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Old 12-29-2009, 11:30 PM   #1
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Default Outside storage on Sportsmobile Sprinter Short Chassis

Conversion comes with External Tire Carrier on a left rear receiver and a center hitch receiver.
Bought MAX Swingaway Plus Cargo Carrier (http://www.stowaway2.com/product.aspx?id=130&cid=59) mounted on center hitch receiver.
Added third hitch receiver (an RV bumper 4" hitch receiver http://www.prolineracks.com/bumper-hitch-adapters.html) to mount on right side of 2.5" hitch square tube.
Bought a 5 bikes hitch carrier (http://www.discountramps.com/5-bike-carrier.htm) to mount on
Bought a Yakima 6 ski carrier to mount --upside down because of clearance--on bike carrier(http://www.amazon.com/Yakima-HitchSki/dp/B000B0KTEQ)
Used right rear space under chassis behind hitch to fit tire chains held in place by screws--no plastic because next to exhaust.
Used left rear space under chassis behind hitch to fit box to carry waste 3" hose next to tank valve.
Used center rear space under chassis in front of hitch and behind BW/GW tank to fit 4 10"x14"x6" boxes to store electrical hookup cables, water hookup hoses and tools. (http://www.reallyusefulproducts.co.uk/usa/ bought at Staples/Office Depot)

Spare tire, Swingaway Stoaway2 cargo box, bike and ski carriers


Spare tire, Swingaway Stoaway2 cargo box, bike and ski carriers


4" RV hitch receiver for bike carrier


Right rear space under chassis behind hitch for tire chains.


Center storage area for 4 boxes


Box for sewer 3" hose storage on left rear behind BW/GW tank drain valve


Box for sewer 3" hose storage on left rear behind BW/GW tank drain valve.


Short chassis with Penthouse pop up top and solar panels.
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Old 12-30-2009, 03:45 AM   #2
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Default Re: Outside storage on Sportsmobile Sprinter Short Chassis

WOW...you have really developed a way to carry plenty of extra items - congrats and thanks for sharing, others will now be thinking outside the box! Ron
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Old 12-30-2009, 01:17 PM   #3
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Default Re: Outside storage on Sportsmobile Sprinter Short Chassis

Mighty impressive maximized use of below chassis space.
Two questions,
are the opaque plastic containers heat resistant? I'd be concerned that engine exhaust
or just reflected road heat might cause some melting or warping of the plastic, and/or
a possible fire hazard.
Have you road tested this setup yet?
Great pics of your mods, btw.
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Old 12-30-2009, 06:07 PM   #4
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Default Re: Outside storage on Sportsmobile Sprinter Short Chassis

Hi Mike,
In my post, I had mixed up `left' and `right' so the tire chains are close to the exhaust but without any plastic box.
The center boxes are `isolated' from exhaust by the flange of the hitch assembly.
You're right though, road heat could be an issue in the summer. Until then, I should look for 6"x10"x14" metal boxes.
I drove tested the setup and it did not appear to be any noise or motion of the boxes.
You can see the semi-rigid metal strips holding them in place. (they are attached to under body by self-drilling screws).
That is evidently the most critical aspect of the setup so suggestions for improvements are welcome but
I felt I had to do this because Sportsmobile conversion had no storage compartment accessible from outside like Roadtrek.
Similarly, Sportsmobile does not have the integrated macerator pump off the 3" outlet like RT.
I am grateful people have posted articles for that conversion.
Thanks for your interest.
I corrected my post with more details.
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Old 12-30-2009, 11:00 PM   #5
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Default Re: Outside storage on Sportsmobile Sprinter Short Chassis

Hi o,
I'm still impressed with the way you've used your below chassis space. Very
inventive. I guess a Thule roof "coffin" wasn't an option with the Sportsmobile
Penthouse option. It might have held some of the stuff you've relocated below
decks.
I might look for some sort of short "leash" for the boxes, like a safety chain
on a trailer hitch, in case the unthinkable happens and one comes loose. Metal
boxes might solve (or worsen) the heat issue if it happens, but may create
another if you're traveling anywhere where you might be searched. I don't know
how difficult it is to open them for inspection, but you might be asked to at border
crossings, and higher security landmarks, like the Hoover Dam for example.
How are the tire chains secured? I'd hate to run over a set of them at speed.
You must be somewhere out west as we've only seen tire chains recommended
for use in the mountains on our travels out there (CO/UT/AZ/CA). We love that
part of the continent, and have been out there 3 times in the last 15 months.
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Old 12-31-2009, 12:04 AM   #6
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Default Re: Outside storage on Sportsmobile Sprinter Short Chassis

Hi Steve,
The roof has 4 solar panels covering the whole surface.
One box holds the city fresh water hose and filter.
One box holds the electrical hookup cable.
One box holds tools
Another box is empty right now. I could put the macerator pump and 1" hose perhaps.

They are all 6"x10"x14" to fit just right in that space.
They are not heavy so detaching one of the semi-rigid metal strips is enough to slide them out but I do need to lie down to do it.
I will look for metal boxes--hopefully light ones and the` leash' is a solid idea indeed in case the unthinkable happens as you say.
The chains are the cable type so they are pushing against the walls around them and I have the same metal strips bolted and pushing against them preventing them from falling down.
In CA/AZ/NM/UT, we won't have to use chains too often but if you don't have them, they won't let you go through.
If you come by these parts, we can meet!
Best regards,
Olivier.
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Old 12-31-2009, 02:17 AM   #7
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Default Re: Outside storage on Sportsmobile Sprinter Short Chassis

I was thinking that metal boxes could be a bad idea, as they might turn into ovens
in the hotter weather, and roast your stuff. Unless you could find some made of aluminum
which would heat up, but would also cool quickly. The ones I see online are mostly
lockable which might also be a nice feature when you're on the road. Security.
About the tire chains, are they expensive, does one size fit all, and are they easy to install
and remove? I was thinking we should get some in case we do get out that way during the snowy
season. We tend to head west in the spring and fall, when there could be tire chain weather.
We've seen the signs and pull offs for trucks for installing chains in the mountains, but weren't
aware that non-commercial vehicles need them too. Makes sense I guess.
Where do you buy them?

Mike.
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Old 12-31-2009, 08:44 AM   #8
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Default Re: Outside storage on Sportsmobile Sprinter Short Chassis

Hi Steve,
Thanks for the idea of Aluminum boxes. I will look for them.
I got the presumably easier to install cable chains off that page:
http://www.tirechain.com/245-75R-16LT.htm
sold by:
http://brinkmansystems.com/78623.html
2021-TC Laclede Truck Cable Chains 202 1 $34.00 $34.00
1-TC S & H $13.50
Funny how price changes.

The State or Federal authorities can impose chain requirements in a split second in California--if somebody misbehaved and skidded
off the road, they feel like they have to punish everybody and ask people to either show or mount chains. If you don't, they'll
turn you away. The chains I bought for my wife's Honda Pilot at `AutoZone' cost me $90 (and not compatible with the Sprinter unfortunately) so the web was a good deal this time.
Thanks!
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Old 12-31-2009, 01:40 PM   #9
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Default Re: Outside storage on Sportsmobile Sprinter Short Chassis

Thanks for the chain links (npi ).
I had no idea there were so many types and styles. And variance in price.
Up here in Southern Ontario Canada, we used to allow studded snows, and I think chains, up until
about April 1971. The banned them because of the damage they did to the roads.
Better to have people slipping and sliding than to resurface every few years I guess.
The most we're allowed now is regular tread snow tires, no chains or studs. They're
optional so far, most people just use all season radials and (hopefully) slow down, but some
provinces have adopted mandatory snow tire laws requiring everyone to buy an extra set of
winter tires. I also think it's outrageous to force everyone to pay for the mistakes of a few, but
that's just my opinion. I've never used winter tires and I've never had a problem. Common
sense works better for me. We might have to get chains though, if we want to drive out there
in the winter months. We may head out that way in February or March again this year. Last
March we headed south to FL to see some spring training baseball, but didn't plan on the lay
off days in the Blue Jay schedule, and just decided to head out towards CA instead to see my
cousin in Los Angeles. If we're in the neighborhood, we could pm you, and meet up somewhere
out your way if you want.

Thanks for the chains info, never even considered it could be a problem,
Mike.
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Old 01-01-2010, 03:19 AM   #10
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Default Re: Outside storage on Sportsmobile Sprinter Short Chassis

Hi Steve,
Yes, chains are a big deal in California. I guess County and State instances have given up on fixing the roads so they figure the damage from chains doesn't matter but National Forest Rangers like to assert their power and have complete discretion about
when to close roads and who to let through.
Maybe the different approach in Canada with compulsory snow tire buying benefits some tire manufacturers.
Looking forward to meeting you.
Best regards,
Olivier.
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