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Old 08-28-2016, 04:07 AM   #31
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@ 1der high cube container unfortunatly are not all over the world available. For this reason and also because of the high while driving off road in very nerow roads (africa) i prefere to keep the van as low as possible. But i will have some more years to think about ist. In moment the SMB top is ok for us and i even rebuild the canvas to 6 windows and screens with zippers to open them complete.
@ ctb all our story is in the link below with a lot of pictures of our travel, people and the van. Sorry it is writen in german but there is the option to translate it.
In future i will see if i also will post some stories with picture here, but in africa there ist mostly very poor internet
So first please heve a look here, if some of you like it i will be appreciate to share some stories here from time to time

Dani und Didi in Afrika -

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2001 SMB E350 4x4 7.3 Powerstroke
1968 Pontiac Firebird 400 Convertible ,1978 Peugeot 504 Convertible,1988 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2,KTM 300 EXC,BMW G/S Paris Dakar,BMW "Diabolo"
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Old 08-28-2016, 06:29 PM   #32
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larrie.................. Metric grams :-)

Len & Joanne

The Green TARDIS
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Old 09-11-2016, 09:53 PM   #33
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THANKS FOR THE QUICK ACTION!!! Went to the link and was thoroughly impressed with the scope of your travels...the fun, views, adventure/'ballsy' travel bravery, that it would take to travel to some of those places...I mean, the Alaska and Canada haul roads took us up above the Arctic Circle and we saw very few people....BUT, I am SURE we cold get Ford parts fairly quickly as we spent the time talking in the same language to pass the time away unlike the out in the middle village folk...the village pics were awesome!!!!fun stuff my man!!!
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Old 09-11-2016, 11:52 PM   #34
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I/we sleep upstairs 99% of the time. It's a bit cozy up there (width) for two people, but I prefer having the windows and cross breeze. I love peeking outside in the morning seeing my campsite for the first time after arriving in the dark the night before.

Sleeping downstairs is somewhat awkward because the bedding interferes with some cabinet access. But it's obviously roomier (width). And it's quieter (such as at Burning Man).

I sleep with sheets/blankets instead of sleeping bags.

I add 2" of foam padding to either bed. Without this, the upstairs bed is too thin and the downstairs bed is too lumpy. For the upstairs bed, this padding folds in half and gets stored between the ceiling and the suspended half of the penthouse bed. For the downstairs bed, there's no easy place to hide the foam when not in use.

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Old 09-23-2016, 06:43 PM   #35
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We are 4 that sleep in our SMB with penthouse. I'm 6'4", ~180, and wife is 5'8" ~140. We used to keep the kids up top and us on the bottom. Our penthouse bed is a tad longer than the bottom.

Lately we've been sleeping up top and I can tell you some pros and cons compared to bottom sleeping.

- airy and cool
- 2 in longer i think
- views
- can hear nature, like camping in a tent

- width (it's a couple inches narrower than the bottom config i think.)
- colder
- loud, if camping around people - but I just put ear plugs in. Worked great at a folk fest.

Ya, I can't sit up fully without head hitting the top, but it's not a big deal. Getting down in the night to pee isn't too bad, but it does take a wee bit of effort. We haven't slept up there in mid winter yet, I bet it will be too cold.

One of my kids thinks the bottom bed is more comfortable, and it probably is. But so far I think the top is better for some reason. We don't have an extra layer of foam on either one yet.

I keep wondering if we are too heavy for both of us up there, but so far so good. We have bad thoughts sometimes of the whole thing crashing down on our kids below. I wonder what the approved weight limit is for the penthouse made by SMB?

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Old 09-24-2016, 10:27 AM   #36
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My wife and I total about the same as Chris mentions and have been sleeping "upstairs" exclusively since we bought our van in problems with the weight. If you are in the process of ordering a van, you can specify the length of the second portion of the bed.
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Old 09-25-2016, 01:33 AM   #37
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I sleep up top just because it's easier to hide the beading and make coffee in the morning

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Old 09-25-2016, 01:57 AM   #38
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Yep, the penthouse top is a bit snug (in terms of both width and in "sit up height") for a couple....but since I happen to really like the person I sleep next to, I tend to think that the "snug" bit is kind of a plus.

For the data points: We're both reasonably-athletic/lean mountain bikers --- I'm 5'10" and she's 5'7", we fit in there fine.

(Btw - we picked up a 2" memory-foam topper at Target and trimmed it to fit neatly on top of the penthouse upholstered bed surface....makes a huge difference. Sleep pretty darn well up there! To do it again, I think we'd probably go for a 2.5" or 3" thick topper, but it's all good.)

So heck yeah! Gimme some cozy/dreamy SMB "camper-van upstairs" to nap in, any day.
Mike T
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Old 09-25-2016, 08:29 AM   #39
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I prefer to sleep up top as well - PO had the bed re-upholstered and incorporated a memory foam layer - the overall thickness is an inch or so thicker than the stock SMB bed. Also had custom pads made that fit between the bed and the tent walls - effectively widens the PH bed 3-4" per side. Still have the PH supports there but is definitely wider and more comfortable.
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Old 09-25-2016, 09:39 AM   #40
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Slept up top last night....for about 1/2 the night, until the wind started howling and flapping things around.....then pulled the top down and slept below. More perceived room up top though.

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