Fascinating, after blogging now for a number of years spread out over two blogs (this one and what I call my “rant” blog), two topics have gotten the most emails sent directly to me: the post(s) on Jim Bowie and his knives, and the recent one on my new (to me) Roadtrek camper/van. I’m not sure what to make of that, so for the moment I’ll just address the questions.
I was asked if this is just a typical van conversion or actually a purpose-built motor home. The answer is that it is, technically a conversion but from a factory dedicated to making high end Class B motorhomes. I think the name “camper van” is really a more accurate and understandable label but not nearly as imposing as “Class B Motor Home.”
Anyway, the questions were focused on what the interior was like since so many home-brew van conversions are, shall we say politely, somewhat unprofessional in execution. Well, this is not that kind of conversion. The craftsmanship throughout is significant; the Canadian builders took pride in their work.
Yes, it started life as a 1995 Chevrolet G30 (1-ton) extended van with the optional 454 cid (7.4 L) engine installed. It was shipped to Canada where Roadtrek replaced the roof with their heightened aerodynamic version and went to work on the interior fitting everything to the existing rounded interior dimensions. The result of over a dozen patents on design and technology applied to the Chevy resulted, in 1996, with the completed van being brought back and sold in the U.S. where I am now the third owner.
To show it is not a home-brew chop job let me take you on a quick photo tour. First, here is a shot from the cab toward the back along the driver’s side. A wardrobe closet is behind the driver seat then a propane stove, sink over a set of drawers and cabinets, then under the counter top and hanging microwave oven is the 3-way refrigerator and on back to a sliding-front cabinet that originally housed a TV and VCR but now is my “office” space (the roll-top desk metaphor seemed appropriate) for stowing my computer, printer, external drives, books, manuals, etc. I know it may be old fashioned, but then I’m an old fashioned guy and I love all of the wood… real wood.
Here is a better look at the galley area. The 2-burner stove is under the thin cutting board. Over it is a vent fan. This shot doesn’t show it but there is storage over the microwave across the entire galley area.
The central floor is sunken fiberglass with a drain to the graywater tank (that I’ve got covered at the moment) for the shower. Then it raises as it goes back to the sitting/sleeping area where it can be configured as a dinette, two twin beds or one king-sized bed. Right now it is configured as opposing “couches” with the table low like a coffee table. Over the beds are more storage cabinets.
The other (passenger side is also nicely done.
On the Passenger side, there is a lounge (with seatbelt) that makes into a single bed. Behind that is the bathroom and toilet (behind the mirrored door), then a hanging cupboard and then the beds, etc. Under the lounge chair and the bed on this side are more storage compartments. (Under the bed on the driver’s side is the generator, aux batteries, and furnace). Overhead between the storage bins is the coach 110V air conditioner.
This was a premium rig and looking at the cab you can see all of the wood trim that is stained in a golden oak, a fitting look for a rig that was intended as a work van.
The captain’s chairs swivel to the rear and there is a swing out table mounted on the outside of the wardrobe closet behind the driver’s chair. Over the cab are two more flat overhead storage areas accessed by pulling the drawer to the rear then down. A place for portfolios perhaps…???
What is not apparent are the outside storage bins. Or the hatch to access the propane tank and dump connections for gray and blackwater tanks.
So that is my little tour for the moment. I’m still sorting out proper locations for items that will simply live on board as well as for things brought on for a specific trek. I’m sure reality will see some of those initial ideas needing to be revisited but that is part of the fun.
Unfortunately I am now so far behind in school stuff it seems like it will be a long time till I actually get to go play with this. Waaaaa!!!