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Old 10-26-2019, 07:58 PM   #1
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New member, need advice for 1st SMB purchase

Hi Everyone,

This is my first post, so bare with me. I hope I've posted in the correct area. I've never owned a Sportsmobile but hoping to do just that after my husband has finally agreed to it.

If anyone has advice they can offer to someone like us who are new to the Sportsmobile world before a possible purchase I would love for you to share your thoughts.

There are two things that are at the top of our SMB list.....a 3rd captains chair and a toilet/shower (I gotta have it) enclosure. I started looking online last month just to get a feel for what is out there for sale and look at prices. I noticed I wasn't seeing any for sale with a 3rd captains chair. I read a post on this site that mentioned SMB's with a 3rd captains chair aren't easy to find. From what I'm reading, I need to jump on the sale immediately if one does become available. We don't need to purchase now, but we were hoping by the end of next Summer. Sites I've looked on: adhuntr.com, searchtempest.com, oodle marketplace, sportsmobile.com, zoomthelist.com and I set up a google alert. Are there other sites I should be checking?

We're leaning toward the 170wb Sprinter due to the amount of space we need. I'll be driving a large part of the time and although I would feel more comfortable driving the 144wb I feel certain we need the extra space of the 170. Looking at year 2014 to 2018.

I'm slowly making my way through this wonderful site. Lots and lots of interesting and helpful information. Thanks in advance for your input!
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Old 10-26-2019, 09:18 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard!
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Old 10-26-2019, 11:32 PM   #3
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Well a set space for a toilet and shower is going to take a huge amount of space and that’s a premium. I have seen pullout showers on a few and with that toilets but you are in a small space so think about living in the bathroom.
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Old 10-27-2019, 07:20 AM   #4
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For the reasons Gooseberry mentioned, interior showers are not a popular ammenity - most come with the outside shower. And as you've already discovered the same applies to the 3rd captains chair.
In your search, You may consider a layout which allows some remodel to suit your needs. EX: Cabinet behind the side door that you could remove to install a 3rd captains chair. The same in the rear to accommodate a shower (just know they will be pretty confining regardless). If you haven't already id suggest you look at the interior of a 190 Roadtrek to get an idea of possible shower options to get some idea of figment. Can't remember which member here fabricated a slide-out shower pan that extended from the bottom of a cabinet door once opened - was well done and creative.
Anything you envision is possible, just need to find someone with the skills to do it - many here can suggest potential candidates, just clarify your location...and open your wallet.
Good luck with your hunt.
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Old 10-27-2019, 08:06 AM   #5
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Sportsmobiles (the brand) are great but don't rule out the 100 or so newer players in the market, some much better than the original. A real bath/shower is easy in a big Sprinter.

Hopefully others will contribute to this list of possibilities for you:

VanGo
Outside Van
Van Specialties
Roadtrek
RB Components
Colorado Camper Van
Nomad Vanz
VanDoIt
ExpoVans
ModVans
VanHaus Vans
CampoVans
VanCompass
Freedom Vans
Benchmark Vehicles

3 more have probably popped up since I typed this list. At least 2 of them are in Portland.
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Old 10-27-2019, 08:53 AM   #6
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An important list to consider in addition to your two “things”-

What is your experience w/ tent camping / car camping / RV’s?
Are you looking for four (all) wheel drive? 170 limits off-road travel.
Type of expected van camping - Dispersed/off grid? RV park hook ups? Stealth? Friends driveway?
Length of trips- Days/weeks/full time?
Visiting cities?
Meal prep on the road - cooking full meals? Mostly restaurants? Preprepared?
Recreational activities / Gear storage needs?
Physical stature- small/med or large?
Travel seasons - need for a/c or heating?
Towing?
Secondary sleeping accommodation needs? (You mention third capt chair)

A 170wb Sprinter with the long body will accommodate a shower/toilet. It will not do well off-road. It is huge. I would also suggest looking at the Ford Transit w the Eco Boost engine.
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Old 10-27-2019, 10:44 AM   #7
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Our friends got one of these, it seemed to tic off many similar things on their list.

https://m.winnebagoind.com/products/...ato/floorplans
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Old 10-27-2019, 11:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twoxentrix View Post
For the reasons Gooseberry mentioned, interior showers are not a popular ammenity - most come with the outside shower. And as you've already discovered the same applies to the 3rd captains chair.
In your search, You may consider a layout which allows some remodel to suit your needs. EX: Cabinet behind the side door that you could remove to install a 3rd captains chair. The same in the rear to accommodate a shower (just know they will be pretty confining regardless). If you haven't already id suggest you look at the interior of a 190 Roadtrek to get an idea of possible shower options to get some idea of figment. Can't remember which member here fabricated a slide-out shower pan that extended from the bottom of a cabinet door once opened - was well done and creative.
Anything you envision is possible, just need to find someone with the skills to do it - many here can suggest potential candidates, just clarify your location...and open your wallet.
Good luck with your hunt.


The slide out was done by Xtreme fab in California.
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Most the time the Copilot is Now Sophie dog the noise maker.

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Old 10-28-2019, 08:04 AM   #9
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Agree with keeping an open mind for a ban that you can remodel. We added a third captains chair to our SMB by removing the sink cabinet inside the barn doors. We’ve never missed not having a sink as we do all cooking etc outside. I kept the water system and just added a sprayer hose that can be accessed from the side doors for rinsing off and such.

I had in mind an inside shower for what’s our next RV would be, but in 2018 we rented a really nice truck camper for 25 days and only used the shower once. We just hit campgrounds every so often for their showers or did an outside hair wash/wash off in between. The shower was too much hassle to dry off, used a lot of water, etc.
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Old 10-30-2019, 06:24 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone for the information, input, suggestions, etc. We truly appreciate it! We'll take everything into consideration as we continue our search. This is a completely new experience for us as we have never owned an RV of any type. I'm already enjoying every bit of the research involved. So much knowledge here, what a wonderful forum!
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