ARV now building Class-C “B-Boxes”

VeloBernie

New member
Yes, I saw this too! I really like this for many reasons. For one, I need at least 6'5" interior ceiling height! I'll be retiring in two years and would like to go ahead and get a Class B for full-time living. No doubt this will be pricey! I'm wondering what the price of the one shown would be? Probably in the $350,000 to $400,000 range? Maybe more. My next question is the resale value? Say if it cost $350,000 today, what does anyone think it would resale for in 5 years? Ten Years? Kept in very good condition of course!!
Thank you
Bernie
 

ENMeyer

Active member
I'd be interested in a much less complicated (and much less expensive) version of this.
 

RVBarry

Well-known member
I'd be interested in a much less complicated (and much less expensive) version of this.
Hi, you can get a 12 or 14' (144 or 170 chassis) sprinter box truck from MBZ cheaper than a van. Some have a pass thru door to the cockpit.
 

Davydd

Well-known member
I would guess like all cab-chassis RVs this can be less than their vans knowing just a little bit from the video how they built it and knowing intimately how my custom ARV van got built as well as my new totally custom ARV van getting underway. However, ARV doesn't cut corners on materials and features so I imagine like their vans you would have to pay a premium over Thor and Winnebago type offerings. This is a prototype. ARV's are mostly customer driven and custom. You can have a field day designing inside this box which should be easier than a van.
 

Geriakt

2017 View 24J
I think the B Box has many positives. I think it would be more appealing if it was painted one color. (I know it is a prototype).
The box looks to be built by a company in Australia that does this sandwich panel bonding and should be a true 4 season rig.
My questions are can it be made longer and wider? Similar to a Winnebago View? Does MB offer a 4500 cut away sprinter? Will you be making the house on a Transit ecoboost? What is the CCC of the prototype?
I am confused about the 48vdc house system. Is it charged by a 48 volt alternator? I see no solar?
Tom
 

Davydd

Well-known member
The whole exercise by ARV is to design an RV with an overall dimension no more in length, height and width of a Class B van to get more interior height and functional space thus the name B-Box though technically it is a Class C. I suppose they could make it longer and wider but they were responding to request of their customers. They build pretty much custom and do not have a dealer network in need of supply.

They mentioned in the video they could put it on a Transit. They just haven't done any transits yet. They pretty much have been MB Sprinter. Again, it is customer driven.

The 48vdc is from Volta Power Systems, https://voltapowersystems.com/power-systems/ which is a total system of lithium ion batteries, second alternator, inverter and converter. The high battery capacity and fast charging alternator is such that solar is less meaningful as a power contributor. Many customers have not installed solar for this reason. My current ARV van has 420 watts of solar panels and from experience I don't plan on it again in my next ARV van. However, solar can be installed if the customer desires it.

To give you an idea of how ARV works, my first Class B van from them 6 years ago started out from their standard plan layout which I liked, but I redesigned some aspects with designing and suggesting electric articulating beds which were the first in a Class B. Now I am at it again with a shorter 144 Sprinter van but I have totally designed it from scratch and not use their plan. It has been a year and a half. I presented my design and they agreed to do it. Then through them I ordered the van with all the options I desired. You set down with them 2-3 days to go over the design, options and materials (an infinite selection) to configure. Then you wait in the queue because they are a small company and don't work in a production line as every van is totally different. The van can take 3-4 months in production. My configure sheet prints out to 38 database pages. That is how detailed it is.
 

Geriakt

2017 View 24J
I did not know it was a Volta power system. I would agree solar is not always viable and a 48 volt alternator makes more sense if you drive daily. If you park for days solar is helpful. I think 2 to 3 charging sources make sense.
My point on a box just slightly wider and longer would not add much to the box cost and would not be a major hit in fuel economy. Sure the build out would cost more.
Looking at the box, i see it is made in Canada and not Australia. The sandwich construction is very similar to the RV industry however it looks to be thicker to optimize R value.
Certainly an option for people building from cut away cabs or old damaged RVs with good cabs.
 

Boxster1971

2012 Sprinter 3500 Ext
I did not know it was a Volta power system. I would agree solar is not always viable and a 48 volt alternator makes more sense if you drive daily. . .
Advanced RV does install Volta systems, but not in this B-Box prototype.

The 48V battery system featured in the Advanced RV B-Box video is not from Volta. They are Valence batteries from LithiumWerks batteries as shown in the attached screen grab from video at 23:00.

It also clearly has the blue Victron Inverter/Charger shown several times in video.

I have no idea which 48V alternator they are using, it could be Volta. But Volta is using American Power alternators so ARV could have bought them directly from American Power. Here is link to the American Power spec sheet on their 48V alternator for Sprinters.

Capture2.JPG
 

Nimpoc

Enginerd in wander
I absolutely love the innovation shown here.

Can anyone identify the vent / heat exchanger used in the center rear wall? Go-go-gadget eyes aren’t resolving the vendor.

@24:30 in the video


Check out this new offering from Advanced RV as they enter a new market option with an insulated box by Total Composites.

 

Davydd

Well-known member
Boxster, Then it is an all new development for the battery system because Lithiumwerks Valence batteries don't have 48V modules at least what is on their website. So I don't know what they are up to.
 

Boxster1971

2012 Sprinter 3500 Ext
Boxster, Then it is an all new development for the battery system because Lithiumwerks Valence batteries don't have 48V modules at least what is on their website. So I don't know what they are up to.
It's easy - the clip posted above shows eight 12V batteries. Likely 4 in series and then paralleled
I absolutely love the innovation shown here.

Can anyone identify the vent / heat exchanger used in the center rear wall? Go-go-gadget eyes aren’t resolving the vendor.

@24:30 in the video
It is a VENTS-US Single Room Energy Recovery Ventilator you can buy from Home Depot.

 

SouthwestSkies

New member
I am so torn about this new B-box, just when I had figured out what we want in a van. I love that the Bbox has smaller exterior dimensions than the van but larger interior dimensions. I could not tell from the video if they can build this as a 4X4. Does anyone know? They said it has the clearance of a 4X4, but that's not the same thing of course. If this has the same dimensions as a van, will it drive the same as well?
My husband and I both agree the vans are much better looking from the outside, and once you put windows on this, I don't really see how this doesn't scream RV, which for us isn't as big of a concern. My husband also likes the idea that one could build a removable container portion (which Mike spoke to) so if the engine part died, you could remove the container portion and put it on a new chassis.
For those of you already living the van life and familiar with all that entails, if the Bbox is the same size as the van (or even a little smaller) in the exterior, do you see any limitations in what one can do/where one can park etc. in owning this Bbox vs a sprinter van?
 

Davydd

Well-known member
This B-Box is designed to the exterior dimensions of the biggest Sprinter extended van or the largest van on the market I think. Though the same dimension it looks bigger than a van. Sprinter cutaway chassis in North America don’t come in 4x4 but they said in the future they could build it on a Ford Transit cutaway chassis which can be AWD or 4x4. The engine dying and having to put the box on a new chassis to me is so remote in happening that I would not worry about it and you could probably replace an engine cheaper. You are right that it would scream RV to me too and if not, a delivery or food truck. The aesthetics of driving one would not be my preference but most motor homes scream RV including a lot of Class B camper vans. So most would, I think, not be bothered with that. Matching the cab color and preferably a darker color and not white could help it look better.
 

SouthwestSkies

New member
Hi David, Like so many people, you led me to ARV! I've enjoyed learning from your postings and look forward to seeing Mies when completed.
Such a bummer that this Sprinter cutaway chassis isn't available on a 4X4. I don't know why it isn't available in the U.S.--like the van, maybe that will be made available to us at a later date as well. I agree with you that financially it probably makes more sense to replace the engine (which I did try to explain to my husband haha). I could live with the ugly factor in exchange for the extra space, but we definitely want 4WD/AWD. And yes, I definitely agree painting it a uniform color would help, but probably only to a certain extent--it's never going to be a looker! I believe the Bbox is a standard 170 in length (diagram in the video said 22' 9"), although Mike said they can make them longer or shorter. I hope ARV continues to release more info on the Bboxes. Is it officially a class C (or does it just look like one)? I always thought the size differential was the reason to go class B vs C, but if this C is the same size, are there any inherent downsides to being in a different class?
 

Davydd

Well-known member
Cab Chassis are classified as Class Cs. If it looks like a duck it is a duck so to speak. Size is not a criteria, but then people can call them B+ for reasons of the size. Dealers and customers. Dealers because they can sell the dream of camper van life dating back to the hippie vans of their youth instead of big rig RVs of their parents and customers wanting to believe it. Vans are kind of like finding your youth. The young live in the likes of the DIY van or outside adventure van segment. Then everyone gets older and desires more comfort and space and maybe one-piece salmon colored trucker coveralls. ;)

ARV could build a B-Box on a 144" WB Sprinter cab-chassis but the shortest length possible would be 20'-6" v.19'-5" for a van. Since a standard parking stall is 20' long I still desire to stay within that dimension. Other than the B-Box all so called B+'s are a 1' to 1.5' wider than vans and vans are comparable to a large pickup truck in width for comparison at your local Walmart, Target, Home Depot, super market, regional shopping center or restaurant. Surface pull in parking stalls accommodate pickup truck and van widths but not wider. A cab-chassis doors are no wider than a van in operation but the box can block adjacent cars. Standard 24' wide driving aisles can't accommodate 170" wb vans or cab chassis if pulling into a parking space between two cars. The turning radius is too large to pull in straight on. Those are things I think about or spend extra time looking for an easy parking spot. I designed or supervised the layout of probably over a thousand parking lots in my architectural career.
 
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SouthwestSkies

New member
Thanks so much for this really helpful information, David. And how wonderful you are in a unique position to explain a lot of this with your parking lot architectural experience!
 

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