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Old 03-18-2018, 09:33 PM   #1
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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.
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Old 03-18-2018, 11:00 PM   #2
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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
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Old 03-18-2018, 11:02 PM   #3
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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
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Old 03-18-2018, 11:28 PM   #4
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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
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Old 03-18-2018, 11:39 PM   #5
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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

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Old 03-19-2018, 12:58 AM   #6
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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.
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Old 03-19-2018, 02:53 AM   #7
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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.
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Old 03-19-2018, 01:32 PM   #8
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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.
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Old 03-19-2018, 01:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
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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
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Old 03-19-2018, 02:07 PM   #10
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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.
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