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Old 05-15-2014, 08:20 AM   #1
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Crazy idea to remodel a Class A?

Hi. DH and I are anxious to start the countdown plan to snowbird or fulltime- after looking at the numbers, we think this may be 2-3 years to downsize/sell the house, pay off bills etc. We currently are paying on a truck and travel trailer combo that we use locally 3-4x year and 1/yr on a much longer/farther trip. We have fulltime jobs with generous vacation time and we have some remodeling experience. We've been looking into Class A's in our area and quickly realized that we liked the interiors and floor plans of the newer models - some of the used coaches have been pretty rough. We think a DP may be the better choice for us, as ultimately we would like to spend the rest of our time in the mountains, towing a 4WD drive jeep .
So our current idea is to swap out the truck/trailer payment for an older DP Class A payment and remodel a well-maintained, quality coach, while we both have jobs and access to tools. I'm not thinking of cutting a new slide but more like replacing flooring, furniture or wall/window coverings and repair/replace of plumbing lines and things of that nature.

How difficult to DIY a Class A? We've been focusing on Newmar, is there another manufacturer we should consider? Is this just plain crazy?

Would greatly appreciate your thoughts!
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Old 05-15-2014, 08:34 AM   #2
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It's a personel choice. But we have made our 2000 Newmar Dutch Star much more liveable. New carpet, two recliners, moved the head busting TV from the front to a TV cabinet with a TV lift across from the recliners. Many RVer's have made the TV mod. You can do a search here to find them. This is where I saw it for the first time although I'd been thinking about it for quite awhile.
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Old 05-15-2014, 08:50 AM   #3
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It's a great way to get what you want, exactly how you want it.

Plus you can try different things till you get them right.
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Old 05-15-2014, 08:53 AM   #4
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We chose the route you are proposing buying an 03 and renovating. There are pros and cons but in the end we are very happy with our choice and have a coach that suits our needs.
I started out replacing the TV's but soon found out I am not a carpenter so switched gears and had the Reno done by an RV Reno Shop.

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Old 05-15-2014, 08:58 AM   #5
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Hi Nene,
Based on the information in the OP, this is a great idea. Newmar coaches have good bones (very well constructed). My only suggestion is for you to consider a 45' coach. A few more square feet is always welcome when full timing. Also, a 45' coach provides more choices as how the coach will be done your way.

Welcome to posting on iRV2. Don't let 2 years go by without another post. Post your progress and next steps often. One never knows when/where a great idea will surface.
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Old 05-15-2014, 09:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Hi Nene,
Based on the information in the OP, this is a great idea. Newmar coaches have good bones (very well constructed). My only suggestion is for you to consider a 45' coach. A few more square feet is always welcome when full timing. Also, a 45' coach provides more choices as how the coach will be done your way.

I agree, that was one of my cons I mentioned. The big difference would be in the bedroom/bath area.


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Old 05-15-2014, 09:06 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nene View Post
Hi. DH and I are anxious to start the countdown plan to snowbird or fulltime- after looking at the numbers, we think this may be 2-3 years to downsize/sell the house, pay off bills etc. We currently are paying on a truck and travel trailer combo that we use locally 3-4x year and 1/yr on a much longer/farther trip. We have fulltime jobs with generous vacation time and we have some remodeling experience. We've been looking into Class A's in our area and quickly realized that we liked the interiors and floor plans of the newer models - some of the used coaches have been pretty rough. We think a DP may be the better choice for us, as ultimately we would like to spend the rest of our time in the mountains, towing a 4WD drive jeep .
So our current idea is to swap out the truck/trailer payment for an older DP Class A payment and remodel a well-maintained, quality coach, while we both have jobs and access to tools. I'm not thinking of cutting a new slide but more like replacing flooring, furniture or wall/window coverings and repair/replace of plumbing lines and things of that nature.

How difficult to DIY a Class A? We've been focusing on Newmar, is there another manufacturer we should consider? Is this just plain crazy?

Would greatly appreciate your thoughts!


Remodeling is a very good plan which most people fail to consider. We started our full timing life in a top of the line coach which was 3 years old. We were very happy with. The "bones" of the coach and reasonable happy with the rest. 5 years down the road of full timing, we were tired of the carpet/porcelain combo for floor covering. We wanted a residential frig. We wants a true sleeper sofa. And we wanted a big credenza with fireplace.

We spend 30 days in Elkhart at a first class RV remodeler and all our wishes were realized. That was 3 years ago now and we continue to be very pleased with the changes we made.


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Old 05-15-2014, 01:23 PM   #8
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Like others we choose to upgrade our 2006 coach.
Four LED TV's
Two leather couches
MCD shades
Res fridge
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Old 05-15-2014, 01:46 PM   #9
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While it is a good idea, just remember, the working space inside an RV is very tight. It will take you longer than it should, because you have to work in a confined space.
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Old 05-15-2014, 02:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nene View Post

How difficult to DIY a Class A? We've been focusing on Newmar, is there another manufacturer we should consider? Is this just plain crazy?

Would greatly appreciate your thoughts!

Not crazy at all ... matter of fact a personal renovation in a sturdy shell is exactly what the bus conversion guys do. Snoop around for web sites with the words "bus conversion". You will find a ton of ideas. There is a forum here on bus conversions. Not heavily active, but if you pin down some of the guys with questions, you will learn a lot.

When you see a bus conversion in an RV park, talk with the owner and ask if it is a DIY conversion. Most have a lot of experience with building unique interiors. OK, some may be freaky glitzy, but mine is a comfortable home on wheels. You are welcome to visit the "Moonrover" bus any time you spot it in an RV park. My wife enjoys showing all the unique storage compartments that regular RVs seldom have.
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Old 05-15-2014, 02:25 PM   #11
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In one of the threads here a fellow is DIY a 96 bounder. He has posted some photos and the work is great.

I have made alterations to our current RV and am only moderately skilled.

I think you can do anything you want (you need to know what the result should be) so long as it is actually achievable, you have the time, patience and money, and you have a good set of tools.
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Old 05-15-2014, 03:27 PM   #12
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Make sure you buy furniture that can be bolted or strapped down. In an accident everything goes forward. There is a new rolled Rv with all the stuff on craigslist in phoenix for $3500. Sounds like a fun project.
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Old 05-15-2014, 04:32 PM   #13
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This is NOT a crazy idea at all!! The choice of chassis (Diesel/Gas) and exterior box (Side/Front entry - Slides or not) is all about your budget and how much room (floorspace) you want.

Here's 2 threads FILLED with details about iRV2 members doing FULL remodels.

The Damon Project...aka the Diamond in the Rough!

RV fire and the RV that just wanted some love

Best luck
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Old 05-17-2014, 06:29 AM   #14
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Great information-thanks everyone! Feeling a whole lot better about this! In fact, after looking at those links, can't wait to get started ( Oh, yeah, need a coach first ).
Scarab0088, thanks for the links, I'm still digesting the Rv fire post....absolutely amazing! The Damon Diva is more in line with our skill set, will be sure to check out her blog.
Before I posted, I did a search for remodeling a Class A but really didn't come up with much, thanks for suggesting the bus conversion angle, Moonrover, I think that will be very helpful. We'll be on the lookout for the Moonrover bus!
Dennis45, nice job! Yeah, really like the bedroom TV mod, and replacing the oven and the computer desk.
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