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Old 02-02-2015, 05:50 AM   #1
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Default Tall Sprinter

I got a look at a super tall Sprinter with the fiberglass roof and structural ribs. Here is a view next to a regular tall Sprinter.



Here I am reaching for the ceiling making it about 7 feet high. The sliding door is the same and the bulkhead at the cab gives you a clue as to how much taller.

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Old 02-02-2015, 10:07 AM   #2
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Default Re: Tall Sprinter

This new roof is a blessing literally from above for us tall folks! I have a few questions, however.

1. Since it's fiberglass, I assume that it can't support the weight of a rooftop air conditioner. How is ARV going to handle the AC?

2. Can the new roof support the weight of solar panels? Without rooftop AC, theoretically, more solar panels could be added if the roof would support the weight.

3. I also wonder how it will handle in crosswinds. Mercedes currently offers what they call "crosswind assist" on Sprinters with two rear wheels. Any word on them possibly offering it on the ones with four rear wheels with this new taller roof?
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Old 02-02-2015, 11:47 AM   #3
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Default Re: Tall Sprinter

SiennaGuy: I don't know how ARV will handle the Air Conditioning. However, for the cross-wind issue, ARV already offers the VB Air suspension option.
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Old 02-02-2015, 01:03 PM   #4
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Default Re: Tall Sprinter

ARV has ideas but no definite plans yet. The extra height opens up a lot of possibilities. A clean roof of solar would be one but now that I have 420 watts of solar on mine, coupled with 800ah lithium batteries and my normal travel habits, it might be a tad bit of overkill for me.
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Old 02-02-2015, 10:11 PM   #5
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One possible plan is that ARV develops a truss system that supports the weight. Then run ducted air instead of the hang down air distribution box. Use spray foam to encapsulate the ducts and provide better insulation.

The result would be a higher ceiling height for tall customers. I would think customers who need air conditioning a large part of the year and want to be able to hear the TV when the A/C is running would be interested. Plus the spray foam will make the Sprinter much cooler in hot weather.

Airstream trailers went to a ducted air this year and existing customers are trading in just to get the quiet A/C. ARV got rid of the generator noise. Now it may be time to quiet the A/C. I have heard that the Coleman MACH 8 that Davydd has is quieter inside than the Dometic Penguin so the noise issue may be resolved somewhat.

A downside is no 4x4
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Old 02-02-2015, 10:21 PM   #6
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Default Re: Tall Sprinter

How many thousands of fiberglass roofed vans have ACs on them? I don't see a problem. I don't like the idea of a taller B because it limits where you can travel which is the main reason to have a B but to each his own.
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Old 02-02-2015, 10:26 PM   #7
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Default Re: Tall Sprinter

This makes things interesting, but I'd like to know three things:

1: Does this destroy the coach's safety in a rollover?
2: Is it possible to still use overhead cabinets attached to the sides and walls?
3: Does the fiberglass affect the leak resistance in any way?

I'd love an extra high coach, especially with a coach builder who can use the space gained for more storage. With a Danhard A/C unit, it would still be able to go through drive-throughs.
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Old 02-02-2015, 10:48 PM   #8
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Default Re: Tall Sprinter

There's some info and photos from 2007 about the mega high roof: http://www.classbforum.com/phpBB2/vi....php?f=9&t=334

I think it has been around for a while now so any problems would have been sorted out. I don't know if this is still current:

Quote:
The new mega-roof is made of fiberglass-reinforced plastic and may be painted in any body color. Available with either fixed or opening skylights of single-layer safety glass, an optional transparent plastic skylight is also available. Supplied by Westfalia Van Conversion, a DaimlerChrysler subsidiary, the mega-roof is produced in Germany.
Advanced RV would probably know.
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Old 02-02-2015, 11:25 PM   #9
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Default Re: 2007 Mercedes Benz / Dodge Sprinter

I believe the roof sides means the part that is added by the fiberglass. The sides haven't changed so the cabinets will be fine.

An Airstream roof is covered by aluminum panels attached by rivets to the roof ribs. One must walk on the rivets unless one likes dimples in the roof. In contrast I would think that closed cell foam sprayed in the roof cavity along with extra truss support would result in a very strong roof allowing for anything to be mounted.

It is possible that the awning might present the biggest problem. Roof rails are probably not available from the factory. If one beefs up the roof side an awning rail from say Carefree would work. Then the awning would not stick up above the roof like it does on a metal roof Sprinter. This is only a consideration if one wants an awning. But Southern state owners would want an awning and the ducted A/C along with a fully insulated roof.

(admin edit: moved post to new topic)
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Old 02-03-2015, 12:56 AM   #10
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Default Re: Tall Sprinter

I would think that the high roof would be a natural for other than a roof air conditioner. As has been mentioned, it will get too high, and you have added a lot of volume to the inside, so you should be able to spare a little for a split system or a Coolcat type wall/floor system.

If this is a MB supplied item, I would not worry about safety, as the Germans tend to overdo rather than underdo that kind of stuff.

If the tall roof is on a dually 3500, they still will have the option of adding the crosswind assist that they use on the single wheel units, so I don't think that will turn out to be a big deal.

Fiberglass is more sound deadening and less heat transmitting than steel, so that should be a plus.

If done right, tall roof Sprinter could be just what the tall folks need and want, without going to a C. We have had a lot of folks look at our Chevy Roadtrek and say they liked it, but were just were too tall for it, so the market would be there, especially as the younger, taller, generations get to wanting a B.
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Old 02-03-2015, 04:22 AM   #11
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Default Re: Tall Sprinter

I wonder what the height of the extra high roof is compared to the high roof with AC?
I personally don't ever need AC - but I would consider if it were not roof mounted. I hope AC units will innovate in the next five years and hopefully we can see a decline in roof mounted AC's and a move towards other locations for the AC units.

Thanks for sharing the photos!
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Old 02-03-2015, 03:05 PM   #12
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Default Re: Tall Sprinter

Maybe you could finally get ducted air conditioning and eliminate alot of noise. Or you could put the unit inside, but still in the ceiling like whatever Roadtrek is doing in Mike's van.

But like other's have said, this van is pretty tall already, so you are probably getting into heights you'd see with some class A's. Imagine this with the 4 wheel drive option! Move the cabinets up higher, add a safe and an AC unit, and you've got a pretty tippy van!
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Old 02-03-2015, 05:21 PM   #13
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Default Re: Tall Sprinter

wincrasher,

The height of a 45' class A is much higher than the super high roof option Sprinter. Why would the cabinets be installed any higher? ARV has a safe option and it is near the floor. I haven't read about any 15,000 btu A/C unit that is installed somewhere else than the roof that is quiet. Can you explain how Roadtrek is installing the A/C or is it a trade secret.
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Old 02-03-2015, 11:58 PM   #14
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Default Re: Tall Sprinter

FWIW, the super tall is not available as a 4wd
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Old 02-04-2015, 04:56 AM   #15
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Default Re: Tall Sprinter

Quote:
Originally Posted by pattonsr
wincrasher,

The height of a 45' class A is much higher than the super high roof option Sprinter. Why would the cabinets be installed any higher? ARV has a safe option and it is near the floor. I haven't read about any 15,000 btu A/C unit that is installed somewhere else than the roof that is quiet. Can you explain how Roadtrek is installing the A/C or is it a trade secret.
Not all class A's are 45' monsters. Height ranges from 11' to 13'2". Adding 6" off roof height to a Sprinter can put it in that range. More solidly if you could get the 4x4, but I guess that is not the case.

If you raise the roof, you either have a upper cabinet that is higher off the floor, or a taller cabinet that is set at the regular height. Either way, by filling that cabinet with junk, you are putting weight higher above the floor, and thus raising your center of gravity.

I've had alot of different types of RV's in my time. A ducted system is far quieter than the types of AC units we have in our vans that blast air out the bottom of the unit. If you go look at the new Tiffin RV's, they have IMHO almost perfected the art of nearly silent AC units. Mostly, I think due to isolation of the unit, but also a very thick, insulated ceiling.

Whatever Roadtrek is doing, it apparently is in prototype, as there is almost no info out there. I suspect it's under non-disclosure until they are satisfied on how it's working. You'd think Mike would be talking up all the features and details of his new rig, but so far, other than some really superficial information, radio silence.
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Old 02-04-2015, 08:56 PM   #16
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Default Re: Tall Sprinter

I looked up the overall heights of some Class B vans, all with the regular high roof and including roof mounted AC. All numbers are from the manufacturers.

LTV Free Spirit: 9' 9"
Pleasure Way FL: 9' 8"
Airstream Interstate: 9' 8"
Roadtrek CS Adventurous: 9' 7"
Winnebago Era: 9' 6"

Here's the height of the Sprinter with a Super High Roof, no roof mounted AC: 10' 1"

The difference is small.
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Old 02-04-2015, 09:25 PM   #17
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Default Re: Tall Sprinter

Yes, but add an air conditioner - +9" to 13", and the difference becomes big!

If you go with this van, you really are going with some kind of alternative AC setup, or no AC at all.
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Old 02-05-2015, 12:39 AM   #18
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Default Re: Tall Sprinter

The Coleman Mach 8 that Advanced RV currently uses is only 8" high. The MaxxFan is 5" high. A stowed RFMogul Direct TV dish is 8.5"

So it looks like the Super High Roof would be around 12" higher with roof mounted A/C. In my opinion no big deal as long as the increased inside height is used to provide a higher ceiling height and the rest of the space is closed cell foam encapsulating the roof truss support and A/C vent runs.
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Old 02-05-2015, 01:37 AM   #19
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Default Re: Tall Sprinter

If I had a super-high-roof, I would most certainly use some of the space to get that...that THING off of my roof, one way or another. Most likely a ducted split A/C unit. Conceivably, one might find a way to flush-mount a rooftop unit entirely under the roof, with some kind of grill to vent the compressor.
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Old 02-05-2015, 04:22 AM   #20
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If they use an underfloor AC, they could use the space above the cabinets for ducting the AC and could leave the aisle at its taller height. The fiberglass Super Roof weighs less than a steel roof, so the center of gravity shouldn't be affected too much. The new roof has steel ribs, and iti's built and installed by Mercedes, so I wouldn't worry about safety.
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