Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-14-2018, 12:07 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Corona del Mar, CA
Posts: 52
Final Build Details: Advice Sought

Our build plan is just about complete for our Sprinter 4x4 RB50 layout. Build scheduled for February. We have just a few minor issues to decide on and are looking for wisdom from those that have come before! I've read the threads I could find on these issues, but thought I'd check on the following:

1. Privacy Curtain – Planning on the “snaps” options versus sliding track. We don’t expect to use this much, so we’d like to store it. Any different opinions on this?

2. Power Locations – The included locations are by the couch, below the galley, and the galley shelf. It seems like it would be good to have power in the back (with access to the bed), penthouse, and maybe the passenger seat. Does anyone have specific recommendations on this?

3. Exterior Lights – Apart from the one included porch light, we looked at the rear flood lights when we visited the factory. These look like they would be easily broken off. It’s not clear that we need any more than the porch light, but we’re not sure since this is our first SMB. Any layouts that people love?

4. Interior Lights – We are going with the standard lights and locations, but adding at least two dimmers and maybe four (galley shelf, front, back, PH). Any other thoughts on changing the lights or where dimmers are useful vs. not?

5. L-Tracks – We’re not sure if we need more tie-downs, but we did see a few vans with L-Tracks. Any experience with L-Tracks that are pro/con for adding them?

As always, thanks in advance for the advice! It's very much appreciated.

barrel47 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2018, 12:14 PM   #2
Senior Member
Marcel Huijser's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Montana
Posts: 275
My take on the curtain: We want to use the space of the whole van, including front seats, especially if they (or just one of them) swivel. We took out the curtain and use sun shades for privacy on windshield and windows on driver and passenger sides. These shades also reduce heat loss through these windows when winter camping. So, I would forego the privacy curtain altogether.

Marcel Huijser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2018, 01:05 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 190
re power:

The usb ports we have near the couch/galley are installed facing out into the room; so they would be easy to access. I hate them because when they're in use it means the cord is easy to knock/rip out. Which then knocks the device down and breaks it.

I'll be installing a more protected power plug around the corner of my galley with just a simple small cord coming up for charging. 99% of the time its my device and i'll never need to replace the cable. 1% of the time i'll have somebody on board with a different connector and then they can use the up front cord.
2017 Sprinter 4x4 144LR. Dialin' it in.
[RIP] 2004-2017 SMB PH, 4x4, E250v8. The wheels fell off.
Pritikin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2018, 01:30 PM   #4
Site Team
BroncoHauler's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southern New Mexico
Posts: 9,641
Are you having solar installed? If not, pre-wiring for solar is a good investment, just in case.

SMB-less as of 02/04/2012. Our savings account is richer, but our adventures are poorer.
BroncoHauler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2018, 03:47 PM   #5
Senior Member
Twoxentrix's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
Posts: 2,068
I'll add a couple considerations:
First, If your adding the power outlets throughout, suggest one (convenient & accessible location) be some type of rocker panel that also has the power outlets - doesnt cost much, but if down the road you decide to "add" then this becomes an easy solution

Second, if any of these will be "illuminated" you might choose locations that will not frustrate you at night. We have so many gadgets (co2/propane detectors, Solar controller, Inverter, power outlets, etc) that have some type of indication lighting it becomes distracting when time to sleep.

If you dont have a roof fan, choose a good location for an outlet that is dedicated for a 12v fan

***I also support BroncoHauler suggesting Solar pre wiring
Twoxentrix is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2018, 05:34 PM   #6
Site Team
BroncoHauler's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southern New Mexico
Posts: 9,641
Originally Posted by Twoxentrix View Post
...Second, if any of these will be "illuminated" you might choose locations that will not frustrate you at night. We have so many gadgets (co2/propane detectors, Solar controller, Inverter, power outlets, etc) that have some type of indication lighting it becomes distracting when time to sleep...

Good call, and one I haven't thought of, but agree with completely. "Power Applied" lights can be really distracting when trying to sleep.

SMB-less as of 02/04/2012. Our savings account is richer, but our adventures are poorer.
BroncoHauler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2018, 09:11 PM   #7
Site Team
daveb's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Turlock Ca
Posts: 10,082
So I take it no roof rack? One of the main changes I made was adding a roof rack to hold the solar, and 360* LED lighting. I have one large bar light up front for driving but the side lights are nice when you want to light up the camp. Rear lighting helps when backing up which can be critical backing down a trail at night. I have an awning that can be enclosed during cold weather and having a porch light helps. Personally the motion detector lights SMB sell aren't very good and I've had issues with the sensor not working plus the sun degrades the plastic windows. I am thinking of having something better installed. Their original outside lights are fairly tough but even the automatic one has survived crashing through least so far. One thing for sure is go LED on all your lighting inside and out.

I have the privacy curtain but hardly ever use it. Reflectix does a better job but I have installed the curtain in cold temps. It does help a little but I doubt I'd pay extra for it. YMMV

I'm guessing you don't have a pop top but I do and wish I had 12v DC power up top. I do have AC/DC power at the lower bed but rarely bunk below. Some other areas I'd like power is close to the side doors. Say for instance you want to power something like a coffee maker outside. Having to crawl back into the van to plug in sucks.

I also had both AC & DC outlets installed on the outside of the van. You might not want or need this. I needed power to run some camera and optics equipment. SMB sells something similar to their outside shore power connector but decided to have them install a propane hatch where I had them install the power outlets (110AC shore power in, 110AC standard outlet and 12vDC power port), water connection, plus a CATV connection which would be nice if you haul a portable Sat TV dish or want to plug into some kind of park supplied TV/cable. Obviously if you have propane installed you'd be pressed for space but they may have different door hatches they could install. It does kinda make for a cleaner look albeit at an added cost.

2006 Ford 6.0PSD EB-50/E-PH SMB 4X4 Rock Crawler Trailer

Sportsmobile 4X4 Adventures..........On and off road adventures
daveb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2018, 05:26 AM   #8
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 37
Can you post any photos, hatch closed and open, of the exterior connections setup you just described? Thanks.
eradikate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2018, 07:50 AM   #9
Senior Member
1der's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 2,471
Just a thought on “future” solar panels/pre- wiring and roof vent installed “now” -

Really give some thought as to the roof layout and where your panels might go vs the roof vent. Is a roof basket a consideration? Once the hole is cut for the vent it REALLY impacts where everything else on the roof goes. Flexible panels are not the way you want to go for the long run. They look like the easy solution for tough roof layouts, usually because the previously installed vent has complicated things,, but they cloud, delaminates and are less efficient than the glass fixed panels.

Re: the pre wire run - I have installed solar in pre wired SMB’s. The pre wire is usually at the driver side front corner fed over the top of the canvas then down to the driver B pillar. If it is cheap to do or is included, then fine. Just know that almost all the effort put into pre-wiring will be duplicated when the actual install is done. And if the solar panels go to the rear, the pre-wire will be in the wrong place. The nicest part of the SMB pre wire is the wire sheath in matching material that routes the wire down the interior edge of the penthouse. If you can just have them give you the sheath, I would skip the pre-wiring.

The roof tracks make installing roof items, including solar, much easier. Sprinters have roof “attach points” built in from the factory. I have not done work on Sprinter roofs but I have seen the threaded attach points.
Beastie 3: 2002 7.3 EB Cargo: Agile TTB, CCV Mid Top, Custom Walk Through, Lots of stuff added.
1der is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2018, 09:23 AM   #10
Senior Member
REF's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Boulder, CO.
Posts: 2,142
Send a message via MSN to REF
Agree with most everything that’s been pointed out so far. Is this a poptop? Either way, bringing 12V up to have a USB outlet accessible from the bed is nice. As is some sort of light, I just added 2 long gooseneck reading lamps in the upper pop top area each with a built in USB outlet, nice!
Exterior lighting can always be added later, lots of aftermarket options to choose from. I’ve got LED pod lights on each side of my roof rack, including a big 50” one up front, but of my favorites was to add LED rock lights to each corner inside the wheel wells, not only good for picking your way through the desert rocks at night, but they provide great indirect ground lighting at camp.
I’d for sure consider adding a fan, the maxxair maxxfan is far superior to the fantastic fan.
Go solar! Either have them install or can be added later. Not only for providing off grid use so you’re not bound to having to plug in all the time at campgrounds or running that annoying generator, but just a small panel if nothing else will protect and prolong your battery life when the rig is not used for any period of time. Are you having an inverter installed? Size? House battery size/amp hours? What’s your power needs/consumption?
Roof rails add so much versatility for adding things later on, great for attachment points for solar panels so you’re not drilling into the roof.
Side/rear ladder for roof access

'03 Ford E350 7.3L Diesel
(de)SMB'd Custom RB-50
Quigley 4X4 w/Deavers & Agile Offroad's R.I.P. package
CCV High Profile Pop Top
REF is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Sportsmobile Registry




Add your Sportsmobile
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sportsmobile SIP or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:46 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.