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Old 09-01-2017, 01:23 AM   #11
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Here is the link for water. Scroll to the bottom and click on last button. As you can see, fresh water is stored inside the van to keep it from freezing. The size of your tank or tanks depends upon how much internal volume you want to commit to water. At 8.8 lb/gal., water is fairly heavy. Diesel is just under 7 lb./gal.

Since the trailheads you need to reach sound like you will not spend much time on rocky roads in summer, you might consider a 3500 DRW. This isn't good for extended offroad because rocks can jam between the two tires and cause serious abrasion. The DRW can carry more weight than the SRW 2500. DRW is also less likely to high center in snow due to more surface area to support weight.

If you did go with a floorpan like mine and you put your house battery under the center rear where the spare normally goes, you could put a considerable amount of water beneath the elevated Flarespace bed. You'd need to think about your grey water tank to capture the used shower water, or open the drain and allow it to flow to the ground. If you use biodegradable soap, that shouldn't be a problem at trailheads. Not something to do in town or parking lot though.

Exactly how long does your driveway allow your rig to be? Do you have enough spare length for a rear mounted spare tire and Aluminess box, or do you need to sacrifice that extra length on the rear? If so, you'd need the spare to go underneath. Some do front mount of spare, but it reduces air to the radiator, something to avoid if you're going to be in hot weather.

For good showers, you either need propane and a water heater/tank, or you can use the very small (but expensive) tankless diesel burning D5, which also provides hot air.

If your trailheads are going to be extreme, you might want to consider the SMB classic, built on a Ford E-350 cutaway with high lift and true 4wd conversion. It is slightly longer than the 144" Sprinter, but much shorter than the 170" Sprinter. At 73" it is 4" wider inside than the Sprinter is at the floor, but the walls DO curve to the inside. Currently, none are available with tall roof, only the penthouse. That wouldn't do too well for winter showers. It is an amazing offload motorhome though. SMB West is the only one of the three factories that builds this. (BTW, where are you located?)

Keep the questions coming. The more we know about your needs, the more we can help. If you ask the moderators to retitle this thread, more people will see it's a build thread and will open it, read, and offer opinions. I also encourage you to go ahead and contact SMB for some direct information.
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Old 11-03-2018, 08:11 AM   #12
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Flarepod Info

I wanted to resurrect this thread, and will also post on my build thread. We are bringing our 2500 4X4 144 back in to SMB West for a flarepod modification.


I'll post on my build thread as well, but the below is what we ordered. The pods are @ SMB West in the paint shop as I write this.


Below is what we ordered for pods and what we anticipate for the bed area:

5Ēextended pod on drivers side, 10ĒX 33Ē slider window.
3Ēpod on passengers side, 10ĒX33Ē slider window.



The sliders will take away approximately ĺĒ-1Ē of usable space for each pod, this according to both Sonya and SMB West.




We would like the bed platform to be 55Ē in width. This allows for two 20Ē bench seats forward (replaces the current bed which is 75" in length longitudinally).




The bed platform will be built to take advantage of as much space as possible, as I understand the van and the pods angle inward as we go further up the sides.





I anticipate usable lengths for the bed of:
  • 78Ēon back part of pods
  • 76" on front part of pods
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Old 11-03-2018, 08:25 AM   #13
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Flarepod Bed/space dimensions from Flarespace website

Attached are the worked/expected dimensions numbers from the Flarespace site and discussions with Sonja.
Attached Thumbnails
RYAN, Alex Flare Pod Dimensions.jpg  
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Old 11-03-2018, 10:06 AM   #14
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I’m planning for pods in my build also. Do you know yet what height your bed platform will be and what you’ll be using for a mattress and if you’ll have storage room between the bottom of the platform and the systems/equipment that were located under your dinette seats? Do you have a new layout sketch that shows the new setup you’re going for, with bed, forward seats, table, etc.?
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Old 11-04-2018, 12:38 AM   #15
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Flarepod bed platform

Kate,


You've hit on the crux of the flarepod modification! Our bed platform height is as yet undefined. I believe it is going to be about 4-5" below the lowest level of the flare pod level, but unsure as yet. I'm going to let SMB West decide that, based on sitting height and access to the storage underneath.


A large factor will be access to the (former) couch/settee areas, which will now be enclosures for all the systems.
1. Drivers side has water tank/pump and D5 heating system
2. Passenger side has electrical.


I'm going to cover that at some point in my build thread and why we went this way, but a large part of it is that we never use the couch/settee as it was designed. It's always made up as a bed. In addition, during the day it becomes a catch-all for cloths, packs, etc.


In addition, since the bed is permanent, why not have a very comfortable mattress going forward? We've slept on sleeping pads, including ultra-light thin pads for climbing, for years. And really this is my wife Alison first driving this when we started out in the van. It took a while for the light bulb to come on for me..


The standard SMB cushions for the couch and bed are pretty hard, which I was initially OK with. But we then, at Alison's insistence, put a 4" memory foam medium-soft mattress topper on that, and since then it's been the best sleep we've ever had while out camping. Don't get me wrong, we still backpack and climb using a very light sleeping pad, but having a sleep system that is equable to what we have at home in the van is just wonderful. Van sleeping is VERY comfortable for us right now. It's difficult to get out of bed in the AM...


That's the lead-up to the below.


The new permanent mattress is going to be a custom mattress, exact fit to the space, exact depth as we need. Either a custom temperpedic mattress or a memory foam mattress with the FROLI spring set underneath. We're not sure yet what it will be, it's going to be based on the bed platform height.


If the bed platform height is set underneath the flarepod height, we'll have a custom mattress fit to that space up to the flarepod height, followed by a memory foam pad and topper of 2-3" above that. According to Sonya at Flarespace, we can't put a 7-8" matress on the platform as it will then be up to the window height, or at least close to it where we would impede the windows.


We are also modifying our overhead storage so we can then sit-up in the bed on one side. Probably the drivers side.


Attached is a picture of what our bed looks like now, which will give you some idea of what we've done with the bed as it is now and why we want to turn the bed transverse,
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IMG_20181006_094756949.jpg  
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Old 11-05-2018, 10:03 AM   #16
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Alex,
Iíll be interested to see how much space you end up with under the bed. Iíll be using the froli system as well. Iíve heard a lot of great things about it, especially from boaters and I think whatever height it adds to the top of the platform will be more than made up for by the lighter, less thick mattress you can use because youíll have the froli springs underneath. I remember when therma-rest self-inflating pads seemed like a miraculous step up from pine needles under the tent!
I havenít decided yet about overhead storage but I think Iíll be going for a ďsofterĒ approach, especially in the bed area, as I have a bad habit of hitting my head on cupboards and stuff and Iíd like more flexibility than I could have with cabinets. Iíll have a lot of L-track installed all the way around and plan to use something like these. For longer trips, Iíll have a full complement of the hanging bags in back. And for daily driving or short weekends Iíll take some out so it will be more open back there. I also like the idea of taking the bags inside for packing and then hanging them back up in the van. The RB stuff sacks are almost flat against the wall when not in use and might be good to have wherever I can fit them in. Itís definitely not as nice-looking as built-in cabinets but it might save me a lot of headaches, haha.
Now that youíre doing the platform bed, what is the plan for table/eating area, if any?
Attached Thumbnails
E55FF17D-9653-43D8-8ADB-73DE2B009E0B.jpg   E0C98849-4917-4C78-9C3E-6A24B9F68451.jpg  
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Old 11-05-2018, 10:42 PM   #17
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Does anyone know if there was something like Flarespace pods for Econolines?
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Old 11-05-2018, 11:08 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelheadJones View Post
Does anyone know if there was something like Flarespace pods for Econolines?
Same question was asked on ExPo. No commercial units, but 1 guy made his own-they look good (links to 2 more threads within this thread):

https://expeditionportal.com/forum/t...r-ford.158300/

Van Specialties also makes pods for Sprinters:

https://www.vanspecialties.com/van-options/pods/

Sprinter Source thread on DIY Flares:

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/ar...p/t-36124.html
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Old 11-05-2018, 11:50 PM   #19
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Overhead storage for flarepod addition

Quote:
Originally Posted by eradikate View Post
Alex,
Iíll be interested to see how much space you end up with under the bed. Iíll be using the froli system as well. Iíve heard a lot of great things about it, especially from boaters and I think whatever height it adds to the top of the platform will be more than made up for by the lighter, less thick mattress you can use because youíll have the froli springs underneath. I remember when therma-rest self-inflating pads seemed like a miraculous step up from pine needles under the tent!
I havenít decided yet about overhead storage but I think Iíll be going for a ďsofterĒ approach, especially in the bed area, as I have a bad habit of hitting my head on cupboards and stuff and Iíd like more flexibility than I could have with cabinets. Iíll have a lot of L-track installed all the way around and plan to use something like these. For longer trips, Iíll have a full complement of the hanging bags in back. And for daily driving or short weekends Iíll take some out so it will be more open back there. I also like the idea of taking the bags inside for packing and then hanging them back up in the van. The RB stuff sacks are almost flat against the wall when not in use and might be good to have wherever I can fit them in. Itís definitely not as nice-looking as built-in cabinets but it might save me a lot of headaches, haha.
Now that youíre doing the platform bed, what is the plan for table/eating area, if any?

Kate,


I like your idea for storage. That seems like a great way to go. As it stands now Sportsmobile is going to leave two sides of our overhead storage alone (back and passenger side) and modify one side with something like the mesh storage you showed in your post. I think that will work, but if not there's always more modifications that can be done! I really think it depends on where the bed platform ends up. If it's level with the flarepods that would be ideal but I don't think it will be.


We never used the inside table/couch set-up this spring/summer/fall, due to nice weather. The few times we were inside because of rain we used the passenger side seat turned and sat on the bed.


The new configuration will have two permanent bench seats 20" wide facing each other just forward of the platform bed, and I see us setting up the table for that.
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