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Old 01-26-2020, 01:50 PM   #1
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Getting a penthouse, redoing the inside of my van, any thoughts on interior designs?

Hi all!

New here aside from a couple of posts in the past two weeks. My family and I have been living out of RVs and vans since 2008, including our current Ford E350 for two years, and with another baby on the way we decided that we’d get a penthouse.

Friends have been ecstatic with there’s. Other friends, not so much. Anything I should look for or think about when I go to drop it off or pick it up?

We also decided that it’d be a good time to redo the makeshift counters, flooring and while we’re at it, walls. If you use Google, you can see thousands of pictures of renovated VW Buses and Sprinter type vans. Not so much for Econolines and E-series SMBs. Anyone know of a place with some good pics / ideas?

And thanks for all the love so far. Excited to be a part of this little corner of the web.
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Old 01-26-2020, 02:18 PM   #2
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There are a bunch of threads here detailing people’s builds / layouts. The latest is the “Sleeping Arrangement” thread. Where are you located? It is not in your profile.

SMB has a bunch of layouts on their website that can be used for ideas.

Pop top - if your budget and height scenarios can handle it, get the Colorado Camper Van High Top installed. The high top creates a huge interior volume, wide bed, electric lift. Even with the top down there is nearly six feet of head room and lots of storage for bedding which can be left on the bed. At least check it out if you are seriously considering a pop top.
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Old 01-26-2020, 06:53 PM   #3
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Here’s mine......

My big fat interior (re)build
https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink/top...ink_source=app
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Old 01-27-2020, 11:15 AM   #4
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Thanks Ray & REF, I will check that thread and look into the CCV High Top you'd mentioned, for fun, since I've already put a deposit down on an SMB TX pop top. I have never been a big fan of high tops, and plan to head into Central & South America, and something about largely looking like a regular silver van appeals to me in those scenarios.

I live in Durango, CO at the moment. Went with SMB TX since they're the only ones doing manual lifts, which save a few bucks but I also have young kids and can see them trying to push buttons to lift the top when its bolted down, or worse, when we're driving and no one is paying enough attention. :P
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Old 01-27-2020, 12:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wandrly View Post
Thanks Ray & REF, I will check that thread and look into the CCV High Top you'd mentioned, for fun, since I've already put a deposit down on an SMB TX pop top. I have never been a big fan of high tops, and plan to head into Central & South America, and something about largely looking like a regular silver van appeals to me in those scenarios.

I live in Durango, CO at the moment. Went with SMB TX since they're the only ones doing manual lifts, which save a few bucks but I also have young kids and can see them trying to push buttons to lift the top when its bolted down, or worse, when we're driving and no one is paying enough attention. :P
I have experienced both the SMB and CCV pop tops and there really is no comparison. CCV is just superior in every way. They make three different variants so if the height is an issue you can just get the smallest one which is similar to the SMB style. I have a SMB top on my van and a friend with a CCV (tallest option), and I get jealous every time I see and go inside of his van.
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Old 01-27-2020, 12:23 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by REF View Post
Here’s mine......

My big fat interior (re)build
https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink/top...ink_source=app
One of the best build threads ever. Great photo documentary. Hope it’s all worked out well for you.

Btw to the OP: CCV now only makes two versions, high and midsize. Unless you are totally stuck on having as small a poptop as possible (SMB is def shorter outside), please do take a look at the CCV. Gee, you’re even in Colorado. I drove 2400 miles RT to Loveland to get mine. Plenty of photos on my continuing build thread:

http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...-17377-18.html
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Old 01-27-2020, 01:51 PM   #7
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That's a great thread, REF, and much appreciated. I'm supposed to be working so only got a few pages deep.

A few things I think I've learned:

1. This forum is not owned by Sportsmobile.

2. The complaints I've heard from friends with SMBs are probably pretty founded.
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Old 01-27-2020, 11:40 PM   #8
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2. The complaints I've heard from friends with SMBs are probably pretty founded.
Quite possibly. There also seem to be some differences in people's experiences depending on which SMB location they use.

Mine was converted 30 years ago, so I can't shed much light on what the quality might be like now.
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Old 01-28-2020, 08:27 PM   #9
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We waited 2 years to get my penthouse top installed. Partly because I was deathly afraid of having a big hole cut in the roof of the van and partly because we needed the time to save up the money. In the mean time, I read everything I could find, went to every show/expo, talked to Sportsmobile, CCV, Expo Vans and OPT Overland, and talked to as many owners as we could pin down. Ultimately, for us the CCV high-top made the most sense and we're soooo happy with it.

Now, we're on to the bigger head ache of trying to come up with an interior layout. I think we're close... The next step for us is to make a cardboard mock-up of the interior and go test it out. I want to be sure before I start cutting and drilling.
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Old 01-28-2020, 08:45 PM   #10
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And a visit to CCV up in Loveland will also give you ideas and an opportunity to see their interior work. They offer an insulation and wall kit as well as everything from modular galley cabs to full build outs.
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