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Old 12-02-2019, 09:47 PM   #1
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Default 2015 GWV named "Lucy"

You may have seen me on the site as jaak1993, but when my password failed and I reset it I ended up with a new name: JonK.

This thread is intended to document the renovation I've done during the past year of a 2015 GWV. I'll document my thinking and how the project became far more than I originally envisioned. This was not all bad, it's just what happened when my imagination ran away with me. Still, I've ended up with a coach my significant other, also widowed, just plain loves. What could be better than that. I'll post a bit at a time with before and after as I can best describe it and pictures when possible, it's clear now that I should have taken more "before" pics.

Why take a "perfectly good" 2015 GWV with less than 10,000 miles on it and spend a year and non-trivial cash changing it? Well, mostly because I wanted it to better suit our travel plans and pattern. We spent an initial month using it and documented everything we thought would make it more functional for our use, it was quite a list. We also agreed we wanted the interior to look really nice. Achieving all that was a huge task since I have never done any cabinet making, but I learned.

The van was purchased from a dealer at a reasonable price. We had visited ARV and really liked their coaches but being the children of Great Depression parents we just couldn't justify their prices, not that we thought the price was unreasonable, we just couldn't justify it given our intended use. Still, their coaches set an aesthetic bar or baseline for our thinking. Our coach is not an ARV equivalent, I didn't have the capacity for that even with my "free" labor.

I can say two things about the experience; 1) I'm really glad I did it, and 2) I'm never doing that again.

More soon
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Old 12-02-2019, 10:56 PM   #2
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Default

I had a 2011 GWV. Looking forward to your report.
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2015 Advanced RV Ocean One Mercedes Benz Sprinter
Previous Class Bs:
2011 Great West Van Legend Sprinter
2005 Pleasure-way Plateau TS Sprinter
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Old 12-03-2019, 02:05 PM   #3
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Default Thank you Davydd

Davydd: since your travel pattern is similar to our own I have studied your posts a lot and have found them to be very informative in my modifications of Lucy. Thank you for your time and efforts.
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Old 12-03-2019, 07:59 PM   #4
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Default The beginning

I'd previously owned a 40' Newell, really nice, and a 2010 GWV, very nice. I sold them both to provide the resources to buy and modify the 2015 GWN now known as Lucy. Based on the 2010 van I wanted a van with 1) more electrical independence - thanks Davydd, 2) more storage - it's tough to follow a Newell, 3) more creature comforts - fewer head knockers for example, 4) more 4 season capable, 5) elegant interior.

I liked the shower arrangement in the 2010 so that drove the search for another GWV. Lucy came with the Rixen hydronic system and compressor fridge so the driver's side didn't have the massive, and to me, annoying holes in the side. She also came with twin beds, but those were so cobbled up as to invite redoing - more on that later. So, Lucy was a good basis for what we wanted and when we returned home I proceeded to rip out most of the interior.

More later,
Jon
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Old 12-03-2019, 08:09 PM   #5
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Default Design thoughts

I spent untold hours reading this site and the Sprinter site searching for design ideas. I've invested well over 1000 hours of my time getting to where we are now. At least half that time was studying van design, learning how to build the cabinetry, designing and drawing on paper the intended interior, figuring out how to construct it, knowing that I didn't know what I was doing and feeling I needed to build things in a way that would facilitate redo's, learning how to use the new tools I purchased, and figuring out how to almost all this by myself.

An example of ridiculous time investment was figuring out which European hinges I needed. It took a couple weeks. The marketers of these hinges assumed the purchasers were cabinet builders that knew what they were doing. Me? I was really ignorant. It was literally like learning a foreign language because it was. Now I have great hinges that do exactly what I wanted them to do, but I'll never get that two weeks back.

More later,
Jon
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