2009 GTRV V-top
Quite some time ago we were VW Wesfalia owners and when it came time for another camper vehicle we looked at the various models of Westfalia campers that were currently available. Not only was the price for them high but we found that getting parts and service could pose a problem so the search was on for an alternative. I came across the GTRV web site a few of years ago but it was some time before I found out that the conversion was done in Richmond, BC, Canada which was a real advantage to us. I dropped in and met Roy, discussed what the conversion entailed and had a look at a couple of vehicles that were being converted at the time.
The quality of the construction was excellent and the price was competitive but I also wanted to see what else was on the market. To make a long story short, it didnít take long to see that the quality of the GTRV conversion was not going to be matched by the larger manufactures and that none of the other Class B conversions really met our needs. Of course our needs might seem to be minimalist by some standards but the GTRV conversion had everything that we were looking for.
I chatted with Roy off and on over another year or so and finally booked a time with him to do the conversion. In February of this year I took a trip back to Canada, we work in Cambodia, and bought a 2009 Ford E350 XLT passenger van with 4,000 KM on it and dropped it off with the Roy for the conversion. After that all of our communication was by email which was probably good for Roy as I wasnít able to be at the shop all of the time to help supervise.
Our order was probably pretty standard but given Royís experience with this build I really didnít think that I would be able to improve on the design. The conversion included the standard floor plan, water heater, furnace, extra 6 volt battery, awning, fantastic vent, extra lights, extra outlets and a storage compartment in place of the upper bunk. We also had a voltage protection unit with integral display from Progressive Industries hard wired in to protect the electrical system.
In May I flew back to Vancouver and went over to the shop the day before delivery to see how things were coming along. The conversion was in the final stages and it gave me a chance to look into things behind the scenes and see that the quality was what I had anticipated. It also gave me a chance to chat with Mike Reed, the US side of the GTRV operation and he explained the relationship between him and Roy. He also did a really good job of keeping me awake given my very jet lagged state. The next morning the van was complete and Roy showed me how everything worked.
So we were ready for our first trip with the new camper and we went from Vancouver to Halifax, Halifax to Victoria and back to Vancouver. This trip was an excellent opportunity to see how the camper would perform on a long trip with lots of camping and we were very pleased. Everything functioned as it should and we experienced no troubles at all and found that if anything rattled or made noise it was because we put there Ė the fit and finish of the conversion was great. We put over 20,000 KM on the van over a month and a half, slept in it every night other than a few nights at friends or in a motel and put all of the appliances through their paces. The end result is that we are very happy with conversion as itís not often these days that a product actually exceeds your expectations. This is a vehicle that we intend on keeping for a long time. Next trip Ė Mexico.
Roy and his staff, Mike and GRTV are a pleasure to deal with and I highly recommend them.