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Old 09-10-2019, 01:41 PM   #1
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Question New GT-Ext or Customize Existing?

Figured I would make this a separate thread...

Our current RV is our first RV... you all know that by now As much as we enjoy it, based on the kids no longer traveling with us, it is not the optimal floor plan for just the two of us.

Some days I wake up thinking, ahh the heck with it, I am going to modify what I have. Between the depreciation hit that I have taken and what a new one will go for, makes more sense... Other days I just want to trade in for a floor plan that is more aligned with what we want and then modify from there...

So the question is... what do you all think?

If we keep what we have... I would want to:
  • Replace existing LOUD A/C for a quieter A/C
  • Modify the cabinets similar to what toskeysam did and modify bed setup into twin beds - Thread Link . We would leave rear passenger captain chair in place and only remove rear driver side captain chair to make the changes. So we would not have that additional cabinet next to the bathroom, only the chair.
  • Remove awning. Install roof rack rails. Reinstall awning.
  • Replace current ladder for one that would double as rear ladder and as a side ladder leveraging the roof rack rails.
  • Install framed solar panels on the roof rack rails to replace flex panels.
  • Replace inverter for larger (2K at least) unit with Lithium capabilities (for future mods. I can hold-off on Lithium for now…)

If I go with a new GT with Twin Beds. It would not be a Tommy Bahama because, if the photos shared by the local dealer of some of the new interior combinations still hold, we would go with those… They are supposed to have a matte finished option without having to go with TB additional expense…

Air ride is standard. We would option it with the E&P self-leveling system. We would stay with 2WD and not opt for the 4WD. It already has 4 house batteries... and all the benefits of the new Sprinter chassis (big plus on that powered sliding door). If the 2020 AI-19 is an indication of some changes as well, the LP fill port is supposed to be raised from the factory...

I would still need to do the following:
  • Replace solar controller with Victron unit
  • Replace BIM with Blue Sea ACR
  • Replace inverter for larger unit with Lithium capabilities (I can hold-off on Lithium for now…)
  • Remove the same LOUD A/C and install a quiet A/C
  • Install elongated toilet... duh!
  • Install air compressor
  • Install rear shelf
  • Remove awning. Install roof rack rails. Reinstall awning.
  • Rear ladder that would double as a side ladder leveraging the roof rack rails.
  • Install framed solar panels on roof rack rails and make it 400 watts

So, keep the Lounge and customize or get a GT and make the additional changes that would be the same on both situations?

I guess the other option is to do nothing, just keep using what we have without additional major modifications... but I can't stay still enough to do that...
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Old 09-10-2019, 02:22 PM   #2
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WACHUKO - NEITHER. I did not even get to finish reading your list. At some point reading it, I came to the conclusion that if this was my own list, doing either would not be the end of big changes I would want done. I would be in a perpetual mod-mode. I would just skip the middle step and jump with both feet into a custom ARV. Whether its now or later to give you chance to have bigger chunk of cash to spend, that's a comfort level you have to decide.

In my current situation, still in the big house with many toys to take care of, I can not yet jump into an ARV. But once I move out of the house into a condo and weed out the toys, I will be in serious shopping mode, I estimate 5 yrs or so. But I am also a few decades older than you, so I cant be doing more mods 10 yrs from now

ARV is 2x-3x the price but you will get it without anything you have to do other than enjoy every minute of the time you would be spending changing your Lounge or future EXT. Use your depreciation now up until it no longer dramatically depreciates, then sell and build your own. By that time, the new Sprinter chassis would be either bug-free or fully electric.
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Old 09-10-2019, 03:10 PM   #3
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How deep are your pockets? If you and Jay Leno are buddies and only compete when bidding on toys... why not?
Historically, have similar changes in the past ended well, or in the end, have they been costly and frustrating?
Would you be miserable if you could not make any changes, or could you just go camping and still be content?
You did not mention your wife's input. It might be time for both of you to do serious estate planning.... talking about death and what is left for the survivor will not make it happen. Not having to sell everything and file for bankruptcy within weeks of a loved one's death - priceless.
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Old 09-10-2019, 03:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex AVI View Post
....... I would just skip the middle step and jump with both feet into a custom ARV. ......
+1.

Or build yourself from scratch. In for a penny, in for a pound.
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Old 09-10-2019, 03:45 PM   #5
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+1.

. . . . In for a penny, in for a pound.
Ain't it the truth. I'm contemplating a huge upgrade to my tiny Avenue motor home. 200W solar (already have the Victron controller upgrade), 500ah Renogy Lithium batteries (smallest foot-print and price out there - of any brand I've heard of, anyway), 3000W Inverter/Charger, DC-DC Charger, State-of-Charge Monitor, and assorted sensors, cables, connectors. Rough total of $5500, and this is doing it myself on the cheap.

And all this started from a modest desire for more battery capacity and ability to run the microwave without firing up the generator.

And yet as crazy, impractical, and wildly expensive as it is, I haven't given up on doing it. I guess I'm in the same state-of-mind as when I decided to do something as crazy, impractical, and wildly expensive as buy a motor home.
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Old 09-10-2019, 03:55 PM   #6
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WACHUKO, it really seems like it would depend on your disposable income and the things that are important to you in that analysis. I will say that it seems like you could do a lot of customizing on your current unit with the money you'd spend buying a new unit, whether it is a new AI or an ARV like AlexAVI suggested.

I'm only in about 4 months with my older (2013) AI, with 1 big road trip (for us, at least) under our belts, and I take comfort in the thought that whatever I do to my AI will likely be a sunk cost relative to resale/depreciation, but will serve our family while we're using it. I would probably feel quite a bit different about taking a bigger depreciation hit in getting rid of a newer AI and then purchasing another new AI knowing the depreciation hit on that one right off the lot. I know part of that is a mental state, but a big part of it isn't.

In the end its the cost-benefit analysis which you would need to do for you, weighing the different factors that are important to you. I would like to have built out my own, but my wife wasn't interested in me taking on that task... Maybe someday I'll rip out the rear lounge, maybe move some upper cabinet storage to below the bed, and install a lofted bed so we can fit some more gear underneath. For sure a long term plan.
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Old 09-10-2019, 04:03 PM   #7
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+1.

Or build yourself from scratch. In for a penny, in for a pound.
That title of Professor of Pending Projects was earned, lol... this much I have learned, there is no way that I will take a build on...

Even now, with my current AI, any project needs to allow using the AI when needed... I have three unfinished projects in the garage right now (multiple years in the waiting)...
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Old 09-10-2019, 04:13 PM   #8
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Thumbs up

Thank you all for the comments... no deep pockets here...

I admit that sometimes I make stupid financial decisions... thank you for grounding me to reality...

Wife is happy with what we have, there are minor things she wants (sink swap and more counter/cabinet space) that could easily be done... the rest is me unable to stay still...

Sharing my thoughts and reading your responses helps a lot.

Will stay the course and continue to enjoy what we have.
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:02 PM   #9
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wachuko ...the change to twin beds on a 2018 is easy. It took me a week, working alone, and I was 86 at the time. The 2018 is much easier than on my 2014.5 if you will settle for fixed beds rather than fancier motorized reclining ones. Plywood beds could easily be hinged to make semi-recliners. Selling the couch and jump seats will cover much of the cost.

I put $1000 into custom mattresses which are better than we have at home.
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Old 09-11-2019, 05:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wachuko View Post
That title of Professor of Pending Projects was earned, lol... this much I have learned, there is no way that I will take a build on...

Even now, with my current AI, any project needs to allow using the AI when needed... I have three unfinished projects in the garage right now (multiple years in the waiting)...
You just described my husband. Three unfinished projects in the garage.



The internet knows we are talking about keep vs. sell, upgrade vs. upgrade. Instagram started impressing me with photos of EarthRoamer 173 last night, which could be yours for the superbly low price of $525,000. Generally I find EarthRoamers to be (a) too masculine and (b) overdone, but that one is not too unpalatable to me. On the upside, I don't think you'd have to do any modifications to it:
  • Five 240-watt Sharp solar panels with solar charge controller
  • 1020-amp/hour AGM battery bank
  • Battery charge monitoring system
  • 3000-watt pure sine wave inverter with integrated 150 amp battery charger
  • Marine AC and DC circuit breaker panel
  • Marine grade wiring used throughout
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Old 09-11-2019, 07:15 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Pahaska View Post
wachuko ...the change to twin beds on a 2018 is easy. It took me a week, working alone, and I was 86 at the time. The 2018 is much easier than on my 2014.5 if you will settle for fixed beds rather than fancier motorized reclining ones. Plywood beds could easily be hinged to make semi-recliners. Selling the couch and jump seats will cover much of the cost.

I put $1000 into custom mattresses which are better than we have at home.

John, you are an inspiration. I can only hope to have the good health to get there and still be as active as you are. I am working on making the right eating and exercising changes to improve my health to try to last as long as I can... Thank you for the encouragement.

The beds, seeing what you did via the photos, I agree, something that I can later tackle. So not too worried there. Will use the bed setup that we currently have now and make the change when it is no longer practical/comfortable.

The cabinets and countertop changes? Those I will leave to a professional .
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Old 09-11-2019, 07:17 AM   #12
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by InterBlog View Post
You just described my husband. Three unfinished projects in the garage.



The internet knows we are talking about keep vs. sell, upgrade vs. upgrade. Instagram started impressing me with photos of EarthRoamer 173 last night, which could be yours for the superbly low price of $525,000. Generally I find EarthRoamers to be (a) too masculine and (b) overdone, but that one is not too unpalatable to me. On the upside, I don't think you'd have to do any modifications to it:
  • Five 240-watt Sharp solar panels with solar charge controller
  • 1020-amp/hour AGM battery bank
  • Battery charge monitoring system
  • 3000-watt pure sine wave inverter with integrated 150 amp battery charger
  • Marine AC and DC circuit breaker panel
  • Marine grade wiring used throughout

You probably missed the "no deep pockets" comment... plus that is not the right color anyway
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Old 09-11-2019, 07:21 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by rowiebowie View Post
Ain't it the truth. I'm contemplating a huge upgrade to my tiny Avenue motor home. 200W solar (already have the Victron controller upgrade), 500ah Renogy Lithium batteries (smallest foot-print and price out there - of any brand I've heard of, anyway), 3000W Inverter/Charger, DC-DC Charger, State-of-Charge Monitor, and assorted sensors, cables, connectors. Rough total of $5500, and this is doing it myself on the cheap.

And all this started from a modest desire for more battery capacity and ability to run the microwave without firing up the generator.

And yet as crazy, impractical, and wildly expensive as it is, I haven't given up on doing it. I guess I'm in the same state-of-mind as when I decided to do something as crazy, impractical, and wildly expensive as buy a motor home.

I too want to make a similar upgrade to be able to use an espresso machine and the microwave without having to fire up the generator... And just to have one less thing to worry in the form of easy-to-damage AGM batteries... Those suckers hanging under the AI worry me a bit... I check them every time I am under the AI looking at other things...
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:17 AM   #14
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New AI = New List

That's a hard one. A new AI just means a new "list." So the decision is really old list vs. new list.
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