Is Advanced-RV now offering the shorter 2500 Sprinter 144" wheelbase?

Davydd

Well-known member
My Sprinter 144 WB 2500 Silver Metallic has been delivered and waiting for conversion. It is not a 4 x 4. Windows all around but the driver's side quarter panel is filled with a tall closet and bathroom so will be filled in and a glass fake window will cover it. MB delivers to ARV with the window openings cut out and ARV uses something like CR Lawrence. The label taped to the cab door has our name on it. ;)

The wheels will be replaced with aluminum in an effort to keep the GVWR down if we have to. I don't mind the stock black after seeing this. We are overweight in our design.

A 4x4 adds about 300 lbs. as I understand it in the weight of the vehicle and the conversion still has to be under 7,400 lbs. delivered. So, I desire to put the pounds elsewhere. I don't need a 4x4 but I will explore, if I feel I need to, lifting the van so the nerf bar addition clears a 6" curb.

I have designed 844ah of Valence lithium batteries configured in a single row of six to fit under our beds. The Gayle video shows them as a block of 2 rows of 3. They are drop ins (group 27 profile) but treated as one battery in ARV's design. If I have to save more weight I could consider 4 batteries at 576ah. The Isotherm refrigerator takes less energy consumption than my present Novakool and the Houghton air conditioner saves 20% of our present Mach 8. I'm not sure I want to give up air conditioning as Gayle did (see video) even though we rarely run it and never overnight in 15 years of Class B vans.

I've reduced the refrigerator to an Isotherm Freeline 115 EL: Volume (CF): 4 (fridge: 2.9 + freezer 1.1) from our previously planned Novakool 6800. The freezer still holds 4 frozen pizzas or a quart of ice cream. Those kind of items I don't want to give up on the road. :)

In our video mocking up the bunk beds we said a Super Single wheel configuration for the narrower wheel wells. Though the gross weight goes up to 9,990 lbs. the build as delivered still has to stay under 7,400 lbs. and the wheels and suspension add to the delivered weight so less conversion weight. Doesn't make much sense but that is what I understand. We don't need more gross weight as we probably can only utilize half of the 1,650 lbs. (9,050 - 7,400 = 1,650) allowed and we are not ever going to tow. A bathroom vanity is going to be built atop of the wheel well. A dually configuration would just create a deeper vanity I don't need and cut down on the rest of the bathroom floor plan.

It is my understanding that ARV cannot build over 7,400 lbs. and maintain it's Master Upfitter status with MB. Once I take possession, I as the owner, can add more improvements but still cannot or should not exceed 9,050 lbs. meaning water, equipment, ourselves, clothes, groceries, beer, etc. I rough inventoried what we add to our current extended van and could not reach 800 lbs. The new van is designed to only be able to haul the two of us. It has been an interesting exercise in designing a van.

3:4 View.jpg
 

RVBarry

Well-known member
and the Houghton air conditioner saves 20% of our present Mach 8
Hi, where are you sourcing the A/C? I don't see any vendors outside of Oz.
Is it the Houghton Belaire HB2400?

Fwiw, many roooftop A/C are more efficient than the Mach 8 Polar Cub, but all the ones I'd seen are at least 10" tall.

Thanks
 

Boxster1971

2012 Sprinter 3500 Ext
Hi, where are you sourcing the A/C? I don't see any vendors outside of Oz. . .
Advanced RV is a USA distributor of the Houghton A/C units. They have a subsidiary called “Upfitters Resource” that sells and installs this A/C and other accessories.

 

Boxster1971

2012 Sprinter 3500 Ext
My Sprinter 144 WB 2500 Silver Metallic has been delivered and waiting for conversion. It is not a 4 x 4. Windows all around but the driver's side quarter panel is filled with a tall closet and bathroom so will be filled in and a glass fake window will cover it. MB delivers to ARV with the window openings cut out and ARV uses something like CR Lawrence. The label taped to the cab door has our name on it. ;)
Congratulation David! It has been a long wait to get your van. Looking forward to see the final build.

- - Mike
 

GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
Congratulation, fun begins.

If you run into weight reduction needs, I would suggest to evaluate 80/20 or even welded aluminum frame for your bunk bed. 80/20 could be finished with ¼” ply and strips of wood in finish and color to match your overall décor. I don’t have numbers but it should be an easy exercise, 1515ULS could be best candidate. 4 vertical post and beds mounted using anchor fasteners. 4 floor attachment points and a few wall bracket for additional strenght. All can be cut and machined at the factory. For bunk bed platforms 3/8” to 1/2” sheets of Versatile or Tough-Lite SpaceAge Synthetics could be used. I used it on the floor, it is an amazing material with final finish of your choice. For weight savings and additional insulation you could use it on the floor. http://www.spaceagesynthetics.com/pdf/Product Line - Imperial.pdf
 

Davydd

Well-known member
GeorgeRa,

I think the cabinet shop at ARV is probably the best of all the commercial upfitters. I have to trust their judgments on this. With the way they build cabinets solid wood is their style and with the many radius corners they have used mostly laminate finishes though they have built solid wood finish. I don't have their typical radius corners in my design so I hope that will help with optional build freedom. With laminates they have used some light weight composite boards. Whether they have dabbled in 80/20 I don't know but they are familiar with it.

That "Gayle" ARV RV is a 2500 144 chassis they had to design under 7,400 lbs. Maybe they have learned something there

I have a line item bill of materials with weights both estimated and actual. I was 510 lbs. over but I have reduced that somewhat already in design. They have been working on other ideas they say. The cabinets are an opportunity. The beds are not going to be a plywood platform. I suggested (requested) something like IKEA slat beds which are much lighter and could set into an 80/20 frame. The most weight is the mattress itself and maybe reducing the thickness with the slat supports can save weight.

I think my problem is I have packed a lot in to a shorty van with a vertical strategy in design. But I have achieved "less is more" in getting almost all the storage and amenities in a 5 ft. shorter van that I have now without resorting to an either/or design for transitional spaces. I have a more spacious wet bathroom than any B van I am aware of with a 31" x 38" layout.

Mies 144 3D - 7-4-20 Plan View~.jpeg
 

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FLtoAK

New member
Congratulations David on receipt of your van and also your design. I just read on another thread that you were the innovator behind their electric sofa. Quite impressed. Since you seem have been working with ARV for some time, and working on a 144 build, I am wondering if they have ever worked with or considered something like the Lippert Project 2000 electric bed that raises to the ceiling when not in use?
 

Davydd

Well-known member
Much of their innovation comes from customer ideas and request as did my electric articulating beds. When they do something they seek the best products available. All you have to do is ask.

BTW, my beds are not a sofa. Electric sofas into beds is an innovation that goes back 15+ years in Class Bs. My twin beds adapted hospital bed technology which had been recently installed more and more in luxury home beds. There are five sections foot, leg, hips, back and head with infinite adjustment close to a zero-gravity lounger or Lazy-boy but lies absolutely flat for sleeping.

One of their latest bed innovation is a bed that adjust side to side or front to back independent of the van's level so the bed can be absolutely level. I believe that was a customer driven idea or request.
 

FLtoAK

New member
Davydd, few questions about your vehicle configuration. Is it diesel? If not, will you still have the second alternator option? I assume so given your battery capacity. And, did you change the refrigerator due to weight consideration? I would like to avoid diesel and the dually wheels but would still want the second alternator. Hope that is possible.
 

Davydd

Well-known member
All Sprinters are diesels right now that can be converted in the US in a practical manner. So yes. There is a Sprinter 4 cylinder gas engine but I don't know if it is available right now and ARV says not practical anyway. Yes to the second alternator. That is pretty much a standard for ARV since they only built one Class B with an Onan generator or propane in 8 years I know about. I'm pushing the envelope on a 2500 non-dually. We are not sure we can make weight as designed right now as I am pushing nearly as much in a 5 ft. shorter van as I can coming down from an extended body 3500 dually Sprinter. The van has to be nearly a ton lighter delivered.

I could simplify our design easily but the challenge is "Less is more." I don't want to sacrifice too much coming down from an extended body and the challenge is having the functionality I currently have without the either/or arrangements of converting functions or spartan living like a pull-out toilet in a living space. If I can't build this design then I have a perfectly functioning van already.
 

FLtoAK

New member
Thanks. It is going to be interesting for me to see what you decide and how. Would you get your deposit back if you back out? Would you consider a Promaster? It has higher payload capacity, optional 220A alternator, longest model is 20'10" long and has least overall height.
Additionally, if you decide to add items after delivery from ARV would there be issues with warranty/insurance? My design is also becoming cabinet & appliance heavy and I am sure it will be a challenge to build it with a 2500.
 

RVBarry

Well-known member
All Sprinters are diesels right now that can be converted in the US in a practical manner. So yes. There is a Sprinter 4 cylinder gas engine but I don't know if it is available right now and ARV says not practical anyway.
Hi, the gas 4cyl 2500 has a higher payload than the diesel, and same GVWR.
I don't think I've seen acceleration figures for either engine.
 

avanti

2014 GWV Legend 3500 I4
Hi, the gas 4cyl 2500 has a higher payload than the diesel, and same GVWR.
I don't think I've seen acceleration figures for either engine.
That's what I was thinking.
IIRC, ARV was initially unenthusiastic about the 2.1L I4 diesel as well. They have their opinions.

In the unlikely event I ever get another MB van, it would most certainly not be a BlueTec diesel.
 
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Davydd

Well-known member
Soon, maybe today, Mies - "Less is more" my 144 Sprinter will be getting underway to be built. My first sketches were in February, 2019. At the 39 minute mark in the ARV B-Box video I had a brief cameo flashback appearance showing a floor plan. That was in May, 2019. Hopefully it will all come together after the Mercedes Benz stumbling start up in South Carolina, government certification delays, and then the COVID crisis upsetting delivery and schedules. I may be going to Disney World. :D
 

Davydd

Well-known member
Mies has been underway two weeks now. Mostly in pre-cab in putting in insulation, windows, cutting holes in the roof for skylights, exhaust fan and air conditioner. Yes, it's real!
 

Davydd

Well-known member
I assume I succeeded. They are working on it. :) B-Box is a recent development and I have had the Class B in the works for 1-1/2 years. What I have seen so far of the B-Box it doesn't meet my criteria and desires.
 

FLtoAK

New member
Hi David, hope your build is coming along well. Or have you taken a delivery? Would certainly enjoy an update. I am looking at bunk beds in my design and wondering what thickness you are using for the mattresses and what kind of headroom are you getting above each bunk. Would also like to know what you are using for your mattress - foam or something else, composition etc. Thanks in advance.
 

Davydd

Well-known member
Mies is still being built. The bunk beds will have 5" mattresses on wood slats. The 5" consist of 3" high density latex and 2" of memory foam similar to what we have in Alvar. Slats I hope will be a plus over solid plywood we have in Alvar. The top bunk will be 50" off the floor and will have 26" clearance from the ceiling. The bottom bunk will also have 26" clearance from the upper bunk. The beds will be 74" long. They could be longer but that's what we need. The lower bed mattress is 29-1/2" wide and the upper mattress is 28". Both are more than Alvar's articulating beds in width so will be comfortable. Half a king size bed is 30" and a canvas army cot is 26" with hard side rails for comparison.

Mies 3D Perspective Plan 12-5-2020.jpg
 

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