Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 12-18-2013, 06:53 PM   #1
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 973
Default Quick SMB visit and the ProMaster...

One thing about Sportsmobile is that they have excellent CS... plus their upfit shop is within pushing distance of where I live, so I went by during lunch. If it were not for the ID theft last year that cost me tens of thousands, I definitely would not have been bad off with their model, especially with everything being diesel. Even with the new 2014 Sprinters, the PowerTech generator is still under the departure angle, and the crash wheels on the tow hitch will protect it on a steep incline.

They have a ProMaster there, in the process of being upfitted to a "B". One interesting note which I never thought previously -- the wheel wells are high compared to the ones in the Sprinter or the Econolines. Since the van has a low ground clearance, the space for the wheels has to be made up somewhere, and that is within the van body itself. This means a rear bed would have to be almost a foot higher off the ground than in a Sprinter chassis. It is wider than a Sprinter, so maybe that makes up for it, but the higher wells are another engineering trade-off for upfitters, especially once the insulation is put into place.

I wonder how one can upfit the PM with tanks, because of the low ground clearance. The Sprinters isn't that big a deal to upfit, especially when 2015 comes around and the US gets the AWD Sprinter (the source of this info being from multiple places including a FL dealer in California.) At least the PM has no driveshaft to get in the way if the tanks are shorter, but wider. I guess I'll leave that engineering question up to the pros.
__________________

mlts22 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2013, 08:53 PM   #2
Platinum Member
 
Davydd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 4,497
Default Re: Quick SMB visit and the ProMaster...

My Sprinter wheel wells are about 11 inches high. Going to a dually made them protrude in more and I noticed most electric sofa ottoman designed Sprinters lost a lot of storage space under those two ottomans. My tri-fold sofa doesn't have ottomans and the wheel wells essentially make good foot stools.

That foot stool in the side entrance of the Travato houses the water tank. That low floor may explain why. Does the floor height explain the Eko toilet too? What is the design status of black and grey tanks, propane tanks, auxiliary batteries and generators that usually go underneath?

Here is a 4 x 4 Sprinter on the right next to my B. It is a DUO CS Reisemobile from Germany. I didn't see a lot of difference in the height. It is not jacked up high like Sportsmobile does with the Fords.



Here are my wheel wells in my Great West Van Legend Sprinter with the milk cartoons showing some comparative scale.

__________________

__________________
Davydd
2015 Advanced RV Ocean One Mercedes Benz Sprinter
Previous Class Bs:
2011 Great West Van Legend Sprinter
2005 Pleasure-way Plateau TS Sprinter
Davydd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2013, 09:15 PM   #3
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 973
Default Re: Quick SMB visit and the ProMaster...

The ProMaster wheel wells are almost twice that height once insulation is added. I'll grab a picture of to better show what it is like, but just the bare metal is about 14-18 inches off the floor, and if you add insulation (4 inches), it will be even taller. What difference it makes, no clue... but it does mean that ProMaster upfits will have to have higher beds.

Next week or so, I'm going to hit the Winnebago "B" dealer and look at the Travato, see the end results. These niggles about wheel well height may be very minor, but they do intrude substantially into the space inside on the bare PM before it is upfitted.

As for the German DUO, it appears to be about an inch higher... That makes sense and is a good balance of clearance versus affecting handling. If I wanted a 4x4 from Germany for the rough stuff, that's what the M-B G series is for.
mlts22 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2013, 02:08 AM   #4
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 973
Default Re: Quick SMB visit and the ProMaster...


This picture should help. It is over a foot tall at the front, and this is without the heavy insulation.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg pm-wheel-well.jpg (138.4 KB, 2024 views)
mlts22 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2013, 03:25 PM   #5
Platinum Member
 
markopolo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: New Brunswick, Canada
Posts: 7,814
Default Re: Quick SMB visit and the ProMaster...

There's unusable space above the lower height wheel well in my van so it wouldn't be problem with the type of layout I have. A power sofa type layout could require some extra planning. The photo looks like a shorter wheelbase model so it would be interesting to see how the wheel well height affects the long wheel base model.
__________________
Two bikes on sliding cargo box: https://www.classbforum.com/forums/m...icture206.html & 1997 GMC Savana 6.5L Turbo Diesel Custom Camper Van Specifications: https://www.classbforum.com/forums/f...vana-5864.html
markopolo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2013, 05:19 PM   #6
Platinum Member
 
Davydd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 4,497
Default Re: Quick SMB visit and the ProMaster...

Here is an unfinished cargo van Sprinter before conversion that shows the dually wheel wells for comparison.



I should mention I don't think the Sprinter converters put much if any insulation over the wheel wells so doubt they would do so on ProMasters.

I liked the way Great West Van squared off my wheel wells which made them more convenient, IMO. However, after my B they seem to quit doing that and followed the rounded profile covering them with carpeting. The other tri-fold sofa converter, Advanced RV, was also just following the profile last looked.
__________________
Davydd
2015 Advanced RV Ocean One Mercedes Benz Sprinter
Previous Class Bs:
2011 Great West Van Legend Sprinter
2005 Pleasure-way Plateau TS Sprinter
Davydd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2013, 07:59 PM   #7
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 973
Default Re: Quick SMB visit and the ProMaster...

SMB puts more than average insulation on the wheel wells, followed up by a layer of Reflectix as a vapor barrier. It was interesting sticking my nose in and seeing how well they get stuff upfitted.

The pictures explain a lot. The Sprinter in Davydd's picture has a lot more usable space for a bathroom and one's choice of bed, be it a sofa or a parallel twin layout like the Winnebago 70A.
mlts22 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2013, 09:00 PM   #8
Platinum Member
 
Davydd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 4,497
Default Re: Quick SMB visit and the ProMaster...

In contrast to my squared off wheel wells (previous photo with the milk cartons) I found this photo I took of a newer 2012 Great West Van Legend where it appears the covering was just applied tight to the steel wheel well. There is definitely no insulation on the inside. However, there can be an optional spray insulation on the underneath outside.



It does look as if the ProMaster wheel wells could be about 6" higher. On most Bs the electric sofas slide over the tops of the wheel wells and the sofa height is a tad higher by an inch or two than the sofa you might have in your living room. So much more height would be prohibitive. Maybe that is why we are not simply seeing a knockoff the the Roadtrek Agile design or any convertible electric sofas.
__________________
Davydd
2015 Advanced RV Ocean One Mercedes Benz Sprinter
Previous Class Bs:
2011 Great West Van Legend Sprinter
2005 Pleasure-way Plateau TS Sprinter
Davydd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2013, 05:29 AM   #9
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Kansas City, Ks. Suburb
Posts: 855
Send a message via Yahoo to bobojay
Default Re: Quick SMB visit and the ProMaster...

Wow, I hadn't noticed the difference in wheel well height in the pics I've seen of PM vans, but now I see it's considerable.
As high as an unloaded PM sits with those skinny tires that tall wheel well is unneeded for sure....
__________________
Bob & Sharon
2019 Winnebago Travato K (2018 Chassis)

Past RV's: 2013 WGO ERA 70A, Chevy PW Lexor
Itasca Navion, 29' Jayco 5th Wheel
bobojay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2014, 09:48 PM   #10
Gold Member
 
accrete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 86
Default Re: Quick SMB visit and the ProMaster...

I know on the SMB website in the DIY online plan area they have a "Platform" bed option. Though i've not seen many SMB conversions using such a bed, that is actually what my wife and i chose for our build because we knew there would need to be space for the gold-prospecting (my wife's hobby when we are at a river) gear. It made sense to build a platform bed in back. We have a measured 19" under our bed and then the froli & mattress adds a total of 8" so the top of the bed actually is level with the lower edge of our rear-door windows (which we plug with reflectix at night). Anyway, this height works for our needs and when i was looking at the PM as a possible rig for Van2 i saw that midline rail and thought that would be a logical place to build up from for the bed platform...and loads of storage for water/batteries/etc under at or just forward of the rear axle.
__________________

__________________
From the WET! Coast of Oregon...
Van Build Thread @ SMBForums
accrete is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT. The time now is 08:06 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.