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Old 07-10-2015, 04:04 PM   #1
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Default Europe vs. North America

Is it just me or are the European Class B manufacturers light years ahead of the North American manufacturers when it comes to interior design and layout?

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Old 07-10-2015, 06:53 PM   #2
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I like the design innovations we see in/on European RV's.

The dinette seat to bed conversion in the video you linked to is great. The way the rear bed moves out of the way is very clever too.
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Old 07-10-2015, 07:15 PM   #3
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So many neat ideas. Love the drawer type refer. That would be a cool addition to the Safari Condo - have one of the refrigerators the standard type and the second one this drawer type for cold drinks.

Probably the best front folding bed I've ever seen. Love how they have a dedicated mattress cushion instead of re-using the seating surface for the bed.
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Old 07-10-2015, 07:31 PM   #4
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I hope manufacturers like Westfalia, Hymer Car and Adria come to North America.

It will force the North American companies to up their interior design game. Too many of them are stuck with the dated wood cabinets and cheap looking fiberglass and plastic washrooms.

The closest company in NA to capture the Euro flair for design is Safari Condo.
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Old 07-10-2015, 07:34 PM   #5
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I do find it bit frustrating to see European RVs and think "why not here?" North American manufacturers that come closest are Safari Condo, Advanced and some other custom ones.

European RV manufacturers are definitely ahead on the look - NO floral print curtains and upholstery, cherry frame and panel cabinets, painted swirls and swoops on the body, for them. But look is not some separate add-on idea or "style"; it is part of design.

It is how they use the space. European RVs are designed and built like their boats - every bit of space is thought out in detail. No wasted space. All the storage thought out. Smooth surfaces easy to clean, simple. Just check out Westfalia and the entire line of Hymer (not just the HymerCar portion), Carthago, and Adria.

I do hope Hymer (and others) open up the North American market, just like European auto manufacturers (BMW, VW, MB, Audi) and sailboat manufacturers (Beneteau with a factory in SC, Bavaria, Jeanneau,etc) have done.
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Old 07-10-2015, 07:45 PM   #6
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Here's a look at the Adria Twin Series.

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Old 07-10-2015, 07:52 PM   #7
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Airstream brought the James Cook Westfalia model over and converted to American standards a decade ago. It lasted about 2 years. It was rather innovative at the time with European design. I think of it as the grass is greener syndrome until you have to actually shell out cash. The markets are different is all. Our RV use is different too.

I'm satisfied with my American made Class B. I'd put it up against any European converter for design, innovation and capabilities. Temporarily I feel cutting edge but there will soon be some more stuff coming from Advanced RV that will knock your socks off.
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Old 07-10-2015, 08:02 PM   #8
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But Advanced RV is more of a custom manufacturer with high end pricing, is it not?

I think a more fair comparison in terms of build quality, pricing and design between the previously mentioned Euro and NA manufacturers would be with the likes of Roadtrek, Winnebago and Pleasure Way.
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Old 07-10-2015, 08:24 PM   #9
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I would not say that the Euro vans are better based on advanced technology alone, in fact I would say that is a minor part of it, at least for me.

I would put the advantages more in the practical use of things, be it space, equipment, floorplan, etc, without a lot of splash or pretentiousness. They just make it all work together better.
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Old 07-10-2015, 09:11 PM   #10
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In terms of interior design and layout I think they are indeed light years ahead of us. Value for money is also much better due to how popular motorhomes are and how much competition exists in Europe. If you want to buy a new van conversion you have ~15 manufacturers to choose from.

I watch the video review of every single van conversion and coach build that comes out of Europe. One thing that is different is the higher end manufacturers will model each and every piece that goes into a build in CAD to integrate and match the van. It's almost like they worked directly with the Fiat designers. It's simply a more sophisticated design and build than a Roadtrek or even Advanced RV.

Technology is not necessarily superior, but they do have more product manufacturers that produce items that are superior to what we have in the U.S. like Thetford, Smev, Dometic, Seitz, Truma, RIB, etc.
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Old 07-10-2015, 09:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jostalli View Post
One thing that is different is the higher end manufacturers will model each and every piece that goes into a build in CAD to integrate and match the van. .
I think they also build them differently. They don't just build cabinets and then fit and install them, then run the wiring and plumbing. They tend to build entire systems - test for function, fit and finish - then insert them into the vehicle. And they fit perfectly.

They have a wealth of experience with prefab systems, especially in buildings.

Found this video a couple of years ago of a VW California being built:

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Old 07-11-2015, 12:25 AM   #12
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Well, if you guys want European camper vans, you better get used to cassette toilets and no rooftop air and no generators. The Travato's are the closest vans we have to Europe. Even the cabinets come frome Italy, but even the Europeans don't have a floorplan as good as the 59k.
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Old 07-11-2015, 12:34 AM   #13
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........but even the Europeans don't have a floorplan as good as the 59k.
That's a matter of opinion. I like the 59G.

Separate sleeping and dining - like HymerCar and Safari ProMasterXL21. A/C, generators (under hood) and solar can be optioned on (as in Safari's) and cassettes don't bother me (I now have a PortiPotti!!)
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Old 07-11-2015, 12:53 AM   #14
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The Travato is pretty much a rip off of the The HymerCar Grand Canyon model.

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Old 07-11-2015, 01:56 AM   #15
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Of course my praise of the 59k is opinion but find a similar floorplan in the European vans. I haven't seen it. I love watching the YouTube videos and find them to be very clever but for me the 59k only offered in North America is the ticket. The 59k would be my choice if I was still taking kids along but that's what my Class A is for. We're leaving tomorrow on a trip in Old Bertha with kids n dogs. As far as the 59g being a rip off of a European van , imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Oh and Winnebago vastly improved it .
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Old 07-11-2015, 02:04 AM   #16
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If you want to see my love of the portapotti , check my review on the YouTube. Thetford Curve review. I am actually thinking of ripping out my 7 gallon black tank and putting a Thetford Curve in it's place. I don't think a cassette toilet will fit the space. The Curve is 5.5 gallons and can be dumped in any toilet. My love for the Curve in my Sportsmobile bordered on unhealthy. Great product.
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Old 07-11-2015, 02:27 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by stanw909 View Post
Of course my praise of the 59k is opinion but find a similar floorplan in the European vans. I haven't seen it. I love watching the YouTube videos and find them to be very clever but for me the 59k only offered in North America is the ticket. The 59k would be my choice if I was still taking kids along but that's what my Class A is for. We're leaving tomorrow on a trip in Old Bertha with kids n dogs. As far as the 59g being a rip off of a European van , imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Oh and Winnebago vastly improved it .
I respectfully disagree. I think the Travato looks like a cheap imitation of the European models. But that's just my opinion.
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Old 07-11-2015, 03:08 AM   #18
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Maybe it's because you have not seen the European vans in person. I looked at both Travatos recently and liked the fit and finish. I hope the European vans are just as good but can't tell from videos of handpicked by the factory reviews of their vans.
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Old 07-11-2015, 03:13 AM   #19
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I have to qualify my fit and finish statement by saying it was the build in the inside of the 59k but the paint from Dodge had a different shade of silver between the front drivers side to halfway down the side and the rear half. Like they ran out of paint , opened a new batch and did not worry about the ever so slight difference.
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Old 07-11-2015, 03:34 AM   #20
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Maybe it's because you have not seen the European vans in person. I looked at both Travatos recently and liked the fit and finish. I hope the European vans are just as good but can't tell from videos of handpicked by the factory reviews of their vans.
Agreed. I would have to see both in person to make a final assessment. Fingers crossed that the European manufacturers come here so I can do just that.
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