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Old 12-12-2015, 02:23 PM   #241
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I don't mind so much his attempt to crowdsource new feature selections. But the part about "chassis warranty" is kind of amateur-hour. One would think that someone in his business would have a passing familiarity with the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act (in the US) and the Canadian Competition Act.
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Old 12-12-2015, 06:45 PM   #242
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I suspect they've been pushed back by Mercedes a few times about things he wants to do. Funny ARV doesn't have those issues.
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Old 12-12-2015, 07:30 PM   #243
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I suspect they've been pushed back by Mercedes a few times about things he wants to do
Probably. But that is not a warranty issue. It is a matter of staying an approved upfitter.
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Old 12-14-2015, 02:38 AM   #244
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Mercedes (and to a lesser extent Ford and Fiat) are strict gatekeepers with their unibody vans. For example, basement storage compartments that were a staple on the Chevy Express vans would cause structural issues. I'm most familiar with Ford, and their body builder's guide even shows the areas where one can modify/insulate inside a door, and what areas are verboten, due to how the linkages move.

A good example of this is the sliding doors. The reason why Winnebago can do a slide-out on the ERA 170C is because the van ships as a double sliding door model and Winnebago yanks out the port side door for their slideout.

There are a few things that are doable, but I've not see much work in doing. For example, the rear doors can be removed and either fiberglass doors that have storage put on, or a rear cap put in that would allow for several inches of additional storage. European RV makers have done this. It might be interesting to have a rear door class "B" like an American Cruiser.
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Old 12-14-2015, 03:53 AM   #245
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The reason why Winnebago can do a slide-out on the ERA 170C is because the van ships as a double sliding door model and Winnebago yanks out the port side door for their slideout.
Which they straight copied from Leisure Travel, who was the first to do this in North America (done in Europe previously).
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Old 12-14-2015, 01:32 PM   #246
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A good example of this is the sliding doors. The reason why Winnebago can do a slide-out on the ERA 170C is because the van ships as a double sliding door model and Winnebago yanks out the port side door for their slideout.

European RV makers have done this. It might be interesting to have a rear door class "B" like an American Cruiser.
That is interesting - being able to replace the factory doors without voiding any upfitter's guidelines. Then they could offer - as an option - something like the Hartal door. Pull off the factory sliding door and replace it with this. I think that would be a very nice option.
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Old 12-14-2015, 02:06 PM   #247
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I agree with BobB. When we were looking at vans originally, and since, we have never cared for the sliding doors, and find them inconvenient. DW also always has trouble using them especially from the inside, with cabinetry in the way. For campers, the regular hinged door works way for us. Sliders are good for parking lots, though.
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Old 12-14-2015, 02:15 PM   #248
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The Euro style vans are unibody vans and that is why the strict rules on where you can cut. However, there doesn't seem to be any reason one could not modify the sliding door opening or the back door with other constructed doors. It's been done by Mercedes Benz themselves with the shuttle door design on Sprinters. If it hasn't been done it is because the converters simply haven't bothered or found a need to. The market likes the large 4 foot wide sliding door opening and probably even more so now that they are screening them in. It makes for a very open feeling when parked. Some of the early Sprinter Bs had the back doors replaced with a solid panel. I think the versatility of the double doors proved more enticing. I think maybe the only time a converter should consider something other than those two back doors are designs with bathrooms across the back and those designs have not been all that popular. It's all market driven. The doors come with the van and get used.

Truth be told, that is what the small Cs are for. If you wanted to remove the van doors and fill in you would be better off building a fiberglass backend on a cutaway chassis the size of the old van body. Europeans do that but in America there has never been much incentive. Once you do that you might as well go bigger which is the major reason small Class Cs outsell Class Bs. Our roads can accommodate bigger.
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Old 12-14-2015, 03:13 PM   #249
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I was briefly excited about idea of starting with a double-sliding-door Sprinter and replacing both doors with fixed fiberglass flare-outs (like the ones that people used to use on T1N sprinter rear windows). This would allow transverse beds without a big complex pop-out mechanism. The passenger-side unit would have a standard hinged door near the rear, and the bed would have a fold-up section to accommodate it. A variant of this idea would involve two very minimal pop-outs (just a few inches on each side), which could be done with a fully-sealed accordion membrane rather than sliding seals.

But then I decided that transverse beds were a really bad idea in a B-van no matter how you do them, so I stopped thinking about it.
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Old 12-14-2015, 09:26 PM   #250
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davydd View Post

...The market likes the large 4 foot wide sliding door opening and probably even more so now that they are screening them in. It makes for a very open feeling when parked. Some of the early Sprinter Bs had the back doors replaced with a solid panel. I think the versatility of the double doors proved more enticing.
...
If you wanted to remove the van doors and fill in you would be better off building a fiberglass backend on a cutaway chassis the size of the old van body. Europeans do that but in America there has never been much incentive. Once you do that you might as well go bigger which is the major reason small Class Cs outsell Class Bs. Our roads can accommodate bigger.
I agree that it is very tempting to start modifying certain parts of the main "hull" of "B"s to make them more functional. But then the camper van "B" becomes a motorhome. The design integrity of the van is lost. The stealth advantage is also gone. It is proven that a fiberglass box is way more functional, and more economical to build than van conversions, like the Brevio from Burstner and many other european manufacturer like Hymer with their compact van (back to Hymer again). You have the option of that big tailgate back door that could be interesting, but you also get the unfortunate stripe treatment on those "C"!

In a "B" you get that open-veranda-on-wheels feeling when you slide that big door (and hopefully you have a fold-out screen like Davidd said). Yes it is not as easy to open and close as hinged doors (european have now an electric soft close mechanism for sliding doors, but again something that can break).





The very compact Hymer van and Hymer Exsis-t
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http://www.hymer.com/en/models/motor...ighlights.html

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Old 12-15-2015, 12:49 AM   #251
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I like the idea of a door instead of the slider. As mentioned they can be very hard for us scrawny women to get open and closed. AND the fact that most of the converters have cabinetry blocking half of the sliding door opening anyway.
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Old 12-15-2015, 12:54 AM   #252
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A user over at Sprinter Source has located a source of motorized door opener kits for the Sprinter sliding door. They come from Russia and are not terribly expensive (something like $400-500 IIRC). He did a self-install and it worked well.
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Old 12-15-2015, 12:56 AM   #253
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Default Zion Link?

I have been away for week. Any news from the new Zion Link ?

Roadtrek is Featuring ‘Alde’ Boiler System in B’s | RV Business

...According to a press release, Roadtrek is equipping its CS Adventurous series with the Alde boiler system in addition to the Zion, Zion SRT and the new Zion Link which now feature heated carpeting.
...
Roadtrek seems to have been pretty quiet about it.
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Old 12-15-2015, 01:37 AM   #254
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Quote:
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A user over at Sprinter Source has located a source of motorized door opener kits for the Sprinter sliding door. They come from Russia and are not terribly expensive (something like $400-500 IIRC). He did a self-install and it worked well.
I discussed the motorized option when I was configuring my ARV. Mike N said one could be installed ... but at the expense of significant loss of cabinet space over the kitchen counter (I presume). Given the choice of space or (ersatz) convenience, I went with the space option: Manual door for me.
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Old 12-15-2015, 01:44 AM   #255
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I discussed the motorized option when I was configuring my ARV. Mike N said one could be installed ... but at the expense of significant loss of cabinet space over the kitchen counter (I presume).
The Russian source actually has two models. One is easier to install but takes up space and the other one is almost completely inside the door. Here's the thread:

Power Sliding Door - Sprinter-Forum
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Old 12-15-2015, 02:00 AM   #256
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The Russian source actually has two models. One is easier to install but takes up space and the other one is almost completely inside the door. Here's the thread:

Power Sliding Door - Sprinter-Forum
Here's a link to a system that is available in the US
Power Door and Step

and the page with the the pdf manuals for the power door kits
http://powerdoorandstep.com/products...iding-door-kit
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Old 12-15-2015, 02:22 PM   #257
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I agree that it is very tempting to start modifying certain parts of the main "hull" of "B"s to make them more functional. But then the camper van "B" becomes a motorhome. The design integrity of the van is lost. The stealth advantage is also gone. It is proven that a fiberglass box is way more functional, and more economical to build than van conversions, like the Brevio from Burstner and many other european manufacturer like Hymer with their compact van (back to Hymer again). You have the option of that big tailgate back door that could be interesting, but you also get the unfortunate stripe treatment on those "C"!

In a "B" you get that open-veranda-on-wheels feeling when you slide that big door (and hopefully you have a fold-out screen like Davidd said). Yes it is not as easy to open and close as hinged doors (european have now an electric soft close mechanism for sliding doors, but again something that can break).





The very compact Hymer van and Hymer Exsis-t
More on:
HYMER Van - Highlights - motorhome - semi-integrated

I think this class of RV would be very popular if sold in the States. Also, a swing up rear door, like those on minivans, would also be very handy and desirable to have - especially with an electric lift. I'd also like to see slide door electrically actuated like on minivans. I know there are aftermarket parts, but the space requirements for the mechanism are problematic.
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Old 12-15-2015, 02:33 PM   #258
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I'd also like to see slide door electrically actuated like on minivans. I know there are aftermarket parts, but the space requirements for the mechanism are problematic.
The Russian unit (or at least the "cable" version) appears to be almost completely internal to the door. Also less than 1/5th the price of the USA product. The reviews are pretty good.
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Old 12-15-2015, 02:43 PM   #259
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The biggest complaint is the difficulty of opening and closing a manual sliding door. I suspect if power sliding doors became common like on minivans that a sliding door would be more than preferable over a narrow swing door. With a sliding door you can park between cars in a parking lot and get in and out a lot easier. The B would be a lot more open to the outside when parked in a campground. We almost always have our sliding door open when parked in a campground for many reasons. Makes for a more pleasant interior and easier to keep the B from overheating without need of air conditioning. As it was mentioned a sliding door keeps the original van look and thus more stealth potential.

Of course if you had something like this you would always be saying, "Sorry, we don't pick up passengers."

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Old 12-15-2015, 03:22 PM   #260
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I like it.
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