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Old 02-17-2019, 02:29 PM   #11
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I have no desire to reignite the "do you use your bathroom" tempest, except to say that for us the bathroom is second only to the bed in importance and value. I agree that the difficulty and expense of fabricating a proper one-piece plastic wet bath is the biggest obstacle to DIYers and also the biggest barrier to entry of new players.

Great West's final wet bath was a real masterpiece (the final owner was a supplier of RV fiberglass before he acquired the company, and they had an extensive fiberglass shop at the Alabama factory). I have always though that the loss of the tooling for this part was one of the biggest losses in GWV's closing. I wonder where they ended up? Making these parts available to small-scale upfitters would be a boon. I guess that the logistics of such a product would be difficult, though.
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Old 02-17-2019, 02:41 PM   #12
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I'm not sure there is much headroom left on prices considering the run-up in the last few years. $100k for a Promaster based class B is pressing incredulity with alot of customers as it is. Recession this year may moderate that a bit. There seems to be room for expansion on the lower end in my view - the same folks looking to DIY their own builds shows there is a market there for folks with more modest pocketbooks. Too bad Hymer screwed up their deal with Camping World by making such embarrassingly poor vans for them. Had they been smarter about it - they could have made a ton of money and expanded their brand. It's still a good idea - not sure if a Winnebago could do it and risk their reputation as a mid-priced RV manufacturer. Coachmen probably would consider it, as the low end is usually the market for their products - their Class B's are the ONLY bright spot in their entire lineup as far as quality goes.
Wasnt the story with the Sunlight or Carado line that they had to make them in 45 minutes to turn a profit? Could have sworn I heard something like that. Which would explain the awful quality.

How good of fleet pricing does someone like Winnebago get on the Promaster chassis? As a private builder youd have to be able to sell your van for at least around 60k to make it worth doing. And thats with much less overhead. But also without bulk pricing Winnebago may be getting on various parts.

But Europe has it figured out. Most of their vans are in that 50-60k range new I believe. Often really nice. But no roof AC. And their battery systems generally dont seem to have the need to be as advanced because nobody wants to run AC off the batteries.
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Old 02-17-2019, 02:47 PM   #13
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I have no desire to reignite the "do you use your bathroom" tempest, except to say that for us the bathroom is second only to the bed in importance and value. I agree that the difficulty and expense of fabricating a proper one-piece plastic wet bath is the biggest obstacle to DIYers and also the biggest barrier to entry of new players.

Great West's final wet bath was a real masterpiece (the final owner was a supplier of RV fiberglass before he acquired the company, and they had an extensive fiberglass shop at the Alabama factory). I have always though that the loss of the tooling for this part was one of the biggest losses in GWV's closing. I wonder where they ended up? Making these parts available to small-scale upfitters would be a boon. I guess that the logistics of such a product would be difficult, though.
Yea its just different strokes. If I was able to poo in the van id still put its importance up that high. Being able to take a leak is pretty important still tho.

Anyway... I am surprised theres no money to be made in wet bath units for vans. It would have to be made to fit into the high roof models with no walls behind it. Since the majority of people put it behind the driver seat you could base the molding off that area maybe.

The problem comes with shipping. That would be expensive. It wouldnt surprise me to see something like this easily be $1k. But considering how crazy the cost of just shower pans are, im sure many would consider it. Especially since it would save A LOT of time.
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Old 02-17-2019, 03:58 PM   #14
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So, to reignite the "use your bathroom" tempest, my take leans toward minimalist.


No shower. There is nothing you can clean with a shower that you can't manage with a bowl of water, a bit of soap, and a washcloth. While using, or heating, FAR less water.


We have a composting toilet. No stink, and less mess disposing of waste than either black tank or cassette.


And no need to build a waterproof room, or hang, plumb, or flush a black tank.


We had a shower in our trailer, and old class C. Only used as space to store stuff like extra fresh water jugs. Never once were they used as showers



Maybe it comes from all the years of backpacking without lugging a shower or bathroom with us?
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Old 02-17-2019, 04:14 PM   #15
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Yes, these are the rationales I heard in Quartzite from the "no shower" crowd. And if it works for you, great.

I'm done years of backpacking and part of getting an RV was my admission that I just was getting too old to be a dirtbag anymore. I wanted some comforts.

Luckily years of California drought and water rationing have made me completely comfortable with water-wise showers.

I like having the "water proof" room as, besides a shower, it's a great place to hang up rain soaked clothes or bulky items i washed but don't want to pay to dry. The storage for garbage containers, cleaning supplies, etc. is also handy.

And since my shower in my teeny tiny Agile is so small, I don't feel I've given up a lot of space for it.

But it's whatever works for you.
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Old 02-17-2019, 04:37 PM   #16
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Yes, these are the rationales I heard in Quartzite from the "no shower" crowd. And if it works for you, great.

I'm done years of backpacking and part of getting an RV was my admission that I just was getting too old to be a dirtbag anymore. I wanted some comforts.

Luckily years of California drought and water rationing have made me completely comfortable with water-wise showers.

I like having the "water proof" room as, besides a shower, it's a great place to hang up rain soaked clothes or bulky items i washed but don't want to pay to dry. The storage for garbage containers, cleaning supplies, etc. is also handy.

And since my shower in my teeny tiny Agile is so small, I don't feel I've given up a lot of space for it.

But it's whatever works for you.
Yup, it's whatever works, for either of us.


Since we do use our john as a john, we don't like to have wet drippy clothes in there. We find other places to drain them. Like under the awning.


And not showering does not equate to being a dirtbag.
Our skill at being showerless, yet cleanable dirtbags stems directly from having a large, often muddy, dog traveling with us. And the soggy dog would not do well being hung out to dry in a tiny shower.



We did build an enclosed john with a sink and counter/cabinets. With the nice big counter, it even doubles as an extra reading/work space. So storage for garbage, cleaning stuff, etc. is at least as large as the shower equipped B's we toured during our research.
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Old 02-17-2019, 04:50 PM   #17
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I think there is always going to be a place for small companies to build custom vans, but I don't think any of them will get to the level or Roadtrek any time soon and that's probably fine for those companies as it takes a lot of work to get to that scale. With the prices approaching 6 figures for a b van, many people that are in the market for class B are younger and can't afford vans like that so are turning to DIY or custom built vans with the bare essentials (bed and kitchen). People that CAN afford a 6 figure van, there are still plenty of options.

I was never a fan of Roadtrek vans myself. I saw them in person when originally looking and found their quality to be lacking compared to all other class b vans. I do think the Hymer Aktiv's layout (standard euro style) has a place in the US, but I don't see any other van going this route so it's sad to see it go. Carado is the real loser here. I really thought the Axion was a great layout in a small van (136wb). I currently have a custom promaster, but was seriously considering selling it to pick up the studio Axion (with pop top). I don't think enough or any were made to be in the market.
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Old 02-17-2019, 05:27 PM   #18
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I'm still betting that Thor ends up swallowing up the remains of EHGNA themselves. They can now acquire the brands, the IP (designs, plans, patents, etc.), as well as molds, tools, etc. without having to take on any debts (including those 6-year warranty obligations) or contracts that they didn't want. If they hired back a few of the key engineers who know how to make it all work, they could probably get a new plant up and running and building low-cost Promaster chassis RVs pretty quickly. Likely much faster than a competitor like Coachmen or Winnebago would be able to add new models. I say Promaster because I doubt they would resurrect the Sprinter-based models as Thor has the Airstream Interstate line for those.
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Old 02-17-2019, 05:44 PM   #19
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I'm still betting that Thor ends up swallowing up the remains of EHGNA themselves. They can now acquire the brands, the IP (designs, plans, patents, etc.), as well as molds, tools, etc. without having to take on any debts (including those 6-year warranty obligations) or contracts that they didn't want. If they hired back a few of the key engineers who know how to make it all work, they could probably get a new plant up and running and building low-cost Promaster chassis RVs pretty quickly. Likely much faster than a competitor like Coachmen or Winnebago would be able to add new models. I say Promaster because I doubt they would resurrect the Sprinter-based models as Thor has the Airstream Interstate line for those.
I would not be out of the realm of possibility. My guess is they are the best party to buy the IP and brand names. I doubt they'd want anything else - the. dismantling and shipping cost to send that stuff across border down to the US may be more than it's worth.

But I could see some day they either launch Hymer Class B's in the US, or resurrect the Roadtrek brand. Personally, I'd rather they imported their vans from Europe (low cost production in Eastern European) into the US, but the tariff situation would have to change to make that financially attractive.
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Old 02-17-2019, 06:20 PM   #20
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I'm still betting that Thor ends up swallowing up the remains of EHGNA themselves. They can now acquire the brands, the IP (designs, plans, patents, etc.), as well as molds, tools, etc. without having to take on any debts (including those 6-year warranty obligations) or contracts that they didn't want. If they hired back a few of the key engineers who know how to make it all work, they could probably get a new plant up and running and building low-cost Promaster chassis RVs pretty quickly. Likely much faster than a competitor like Coachmen or Winnebago would be able to add new models. I say Promaster because I doubt they would resurrect the Sprinter-based models as Thor has the Airstream Interstate line for those.
This is my guess on the outcome too. Thor will pick up Roadtrek name paperwork... and perhaps fill the niche of the rigs near and under 20 ft. They could take over the small promaster based rigs... RT, Hymer and Carado. They could pick up the old factory in Kitchner (or the new... whatever) and build them in Canada... or move it all to available space in their US inventory.
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