When up . . .
Top down . . .
The Penthouse Top is available separately. See Sportsmobile price sheets for cost. Installation normally requires only one day.
Note — Penthouse Top is only available for the Regular Body (RB) "low roof" Sprinter.
Sportsmobile conversion model shown in photos is the RB-150S.
For more info on this popular plan see RB-150S with Penthouse Top page
Add an awning for more living space. Cranks in or out in a minute. See Exterior Options for more information.
"Drives and handles great. Plus I average 22 miles per gallon."
Streamlines for fuel efficiency and good looks.
The Upstairs Bed Option
There's room for two in the upstairs loft. It's a fun and comfortable place to nap or enjoy a good night's sleep. The main bed section is made of the same soft and firm foam as Sportsmobile's seats/beds. The overall length of the bed is 6'4" with an overall width of 54". No closed-in feeling with a ceiling height of 30" and large windows that help provide an open feeling. A ladder is (O).
Like to read in bed? Two fluorescent lights provide plenty of soft light. There's even space for snacks and drinks. For privacy, opaque curtains roll up and down.
When the main bed section is attached to the ceiling, bedding can be left on top. You will still have a height of about 7'4". The foam pillow end has a removable 2" foam cushion. When the bed is attached to the ceiling, this space provides a convenient shelf.
This is our first expandable top from the early '60s. To raise it you climbed a ladder on the van's rear. As you wiggled in you raised the top until it locked in the up position. To lower you reversed the procedure. Yes, it took time and was a little "awkward."
The Penthouse easily raises up and down. If you include the electric top, simply
unlock the latches and push the switch. 12V motors do the rest.
What's the durability of the Penthouse? We really don't know. Since we introduced our third generation model in 1974, we have never replaced a part because of wear. The top itself is made of reinforced fiberglass with built-in wood stringers. Metal parts are all heavy duty construction. Counter-balancing tension and compression springs are over-engineered. This means they will never fatigue and lose their strength.
However, if you have an electric top (O) and you do not unlock the latches before you raise it, you will bend the elevating u-tubes. The 12V motors are powerful. If you do bend them, the u-tubes can be replaced by Sportsmobile.
Sidewall material is tough and weather resistant. Its convertible car-top vinyl-impregnated fabric exterior is easy to clean. The fabric interior is mildew and condensation resistant. Since it doesn't breath it helps hold heat out in summer and inside in the winter.
Insulation. Tempshield bubble foil, with a down R-Value of 14.9, is sandwiched between the fiberglass top shell and ceiling panels.
Leak? We built our leakers decades ago. The top is guaranteed not to leak under any weather conditions up or down. Should a leak ever develop, it would be very easy to fix.
Is the van roof cut-out reinforced? Yes. The front roof van rib over the cab and the rear rib are not removed. The sides and rear of the roof cut-out are framed with 14 gauge steel, bolted to the van roof. This heavy steel frame reinforces the roof, supports the optional bed, and is the base for the elevating assembly. Actually,
we feel the roof is stronger
after the Penthouse has
been installed. It easily
passed the FMVSS 216
roof crash test
Why is the "dual-U-tube" elevating assembly important? We feel this patented system is the model of simplicity, a straight forward means of making the top go up and down. Dual compression and tension springs working with the dual-U-tubes makes the raising/lowering of the top quick and easy. An electric top is optional.
Wind blowing? No need to lower the top unless it really gets strong.
Is is OK to stand on the top?
Yes! Up to a dozen or so people.
Solar Panels and Roof Racks are available.
Roof Crush Resistance Test FMVSS 216 (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards) — General Testing Laboratories conducted the Roof Crush Test on 07/02/2008. The Sprinter RB with Sportsmobile's Penthouse Top more than exceeded the test weight requirements.
Roof Weight — Mercedes-Benz allows a maximum added roof weight to the Sprinter of 660 pounds. The Penthouse Top installed adds about 345 pounds, a difference of 315 pounds.
Center of Gravity — With our RB-50 Conversion and the Penthouse Top, the center of gravity is 45.8", well below Mercedes-Benz specified 51.2" maximum.
Photo taken at start of test. A force of 11,042 pounds was applied. The Sprinter with Sportsmobile's top easily passed with minimal damage done to the top and Sprinter's roof.
Twillingate Campground, Newfoundland
"We purchased our Sprinter with a poptop in July 2008. Since then we have camped several times and put on 9,000 miles. The poptop is superb and very easy to put up manually. The bed in the poptop is big enough for our two young grandchildren. The poptop also gives a great deal of ventilation when we are camping in hot weather. We use the bed as storage when we are not camping with our grandchildren.
"We really like the rest of the interior. In our judgment the Sprinter is the perfect Class B for our usage. I drive it to work. Furthermore the diesel engine is superb and very quiet."
— Tim and Alice Creeks
"There is only one serious complaint that I have about my Penthouse Sprinter Sportsmobile that no one at your organization informed me about. I had no idea when I took delivery this summer that this problem would follow me everywhere I go.
"At nearly every campground, picnic area, fishing hole, coffee shop, market and yesterday at a red light, people constantly want to check out the van and ask a ton of questions. I have to give them the whole story about Sportsmobile and how great you are to work with, how you can design your own van, how happy we are with it . . . yadda, yadda, yadda . . . and so on.
"It is beginning to cut into my fishing time and really starting to tick me off! Please send some more postcards to hand out so I can get back to my fishing hole sooner.
"All kidding aside, we love our van and thanks for having such a great organization."
— Steve and Kit Parmer