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Topic: Class B's that will fit in a garage.

Posted By: charles on 08/09/09 05:35pm

As we are having trouble with our homeowners association's new management regarding our Pleasureway Excel , we are interested in replacing it with a unit that will fit in our garage. I'm thinking of a Pleasure-way Traverse, or a Sportsmobile. Does anyone have one that they keep in their garage? If so, can you get around in them without popping open the top? Any information would be appreciated.

Thanks

Nick & Chris
07 Pleasure-way Excel TS


2012 Pleasure-way Excel TS


Posted By: snidertj` on 08/09/09 05:53pm

I have a Sportsmobile with a garageable penthouse top. You can see it on the SMB website. I got panicky everytime I drove into my garage with 7' doors as I go uphill in the drive and then the "apron" into the garage expands about 3/8" with the weather. So I had 7'6" doors on the garage. It is a lot better now. And yes, you can get around the inside with the top down. But it is not too comfortable. I have a side gaucho in mine, so I sit to do just about everything. Mine is loaded so I don't have alot of "move" room, up or down. But it is only me in there or a grandchild or two. I love my SMB and the Huntington IN people are really knowledgeable, great to work with and have always answered even my most stupid questions.


Posted By: Islandman on 08/09/09 07:18pm

Is it possible to raise the height of the garage, including the doorway? Might cost $10K or more; but as CSG noted, a Traverse is a lot different than your Excel. If not possible, then you might check out lowering the garage floor; this would probably be much more expensive and also create drainage problems with water coming into the garage from the driveway outside. Either case will mean a new higher door which can run $2K or more installed. Really hope you can come up with a solution that lets you keep the Excel!


Posted By: charles on 08/09/09 08:19pm

Changing the garage door height is not an option. As far as downsizing from the Excel to a smaller unit, it's not a problem. We now use our unit mostly for driving to and from rather than camping (except for the annual rallies). More important is the ability to stop and rest in it, and have at least a porta-pot type set up with a sink and possibly a generator and micro-wave, but the latter is not a must, a trailer hitch is also a important, but heavy weight towing capacity is not a concern. I'm not familiar with the interior options and specifications of either the Traverse or the smaller Sportsmobiles, but I assume details are only a phone call away. The information I would like to find here is more about real user experiences with these units. Does anyone have one with a pressurized water system or holding tanks, or are they available with only a fresh water holding tank?? Most of the posts on the CVC forum are about the larger class B units, and very little about the "fit in the garage" conversions.

Thanks again,

Nick & Chris


Posted By: CSG on 08/09/09 09:52pm

While a porta-potti works fine, something to consider if you're not traveling solo is that you use the facility right in the middle of the living area on a Traverse. No privacy. Want a genset? Be prepared to haul one inside or on a Hitch-Haul.

Understand, these things are not problems, just differences in what you're used to. I'm looking at upgrading to something a bit more refined but I don't have the parking issues you do.


2001 GMC EC 2500HD, 4x4, 6.0 V8
2007 Nash 27-5B 5th Wheel
2002 Pleasure-Way Traverse
2002 Lexus Land Cruiser (LX470)


Posted By: CSG on 08/09/09 06:58pm

I've got a Traverse and while it's garageable, it's a loooooooong way from an Excel regarding comfort.


Posted By: mumkin on 08/09/09 10:06pm

Sportsmobile has a wonderful website that you can spend hours looking at the different options and combinations with lots of explanation. Plus you can even price them all out in the design your own section.

I can't tell you how many hours I've wasted on that online design program.

It sounds to me that you know what you need or want... and you only need to add the ability to drive it into your garage.


Mumkin
2011 LTV Libero



Posted By: qjane on 08/10/09 12:43am

snidertj` wrote:

I have a Sportsmobile with a garageable penthouse top. You can see it on the SMB website. I got panicky everytime I drove into my garage with 7' doors as I go uphill in the drive and then the "apron" into the garage expands about 3/8" with the weather. So I had 7'6" doors on the garage. It is a lot better now ...

Seven foot doors here, and my Sportsmobile will not fit in the garage.

A slightly shorter version of the penthouse top is shown as available on their website. snidertj, do you have the standard top, or the shorter version?

Nick, how much height clearance do you have?


QJane
2002 Sportsmobile RB30
inside a Ford E350 2WD


Posted By: ibthebest on 08/10/09 05:37am

Nick,

I think my SMB is 7 foot 2 inches tall, so will not fit in the garage at the house. However, I think Ann and Dick's is shorter. You should consider the SMB and just get exactly what you want. You could put two single gaucho beds in the back. If you get a Ford, I think both seats could swivel and you could easily stop and have lunch and rest on your trips. The pop top is very easily put up and down and/or get a motorized one. I would maybe consider a trade with you if I could talk you know who into it

Michael


Me "atmybest" age 4



Posted By: Handbasket on 08/10/09 05:57am

Hmmm... Taking this in a different direction, is it the 'RV-ness' of the Excel that they object to? If so, might they approve a 'big van' for outside parking? I'm thinking a RT 190, PW Lexor, GW Classic, or LTV Free Flight, probably de-decaled and maybe without an awning. I know that there's been some discussion here of the possibility of HOA's approving more stealthy B's.

Jim, "Mo' coffee!"


'06 Tiger CX 'C Minus' on a Silverado 2500HD 4x4, 8.1 & Allison (aka 'Loafer's Glory')


Posted By: snidertj` on 08/10/09 07:22am

I have what SMB called the "garageable" penthouse so I think it is the shorter version. The website is excellent and I still go there and "setup" new "B's". It's a very helpful website. Does anyone know if Huntington can put in the electric system to lift the top and how expensive is it? My smb is 3 years old.


Posted By: rufcut on 08/10/09 07:24am

Handbasket wrote:

Hmmm... Taking this in a different direction, is it the 'RV-ness' of the Excel that they object to? If so, might they approve a 'big van' for outside parking? I'm thinking a RT 190, PW Lexor, GW Classic, or LTV Free Flight, probably de-decaled and maybe without an awning. I know that there's been some discussion here of the possibility of HOA's approving more stealthy B's.

Jim, "Mo' coffee!"


I'm not quite getting this either. If it has current plates, inspection and insurance whos business is it?


Posted By: Jim&Carolyn on 08/10/09 09:28am

Nick,

I've got an idea. How about selling you house instead?


Jim Tewell
Currently: 1997 PW Excel MPL
Formerly: 2006 Roadtrek 210 Popular & 2003 Pleasure-Way Excel TS


Posted By: charles on 08/10/09 10:11am

Rufcut, My home is within a condominium community that has enforceable rules and regulations. The regulations state that no recreational vehicle can be parked in driveways overnight, they can however be brought in for loading and unloading during daytime hours. I have gotten away with keeping it here from time to time over the years but now having new neighbors, new management, and several complaints, I cannot get away with it. Trying to hide the fact that it is not an RV is nearly impossible as having exposed tank valves is also a no no. I've tried just about everything, including Jim Tewell's idea, but in this real estate market, it's just going to be easier sell the Excel and replace it with a unit that will fit into the garage.

Since I've been soliciting Rv.net annual rally support from the owner of Sportsmobile for the last couple years, my next step is to return the favor and call him for advice on having one built. I'll keep you informed and would still appreciate any info. on your experiences with the smaller units.

Nick & Chris
07 Excel TS


Posted By: topless on 08/10/09 10:12am

HOA can be a total PITA. If you were given a copy of the By Laws and Covenants when you bought your house, you will have to abide by them. Sometimes you get people running them that go a little bit overboard when they are given authority. The way mine is written, if it's not permanently parked, it's ok. If you use your B as a second vehicle and it's one of the stealthier designs, you can probably get by.






Posted By: SHADOWMCPD on 08/10/09 01:36pm

charles wrote:

As we are having trouble with our homeowners association's new management regarding our Pleasureway Excel



Hi,



Since your vehicle is so new, having to replace it to suit the association seems like over kill.

Why not try to see if you can have your vehicle grand fathered in as an exception to this new rule.

Baring that, the fact that this is a new association maybe challenging them on the rule might be enough to have them back off (at least where you are concerned.)

Go over the old rules and regulations the association was enforcing(and on whom) then compare them to the new ones they are adding and see if they are being even handed with everyone (you included) or if they are targeting any owner(s) in general.

Or, as was suggested on another post (regarding parking) petition to disband the association (In their case the board decided to play nice and backed down)

Since it seems you are ready to bite the bullet and change your vehicle to suit the rules, how about loading a few rounds into your parking rights (after all that is why some folks drive Class B's in the first place, (to accommodate HOA's)*

At least firing a few (Verbal) shots at them lets you go down fighting!!!


*ever notice how HOA's and whores have a similar ring to em'

Good luck and keep us posted


Fred S
NYC



Posted By: Lynne Jayzee on 08/10/09 02:01pm

Ahhhh...you can try pasting some butterflies and flowers onto the Excel, which is what my neighbors did to the "screaming neon blue shed" that they put in their back yard adjacent to mine (while I was living in Asheville), presumably to make it not look like a "screaming neon blue shed."

I jest...about you doing this (the "screaming neon blue shed" is for real...unfortunately...we have no HOA rules...perhaps unfortunately).

Would it be too inconvenient for you two to keep the Excel parked at a storage facility? That's where I kept mine when I moved into an apartment while my house was being built, and also when I was living in Asheville. I'm not sure that you two would be happy with a pop-top type van...

...and what if the HOA decided that the pop-top wasn't allowed after you went and bought it?

- LJZ


Posted By: nandj on 08/10/09 02:05pm

Nick,

It sounds like you know you want to get a smaller, garage-size vehicle to replace your Excel. I was wondering if you ever considered or looked into an RV storage place for your Excel.

In a few months we'll have to consider all these pros and cons as we start to look for our first RV.

Regards,
Neil


Posted By: My Roadtrek on 08/10/09 02:12pm

I think at this point we need to get back on topic. The op has asked about "Class B's that will fit in a garage". I think he has received enough information about HOA's, and if not, a quick search of the forums will give him several hours worth of reading.

Thanks


Posted By: SHADOWMCPD on 08/10/09 03:03pm

charles wrote:

having exposed tank valves is also a no no.



Hello again,


Not to sound too insistent (of the fighting idea) (It hurts to see people being abused) but it would seem that it would still be cheaper to have some shop recess the tank valves and place standard gas cap door hinges (in place of RV ones) rather than selling your practically new rig in a depressed economy, taking a loss, then having to invest in another rig just to meet the HOA's
(Or is that Whores!) needs.

Unless you fancy a newer possibly 4x4 rig (And even this might be a problem with them) I would still opt for a hearing.
(Preferably knock down, drag out, bare knuckle fight, figuratively speaking of course!!)

Keep in mind once they know they can push you around on one issue, what's to stop them
(Or the complaining neighbors) from finding something else to use on you?

You mentioned new neighbors and several complaints, is there anyway to talk directly with them and see if it can be resolved without a hearing?

At least feel them out and see if the complaint is valid or if it based on something other than your vehicle (personal dislike, Class snobbery or some other form of discrimination) and they are using the rules to kick you when your down?
(It's hard to justify enforcing a rule it it appears you are being singled out as this opens the door for litigation!)

Good luck in you struggle
Fred S
NYC.



P. S. one option depending on your age and medical condition, If you can get a letter from your doctor regarding a need for such transportation (I.E. handicap / UT problems) you might be able to get around the by laws as you can show a need for a bathroom equipt vehicle.


Posted By: charles on 08/10/09 03:07pm

I contacted Pleasure-way today after measuring my garage door which if opened all the way and held up with a 2 x 4 the absolute most I can get through is 82 inches. I asked Dean if he could build a Traverse without the Penthouse top, and I'll go the same route with Sportsmobile when I get in touch with him. Even though I have always been a GM man, I do like the Ford Econoline conversions for some reason, even more so this year since they resisted a "Stuctured Bankruptcy". Before I finalize this I'm going to test drive a Ford van and see if it fits. If it doesn't???

Nick
07 Excel TS


Posted By: McZip on 08/10/09 03:54pm

For what its worth and I understand that you probably have a garage door header issue:

We had a garage door clearance problem and had a door installer change the two side rails and the two curved rail thingies so the door opened only about 3 inches from ceiling.


Posted By: rufcut on 08/10/09 07:02pm

charles wrote:

Rufcut, My home is within a condominium community that has enforceable rules and regulations. The regulations state that no recreational vehicle can be parked in driveways overnight, they can however be brought in for loading and unloading during daytime hours. I have gotten away with keeping it here from time to time over the years but now having new neighbors, new management, and several complaints, I cannot get away with it. Trying to hide the fact that it is not an RV is nearly impossible as having exposed tank valves is also a no no. I've tried just about everything, including Jim Tewell's idea, but in this real estate market, it's just going to be easier sell the Excel and replace it with a unit that will fit into the garage.

Since I've been soliciting Rv.net annual rally support from the owner of Sportsmobile for the last couple years, my next step is to return the favor and call him for advice on having one built. I'll keep you informed and would still appreciate any info. on your experiences with the smaller units.

Nick & Chris
07 Excel TS


Sorry to hear it. Would you like me to bring my rusty 93 Seirra down for a week? That'll give them something to complain about!

Anyway, good luck.


Posted By: qjane on 08/10/09 08:59pm

charles wrote:

... I'll keep you informed and would still appreciate any info. on your experiences with the smaller units...

On SMB: Yes, you can have a pressurized water system with water pumped from a storage tank, or city water hook-up. Mine has both, although I've don't use either.

Moving around with the top down *could* be a big adjustment for you, because you either need to stoop down quite a bit, or travel on your knees -- which I actually do a lot. One pair of blue jeans are now designated "B jeans" due to holes worn in the knees.

Still, you're traveling in a vehicle that's way nicer than a car or SUV. Standard B perks still apply ... the fridge, the toilet, the beds to stretch out and take a nap if needed.

The toilet? What about the toilet? My porta potti stores in a cabinet at the back of the van. When I take it out, it doesn't feel like I'm going in the living room. Really. With two people, however, a curtain would be nice, or SMB can build a room enclosure for a porta potti, or a marine toilet with black tank. It all depends on how choose to allocate your space.

As you'll see on the SMB website, you can have a propane system, or not. You can have a generator, or not.

IMO, the penthouse roof makes the van. The interior space is amazing when it's deployed. As a former tent camper, the closed roof inconveniences are a small trade-off for: a comfy "upstairs" bed, birdseye views from five windows, and incredible ventilation.

Finally, one word: Stealth!

"Here to install your carpeting, 'Mam."

QJane
02 Ford E350 SMB RB30


Posted By: jimhaleyscomet on 08/11/09 02:05am

Qjane, Thanks for the info on how it is to get around with the top down. I too wonder about that. Since I am coming from a car/tent camping experience I too wonder if the pop up sportsmobile would be for me. Would a pair of gardening knee pads help? Can you leave the upstairs bed "made up"? Does the bed reduce the closed roof interior height (even though it sounds as it is not a problem for you)?

Can anyone else share experiences of pros/cons of using the SMB with the roof down?


Posted By: ennajean on 08/11/09 07:31am

We own a SMB and have to say I never am on my knees to get around when the top is down. I just bend over and move around that way. I do at times have to get on my knees to get something out of the frig. But then again alot of B's have the frig on the floor so thats no big deal. When getting ready to go on a trip or returning home we put the top up to get things in and out.
To keep on subject not sure if our B would fit in a regular garage, as we ended up building a new garage with a higher door for it.


Anne and Dick

DABEE a 2006 Ford Sportsmobile Penthouse top.
States we've camped in.



Posted By: charles on 08/11/09 08:15am

Judy, Thanks for the reply, your post contains a lot of the information I was looking for.

Nick
07 Excel TS


Posted By: qjane on 08/11/09 03:45pm

jimhaleyscomet wrote:

... Would a pair of gardening knee pads help?
Maybe if you're planning to live full-time in the van with the top lowered. It's not like you have to cruise around on your knees; it's just something I do. My fridge is actually high enough off the floor that anyone sitting on the sofa/gaucho can reach over and open it.
jimhaleyscomet wrote:

Can you leave the upstairs bed "made up"? Does the bed reduce the closed roof interior height (even though it sounds as it is not a problem for you)?
The penthouse bed fits fairly snuggly against the interior roof with the top locked down. You could certainly leave sheets and a light blanket up there, but a down-filled sleeping bag or pillows might be pushing it. My van's at my other house right now, but if I were to guess, you might gain 3-4 inches of interior height if you had no PH bed.


Posted By: qjane on 08/11/09 04:25pm

charles wrote:

I contacted Pleasure-way today after measuring my garage door which if opened all the way and held up with a 2 x 4 the absolute most I can get through is 82 inches. I asked Dean if he could build a Traverse without the Penthouse top, and I'll go the same route with Sportsmobile when I get in touch with him. Even though I have always been a GM man, I do like the Ford Econoline conversions for some reason, even more so this year since they resisted a "Stuctured Bankruptcy". Before I finalize this I'm going to test drive a Ford van and see if it fits. If it doesn't???

Nick
07 Excel TS

Sad to say, 82 inches is a "gray area" for garage clearance with *new* SMB pop-tops. The ultimate, truly garageable SMBs were built on the discontinued Dodge 2500/3500 chassis which is far shorter than the Chevy 3500 or the Ford E350. From my understanding, SMB has put great effort into designing a slightly shorter penthouse top (like snidertj most likely has) installed on the Ford E250, but it is still not quite as short as the old Dodges.

Nick, I hate to see you give up the luxuries of an Excel for a SMB *without* a pop-top, and I can't imagine you & Chris picking up a used Dodge (although maybe SMB could refresh the interior for you?) Goodluck in your conversations with SMB and PW. Perhaps they have some tricks up their sleeves (i.e. shortened spring shackles??) that can make one of the pop-top rigs work for you.

QJane
02 Ford E350 SMB RB30


Posted By: burlmart on 08/11/09 08:34pm

CSG wrote:

I'm looking at upgrading to something a bit more refined but I don't have the parking issues you do.


Maybe you and the OP can work out an exchange if the Traverse can be lowered a couple inches..


2005 Trail Lite 213 B-Plus w/ 6.0 Chevy



Posted By: Gene in NE on 08/12/09 08:17pm

charles wrote:

As we are having trouble with our homeowners association's new management regarding our Pleasureway Excel , we are interested in replacing it with a unit that will fit in our garage. I'm thinking of a Pleasure-way Traverse, or a Sportsmobile. Does anyone have one that they keep in their garage? If so, can you get around in them without popping open the top? Any information would be appreciated.

Thanks

Nick & Chris
07 Pleasure-way Excel TS
I did look at a Provan Tiger GT which is built on a Chevy Astro van. The body is cut off and a pop-top is installed. The finished height was 83-1/2". Since the Astro is no longer made, you have to be diligent about your search. This is what one looks like -


2002 Trail-Lite Model 211-S w/5.7 Chevy (click View Profile)
Gene


Posted By: Davydd on 08/12/09 08:40pm

The problem with the standard 7 ft. garage door which is the most popular residential dimension is that the clear opening is 7 ft. high but most overhead sectional door tracks still leave the thickness of the door hanging down. That is just the way most manufacturers make them. That means you can really only safely rely on 6'-10" (82") clearance but it is possible to physically push the door up a little to drive in. That would require two people always. One to push and one to drive unless you devised some kind of prop wedge.


Davydd
2011 Great West Van Legend Sprinter B Camper Van
Visited states in an RV



Posted By: jimhaleyscomet on 08/13/09 02:32am

I am wondering about that last few inches. Would it be possible to have an on board air compressor along with aftermarket on board inflation system for all 4 tires? I think some four wheel drive vehicles have this system.

One could let out some air to get into the garage and re-inflate once back out. One might even be able to do a similar thing with air shocks.

It would not be cheap ($2k?) but might be cheaper than building a taller garage.

Anyone have experience with this kind of system?


Posted By: Handbasket on 08/13/09 04:22am

Gene in NE wrote:

.......I did look at a Provan Tiger GT which is built on a Chevy Astro van. The body is cut off and a pop-top is installed. The finished height was 83-1/2". Since the Astro is no longer made, you have to be diligent about your search. ......


Provan _might_ even still be able to make a Tiger GT if you could find a used but fairly pristine Astro van. As Gene said, they cut the body off, since GM never made the Astro as a cutaway. They were still building them new as recently as '05, I think, so they may still have the body jigs and contact with the specialty suppliers. It might be a forlorn hope, but a quick call to 1-800-531-9383 would answer that. I suspect it'd be pricey, tho'.

Jim, "Mo' coffee!"


Posted By: burlmart on 08/13/09 05:57am

This seems to be a cutaway, so a bare astro chassis may also exist



Posted By: waitin462 on 08/13/09 11:05am

I have a 2006 Sportsmobile with the penthouse top on a Ford body. It is a pushup top on springs. I've read they now have the penthouse top that can be raised electronically. It fits in my regular garage. It is drivable and usable with the top down, you just can't stand up in it.


waitin462



Posted By: qjane on 08/13/09 11:27pm

jimhaleyscomet, a few years back, ARCruiser posted some photos of squeezing his project van (with SMB penthouse) into a garage by removing some door trim and dropping his tires down to about 5 PSI.

You'll find it mid way down the page, dated 4/2/07, I think.

Van into garage

I've been tempted to do the same, but am squeemish about abusing my tire sidewalls. Some people say lowering the tire PSI for a short period of time and short distance isn't a problem. What do you (and other posters here) think?

Maybe I'll get brave this fall ... that, or put on a set of junky used tires for the experiment.

QJane
02 Ford E350 SMB RB30


Posted By: qjane on 08/13/09 11:39pm

Waitin462: How tall is your garage door?
Nice choice of vehicle, BTW


Posted By: TREK 07 on 08/14/09 07:31am

For what’s it worth… we had a similar problem fitting our RT into our garage. However, we were able to replace the existing 7’h x 9’w garage doors with new 9’ x 9’ garage doors. The exisitng headers on the door openings were also replaced to accomodate the larger opening.

Due to the ceiling height inside the garage, we were only able to achieve an actual opening height at the top of the arch of 8’-9”… our Roadtrek 210 is 8”-6” to the top of the antenna bracket…highest point. So in reality we ended up with only 3” of clearance.

In the end, it work perfectly. Not to mention I think the new garage doors added a bit of style to the house.

Before Photo...


After Photo...


Photo Showing Clearance...



Jim and Mary
2007 Roadtrek 210 Popular
FMCA F405952



Posted By: burlmart on 08/14/09 08:47am

Win-Win. Looks great.


Posted By: Lynne Jayzee on 08/14/09 12:06pm

Wow! "Win-win" was a great way to put it. The door trim is a bit close (okay, it's touching and looks like it had to be cut to fit) to the soffits, but it looks okay.

There ya go, Nick...an RT210 fits into a garage. Your problem is solved.

- LJZ


Posted By: charles on 08/14/09 12:39pm

Jim and Mary,

That does look great, nice photo of the RT part way out, it looks like a perfect fit and it allows you to work on it inside the garage. I can't do that because of a steel beam going across the top of the gargae door frames but I sure like your set up.

Nick


Posted By: waitin462 on 08/15/09 02:53pm

My garage door is 96" high and 91" to edge of garage door when opened. From reading some other sizes, I see they vary from 7 to 9' and mine is an 8. AKA waitin462


Posted By: booster on 08/15/09 04:02pm

waitin462 wrote:

My garage door is 96" high and 91" to edge of garage door when opened. From reading some other sizes, I see they vary from 7 to 9' and mine is an 8. AKA waitin462


You almost always can get the door to open up to same height as the door opening. It does take some adjusting and possibly moving the tracks a bit, but it is not horribly difficult. The biggest issue is being able and comfortable with winding and unwinding springs. We went from 8' tall doors to 9'3" doors last summer, with a finished 10' ceiling. The opening finishes at 9'2.5" and the door is actually a touch higher than that open. Even this tight to the ceiling there is still room for an opener. Here is a link to a thread I started with pics of the setup. The low headroom, rear spring setup works very well.

Tall garage door thread


Posted By: doughboy81972 on 08/21/09 11:04pm

don't feel bad I have 5'9" door on our garage I can't even put my little Ford windstar in the garage and the door is already on the ceiling and there is a bedroom above the garage so that is just a pain I am going to try to get a stealthy class B with hardly anything on the out side to indicate that it is an RV. My problem is not the HOA but a county law no RVs, trailers, or commercial vehicles allowed for more then 24 hours at a time. Or be visible from the street and I live on a corner lot.


Steven 35
1 dog
IL Rallies attended


Posted By: Book on 08/22/09 09:26am

Years ago, Ray Frank, inventor of the TRAVCO Motorhome, came up with the solution.......XPLORER MOTORHOMES made the first calass B (1968?) and it was garageable.......I had a 1976, Xplorer 228, with a dropped floor.(ideas later stolen by Roadtrek) but with a low roof.......great molded 1 piece fiberglass roof and rear end, permenant rear bed and front lounge.......of course, you can only stand up in the kitchen and bathroom areas.

Xplorer made that model occassionaly as late as 1999-2000 I believe.
I lived in mine for 3 years, full time......a perfect rig.....

Look for a pre-owned one and have it 'restored' to new condition.....it would be a classic and cost a lot less then anything being made today


The Book


Posted By: Gene in NE on 08/22/09 10:25pm

For those really serious about being able to get your class B into the garage, have you thought about busting out the concrete floor and part of the approach slab and repouring the floor lower. Might not be as expensive as raising the door opening if you have bedrooms, finished ceilings, or beams in the way. If your door is not too old, it is possible to buy another panel section to extend your door downward.


Posted By: ClassBinVA on 08/23/09 05:46am

Book,

We own one of Ray Frank's 87 Xplorers. Great unit for me, DW and dog. Has a lowered floor 2 foot extension on the back for permanent full size bed and a one piece fiberglass roof. It is great and we LOVE the profile on it.


1987 Dodge Xplorer, "HARVY" (the RV of course )



Posted By: Hit The Road Jack on 08/23/09 06:34am

Gene in NE wrote:

For those really serious about being able to get your class B into the garage, have you thought about busting out the concrete floor and part of the approach slab and repouring the floor lower. Might not be as expensive as raising the door opening if you have bedrooms, finished ceilings, or beams in the way. If your door is not too old, it is possible to buy another panel section to extend your door downward.


For most home owners that would create MAJOR drainage issues...floor drain & dry well pit containing a float activated dirty water pump would be needed.


Posted By: Handbasket on 08/23/09 06:35am

Coincidentally, I saw an older Xplorer (228, I think) for sale just a mile or so from home yesterday. It was parked beside a used motor-sickle dealer's shop. It looked pretty much the same as the one in ClassBinVA's sig. It had phone numbers posted in the windows, but no other info like year, miles, price, etc. It did have a conventional roof A/C mounted near the front, tho'.

Jim, "Mo' coffee!"


Posted By: Gene in NE on 08/23/09 05:41pm

Hit The Road Jack wrote:

Gene in NE wrote:

For those really serious about being able to get your class B into the garage, have you thought about busting out the concrete floor and part of the approach slab and repouring the floor lower...

For most home owners that would create MAJOR drainage issues...floor drain & dry well pit containing a float activated dirty water pump would be needed.
Well for you guys that have a high water table that would be true. For us in the midwest with 100% of our homes having basements, I never gave it a thought. I stand corrected.


Posted By: ClassBinVA on 08/24/09 10:34am

Handbasket,

Ours is an 87 Xplorer 228. No air conditioner, just a Fan-Tastic Fan, which works really well. The cool thing with the low profile is that i have actually driven it to the airport and parked in the covered garages :-)


Posted By: Hit The Road Jack on 08/24/09 11:46am

ClassBinVA wrote:

Handbasket,

Ours is an 87 Xplorer 228. No air conditioner, just a Fan-Tastic Fan, which works really well. The cool thing with the low profile is that i have actually driven it to the airport and parked in the covered garages :-)


Convenient perk ClassBinVA...

Underground parking is always impossible for our 'Roadhouse'...


Posted By: ClassBinVA on 08/25/09 03:57pm

It's always fun to see the looks of the parking attendants as I pay on my way out. More often than not I get some questions of interest and smiles, but it certainly is different than the other exiting vehicles.


Posted By: robbins1 on 08/25/09 04:48pm

Hit The Road Jack: MOST? MOST home owners? MAJOR drainage issues? floor drain? dry well pit? float activated dirty water pump.....what tha' heck are those things? MOST home owners?


~~~ruth~~~


Posted By: booster on 08/25/09 05:07pm

robbins1 wrote:

Hit The Road Jack: MOST? MOST home owners? MAJOR drainage issues? floor drain? dry well pit? float activated dirty water pump.....what tha' heck are those things? MOST home owners?


Unless you have a very steep driveway, you can't lower the garage floor without being lower than that driveway and have all the rain, car washing water, whatever, running into the garage. Here in Minnesota you would be making a skating rink. All the things Jack listed are used to try to combat the ensueing flood, but usually only work to a certain degree, and much worse in freezing climates.


Posted By: robbins1 on 08/25/09 05:27pm

No, I don't have a very steep driveway. At least not in this neck of the woods. It kind of goes up and down. I can hire the guy next door and dig as much as I want. The closest car washing water would be at least FIVE MILES away...better not wash into my garage!! Minnesota must have much better skating rinks. We definitely have freezing climates. And maybe 2 or 3 skating rinks in the entire state. And I still want to know what the hell is a dry well pit, and a float activated dirty water pump?


Posted By: booster on 08/25/09 05:46pm

robbins1 wrote:

No, I don't have a very steep driveway. At least not in this neck of the woods. It kind of goes up and down. I can hire the guy next door and dig as much as I want. The closest car washing water would be at least FIVE MILES away...better not wash into my garage!! Minnesota must have much better skating rinks. We definitely have freezing climates. And maybe 2 or 3 skating rinks in the entire state. And I still want to know what the hell is a dry well pit, and a float activated dirty water pump?


A dry well pit collects water and then lets it slowly soak into the ground. A float activated pump would go in a similar pit in the garage and pump the water out after it ran into the pit from the floor.

But---how would you keep the water out once you lowered the floor and your driveway sloped towards the garage door? I wash my car in my driveway, not 5 miles away. If my driveway sloped toward the garage door, the garage would turn into a dandy skating rink after it filled with runoff water.


Posted By: Gene in NE on 08/25/09 06:38pm

booster wrote:

...A dry well pit collects water and then lets it slowly soak into the ground. A float activated pump would go in a similar pit in the garage and pump the water out after it ran into the pit from the floor.

But---how would you keep the water out once you lowered the floor and your driveway sloped towards the garage door? I wash my car in my driveway, not 5 miles away. If my driveway sloped toward the garage door, the garage would turn into a dandy skating rink after it filled with runoff water.
I find this discussion very enlightening. Everyone seems to speak from a very narrow personal perspective. My drive way rises about 2 feet from the street level. Could lower the floor of the garage almost 2 feet without any problem with drainage. And...we have basements so there is not a high water table problem.

Now that all the considerations have been expressed, there are some people who could lower their floor and some who could not.


Posted By: booster on 08/25/09 06:59pm

In this part of the country (Minnesota) the inspectors like to see at least 1/4" per foot of driveway slope, to assure drainage. If you can get that slope (or even a little less) with your driveway length, you should be able to consider lowering the floor.

You also have to consider how the garage is built, and what the codes would say about the lowering. Around here, we have to have footings at least 42" below grade because of the frost, and if the garage is on 42" footings now, you would violate the footing depth when you lowered the floor (at the door only, as you could leave the grade high elsewhere). Warm climates wouldn't have the same issues. If the garage is on a floating slab, you might have some real issues, as the entire floor is usually considered structural.


Posted By: Handbasket on 08/26/09 06:30am

Here's the Xplorer I saw FS near home... I think it's much like ClassBinVA's.





The awning appears to be held on by a piece of cord, but otherwise it looks pretty good.

Love these oldies.

Jim, "Mo' coffee!"


Posted By: yager on 08/27/09 03:53pm

Have you considered installing a 2" (or more) drop on the van suspension ? The components on the later model vans are the same as the trucks, so sourcing a drop kit should be pretty easy.


2004 Chevrolet G3500 6.0L\4L80e\3.73s
DIY - Cargo Camper

http://www.epgsoft.com/VisitedStatesMap/



Posted By: Handbasket on 08/30/09 06:18am

Here's one.... OK, it' not a B, it's an A, a DP no less.... but it'll probably fit in your garage.... if it's not too long...

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/nby/rvs/1344156583.html

Jim, "Mo' coffee!"


Posted By: ClassBinVA on 08/30/09 10:46am

HandBasket,

That Xplorer looks a lot like ours, which is a 87 228. HARVY is an oldie and a goodie, as it looks like this one you found is. The awning looks interesting. I would like to get one on ours at some point.


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