Hey Broccoli! Got a kick out of your post(s). Iím all too willing to talk anybody into anything they want.
But, in this case, as much as I dearly love Sportsmobile, I donít think itís what you need. The Mode appears better suited, though you may have other, better options. My thoughts:
1. The Sportsmobile is pretty built out, though you can get it simpler. If I had one Great Dane - let alone 2 - the simpler the layout, the better. The Mode seems to fit that bill. These vans are pretty small. You want all the room you can get.
2. Poptops: The Sportsmobile poptop is quite small, both in surface area and height. I have a CCV Poptop because of that. Two adults can fit completely comfortably up there, not always true in the SMB. Plus, you can sit up in the CCV, a nice feature. Itís huge. I have multiple pics in my photo album here, take a look. I love the poptop for so many reasons... itís aerodynamic when down, breezy when up (think cool in summer), great view, etc. I live in PDX too, so I was originally concerned about rain, mold, wind, etc., none of which have been a problem so far. Havenít had it up in wind on the coast yet but it could be a problem. I can only think of one place Iíve camped there, though, that wasnít protected from wind. YMMV. Definite limitations there.
3. Bed length: at 6Ē1í, youíll want to evaluate your sleeping style relative to bed layout. Looks like the Mode is crosswise and somewhere between 72 and 77 inches (varying specs?). Iím well under 6ft but sleep really stretched out and wouldnít be comfortable in anything restrictive. If you havenít already, go really test out the Mode bed - and more than two minutes. Will it suffice?
4. Dog sleep space: our pup is small, but we often have reason for an extra bed. The Mode seems to offer two possible dog sleeping spaces: under your bed (in garage) or on the lounge. If your dogs can fit on the lounge, all the better. Youíll likely want your garage for camping supplies. If you get a poptop, the dogs can sleep anywhere. Our plan includes a removable crosswise platform bed for smaller sleepers.
5. Iím not a big fan of Sprinters but they are ubiquitous. I mostly donít care for the dealer servicing for them and all the ďfancyĒ electronics. But thatís just me. My ideal new van would be a Ford Transit with a CCV high poptop. Standability - and possibly 2-level sleepability - when down.
6. Agile 4x4: you canít go wrong here. I may be prejudiced because itís what I have but many others agree: itís a great system, smooth riding, and Agileís quality is second to none.
7. Price: If you decide against SMBís poptop (I did), thereís little reason to have them fit out your van unless you particularly like the plan available and the price is really good. If youíre looking at new Modes, it seems price is not that big a deal to you. If it is, you could fit out a similarly simplified build through any number of upfitters for a lot less than the Mode. Iím honing in here on where youíre coming from - a tent and/or suburban - so your needs are relatively simple. Wayfarer vans, for example, cost a lot less and you could take it to Agile for the 4x4 conversion.
In all, Iíd say if you have the money and the dogs-sleeping issue is a fit, then Iíd go for the Mode. If you need to save some bucks, find an upfitter for less.
Hope this is helpful. I have lots of photos in my album and my build thread if theyíre useful. Best of luck and enjoy whatever you choose. Best thing I ever did in our rainy environment was to get out of a tent. Canít even count how many times I rolled up a muddy tent and stuffed it in my pickup. Sure donít miss that.