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Old 09-25-2013, 06:44 AM   #1
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RB-30 Owners - share your impressions

As we continue to research build configurations, Mrs. Lndshark and I have narrowed down a few ideas. First off, we are getting an RB. I really wanted the shorter van for tight trails. As for reduced storage, we plan to have Aluminess build us a low-profile rack that will protect the solar panels and accept a Yakima box.

Initially, my wife didn't like the idea of climbing up into the PH to sleep. With that in mind, we decided on an RB-50 because it had a large bed. We'd just use the PH for stand-up room.

Recently we had a look at the bed in the PH-equipped Sprinter. My wife thought that it was okay and that it looked like a great arrangement. So, we thought we'd explore other floor plans. We POURED over numerous gallery pics here and on SMB's web page. We took a lot of interest in the RB-30 for the following reasons:

1. Nice long counter top - great for food preparation
2. Lots of drawers and cabinets in the galley!
3. A 4 cu. ft. fridge can go on the driver's side cabinet - in the RB-50, the larger fridge necessitates a taller counter top which partially blocks the awning window.
4. The aisle arrangement in the rear creates an area that can be blocked off with a privacy curtain for porta-potti use.
5. The gaucho can be left set-up for sitting/eating while utilizing the PH for sleeping. In the RB-50, the couch becomes the bed. If someone wakes up first and wants to sit at a table, well...
6. More room for water heater, larger freshwater tank, grey tank in the RB-30?
7. Can still use the gaucho for naps, sleeping when the weather (high winds) won't allow the PH.

About the only changes we'd make to the stock plan is to move the cook top and sink toward the rear like the Badgers did:



We would also include the tall pantry on one side and the short on on the counter side. That should still leave room for a tall closet, the fridge and additional storage, plus under sink shelves, some drawers and under-counter cabinets. We'll get the door-mounted galley cabinet as well.

So for those of you with a -30 plan, please feel free to share your thoughts, pictures, how the plan works out for you. We're interested in the day-to-day use and what you might change if you could do it all over again.

Thanks!
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Old 09-25-2013, 08:47 AM   #2
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Re: RB-30 Owners - share your impressions

we love ours about 95% of the time. Its great for storage and getting to stuff if you do not have extra and use the back for loose item as they can roll forward.

The slide outs are better closer to the front for kinda the same reason, If you have shoes or items in the back they get blocked.

Now the cabinet on the door I would really like to have and gain that extra entry and exit room but then I'm loosing a very handy storage that my chairs and porta potty are in. Also I use that as the step to get into and out of the top bunk.

With the flow through design you can still go to HD and pick up long supplies

With a 50 you can kinda walk around each other but on the 30 you get free cuddles as its narrow. this is rare and has not really been a issue.

It lets you use the whole penthouse to look out when in bad weather as is pretty cool for be having a 6 window as I can stand at any corner and take pictures.

And you can feed like 8 people inside during a snow storm.

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Old 09-25-2013, 12:39 PM   #3
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Re: RB-30 Owners - share your impressions

I don't have an RB-30 but your post made me realize that the layout that I am about to have built at SMB North is very similar. I just never looked at the RB layouts because my van is EB. I can see now that what I am planning is more similar to the RB-30 than to any standard EB layout.

Here are my thoughts:

I don't plan on driving on tight trails so the extra room of the EB was any easy decision for me. Even with the extra space of the EB I am planning on removable storage on top and back for long or multi-person trips.

I went through the same transformation as you on the PH bed. As soon as I saw one in person at SMB North I added it to the plan.

Agree on nice long counter top. Good for lots of things.
Agree on usefulness of aisle arrangement.
Agree on usefulness of having two bed options.

Agree on moving the cook top and sink toward the rear. That creates good counter space on both sides and makes the galley accessible even when the gaucho is down.

Agree on the door-mounted galley cabinet. I love the design of that thing. It seems more flexible than the standard RB-30 use of that space.

My original plan had Closet A and the Slide Pantry exactly as in the RB-30. After seeing the cabinets in person I decided to swap them. Having the Slide Pantry come out into the middle of the open space just didn't feel natural to me so I moved it to the back.

Good luck on your build. I can hardly wait for mine.
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Old 09-25-2013, 04:01 PM   #4
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Re: RB-30 Owners - share your impressions

I love that pic Gooseberry! It was one of the reasons we considered the -30!
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Old 09-25-2013, 04:06 PM   #5
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Re: RB-30 Owners - share your impressions

Quote:
Originally Posted by danmcdonald99
I don't have an RB-30 but your post made me realize that the layout that I am about to have built at SMB North is very similar. I just never looked at the RB layouts because my van is EB. I can see now that what I am planning is more similar to the RB-30 than to any standard EB layout.

Here are my thoughts:

I don't plan on driving on tight trails so the extra room of the EB was any easy decision for me. Even with the extra space of the EB I am planning on removable storage on top and back for long or multi-person trips.

I went through the same transformation as you on the PH bed. As soon as I saw one in person at SMB North I added it to the plan.

Agree on nice long counter top. Good for lots of things.
Agree on usefulness of aisle arrangement.
Agree on usefulness of having two bed options.

Agree on moving the cook top and sink toward the rear. That creates good counter space on both sides and makes the galley accessible even when the gaucho is down.

Agree on the door-mounted galley cabinet. I love the design of that thing. It seems more flexible than the standard RB-30 use of that space.

My original plan had Closet A and the Slide Pantry exactly as in the RB-30. After seeing the cabinets in person I decided to swap them. Having the Slide Pantry come out into the middle of the open space just didn't feel natural to me so I moved it to the back.

Good luck on your build. I can hardly wait for mine.
Very good points, and I can't wait for yours either!

How soon does yours start production? I was thinking about driving down to SMB North for a look in the next few months (but I plan to have SMB-West do our build).
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Old 09-25-2013, 04:14 PM   #6
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Re: RB-30 Owners - share your impressions

We had an older van with a center aisle and gaucho. We have eaten and partied in a Getaway van that had side facing benches. Here are my comments:

1. Nice long counter top - great for food preparation
2. Lots of drawers and cabinets in the galley!
3. A 4 cu. ft. fridge can go on the driver's side cabinet - in the RB-50, the larger fridge necessitates a taller counter top which partially blocks the awning window.
--This is the biggest advantage of the aisle layout - much bigger galley and access to it. However if the penthouse bed is down it will be crawling access, and if the gaucho is down there is no access.


4. The aisle arrangement in the rear creates an area that can be blocked off with a privacy curtain for porta-potti use.
-- That is another advantage of the 30 design. At night I suppose the potty would need to be moved up in front of the galley for easy access.


5. The gaucho can be left set-up for sitting/eating while utilizing the PH for sleeping. In the RB-50, the couch becomes the bed. If someone wakes up first and wants to sit at a table, well...
-- In our RB50 I sit in the swivelled passenger seat after mrs.dhally is in bed. No tables at all anyhow.


6. More room for water heater, larger freshwater tank, grey tank in the RB-30?
-- The center aisle is about 2 ft x 10 ft in an RB-30. The open floor area in the RB-50 is about 4 ft wide x 5 ft. long. I would say its a wash.


7. Can still use the gaucho for naps, sleeping when the weather (high winds) won't allow the PH.
On our old van the gaucho was too narrow to sleep 2 comfortably. Not sure about the SMB.

One other thing we didn't like about the side mount seats is due to the slope of the van walls, you really can't lean back and lounge very well.

Obviously we prefer the RB50 but many have the center aisle design and luv it too.
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Old 09-26-2013, 09:41 AM   #7
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Re: RB-30 Owners - share your impressions

My build is scheduled to start in late September but it has been delayed a couple of times so I'm just sitting back and being patient. I'll let you know when the status goes from "We're going to do it..." to "We're doing it."

I'll send you a personal email with the detailed plans.
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Old 09-27-2013, 05:38 AM   #8
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Re: RB-30 Owners - share your impressions

We have a modified EB-44 and it's close to the RB-30. Some of our likes about the floor plan are:
- the two sleeping arrangements. We've actually found that many times my wife sleeps up and I sleep down. I take the back of the couch and stand it up next to the bottom cushion in the isle. Makes for a nice wide sleeping area and I can still use the remaining aisle way to move about.
- I also get up super early and can make coffee and read on the couch while my wife can sleep in.
- with both doors open and the couch right inside it makes for a nice social area from outside to inside.
- the door galley...we like it. Had SMB use the cabinet material on top and it expands our counter top space
- we both really like having our stove and sink right across from the couch. We would NOT move it further back. Standing while using the sink and stove are awkward at best and can not image having to cook on your knees if the top is down or the bed is still down. We sit on the edge of the couch 99.9% of the time while using the sink and stove. Your mileage my vary.
- love the walk through for reasons listed above and it's easier to clamp the rear penthouse latch
- good point on the couch not being very comfortable to lounge. We usually sit sideways on the couch, put your feet up, and lean up against the tall cabinet next to the couch. The other person sits in the passenger seat turned backwards
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Old 09-27-2013, 05:47 AM   #9
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Re: RB-30 Owners - share your impressions

Depending on your family situation, the side facing gaucho can be an issue if you ever plan on transporting young kids or grand kids, since there is a lack of forward facing seating in the cabin area. I do love the side facing gaucho for the space and for home like atmosphere (seems like a comfy couch) though.


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Old 09-27-2013, 09:45 AM   #10
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Re: RB-30 Owners - share your impressions

Steve has helped me with my design ever since I saw his under construction when I visited SMB North over the summer. His and mine will be pretty similar. That's one thing that's great about these things; they are all similar enough to create a great community but each one is truly unique.

Herb: One of the reasons that I chose the gaucho was because my most frequent third occupant is likely to be my girlfriend's 10 year old daughter. I didn't want to install a third seat just for those occasions and have thought that she would be OK sitting on the gaucho. I hope that you are saying that there would be issues with really small children. What do you think about a 10 year old?
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