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


 
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Old 11-12-2014, 09:58 PM   #1
MerlinTheTraderRVer
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Default The Residential RV (aka The Perfect RV)

6 months ago, I didn't know anything about RVs, never been in one, never driven one, never even went camping, what can I say, I was a city guy busy at doing ONE THING : Getting my financial independence. Now that this is done and even bringing some friends with me too, we are all learning about RV and we are learning FAST, maybe too fast.

Dean told me that he was impressed at how much I learned, maybe this was a joke maybe not but I told him "That's right but THAT SHOULD NOT BE HAPPENING" because I took for granted that the RVs sold today had all that we have in our residential home but it turns out they don't. So I had to dig for answers and that's why I learned so much, it's because the RVs sold today are not at the "Residential Level" at least not yet.

To understand what I'm saying here, let me tell you about my friend Sebastian who is just 30 and got married last year. His wife and him told me to ask Dean about adding an induction cooktop to their RV instead of the propane burner and then I went "Oh boy " here we go again.

I had to tell him that to get that appliance, you would have to add MANY different components to the RV like a bigger inverter since the cooktop, at 1,500+ Watts, it will go way above the 600 watts the present Unity inverter can go to and that will make the inverter breaker pop or make the generator run (which we try to avoid at almost all cost here).

If you want to avoid using propane and have an induction cooktop (like we find in the Roadteck E-trek), you will need at least 300+ Watt (500 if you can) of solar panels, a bigger inverter (around 3,000W), residential grade electrical wires and additional batteries to store all that energy needed for the cooktop.

He didn't know (same for me) that RVs sold today were so far away from having residential appliances and electrical components. You couldn't even use a hair dryer without overloading the present electrical system that comes in most RVs today.

So you see, he had to learn about all this just to add a lousy induction cooktop plate to his new RV. That's not normal.

But that's not all. After he told me "well, ok then, let's add all those components" I told him about... yep, you guessed it....the infamous GVWR max weight.

On top of that we had to learn about the different Classes of RV (B is not a B+, etc...) because for us, all we knew about RVs were the huge big buss like RVs (Class A) and the famous Class C Winnebago but didn't want to go with those because they are gas guzzlers so we looked at the MB Sprinter Class B and B+.

Let's take a closer look at those Class B and B+ RVs here...

Again the main goal is to have in our RV all the BIG 5 sections that we have a regular residential home.

- Big bedroom
- Big bathroom
- Big kitchen and galley
- Big dining room
- Big living room

In RVs, if you don't go with a Class A, you can kiss good bye the Big living room which is now replaced with the dining room that covers both.

So in a Class B RV, we now have to look our for those BIG 4 sections.

- Residential size bedroom
- Residential size bathroom
- Residential size kitchen and galley
- Residential size dining room

Right from the start, if you look at Class B (LTV's Free Spirit, Roadtrek e-trek, Airstream interstate, etc) you can see right away that you will NEVER have all those 4 big sections.

You will either have a very small bed (folding sofa bed) in the back or a closet size bathroom with the shower, the toilet bowl and the sink ALL in that closet size space and if you decide to go with the Free Spirit SS with the Murphy Bed, when the bed is down, there is no Dining room space left and you will need to extend the slide out everytime you sleep.

So right there, if your goal is to have a RV that has residential size sections, the 20 footer Class B RV cannot deliver. If you want a bigger or more luxurious camper van then you will love those Class B but as for us, we have to continue our search for the perfect Residential RV.

In 2012 LTV had this Regency 29GT model...



Basically, it has ALL the BIG 4 sections (without the electrical components though) that we find in a residential house.

So at least now we know that we don't need to have a 42 footer RV to have all those BIG 4 sections but 29 feet is still a bit long here. So the perfect "Residential RV" would be somewhere between the small 20 foot Class B and the large Class B+ like the 29GT here.

And now comes in the B+ RV...

With the B+ (Widebody Class B), we can separate the shower from the bathroom and therefore have a small but residential size bathroom. We can also have in the back an island bed or twin beds giving us a residential size bedroom. We will find a small but big enough kitchen galley to cook and with a slide out, we can also have a fairly big enough dinette.

But here's the problem...

All these 4 sections are there in the 4 floor plans of the Unity but you will NOT find them ALL 4 in THE SAME RV.

With the 24CB Corner Bed, you have these 3 residential size sections...

- Residential size bathroom
- Residential size kitchen and galley
- Residential size dining room

However, if you look at the bedroom, you will not find a residential size one. It will be a small bed put in the back corner of the RV.

With the 24IB (Island Bed) or 24TB (Twin Beds) you will find these 3 residential size sections...

- Residential size bathroom
- Residential size kitchen and galley
- Residential size bedroom

However, if you look at the dining room, you will find a small table with 1 seat on each side of it.

With the 24MB (Murphy Bed), you get all 4 BIG sections but NEVER at the same time. The residential size dinette/U-Lounge has to go to bring the residential size bed down.

So once again, we know that the perfect "Resdential size RV" is between 24 and 29 feet. 29 being a bit too long and 24 seems to be too short to get all 4 residential size sections in the SAME RV.

The perfect size here seem to be 26 ft like the RV from Coach House who managed to fit ALL those Big 4 Sections IN THE SAME RV (Model 241 XL) EVEN on a MB chassis that has no slide out (Model 240) to save an extra 350 lb and give you enough "weight room" to add 5 super thin flexible solar panels on the roof, replace the 1,000W with a 3,000W pure sine wave inverter, 2 or 4 additional batteries, an induction cooktop and then some and still be under the 11,030 GVWR weight.

You can see the big Queen Bed in the back and half of the Dinette on this pic... Btw, this is the one WITH the slide out and despite the extra weight, they still manage to get approved by MB and go under the 11,030 GVWR.

http://www.coachhouserv.com/img-cont...-cmyk-8523.jpg

The other half here...

http://www.coachhouserv.com/img-cont..._8601-cmyk.jpg

The extra 14 inches they have longer then LTV Unitys is hardly visible here...

http://www.coachhouserv.com/img-cont...-cmyk_8611.jpg

Sadly for us though, being about 25 miles North of this stupid line drawn in the sand called The US/CAN Border, we cannot buy their RV according to Coach House VP.

However, this little research was interesting because in about 6 months or so, we found out a lot about RVing and what to buy to upgrade them to have the same lifestyle that we have in our residential home where we just buy any appliances we want and not worry about a small 600W inverter that will trip the breaker or see it transfer the load to the noisy gas guzzling generator.

In regular houses, we usually have a 6,000 Watt inverter so whatever we plug in, it will work WITHOUT the need to go outside and plug in a generator. This is where the RV industry is going.

According to Dean, we are about 5 years away form this level of RV where RV manufacturers will produce them in mass.

We can however dump a big load of $$ on those manufacturer's desk and get most of them to upgrade them but it will cost us an arm and a leg. We might go this road or outsource the work and looking at the major threads on the first 2-3 pages of this forum wanting to go solar and having this induction cooktop appliance, we are not alone.

Thanks for taking the time to read about our Quest #1 here (Having a residential RV).

Cheers,

Merlin
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Old 11-12-2014, 11:18 PM   #2
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Default Re: The Residential RV (aka The Perfect RV)

Maybe Prevost will build you and your buddies a short bus...
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Old 11-12-2014, 11:20 PM   #3
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Default Re: The Residential RV (aka The Perfect RV)

I really think that the Perfect RV is an elusive concept... If something really revolutionary come to existence in a near future , ill gladly sell mine and upgrade! I kinda doubt it if i refer to the last 15 years of small C...
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Old 11-12-2014, 11:33 PM   #4
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Default Re: The Residential RV (aka The Perfect RV)

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Originally Posted by Custommm View Post
I really think that the Perfect RV is an elusive concept... If something really revolutionary come to existence in a near future , ill gladly sell mine and upgrade! I kinda doubt it if i refer to the last 15 years of small C...
You are right about the "Perfect RV" because everybody doesn't want the same thing but this article was about the Perfect RV...FOR US and this meant having a RV that has Residential features.

When you go to the hardware store to buy a heavy duty tool, you don't stop and think about whether your house electrical wiring system will be able to handle or not the load, you just buy it, plug it in and VOILA, case closed, it works and your invisible 5,000+ inverter will make it run.

In fact, call me stupid if you want, but I didn't even know that a regular house had an inverter in it.

Now the RV veteran here will be quick to reply and say "just turn on the generator you dummy" but that's the whole point of this 1st Quest which is to NOT use any petroleum products on the house side.

When I first talked about this on another forum, some laughed at me thinking that this was impossible to do but then with more research, I found this...

The Roadtrek E-trek is an all electric RV, not one ounce of propane here, no generator either. Just solar panels, tons of batteries and an induction cooktop on the kitchen counter and lots of energy to plug outside cooking appliance like they do here...





So for us, this "Perfect RV" would be to have it so that our house on wheels would be EXACTLY this, a real house with wheel including all the electrical features that regular houses have.

Merlin

Last edited by MerlinTheTraderRVer; 11-12-2014 at 11:44 PM.
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Old 11-12-2014, 11:34 PM   #5
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Default Re: The Residential RV (aka The Perfect RV)

Maybe the perfect RV is a Platinum card. Go wherever you want without dragging your home like a snail drags it's shell, rent whatever vehicle is best suited to your needs that week.
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Old 11-12-2014, 11:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: The Residential RV (aka The Perfect RV)

Instead of posting here about the "perfect RV", I would suggest that you put your money where your mouth is and commission Timeless Travel in Wheatridge CO to build your MB based RV. And, don't forget to have a smoke machine installed above the mirrors.
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Old 11-13-2014, 12:09 AM   #7
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Default Re: The Residential RV (aka The Perfect RV)

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Instead of posting here about the "perfect RV", I would suggest that you put your money where your mouth is and commission Timeless Travel in Wheatridge CO to build your MB based RV. And, don't forget to have a smoke machine installed above the mirrors.
Colorado is still in the US and according to Steve from Coach House, I would run into troubles taking a Canadian MB chassis and modify it in the USA or buying one in the US and bringing it in Canada. I would screw up my guaranties and so forth (see email below).

Right now, I will stick with LTV because they are in Canada. Sure it will suck to go with the TB and get a small dining room but I can live with that. Maybe they will get it in the years to come and go the 26 footer route like Coach House did. If they are afraid of going overboard the GVWR then they can always do like CH and their 240 model and go without any slide out.

CH seems to be very high quality so is Pleasure Ways and if these guys have 100s of lb of OCCC left on their MB Spritner, maybe LTV needs to put their Unitys on a diet here.

Below is Steve, VP at Coach House, he replied this...

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Dear Richard:

Thank you for your interest in our Platinum II Motor Homes. Unfortunately we are not able to sell the USA version of the Mercedes Sprinter chassis into Canada. This is a Mercedes issue. We can purchase Canadian based chassis and release them through an approved vendor but only with a minimum of 12 units. We do some customization and modifications but would need a substantial order in doing so. Thank you again.

Sincerely,

Steve Gerzeny
Vice President
Coach House, Inc.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Merlin
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Old 11-13-2014, 12:21 AM   #8
Don Horner
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Default Re: The Residential RV (aka The Perfect RV)

I thought "RV" stood for Recreational Vehicle, not Residential Vehicle. Recreational suits me just fine, along with the hundreds of thousands who also buy and enjoy them.

You can't fit a house into a 24', or even 26' X 8' vehicle that also has to accommodate driver, passenger and motive power. That's like wanting to fit a houseboat into a runabout. Why try? They serve different purposes.

You stated that six months ago you knew nothing about RVs -- I think the problem is you still don't. You're trying to turn them into something they were never designed or intended to be. Wanting to stuff all that residential stuff into a recreational vehicle is like wanting to bring an induction range on a hiking trip.
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Old 11-13-2014, 12:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
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I t
You stated that six months ago you knew nothing about RVs -- I think the problem is you still don't. You're trying to turn them into something they were never designed or intended to be. Wanting to stuff all that residential stuff into a recreational vehicle is like wanting to bring an induction range on a hiking trip.
You nailed it. He is just delusional
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Old 11-13-2014, 12:28 AM   #10
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Default Re: The Residential RV (aka The Perfect RV)

If you don't have any RVing experience you have no idea what a perfect RV is. First, you have to know why you want an RV and how you intend to use it. That's why there are Class B, Class C and Class A motorhomes; trailers, 5th wheelers, truck campers, tear drops and tents. They all have their pros and cons for being perfect -- for you.

I've gone through 40 years of tent camping, an Airstream trailer and two Class B motorhomes and I am now in the process of having my third Class B being built almost exactly to what I want and not what is offered by so very few converters that compete with each other so closely that there is not much difference. I have nearly a decade of experience traveling in a Class B and pretty much know what I want to accomplish and that is to tour, go anywhere and be able to get to the most remote places. I can tell you right off your ideal of 26 feet will not get you into my favorite spots I have found over the years. One goal I had was to never have to depend on plugging into shore power and still have 100% use of everything electrical including that induction cooktop (and coffee maker and microwave, and all the 110v outlets to use a hair dryer). With two people I wanted zoned living so one person could sleep or nap and the other person could be up and about. I did not want either/or use conversion spaces like sliders, Murphy beds or even electric sofas as I had before. To accomplish what I want, I desire to remain with a true Class B based on a van and not a too long (in most cases), too wide and too tall Class B+ built on a cutaway chassis. True Class B vans are more comfortable, less cumbersome and safer to drive and they go where Class C or if you want to call them Class B+s simply cannot go. I wanted stealth meaning not too many outside indicators that I even own an RV. With what I am building I am confident I could full-time if I choose. I know many that have done so. We've been out as much as 3 months at a time including one trip to Alaska and back. That's a lot to accomplish in approximately 100 square feet behind the cab seats. I have a thread chronicling my RV called Advancing Alvar in the Advanced RV forum here.

Here is a problem with a 26 foot cutaway at least on a Sprinter. You still have the same GVWR as the van. You have way more weight in the RV itself meaning less for you and your stuff. There seems to be a great reluctance for those manufacturers to include electrical freedom as in multiple batteries. solar, etc. Probably because they are at a weight limit. Advanced RV is offering electrical freedom solutions I mentioned as is Roadtrek, Great West Vans and Sportsmobile. The other B converters are in a wait and see mode. If LTV wants to wait 5 years they will probably miss the boat. For Class B vanners the untethered freedom is gaining in popularity and desire at an accelerating pace I think.

If you truly want residential as a somewhat equal option to a stick built house or apartment then a big Class A, trailer or 5th wheeler with slides is the way to go and a budget to stay at full service hookup campgrounds most of the time. With those small Class Cs you are in no man's land in my opinion. You don't get much more but just more air inside and being 18" wider you can stick a dry bath inside with less space taken up. If you want a dry bath in a Class B van you have to give up a lot and way more than it's worth, IMO, but that's another big subject.
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