I've been doing a lot of research latey on buying a used Class B. It's diffcult to find all the options I want in one used package. Would anyone recommend converting a van conversion into a camper van? Is it worth the effort, will it cost more in the end? Tier 1 camping requirements are: Sleeps 2, Fridge, Furnace, Extra Battery. Tier 2 reqs are Stove & Sink.
Also, can anyone reccommed a place that installs these items?
Sorry but have not owned a "B", but in you research have you looked at the actual cost in purchasing each of the items you mentioned? The labor to do the install of these items by someone else will probably run in the neighborhood of $80.00 an hr. unless you are the installer after you look at the costs. May be cheaper to buy something close and then do some minor changes to fit your needs.
start priceing regular vans that you would want, then price the parts you want to install,cheaper if you do it yourself, also what ever else like insulation and paneling ect,then see how close in price a class B would be.i made my own class B befor they even started makeing them many years ago,the height of the roof was the biggest problem as you could not stand up.
1985 Class A Holiday Rambler Imperial 33 +1979 Class C Holiday Rambler Statesman 1000 = 24 ft
A van conversion can be done for no more than the cost of buying a new converted van. The trick it being able to do most or all the work yourself and having the time to do it. If you can't do the work yourself, I'd recommend finding something already converted that was close to what you want and pay to have the rest done.
If your are trying to cut costs, decent portable 12VDC refrigerators can be found for $60 and up. Small sinks are cheap & easy too. Portable electric heaters work very well and are quite small. A small window AC unit can be installed in place of one of the rear door windows. All the seating and most accessories are available through Camping World or online.
We ordered a new basic van in 1979. It only had the engine, drive train and cab features we wanted, and had a temporary driver seat only - nothing else. We first had the van spray foam insulated, then cut and installed the windows. We did the entire interior ourselves with four captains chairs and a sofa bed. We did all custom paneling, carpet and headliner. We wired for 12VDC and 120VAC, installed a 120VAC Air Conditioner and heater and plumbed in a basic sink (12VDC pump and small fresh & gray tanks). Our total cost after completing the conversion was $6,000 (1979 dollars).
In 1983 we bought a class C but refused to trade our van. After completing the purchase of the new class C, the dealer asked to take the van to his shop for a quick inspection. He came back and offered us $8,000 cash for the van. Amazing - it was four years old with 50,000 miles on it, and we got $2,000 more than we paid for it.
2001 Volvo VNL42T420, ISX450/1650, super 10sp w/GearMaster
2003 Newmar Mountain Aire 38RLRK (20K GVWR, tandem duals)
Piaggio MP3 400 scooter
RVing since 1979 - Fulltime since 2000 (mostly CO, MT, NC & Key West)
I started with a 2 yr old Sprinter for $20k and put in about $10k more to get pretty close to exactly what I wanted. About half of the $10k was hardware, half labor. And lots of my time researching and lots more working on the van. A terrific experience for me.
I wanted a year-round camper with many uses. Happy to not have any plumbing to winterize. Big battery bank, 2000w inverter, diesel furnace, 3 sliding windows, Fantastic fan, fancy stereo, Engel fridge, micro, induction cooktop, portapotty, propane locker, efficient lighting, superinsulation, marine vinyl interior panels, fold-away bench-beds, 10 lengths of L-track tiedowns.
Everything comes out or folds flat except for electrical box and propane locker. Normal configuration has a 30" full length center aisle with benches for 8. Today's use was a whitewater daytrip with two 14' canoes and two kayaks inside along with the four of us. (The roof rack would have held all the boats but I had the room inside...)
I could not get a "normal" floorplan with that kind of room. The full-electric is wonderful. We don't miss installed plumbing at all. We do have a shower tent but usually happy to indulge in a campground shower. We prefer an outdoor kitchen whenever feasible. The inside one does have everything except the kitchen sink...
Not for everyone. I found this site extremely helpful!
02 Freightliner Sprinter 2500 long tall home brew conversion
The Sprinter is the only van that comes ready with the head room. That is probably the most difficult part for converting other vans. Sportsmobile can make a campervan to your specifications without going to full blown conversions that most offer.
2011 Great West Van Legend Sprinter B Camper Van
Visited states in an RV
I built my first Class B myself. I ordered the windows and seats from a catalog, then went to Camping World for a roof top A/C unit -w- a heatstrip, a Dometic 2 way refrigerator, a stainless steel sink, electric water pump, storage tank (fresh water), etc. Picked up a microwave and small TV from Walmart.
The tough part was getting enough courage to cut 4 huge openings for the windows. I had to move the gas tank fill nozzle. It had to be relocated several inches lower for the windows to fit.
Overall, this was a BIG job and took quite a while to complete. It can be done by Joe Blow, if you're fairly handy.
My second Class B was purchased in 1995 for just under $20K. I could NOT have purchased an empty van and hardware for that cost. The company I bought it from got the vans at fleet prices. It was a nice setup. I added a few extra things (inverter, second battery, cabinet lighting, etc.).
Now I'd be looking at a Sprinter. Looks like a much better chassis to start with. Most conversion places want an arm and a leg for conversions. I got mine from Art Grindle in Orlando FL before they went out of business.
Merritt Island, FL
2007 Rockwood TT 2502
2010 Ford F-150 FX4 -w- Max Tow Package
Yamaha EF2400iS http://www.2manytoyz.com/
Sorry, I'm having trouble picturing having difficulty 'getting all the options' you want in one package in a B... even your tier 2 requirements are exceeded by most B's with shower and toilet facilities.
Are you maybe looking at 'cruising van'-type conversions rather than camping vans?
As far as cost, it really depends on what you can DIY and how good a scrounger you are. A full-featured B (Roadtrek, Pleasureway, etc) will certainly cost more than a similar-year cruising van, but may be nearly as cheap & more satisfactory in the long run than having a shop do a series of upgrades to turn a cruiser into a semi-camper. This is especially true if you have to hire everything done, and pay their full mark-up on appliances and hardware.
Jim, "Madness takes its toll. Please have correct change."
'06 Tiger CX 'C Minus' on a Silverado 2500HD 4x4, 8.1 & Allison (aka 'Loafer's Glory') www.tigervehicles.com
I did a converstion to a Dodge Van. Bought the van for $2,500. It had an electric bed that slep 2. Took out the other seating. Added an inverter, batteries and charger. Built a custom cabinet and added a microwave and 12 volt refrigerator. I put in an outside shower with a home made heat exchanger to the engine. All that added about another $800. Made sure I bought appliances, like toaster, coffee maker, hair dryer and etc. that was under 1,000 watts so the inverter would work. I used it for two years and was very happy with it and it didn't drain my wallet. Traded up to a class A. I guess if you can do the work and don't go crazy with your options list you could make it worth while. The things I didn't like about it was no standup room, no storage, no generator, no toilet, pretty much all the things you get in a class A.