The American RV motorhome is a fantastic way to travel as a family unit, although it can lack the practical aspect when it comes to being a family usable unit. They usually have a double bed at the rear which can be shut off from the rest of the motorhome, leaving only the front of the motorhome for the children to sleep in.
Only until recently have the American motorhome manufacturers started to build their new motorhomes with bunk beds opposite the bathroom, making them much more family friendly. This idea came a bit too late for families who already own an American RV motorhome.
New American motorhomes now need an Individual Vehicle Approval test (IVA), which dealers are trying to avoid getting involved with, therefore making new American motorhomes become scarce and very expensive, so what is the answer?
One thing we have done at LAS is to modify an original bedroom at the rear of the vehicle, and fit in two bunk beds in place of the double bed. This then allows you to put the children to bed in the rear of the motorhome, allowing you peace and quiet in the evening whilst relaxing in the front.
Recently the owner of an ‘A’ class American RV contacted LAS asking if we could carry out this type of conversion, the answer was “yes”. The customer then asked for a detailed drawing to which I explained “It doesn’t work like that”, the reason for this being is that once you start projects like these, obstacles soon get in the way rendering the original plan obsolete. At this point they looked at me a little worried. They asked me for two bunk beds in the rear with some storage space for clothes, to which I promised they would get. I also confirmed that it would not be a bad job and that they would be impressed with the end result. At this point I must admit they still did look slightly worried.
The owners delivered the motorhome to us and left it with us for two weeks. One other thing they wanted was for the children to be able to watch TV in bed. Once the bed conversion was completed, I realised that the only way a decent picture could be viewed on the TV would be to fit one at the foot of each bunk bed. This now proved to be a rather elaborate and expensive idea, so I decided to give them a call. It was quite daunting being on the end of the phone trying to explain a conversion that our company had just completed on their motorhome, to which they had not yet seen, and also bearing in mind they did not wholly trust us. I telephoned them to explain our problem with the TV’s and at the first opportunity in the conversation they asked if they could come and take a look at what we had done.
A few days later they came and had a look at the conversion we had done in the bedroom, they were very impressed. They fully agreed that the only way to solve the TV problem would be to fit a TV at the foot of each bunk, to which we did.
The conversion now completed does look like a manufacturer’s original fitment, which is exactly the look we set out to achieve.
One point that I was very concerned with was and had to ask the question, would a dealer reduce the trade in price due to the fact the vehicle had been altered? (Of course they would they will always reduce the trade in price). Only one way to find out and that was to ask one, so I did, the answer was it would probably be more desirable, so as they say mission on this one accomplished. Now onto the next conversion project LAS has been asked to do, and what a project this one will be! Watch this space for an up to date progress report.