Thanks so much for your awesome thread and blog. I'm in the process right now of designing my first Sprinter conversion and have been pouring over threads, blogs, pictures, and manufacturer sites for several months now. Reading your design process and seeing the final build, then reading your blog and now your pros/cons has been extremely valuable as I plan my own build. Props, and thank you for taking the time to post all of this..
Regarding the backup camera and stereo: does anyone know if SMB will install a radio and camera of *my* choosing, or are you limited to the things they like/sell? I ask because I've also read through this guy's (http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=17258
journey designing and building his own conversion. It's a beast to get through, but again reading the design-to-amendments-to-finish process has been fantastic, and I've seen several items he included in his build that I think are far superior to the factory options and better than any other aftermarket stuff I've seen. One major item I'd love to have: his backup camera, which he introduced in post #4 on the first page. If you page through the 100+ pages he's got pics showing it in action in many scenarios, day and night, with trailers or bike hitch attached, and I want. I also like his stereo, (see post #81 on page 9) because it's very easy to override the nanny guards that make an OEM nav system annoying as hell, the screen and sound are great, and it plays very well with his camera. (I've gone cheap in the past; after now having a car with built-in NAV, XM, with traffic and weather, I'm hooked. My in-dash NAV has never locked up, rebooted, or had a delay in updating, etc, which has happened to me many times on my iPad/iPhone. And they don't need a cell signal to work--you can't get weather on an iOS without it--and I'm a climber so will be going remote.)
I'm definitely curious on this--have you had any times you wish you'd had a 4x4 model, either for the traction or the clearance? I was considering avoiding a LB or EB for fear there wouldn't be enough clearance on rutted, 'hilly' dirt roads which I sometimes take. Not sure if you've had to deal with that much, but would love to hear your thoughts.
Thanks again for the awesome thread and blog--I look forward to seeing how your perspective changes over space-time.