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Old 10-20-2017, 09:49 AM   #21
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Santiago Congratulations ! Someone is lucky to get your one of a kind trailer ! Pat
Pat, thank you for your support and most of all your contribution and help you offered us here.

It's funny, I am not leaving the forum as I enjoy reading and following members here, more now than before as we are retired. When I worked I only had time to read the forum while commuting on two trains to Pasadena. Years ago I used to talk to people on the train, now they all stare at their phones flipping facebook screens. As hard as I tried to make conversation they ignored me for virtual people elsewhere. So I read the Escape forum. Now am retired and have more time. I am an analog person despite the fact that past twenty years or so I was a software development consultant, go figure. Manufacturing and engineering was in previous life to that. An no we are not on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or ....

Nothing has changed Pat. We have always traveled and want more in retirement. We entered retirement with same "horse" we were used to, while a great and beautiful horse it was not as efficient at touring as another type of horse. So we switched. Our goal and plans have not changed.
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Old 10-20-2017, 09:51 AM   #22
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Best of luck in your upcoming travels!


Fred M.
Thank you Fred.
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Old 10-20-2017, 10:17 AM   #23
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We entered retirement with same "horse" we were used to, while a great and beautiful horse it was not as efficient at touring as another type of horse. So we switched. Our goal and plans have not changed.
So, I guess the new horse will be a buckskin Quarter Horse - sand colored with black points (tires), quick on the turns (think barrel racer), with a touch of Arabian for endurance (all these trips you're gonna be on). Oh, and a touch of draft horse for durability.
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Old 10-20-2017, 10:36 AM   #24
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Well, that's an interesting sales technique. What works, works, I guess.

So, if we hear about another cruise (after the truck selling one), then are we to assume you're selling the house?
Thank you Laura,

You know, it was so weird that up to the day before we left, all inquiries were from not so serious people. I always asked about their tow and refused to move forward when I hear that it's not a safe tow. Yes it will move the trailer but that's not enough, lost many sales over that. I tried to steer them to the 17 or 19 Escape models if appropriate. We were in no hurry to sell and trailer had to go to a good home.

During the eight days we were out emails were coming daily, calls made, etc. These were serious people, how refreshing. The eventual buyer came over as soon as we got home from the port with our travel bags still in the truck. I was on the phone with another gent telling me he was wiring deposit. The gent driving up, bought and paid in full within the hour.

So without the trailer, no need for the truck. Will sell truck but we don't have another cruise until late December. Kim wants to see New Years fireworks in Singapore.

Kim and I use a cruise to sample or introduce us to places and countries. If place is ok, we always follow up returning by land covering the country's in-land areas in detail taking buses and trains. We got that type of trip down to a science and usually take one carry-on backpack only, no check-in even for three to four week fly/land trips. I looks like Kim has us booked for at least fifteen cruise weeks for sure in 2018. Some are combo trips like two weeks in the Galapagos on a 48 passenger boat followed by flights to Machu Pichu, Santiago Chile and Iguaza Falls in Brazil/Argentina. This combo will take five weeks and require flights within South America. We did five weeks earlier this year around Cape Horn on a ship dropping us off in San Diego. We took Amtrak home. The bulk of 2018 will be land touring in our RV as we slowly build it, test performance and make adjustments. Kim on her antiquated PC does all the research, pricing and sets it all up. She buys travel books, maps and watches every single travel show PBS has to offer. We are too "thrifty" to pay for cable or satellite but at least our roof antenna picks up PBS.
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Old 10-20-2017, 10:42 AM   #25
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So, I guess the new horse will be a buckskin Quarter Horse - sand colored with black points (tires), quick on the turns (think barrel racer), with a touch of Arabian for endurance (all these trips you're gonna be on). Oh, and a touch of draft horse for durability.
Laura you are not only hilarious, you know horses well. That is so funny. Thank you. We thought of you and looked for purple on the color sheet, not offered.
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Old 10-20-2017, 11:43 AM   #26
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Thank you David. By the way I totally admire your initiative with the mini-split. I am looking forward to the day the condenser is horizontal, mobile rated and tailored to RVs. Your install using a residential one is fantastic. Your vision and encouragement here will hopefully get the ball rolling in the RV world. I love mini-splits especially the Futjitsu brand for residential use. The US residential industry like the RV industry seems stuck in same old same old mode.
No problem. I appreciate the compliments on the mini-split. It has been a wonderful system. You said in an earlier post, "Had I kept the trailer, you would have loved the AC I had planned." Can you elaborate? Very curious.
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Old 10-20-2017, 11:56 AM   #27
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Hey Santiago

I'm curious - what factors led you to the RAM Promaster 159 wheel base high top?

I know very little about these vans, but I bet that is a great choice.


and... won't it be a big big undertaking to build the interior?

and

i can see how when we are older, and our daughter has left home and does not go camping with us hardly... a Class B would have many many advantages over our 21' for just 2 people.

Someday I hope to see yours, finished.

John
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Old 10-20-2017, 01:11 PM   #28
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Hey Santiago

I'm curious - what factors led you to the RAM Promaster 159 wheel base high top?

I know very little about these vans, but I bet that is a great choice.


and... won't it be a big big undertaking to build the interior?

and

i can see how when we are older, and our daughter has left home and does not go camping with us hardly... a Class B would have many many advantages over our 21' for just 2 people.

Someday I hope to see yours, finished.

John
Hi John,

I would be happy to bring it over to show you even before it's finished as you seem to be near me.

We are your future. Our daughters left home, hint: change the door locks to force them to get a job and a life. This is why the 21' was not a good size for us two. Actually our decision to switch would apply to any size trailer even little ones.

As I mentioned we love trailers, my heart still skips when I see a Boler or similar egg. We enjoyed taking our sticky Komfort trailer camping back in the 1980s with the children. That was ideal for us and we continued lately with our Scamp 13 and youngest daughter (now in college being brainwashed of course).

A class-B hits the sweet spot.
A class-A usually requires towing, again! if you want to sight-see or leave the campground. This is a no go plus I like small RVs. You can't blend in and overnight in many neighborhoods as it screams RV. We are cheap travelers and can't afford paying for getting 40 winks before doing more sightseeing following morning.

A class-B requires no towing as it is BOTH the house and sightseeing vehicle. It's also a spare car at home. The van we ordered comes in short 136" wheel base (17'-9" length) , medium 159" wheel base (19'-8" length) and long 159" wheel base Extended (22'-2" length). We chose medium 159" wheel base as that still fits all but compact spots and more importantly we parked our Enterprise rental on city streets with metered spots. Obviously bigger is better but at what cost? reduced mobility, avoid going right into a city you run across ? The criteria was that it could be driven in New York City and parked !

A class-B is cramped and submarine like inside when outfitted with all the Escape 21 has, a class-A is a palace by comparison.

Back in the 1980s someone designed what became the Ducato front wheel drive cargo van. Seems like it was licensed to many other manufacturers over the years as well as updated. This same design is manufactured all over the world with local names, Boxer by Peueot, Jumper and Relay by Citroen, Talbot in the UK and many others. In the US, Dodge adopted the Ducato but first they replaced the Euro drive train with the Dodge 3.6L Pentstar V6 sold in majority of Chrysler products. The transmission is also from Dodge. Like other manufacturers around the world, Dodge renamed it - from Ducato to Pro Master. It's US competitors are the Ford Transit and Mercedes Sprinter, both are rear wheel drive with higher floor height and tapered towards the top and higher overall height.

Big undertaking building out the interior, yes of course. We actually enjoy building what we want to the exact inch. Our final design meets our needs to a T and we will have the systems and processes we want, no compromises. Am certain many ideas will fail and be replaced or adjusted but that is to be expected as Kim and I are not professionals but we enjoy doing this very much. I recall asking Reace if we could buy an empty Escape 19 years ago before the 21' came out. That went no where. Now we have that opportunity.
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Old 10-20-2017, 01:41 PM   #29
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All the best in your new endeavor. I can relate to a lot of it.

First the van. Ever since I drove a Mercedes Sprinter all over the North and South islands of New Zealand I've been conflicted about going that route. I don't want the widened RV version but don't like sharing the table and the bed. I'd still be tempted but my wife put's her foot down on that issued. Yah, for folks that like to get out and make miles it's so much easier. Travel is easier. Travel faster, park almost anywhere etc.

I didn't think there was anyone who could out cruise plan my wife. Guess I was wrong. She only has one European Christmas market cruise and a Carribean cruise planned before Xmas and one from Ireland to Northern Russia and back planned for 2018. I'll have to tell her she's been out cruised.

Really look forward to seeing how the van project evolves. Don't know what dates we'll be at Quartzsite but hopefully we'll cross paths at some point.

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Old 10-20-2017, 02:07 PM   #30
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Santiago: You have probably already seen these sites as you have clearly done tons of research, but I will post them for others. Great ideas are born when you try to accomplish maximum functionality in a limited space.

Our ProMaster Camper Van Conversion - Build A Green RV
https://sportsmobile.com/
https://wayfarervans.com/
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Old 10-20-2017, 02:13 PM   #31
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All the best in your new endeavor. I can relate to a lot of it.
......
Yah, for folks that like to get out and make miles it's so much easier. Travel is easier. Travel faster, park almost anywhere etc.

I didn't think there was anyone who could out cruise plan my wife. Guess I was wrong. She only has one European Christmas market cruise and a Carribean cruise planned before Xmas and one from Ireland to Northern Russia and back planned for 2018. I'll have to tell her she's been out cruised.

Really look forward to seeing how the van project evolves. Don't know what dates we'll be at Quartzsite but hopefully we'll cross paths at some point.

Ron
Oh my!!! In my family there have been rumors that I have a lost twin brother separated at birth. I am 68 are you? First you like : Super Sevens [check], design and build stuff [check], travel on the move in touring mode [check], like class-B campers [check], married a lady that likes to travel a lot and even cruise [check].

Seems my separated at birth theory is a strong one. No wonder I admire your work, hobbies, talents and trailer mods so much. The tongue mounted solar panel is a classic and I was planning on borrowing that design. Flat and lowered while towing AND gathering rays as you drive. Raised and adjusted to correct direction and angle while parked ! Brilliant Ron.

The iso board insulation under the trailer another winner I would have done.

I agree with Mrs BC, converting bed to seating is a deal breaker. Professional camper conversion companies do that as a compromise. This is why we are rolling our own. A full time bed and full time dinette/ desk / lounge class-B style. We will not mess with the bed nor skip a full service bath.

Kim started cruising when she was 11. Something to do with the Viet Cong overrunning Saigon forcing family to jump in waiting fishing boat under fire. Weeks at sea changing to barge under very difficult conditions since room service was not available nor live entertainment. Don't know how they survived such lack of service. I suspect this turned her into a cruise critic fanatic tour lead rounding up passengers on tours months before a cruise. Me I enjoy cruises but not crazy about them, I go for the food and conversations, I just follow her around and carry her bag. I rather travel on land, driving or riding trains and buses when overseas.

We would love meeting you of course and it will happen one way or another. Thank you for understanding our offbeat travel style and for the inspiration and help you offer us here. This is yet another reason I will continue coming to this forum as its is more than about a trailer. Will send your love to Mom.
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Old 10-20-2017, 02:31 PM   #32
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Santiago: You have probably already seen these sites as you have clearly done tons of research, but I will post them for others. Great ideas are born when you try to accomplish maximum functionality in a limited space.

Our ProMaster Camper Van Conversion - Build A Green RV
https://sportsmobile.com/
https://wayfarervans.com/
Hi David, yes am familiar with first two. "Build a Green RV" is by Gary Bliss a talented aero engineer that retired in Montana as I recall. His design is functional, we are more into more Euro interior decoration and services plus he is using the short chassis, we the medium. The man is smart and having a great time travelling.

Sportsmobile is ok but like all others out of OUR price range. Our 2018 van we ordered fully loaded cost us $37k (incuding $4.1k options and destination charge) adding $5 - $10k turns a simple cargo van into a motor-home for under $50k. This is now a brand new custom built motor-home that cannot be duplicated at any price. Certainly not under $50k. Sportsmobiles run $100k and up. Other brands $120 to $160. Just typing these prices is making me dizzy, I need to lie down.

Thank you Dave.
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Old 10-20-2017, 04:32 PM   #33
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Oh my!!! In my family there have been rumors that I have a lost twin brother separated at birth.,

I go for the food and conversations, I just follow her around and carry her bag. I rather travel on land, driving or riding trains and buses when overseas.

.
Just did the ancetry DNA thing. Have got trees going back to 1600's. Don't think you're my long lost brother.

I'm good at bag carrying. My wife is incredibly good at organization. She's my personal tour guide. Although sometimes...... I mean, do a long haul flight, get in at mid-night, get to your hotel wanting about 12 hours sleep only to be reminded that we have an 8:00 am reservation to see The Last Supper.

We use the cruise a little differently. We often change the air part of it to allow ourselves time to spend a few days at or near the departure or arrival place, unless it's Miami.

I've thought that if I ever did the van conversion I'd consider junking the rear doors and adding a bump out. On the other hand keeping the appearance stock allows for stealth camping which can be very handy at times.

Ron
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Old 10-20-2017, 04:49 PM   #34
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Just did the ancetry DNA thing. Have got trees going back to 1600's. Don't think you're my long lost brother.

I'm good at bag carrying. My wife is incredibly good at organization. She's my personal tour guide. Although sometimes...... I mean, do a long haul flight, get in at mid-night, get to your hotel wanting about 12 hours sleep only to be reminded that we have an 8:00 am reservation to see The Last Supper.

We use the cruise a little differently. We often change the air part of it to allow ourselves time to spend a few days at or near the departure or arrival place, unless it's Miami.

I've thought that if I ever did the van conversion I'd consider junking the rear doors and adding a bump out. On the other hand keeping the appearance stock allows for stealth camping which can be very handy at times.

Ron
Ron, a bump out would make blending in stealthy difficult but you know that. It would not let van fit normal parking spaces but you know that.

Yes the museums, I have to endure them as well BUT I do like the naked women paintings though. Thank God most have long benches to sit while Kim stares at stuff on wall I will never understand, except for the nudes of course. I agree with Mrs B scheduling before and after stays for you both that makes trip more interesting. Kim does that as well, this next one will have one week in Singapore with one week in Hong Kong with four week cruise sandwiched in between. You know, I now think maybe Mrs BC and Kim are long lost sisters separated at birth.
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Old 10-20-2017, 05:01 PM   #35
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I've thought that if I ever did the van conversion I'd consider junking the rear doors and adding a bump out. On the other hand keeping the appearance stock allows for stealth camping which can be very handy at times.
The combination of the two is a hidden slide-out: open the rear door and extend the slide-out, which would usually be a bed or dinette. This has been done commercially: Google search: "class B RV rear slide-out" (The search finds lots of Class C examples, but there are Class Bs - vans - in there as well.)

Even a side slide-out can blend in, by using the stock body panel of the driver's-side door (or the corresponding panel of a van without the door) as the outer panel of the slide-out, such as in the Free Spirit SS from Leisure Travel. A forward slide-out in these RVs is usually a sofa-bed or sofa and murphy bed (like the Free Spirit SS), but could be a galley.
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Old 10-20-2017, 05:13 PM   #36
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The combination of the two is a hidden slide-out: open the rear door and extend the slide-out, which would usually be a bed or dinette. This has been done commercially: Google search: "class B RV rear slide-out" (The search finds lots of Class C examples, but there are Class Bs - vans - in there as well.)

Even a side slide-out can blend in, by using the stock body panel of the driver's-side door (or the corresponding panel of a van without the door) as the outer panel of the slide-out, such as in the Free Spirit SS from Leisure Travel. A forward slide-out in these RVs is usually a sofa-bed or sofa and murphy bed (like the Free Spirit SS), but could be a galley.
Brian, I saw a Sprinter with a front slide out where an optional driver side sliding door would have been. Actually I had a long conversation with a German gent that designed that coach including the slide out and licensed his design (his words) to a van conversion company. He and wife were staying at the South Beach Oregon campground where we saw the slide out. We stayed there for the Eclipse.

My opinion is to keeps things simple and basic. Slide outs no matter where they are defeat the purpose of a small RV. I think if you need more space move up to a larger unit. We will adjust to the smaller space and enjoy lighter and simpler design. Anything bigger than a 1973 VW bus is a big RV.
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Old 10-20-2017, 05:52 PM   #37
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The combination of the two is a hidden slide-out: open the rear door and extend the slide-out, which would usually be a bed or dinette.
Oh yah, that's a thought. Maybe use the back doors as a mold to makie f.g. replacement panel that would be the wall of the slide. Hmmm, wait a minute, what happened to my KISS rule.

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Mrs BC and Kim are long lost sisters separated at birth.
I don't know. If there's others around does she turn into the de facto tour leader?

There's a lot to be said for stealth camping ability for those who are making a lot of miles. One young person that I mentored turned her Honda Odessey,
well, with a little help, into a perfect stealth camper. It had a full bed, even little bedside tables and a slide out galley. I think that in a year of circumnavigating North America she paid for about 1 week of nights in RV places. Even without the money saving aspect it's just so convenient to be able to stop almost anywhere for the night.


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Old 10-21-2017, 01:34 PM   #38
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I don't know. If there's others around does she turn into the de facto tour leader?

There's a lot to be said for stealth camping ability for those who are making a lot of miles. One young person that I mentored turned her Honda Odessey,
well, with a little help, into a perfect stealth camper. It had a full bed, even little bedside tables and a slide out galley. I think that in a year of circumnavigating North America she paid for about 1 week of nights in RV places. Even without the money saving aspect it's just so convenient to be able to stop almost anywhere for the night.

Ron
Kim is a professional helper (a busy body in my mind). The ship charges too much for port outings so cruise critic website people locate identical tours from same vendor, strike a deal for a lot less cost if she can deliver x number of people at the dock. She does. The vendors offer her a free tour in return but she has yet to take then up on it. Instead she lowers the price of all by pitching in her "commission". Not good business but Kim is Kim.

The RV industry is selling record numbers of cheap stickies and from my readings pay campgrounds are always full, state/federal ones require booking way in advance. No evidence of new campgrounds being built so the cost per night keeps rising.

While on the road, there are beautiful day use facilities, events, etc to enjoy till evening then an overnight in nearby town. We always see tent sites available at state/federal campgrounds while RV sites are full. This is an advantage as hooking up is not needed anyway, nor leveling. So yes steel tents on wheels will become more common for road touring people. Stealth overnights will grow in popularity as traditional camping becomes more and more restrictive, require reservations with fees and nightly costs keep rising. This might not be the case in Canada or sparsely populated parts of the US but in states like California and many surrounding states it is hard to camp without needing a travel agent and or having your co-pilot calling ahead everyday on the road instead of enjoying.
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Old 10-21-2017, 02:11 PM   #39
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... from my readings pay campgrounds are always full, state/federal ones require booking way in advance. ...
Similar lamentations here in the deep south. We have four season camping simply because we usually have few nights below freezing, even fewer long stretches of freezing and rarely have deep freezes (down into the teens). But that's the same reason that we get covered up with retiree "snowbirds" - usually from the upper mid-west - who flock down in the Fall with their Class A's or 30+ foot 5th wheels with full-side slide-outs who stay until their Spring migration back North. Many parks address this by saving back a handful of sites that they do not reserve - first come, first served on a daily basis. Luckily, we have lots of rivers with small but nice U.S. Army Corp of Engineer operated campgrounds that are mostly off their radar screen. And because these are federal campgrounds, the sites are half-price if you have a Federal Parks and Campground Senior Pass (one campground that we particularly like is $13/night with the pass and rarely fills unless it is hosting a camper rally).
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Old 04-23-2018, 08:18 PM   #40
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Hey Santiago! How is your Ram van to Class B conversion coming along? Well, I hope. Any photos you can share? Inquiring minds want to know....
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