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Bus Discussion => Bus Topics ( click here for quick start! ) => Topic started by: TomC on May 16, 2013, 09:14:06 AM

Title: 2nd Smaller Motorhome
Post by: TomC on May 16, 2013, 09:14:06 AM
While it's nice to have a 40ft motorhome (both my bus and truck are 40ft because of length laws), it would be nice to have a second smaller motorhome in the 25ft range for quick weekend get aways and getting into National Parks that have length restrictions. I do not want to use a stick and staples-although the Lazy Daze class C does not have slide outs (which I like). Also, a small Freightliner M2 with a 16ft rear for an overall of 25ft would be good.

Have any considered a smaller second motorhome, and what interested you? Good Luck, TomC

Title: Re: 2nd Smaller Motorhome
Post by: Geoff on May 16, 2013, 09:50:02 AM
Its 40'er or nothing.  If I don't fit I don't go.  Plus I don't want to covert another bus, even if its only 25' long.

Title: Re: 2nd Smaller Motorhome
Post by: luvrbus on May 16, 2013, 10:20:22 AM
We have always had a conversion van (class B ) with our Eagle it was kinda nice to make short trips to Vegas and CA overnight  all the comforts of a bus just not as large 

I enjoy the Trek my wife bought it has as much room as a 40 ft just no separate bedroom the bed is in the celing when not in use only takes 7 qts of oil lol

Title: Re: 2nd Smaller Motorhome
Post by: Lin on May 16, 2013, 10:52:15 AM
The term "sticks and staples" is not necessarily accurate.  There could be many manufactured RV's that have reasonable construction.  Our first RV was a 1974 Pace Arrow and it had a square tube steel frame.

Title: Re: 2nd Smaller Motorhome
Post by: rv_safetyman on May 16, 2013, 11:14:57 AM
Tom, we have often pondered the same thing.

We have mostly thought about van type conversions that we could tow behind the bus.  Have thought about the 4WD van type conversions that look really neat.

The big issue comes down to cost and lack of comfort features.  Most of us are spoiled with good heating/AC, significant water/waste capacity, good self contained features (inverter battery bank, generator).  To step down to something that is about the size of a large doghouse with limited creature comforts just does not appeal to us.

I have thought about some of the Sprinter based vehicles that have more creature comforts but they are terribly expensive.

All academic thinking, as we don't have the money anyway.  Especially when you consider that we would probably not use it that much.


Title: Re: 2nd Smaller Motorhome
Post by: Len Silva on May 16, 2013, 01:55:24 PM
There were a few well made motor homes in the days of yore.  Superior is one that I had a bit of experience with.  Built by Superior School Bus Company on a Grumman chassis, it was very well built and well appointed for it's time.

Title: Re: 2nd Smaller Motorhome
Post by: luvrbus on May 16, 2013, 02:37:04 PM
Coach House is the premier builder of class b and c motor homes of today a little pricey but a well built unit I saw a 23 ft in Quartzsite with 2 slides neat rv  

The Safari Trek the wife bought is a well built little unit all steel siding and aluminum boxed uprights and roof bows with 4 inch roof at first I wasn't impressed the price she paid i thought was too much but it has grown on me

 Now she doesn't depend on me to find time to take a trip with her if she wants to see the kids ,grandkids or friends in Tx,Id or OK off she goes she never liked doing that in the bus but she would the worst for her in the bus was fuel stops she hated truck stops

I like the unit a lot it was so nice we had a problem with the dash air pulled into a rv repair 150 bucks and 1-1/2 hrs we were back on the road with nice dash air for the 100 degree heat  

Title: Re: 2nd Smaller Motorhome
Post by: sledhead on May 16, 2013, 02:48:31 PM
I camped beside a guy with a sprinter diesel motorhome ( 25' with 1 slide ) when in the keys in january and asked how be liked it . He has a rack for 2 bicycles and that is how they get around when they don't drive the rv . 14 -17 mpg on flats 12 mpg in the hills . he said he loves it for the size , he has a buddy with one that tows a small car.His buddy only gets 10 mpg and can't hold 50 mph on any hill with the car in tow. So yes it's a small size but to have to break camp to drive to get a jug of milk, a loaf of bread is not for me . At 40' we can get into most state parks,to have a truck to drive is great .The small units look good but are at their max load before you start .               dave

Title: Re: 2nd Smaller Motorhome
Post by: kwidd on May 16, 2013, 05:06:59 PM
We built one out of a handi trans bus. It is 25 foot long built on a Ford E450. It has a bath in the back full sized bed couch and small kitchen. It had 220k miles on it when we got it but it ran great. The powerstroke 7.3 had good power. If driven at 65 or below the mileage is around 14mpg. I sold it to my brother 5 years ago and they use it all the time and love it. When we go in a group we load up in it for around town.

Title: Re: 2nd Smaller Motorhome
Post by: bobofthenorth on May 16, 2013, 05:16:38 PM
I've always thought that just a basic tradesman van conversion would be great for short trips.  I had an employee that travelled a lot in the winter in one several years ago.  He said it was great for stealth overnight stops because it fit right in on a parking lot or in streetside parking.  I've got too many places to sleep riight now - don't need another one to look after - but if I did it would be a really basic van conversion - no slides, no raised roof - just a tradesman van with a bed, sink and stove.

Title: Re: 2nd Smaller Motorhome
Post by: chessie4905 on May 16, 2013, 07:34:04 PM
get one of those GMC motorhomes; Palm Beach or other.

Title: Re: 2nd Smaller Motorhome
Post by: lvmci on May 16, 2013, 08:42:51 PM
Hi All, I had a Ultrastar by Champion 29' class A aerodynamic body built with metal studs on a chevy P30 chassis, other having to climb over the engine box to drive, it was a high quality unit, the worst thing about it was the chevy P30 part, lvmci...

Title: Re: 2nd Smaller Motorhome
Post by: bevans6 on May 17, 2013, 04:27:50 AM
The only one I really considered was a Sprinter based van conversion.  Solid, dependable (I felt at the time), easy to wheel around, big enough for a week or two on the road.  They were too expensive for me, though.


Title: Re: 2nd Smaller Motorhome
Post by: Jeremy on May 17, 2013, 04:58:01 AM
I have a Chevy conversion van which theoretically qualifies as a second, smaller motorhome. Unfortunately it's in as many pieces as the bus, and has been an unfinished project for even longer.

It's kinda funny to hear how sought-after Sprinters are in the States - they're as common as muck here, as are many similar vans from other European manufacturers. But things like my Chevy are rare of course, and bus conversions are even rarer.


Title: Re: 2nd Smaller Motorhome
Post by: WEC4104 on May 17, 2013, 05:22:17 AM
At the risk of straying off topic, my personal leaning would be to suppliment the bus with a small trailer.  By a large margin, my preference is to travel with all the conveniences of a coach/motorhome. But since I never drag a toad, there are a few instances when dropping a trailer and scooting around in a car would be an advantage. I have thought about something like a full featured pop-up trailer.  My twisted thinking is that by choosing something quite a bit different than the bus, it expands my overall capabilities.

I have also envisioned a trip where both the bus and pop-up trailer (towed by a separate car) were used on the same trip. We could take a larger group of extended family or friends, and grab adjacent campsites.  Having all the ammentities in the bus, plus comfortable sleeping for 6+ more, opens up all sorts of possibilities.

Title: Re: 2nd Smaller Motorhome
Post by: sdc53 on May 17, 2013, 09:03:13 PM
I have a little 2010 sprinter based class C with one slide for sale - $55k. It's quick and nimble, good mpg, 12-14 mpg at 70+mph, hills etc.  good little unit but the bus is paid for, and this isn't, so I'm getting rid of it so I can be one step closer to being debt free. It has the v6 turbo diesel, and its dodge branded so you don't have to go to the Mercedes dealer for service.

I can park and drive it anywhere, it's 25' long bumper to bumper.  Really fun on hills, the turbo spools up (quietly) and it just goes without fuss or overheating.  Dash AC too.

The wife loves to drive it, too - she won't touch the bus. It's an S&S unit with all that comes with that (in terms of safety) but in general really cheap to run far and it pulls hills really well.

It's ok for boondocking overnight in a wal-mart on the house batts, but nothing like the 8-AGM and solar setup I have on the bus.  Of course the bus only gets maybe 6mpg, so I guess I can run the diesel genny quite a bit to offset.

Title: Re: 2nd Smaller Motorhome
Post by: Debo on May 18, 2013, 05:33:16 AM
We have a little teardrop camper that I built. It can be pulled with the toad, and it's great for getting into those little places the bus could never go. If we're ever feeling that there are places we'd like to go where the bus is not an option, the teardrop will always fit there. It's also a little more "rustic", which we enjoy every now and then.

Title: Re: 2nd Smaller Motorhome
Post by: Oonrahnjay on May 18, 2013, 06:17:56 AM
    Y'all have got me thinkin' -- I think that this "smaller alternative motorhome" idea is a good one.  But I was making a jump a little bit farther.  How about a smaller, more nimble "alternative wife"?  Think of the places you could take her and the fun you could have.  But then I was thinking of the difficulties in keeping them both maintained at the same time -- and "cost of ownership" seems to be a lot more than just purchase price, feeding, maintenance and taxes.  And seein as how I can hardly afford the one that I've got now (and don't know how in the world I'd cover the cost of a big problem), I don't think that one of those is in the cards.

    And that's just the idea of the "smaller alternative motorhome" -- the thought of the "smaller alternative wife" is TOTALLY out the window!


Title: Re: 2nd Smaller Motorhome
Post by: lostagain on May 18, 2013, 07:33:31 AM
The bus serves our needs quite well. It will go just about anywhere. You can't beat the comfort in the bus going down the highway, or living in it on a road trip, with all the conveniences. I don't want another vehicle to maintain. Also here in BC, insurance is quite expensive.


Title: Re: 2nd Smaller Motorhome
Post by: Lin on May 18, 2013, 08:43:37 AM
Of course, there is the obvious compromise-- a 35 ft bus!

Title: Re: 2nd Smaller Motorhome
Post by: Jeremy on May 18, 2013, 09:26:23 AM
Perhaps the answer is to have one motorhome that's in two parts - take the whole thing on big trips and just the front part on small trips:

Here's it done in typical unambitious expensive-European-diesel style:


And the full fat cheap-American-diesel version could be based on one of these:


(I do realise that you can't just uncouple an articulated Neoplan, but you get the idea)


Title: Re: Re: 2nd Smaller Motorhome
Post by: Seangie on May 18, 2013, 11:16:04 AM
We will be towing a conversion van with our bus.  No shower, sink or beds.  More like a living room with entertainment center and a bench seat in the back that lays flat.

It will double as living space for the kids when we are out.  They can watch movies,  do school work, have friends over, have their own space outside of being in the bus.  Will be really nice for rainy days.  And of course when mom and dad need some alone time.....

I'd love to build something like a UNICAT that is off road and can carry a second smaller vehicle on board.  But not something that looks like a craft from the future.


 www.herdofturtles.org  (http://www.herdofturtles.org)
1984 Eagle Model 10S

Title: Re: 2nd Smaller Motorhome
Post by: bevans6 on May 18, 2013, 12:43:45 PM
I just occurred to me that I have a truck camper that I put on my 2003 Dodge 2500.  It's a small camper, I guess, and I could easily tow it behind the bus.  Or take it on it's own.  I used to tow my 28' car hauler with it, camp at the track.