 PM   #7
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Re: Planning Sprinter 170 2500 Travel with 4 dogs.

Back to my primary question?

Who should I talk to? Are there a number of salesmen / planners? (SMB West)

Thanks,

Al
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Old 03-26-2014, 01:03 AM   #8
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Re: Planning Sprinter 170 2500 Travel with 4 dogs.

Take a look at k9sprinter's rig here: viewtopic.php?t=5616
I was always impressed by how much he was able to pack into his layout including crates for 6 big dogs.

As far as who to talk to at Sportsmobile, I don't know who is there currently, but in 2010 I worked with Jonathan Feld. He is Alan Feld's son and I think these days he may have sales reps other than himself who take care of working with the customers. They were very accommodating when I came up for a tour and a test drive. Just be sure to make an appointment well in advance. Let them know that you have some custom designs and would like to speak to someone who can advise you and they should be able to answer any questions. They are a busy shop but I have always found them to be very friendly and hospitable.

If you end up going forward with a custom build, ask for plenty of photos to be sent to you during the process and plan to make a few trips up to Fresno to check on things in person at key points. Mine is an EB-50 with a few modifications and one of my special requests was forgotten, but since I caught it during the build, they were able to correct things in time.

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Old 03-26-2014, 09:28 AM   #9
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Re: Planning Sprinter 170 2500 Travel with 4 dogs.

Steve,

Thanks. Interesting dog van.

Alan had answered a couple simple questions via email a while back. I just replied to him that I would like to plan a visit in late May. Should be far enough in advance.
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Old 03-26-2014, 05:42 PM   #10
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Re: Planning Sprinter 170 2500 Travel with 4 dogs.

I have an appointment for May 23. Alan will not be there. He said I will meet with Nick, Brian, or Jonathan.

Any preferences?

Al
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