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Author Topic: Wondering if what I want exists...  (Read 3393 times)

rnbilly

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Wondering if what I want exists...
« on: August 03, 2010, 06:08:41 PM »
Hello everyone,

My family and I are noobs to RVing.  So much so that we don't own one yet.  We have a pretty specific idea of what we want and are wondering if what we want exists. 

We are pretty serious skiers and for a while we were debating buying a condo at one of our fave ski areas vs buying an RV.  We decided to look into RVs so we could chase the snow and not pay exorbitant prices for resort hotels.  For the summer, we want to still sleep in tents and cook outside.

What we want is something akin to the VW Westfalia popup.  Our ideal van would sleep all four of us (2 adults and 2 kids).  We have no interest in a toilet/shower/stove.  A microwave, TV and small refrigerator would be okay but the main purpose would be something that we could roll up in and go to sleep in.  The Road Treks and Pleasure Ways look nice but we want more beds and less stuff

Does this exist?

utahclaimjumper

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Re: Wondering if what I want exists...
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2010, 06:21:33 PM »
Sounds like something easy to build yourself.>>>Dan
38' American Tradition 38TT/330 turbo Cummins
Jeep liberty 4 down
72 VW Baja 4 down
Cedar City, Utah
USAF vet. 59-63
The difference between intelligence & stupidity is: intelligence has it's limits
      Albert Einstein.
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seilerbird

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Re: Wondering if what I want exists...
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2010, 06:24:42 PM »
Understand that it will not be very well insulated and you will be very cold at night.

InPursuit

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Re: Wondering if what I want exists...
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2010, 06:27:31 PM »
We are pretty serious skiers and for a while we were debating buying a condo at one of our fave ski areas vs buying an RV...
What we want is something akin to the VW Westfalia popup. 

I'm far too much of a cold weather weenie to even contemplate RVing up north in the winter.
I suspect you are going to need to "grow your own" and that may be just the ticket in any case.

Something like a cube van with a back seat (or a raw frame RV class C) that you can INSULATE the heck out of...
(still install a good heater with a big LP tank) and stuff it with beds and cubbies.

Add a very limited kitchen facility like the VW's had and if you have any extra room... some other amenities.
The real issue though is going to having enough insulation for overnight comfort up at a ski area.
Bryan

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Workhorse P32 chassis (It's a CH ch chevy...man!)
Now with new brakes, tires, improved suspension, remodeled bathroom, kitchen and over 9000 miles all since 3/10

Carl L

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Re: Wondering if what I want exists...
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2010, 06:58:46 PM »
Speaking as a ex-skier and winter mountaineer:  Buy the condo.

 With a van you will need public toilets and showers in campgrounds that ought to be closed for the winter or in parking lots.   You will be coping damp clothes, balky space heaters, refilling propane bottles, and water supply issues.   With 4 folks that will quickly turn miserable.  Van camping is fun... in the summer.
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

Prowler 23LV TT pulled by a '95 Ford Bronco

rnbilly

  • Posts: 4
Re: Wondering if what I want exists...
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2010, 01:28:20 PM »
Thanks all for the replies.  While considering what we want (or what we think we want), we did anticipate some of the concerns mentioned above.  One of the other items we've considered is the Minnie Winnie or comparable 21-ish footer.  Do these come with good wintertime insulation? 

We've also looked at the pleasure ways.  As far as I know they have a few floor plans that sleep four.  Do those come well insulated? 

Thanks again.

Bob Maxwell

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  • Smile, and the world smiles with you . . .
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Re: Wondering if what I want exists...
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2010, 01:59:57 PM »
The Born Free usually is well insulated: http://www.bornfreemotorcoach.com/

Under products they offer pre-owned as well. The are one of the top two or three Class C's.
Adiós. . .

Bob †
and wife Betty Font 

. . . still ridin' for the brand.

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Jammer

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Re: Wondering if what I want exists...
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2010, 02:15:16 PM »
You could look at Sportsmobile, who produce a product similar to Roadtrek and Pleasureway but allow more customization.  They would be able to provide a van without plumbing or a stove.  Their popup vans will sleep four including two in the pop-up portion, and they may have some configurations that sleep four without a popup.

You are correct that plumbing and cooking facilities, in winter weather, are often more trouble than they're worth.

There are two things you should research carefully before proceeding:

1) Availability of suitable parking/campground locations

2) Heat and power considerations.

Most campgrounds close seasonally.  Winter campgrounds do exist but frequently have NO services other than electricity, so sanitation, washing, cooking, are problematic.

In general terms it is not possible to heat an RV in the winter for more than 24 hours or so without a source of electricity, either a generator or a shore power connection to the campground's electrical system.  Reason being that even with LP gas heat some electricity is required and the battery capacity won't carry you much longer than that in cold weather without periodic recharging from somewhere.

The insulation in any RV is not as good as in a house, though any name brand B van should have a large enough furnace to make up for the heat loss down at least to zero degrees or so.  Condensation can be a problem with frequent and prolonged winter trips though.

2004 Suburban 2500 4wd 8.1 / 2010 Airstream Classic 30' /
1997 K2500 regular cab long bed pickup / 1971 Cayo C-11

glfredrick

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Re: Wondering if what I want exists...
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2010, 03:39:27 PM »
I've van camped for hunting and skiing, and let me tell you -- it gets COLD.  All of that sounds sort of romantic at first glance, but after the 2nd day or so, the cuddling and romance wears off, and you get tired of having your feet freeze to the floor.  I've also camped in pop-ups at -25*F (brutal!) and tents at just above 0*F.  None was better than the other, even though the pop-up had a gas furnace and the van was insulated and used an electric heater.  Water froze in all of them... 

It is possible to rig an all-weather ride like some of the guys above have suggested.  I'd recommend finding an old ambulance van as a starter.  There are several listed on eBay right now.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Ford-E-Series-Van-TURBO-DIESEL-HEAVY-DUTY-VAN-AMBULANCE-WORK-TRUCK-DIESEL-1995-E-350-/280541755025?cmd=ViewItem&pt=US_Cars_Trucks&hash=item4151977691

Insulate the crud out of it, install a passive LP heater (no fan required), and really think hard about how to deal with issues like lack of campgrounds during the winter months, etc., and you could be all set, but never for long-term camping.  You'd be in a room within a week...   ???
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