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Old 07-03-2015, 08:18 PM   #1
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Default Class C/Trend/Travato/Promaster

Scott B Here.
Lived in a van for short bursts a few times in my life, then worked for months from a Sportsmobile conversion (all those times were some of my best times).
Lately have been considering retirement and extended trips in an R.V. .
Been studying Class C's, Trends, and Class B's..
Keep drifting back to either a Travato, or a self build Promaster...
I'm here to hear what everyone else likes, and dislikes.
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Old 07-03-2015, 09:25 PM   #2
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Sometimes I miss my Class C. It was the perfect vehicle at the destination and one of the worst to use getting there. It was an ill-handling, gas guzzling lane hogging pig. But it sure was nice at the campsite. I could take everything along even if I was never going to use it.

My Travato is the opposite. Wonderful to drive and visit with, not the nicest place to be at camp.

Everything is a compromise. My priorities are getting there comfortably. I'll sacrifice some campsite comfort for that.
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Old 07-03-2015, 09:41 PM   #3
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I agree Eric. Our last trip over 4 months took in 16,000 miles. It would have been hell in any Class C. Actually I didn't mind in the campground with our articulating beds that can be beds, zero gravity loungers or lazy-boys.
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Old 08-02-2015, 03:07 PM   #4
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I have a dual purpose in mind. A weekend fun Machine for 4 now, and an extended time camper/traveler for 2 later.
Now I need something that can park and go anywhere. Comfy and economical to travel with, can be used as a second car.
Later I need something we can camp/sleep and eat out of while traveling and biking and hiking etc...
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Old 08-02-2015, 03:50 PM   #5
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That's just it - when I had a bigger RV, I had tons of stuff I carried around and NEVER used. It's just a colossal waste of resources and consumer of money for no good reason. Who hangs out in the RV anyways?
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Old 08-02-2015, 03:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wincrasher View Post
Who hangs out in the RV anyways?
A whole lot of class A owners do.
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Old 08-02-2015, 03:56 PM   #7
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Yep. Sitting in front of their big-screen TV's and the air conditioning blasting.
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Old 08-02-2015, 03:58 PM   #8
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Scott B, what you are describing as wanted sounds like a "B" to me. Travato, Zion, Lexor, or home made style van, not a C
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Old 08-03-2015, 01:34 AM   #9
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Yes bobo, that is where I am settling in.
I was pretty well sold on the Travato G, but cant get past the cramped dinette. There also seems to be allot of bells and whistles I don't require. I have started talking with a couple upfitters, and if I can get what I want at a price I can deal with, I will end up going that way. If not, I will try to build one myself.

What do you think of this?
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File Type: pdf promaster 7-29.pdf (68.6 KB, 39 views)
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Old 08-03-2015, 01:38 AM   #10
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If you are asking me, the pdf didn't come through
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Old 08-03-2015, 02:14 AM   #11
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hmmm... not sure why it is not downloading/uploading...
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Old 08-03-2015, 02:46 AM   #12
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Worked for me.
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Old 08-09-2015, 06:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottbaldassari View Post
What do you think of this?
Worked for me. fyi - if on Mac/safari it will download without opening up - check your download queue in upper right of window, find it and double click.

Interesting. So sleep sideways on beds at rear? Some of us are bit longer than 6ft.

If I may ask, which up fitters are you talking with?

If you DIY, take a look at "Building Annie" on this forum. Not a Promaster but very interesting watching the process.
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Old 08-10-2015, 12:22 AM   #14
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My wife and actually currently sleep sideways (or closer to diagonal really) in the back of our old 1997 Dodge Conversion Van now. I'm not exactly sure how wide it is, but I know its several inches narrower than the promaster. And I am actually 6'2" but do OK on that bed (a fold down couch) so my bed design would definitely be an upgrade.

I've actually spoke with several upfitters.
Started with Sportsmobile, because I had owned one before, and though it was not what I would call real "high end", it served its purpose, worked, and held up well. But after one or two short conversations with them, I found that they were not very flexible, and just wanted to use their prefabbed furniture, floorplans, and accessories.
I then met up with a guy who had a Promaster built by Morehead designs in N.C., and really liked the methods, ingenuity, design and craftsmanship of his rig. They were also willing to do the work in phases, or allow me to do some parts of the work while they did others.. But after speaking with the company a few times, I found that even for a basic conversion, we were talking 80,000, and that was short many major amenities, Like real water tanks, and a generator.
I then found a place called Florida RV Sales and Service, who seem to be more flexible and more excited to do something different than either of the other two, but the more we get in to the details, the higher the price gets... It is slowly sinking in that its just not gonna be cheap to have someone build a quality rig; it is very labor intensive, and anyone who is worth their salt, should make a good buck for his craftsmanship. It looks like it would cost me at least 90 to 100,000 to get a good quality complete rig done by any of these upfitters. They are all hundreds of miles from me..

Then there is the Travato that keeps tempting me at around $70,000 with even MORE bells and whistles than I really need. (and assembly line quality that can be scary)

I'm thinking I could build my own rig for under $55,000... I would know how it was done, and I would not skimp on material or workmanship. It would be nice to spread out the cost over the course of the construction, and REALLY GREAT to build everything JUST the way I want it... But I just don't know if I have the time and talent and to get it done... (before I die)...
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Old 08-10-2015, 01:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
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But I just don't know if I have the time and talent and to get it done... (before I die)...
Again, check out Building Annie on this forum. Also, Deep Red (UK DIY) that was mentioned by someone on this forum (markopolo?)

Deep Red - A self-build motorhome - making a start

Lots of resources out there on the web for DIY - Browse and search through this forum - I am sure you will find more links and info. Met 2 DIYers camping this spring who in the process of upfitting - one in a Sprinter, the other in a Promaster. Both were carpenters/cabinetmakers and had friends to help with plumbing and electrical. And both were taking their time - doing mockups, trying them out, tweaking layouts, etc.

If you build and repair stuff around your house - plumbing, electrical, carpentry, cabinets, etc - and have the tools and the knowledge and experience to use them, then the DIY route may work for you.

If not, think carefully about learning on an RV. Mistakes may be very expensive. You only get one chance to cut in vents and windows into your $30k+ vehicle. You will also need to include in your pricing the cost of buying all the necessary tools. But you will learn a lot and now how your RV is put together.
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Old 08-10-2015, 02:46 PM   #16
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I did my own conversion on a Dodge van back in the 70's. It took me over a year doing it in my spare time while working. It was basic with no water systems other than a poti-potty. I didn't spend much on it but nearly lost a finger doing something stupid late one night in my shop. Doing a complete B-van DIY conversion with all the systems in my current Airstream would be a huge undertaking. Might be smarter to buy a late model used unit and do some of your own upgrades.
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Old 08-10-2015, 03:44 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Might be smarter to buy a late model used unit and do some of your own upgrades.
I agree with Boxster - there are good used rigs (maybe even Travatos in a couple of years) out there in your price range. If we sell the VW, and upgrade to larger Class B, that is probably the route we will take.
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Old 08-10-2015, 07:37 PM   #18
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Yes. thanks guys, I know it would be a huge undertaking. And thanks for the links on the self builds, I have been studying both of them!

I have built several homes (one solar), and have all the tools, and enough knowledge to take a crack at it. I was "sort of" being sarcastic, which I know doesn't come across well on forums.. There are certain things I think I would leave to the professionals: Windows, Upholstery, etc.. I have been lurking around here and on the promaster forum, and there is ALLOT of great information... Are there any other forums out there that are good sources for self-builds?

Really, the biggest concern is time and the "wanna" factor. I have enough time before I really NEED a rig (I have the old dodge, and really probably don't NEED one at all ) So, the question I have to answer to myself is do I "wanna" spend my spare time building an RV, or do I wanna spend my time camping...

It sure looks like it would be fun and challenging to build one, I bet I could save a bundle, and someday have a rig perfectly customized to my needs.
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Old 08-10-2015, 09:49 PM   #19
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Quote:
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So, the question I have to answer to myself is do I "wanna" spend my spare time building an RV, or do I wanna spend my time camping...
My wife and I sail, in addition to camping, so we find RVs a lot like boats. So are the owners. I cannot find it right now, but somewhere I have a quote that more or less says "buy the boat you can sail today, rather than save for the one you can sail tomorrow". We have met many over the years, saving for a boat, or working on a really old one "on the hard", rather than sailing.

If you do go the DIY route and use a Sprinter base, there is Sprinter RV €” US-made Sprinter RV and RV conversion info. Site still says 2013, but the Sprinter Source Guide is a pretty thorough book of where to buy stuff. And actually, a lot of it applies to non-Sprinters.
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Old 08-10-2015, 10:17 PM   #20
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...yes, I am waiting for the new 2016 Travato to get within a days drive of me before I pull the trigger on a stripped Van...

They have made a few improvements I am really looking forward to...
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