Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 03-18-2018, 10:33 PM   #1
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: NC
Posts: 118
Default Any regrets?

As I sit on the fence contemplating do I buy new, used, or build a camper van... I'm wondering if you have any regrets with the your decision.
__________________

Oliver2017 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2018, 12:00 AM   #2
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Virginia
Posts: 693
Default

Nope. On my second RT and in 14 years neither seen a RV Dealer, most things you can repair yourself; the Chevy Chassis - says it all. I did my research about the Sprinters and all the heated floors, electronic gadgets, and opted to stay with the 210, Onan, no solar (I have no need), and the standard 210 upgrades. With some of the complaints, inputs from owners of the RT Sprinter with all the gadgetry.....I enjoy mine without interruption. Good luck, there are some good ones out there. Ron
__________________

__________________
Ron J. Moore
'15 RT210P
Ron J. Moore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2018, 12:02 AM   #3
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,003
Default

is it just you or will a spouse be involved. then i can give you better answer

are you a tourer or a camper.

have you had any rv experience


have you ever heard an Onan generator?

will you have a pet with you
gerrym51 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2018, 12:28 AM   #4
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: NC
Posts: 118
Default

is it just you or will a spouse be involved. then i can give you better answer - Both

are you a tourer or a camper - Both

have you had any rv experience - Grew up traveling with parents' Winnebago motorhome

have you ever heard an Onan generator? - Too loud...

will you have a pet with you - Dog
Oliver2017 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2018, 12:39 AM   #5
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,003
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver2017 View Post
is it just you or will a spouse be involved. then i can give you better answer - Both

are you a tourer or a camper - Both

have you had any rv experience - Grew up traveling with parents' Winnebago motorhome

have you ever heard an Onan generator? - Too loud...

will you have a pet with you - Dog
i suggest you investigate the Travato 59gl or 59kl these were announced a week ago, they have an electrical system that is advanced. no onan-and they system is not made by winnegego. its quite revolutionary. I WOULD NOT look at roadtreks unless you want to stick to old stuff. i also suggest whatever you get remember the 2nd person. if they don't lat least find it tolerable YOU"LL be miserable

gerrym51 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2018, 01:58 AM   #6
Platinum Member
 
skagitstan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: East of world famous Sedro Woolley, west of Concrete
Posts: 203
Default

You mention build as an option. That's what I did.
We're very happy with it, use it as a remote boondocking camper. My wife, our Malamute and me. Has what we want, doesn't have the other stuff.
While we had something camp-able in about a year of work, it really was closer to 2 years before it turned into something homey. But it was 95% a one man construction crew.
And we're still working on it. Probably will until we kick the bucket.
Link to the build blog is in my sig line.
__________________
Turning a 2015 Ford Transit into a camper. Her name is Annie.
You can watch it all happen here:
https://anniebuild.blogspot.com/
Now, with trip reports!!!!
skagitstan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2018, 03:53 AM   #7
Platinum Member
 
Phoebe3's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: California
Posts: 674
Default

We chose to buy a reasonably priced new van with standard tech. We chose standard tech (propane for cooking and heating but a compressor refrigerator) because we were unwilling to spend the funds or experience the learning curve for fancy electronics. We have installed a resonator on the Onan and it is much quieter. We don't use it much. Have considered installing more batteries and an inverter, but don't see much need for it so doubt if that will happen. I would buy standard tech again.

Used vans are so much money that it didn't make economic sense to not buy new. However, even new vans will need a bit of tweaking so a recent model may have had the first-year kinks worked out by the previous owner. Older vans are cheaper, but will require repair and replacement of some of the things that naturally deteriorate with age. I didn't want any surprises far from home so I would buy new (or very recent) again.

If we started a self-build, we never would have finished it. That said, our van came with things I didn't want or need (awning, TV, etc.) but deleting them wouldn't have saved any money and might make the van harder to sell later. There are some things I wish I had so I will either add them or live without. I would buy a non-custom off-the-shelf van again.

Because it is possible to modify the conversion, the biggest source of potential regret would be in the chassis. You really don't want to get a gas engine and wish you had a diesel; or lane departure warning, or a bigger engine or duallys or 4WD. If a chassis is too big to fit in the driveway or too small to hold all your toys, that is also a bit of a problem. We have a Ford Transit, which seriously restricted the available B's, but I would buy that chassis again.

I hope this answers your question.
__________________
2018 Coachmen Crossfit/Beyond
Phoebe3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2018, 02:32 PM   #8
Platinum Member
 
skagitstan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: East of world famous Sedro Woolley, west of Concrete
Posts: 203
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoebe3 View Post
We chose to buy a reasonably priced new van with standard tech. We chose standard tech (propane for cooking and heating but a compressor refrigerator) because we were unwilling to spend the funds or experience the learning curve for fancy electronics. We have installed a resonator on the Onan and it is much quieter. We don't use it much. Have considered installing more batteries and an inverter, but don't see much need for it so doubt if that will happen. I would buy standard tech again.

Used vans are so much money that it didn't make economic sense to not buy new. However, even new vans will need a bit of tweaking so a recent model may have had the first-year kinks worked out by the previous owner. Older vans are cheaper, but will require repair and replacement of some of the things that naturally deteriorate with age. I didn't want any surprises far from home so I would buy new (or very recent) again.

If we started a self-build, we never would have finished it. That said, our van came with things I didn't want or need (awning, TV, etc.) but deleting them wouldn't have saved any money and might make the van harder to sell later. There are some things I wish I had so I will either add them or live without. I would buy a non-custom off-the-shelf van again.

Because it is possible to modify the conversion, the biggest source of potential regret would be in the chassis. You really don't want to get a gas engine and wish you had a diesel; or lane departure warning, or a bigger engine or duallys or 4WD. If a chassis is too big to fit in the driveway or too small to hold all your toys, that is also a bit of a problem. We have a Ford Transit, which seriously restricted the available B's, but I would buy that chassis again.

I hope this answers your question.
Our main deciding factor to DIY was that we simply could not find an affordable OEM unit with decent build quality, and then be forced to modify it to our needs. We were not willing to pay close to $100K for a unit with slapdash, stapled woodwork, and all the other indicators of a rushed build job.

So we decided it was worth our own labor cost to make something just like we wanted.
__________________
Turning a 2015 Ford Transit into a camper. Her name is Annie.
You can watch it all happen here:
https://anniebuild.blogspot.com/
Now, with trip reports!!!!
skagitstan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2018, 02:53 PM   #9
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: California
Posts: 80
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver2017 View Post
As I sit on the fence contemplating do I buy new, used, or build a camper van... I'm wondering if you have any regrets with the your decision.
We purchased a 2008 Pleasure Way TS Sprinter with 59K miles from a dealer for $60K last summer
(could probably found a cheaper one from a private buyer) Can't honestly say we have used it much as yet but so far so good but the Jury is still out. There are only the two of us and no pet as yet, looking forward to April for our first run of the year.
Not sure I would spend the money for a new one but there again we don't have a big enough check book for one either
__________________
David & Angela
2008 Pleasure Way Plateau TS
Porsche911 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2018, 03:07 PM   #10
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 375
Default

Timeline on my 136" PM self-build is similar to skagitstan's. Absolutely no regrets. I've seen other self-builds that I could live with if I had no choice, but nothing commercially available even comes close. Only the PM allow a full cross-wise bed--end of that story.

Here's what custom can look like:

Robust electrical system that charges from solar, shore and alternator. Microwave, TV, induction, Engel chest fridge. Webasto for heat. Yet, there is zero plumbing. Toilet and shower are set up when needed.

Everything has a space designed for and assigned to it--no rummaging. There are 18 drawers, 10 of which are 28" deep (long), plus ample bulk storage. Yet, there is no cabinetry above the waist and no aisle. The slider offers unobstructed access to a 4' x 4.5' open space. Usual first impression from visitors: "It looks so big!"

50" of counter plus two 28" pull-out tables.

All surfaces above the waist color-matched to the white of the van. All surfaces below the waist color-matched (sage green) to the Marmoleum floor of my choice.

Total investment about $40,000 starting with new 2014 van. It now has 70,000 trouble-free miles on it.
__________________
2014 Promaster 136" Self-Build

Build Site: www.msnomersvan.wordpress.com
Travel Site: www.woodworkingtraveler.wordpress.com
MsNomer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2018, 04:16 PM   #11
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 7,905
Default

I think there is also another choice that is a combination of some of the original options, and that is to get a used van that has the basics you want like floorplan, bathroom style, seating, cabinets, van model, etc, and count on doing some basic or even major upgrades to it to get it to exactly what you want. It is what we wound up doing, although as noobs going in we thought the new B we bought was going to be just what we wanted/needed.

While building from scratch would be a great option, it takes a long time to get done and be ready to go initially, and we did not want to wait.

The good about doing it as upgrades is that you have a usable RV that will only be "down" for the length of time any particular upgrade. We have never been without the van when we needed it, so that is a really big plus. Of course, winters here are long so makes it pretty easy to schedule the time

Concerning regrets, none at all even though what we wound up doing was not what we initially selected. Knowing what we know now, we would very likely do the same thing again, only intentionally.
booster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2018, 04:44 PM   #12
Platinum Member
 
Boxster1971's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Maryland
Posts: 921
Default

I bought new and then added more solar and batteries with bigger inverter to better match my use. It was an expensive option, but I had the funds and didn’t want the delays of building my own. I did that back in the 70s by building a pop top camper van on a long Dodge van. It took me several years to get is suitable for camping. Almost lost a finger doing the work. I was full time in the military at the time and my deployment schedule limited my time working on the van.

The biggest factor on which way you go is probably your available funds. I was poor when I did my own, living paycheck to paycheck. I went from my old Dodge van to a used 1971 Airstream trailer in 1999. Then I discovered the trailer was too much work for my travel style. Saved up to buy a new Airstream Sprinter for travel when I retired. Now six years and 100K miles I have a lifetime of travel memories.

Most importantly have fun which ever way you go.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
__________________
2013 Airstream Interstate Lounge EXT on 2012 Sprinter 3500 170Ext
Formerly: 1973 Dodge B300 DIY pop-top conversion
Boxster1971 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2018, 06:49 PM   #13
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,003
Default

How old are you? thats also a factor. both of us-the wife more so-need an easier to use b.

also we only have so many years left and she is 5 years older. we also have the money-however don't like to spend it.

so it all depends
gerrym51 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2018, 08:29 PM   #14
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: League City, TX
Posts: 769
Default

We bought a 2007 Airstream Interstate in late 2014, and I'm very glad we didn't invest in a newer model, because we quickly learned that it wasn't up to snuff tech-wise for how we need to use it, which is close to 100% off-grid. So we've spent the past 3.5 years doing successive upgrades. I'm glad we bought low-mileage used, because it would have been financially degenerative to tear apart a newer vehicle as extensively as we did with this one.
InterBlog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2018, 08:49 PM   #15
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 375
Default

Yes, age is a factor, but must be coupled with assessing whether you would enjoy the process or whether it would be a chore. I loved the process. It kept my mind in high gear and had me raring to get up and go every morning. It was, for me, not time wasted. I started on my son's van this week.
__________________
2014 Promaster 136" Self-Build

Build Site: www.msnomersvan.wordpress.com
Travel Site: www.woodworkingtraveler.wordpress.com
MsNomer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2018, 10:55 PM   #16
Platinum Member
 
GeorgeRa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 1,524
Default

No regrets in our DIY approach, in 2013 there were less options but we would likely repeat the same approach even with more options available today. Our goal was to leverage from our experience with 2 VW Westfalias by duplicating the layouts, 360o windows, no window covering cabinets, plus all utilities except inside shower.
The end result is the light weight conversion with quality components, good insulation, very comfortable bed, 4-5 seating spaces, practically factory like road clearance, on short wheel base with 360o windows. Soon after getting the van we had “campable” van due to earlier design work.

Certainly, doing DIY again I would reevaluate my approach primarily in components selection.

My current appliances which I would reconsider are:
Space heating: diesel power space heater Espar Airtronics D2,
Water heating: Isotemp water heater powered by 120VAC or diesel Espar Hydronic D5 furnace,
Stove: marine Origo powered by 120 VAC or alcohol,
Microwave

Option #1
Space and water heating by Truma LPG powered
Stove by LPG,
No microwave.

Option #2
Space and water heating by Webasto Dual Top diesel powered
Stove: marine Origo powered by 120 VAC or alcohol.
No microwave.

Most likely I would go with LPG, simpler, furnace chamber is fed by pressurized gas so no need for a fuel pump and ignition by sparkplug, and no dreadful carbon deposits. I didn’t have problems with diesel yet, but maintenance is undoubtfully higher than propane gas appliances.
GeorgeRa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2018, 11:27 PM   #17
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,003
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeRa View Post
No regrets in our DIY approach, in 2013 there were less options but we would likely repeat the same approach even with more options available today. Our goal was to leverage from our experience with 2 VW Westfalias by duplicating the layouts, 360o windows, no window covering cabinets, plus all utilities except inside shower.
The end result is the light weight conversion with quality components, good insulation, very comfortable bed, 4-5 seating spaces, practically factory like road clearance, on short wheel base with 360o windows. Soon after getting the van we had “campable” van due to earlier design work.

Certainly, doing DIY again I would reevaluate my approach primarily in components selection.

My current appliances which I would reconsider are:
Space heating: diesel power space heater Espar Airtronics D2,
Water heating: Isotemp water heater powered by 120VAC or diesel Espar Hydronic D5 furnace,
Stove: marine Origo powered by 120 VAC or alcohol,
Microwave

Option #1
Space and water heating by Truma LPG powered
Stove by LPG,
No microwave.

Option #2
Space and water heating by Webasto Dual Top diesel powered
Stove: marine Origo powered by 120 VAC or alcohol.
No microwave.

Most likely I would go with LPG, simpler, furnace chamber is fed by pressurized gas so no need for a fuel pump and ignition by sparkplug, and no dreadful carbon deposits. I didn’t have problems with diesel yet, but maintenance is undoubtfully higher than propane gas appliances.
after fridge-microwave is our most useful appliance
gerrym51 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2018, 11:32 PM   #18
Platinum Member
 
Mat Mobile's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Quebec
Posts: 206
Default

I preferred going in the middle. Buying a used one and upgrading it to meet my needs.

This post explains a bit of my thought process.

To answer your question: I regret not having my first van converted by professionals (Safari Condo) 21 years ago. Instead I spent a lot of time in half finished vans until last year. My parents had talked me out of it.
__________________
Currently building Gandalf (1998 Roadtrek Versatile 200 2WD)
Instagram account: @the_bohemivan
Mat Mobile is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2018, 01:46 AM   #19
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: NC
Posts: 118
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxster1971 View Post
:Most importantly have fun which ever way you go.
I am grateful for all the responses...reading them has helped me consider things I didn't originally take into account. Even the quote about having "fun which ever way you go" helps me get over the fear of making the "wrong" decision and wasting my savings...as long as I'm having "fun", it will all be worth it!
Oliver2017 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2018, 02:51 AM   #20
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Key West, FL
Posts: 83
Default

Regrets?...YES!... Should have done this years ago!

Bought a used RT. Have added Mods and Upgrades to my liking. She does everything I ask of her
__________________

angelmroman is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT. The time now is 06:04 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×