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Old 03-01-2017, 01:13 PM   #1
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24 foot chassis design

I have a new chassis design in process and would like to find a way to get it into production.
This chassis would provide the basis for a 24 foot class A motorhome that would support a full-time lifestyle with computer and file drawer space, a stack washer and dryer, a full bath, a queen size bed, 6 foot of closet rod with drawers underneath, a pantry, a complete kitchen, and a 6 foot sofa.
In the chassis is room for 100 gallons of water, 65 gallons of Grey water, and 45 gallons of black water and 60 gallons of fuel.
I am planning on using the Alde heating system for hot water and heating.
I would use a lithium ion battery bank and multiple input charging, land line, solar, and alternator.
Would a motorhome such as this generate any interest?
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Old 03-01-2017, 01:49 PM   #2
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Generally speaking, the "chassis" is the running gear including the frame with motor,tranny, suspension, tires and wheels,etc.
you seem to be describing the features and components of the "coach" side of a complete MH. Today there are three primary Class A chassis builders, namely Ford, Freightliner, and Spartan. There are really only two engine builders, Ford and Cummins, and each has spent millions on EPA certification for on-highway use of their products. Are you sure you want to go up against all that to create your dream chassis?
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Old 03-01-2017, 02:36 PM   #3
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24' is pretty small to pack all of that into, as well as pretty small for full-timing. As for "getting it into production...", not quite sure what your goal is; starting your own manufacturing plant ($$$$$), or getting one of the existing manufacturers to buy into the design?
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Old 03-01-2017, 03:14 PM   #4
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Very interesting. And, as mentioned earlier, are you talking about the chassis or the coach design mounted on it?. Introducing a new RV chassis would be a significant undertaking but not impossible given a lot of money to throw at the project.

Just for conversation, your description sounds like an updated 26 Ft. Safari TREK, but with no stack washer/dryer. The only way Safari (later Monaco) could fit everything into their space was to use a retractable queen size bed that fit against the ceiling when not in use. That way, the 26 Ft.floor plan could be similar to a 36 Ft. coach minus a rear bedroom.

Would you care to share some additional details? (just be sure to have any drawings dated and witnessed for patent purposes)

Quote:
Originally Posted by earlylynn View Post
I have a new chassis design in process and would like to find a way to get it into production.
This chassis would provide the basis for a 24 foot class A motorhome that would support a full-time lifestyle with computer and file drawer space, a stack washer and dryer, a full bath, a queen size bed, 6 foot of closet rod with drawers underneath, a pantry, a complete kitchen, and a 6 foot sofa.
In the chassis is room for 100 gallons of water, 65 gallons of Grey water, and 45 gallons of black water and 60 gallons of fuel.
I am planning on using the Alde heating system for hot water and heating.
I would use a lithium ion battery bank and multiple input charging, land line, solar, and alternator.
Would a motorhome such as this generate any interest?
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Old 03-02-2017, 07:40 AM   #5
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Mercedes already builds and sells a chassis like that. The Sprinter is widely used all over Europe and the US for everything from delivery vans to small motorhomes. The only problem with them is that they can't carry the type of load you want to carry.

Would this generate interest? Look at Winnebago - the Sprinter chassis motorhomes are their number one selling model. Lots of companies are building these as well. I think the idea has been validated but your idea would require developing a chassis which has a GVWR well in excess of the 11,000 lbs the current Sprinters have. The loss of fuel mileage would, with a bigger chassis, would be a large drawback to your idea, however.
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Old 03-03-2017, 08:02 PM   #6
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I was trying to illustrate what the interior could have, but the chassis to support all of this should not be as heavy as one would think.
Using a space frame design and selecting existing drivetrain and axle components, I would like to configure the chassis with four wheels and tires and no duals.
I think that using light weight construction techniques, using the engine as an electrical source to charge a lithium ion battery bank that eliminates the need for a generator would allow the weight to be under 10,000 pounds.
I would like to equip 4 wheel steering that is active when under 5 mph with counter steer of the rear axle
I have thought this out pretty well and am not sure just how much to disclose.

I understand that Mercedes has a great chassis but---it has a driveshafts down through it that makes a lot of unusable space.
If you can put the major weight components in the center of the coach i.e. water and fuel, it should be easier to balance the weight of the drive train with the weight of the batteries and inverter and heating plant.
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Old 03-04-2017, 05:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earlylynn View Post
Would a motorhome such as this generate any interest?
Without over analyzing or reading into your post, I'm going to stick with your bottom line question...I would think yes because of the size & price point it would be at. Probably not for FT couples but probably a good option for a single person. In addition to that, for recreational use I think the smaller units have already proven themselves to be very attractive products. To the public, they don't look as intimidating to drive, not very expensive, cute and affordable. Thor sells a ton of their small foot print MH's.
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Old 03-04-2017, 06:17 AM   #8
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This sounds like an update to the Corvair based Ultravan.
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Old 03-04-2017, 07:32 AM   #9
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Have you read about the Vixen?

History of the Vixen

The GMC motorhome is mentioned in that article too. They had some of the features you are talking about. As popular as they seem to be today, remember they were only built a couple years, doubt GM ever made money on them.
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Old 03-05-2017, 02:44 PM   #10
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OK, so here is your limitations, and why it doesn't exist in the exact format you specify. Revcon built a high end monocoque chassis that was light weight, yet had features in the class like you specify. They went out of business. The reason was that to build a chassis like that is expensive, as it must be hand built. Building a custom chassis in low volume is just way too expensive. Even at higher volumes, Workhorse designed a custom bus chassis that was front wheel drive. The chassis alone was around $60K. It just costs way too much unless you can build it in high volume.
There are several "failures" along the lines of what you describe. Trek did it, but only had very limited sales market. Newmar had a 29 footer New Aire - very cool motorhome, but sales volume was tiny, and the cost was waaay too high for a 29 footer. If you think you have something over these failures, then by all means, try it. But I would not mortgage the farm on a bet you could make a profit.
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Old 03-05-2017, 02:56 PM   #11
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I'm all for electric vehicles, but you can't get sumtin' for nutin', i.e. energy out must equal energy in minus losses, and there are always lots of losses. I don't think there is a hybrid out there pushing 10k of weight, and even if so, they must be recharged frequently, not the typical 200-300 or more miles/ day put on by an average RV'r. And if you have an engine to charge the batteries, you must couple a generator to that engine-the batteries can't use torque, only watts.
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Old 03-06-2017, 08:14 PM   #12
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The Safari Trek was produced for 16 years, so not exactly a failure. During this time, they used three different commercially available RV chassis; Isuzu, Chevrolet & Workhorse. So, other than the cost of upscale interiors, cabinetry and accessories, they didn't have the expense of creating their own chassis like the Revcon or Vixen. Once the old Monaco company bought Safari, I suspect the real demise of the Trek was due to the attention of large corporation bean counters.

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...There are several "failures" along the lines of what you describe. Trek did it, but only had very limited sales market.....
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Old 03-06-2017, 08:39 PM   #13
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Not sure where the electric vehicle thought came from, I guess because of the lithium battery bank. I also am talking about a square tube space frame, not some complicated monocoque design. I do think a 300 HP gasoline powered front wheel drive train equipped with an 8 speed transaxle would work. Although the final drive ratio required might not fit in the existing transmission case. Michelin 225/70 R 19.5 tires only turn 648 rpm.
I want to use a gasoline engine for its ability to be quiet. I would use 2 alternators and the Onan inverter /charger/engine control unit.
I feel a lot of discouraging thought here for what I see as a fairly straightforward plan. I ran this idea by Bill Estee a couple of years ago before it was complete, and he was impressed.
I don't necessarily want to start a new company if I can get an existing company interested. I do want the prototype. I am no CAD operator, but I have it on paper with dimensional drawings which I will not publish here.
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Old 03-06-2017, 09:11 PM   #14
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The reason just about every motorhome in the world is built on existing chassis from very large manufacturers is simple, economies of scale. They can be purchased by coach builders cheaply, and they don't have to spend anything on developing the chassis. It costs hundreds of millions of dollars to develop and test a new chassis. Scores of prototypes, durability testing, crash testing. Your plan will not work, because it will be far to expensive and nobody would buy a 24' motorhome that costs more than a 42' diesel pusher. Sorry.

You would be better off modifying an already existing chassis that is closest to what you describe. That would be a Dodge Promaster chassis. There are already a few motorhome built on it. But if you want to pack all the stuff you want into it, you better build light.
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