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Old 01-21-2021, 09:22 AM   #1
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Want to change floorplan - How hard?

How hard is it to move things around with a SMB build?

Longer version of the question:
I've located an Econoline Extended SMB which I am considering. It has a "Goucho" sofa sleeper which I laid upon and, alas, was underwhelmed.

I'd like either a dedicated bed in rear and small two-person dinette along the driverside wall behind driver seat where the Goucho is currently. Or a convertible rear bed/dinette and use a Lagune with front swivels to make do as a secondary mini dinette/laptop table when the bed is left as a bed.

That will require relocating some lower cabinets. The rear is empty, no build-ins, just open storage, but cabinetry starts about 18: in on the passenger side, with room to move it forward into the second barn door entry space, which is ok as I see a lot of kitchens extending into that space.

How easy is it to relocate cabinetry and add a rear dinette/bed setup? (I know "it depends", but in general)
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Old 01-21-2021, 09:27 AM   #2
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Doesn't sound too hard based on what you describe if there is no plumbing or electric in the area. If just cabinets, not hard. SMB uses L brackets, so it is easy to remove/move. The gaucho probably has feet with screws/bolts. Photos do wonders when asking for help. Of course plumbing, electric, propane, A/C, etc. all add to difficulty.
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Old 01-21-2021, 10:40 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marret View Post
Doesn't sound too hard based on what you describe if there is no plumbing or electric in the area. If just cabinets, not hard. SMB uses L brackets, so it is easy to remove/move. The gaucho probably has feet with screws/bolts. Photos do wonders when asking for help. Of course plumbing, electric, propane, A/C, etc. all add to difficulty.
Thanks, Here are photos.

Can a 2-person dinette fit in place of the Goucho sofa?


This is the rear. I think that's just an empty box covering the wheel well.
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IMG_5525.jpg   IMG_5539.jpg  
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Old 01-21-2021, 10:42 AM   #4
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SMB usually installs a lot of infrastructure-type stuff under the gaucho (or dinette) bench. So that will be the biggest challenge IMO. Do you have a photo of the interior, or better yet, a floorplan? Depending where the gaucho is maybe you could turn that into a dinette? We had a dinette bed setup in our old SMB and loved it. Because we are too tall (5'8" and 5'2") we were easily able to sleep width-wise across the van (east-west) rather than "North-south".
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Old 01-21-2021, 10:46 AM   #5
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Looks like you posted pics while I was typing my reply above. The cabinet on rear driver's side appears to have a vent to accomodate either the OEM rear AC/heat or perhaps an aftermarket heat or AC (less likely). So that will impact your ability to install cabinets back there or a dinette. You could do a platform bed and just duct the airflow out somewhere else, though. I would guess the water tank, pump, plumbing, batteries, inverter, etc. are under the gaucho based on this floorplan, too.
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Old 01-21-2021, 10:46 AM   #6
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I would think a fore and aft dinette would fit, measuring would confirm.

You mean the cabinet with louvers is just an empty box? Why vented? Should be able to remove the vent with a few screws to check.

Have you looked to confirm L bracket cabinet attachment?

What is under the gaucho?

You would have to fill holes, do new flooring, attach new built ins.
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Old 01-21-2021, 10:57 AM   #7
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Ah, I see the ad for this van, and the description gives a few clues: "Factory A/C Ducted to the Rear, Current electrical system is ran with the engine battery. Sportsmobile can easily be modified to have plug in & coach battery setup."


So indeed, the rear vent is for the factory AC/heat as I thought, as are the vents under the gaucho (so you'll have HVAC hoses running in there, too). Not sure what the vents in the cabinet next to the microwave are for. The fact that it runs the electric off the van battery only is concerning. I can't believe SMB actually set it up this way initially, especially since it has a microwave. You should definitely budget for adding aux batteries and a shore power inlet.



Ideally I'd ask for photos of what's under the gaucho, as well as photos with the passenger side cabinets open showing what's inside.



Don't bother asking SMB about having them reconfigure the layout. I went down that route a while back and it was an immediate "no," at least from SMB-North.


In any event, it looks like a nice van with low miles at a not-crazy price. The fixed top keeps the price down some compared with a pop-top.
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Old 01-24-2021, 10:07 AM   #8
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Thanks Brian,
I live in Austin so I've seen and driven the van and yes indeed there are vent lines and such under the Goucho. They also provided me the build sheet which simply stated "box to cover wheelwell. It was a "modified EB45" plan with a lot of deletes.

It was purpose built for older "golfers" I was told, who traveled and stayed in hotels but wanted some on-the-road creature comforts. The wheelwell box is where they put and strapped down golf bags I was told. It wasn't for camping, but maybe for having a respite place to relax and chill in a parking lot, rest area?

The logic for my interest in this particular van is:
1) The van itself.
Clean, low miles, 1-owner, drives nice, drives quiet, clean Carfax. I give that a $20K value based on my Econoline searches for something similar unbuilt.

2) Already insulated.
I assume SMB "extreme" insulation is top rate, 4-seasons, so I have that expense and effort avoided as it's already in place, as compared to a DIY build. Not sure what value to give that, but maybe $10K? To already have insulation, walls, floors, top and the upper storage areas in place seems of value to me.

3) High(er) roof. I had budgeted $5K toward a Fiberine if I DIY a E-Series cargo van. This one has 5'9" standing room, which is not ideal, but doable.

4) Misc other niceties. Passenger swivel, nice leather seats, Microwave, Toilet, 1500w inverter, 10 gal freshwater, 7 gal grey, etc. At least some cabinets should/could be repurposed. I don't give a dollar value to all of that because I may have to tear it all out, but it goes in the + column nonetheless.

5) Could take a trip immediately and decide how to change/repurpose it later.

So, to me, it would make sense to pay $30K +/- even if I tear everthing down to the walls below the uppers and go back from scratch.

Then I'd give it a 4x4 or WeldTech lift eventually, batteries/solar, to make it more offroad and offgrid friendly, ditch the sideboards and decals, and I think it could be transformed into what I want.

Does my thinking seem sound? Total budget is about $80K, so this is like an "in between" option from blank slate DIY to "done and ready".


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Originally Posted by BrianW View Post
Ah, I see the ad for this van, and the description gives a few clues: "Factory A/C Ducted to the Rear, Current electrical system is ran with the engine battery. Sportsmobile can easily be modified to have plug in & coach battery setup."


So indeed, the rear vent is for the factory AC/heat as I thought, as are the vents under the gaucho (so you'll have HVAC hoses running in there, too). Not sure what the vents in the cabinet next to the microwave are for. The fact that it runs the electric off the van battery only is concerning. I can't believe SMB actually set it up this way initially, especially since it has a microwave. You should definitely budget for adding aux batteries and a shore power inlet.



Ideally I'd ask for photos of what's under the gaucho, as well as photos with the passenger side cabinets open showing what's inside.



Don't bother asking SMB about having them reconfigure the layout. I went down that route a while back and it was an immediate "no," at least from SMB-North.


In any event, it looks like a nice van with low miles at a not-crazy price. The fixed top keeps the price down some compared with a pop-top.
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Old 01-30-2021, 12:17 PM   #9
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Nice van! I wish mine would be that simple to fix, and I really
envy you the Gaucho! Mine is the old style, with removable bits, and I hate it!!! Top is at least 6 feet of extra head room,
which is nice, and I also have great insulation. It never seems
to get either too hot or too cold in the back! That said, I have “walls” in mine from prev. Owner, who wanted a large bathroom! It’s nuts, as I could really use that space as a bedroom or storage area. But, since there’s a sink and vanity
setup on the wall, I have zero idea how tough that would be to remove? Anyone else done this?
Thanks,
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Old 01-31-2021, 09:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bravelion View Post

Does my thinking seem sound? Total budget is about $80K, so this is like an "in between" option from blank slate DIY to "done and ready".
Seems like it would be a lot easier to find a van that is closer to what you want.
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