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Old 04-16-2015, 07:29 PM   #1
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Default Wingamm City

I thought some of you might find this one interesting.

It's chock full of interesting ideas - starting with the fiberglass body shell that not only preserves the van dimensions, but is moulded with the vehicle shape, indents, etc. Mid-ship flush access door instead of near the front - that puts the kitchen area closer to the dining.
Two drop down double beds, motorized in the back to adjust for big cargo. Large access door in the rear for bulky items. Note the applique on the cabinetry instead of simulated wood finishes - not sure I dig it, but it is different. Also note that the van looks like it's pitched higher in the back - like the springs are unloaded. These fiberglass bodied vans appear to be much lighter than those with steel bodies, so it has a high payload.

[youtube:vi1jbkex]aPmKE2tOf7k[/youtube:vi1jbkex]

I think this class of van would do well here in the States. The upright sides give the illusion of a more roomy van without the excess exterior dimensions.
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Old 04-16-2015, 07:35 PM   #2
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Default Re: Wingamm City

the fascination at this site for vehicles that are not sold here(north america) still amazes me.
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Old 04-16-2015, 09:09 PM   #3
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Default Re: Wingamm City

It is not a van. She said it was a cab chassis with the size of a van shell. Actually it looks as if it was bulged out a bit from what you could get from a true Fiat van. But several North American converters have been doing this for years. Roadtrek and Leisure Travel Vans did so with Chevys and the Pleasure-Way Excel on a Ford van had fiberglass replacement shells. The popular segment now is Unity, Plateau XL, Serenity, etc. which is the same thing on cab chassis but in North America it is easier to pop out the sides more. Europe is simply a different market with different desires, different roads, different camping accommodations, etc. What they do hasn't translated here very well except for a niche market. What is unique is they cram sleeping for four matched to seats for four in a very small RV.

What I don't fully understand about adjustable storage is what do you do with the storage after lowering the bed? Bicycles stuck outside seems about the only conceivable items or the main item. What else would be tall requiring the bed to have to be raised up for travel? Weber kettle grill? I actually worked hard coming up with a B I could live with that doesn't force you into either/or situations. When those beds are made up the whole RV is nothing but bed.

As for that appliqué cabinetry it seems Airstream is big on that. Advanced RV has done quite a bit. In fact there are no two Advanced RVs alike on the interior as each customer does his/her own design finishes. Airstream gives you few choices and you either have to like it or not. Seems the same with that Wingamm.
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Old 04-16-2015, 11:38 PM   #4
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Default Re: Wingamm City

Thanks for the link. I think the fascination for vehicles that aren't sold here is a good thing. If people become interested in these european vehicles they will start requesting some of the features and the N American manufacturers will listen, look at the 59k. Nothing wrong with knowledge and knowing what is available in the rest of the world.
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Old 04-18-2015, 08:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: Wingamm City

I post these types of vans on here to point out interesting ideas.

For those of us driving Promasters or Sprinters to scoff at Euro vans or components is just ridiculous in my view. Look at the source list for the components in these vans! A lot of features translate in my humble view, although admittedly, some things, such as the cassette toilets and the fabric choices probably not. Interestingly, their markets support a wide multitude of floorplans that ours doesn't seem to - or the manufacturers are too scared to gamble on/experiment. Travato and Safari are probably the most "euro" you'll find here in North America, save the Hymer that is just breaking in.

Anyways, the idea of the adjustable bed height is not only to accommodate some bulky equipment, but also to allow multi-use of the van, as many many owners like to do. Some want to justify their van purchase by knowing that they can pick up things at the DIY store or cart bulky items home. I suppose if you could deal with climbing up into bed, you could have it at a very high height to accommodate bikes or whatever. Some bikes can be broken down to a low height, or folded up. I can see that being useful. Also, you could always just use the front bed if you had some really big items in the rear. I just think the capability is brilliant if you need it, and you can just set the bed at it's lowest level when you didn't.

When I mentioned appliqué, I wasn't referring to laminate. Everyone uses laminates with either solid colors, or faux wood grains. I was referring to the large print design. It looks almost like a wallpaper which I suppose is considered stylish in Europe. I've not seen any RV doing this type of thing, so I thought it interesting. If anyone can point out some similar samples, that would be of interest.

The other thing I was trying to point out is the body design. This is not like the Roadtrek 210 or the Excel, and completely different than the mini-C Serenity. Those are all wide body units. If anything, this is like the old Xplorer. That body was fairly tight to the metal van body dimensions and had the appearance of the van body. I think there is a niche for this style of van - a bit more upright side walls to accommodate more interior features, yet still a tidy dimension (even with some shape to it) without a strange bulbous look or the outright look of a C class RV. I could see someone "graduating" from a B van to something like this, without going to a more full-size RV. Also, I think the fiberglass body solves a few problems - you can get different access doors and outside compartment doors, but also a lighter weight so greater payloads are available.
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Old 04-18-2015, 09:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: Wingamm City

If you say so. What I say is there is no European B I know of that can match the features of my Advanced RV with off-grid capability. Just for starters show me a Class B anywhere that has articulating beds as I had installed. Just about every customer has had custom beds made with such diverse things as built in kennels and CPAP machines. One ARV went out the door this past month with folded stack back upper bunk bed for kids. A composting toilet will be going out the door in a month. Another is having as custom office being built inside a B. VB Air Suspension is a standard. Lithium ion battery banks are standard. They all have diesel-fired heat exchangers for heat and instant hotter. From day one the standard ARV was designed to carry two full sized bicycles inside and not in the way like in an aisle or have to move a bed. Do you have a fully non-winterized (water in tanks), insulated and sound dampened B you can sleep comfortably boondocked in 5 degree weather like I did? Does anyone in Europe? Could you drive 11,000 miles coast to coast and never have to plug into shore power? I can. Can European Bs?

You should have signed up for Advanced Fest in Willoughby, Ohio. You could learn something such as that appliqué you are so convinced of. So far Advanced RV has never built the same laminate finish in any of its Class Bs and they are not all solid color or faux wood grains. The same goes for all the other finishes as well. They know what Europe has. They've looked at it all. They've adapted what will work and have more technology development going on no European manufacturer has.

North American converters are building Class Bs for a North American market. We have a different infrastructure and culture expectations for camping. It is different is all. No North American converter is going to the trouble to duplicate a narrow van body in fiberglass when they can do the same and go with a wider body. Anyway isn't there an Elkhart, IN company that has built a fiberglass body originally intended for a shuttle bus or limousine that a company has used for an RV? We have the roads to build more desired wider bodies. Europe doesn't. You posted that one Sprinter you called narrow. Show me what was really unique about it that Coach House with its Arriva has not already done. Haven't you seen Great West Vans Promaster with the elevated bed that goes up and down?
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Old 04-18-2015, 09:50 PM   #7
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Default Re: Wingamm City

So every van that isn't a $200k space shuttle is just a piece of garbage then?

So everyone should just send their van to the crusher, re-mortgage their house and stand in line for a boutique manufacturer that has only 20 or so vans on the road?

Get a grip. Not everyone, more like .10 of 1% of the market at the outside, wants what you want, or would be willing to spend the money to get it.

Personally, I'm pretty sick of every thread turning into an ARV thread. There is more to talk about.
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Old 04-19-2015, 12:40 AM   #8
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Default Re: Wingamm City

Quote:
Originally Posted by wincrasher
I post these types of vans on here to point out interesting ideas.

Anyways, the idea of the adjustable bed height is not only to accommodate some bulky equipment, but also to allow multi-use of the van, as many many owners like to do. Some want to justify their van purchase by knowing that they can pick up things at the DIY store or cart bulky items home. I suppose if you could deal with climbing up into bed, you could have it at a very high height to accommodate bikes or whatever. Some bikes can be broken down to a low height, or folded up. I can see that being useful. Also, you could always just use the front bed if you had some really big items in the rear. I just think the capability is brilliant if you need it, and you can just set the bed at it's lowest level when you didn't.
I can testify that our ajustable FLEX bed is fabulous. We can adjust it to our needs. At a high level when we need to be short (in cities) putting the bikes and the hitch rack inside. At low when it's hot. At the high level (we call it the mezzanine level) when the temperature drops. Even when it's at the lowest point we need to access the huge cargo space underneath, so we flip the switch and it's accessible from inside and out. And it becomes a real cargo van when we go to IKEA!
And we love the permanent bed. We use it as a two zone living during the day with the great front dinette.

See our FLEX bed from Safari Condo (Sorry, for being such big fan our our van )
http://centrelab.smugmug.com/PERSO-G...docom/n-MNSpq/

No van is a perfect one. It has to fit your lifestyle. Like houses.
That's what I like about this blog: Keep on debating!
I love to read about all of the opinionated Travatos, Alvars, Zions, Interstates, Eras, Lexors, Free Spirits, Agiles, E-treks and Wingamms of this wonderful world of Bs! (I must be missing some Bs, no offense! )
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Old 04-19-2015, 08:25 PM   #9
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Default Re: Wingamm City

I still remember when camping was sleeping under a canvas tarp and washing yourself with the cold water of a nearby stream. Waking up with hundreds of mosquito bites.

Camping has evolved into homes on wheels, bigger than a city bus and more expensive than my single family home. All of us may envy the 1600Ah solar, the double electric beds and all the other gadgets a $300,000 RV can offer, yet not everybody can afford, let alone want such an outfit. The same may be true for the upper echelon of campers, that may never put a week's worth of food in their backpack, hike for seven days while sleeping on bedrock.

There are so many segments of the population, with so many different objectives, that each should formulate his opinions and desires and express them here, without making anyone's choices the sole and best options available.

Personally, I tend to stick to the simpler old-fashioned way of camping with fewer gadgets, less TV and more books, more hikes and more starry, starry night skies. Yet my age is pushing for more comfort. I could spend much more on a Recreational Vehicle, but find it contradictory to the term camping. Spending $100,000's on an RV and then do an overnighter at Walmart doesn't make sense to me.

But that just MY opinion. Many have to live in their beaten down E's and B's. Others choose to and still others spend their life savings on it. That's all good and we have to remember the intention and purpose of each van dweller.

In the end, I'm probably somewhere in the middle. Getting older (!), I tend towards a bit more comfort, so I may get a nice new cargo van, probably not the longest, not the highest, not the 4x4, not the diesel. Add a $10,000 in upgrades, like Webasto heater, Novakool fridge, some solar and lithium batteries and put it all together in my workshop. That way, I could get most of what the expensive models have to offer for a more affordable price and could enjoy that for the next 20 years.

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Old 04-19-2015, 08:59 PM   #10
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Default Re: Wingamm City

What Van says X 2 !!!
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