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 > New models with 4x4 with cabover bunk?

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fugawi

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Posted: 01/10/18 05:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

skipro3 wrote:

I got a buddy who has a conversion and I've got to say I'm jealous of it. I don't know why manufacturers don't offer them brand new other than there just isn't enough of a market for them at a price they can build it for. Here's a link to photos of his rig. See if it's what you have in mind;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGx4byk9sIE


Thank you very much. That is very cool. That is what I had in mind.

fugawi

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Posted: 01/10/18 06:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Photomike wrote:

You already got some great responses but here is what I have found.

I had a TCer on a GMC 2500HD 4x4 and I loved it but honestly the 4x4 was hardly used as it was just so heavy, and most of that was top heavy, so I was not comfortable going anyplace that was not almost perfectly level as I could feel the rig sway like it was going to tip. Plus with the weight of the unit no winch would get me out of a situation if I did get stuck, I would need something big to get me unstuck so I stayed in the front country with it.

I sold the TCer and got a small Class C (19') with the thought that I would be able to take it the same places that I could take the TCer and if it would go there I could do a 4x4 conversion if I wanted - boy was I wrong! The extra width of the Class C was insane, even on back roads I was hitting the mirror on trees on the side of the road so trails were out of the question. Add to that the creaking that the unit made on rough roads and I was afraid to take it any place rough. There is a road I like to drive on and even with my Dodge Journey it bounces and creaks the vehicle, with the Class C and the weight it was more than a creak I thought it was going to split in half and that was only on about 20' of the road so I turned back, I could not imagine a rough trail.

I have since bought a Ford Transit and added a bed, portable propane stove, porta potti, will add a 12V fridge and a heater and use this for the rougher stuff. The weight is low, not a lot of extra weight like cupboards and tables and it is narrower. May upgrade if / when I need a 4x4 but at this time happy with what I got.

I have looked at everything available new and used and could not justify the cost, weight and size to take it on trails.


Thanks very much. I appreciate your experience and perspective on the small Class C. I had not thought as much about the bounce and creak and body twisting. I've look at vans and class B's too, and it's just a little tight for two beds. More thinking to do.

jrobe

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Posted: 01/10/18 06:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I wouldn't call a Tiger RV a "poor mans" anything. You would probably pay $150,000 or more for one depending on the chassis you selected. I rented one from this place a couple years ago. It was money well spent for me and an interesting experience.

http://adventuretravelsportrentals.com/tiger-bengal-rig/

It was overall a nice vehicle. It was built pretty well. The floorpan is excellent. I liked the living area, the galley and the nice bathroom. The pass through from the cab was nice but pretty tight. You have to be pretty limber to use it. Of course, the truck seats don't swivel so you can't use that area for living purposes like many other RV's.

The cabover bed got old pretty fast. We started sleeping on the couch when we got sick of the ladder and the small headroom on the cab bed. I doubt many adults would be happy with the upper bed for very long although it would be good for young kids.

The part that convinced me not to buy one was the ride quality on rougher roads was terrible which is the main reason to even have a 4x4 vehicle. These things are built on big, stiff, heavy duty pickups made to haul big loads. I don't think I have ever bounced around so much in a vehicle. I remember driving 20-30 mph on a bumpy road and getting passed by multiple smaller SUV's because I couldn't drive any faster without rattling my teeth and rattling everything in the cabinets. Maybe this could be improved with some suspension upgrades. For me, it wasn't worth having a 4x4. I am glad I rented one though.

fugawi

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Posted: 01/10/18 06:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

To pnichols,

Wow, thank you so much for you thorough post above, especially for the benefits of the E450 chassis! You clearly thought through the offroadability details very well! This will help us think through it too.

Have there been any situations where you wish you would have had 4x4, or have things worked smoothly with your design considerations?

fugawi

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Posted: 01/10/18 06:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Related to this discussion, I just was told that the Mercedes Sprinter Cab Chassis is not available with 4x4. I didn't know that. Does anyone know if that is true?

I have wondering why no one offered one of the many Mercedes Class C units with 4x4 since it is available on Class B units. Bummer! Seems like that would be a good combo.

* This post was edited 01/10/18 06:56pm by fugawi *

pnichols

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Posted: 01/11/18 01:09am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

fugawi wrote:

To pnichols,

Wow, thank you so much for you thorough post above, especially for the benefits of the E450 chassis! You clearly thought through the offroadability details very well! This will help us think through it too.

Have there been any situations where you wish you would have had 4x4, or have things worked smoothly with your design considerations?


We go off-highway in our Class C usually because of our hobby (rockhounding). And yes, there are many opportunities to go where only an ATV or small jeep should go - that we have to pass up. But we can also travel to many off-highway places and camp right there close enough to walk from camp.

We do not want the hassle of towing something, even though our Class C could easily do so. However, I have thought of carrying a true offroad motorcycle - such as the superb two wheel drive Rokon offroad motorcycle - off the front bumper for real exploring where allowed. A long time ago we traveled and camped in a 3/4 ton Dodge van that we bought new and converted into a camper. We carried a Honda Scrambler on the back of it for getting way out there. Myself, the DW, and our dog rode on the motorcycle all at the same time when exploring ... using the van camper as a home base.

We avoid situations with the Class C where we anticipate that our 2WD traction may not be enough, and we so far have managed to stay out of traction trouble. However we do carry along a shovel, an extended lift jack, and several wooden blocks and boards to help us get unstuck if ever needed. 4WD in our Class C would only be for insurance purposes in extreme traction-loss situations (i.e. getting caught off-highway in wet conditions). With it we would probably still not go any further back into the booddocks than we already do. That being said, I can imagine highly unexpected situations in which 4WD in our Class C could turn out to be priceless. We probably would never need low range even if we had 4WD because of the E450's already great low rear differential ratio of 4:56.

But be reminded of what I mentioned earlier in my post: We have no problem traveling below 10 MPH for miles on rough roads when and as necessary in our Class C - which for many folks would be intolerable. We're retired, patient, and the Ford cab (with coach bathroom access for the passenger when moving slowly) is comfortable enough to permit a snail's pace when required!

* This post was edited 01/11/18 11:02am by pnichols *


Phil, 2005 E450 Itasca 324V Spirit

pnichols

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Posted: 01/11/18 07:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jrobe wrote:

I wouldn't call a Tiger RV a "poor mans" anything. You would probably pay $150,000 or more for one depending on the chassis you selected.


Like many things in life ... I guess it's relative.

Have you seen Earthroamer prices lately? [emoticon]

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