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Old 03-03-2018, 08:55 PM   #21
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The grass is always greener syndrome.

Different market in Europe and different taste whether you think it or not. And just different material suppliers.

Class Bs are a minor market for RVing in the US. The money is in bigger RVs as well as the overwhelming numbers sold because of our infrastructure and travel habits.

You don't think the companies investigate the available market? They do have to make money and making money decides.

As much as you think it, bikes are not a major consideration. Advanced RV's owner is a major biking enthusiast but I haven't seen many vans go out of there built for bikes.

I agree with JakeyLee's comment: "Curiously, they both have that half bench/love seat thing that looks better in pics than it does in real life. Or should I say, not comfortable /usable." Just about every European van is like this and is an extreme waste of space for two people 99% of the time. They are stodgy and unmovable in design as the Americans.

But I didn't agonize or wait. I had built exactly what I wanted now four years ago technologically more advanced than anything on the market in Europe to this day.
I bet to differ, it's not as simple as the grass is always greener. There are lots of categories I think the American companies do as well as, or better than the Europeans. For example, in my opinion and many others, U.S. Companies makes the best mountain bikes, arguable the best full sized pick-up trucks, computers, movies, hi-fi equipment, on and on.

I agree that money is a significant factor but so is inertia, poor business planning and faulty marketing. I worked at the highest level with U.S. auto companies and, with the possible exception of Ford, they did not listen nor respond to their customers until it was too late and we had to bail them out. How about Blockbuster or Sears, the big Banks? Even the big packaged goods companies are struggling because they are way behind their customers.

I suspect you are correct that for the audience the major RV companies are CURRENTLY targeting bikes are not a huge deal, but my point is that there is a huge untapped market for whom bikes are near the top of the "criteria list" when purchasing an RV. The bike market in the U.S. is over $6 billion annually - almost exactly equal to the annual RV market. Per my original post, Kudos to Winnebago for recognizing this and introducing the Revel with 4X4 and a "gear" garage ... read bikes.

Finally, I realize that having something custom built is an option. But a staggeringly expense one. With enough money, sure just about anybody could get exactly what they want. But where the heck heck is the Hymer Grand Canyon or 4X4 Activ or Revel (with a few more livable options)? Even an Ascent re-engineered to be a 4X4? While none of these would be inexpensive, they would be drastically less coin than a custom built Van. And currently, the answer to my last question is "nowhere, that's where". The current options are the Agile with floor to ceiling old fashioned cabinets, the bare bones but cool Revel or Custom. Thats it. That's my frustration and seemingly many other's as well.
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Old 03-04-2018, 05:15 AM   #22
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…………………. That's my frustration and seemingly many other's as well.
Share the frustration, for me it is not the grass is greener on the other side, I spend a lot time in EU and drool. There are many van campers I would buy there but here I had resort to the DIY. Hymer Grand Canyon based price is $70K. Upfront investment, vision and manufacturing know how are necessary to end with a product like Grand Canyon at that price. https://european-innovation-award.co...rand-canyon-s/
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Old 03-04-2018, 02:31 PM   #23
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My definition of grass is greener on the other side is drooling.

I've shown my van often to European RV tourist and they drool too.
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Old 03-05-2018, 03:17 AM   #24
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While I can see all your points, I am here to say as an avid hiker, former mountain bike racer, and long-time 4x4 driver ... I can get my Hymer Aktiv (RAM ProMaster 2500) to places most 4x4s go if I take my time and pick my lines. Afterall, the goal is to get to the trailhead and then use the bike or my feet to get deeper into the woods right?

If you like the Hymer Grand Canyon, check out an Aktiv. At more than 19000 miles already, my only beef is I want an extra inch of clearance so I will be investing in a lift at some point. That said, I barely fit through some of the low-hanging trees on my forest explorations already ... so a lift may be a problem.
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Old 03-05-2018, 03:44 AM   #25
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While I can see all your points, I am here to say as an avid hiker, former mountain bike racer, and long-time 4x4 driver ... I can get my Hymer Aktiv (RAM ProMaster 2500) to places most 4x4s go if I take my time and pick my lines. Afterall, the goal is to get to the trailhead and then use the bike or my feet to get deeper into the woods right?

If you like the Hymer Grand Canyon, check out an Aktiv. At more than 19000 miles already, my only beef is I want an extra inch of clearance so I will be investing in a lift at some point. That said, I barely fit through some of the low-hanging trees on my forest explorations already ... so a lift may be a problem.

Have you looked at the Sumo Springs?

I would worry about your underhood generator; it is hanging real low in the front.
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Old 03-05-2018, 04:02 AM   #26
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Thanks for your comments. Agree completely that the goal is to get to the trailhead and bike or hike from there. Great to hear you are getting to where you want to go with the Activ. 1.0 or 2.0? I do like the layout of the Activ and they incorporated many things from the Grand Canyon with the notable exceptions of a larger fridge and 4X4. I have only seen photos and videos of the Activ but probably worth it to go take an in-person look at one. Where do you drive where you find the top scrapping on the low trees?
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Old 03-05-2018, 04:11 AM   #27
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@BBQ: The Sumo Springs are actually what I am considering, but first I need to run into a situation/road that prevents me from reaching my desired destination. I pick my lines based on right front bumper (alternator), right lateral mid-section (propane) and left rear lateral quarter (exposed water lines).

It's all about lines, angles of approach, being comfortable with tilting the rig, and doing slow-steady approaches. And, one should always be comfortable with saying it is time to park and just hike/ride that extra mile.


@Teck13: I have an Aktiv 1.0. Mt Hood, Oregon Cascades and some of the coastal trails near Cape Perpetua have reduced clearances we have had difficulty getting our Xterra under at times. Washington also has issues for more remote areas. I've done my fair share of walking a road first after major winter storms and finding roads that were marked as 'cleared' and more blowdown from the hillside was hanging at just over 6ft.
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Old 03-05-2018, 01:01 PM   #28
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But I didn't agonize or wait. I had built exactly what I wanted now four years ago technologically more advanced than anything on the market in Europe to this day.
For 300k or more. Not the position 99% of people are in.
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Old 03-05-2018, 01:04 PM   #29
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As others have said, most people that want a van like this can't afford it (myself included). I opted for a used DIY build for 1/3 the cost of a revel. Most can be built yourself for 1/4th the cost as long as you don't need 4x4 (which 90% of people don't need).
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Old 03-05-2018, 01:13 PM   #30
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As others have said, most people that want a van like this can't afford it (myself included). I opted for a used DIY build for 1/3 the cost of a revel. Most can be built yourself for 1/4th the cost as long as you don't need 4x4 (which 90% of people don't need).
This is the way to go if you have any ability to do it. New Promasters arent expensive. Slightly used Promasters are often 23-26k around me. A fully decked out conversion with a way better solar package then the big companies give you will cost 6-10k in materials. And its likely to be built better. These factories arent doing anything special. Its all still mostly trash construction at the big companies and you are paying 100k+ for it. You can do better yourself for 40k or less all in.

The "value" van in America is something like the Sunlight. Pure trash for 60-70k. In Europe 60k gets you a van thats better built then our 100k vans.
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