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It probably doesn’t surprise any of you to learn that RV’s are a pretty big obsession in our house…even me, I’ll admit, and I’m not the one with the, umm, obsessive nature. James has our current one in the shop getting repainted, and our future one is deep in his thalamus, causing his OCD to work even MORE overtime than normal.
I blame our recent trip to an RV dealership in Italy.
James fell in love with conversions built on the Fiat Ducato, and now that its US twin is about to be available in diesel…the Dodge Ram ProMaster, he’s got it in his head that he’d like to build his own Class B RV, incorporating some of the unique features found in European models. I’ve written before about how this goes. When James gets a hare-brained scheme, he starts by announcing it to me. Then, he starts staying up late at night researching every possible detail. Then, the idea either fizzles, usually to be replaced with another crazy idea, or the idea goes forward. Right now we’re still in the staying up late phase, so I’m not sure which way this one will go.
In truth, there are some pluses to doing our own conversion. First and foremost, we’d get everything we wanted! Right now, there’s no one making Class B’s with inside bike storage under a raised bed (like they do in Italy), we could do that! Secondly, James would be busy. He’s one of those guys that if he’s without a project, he’s lost. So he’d be a happy camper-builder. On the flip side, he can’t do anything without it becoming, well…obsessive. He would eat, breathe, and sleep this huge project. Wait, take out the sleep part. There wouldn’t be any sleep.
So, I’m not sure which way to push things on this one. Do I encourage it, allow this insane project to take over our lives and risk a divorce, OR do I try to squash it down and attempt to replace it with a more manageable project. Like getting that PhD in physics he keeps talking about, or building me a napkin holder.
What do you all think? To build or not to build an RV from scratch. I need help on this one…
Those European coach builds are really nice! Most of them have a garage big enough for at least 2 bicycles, and the interiors look classy. Too bad there is almost no equivalent U.S. models. If you build your own and retain the design rights, you maybe able to build a signature line using some manufacturer’s spare capacity.
Alright! I’ve finally got someone on my side on this one! I have several other interesting ideas on what to do with the design (reinforced mounting points for resistance bands, for example). I had wondered if there would be any market for the “Fit RV” model, but never considered using a manufacturer’s spare capacity. Sadly, the diesel Promaster, at least as of right now, continues to be a myth on these shores. Just one more thing the European RV market has over us. But Patrick – if my idea ever gets off the ground, I’m sending you the first brochure.
Have you guys seen what goes on here? http://www.mcmarchitects.blogspot.com/2013/11/custom-motorhome-design-3.html
For a cool class B and a couple of class C designs, they are clearly food for thought.
No dry bath in the B however, and no full-time bed, but who knows?
Hadn’t seen them before. Thanks for the tip. One of the reasons I’m interested in the Ducato (ProMaster) is that it is wider than a Sprinter. Wide enough that you can fit a full sized mattress in it sideways. This opens up options for floorplans that just won’t work in a Sprinter. I suppose I could hire out a firm to do a Ducato conversion for me, but where’s the fun in that! 🙂 Thanks!
My guess would be order one from Italy which would take far less time to get into than waiting to finish building. There is nothing wrong with a gas burner esp. in a B or B+.
I looked into that, actually. Apparently tons of problems getting them DOT approved and licensed over here. Not only that, they all run on 250 volts – so I’d have to redo the wiring! It quickly added up to more than I wanted to deal with. Besides, building my own would be fun… (That’s what I’m telling Stef.)