144" High Roof European-style build

asimba2

ourkaravan.com
I recently added an LED projector setup to our Sprinter. The pull-down screen is permanently-mounted in the rear of the van. It didn't make sense to find a place to store it when I can mount it in a place where it's out of the way. I chose the rear of the van so the front swivel seats can be used for movie-viewing and the front half of the van (the kitchen area) is completely open for use while a movie is playing.

The other option would have been to hang the screen from the over-cab shelf, but then the cab area would have been closed off, and the galley area would not be usable while a video is playing. The projector mounts inside one of the factory dome light holes so-as to not put any new holes in the headliner. I also didn't want a projector hanging down from the ceiling when not in use.



We've been having fun kicking on the Espar and watching movies in our driveway during the lockdown. Our RIB bed is perfect for this since either end can recline to any position you desire.

We haven't gotten to enjoy this yet, the 120" outdoor screen. Looking forward to using this next spring/summer/fall.


I'm not sure who likes this more, myself or my kiddo.

-Ken
 

GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
Congratulation on new addition, you will like it.

I found a projector TV to be excellent for a van, our 35” screen with projector doesn’t take much room. We have one since 2015, it is permanently installed on the added ceiling 1” 80/20 rails, allowing me to slide both projector and the screen to the rear of the van.

LED light source in the projector cuts dramatically on energy use.

I am surprised that projector TVs are not more popular in B-class vans.
 

asimba2

ourkaravan.com
It took me a while before I was willing to spend the money on one...they have finally started coming down in price. I agree, it's a great way to go in a van.
 

asimba2

ourkaravan.com
Which projector did you picked and what is the power consumption?
I went with the Nebula Capsule series, which has an internal battery and storage. It runs for 3.5-4 hours between charges.

A lot of hackery went on to get this thing in without dropping the headliner, but despite that hackery it still has a clean appearance. So with a little trepidation presenting it to this forum, here is the video: https://tinyurl.com/ya65hukw
 

asimba2

ourkaravan.com
It took me three years and 32,000 miles to finally trash the stock Kumho tires. For being a true street-based tire, I'm really amazed where this van has taken us. There isn't once in the past three years that this van has kept us from going where we wanted to go traction-wise. (This van is 2WD.) This includes muddy Utah trails, blasting through deep snow drifts (where we were totally prepared to get stuck, but didn't), and up rutted trails where the only other vehicles we saw were Jeeps. We have turned around a lot due to the van's height though.

I was looking for a tire that was more all-terrain based, but nothing too aggressive. I'm hoping to not give up too much of the 600 mile range of the 4 cylinder diesel. I ended up deciding on the Yokohama Geolandar AT G015. They have great reviews, and are known for good build quality and not requiring a ton of wheel weights to balance them.



This is a good time to point out that the Plasti-dip on the wheels has held up phenomenal over the past three years. HOWEVER, they do not survive the wrath of the tire mounting machine or the wheel balancers. The plasti-dip was shredded off the entire perimeter of the wheel and they are marked-up pretty good where the wheel balancer contacts the face of the wheel. I was completely expecting it, and overall I have been surprised by the durability. But be aware they will need to be resprayed (with the tires mounted) after each tire mount/dismount.

Wheel face damage:


Outer wheel perimeter damage:


No biggie...given how much time I have into this van the six hours it will take to correct this is a drop in the bucket.

Here's my nerd-sheet on tires for anyone that is shopping.

 

PolySprinter

New member
Those Yokohamas are nice! I did a similar analysis last summer, and ended up upgrading an old set of baldies (original on my 2016 170WB used Cargo van) for the Toyo Open Country AT3 on your list. ...And treated myself to a wheel upgrade at the same time - 17"!
What a difference new rubber makes! Enjoy.
 

asimba2

ourkaravan.com
The AT3s are nice...I will likely put those on my Toyota 4Runner. I have a set of Cooper ST's on there now that I installed in 2013 and while there's lots of tread left I feel like the rubber is hardening. Time to put that supercharger to work and burn those babies down. :)
 

asimba2

ourkaravan.com
Good luck with your new tires. I am in the midst of replacing ours, leaning towards Michelin Agilis, most of my miles are on paved roads so we want them to be quiet. 2 questions:

  • Are you tires reasonably quiet on highways?
  • Did you replace TPMS sensors?
You can't really go wrong with Michelins. It's too early to give a full report on the tires but so far they are smooth, quiet (I've done some highway driving) and cornering feels better (likely the stiffer sidewalls). I can't comment much beyond that just yet.

I did replace the TPMS sensors. My van is four years old now, and I'm told the sensors usually last 7 years on the low end and an average of 8 years. Didn't want to risk having to replace them before the tires were done, nor do I want to deal with tams warning lights. I paid $45/sensor at America's Tire including programming.
 

asimba2

ourkaravan.com
Finally got a bike setup I'm happy with. I previously had a hitch rack, which only tilted down and thus had to be removed in order to get in the rear doors. I had to keep bike tires inside the van and of course my van was 3-feet longer with the rack in place.



I looked at Owl, and their stuff is nice no doubt, but their setup with two bike trays is $2.2k. This is $650. If you carry e-bikes the Owl is rated at 150 lbs where this is only 77lbs. But the Owl system is fixed, and always sticking a couple of feet off the back of the van....the Thule folds up. Both nice products, but this was a better fit for my needs (and my pocketbook).

I also looked at swinging hitchracks. Most are $650-$750 plus a $350 swing arm. And it's always there and needing to be swung away to access the rear doors whether you have bikes or not. I like that the Thule swings with the door, and my van can fit in the same size parking space whether I have bikes or not.



Shoutout to @mcrox for providing photos and information on the function of the rack. I was hesitant to pull the trigger due to lack of real world reviews, and he gave me the confidence this would work for us. I posted a full install video as well as an overview after using it for a month...click the YouTube link in my signature to find our channel. At the end of the video you'll note that people attach Thule ski racks to this, and I've seen photos where people have removed the wheel trays and added storage boxes. Nice to have that flexibility.
 

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