2011 Great West Van Legend

Jon Nelson

New member
I see you changed from a Pleasure Way to a Great West Van - can you tell us what attracted you about the GWV? (trying to decide between an Airstream Interstate, GWV, or Roadtrek RS). Thanks!
 

Davydd

Well-known member
This is our second B. Our first B was a 2005 Pleasure-Way Plateau Sprinter. GWV's current competitors building on the same 3500, 170" WB model are the Roadtrek RS Adventurous, the Leisure Travel Vans Free Spirit, The Pleasure-Way Plateau, the Airstream Interstate and maybe soon the Winnebago ERA again. You can convert the same model in your own custom configuration through Sportsmobile.

Why did we switch from Pleasure-Way or go with Great West Van? We upgraded to a new GWV Legend to satisfy several desires we accumulated over five years of B van use. The first obvious one was getting a new and newer design Sprinter with better cab luxuries and quieter, smoother ride.







Secondly, we desired more zoned living in being able to utilize the driver and passenger seat swiveled around toward the back of the van and set up to a temporary table. We didn't have that in our Pleasure-Way. We did not want a second row of passenger seats and have to give up storage for them.



Thirdly, we desired a fly and mosquito screen solution so we could come and go from the B without opening and closing the large sliding door. We also needed to keep our cat inside the B. GWV has come up with a screen enclosure and a sliding screen door that is unique to meet this desire. I don't think any other manufacturer has addressed this issue.



We also had the dealer add a custom roll and zip up, leave in place bug screen to enclose the back door opening. GWV offers a snap on one as an option but the dealer's solution was better.

Fourthly, we own a 20 cubic foot hitch receiver cargo carrier in order to carry two inflatable kayaks and various other items. After a couple of lengthy trips including one six week trip where we used our kayaks in only one place we decided a cargo carrier that extends the B length another 3 feet just wasn't worth the aggravation. It completely changed where we drove and where we parked. So on one trip we left them at home and you guessed it, we passed up many unanticipated opportunities where we could have used the kayaks. So the desire to carry them inside the B yet not in the way became a huge desire. Again, GWV came up with a unique design no other B has in the Tri-fold electric sofa to give us the storage area we desired.

THE TRI-FOLD ELECTRIC SOFA

The Great West Van Legend is an electric tri-sofa design without the attending ottomans and backrest cushions to fill in for a bed as most other Bs have. The sofa flattens and fills in the back area into a King bed utilizing three panels - the seat, the seat back and another panel behind the seat back. I think this is unique to GWV. You can sit three legally while underway and you can adjust the back slope. The wheel wells of the 3500 dually chassis are carpeted and serve as foot stools.

The single biggest advantage of the GWV tri-fold sofa is its tremendous storage. It rides on side rails so the underside storage is 12"D x 69" x 40" and mostly free of interfering support hardware. We can store everything we had stored under the sofa in our P-W plus everything we had stored in a 20 cubic foot cargo carrier shell on our hitch receiver. In addition it has a 13"D x 20" x 27" basement storage. We haven't sleeped in it yet so are hoping on the come it will be what we wanted.

The Tri-fold Sofa


The Bed


Clear storage under the sofa


The bonus. If you want you can glide the whole sofa forward and have standup storage behind for things like bicycles while traveling.


This view is with the sofa all the way forward. What you see stored is what will fit under with the sofa all the way back or in the bed position. It is everything that was carried in our previous P-W Plateau with the hitch cargo carrier. The two gray bags are inflatable kayaks that were previously carried in the cargo carrier.


Lastly, for a B we were impressed by the ample and clear (comparatively) pass through wide aisle from front to back. It is a full 28". What does that mean? You don't have squeeze sideways to get by your partner or interrupt and wait your turn to pass. The Airstream Interstate closes down to a tight 19" between fixed cabinets to get to the bed. Most of the other electric sofa models also squeeze you down to get to the sofa to sit. No other B comes close to the 28" clearance. This is something you don't appreciate unless you have prior B experience and I suspect is a unexpressed but felt reason some people move up to a B+ RV.



We thought the Pleasure-Way Plateau had the best bathroom of the mentioned Bs with good space, a window, a nice vanity and medicine cabinet and an operable roof vent. The GWV has a good size bathroom as well but with a quirky slide out lavatory over the toilet. Since we haven't camped yet I am kind of holding my opinion in reserve on this idea. It does make for a more roomier bathroom for a shower without having a lav in the way and the shower head itself is better positioned. The bathroom also has a rather large roof skylight that is nice.

Bathroom Skylight


Slideout Lavatory


Bathroom with Lavatory closed. It slides in under a cabinet.


There were also a lot of other things we were looking to upgrade to that almost every B could have satisfied such as two house batteries, but this B in aggregate satisfied the most desires for us and in more unique ways.
 

Davydd

Well-known member
I noticed my earlier post lost their photos. I renamed a Photobucket album that caused that. I can't edit the message to correct the links. Does the edit button go away after a period of time?

I have a MobileMe photo gallery with close to 80 photos of the Legend with about everything you would want to look at.

Our 2011 Great West Van Legend
 

aljimenez

'13 LTV Serenity on '12 3
Very innovative design ideas, and it appears to fill your needs well. While that couch design is awesome, I'm afraid the payment is a not too good bed. I recall one of these three part sofa beds in an earlier B of ours that was pretty uncomfortable. I tried so much to make that sofa lie down flat, and all sorts of remedies and none worked. I would need to try sleeping on one before I would agree to this sofa. However I like most everything else about this design. Have you tried sleeping in this sofa yet?
 

Davydd

Well-known member
Such a nice layout, what's the driver's seat look like from the sliding door? What's the bath like?

-Randy
Randy,

I hope I answered your questions with my comments and photos. You might ask what the view is like from the driver's seat to the sliding door? Great. It is an unimpeded floor to ceiling view outside with the sliding door all the way open. Which brings up a point that I don't understand about B layouts. The Roadtrek RS, Airstream Interstate and Winnebago ERA have floor plans with the kitchen counter on the driver's side and tall bathroom and cabinets on the passenger side. The Pleasure-Way Plateau, Leisure Travel Vans Free Spirit and the GWV Legend have the opposite layout. Historically Roadtrek has probably published the most enticing B photos of looking in and seeing four nice captain chairs around a table and then an unimpeded bank of windows on the driver's side. It made the B look very livable.

But here is the reality. The GWV Legend has that same unimpeded bank of windows on the passenger side including the huge screen enclosed floor to ceiling sliding door. The passenger side is the side that looks into your campground space where the picnic table, fire pit and your awning living is not the next door campground space. So inside shares with your outside. Someone working at the kitchen counter can see others outside at the chairs and picnic table.

When driving your major blind spot is mostly directly behind you. You can't see the tall cabinets and for that matter anything else directly behind you when driving. For traffic passing you on the left you use your outside rear view mirror mostly. At least I do. The more critical passing is a car coming up on your right on a freeway or when you are moving over to exit. With windows you have a much clearer view with your windshield rear view mirror in addition to your passenger side rear view mirror. If stopped and sitting in the driver's seat and you desire to turn around to look toward the back you turn right and see more open area rather than stare into tall cabinets.

The driver side tall cabinet designs also have microwaves and refrigerators up off the floor instead of low under the countertop or on the floor. The bottom of my refrigerator is a comfortable 17" off the floor and the microwave is at eye level viewable.

That's my take on the logic of B plan layout. I don't understand the logic of the Roadtrek and Airstream.
 

Davydd

Well-known member
Al,

I have not slept on the bed yet. My initial impression is it should be comfortable since my body pressure points hit on the cushion and not on the joints. GWV builds the sofa with three layers of varying density foam and it is pretty thick. We'll find out soon enough in heading out in a little over a week. :)

Personally I could sleep on a floor. At home we have a Select Comfort Sleep Number bed and I crank it up to its hardest at No. 100. I never used a foam topping on our Pleasure-Way Plateau bed. My wife used a foam topper on that bed.

What I definitely do like is not having to go that extra step putting in board supports to infill with the ottoman backrest cushions. We will no longer have that optional semi twin bed arrangement in leaving out those infill cushions. That will be no loss to us. We tried that a couple of times and decided we did not like it.
 

Old Crows

Calypso 2014 View Profile
Sweet! Very similar to our 4Winds Ventura. You do have a couple features I like.... the screen door on the slider door opening and that hide-away lavatory basin.
 

Old Crows

Calypso 2014 View Profile
Great van! Can't tell from your bathroom pic where the sink goes when you slide it in. It appears that the sofa is right behind the bathroom. Is there a counter under which the bathroom sink disappears?
 

Old Crows

Calypso 2014 View Profile
Oh... a second and third question.... Where does the lav 'disappear to?' And, where does the screen door go when you are underway?
 

Davydd

Well-known member
Oh... a second and third question.... Where does the lav 'disappear to?' And, where does the screen door go when you are underway?
The lavatory slides underneath a hanging close closet behind the bathroom that hovers over the bed. There is an ultra-leather skirt that hides it from view. I tested lying down. There is plenty of clearance for your feet under the closet and lavatory. The ultra-leather is there as a soft hiding cover so you don't bang your toes. They use a lot of ultra-leather skirts in their design. There is also one that closes off the front of the sliding sofa to hide the storage underneath. This also allows you to slide something long past the skirt. I imagine someone could carry a hard shell kayak inside the B that way stored on the floor.

The sliding screen door stays in place. You can see the white aluminum frame. The screen itself is spring loaded to stay open and folds up like an accordion to the right behind the passenger seat. When you want the screen to close off the door opening you pull it across and it latches to stay in place. Here is a picture of a man demonstrating sliding the screen halfway closed at a RV show.



The remainder of the outside sliding door area that is a little over 4 foot wide is taken up by the kitchen counter. There is a snap in place and velcro attached screen to cover the area above the counter.

The back door screen rolls up and is held up by velcro straps as you can see in the photos and it too stays in place. To close off the back you drop the screen down and there are vertical zippers to seal it off on both sides and down the middle. The middle zipper is so you can gain access to storage or exit in an emergency if you have to.

So, neither screen needs to be taken down or removed and stored away. You can remove them if you desire but that is not likely for us in the mosquito, black fly and no seeum state of Minnesota. :)
 

Jon Nelson

New member
THANKS FOR THE PICTURES!!!

Thanks to you (your pictures are better, FAR BETTER, than what the factory has online!) GWV is now the front runner in our B search

Can you comment on the bathroom door - access, space, operation, etc in comparison to other B's (we found the Roadtrek double door system to be difficult (especially in the dark at night)

Thanks

Jon
 

Joan e

New member
I have been looking at Bs for about a month; mostly Pleasure Way and Roadtreks. Yesterday I finally had a look at Great West Legend. I was so impressed for many of the same reasons Davyyd mentions in his post. One thing I am trying to determine is a price neighborhood for a new RV like a GW. For instance, if the MSRP is $115,000 what can you realistically buy it for? Any really good negotiators out there who got a good deal?

Joan
 

Davydd

Well-known member
THANKS FOR THE PICTURES!!!

Thanks to you (your pictures are better, FAR BETTER, than what the factory has online!) GWV is now the front runner in our B search

Can you comment on the bathroom door - access, space, operation, etc in comparison to other B's (we found the Roadtrek double door system to be difficult (especially in the dark at night)

Thanks

Jon
Jon,

The bathroom door (the two panels with mirrors on them) are a bifold sliding door. The bathroom is wide enough (by B standards) not to need the Roadtrek bulge technique. I understand GWV will also design it so it is a double door and the door closest to the front of the B would then be the only one you would need to open as it is wide enough to get in and out as a single door in my opinion. In fact the dealer and GWV said I could convert my B that way if I wanted to. I think they are testing the double door right now. I'll give it a go as it is and then see if they come out with a double door solution and give it a look to decide if I want to make a change.
 

Davydd

Well-known member
I have been looking at Bs for about a month; mostly Pleasure Way and Roadtreks. Yesterday I finally had a look at Great West Legend. I was so impressed for many of the same reasons Davyyd mentions in his post. One thing I am trying to determine is a price neighborhood for a new RV like a GW. For instance, if the MSRP is $115,000 what can you realistically buy it for? Any really good negotiators out there who got a good deal?

Joan
Joan,

Roadtrek, Leisure Travel Vans, Pleasure-Way and Great West Vans are all priced competitively with each other. They are very close in quality and provided amenities. If there are differences in prices I suspect it is more in the details as to what you are actually getting in that price. Based on RV Show prices dealers like to push as specials I suspect 15% is the lowest percentage point off you should be willing to take. Beyond that it is negotiation skills and what willingness a dealer desires to make to close a deal.

My negotiations with Lake Region RV's in Ramsey, MN consisted of two short phone calls. Lake Region had known of my desires to buy a GWV Legend for quite some time as I had already done my homework and made my decision. I was worried that would work against me in not playing the different converters and dealers against each other. You know, the old hem haw technique. :) The only leverage I had was I already had an excellent B in the Pleasure-Way Plateau that was flawless and served us well. I could have walked away from buying altogether.

I went so far as to drive to Winnipeg and see the B before it was finished. That in itself was final commitment or an expensive snowshoe outing that we got in while there. I made the final decision to buy while at the factory. The first call from the factory was to Dale Borstad, the owner of Lake Region RV's and tell him I wanted the one he was planning on showing at the Minneapolis RV Show. He made the show as part of the condition. He had seen my 2005 Pleasure-way Plateau earlier in the year and I directed him to my web site Pleasure-Way Plateau B Camper Van to see detailed photos. He said he wanted to do some checking around on comparable prices, NADA, etc. and would get back to me in about an hour. He called back and made me an offer for trade-in and discount in a combined offer so I never asked or found out how he proportioned it out. We were formally $5,000 apart and agreed to split the difference on that to close the deal. That's how it went. Probably not much more than 10 minutes on the phone in two calls and a verbal agreement. Bottom line, I was happy. I hope they were happy. Dealing with Lake Region RV's was an outstanding experience. Our B weathered the RV show without any damage with hundreds of people walking through it over 4 days. They, BTW, have since sold our old Pleasure-Way. It didn't last long at the dealer.
 

DaveR

New member
Very impressive Davydd !

I'm a new member. My wife and I are going to pick up our first RV, a 2011 PW Plateau TS some time this week (ordered interior we wanted). I really like the use of the front area overhead of the driver and passenger. PW leaves that open and I'm looking for a solution for more storage (see post under PW).....have you seen any add-on type storage for that huge open space to utilize it for storage ?

Like the screen door too. :smilewink: Was that an option....if so mind if I ask how much ?
 

bill keitel

New member
Third Year!

We've just returned from another 6 / 7 week road trip to Texas, AZ,CO,New Mexico. Our Legend has 53,000 trouble free miles. Good customer service from both the factory and the dealership. No buyer remorse!
bill and lauri keitel
www.buffalobillfoldcompany.com
 

Davydd

Well-known member
DaveR,

We traded in our Pleasure-Way Plateau TS for the GWV Legend. The new P-W Plateau did not satisfy our desires but we had 5 years of experience to arrive at them. We loved our Plateau but our major desires were:

1)Travel with two inflatabe kayaks under the sofa. We could not do that with our 2005 Plateau and were disappointed that the new Plateau offered less under sofa storage than our 2005.

2) Swivel both driver and passenger seat to face a table up front. P-W could not satisfy this desire satisfactorily.

3) We wanted two auxiliary batteries. Our old P-W had no solution. I didn't check the new ones.

The Pleasure-Way Plateau is an excellent choice otherwise. It is a quailty B.

As for the side sliding door screen, that is a custom option only by Great West Van. I don't know of any other B converter or third party offering one or even attempting one as sophisticated. That to me is a major plus especially in the upper Midwest and Minnesota where the Mosquito is the state bird. The rear door screen that stays in place and rolls down is a custom option our dealer offered and could be put on a Pleasure-Way. It was great in Arizona last month as we could leave the sliding door open and rear door open and not need to run the air-conditioner.
 

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