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Author Topic: Student Finding and Designing for RV oppertunities  (Read 3156 times)

Nicholas

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Student Finding and Designing for RV oppertunities
« on: January 20, 2011, 12:55:29 PM »
Hi all!

 I'm an industrial design student at Carnegie Mellon University. I'm working on a project where I find and develop a solution for a product opportunity gap in RV's. Overall when I look at what's out there I find there is not much differentiation (I went to the RV show at the David Lawrence Convention Center) . To be fair though I've only been on an RV trip once in a class C and I did have a ton of fun. My family went to Yellowstone.

I am most interested in the use of an RV as a "home base" when visiting a park or area. That is to say, how does your interaction with the RV change when you are parked and doing activities away from the RV. I'm looking for stories and misadventures about the preparing to go out and the return home process. For example if you become muddy while your are out how do you get back inside without tracking that mud in?

However, don't feel limited to respond to this process; tell me about anything you wish your RV had or didn't have.
What kind of interior do you gravitate too? What to you separates the different RV brands?
If you could make a radical change to your RV what would it be?...that answer can be crazy i.e "I would like a glass koi pond floor" anything "I want a pop up crows nest" or "rotating bookcase".
What you think about new class A RV's? Are they pretentious? are they over-furnished?
Are RV's too homey in cases?

Really I'm looking for anything but I would appreciate a short personal anecdote or reasoning to accompany a wish.

Thank you,
Nicholas
   

Tom

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Re: Student Finding and Designing for RV oppertunities
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2011, 01:17:17 PM »
Welcome Nicholas. Sounds like a fun project.

In addition to responses your receive, you might also wish to browse our prior topics and also click the Library button to read some of the trip reports and the various upgrades folks have made to their RVs, in addition to at least one wish list.
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Nicholas

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Re: Student Finding and Designing for RV oppertunities
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2011, 01:21:30 PM »
I have been and am continuing to do so. This forum has been extremely helpful.

Thank you

Pierat

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Re: Student Finding and Designing for RV oppertunities
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2011, 02:14:02 PM »
It does sound like a fun, if fairly amorphous, project. I'm probably thick, but I'm puzzling over this sentence: "That is to say, how does your interaction with the RV change when you are parked and doing activities away from the RV." When I'm away from the coach (a Class A), I'm not interacting with it. But it's our house, as we are fulltimers. We lock up when we leave, just like a stick house, and open up when we return. I've my feet were muddy, I'd clean up the same way as I would have when we had a stick house. Perhaps I've missed the point here?
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Nicholas

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Re: Student Finding and Designing for RV oppertunities
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2011, 02:57:17 PM »
It was more an example prop. I've seen but never used wet rooms on an RV (a garage-like space with a shower head on the wall.  I'm working with a group and we're all exploring different areas. I was asked to explore the unbutton/button up aspect. Getting to destination and settling in and leaving; common activities that occur away from and near the home; how the set up of the RV influences action exiting/entering/relaxing in the immediate area/access to personal items. Some interesting things I saw at the convention RV show was the entire back of the vehicle folded down to become a ramp and was connected directly to the living space. Also the was an door that led to the bathroom from the exterior.

It really is a amorphous project though which is pretty tough to design for. We we're a asked to do anything that would differentiate an RV from what's currently available.

I hope that helps clarify things.

Honest John

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Re: Student Finding and Designing for RV oppertunities
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2011, 03:11:33 PM »
It seems to me that most RV's tend to be somewhat bland, neutral in color selections etc.  Some of the upscale (read more expensive) try to add a bit of flavor in colors and designs, but that may well exceed the pocketbook of many.  I believe some features in the more expensive RVs could be added to the less expensive units without adding significant cost.

I have not seen any RVs with a place for coats or shoes near the entrance (this was prompted by your example of a mud room).  If this feature could be added to an RV it would add convenience.  (Most of the time my jacket is thrown over a dining room chair.)

Your project sounds interesting and I'll follow this thread with interest.  The RV industry could use a few new (good) ideas.   ;)
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maddog348

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Re: Student Finding and Designing for RV oppertunities
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2011, 03:30:04 PM »
Sounds like you are primarily speaking of the BIG~HighEnd type of MotorHomes. Pie in the Sky type of daydreaming.  If any thoughts for the Smaller 30' & under the challenge would be providing MORE CCC.   JM2˘ ~~ YMMV
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Nicholas

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Re: Student Finding and Designing for RV oppertunities
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2011, 03:40:35 PM »
Thats a great suggestion. I haven't seen one RV with coat/shoe storage where it should be most. Some of the things that were emphasized to us was capturing a younger market, and Identifiable Image (think the exterior of the Monaco Vesta), and green (go figure).

Things do look pretty bland but not bad. There's just not a whole lot separating interiors. Travelers are some of the most interesting people you will ever talk to but the look inside of many RV's doesn't speak of individuality. I know the "contained" quality can be very appealing but you'd think there would be more variation in that containment.

My usual process is to come up with something absolutely ridiculous then try pull it back. I really shouldn't be suggesting ideas at this point but i like to think about postmodern interior with touch activated ascending counters and dividing walls from the floor. Out-there stuff that could be from Tron or the Batcave. 

Nicholas

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Re: Student Finding and Designing for RV oppertunities
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2011, 03:47:14 PM »
Pie in the Sky was definitely what I was thinking. I do have a moe practical end I'd like to pursue

I go on road trips at least 4 times a year with 4 or more people. We usually take a 15 passenger Chevy and sleep on the bench seats. I'm a fan of Class C RV's since they are most like a van and dont try to be overly lavish. I'm a Utilitarian kind of guy and Id like a more stripped down version with emphasis on interacting with friends while on the road. Something thats not a home on wheels but a gathering place on wheels since we travel non-stop to our destination.

Derby6

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Re: Student Finding and Designing for RV opportunities
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2011, 05:18:10 PM »
Outside shower:  Needs a longer hose so it can be more easily used with a fish cleaning table.  Little more water pressure would be nice there too.  Also can be used to final clean meat to be froze.   Lastly, I would use it to wash the mud and sand off my ATV's before I do the final load to come home.  Draining the water at the end anyway. ;D
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1GypsyRose

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Re: Student Finding and Designing for RV oppertunities
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2011, 07:10:39 PM »
Hubby and I have a truck camper (by no means "high-end"), but one thing I would love to have would be built-in organizers in the closets and cabinets.  Our closets and cabinets are mostly useless space, however, we are working on getting shelving and/or sliding baskets installed.  The few other campers/rvs that I have been in also seem to lack organized space.

As for when we use the camper at a campground, park, etc., it is mostly used for sleeping.  We love the outdoors and tend to stay outside as much as possible.  We leave technology behind and enjoy what Mother Nature has given us.
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glen54737

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Re: Student Finding and Designing for RV oppertunities
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2011, 07:25:34 PM »
The interiors are usually bland to try to appeal to the largest customer base or at least not offend. Mostly like cars.
I'm mostly in one place for long periods so i would like a detachable part for short overnight trips. Maybe a bed/bath combo unit. that way i could take that on the trip and leave the "house" setup.
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Bob Maxwell

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Re: Student Finding and Designing for RV opportunities
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2011, 07:27:39 PM »
Two ideas that came around once and frankly could lead to innovation once again.

First, the proliferation of 1 ton front wheel drive trucks with diesel engines outside the USA is amazing. When in Israel I observed Crew Cab Toyoda and other brands everywhere from the Galilee to Jerusalem. Having been both a purchasing and marketing manager in the RV industry during the oil embargo of the 70's. I recalled a class C of the 80's-early 90's made on the Toyota one ton chassis. Winnebago had the Warrior, National the Dolphin. Check out  the used units still being bought up as starter units for young couples with families and the elderly downsizing at http://www.toyotamotorhome.org/classifieds/index.html .

For an older RV that was the product of wind-tunnel testing and still holds the world land speed record for a motorhome at over 100 mph you need to take the time to study the GMC designed and produced motorhome. The classic GMC is not only innovative, it too is front wheel drive with family designed in both the 23' and 26' lengths. This just came out and contains all the links you need to amaze your peers with gained insight. See the "Idiot's Guide to the Classic GMC" from here: http://gmceast.com/about/guide/index.html.

I'm looking at one or the other of these two innovative approaches for myself as I have plans that involve travel both personal and professional.
Adiós. . .

Bob †
 
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Tom

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Re: Student Finding and Designing for RV oppertunities
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2011, 02:58:12 AM »
In the late 80's (that would be 1980's for the young students) we occasionally camped with a couple who liked to do a lot of "in the woods" stuff (including hunting). They'd come back to camp with wet and dirty clothes. Their motorhome (not high end by any stretch of the imagination) had a "tall" bay adjacent to the entry door. The bay had a rail in there to hang their wet/dirty jackets, and also had a place for their muddy boots.

I've often thought I'd like a clothes locker like that. I can't recall the details but, as I think about this, the bay was too tall to be a normal 'basement' bay, so there must have been some intrusion into the inside of the motorhome. Possibly under/behind a dinette seat (?)
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Pierat

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Re: Student Finding and Designing for RV oppertunities
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2011, 11:44:52 AM »
Part of it is that these are mass produced vehicles, by and large. Also, any space taken for some new feature must be subtracted from the existing, very limited space. Then there's the weight consideration if one adds lots of heavy parts, countertops, machinery, etc.

Given that, one thing I think would be interesting is a roof hatch for inside access to the roof. I think there were a few of these years ago. It would let you go up to enjoy the view, presumably, and offer an emergency exit. Not sure how the steps or ladder would work but that's got to be a pretty easy solution depending on the floorplan.

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Tom

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Re: Student Finding and Designing for RV oppertunities
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2011, 12:02:11 PM »
One of these would be easy to engineer into the ceiling along with the hatch.
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Nicholas

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Re: Student Finding and Designing for RV oppertunities
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2011, 06:33:06 PM »
That  ladder looks great. I did find an RV that utilizes the roof as deck space. Its a 2006 Airstream Skydeck

eded450

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Re: Student Finding and Designing for RV oppertunities
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2011, 06:53:10 PM »
A retractable sunroof over the bed would be nice.  With that, you could lay there and look at the stars at night.  I also want a little soundproof room for the generator so I could run it at 4:00 in the morning if I wanted to.  I'm sure I'll come up with more but those are just a couple, off the top of my head.

Pierat

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Re: Student Finding and Designing for RV oppertunities
« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2011, 11:04:04 AM »
Thanks, Tom, that ladder looks good. Not sure if we could reroute air ducts successfully. Probably cost a fortune to have someone install one, too. But it's a good idea. I like the retractable skyroof idea, too. Of course, anytime you put a hole in the roof it creates something else to be kept sealed against the elements.... I suppose a retractable sliding door, fitted above the hatch rather than inside, might be easiest.
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Tom

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Re: Student Finding and Designing for RV oppertunities
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2011, 11:13:05 AM »
Remember that this is an engineering project, with some of the best engineering minds being applied.
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catblaster

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Re: Student Finding and Designing for RV oppertunities
« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2011, 06:46:37 PM »
years ago I ran across some city transit buss's  that had their rear engine and  tranny on a slider that could be slide out the back for service or replacement
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Theberrys

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Re: Student Finding and Designing for RV oppertunities
« Reply #21 on: January 29, 2011, 11:37:25 AM »
My wife and I think Roll Top doors on the Bays would really be usefull. They could roll up like a Garage Door or sideways like and entrainment center. They would take up inside space but we feel it would be space well spent.
Even "Pocket Doors" would get them out of the way when opened.
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PopPop51

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Re: Student Finding and Designing for RV oppertunities
« Reply #22 on: January 29, 2011, 05:59:53 PM »
If your "concept RV' is a towable (TT or 5th Wheel) how about a generator compartment with a fuel tank that can be easily filled at a regular gas pump?
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boatbuilder

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Re: Student Finding and Designing for RV oppertunities
« Reply #23 on: January 29, 2011, 06:17:02 PM »
Fire trucks have been using roll up compartment doors for quite a while.  They are not cheap and they do take up some  room in the compartment but no head knockers or walking into them either.
Charlie

tc tom

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Re: Student Finding and Designing for RV oppertunities
« Reply #24 on: January 29, 2011, 07:31:37 PM »
Nicholas,

I think you might find that people probably have different goals in mine when they chose a certain type of RV. I'm sure there are some over lapping goals. but also some significant differences.
I've had small travel trailers, large travel trailers, and class c's. Now I have a truck camper. At this point my wife and I want to spend as much time in nature as possible away from the crowded camp grounds. Some people love the social part which can be a lot of fun. But our jobs keep us very socialized so we really appreciate just looking at and experiencing nature. We also have decided to keep it simple. No holding tanks, no built in gas or electric appliances. Last we wanted something that is easy to maintain, load and un-load and some what "greener than a class A. We love the little truck camper more than all the other RV's we have owned. Now if I become a full timer that's another type of RV and social experience. So maybe if you could generally  determine what a RV'ers goals are you might be able to set up some type of "RV structure". Truck camper, back to nature goals to the the over the top class full timers. I know there are some full timer's that have full time jobs working from there RV's thanks to modern technology.
Sounds like an interesting project. Good luck, have fun and I hope this is some good food for thought!

Tom

catblaster

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Re: Student Finding and Designing for RV oppertunities
« Reply #25 on: February 09, 2011, 09:50:33 PM »
      Just thought of this while tracing out some wires, how about conduits from front to rear for cables, fluid lines, wiring, etc. If not conduits maybe raceways, just some way we could access for maintenance.
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ArdraF

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Re: Student Finding and Designing for RV oppertunities
« Reply #26 on: February 10, 2011, 04:31:52 PM »
Quote
My wife and I think Roll Top doors on the Bays would really be usefull. They could roll up like a Garage Door or sideways like and entrainment center. They would take up inside space but we feel it would be space well spent.  Even "Pocket Doors" would get them out of the way when opened.

Dick, our Monaco Executive has what they call "pantographic" doors on the underbays.  They lift up on hinged struts and are flush against the motorhome wall when open.  I really like them, except they don't work under slides.  Monaco switched to swing-open doors instead, probably because the pantographic kind don't work very well if there are four slideouts which weren't very common when they used the pantographic doors.  Rolltops sound good, but I'm not sure they'd work much better because of all the support structure on the upper side of the underbays.  We have light fixtures and all kinds of "stuff" in there.

ArdraF
« Last Edit: February 10, 2011, 04:36:35 PM by ArdraF »
ArdraF
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gwcowgill

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Re: Student Finding and Designing for RV oppertunities
« Reply #27 on: February 10, 2011, 05:22:35 PM »
I just finished building shelves in my storage bays to make them more usable. I believe that the RV companies could do a better job in the storage compartments and even in the closets to make them more usable.  I really hate to have to stack stuff in the storage bays.
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Pierat

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Re: Student Finding and Designing for RV oppertunities
« Reply #28 on: February 10, 2011, 05:25:35 PM »
Our experience with pantographic doors includes replacing gas struts every now and then. Have to tug pretty hard to get them open and up. They are a neat idea but the shop we use tells me these issues with ours are pretty typical of the breed. YMMV.
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