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Old 10-15-2021, 04:11 PM   #1
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Default Rear Bed w/Garage

For the past 1.5 years I've been enjoying a 2018 Travato K floorplan - lots of solo (w/dogs) weekend getaways while I'm still working. My eventual plan is to retire in 5-7 years and full-time in a van while seeing the country.

My future van will need to have a fixed full size bed, and I want to keep all the RV luxuries I have now (large fresh water tank, black tank, wet bath, A/C, etc). If I didn't want all that I'd consider a custom build from a small company.

My ideal floorplan is the Panoramic, but I'm not sure my whole life can be accommodated by the skimpy 540 lbs of cargo carrying capacity (with full water tank, A/C & generator). Safari Condo would be a close second, but they don't offer a factory option for a generator. The Coachmen Galleria 24A is close, but I don't want a Sprinter. There are quite a few power rear sofa models out there that I possibly could get modified to meet my needs.

My two questions are:

1) How difficult would it be to find a company to install a Onan 2800i in an already built out Promaster, and fully integrate it into the power system of the van?

2) Has anyone seen a van where the power rear sofa was removed and a full size bed with storage underneath built it in it's place? This would not be a DIY project, I'd be hiring it out.

Some may ask "why a generator?" - it's just what I'm comfortable with at this time. I don't really want to idle my van to charge batteries, but this may change in the future as lithium systems evolve.

I'm hoping this floorplan becomes more available from the major RV builders in the future, in the meantime I will ponder these questions.
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Old 10-15-2021, 05:50 PM   #2
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You've done your homework well, and come to the same dilemma as many of us who want a permanent rear bed with generous storage underneath. However that's an interesting idea about getting an aftermarket generator added to one of the Canadian models that do feature underbed storage designs.

Honestly right now a custom build from Sportsmobile or a similar bespoke fabricator is probably the most straightforward option. I'm always hopeful a major US manufacturer will address this market but so far it's a hollow wish.

Here's a Sportsmobile Transit example with platform bed and bike storage underneath. They've done similar conversions with dog show crates underneath:
https://sportsmobile.com/conversion-...an-conversion/
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Old 10-15-2021, 08:50 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by rockymtnb View Post
Honestly right now a custom build from Sportsmobile or a similar bespoke fabricator is probably the most straightforward option. I'm always hopeful a major US manufacturer will address this market but so far it's a hollow wish.

Here's a Sportsmobile Transit example with platform bed and bike storage underneath. They've done similar conversions with dog show crates underneath:
https://sportsmobile.com/conversion-...an-conversion/
Sportsmobile is definitely an option - I'm partial to this floorplan, although I'd go with the longer Promaster:

https://sportsmobile.com/conversion-...form-bed-bath/

I'm hoping that if the Galleria 24A is super popular, maybe Coachmen will offer a similar floorplan on the Beyond.
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Old 10-20-2021, 08:26 PM   #4
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I'll second Rocky and suggest Sportsmobile, ARV or another custom shop. Unless you plan to start with a used van, modifying a couch van seems like a waste.

But how difficult would it be? Depending on your scope of work, it should be straight forward. A platform would be simple, something that folds, like a Murphy bed or lifts like a on some Safari Condo's or Winnebago's Reflex(?) would be more complicated. But even for those, the mechanism to make it happen is available.

As you plan you van, take into account any opening windows.
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Old 10-22-2021, 12:42 AM   #5
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Sounds like you are very happy with your Travato K. If your height enables you to sleep width-wise you could modify your bed to leave set up permanently and gain the under bed aisle space for storage. That is how I use my ďKĒ Banff. Still have seating and love the extra easily-accessible aisle storage. I donít usually keep the table in the aisle. And when I donít want to access the bathroom from outside, it is just one somersault away .
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Old 10-22-2021, 06:23 PM   #6
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I'm curious what the perceived deficiencies in lithium based systems are. I've done some designs with battle born and my only concern is I'm using legacy (inefficient) AC and fridge units.

Of course, the odds of me not driving (charging in addition to 320 watts solar) for 2 or 3 days is next to zero. We can do 2500mi/week or better on the road
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Old 10-24-2021, 10:15 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by DLandFan View Post
Sounds like you are very happy with your Travato K. If your height enables you to sleep width-wise you could modify your bed to leave set up permanently and gain the under bed aisle space for storage. That is how I use my “K” Banff. Still have seating and love the extra easily-accessible aisle storage. I don’t usually keep the table in the aisle. And when I don’t want to access the bathroom from outside, it is just one somersault away .
I leave the bigger Travato bed setup when I travel with my dogs, which is most of the time. It gets tiresome climbing over to use the bathroom. Even though I'm short enough to sleep widthwise, the cushions that fill in the center aren't the same height due to the Froli springs on the twin beds. There are a couple of Truma heating vents under the passenger side bed so I'm limited in how much I can store underneath. It's OK for now, but I'd really like a rear bed in the future. I do like the way you have yours configured! Unfortunately the pre-2022 Travato K has a "hole" by the bathroom door, so I can't set it up the same. Food for future thought though!
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Old 10-24-2021, 10:25 PM   #8
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I'm curious what the perceived deficiencies in lithium based systems are. I've done some designs with battle born and my only concern is I'm using legacy (inefficient) AC and fridge units.

Of course, the odds of me not driving (charging in addition to 320 watts solar) for 2 or 3 days is next to zero. We can do 2500mi/week or better on the road
Other than maybe needing to heat them in very cold weather, I think the Lithium batteries themselves are just fine. My hesitation is more around the big, complicated, expensive Volta/Lithionics/etc. systems.

There is currently a recall on recent model Volta-equipped Travato & Boldt vans. Due to a possible "thermal event" the ability to charge while driving had to be disabled by Coachnet and the owners can only charge via shore power until new wiring harnesses are developed. While obviously this isn't a common occurrence, I have seen various Travato Volta issues mentioned with the 2nd alternator (belt slipping/breaking, belt wearing through coolant hose) and other parts.

I'm a KISS kind of person, so at this time I wouldn't spend another $15-20K+ for one of these systems. Who knows what the future will bring though!
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Old 10-25-2021, 06:36 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by rvsomeday View Post
For the past 1.5 years I've been enjoying a 2018 Travato K floorplan - lots of solo (w/dogs) weekend getaways while I'm still working. My eventual plan is to retire in 5-7 years and full-time in a van while seeing the country.

My future van will need to have a fixed full size bed, and I want to keep all the RV luxuries I have now (large fresh water tank, black tank, wet bath, A/C, etc). If I didn't want all that I'd consider a custom build from a small company.

My ideal floorplan is the Panoramic, but I'm not sure my whole life can be accommodated by the skimpy 540 lbs of cargo carrying capacity (with full water tank, A/C & generator). Safari Condo would be a close second, but they don't offer a factory option for a generator. The Coachmen Galleria 24A is close, but I don't want a Sprinter. There are quite a few power rear sofa models out there that I possibly could get modified to meet my needs.

My two questions are:

1) How difficult would it be to find a company to install a Onan 2800i in an already built out Promaster, and fully integrate it into the power system of the van?

2) Has anyone seen a van where the power rear sofa was removed and a full size bed with storage underneath built it in it's place? This would not be a DIY project, I'd be hiring it out.

Some may ask "why a generator?" - it's just what I'm comfortable with at this time. I don't really want to idle my van to charge batteries, but this may change in the future as lithium systems evolve.

I'm hoping this floorplan becomes more available from the major RV builders in the future, in the meantime I will ponder these questions.
I might not understand your idea so this maybe off the mark but have you considered having a portable generator or are their reasons you wouldn't use such a system?

Or the second Alternator that many users have or is that wasted on NonLithium Batteries?
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Old 10-26-2021, 07:17 PM   #10
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I might not understand your idea so this maybe off the mark but have you considered having a portable generator or are their reasons you wouldn't use such a system?

Or the second Alternator that many users have or is that wasted on NonLithium Batteries?
I had considered a portable generator, but not sure I would want to deal with storing it securely.

Interestingly enough, there is a Roadtrek for sale right now where they took out the rear sofa and added a permanent bed:

https://www.rvtrader.com/listing/202...ION-5018254627

No pictures of the garage, but I emailed the seller so maybe I will get some. Cool that someone else had the same idea and came up with a solution.
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Old 10-26-2021, 08:03 PM   #11
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I had considered a portable generator, but not sure I would want to deal with storing it securely.

Interestingly enough, there is a Roadtrek for sale right now where they took out the rear sofa and added a permanent bed:

https://www.rvtrader.com/listing/202...ION-5018254627

No pictures of the garage, but I emailed the seller so maybe I will get some. Cool that someone else had the same idea and came up with a solution.
Call me Lazy but my Bed has been permanent the last 5 years & I wouldn't want to go back - its so very easy to take out the space wasting fold up sofa & build in your own bed, with or without a Carpenter's skills.

I have left all my Black Tank plumbing intact but use a Thetford 5 Gallon Portable toilet along with a spare Cassette to give me 10 gallons of Black Storage - so much more hygienic & easy versus the standard dump station hijinks.

Have contemplated for years raiding my bed here another 6 inches of actual storage space between the existing bed & a new platform.

Not necessarily to carry more but to have the weight over the rear wheels & its easy to slide equipment in under the bed in the new space.

I store, sometimes near full, between Dump Station visits, the extra cassette in the back under the bed - could you make a cubby (could be sealed) for a Portable Generator or are you concerned about left over gassing, etc?

Again, I don't know I'd your vehicle now or future has the option of the high output 270amp second Alternator, I understand 15 minutes or so if idling when needed is all that is required to bring batteries up to full (if they are Lithium now or in the future).

By the way,your suggestion of the Panoramic caused me to research them deeper, a beautiful coach but a huge price difference between buying any existing used Roadtrek/Pleasureway & installing & plumbing in an extra* water tank & building the bed of your own design (for me I like slightly more space underneath the bed & my own cubby design versus the existing Panoramic design, even a loft bed retrofit installation cannot be that costly.

As for your comment about Panoramic's limited extra cargo rating of 540lbs, is that correct as I read 1245lbs?

*there is a company in Southern California called INCA PLASTICS just outside of LA who for one can custom make tanks for your application, here is their info;
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Old 10-26-2021, 08:57 PM   #12
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Now that I look at the Panoramic OCCC sticker that was posted on the Facebook group, I'm not sure if the passenger capacity is just separated out from the cargo capacity.

It shows a 303 kb cargo capacity, and a designated seating capacity of 272 kg. Adding both those together, we get the 575 kg cargo capacity (1265 lbs) listed on the website. Since I don't need 600 lbs of people capacity, that might make things a little more doable with the Panoramic (with full water tanks about 1K lbs left). I'm going to reach out to them and ask, to be sure I'm not besmirching their OCCC publicly.

(The cargo capacity sticker on my Travato just shows 1900+ lbs, doesn't break out people vs. cargo).
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Old 10-26-2021, 09:02 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by rvsomeday View Post
I had considered a portable generator, but not sure I would want to deal with storing it securely.

Interestingly enough, there is a Roadtrek for sale right now where they took out the rear sofa and added a permanent bed:

https://www.rvtrader.com/listing/202...ION-5018254627

No pictures of the garage, but I emailed the seller so maybe I will get some. Cool that someone else had the same idea and came up with a solution.

We put a fulltime bed in our Roadtrek 19P Chevy nearly a decade ago and still would not go back.


The underbed is 5' square by about 14" high. No supports in the 5X5 area at all so totally open. Accessible from the rear doors or from the front through an hinged lid.
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Old 10-26-2021, 10:13 PM   #14
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We put a fulltime bed in our Roadtrek 19P Chevy nearly a decade ago and still would not go back.


The underbed is 5' square by about 14" high. No supports in the 5X5 area at all so totally open. Accessible from the rear doors or from the front through an hinged lid.
Do you have any photos of the Underbed area - I presume you at least built like a frame as support - you always have the best designs.

In fact I think you took out all the OEM U Shaped Dinette etc - seeing that there is two of you, where do you sit to eat?
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Old 10-26-2021, 10:24 PM   #15
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Do you have any photos of the Underbed area - I presume you at least built like a frame as support - you always have the best designs.

In fact I think you took out all the OEM U Shaped Dinette etc - seeing that there is two of you, where do you sit to eat?

I think there are some pix on the site somewhere, I will see what I can find. It is a 1" square tubing frame with plywood top plus a mattress.



If we are eating indoors that is where we would sit most time, sometimes in the front seats, but most of the time we are eating outdoors except for evening snacks in the back.


We use a the armed "Chair pillows" to lean on which work really well for us.
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Old 10-26-2021, 10:41 PM   #16
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I think there are some pix on the site somewhere, I will see what I can find. It is a 1" square tubing frame with plywood top plus a mattress.



If we are eating indoors that is where we would sit most time, sometimes in the front seats, but most of the time we are eating outdoors except for evening snacks in the back.


We use a the armed "Chair pillows" to lean on which work really well for us.
Thank you Booster, I think for 80% of is the overbuilt/over appointed rear sofas/dining areas are such a waste of space, especially for single & double travelers.

I would have already raised my bed with another 6-8" inch layer of underbed storage on top of what I already have but for the limiting existing upper cabinets & the curved walls of the Chevy Chassis that the bed with my 8 inch mattress would get as much as 2-4 inches smaller & I am 6 feet.

Very much like the idea of the loft/electric beds.

And have never tried such a set up overnight but intrigued by the possibilities of the raised roof loft beds.

As a relative stealth camper here in Los Angeles even though I live & work in the expensive neighborhoods, the idea of being so obvious doesn't seem appealing otherwise such a sleeping arrangement appeals to me - 34 years of living on the ground in jungles & deserts of the Third World makes me highly adaptable but I don't think it would go over well in Bel Air.
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Old 10-26-2021, 10:45 PM   #17
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This is what I have configured for when I want to get fancy & sit down for a meal or spend a lot of time sitting* & working on the computer. **
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Old 10-26-2021, 11:09 PM   #18
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Here are the 6 photos of the first prototype (the rear area has completely changed now - its all a semi permanent bed that is always down with a 8 inch mattress) & of course, there is a photo of three old table.

It shows the old dinette we all had.

And then it shows the notches carefully cut so I can fit it in without like a jigsaw piece with no instability & the rails that I attached to mount it onto.

I drilled the holes out to save weight & put velcro on the back & it attaches to outside wall of a large wardrobe I had custom made that sits behind the front seat.

Of which there is another couple of photos.
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Old 10-26-2021, 11:24 PM   #19
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This is what I have configured for when I want to get fancy & sit down for a meal or spend a lot of time sitting* & working on the computer. **
*unhealthy
*over rated
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Old 10-27-2021, 12:28 AM   #20
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Do you have any photos of the Underbed area - I presume you at least built like a frame as support - you always have the best designs.

In fact I think you took out all the OEM U Shaped Dinette etc - seeing that there is two of you, where do you sit to eat?

Here you go with a few of them.












Attached Images
File Type: jpg bed front.jpg (39.0 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg bed from rear.jpg (37.4 KB, 39 views)
File Type: jpg underneath drv.jpg (42.8 KB, 39 views)
File Type: jpg center lid open.jpg (42.4 KB, 39 views)
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