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Sprinter RV's & Conversions Talk Common features found in Sprinter RV's and Conversions.


 
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Old 11-13-2014, 04:55 AM   #21
GeorgeRa
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Default Re: The Residential RV (aka The Perfect RV)

Merlin,

Interesting topic of the residential RVeing. It seems you are facing 2 steep learning curves, the camping one and the technical one. Perhaps getting some experience of camping in rented vehicles would help you to digest actual camping and help to understand the actual needs. For the technical one, I am basing my judgment on your view of the residential wiring, which would not work in any mobile application, just pay someone who knows.

Any camping is compose of two key phases, getting there and being there, unfortunately they tend to clash in driving a camping vehicle design, so pick the right one for you.

I have seen as many as 4 pullouts RVs, with as many pullouts what is the statistical probability that one will get stuck open in the middle of the desert, certainly higher than on the vehicle that has none. RV complexity has certainly more chances of disaster even with a ton of money you have.

In regards to picking a source of energy that is clean math and spreadsheet. I picked electrical and diesel energy, but see nothing wrong with LPG. In this case it is skinning a cat being still a life.

Good luck,

George.
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Old 11-13-2014, 01:50 PM   #22
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Default Re: The Residential RV (aka The Perfect RV)

We were told last spring at Advanced RV & Open House by Mercedes Benz that a major model change for Sprinters was slated for the 2019 model year. That is too far in the future to worry about or anticipate. They may have EV Sprinter models now in Europe but we have no infrastructure I am aware of for RVing in America traveling long distances often in remote area for an EV RV. So, it is something to dream about for me but ain't gonna happen soon as far as I can tell. Besides, I want to hit the road again this January not in 5 years.

GeorgeRa, I am pretty sure I can eliminate the propane. One of those small 5 lb. refillable containers or even the everywhere available 1 lb. throwaways could still be used for outdoor cooking with Coleman like grills. 5 lbs. would get us through a one to two month trip. Auxiliary engine alternators can take the place of Onan propane generators for battery charging. We only put 14 hours on our Onan generator over 65,000 miles in our GWVan Legend so know it could easily be eliminated with our routines. That was mostly 15 minute morning runs to brew coffee with our 110v coffee maker. Our goal is to stay off grid as much as possible. That gets you to more interesting places and campsites.

Two years ago we traveled to Alaska and back and saw every kind of RV on the highway from motorcycle camping setups to big Class As and long, long trailers. For go anywhere, fit anywhere flexibility and comfort combined I don't know how you could beat a Class B. I wouldn't want to do that even in a Class B+ (really a C) on a cutaway chassis. In the lower 48, there is a 24 foot limit for many of the national forest campsites especially where I live in the upper Midwest. We will be right at the maximum on that. A 26 foot Class B+ would get you rejected at Natural Bridges NM campground in Utah for instance. Standard parallel parking on streets are generally 24-26 foot markings. A van will just fit length and width wise. A Class B+ or C would project out dangerously into the street in most parallel parking situations. I am a little concerned about pull in parking. Those stalls generally can accommodate up to 22 feet more commonly 20 feet. Backing in with overhang can work. Straight in is difficult. Small town downtown slant in stalls are generally long enough. They were probably originally designed to accommodate the farmers. Width would be a problem for even the shortest Class B+ (C.) Anyway, I have over 130,000 miles of RV travel across the US and Canada and have developed a feel of what is possible. Since I am sticking with a small RV I want as much flexibility as I can get with as much comfort as I can get. 22 foot x 7 foot RV is a practical maximum. I am pushing it going to 24 feet as I know there are now some situations I will have in the go anywhere philosophy. Pushing 26 foot x 8 foot for a Class B+ (C) is a big jump in size. The first words out of my wife's mouth when we first looked at the small Class Cs was, "We would have to pull a toad." Well, she said car at the time. ;)

We are too early in our planning with building our third Class B Sprinter for the 4x4 coming out after the first of the year. We decided not to wait. We probably would not encounter all that many situations where we wished we had one. However, if they were available in our time schedule I think I would have opted for one. I am a little leery about driving out on a hard packed sand beach for camping with a Sprinter. That is probably the situation I would lament without the 4x4. Otherwise I would not want to drive places that would shake the beejeezes out of our van so would never attempt any off-roading.
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Old 11-13-2014, 01:51 PM   #23
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Merlin - you are amazing!


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Old 11-13-2014, 02:25 PM   #24
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Default Re: The Residential RV (aka The Perfect RV)

Merlin

You are entertaining. Fun to read your viewpoints. Highly recommend you rent several different RV's and take trips with them to the type of areas you would like to visit. From that experience you will be able to refine your "perfect" design. We rented a 144" WB Sprinter in New Zealand for three weeks. The result was a list of things that worked well and a more important list of what did not work. Then I designed our conversion with that information.

One thing that is very apparent reading these posts is everyone has a different idea of what suits their travel style. Yours will certainly be different than mine. I would not want some of the things you believe are important to you. We are all different.

It is apparent that what you want is not what a large majority of people want in their van. Stop trying to convince us that we are dinosaurs or stupid. That does not make what you want wrong, just not suitable for other folks.

Since you seem to be an aggressive make something happen person, why not take that energy and build your own conversion exactly how you want it. You would find that to be an interesting undertaking. If you do not have the time or skills hire someone to do it. I will say that after you have completed the vehicle and used it, you will find changes that would have made it better. Simple solution is sell the first and do the same process over again.
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Old 11-13-2014, 02:53 PM   #25
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Default Re: The Residential RV (aka The Perfect RV)

A 40' shipping container with a full side pullout would yield close to 575 square feet. My 2br 1ba rental house is a little over 700 sqft. I think you could make a nice 1br residential with this configuration. Obviously you need a tow vehicle to get around, because you don't want to trust the valet with your $150k Freightliner.
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Old 11-13-2014, 02:54 PM   #26
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- Residential size bedroom ~= 30’ by 25’?
- Residential size bathroom ~= 15’ by 15’?
- Residential size kitchen and galley ~= 25’ by 25’?
- Residential size dining room ~= 30’ by 30’?

Ambiguity (phrases such as “Residential size”) in requirements is one of the main reasons projects fail.

Here’s your “RV”.

http://www.treehugger.com/tiny-house...-shelters.html
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Old 11-13-2014, 03:33 PM   #27
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Default Re: The Residential RV (aka The Perfect RV)

Quote:
Originally Posted by MerlinTheTraderRVer View Post
You my friend are a close minded person. You do not see the 26' CH RV that contains ALL those 4 sections, you seem to be like old guys who just don't want to evolve "it just works so lets stick to it".

Not interested to talk to you, please stay out of this thread.

Merlin



“You’re close minded.”

Closely followed by:

“My thread is close minded, so please don’t offer any discussion that differs from my point of view.”


Oh, the irony.



(I believe you're also a fan of the "laughing in your face" emoticons, so I'll add one here to show you that I can totally relate to your style of debate)

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Old 11-13-2014, 03:34 PM   #28
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Default Re: The Residential RV (aka The Perfect RV)

Merlin, Thanks for the entertainment! It is always fun to listen to non-experts talk about their desires in a product. There is nothing wrong with that, as these expectations help to drive invention, and product design in general. However, it is really difficult to appreciate the level of design challenge a full featured RV poses until you attempt it yourself. What do you mean, "I can't take a 40 minute shower every day?!"

As a bit of a reality check I ran some quick numbers for an off-grid electrical system (solar only).

Here are some really rough figures. The average household energy consumption (in the US) in 2012 was around 30kW/Hrs a day. If you intend to have a similar lifestyle in an RV one could expect around 15-7kW/Hrs a day consumption.
To meet this demand an RV running on pure solar would need a minimum of 1900-800 watts of solar panels and a battery bank around 1000-400AH@12v for 15-7kW/Hrs respectively. This would put you around 700lbs of lead-acid batteries, and 12 square meters of solar panels.

It would be impossible to fit 1900 watts of solar onto a class B roof (with current panel technologies). And 700lbs of lead acid batteries will significantly cut into your load capacity on most class Bs. The lower end of the requirements I just listed is much more reasonable, but requires some serious trimming of consumption.

When confronted with the reality of current technology, it becomes obvious why most RVs go one of three directions.
  1. Compromise: Reduce consumption, no hair dryer, electric toaster, coffee maker or electric heat.
  2. Find another source: Propane/diesel for heat and water. Generators or hookups in RV parks and campgrounds.
  3. Compromise between lifestyle and available technology.


I am going with option 3: Heavily reduced consumption, No rooftop AC, diesel heat and water. However, I want to use an induction cooktop (no propane) and a number of electronic devices. So I will pay the price with a 500AH battery bank, large inverter and 450 watts of solar (the absolute maximum I can fit on my 140” van).

As for your space requirements, why don’t you try creating a class B layout that has all of your requirements? Maybe you will come up with something truly revolutionary? I suspect you will come across the same limits and difficulties as the rest of us.
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Old 11-13-2014, 03:47 PM   #29
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Default Re: The Residential RV (aka The Perfect RV)

You guys are mean. I like Merlin's quest. I worked hard and took my inverter apart to fit it in under the passenger seat with two batteries, because that is what I wanted. Now I have a 1000W inverter. Then I downsized my tools, buying 10A saws so that they won't blow the fuse. I've designed for years now, trying to imagine the perfect removable stuff so that I can swap between RV and work truck. Great hobby, wife has moved on. She prefers the platinum card camping, and last summer's trip was fun!
I have a friend that wanted to RV/work. Traveling to an area and staying for six months or so. He came up with a class A and a trailer. The trailer was his office. A Mini Cooper fit in the trailer for travel.
It gave me ideas on how to use a trailer and RV to make two sides of a living space. Great on paper, what camp site would allow it?
All that research and thought went to waste? Nope. I have designed and built an apartment complex of 300 and 500 sq ft units. Electric usage had limits, gas flow had limits, zoning and building requirements. Since it wasn't new construction, we had to limit to current gas lines and power amperage. On demand water heaters could not be achieved for all units.
In a 300 sq ft apartment, we have heat/AC. Dishwasher, full sized stove, Clothes washer/dryer (RV style ventless 120v single unit), handicap access. Microwave. LED lighting. Fire suppression systems. Easy cable access by removing the stair treads. Individual water meters and shutoffs.
And I used my sprinter and dump trailer to deliver and haul away most all of the stuff.
So let Merlin dream. There are always Ultra-capacitors. He might come up with something useful. Nothing like going on that first RV trip, full and overloaded, only to find we didn't use half of the stuff. Or the time we showed up at the campsite to meet a bunch of friends, we had a fridge full of ice cream. The fridge blew and fuse and we used that as the excuse to eat it all up tonight! (Bigfoot buried the fuse behind a wall panel. If you knew where it was, it would only take you a half hour to access.) Or having the generator that only had 8 hours on it in ten years of use.
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Old 11-13-2014, 07:05 PM   #30
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Default Re: The Residential RV (aka The Perfect RV)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graphite Dave View Post
One thing that is very apparent reading these posts is everyone has a different idea of what suits their travel style. Yours will certainly be different than mine. I would not want some of the things you believe are important to you. We are all different.

It is apparent that what you want is not what a large majority of people want in their van. Stop trying to convince us that we are dinosaurs or stupid. That does not make what you want wrong, just not suitable for other folks.
First of all, I NEVER told anyone to do it MY WAY. The little arguments that are going on here are mostly defending MY side because I don't fit the rank like a good white sheep should which I will NEVER do btw.

I want ALL 4 big residential sections in my RV and I will NOT SETTLE FOR LESS no matter what people will say or throw at me. Shrinking your bed in half just because the you want a big dining room is ridicule, maybe not in 1970 where the hippies were 20 in the same VW Bus but not in 2015.

Just talked to Steve from Coach House and if I ship them a Canadian MB Sprinter Chassis, they would agree to do the conversion and THEY have the floor plan to have ALL 4 big sections in their Sprinter RV so I will do it whatever crap I get from anyone here.

It's not about you and forcing you to do this or buy that, it's about MY research, MY RV and the ones my friends want.

In fact I'm a little disappointed with many of you guys here. Many of you are Americans right? What happened to you guys? You are supposed to be rooting for guys like me who don't settle for what the big corporations are offering us, to stand up and not quit your dreams, to go for the moon if you want to and put you mind to it.

Why all this "...you are a dreamer, it won't work, time to wake up Merlin, come back to Earth, etc..." Did Obama disillusioned you all or what, I don't recognize my pumped up neighbors here.

YOU KNOW that everything is possible and I have the balls (an a bit of insanity maybe) to go for the perfect RV, why bring me down? I would not bring you down if you told me a crazy dream. I might laugh a bit but I would cheer you up, tell you to NEVER QUIT GOING FOR YOUR DREAMS no matter how crazy they are.

Anyway, maybe I'm on the wrong RV forum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graphite Dave View Post
I will say that after you have completed the vehicle and used it, you will find changes that would have made it better. Simple solution is sell the first and do the same process over again.
Yeah so, you sell it and buy a new one the next year. It must be fun to get a new model every 2-3 years. The Sprinter RV world is booming these past 2-3 years. Especially the B+ (Widebody) RV category.

Merlin

Last edited by MerlinTheTraderRVer; 11-13-2014 at 07:18 PM.
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