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Old 10-02-2012, 12:09 AM   #61
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Default Re: Decisions, decisions...

Experience gained through trial & error is the best teacher. All good info. to be put to the test though...
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:27 AM   #62
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Default Re: Decisions, decisions...

Davydd - thanks for the tip about the other "dash" 12v plug! I've never used the one on the floor, just the one in the ashtray. When I discovered that the one in the ashtray only works when the ignition is running I assumed the same for the one on the floor!
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:54 AM   #63
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Thanks for the different options for morning coffee.

I visited the "local" PW dealership this morning and I'm afraid I overloaded the gentleman with my technical questions. He is getting more info and we will play question/answer via email before my next visit. Nice rig! I'm still writing up my mental notes for comparison with others and my next trip there.

My wife's employer decided to give all employees a paid vacation for the week of Thanksgiving and she asked me where I wanted to go. Knowing that my closest GWV dealer is in Las Vegas made that my first choice. It shouldn't be too difficult to convince her to go to Las Vegas...
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Old 10-02-2012, 02:28 AM   #64
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Default Re: Decisions, decisions...

wabbit,

Are you going to be able to actually see a Great West Van in Las Vegas? The dealer there is a guy with locations around the country and to my knowledge no experience as a dealer for GWV. They might not know any more about them than you at this time. But, what the heck, it is a trip to Las Vegas.

I'm familiar with Lake Region RV's in Minnesota (where I bought and get service) and RVWorld of Nokomis in Florida (had warranty service there to fix a skylight leak). Less so with Prosser in Milwaukee. Those are the only three dealers I am aware of that actually had or have GWVans on the lot and actually serviced them, and actually know them.

Great West Vans has reduced their product to just the Sprinter. The dropped the Ford and Chevy offerings and they have a limited production capacity at this time. Limited so much that they've only been able to service just a few dealers and those dealers rarely had their vans on the lots but a short time. Interestingly, they are a Canadian company with no sales right now in Canada.
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Old 10-02-2012, 04:07 AM   #65
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Davydd,

Did I read somewhere that GWV had been bought by some other company? All I have for the Las Vegas dealer is a phone number. You can bet that I will know if they have any on the lot before deciding to make the drive. I don't want to drive all the way to Minnesota (or Florida) to see one up close and personal. I will probably contact GWV directly to answer tech questions. Maybe I'll get lucky and come across one locally and the owner would be so kind as to let me see it.
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Old 10-02-2012, 03:32 PM   #66
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The founder of Great West Vans sold it earlier this year to a company in Winnipeg that was making its fiberglass trim and ground effects and doing custom painting for them. The business was moved from St. Andrews (a Winnipeg suburb) to Winnipeg. Most all the employees transferred over to the new location so they still have a wealth of experience and expertise. The new location is quite a bit bigger than the old but the new ownership decided to only convert Sprinters at this time. Right now they have a capacity to build about 48 per year (4 per month) but I can see that growing but I suppose that will depend on the market conditions.

One person who did not transfer with the new ownership was Mike Ellis who was running the GWVan business. He moved on to a new company, Advanced RV in Willoughby, OH. A lot of the development ideas that were going on at GWVans are being carried further at Advanced RV. The ownership of A-RV is headed by a former Great West Van Sprinter owner. It too is a company with a larger business where A-RV is just a subset in the building. They have a solid engineering and design staff support but are obviously new to B converting.

It will be interesting to see how both companies go forward. Both bring an infusion of new people with innovative and creative ideas unimpaired by past habits.
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Old 10-02-2012, 04:00 PM   #67
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Great West Vans will be sending me info sometime this week about their new models and new options. I don't know if it is the same info that is on the website or not. I will post the info I get.
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Old 10-02-2012, 04:34 PM   #68
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The spec sheet and the brochure on the Great West Van website is their current one for the 2913 model year. I picked up a printed copy last week. Since that one just came out I'd be surprised if they have anything newer.
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:14 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanw909
Coffee problem solved just copy and paste 12 volt DC coffee maker: http://www.jcwhitney.com/12-volt-coffee ... 1997g2u0j1 and there are many other sources as well.
16 amps is a lot of draw on a coach battery system, and since it also appears to use a glass carafe and warming plate, it would have to be powered after the brewing cycle ends, which continues to deplete your batteries. I suppose you could try it, and run your vehicle engine to recharge while drawing power, and pour the coffee into a thermos to keep it hot, so it might work that way.
Also, beware - some of those "10 cup" makers are pretty small when you actually see them in person, so beware the online shopping experience.
Just my 2 cents worth, as acquired during our search for a coffee solution.
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:57 PM   #70
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I really like the interior layout of the GWVans and love the sliding screen door. I'm a little concerned about the problems in seeing one and asking technical questions, as well as potential problems with warranty repairs (if needed). I certainly don't want to drive to Minnesota for warranty issues.
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:45 PM   #71
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Why not contact Sportsmobile in Fresno, if you haven't already?
Tell 'em you like the "xyz" GWV layout, and their bug screen door, and see what they can come up with?
http://sportsmobile.com/contact.html

That way, you could get the layout you want, with the dealership proximity that you also want.
And you could add or upgrade and subtract the installed equipment, to taste.
Make sense? Might even be a local call for you, or a short drive at best.
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:45 AM   #72
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I checked out the Sportsmobile thoroughly, especially back when I was considering a "B minus" (pop top). I like the flexibility, but I appreciate the advantages to having a unit design that is cohesive and that has been tested and refined as a whole package/system. It's somewhat frustrating, since I know that I could be happy with RT, GWV, PW, or LT units and the differences between them are relatively small. But the small things make a difference. Ask my wife how many times I have complained about there only being an arm rest on one side of the driver's seat in our van, for example.

Armed with my lists of data and equipment offerings, I'm in the process of checking out interiors for functionality, as well as road testing. Seemingly small things can make a difference.

I don't mind spending the work to tailor and improve the van once we get it. I just have to be sure that I'm starting with the best base for those improvements. After purchase, you can expect to see me in the tweaks section a lot.
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Old 10-03-2012, 03:08 AM   #73
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Well, whatever you choose, the chassis repairs can be had just about anywhere for all the major players. I bought used, and have no idea how the RV and vehicle warranties are handled. It was never an issue for me.
That said, it is comforting to know where your nearest dealer or authorized repair center might be. If you decide on the GWV (sounds like it's your favorite, so far) it would be interesting to know how service issues would be handled when you're not near an authorized service center, but still under warranty. It might not be a show stopper (for me), but when you're spending that kind of money, I'd think it would be nice to know.
As an example of what can go wrong with service and warranty work, there were some significant challenges for those converters who used the former Daimler Chrysler Sprinters, when that relationship dissolved a few years back. I recall some folks having to make phone calls to Roadtrek and Chrysler and MB dealerships to resolve warranty issues while the situation was being "clarified". Link to one such occurrence a few years back...
http://www.classbforum.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1512

Good luck with it.
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Old 10-03-2012, 02:59 PM   #74
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Warranty service from Great West Vans was easy. I developed a skylight leak in the Florida Keys which I may have not noticed had it not been for an 8" driving rain. I took it to an RV service in Florida a long way from Minnesota and they worked out the warranty work directly with Great West via a phone call. It required re-caulking. They needed basic information. The RV service got reimbursed by Great West Vans. I was in and out in one day without an appointment.

There really is nothing on most Bs that can't be repaired by any good RV service center. The chassis, engine, drive-train and service is covered by the vehicle manufacturers not the converter. All the equipment like generator, air conditioning, refrigerator, furnace, TV, etc. are covered under warranty by by the individual companies and you can get warranty service done from almost any RV service center. What's left is the work done by the converter such as fit and finish items, i.e. the skylight. Most of those kind of things should be taken care of before receiving your B. Light and average rains never surfaced our skylight problem. On our last trip we developed a detectable propane leak. I got it fixed last week under warranty. It turned out to be a faulty regulator that needed replacing. Again that was an item any RV service center could do and was a piece of equipment that could be found on all Bs and nothing to do with the work quality of the converter. Then after 36,000 miles or 3 years you are on your own anyway. I just passed that milestone in mileage this week.

I should also mention that I had some work done on my desires. My original design for the bathroom doors was a bifold design on a sliding track. I paid to have it converted to double doors similar to what they are now installing. Also, I had a privacy curtain to cover the sliding door that snapped in place. Great West Vans sent me a curtain that hung from a channel drapery track for free (their current design). I installed it myself.
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Old 10-04-2012, 03:05 AM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davydd
wabbit,

Are you going to be able to actually see a Great West Van in Las Vegas? The dealer there is a guy with locations around the country and to my knowledge no experience as a dealer for GWV. They might not know any more about them than you at this time. But, what the heck, it is a trip to Las Vegas.

I'm familiar with Lake Region RV's in Minnesota (where I bought and get service) and RVWorld of Nokomis in Florida (had warranty service there to fix a skylight leak). Less so with Prosser in Milwaukee. Those are the only three dealers I am aware of that actually had or have GWVans on the lot and actually serviced them, and actually know them.

Great West Vans has reduced their product to just the Sprinter. The dropped the Ford and Chevy offerings and they have a limited production capacity at this time. Limited so much that they've only been able to service just a few dealers and those dealers rarely had their vans on the lots but a short time. Interestingly, they are a Canadian company with no sales right now in Canada.
What I said was, "it is comforting to know where your nearest dealer or authorized repair center might be.", or to paraphrase my quoted comment, I thought it would be good to know where your nearest authorized service center is before you buy. Not to just have to rely on the "Nokomis" down the street. wabbit is located in NoCal. I just wondered (aloud) who his nearest authorized GWV dealership or repair center would be, since he mentioned himself that Minnesota and Florida are a long way away from him. It sounds like it's whoever he chooses to take his RV to for repairs or warranty work, if he were to buy a GWV product. Also, in the post I've quoted, you sounded concerned that some GWV "dealers" aren't really very knowledgeable about the products they sell, which is probably true more often than not. Not all RV dealerships are as willing to get involved (as indicated in the Chrysler Sprinter problems arveedogz had when he required warranty work) in performing work on vans they don't sell, or aren't familiar with, like Nokomis did in your case.
I think it's a valid consideration for all RV class B, B+, and C conversions, not just GWV. Although some conversion companies might have more authorized dealers and service centers than others. You have to be careful, I guess.
p.s. as of Spring 2011, Roadtrek had over 100 authorized dealers and service centers across North America, including around 10 locations around California, and 4 Mike Thompson RV Superstores are included.
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:16 PM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
p.s. as of Spring 2011, Roadtrek had over 100 authorized dealers and service centers across North America, including around 10 locations around California, and 4 Mike Thompson RV Superstores are included.
They probably need them.
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:56 PM   #77
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Based on what I've seen on other forums re: Roadtrek's recent quality assurance, they might.
And by implication, they probably have a world of experience fixing all sorts of class B issues, relevant to all makes and models. Remember that, the next time your skylight leaks or propane starts acting up.

Jim Hammill recently said, "At Roadtrek, we're here to help, even those poor souls who aren't Roadtrek owners. We know from personal experience, that nobody's perfect....."
(actually, I made this part up )
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:53 PM   #78
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I'm not really worried about service for the rv parts, while on the road. I insist on wiring and plumbing diagrams as a condition of purchase. The equipment (frig, stove, etc.) can be repaired by any rv shop, as can leaks. Getting reimbursed for the cost of repairs under warranty shouldn't be much of a problem.

The screen door for the slider just became a little bit easier, should I choose a rig other than the GWVans. Mike Ellis, former general manager for GWV has started a new company that is designing a rig that sounds very similar to the E-trek. One of the things they have done is to make a sliding screen door that will fit other rigs.
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Old 10-06-2012, 02:41 AM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo
Great West Vans will be sending me info sometime this week about their new models and new options. I don't know if it is the same info that is on the website or not......
Nothing received yet from GWV. I will post what info I get.

I did get an email from Advanced RV that the next edition of their newsletter is scheduled to go out next week and it will feature updates about the Ocean One model. That could be interesting to see.
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:54 PM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wabbit
I'm not really worried about service for the rv parts, while on the road. I insist on wiring and plumbing diagrams as a condition of purchase. The equipment (frig, stove, etc.) can be repaired by any rv shop, as can leaks. Getting reimbursed for the cost of repairs under warranty shouldn't be much of a problem.

The screen door for the slider just became a little bit easier, should I choose a rig other than the GWVans. Mike Ellis, former general manager for GWV has started a new company that is designing a rig that sounds very similar to the E-trek. One of the things they have done is to make a sliding screen door that will fit other rigs.
Not sure about other manufacturers, but i got wiring and plumbing diagrams included in the owner's manual for my 2002 Roadtrek. I honestly don't know whether Roadtrek still includes that info in later model years owner's manuals?
As far as getting reimbursed for warranted repairs, I would think any reputable company would provide some sort of compensation for repairs paid out of pocket, or try to assist in negotiating repairs and prices directly with the 3rd party repair shop. As in Davydd's instances.
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