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Old 05-02-2019, 07:55 PM   #1
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A Bicycle Garage?

But not from Thor...

https://leisurevans.com/wonder/floorplans/

Hey Chance!
You've mentioned something like this a bunch of times...

What do you think of it?
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Old 05-02-2019, 08:20 PM   #2
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Yeah, this particular motorhome has been discussed many times.

The garage is not nearly as large as on Hymers and many other Euro rigs.

The general arrangement is similar to common European floorplans except extra seats at front are sidewards instead of facing forward. Getting to front seats for dining is much more restricted. Narrow Transit cab doesn’t help.

Hymers have better floorplans on Ducato chassis which Thor could build on ProMaster, if only they can control American weight gain. Nicer yet would be if they build a Hymer clone on Econoline single rear wheel chassis.
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Old 05-02-2019, 10:18 PM   #3
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What do you mean by "American wight gain"?

It's not as if I'm not trying: I just do a poor job of it!

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Old 05-02-2019, 11:36 PM   #4
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Wonder if the "American Weight Gain" is about all the add-ons Americans like to put in their RVs to give it a "mine" touch?

I looked at one of the Leisure Vans at a nearby RV dealer. Clean and slick. Thought they were put together with a lot of thought and care. Garage, if I were to get one, would get some light weight modular shelving to get full benefit of the area. (Modular would allow to change as need dictates.) Bikes would go on a rack on the hitch.

Now if I can get the GF to sell her Little Guy Trailer and get me a LV for my birthday!!! (Yes, I'm whistling Dixie!)
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Old 05-03-2019, 02:59 AM   #5
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If Thor brought a European Hymer to US/NA, they’d have to make revisions for our market. At a very minimum, they’d have to add an air conditioner and generator (or equivalent). These two should add no more than about 300 pounds.

In Europe the 3,500 kg RV Class seems common, which is about 7,700 pounds. Adding A/C and generator brings it up around 8,000 pounds.

By comparison, we don’t have many motorhomes (except for small vans) that only weigh about 8,000 pounds. Most of similar size start around 11,000 pounds. So why do our motorhomes weigh so much more?

I can only guess, but my point is that if significant extra weight is added, they may no longer be able to use the same light weight and fuel efficient chassis.
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Old 05-03-2019, 11:08 AM   #6
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It was mentioned in here that the Euro-rigs are built lighter for several reasons...


... But at the expense (often), of durability.
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Old 05-03-2019, 12:21 PM   #7
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Durability may be a factor, but less capabilities must also play a major role.

Obviously they are smaller which saves weight, but specs show they also have smaller holding tanks, most don’t have slides, chassis are not designed to pull large trailers, etc. Engines are usually diesel but small 4 cylinder so that saves weight too.

Most Euro Class A and C are low to ground like vans so they don’t have much basement storage along sides, rather consolidating exterior storage into one large garage at rear. They are also not made to carry 1,000s of pounds of our stuff.

I personally think most older Americans are unlikely to ever want compact Euro-size campers, but younger buyers may in time. I’m just young at heart, ahead of my time.
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Old 05-03-2019, 12:58 PM   #8
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RVing in Europe is different than it is here...
A long trip might be 500 miles...
Here in North America: that barely seems to get you out of your own back yard.
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Old 06-20-2019, 01:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chance View Post
Yeah, this particular motorhome has been discussed many times.

The garage is not nearly as large as on Hymers and many other Euro rigs.

The general arrangement is similar to common European floorplans except extra seats at front are sidewards instead of facing forward. Getting to front seats for dining is much more restricted. Narrow Transit cab doesn’t help.

Hymers have better floorplans on Ducato chassis which Thor could build on ProMaster, if only they can control American weight gain. Nicer yet would be if they build a Hymer clone on Econoline single rear wheel chassis.
Ah, the Hymer and you are spot on with the better floor plans which is only the tip of the iceberg in comparison. Personally, I have to go with the Mercedes chassis and turbo diesel because that Fiat Ducato has a poor rep among owners down under. Specifically go to the Hymer website and do a little tour of the Modern Comfort I. The big question now that Thor owns Hymer (minus the problem in Canada), would they import US compliant Hymers? I reached out to Hymer and their response was only to indicate the lack of Hymer service in the US meant warranty repairs couldn't take place.
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Old 06-20-2019, 02:13 PM   #10
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If you want Mercedes Sprinter Diesel, the closest Class A to a Hymer I’ve seen in US was the Winnebago Via/Reyo, but they lacked a bike garage. And with the added length and slide room, were much larger and heavier too. They were discontinued recently, so that option isn’t that viable if looking for new rigs anyway.

In a Class C design, I see no reason why Thor couldn’t build small units with Hymer floorplans based on Ford Transit, Mercedes Sprinter, or RAM ProMaster chassis. My guess is that they don’t believe there is enough of a market.

As I’ve mentioned before, I think a good compromise would be a Class C based on SRW Ford E-350 in 22 ~ 23 foot range. Thor built the 20-ft long 19G which was narrow and fairly low, but lacked permanent beds. Using a Hymer floorplan that is very common at 7 meters (23 feet), they could add twin rear beds over a bike garage.

A company as large as Thor could probably also get Ford to start offering the SRW E-350 again so they could build a Hymer-size Class A that could be serviced at most Ford dealers.

Building them should be easy. They must just think there isn’t much demand.
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Old 06-20-2019, 02:29 PM   #11
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So when are you going to pick up a used E-350, and start building your prototype?
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Old 06-20-2019, 02:41 PM   #12
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As I pointed out earlier, there are a vast number of attractive features only available on a (German built) Hymer. A key aspect is the guest sleeping bed that comes down from the ceiling in the Modern Comfort I. Then there is the cockpit with the touch screen monitor in the dashboard...style and tech advantages go on and on. That garage is a definitely a key feature where you can keep just about anything but for the afforded storage space in a Hymer it is just one of many. The Thor acquisition of Hymer is fairly recent and not getting tangled up in the Canadian Hymer problem may be a good reason to keep a distance from the Hymer topic in the states but people are paying $200000 for that little Airstream Atlas so there is a market for advanced, smaller (if pricey) RVs. For about the same price (including import duty of 2 percent) a new Hymer would leave AAtlas looking pathetic.
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Old 06-20-2019, 07:22 PM   #13
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So when are you going to pick up a used E-350, and start building your prototype?

I already have a very used E-350.

Besides, Thor doesn’t need any of us to tell them how to build one for the US market. The problem I see is that for whatever reason, in the US we mostly associate “small” RVs with cheapness.

A small and expensive motorhome will have very limited sales, which is why I suggest dusting off the Chateau 19G front cap, using a longer 158” versus 138” wheelbase, and copying a Hymer floorplan in the 23-ft range to end up with an inexpensive American Hymer clone. With the right Hymer floorplan, American chassis, “and” an affordable price, they may do OK.

Just mix these together and see what comes out.
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Old 06-20-2019, 07:39 PM   #14
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I always thought that the 19-G Majestic was cuter than a smiling puppy!
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Old 06-20-2019, 09:21 PM   #15
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The 19G is pretty good, and we looked at renting one to try it out, but there are a few too many compromises for us.

First, it has a wet bath. You can get that in most van campers.

It doesn’t have a permanent bed which is OK, but it really sleeps only two comfortably, and in separate beds. My wife would need to sleep on dinette, and I’d have to climb up on overhead bed.

There is very little room for guests, including young grandkids.

There is insufficient outside storage — almost none.


Hymer floorplan layouts in the 23-foot range solve all of these issues.
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Old 06-20-2019, 09:37 PM   #16
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But it was a GREAT little rig for the rental market...
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:42 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Chance View Post
I already have a very used E-350.

Besides, Thor doesn’t need any of us to tell them how to build one for the US market. The problem I see is that for whatever reason, in the US we mostly associate “small” RVs with cheapness.

A small and expensive motorhome will have very limited sales, which is why I suggest dusting off the Chateau 19G front cap, using a longer 158” versus 138” wheelbase, and copying a Hymer floorplan in the 23-ft range to end up with an inexpensive American Hymer clone. With the right Hymer floorplan, American chassis, “and” an affordable price, they may do OK.

Just mix these together and see what comes out.
I'm fine if they want to make all the Hymer tech and safety features an option but make them available. Smart Battery system, crosswind assistant, adaptive stability, collision prevention (radar distance detection), lane departure warning, full beam assist, adaptive stability... Adopting the floor plans would be a great start but, it's the lack of technology that leaves us in the dark ages with a new Thor. The difference is like comparing a Timex to the Rolex Submariner but the price isn't the problem it the availability. Thor is what, the fourth largest RV manufacturer? They can't build a few high end models and still be profitable?
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:50 PM   #18
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I think if we were half as smart as we think we are: Thor's Personnel Management Team would be actively recruiting us...
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Old 06-21-2019, 02:07 AM   #19
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I'm fine if they want to make all the Hymer tech and safety features an option but make them available. Smart Battery system, crosswind assistant, adaptive stability, collision prevention (radar distance detection), lane departure warning, full beam assist, adaptive stability... Adopting the floor plans would be a great start but, it's the lack of technology that leaves us in the dark ages with a new Thor. The difference is like comparing a Timex to the Rolex Submariner but the price isn't the problem it the availability. Thor is what, the fourth largest RV manufacturer? They can't build a few high end models and still be profitable?
Much of that in bold comes from the chassis manufacturer, not Thor.

And for what it’s worth, Ford, which makes most of the motorhome chassis we’re discussing, has already announced upgrades in many of those areas for 2021 E-Series and F-53 chassis, to start production in about 6 or 7 months.

I’ve already waited so long that I don’t want to buy a new motorhome until I see details on what’s coming in a few months. There’s a lot to look forward to from chassis OEM. I hope Thor and other RV manufacturers also make significant improvements in design and quality.
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Old 06-21-2019, 10:17 AM   #20
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Well, I am going to hold out for a bit and see where Thor goes with their designs. I'm trying really hard to stay as small as possible but some of the key features are available if I go Class A with the Vegas 25.6. Under 30ft. is okay and it has a good number of the previously mentioned tech things but to get a garage space I'd have to look at the 2020 Outlaw models and they are just too big and where Hymer puts the garage in a convenient space under the master bed, the Outlaw just adds it to the back end and you give up the closet and bedroom space.
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