RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > MOTORHOME FORUMS > Class B Motorhome Discussions
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 10-08-2018, 12:58 PM   #1
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 235
Greetings...

My wife and I think we're ready for our next adventure. We're considering an early retirement, tentatively February 1st 2019. I'll be 56, and she'll be 41.

We're thinking of paying off everything, selling all but one car, and ordering a new 2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 170" Extended tall-roof 3500 rear-wheel-drive dually turbodiesel cargo van for us to spend about 6 months doing a custom conversion build ourselves, and then embarking on a Grand Tour, living out of it full time, for as long as we're able. I'll have free medical for life, and we'll have a modest pension to live off of. We would probably establish legal residence in Texas, using the Escapees mail service.

My vocational background includes auto repair, specializing in 12VDC chassis electrical (among other things). I've built my own race cars for years. I'm fairly comfortable with that kind of stuff.

After owning an old home for 20 years, I'm also fairly comfortable with plumbing, 120VAC electrical, and stuff like that. The only part I'm really concerned about, is building the cabinets. We may simply purchase ready-made cabinets and adapt it to our build.

We have spent a lot of time researching and discussing this project, and we have some very specific goals. If we're gonna be living in it full-time, it's gonna be exactly how we want it.

We want to keep our two motorcycles inside the Sprinter, which at this point looks like building a "garage" inside the back with a loft bed over it. We're working up options to retain as much headroom in bed as possible, and some of those options include alterations to the basic vehicle.

We're going to keep her car as a free-standing "chase" vehicle, so we're not going to be towing anything.

We also want to retain the ability to camp discreetly without the Sprinter looking like a motorhome. For this reason, we're thinking of discreetly mounting our 50A shore power connection under the edge of the body (although we don't plan to stay in campgrounds often), having our fresh water fill located inside the right rear cargo door, and using an AC/DC refrigerator to avoid having to mount two vent grills on the outside of the bodywork.

We are planning a shower with an instant hot water heater.

We are planning to NOT have a black water tank. We'll use someone else's toilets, with a porta-potty as a backup.

We are planning to insulate well and have plenty of AC, as we would like to be able to travel to places that are hot, and to still be comfortable inside. We're looking at the Coleman Mach 8 15,000 BTU unit with a black cover.

Which means that we're also planning a generator. A quiet one. We're currently considering our options as far as mounting an electric-start Honda EU3000is under the Sprinter, leaving the oil drain and fill ports accessible by me on a creeper, and refueling it via a sealed trap-door arrangement or something from above.

But we're still gonna have a ton of questions, and after spending several hours last night poring over these forums, I think this may be a great place for us to ask them.
__________________

Grand Tour is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 10-08-2018, 01:34 PM   #2
Community Moderator
 
TonyDi's Avatar


 
Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Point Pleasant Beach, NJ
Posts: 15,277


Look at the class "B" forum where you will find lots of ideas and help.

It's an ambitious project and I wish your good luck with your search and plans.
Let us know if we can help you

Happy Trails!
__________________

__________________
Tony & Ruth........... FMCA#F416727
Newmar Dutch Star 4320, Spartan MM Chassis, Cat C9, Jeep Grand Cherokee Hemi, Blue Ox Aventa LX, and Brake Buddy. TST 507 TPMS
TonyDi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2018, 01:46 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 282
Sounds like a good plan...the no blackwater tank for toilet use and always having the "chase" vehicle could get old fast though.

Irishguy
irishguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2018, 04:42 PM   #4
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 235
Don't wanna deal with the stinky slinky, carrying our poop around with us in our mobile tiny home, having the additional complexity/cost/space/maintenance/repair concerns of yet one more system- there's always a gas station, restaurant, health club or some other place to leave our poop...and we always have the porta-potty as a backup.

As far as the chase vehicle goes, we may spend time in one place for a while if we find some place we want to experience in more than just a passing way, using our Sprinter as a relatively static base of operations, and use the chase vehicle for daily life. It's only on days when we are relocating from place to place, that we would require two drivers. And having a chase vehicle as opposed to a car trailer, saves us the additional complexity/cost/maintenance/repair/logistical challenges, to include registration/license/tax/insurance of yet another vehicle (the car trailer).

Not so much a matter of "right" vs. "wrong", just personal choices on our part.
Grand Tour is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2018, 04:45 PM   #5
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyDi View Post


Look at the class "B" forum where you will find lots of ideas and help.

It's an ambitious project and I wish your good luck with your search and plans.
Let us know if we can help you

Happy Trails!
Thanks.

My wife and I have done some very ambitious things together before, and we have always found them to be great marriage experiences.
Grand Tour is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2018, 07:00 PM   #6
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: BC
Posts: 7,269
Welcome to Irv. Lofty goals for sure but if it were me, I think I'd look at one of these coaches built on the Sprinter chassis. Both have very good reputation for a quality build.
Also, a link to a Sprinter Forum that might be of some interest to you.


https://pleasureway.com

https://leisurevans.com

[Mod Edit]
dennis45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2018, 07:04 PM   #7
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 235
Thanks. My wife and I have done some pretty "lofty" things together before.

We're just not interested in something that looks like a typical motorhome. We're looking for something much more discreet, and specifically-tailored to our goals. That's one of the reasons we're planning to build it ourselves.
Grand Tour is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2018, 07:15 PM   #8
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: BC
Posts: 7,269
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grand Tour View Post
Thanks.
One thing you might want to investigate before deciding on doing a van conversion yourself is getting insurance on the final build.
There have been numerous posts on the Sprinter Forum from folks who have gone that route only to be held ransom by insurance companies. RIVA and other certification, or should I say lack of, seem to be a major road block with these conversions in getting insurance coverage.
dennis45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2018, 07:53 PM   #9
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 235
I don't know what a RIVA certification is.

Also not sure what you mean by "being held ransom"?

Can you explain please?

I'm hoping our Mercedes dealer will be able to register it as an RV for us. I've heard that RV insurance rates are cheaper than cargo vans. And we're going to order the de-rated 9,990 GVWR dually, not the 11,030 GVWR dually, so as to minimize any legal complications.

I'll show up with an air mattress, a porta-potty, and a Coleman camp stove to toss in the back when it comes in, if it's required.
Grand Tour is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2018, 08:02 PM   #10
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: BC
Posts: 7,269
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grand Tour View Post
I don't know what a RIVA certification is.

Also not sure what you mean by "being held ransom"?

Can you explain please?

I'm hoping our Mercedes dealer will be able to register it as an RV for us. I've heard that RV insurance rates are cheaper than cargo vans. And we're going to order the de-rated 9,990 GVWR dually, not the 11,030 GVWR dually, so as to minimize any legal complications.

I'll show up with an air mattress, a porta-potty, and a Coleman camp stove to toss in the back when it comes in, if it's required.
More research required. The Sprinter forum will be a good source of info for you. I'm in the "been there, done that" crowd and for me it's lost its luster. Just saying............
dennis45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2018, 08:33 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
momdoc's Avatar
 
Tiffin Owners Club
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Dominican Republic
Posts: 4,653
Welcome. You are joining a good group of folks here with good info to share.

Good luck on what sounds like a great project.

Enjoy the adventure.
__________________
momdoc
2018 Tiffin Allegro RED 37PA
2016 Veloster Toad
momdoc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2018, 08:38 PM   #12
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 235
I joined the Sprinter forum. My account is not active yet.

Are you able to tell me what this RIVA certification is all about, and what you mean by being held hostage by the insurance companies?

I don't understand what would cause me to lose my insurance coverage just because of the conversion...
Grand Tour is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2018, 09:59 PM   #13
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: BC
Posts: 7,269
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grand Tour View Post
I joined the Sprinter forum. My account is not active yet.

Are you able to tell me what this RIVA certification is all about, and what you mean by being held hostage by the insurance companies?

I don't understand what would cause me to lose my insurance coverage just because of the conversion...
Sorry, I misspelled RVIA, see link. UL is the other that comes to mind. Insurance companies seem to shy away from DIY conversions without some of these certifications. If you do a search on the Sprinter forum you will find a number of threads on this issue.

https://www.rvia.org/

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/UL_(safety_organization)
dennis45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2018, 10:35 PM   #14
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 235
Yeah, sorry, I'm not seeing anything like what you're talking about on those links.
__________________

Grand Tour is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Rotted metal where cab over meets rubber roof - suggested repair? meaty MH-General Discussions & Problems 2 06-02-2018 04:19 PM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:19 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.