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Old 06-19-2015, 01:53 PM   #1
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Default The sub $60,000 new Class B RV

We had fun talking about all the high tech things we'd like to see in a Class B and that got me thinking about what things you'd remove in order to produce a Class B that could retail for less than $60,000.

I'd eliminate the power sofa and go with a twin bed arrangement.
Use cloth curtains
2 basic AGM batteries
Gravity waste dump
No add-on generator - instead get upgraded wiring like 2 gauge from the engine compartment
No granite etc.
Vinyl flooring
Solar prewire
45 amp converter charger
No awning
Roof A/C
Truma heat & hot water
1 year warranty

I'd like to choose the brands and capacities re: inverter, solar controller etc., and do those installations myself.

Would a Class B marketed as being upgradeable sell?

Crazy idea?
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Old 06-19-2015, 03:34 PM   #2
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What do you envision being the base vehicle to keep the cost down? Gas not diesel? Shorter wheelbase, not longer? US made not imported? Fixed seats not swivel.

Why only one year warranty? I would think if the equipment - ac, charger, etc -was all brand name and installation was factory, a longer warranty would be justified, i.e. not a real effect on price.
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Old 06-19-2015, 03:49 PM   #3
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I think it would have to be a gas engined Transit or ProMaster, 20' to 22' range. Passenger seat swivel as a minimum but two swivel bases preferred. All the cutting and fiberglass and labor re: adding a high roof to a Chevy must add to the cost.

I figured the 1 year warranty on the up-fit (cabinetry, upholstery, plumbing pipes etc) is more than enough time to find out if those items are defective. Appliances etc. would be covered by their manufacturers. The vehicle is covered by the vehicle manufacturer.
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Old 06-19-2015, 03:54 PM   #4
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I do think that they could get to that price if it were a class C style construction, but with a B sized body. Maybe with a very stripped down Travato.

I like the idea of a prewired, finish at home with what you want unit, as money allows, but I would bet the market would be pretty small for that.
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Old 06-19-2015, 04:30 PM   #5
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I would think you would need to approach the design and fitout very simply.

Just looking at "Building Annie" and there are some things to be learned there (and other DIY van conversions).

Minimize under chassis tanks - probably just the propane (for safety reasons). Water heater, water and grey water tank inside van. Maybe even a cassette toilet - goes in as a unit, access cassette via external door. Even batteries inside van in box with vent to outside (like my VW EVC)

Cabinets are simple rectangular boxes, built outside and just installed. Look at Sportsmobile approach.

Sliding doors on over head cabinets(no latches or hinges - less$)
Minimize drawers - just doors with adj. shelves.

Just some ideas off the top of my head.
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Old 06-19-2015, 04:56 PM   #6
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I was wondering how numbers would work on this.

Using Sportsmobile "vehicle costs" a gas Transit high roof EB is around $31k (I am rounding off a bit) and a ProMaster gas high roof EB is around $35k.

With $60k as MSRP and using 10% profit (a guess on my part) on the cost of the fit-out (I assume there is a bit of profit on the vehicle in Sportsmobile's $) that comes out as:

Transit - 31,000 vehicle + 26,100 fit-out cost + 2,900 profit = $60,000
Promaster - 35,000 vehicle + 22,500 fit-out cost + 2,500 profit = $60,000

So does everyone think $22,500 to $26,100 is enough for a simple fit-out (materials and labor)

If you use $70k the fit-out cost increases to 31,500 to 35,100 - another 9k to use.

Since we are talking about a manufacturer making this and not DIY, does anyone with some knowledge of how manufacturers price up RVs (+dealer!) think these numbers are in the ballpark?
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Old 06-19-2015, 05:52 PM   #7
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I'd love an upgradable/maintainable class "B". It can be pre-wired with a spot for the Onan generator, so it later the mounting bracket can be dropped, the genset attached, and it tossed in place.

A few things I'd suggest:

No multiplexed wiring, since one might upgrade to an appliance that isn't supported by the current setup.
Cloth curtains, as well as window covers that were Reflectix. Not great, but effective.
Basic countertop veneer. Something that can handle water, but not expensive as solid granite.
Londeck/Loncoin flooring. It is similar to vinyl, but hard rubber and wears well. If someone wants carpeting, they can toss a rug down.

Floor-plan wise, I do agree that twin beds are better than the sofa. It also allows one of the twin beds to be the space for the FW tank, with the other being able to be folded almost flush to the wall, so one can use about 3/4 the van's width if cargo needs to be hauled.

Aisle showers come to mind as well. It means less space dedicated to just the bathroom when it isn't in use, and done right, one can have a view of the entire van when on the "throne". These worked in Roadtreks for decades.

Van chassis is a major price factor as well. Vans are not cheap, even the PMs, and for one that has the proper upfittings to be a RV, it adds to the cost.
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Old 06-19-2015, 06:44 PM   #8
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Any ideas as to ventilation?

Do you just use "standard" windows that come with the van? Or install after market ones? Think awning style preferable for ventilation when raining. (no generator, then no AC when boon docking)

Roof fan, preferably a Maxx Deluxe to use when raining.
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Old 06-19-2015, 06:45 PM   #9
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Does anybody know what the Majestics sell for new? Lots of used around for pretty reasonable prices. Former rentals it appears. They do look to be pretty much basic.


http://www.majesticvan.com/fordcampervans.html
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Old 06-19-2015, 06:47 PM   #10
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I doubt it would be a Sprinter. My Mercedes Benz sticker MSRP was $55,700+ for an empty cargo van.
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