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Old 06-19-2022, 05:43 PM   #11
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For us - two w occasional adult friend in multiple week four season trips:

Walk through w CCV pop top. Make sure you check the dimensions and comfort of SMB poptop/ bed vs CCV ( I can help out w CCV if you are interested in that). The differences are substantial and become very important for longer trips.

Gaucho on Driver side - this can be as short as 54" and extended to 72"+ with the driver seat swiveled 90deg. A fold down gaucho can become a another sleeping area for one (or two in a short term stealth situation). Nice views out side door.

Interior (no need to go outside) access to everything including the basement storage.

Your issue will be the doggie. The walkthrough will place him/her right in the walk way all the time. The 50 layout will give you a more square area which will be easier to get around. Maybe even keep the counter behind the driver seat further aft to give more flex floor space under the window.

Lots will depend on your usage and priority of compromises.
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Old 06-20-2022, 10:49 AM   #12
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Coming in on behalf of walk-through galley style. We travelled extensively in a VW Westphalia in the late 80s & early 90s. Moved to a Lance cabover then back to van style with our SMB RB. With the Lanceís galley DNA and a vanís agility, the walk-through is the best of the three for us.

More versatile than the RB50 variants. As others have noted, full access to the interior, no trips to the rear in rain and snow, wonderful views from the gaucho if you canít/donít want to go outside. Plus, bigger refrigerator and more storage space.

You do lose street-legal seat belts but our van only sleeps two.
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Old 06-20-2022, 04:34 PM   #13
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I wanted a walk through until I walked though one. I then went for the "50" style to accommodate 2 dogs and the wife. Thing about the walk through, when you sit on a side couch the wall is curved and not straight up and down. It hampered my ability top sit up straight on the couch. No problem with that on the 50. Also we carry a lot of long stuff in the way of gear and no place to put it other than the aisle. Then we could not access the other stuff in the lower cabinets. We put stuff we don't regularly need under the sofa in the 50 and have never had to get there in the overnight hours. Look at some.
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Old 06-20-2022, 05:28 PM   #14
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With a walk-through you can put the head in the back, arguably where it belongs, and get to it easily.
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Old 06-20-2022, 05:54 PM   #15
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eddyturn - yep, those are real world - and why there is no one perfect layout for everyone!

I am 5'10" and the curved wall behind the gaucho is okay, albeit just barely. The trim out of the CCV pop top allows for better trim out with its 54" wide bed and ~52" clear width between bed support rails. But, if I were 6ft I would have to slouch a bit or cheat the height of the seat cushion lower which then presents other comfort compromises. A SMB gaucho pop top would be an altogether different experience with the narrowness of the opening in the pop top and how far the bed rail projects inboard over the gaucho.

In consideration of layouts - I have played with "50" layouts having a half removable fold down seat just inboard of the cabinet and split rear cushion platform. Nothing installed below /under the removable seat for long things such as skis, lumber, or a 4x8 sheet of plywood, etc. This setup would accommodate those items rather than having to recline the whole seat back and putting stuff on top of the bed.

In our walkthrough pop top, we have had dinner inside at Mammoth during the winter for six, very comfortably, toasty, and the long counter serving as a prep surface and food buffet. There would be no easy space for a 70lb doggie but I can carry 12ft lumber on the floor inside w the doors closed. As said, the walk through puts the porta potti in the passenger side rear corner which provides privacy and ventilation w the pop out window.

Our "50" layout fixed top has been super comfortable dinner for four, the fold down sofa bed is not quite as comfortable as our pop top bed since also has to be a seat. But parking and hanging out/going to sleep nearly anywhere in stealth is not easy with our pop top. The usable big squarish floor creates a living room feeling with the front seats swiveled around snd would provide stretch out space for a larger doggie, if we had one.

I always ask customers LOTS of questions (some a bit personal really) when they are considering interior layouts / builds. It is usually at least few hours of time and multiple phone calls especially for people who have not had a rig like these. Even people who have had slide ins, travel trailers, etc. have misconceptions of what is possible in a van based rig. Experience spanning a broad range of real world uses, personally and vicariously, is so helpful!!

My definition of a "happy customer" is one I run into at a campground after a year, or one's who send me pictures, and they have had a great time in a layout that works for them!
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Old 06-20-2022, 10:12 PM   #16
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If you want maximum storage a high top has more cabinet space then a pop top. I sleep in the high top penthouse as it lets me stretch out more.
My sportsmobile came with a propane delete option. I tossed the microwave(haven’t used one in years) and happily use a single burner butane stove. It’s nice to cook outside in the shade on a hot day.

My layout is a EB27 with the passenger quick release captain chairs removed. I’m pretty happy with this layout.
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Old 06-21-2022, 06:29 AM   #17
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Thanks all. Your comments have really been helpful. I hadn't even considered CCV vs. SMB pop-top issues as part of the overall layout. Keep the opinions coming.
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Old 06-21-2022, 10:38 AM   #18
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I definitely see other's points on the 50 plan and access to storage. However, the 50 plan with a fixed top has a lot of storage in the front and rear bulkheads and sidewalls. For us, only large bulky items go under the bed platform. Things like the fire pit, chairs, extra water jugs, packrafts etc. So I never find myself needing access under the platform for any inside needs.

About all the designs have their merits. Same with fixed top vs pop top.
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Old 06-21-2022, 05:48 PM   #19
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The microwave was a must-have for us to be able to reheat leftovers on the go, make quick breakfasts, heat up hot cocoa for the kiddos when skiing, etc. We have a "high" pop top (not a CCV, but similar), and I installed the microwave above the driver's seat. Installed like this, it can be used with the top up or down and leaves plenty of space on the passenger side for stuffing coats, hats, front window covers, and other frequently accessed soft items.

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Old 06-26-2022, 12:34 PM   #20
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We have a 2006 E350 RB50 for 2 people and one 50-65lb Golden. That said we've had the van for 16 years and quite happy with the layout. We had to do the pop top (ours is electric) since any of the other options (including some like the hard pop tops) at the time did not have enough head room for my husband who is 6'5" and did not want to duck. Be sure to stand up in it!!! Me, no problems at 5'3" Note: bed length will be a bit short in the RB50 if tall, not too bothersome though.

As for dog, you will always be stepping over her unless you are sharing the couch (often, as who wants to lay on a hard floor...). Really no way to get around that. Also you will usually be making/unmaking the beds when traveling daily. We have it down to a science at this point.

We also use the microwave all the time. I prepare most meal prior to trips, therefore we have more time to drink beer. We never BBQ and rarely use our single burner propane stove. No propane system as we didn't want to carry propane so our build is using the diesel furnace/waterheater option.

Kelly & Gordon
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