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HymerCar recently released the Grand Canyon Promaster camper van and I just noticed on their website http://hymer-usa.com just how well they understand us Americans. Show photos of Mountain Dew and Coke on the table and a 50" flat screen TV and surely they will sell!


 

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If I weren't building custom for a bit more varied cargo options, that is probably THE Promaster-based RV we would be getting. Very nice looking.
 

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I like it except for bed in back requires climbing over your partner to get in and out. The tall bed makes that even tougher.

I really like the Hymer option of having a pop top on mid-roof Ducatos. It's a nice way to add a second bed without cramping the interior beyond claustrophobic. Just wish they would use extended vans for even more room.

The rear TV in a vertical drawer is great for outside entertainment if that's something you want. Technology is obsoleting that need though in my opinion. I could see a smaller TV on side door under awning that slides out behind screen door frame. That way we'd only lose a few inches of opening versus vans like Winnebago that place TV on top of counter so it rotates inside or out. Still, wireless personal TVs in form of tablet may work better in small van.

What makes me think these guys really understand Americans is that the three models with "bathrooms" are named Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Sierra Nevada. Models without bathrooms have foreign names.:)
 

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To each his own. I'm really looking forward to the crosswise bed in the Promaster, as in our ground tent, instead of the lengthwise bed we've suffered for 10 years in our truck tent.

With the cross-wise bed, I get a little smooch (or maybe more) as he gently crawls over. With the lengthwise bed, I'm holding onto the covers for dear life and helplessly watching him strip them off anyway. I can't fault him too much for that, as I also find it very difficult to exit the bottom of the bed without stripping it, and a taller bed would make that even more difficult.
 

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With longer extended van those rear benches would almost be long enough to sleep lengthwise. And leaving an access "gangway" down middle so you don't have to wake partner. The center can always be filled to kingsize bed when desired.
 

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We will do the sideways bed too and having camped together for so long we just understand if one of us is getting up in the night for a pee we both go. Easy. The bed that way gives great storage accessible from the doors for less used items like the Grill and shower and interior storage when it collapses to a couch for our clothes. It sees to me to be the most efficient use of space and storage. We ordered the Promaster for its width in part even though being 5'8" a narrower van might have worked.
I have to say I do not like the material choices in any of the manufactured vans. Compared to Steve's Backroader from Morehead with nice birch veneer they use faux wood and plastic flooring. It looks CHEAP but isn't.
 

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I just wish we could have those nice molded plastics that cover the odd angles and 500+ holes. You will see what I mean when you start fitting. You have a choice between skimming and losing a lot of space or spending a ridiculous amount of time trying fit things.
 

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I just wish we could have those nice molded plastics that cover the odd angles and 500+ holes. You will see what I mean when you start fitting. You have a choice between skimming and losing a lot of space or spending a ridiculous amount of time trying fit things.
I hear you on that. I am resolved to fit everything back to the factory panels and around the protruding ribs once they are covered in headliner. Coping several inches of cabinet to an irregular wall in a 250 year old house here in New England to a is a favorite thing I do. It amazes the owners. I also want everything to be modular and removable so when I start I will be crazy challenged. I'm sure you will hear from me then.
 

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....cut.... We ordered the Promaster for its width in part even though being 5'8" a narrower van might have worked.

...cut....
Other than FWD and the advantages it offers, I think the extra width the PM has compared to Sprinter and Transit makes it a natural for Class B conversion.

It makes many layouts possible that don't work well with narrower vans. A transversely-located bed is an obvious possibility, but there is a lot more in my opinion. As in the Travato the corner bed and bath wouldn't fit in other vans. And the front seating area of the Travato or Grand Canyon, where two-person bench is across an aisle from kitchen, also wouldn't work well. The aisle and or the bench would end up too narrow.

My wife and I had a Class C with very large bed over cab, and even that was not great. It worked but wasn't ideal. I'm now thinking about various options to maximize mobility inside van whether day or night. Two options at top of my list are the common 6-foot-long longitudinal twin beds at rear where only 4-feet or so is used for dinette. The other two feet at front is for feet only to sleep, with counter or wardrobe above.

The other option is locating beds at rear like Travato's rear bed but as bunk beds where top unit folds down to make a backrest for couch seating during day. This is not as nice to sleep (separately) but allows the passenger side to be used more efficiently while still maintaining a full length aisle.

I know it's a lot to ask of such a small camper, but I want a permanent full-length aisle plus two segregated seating areas to increase sense of space/privacy.
 

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How about a lengthwise couch-bed along the driver's side at back. The aisle would be on the right. If you make it yourself, you could even have cabinetry over one end as you describe.
 

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How about a lengthwise couch-bed along the driver's side at back. The aisle would be on the right. If you make it yourself, you could even have cabinetry over one end as you describe.
Yes, a couch (or like a gaucho) in rear driver-side would work also, but when open to sleep it blocks off (covers) aisle and makes us both enter and exit bed from foot end, which I really don't like. I rented a trailer in Vegas years ago with a corner bed and decided I didn't care for it at all.

Lately I've noticed many RVs, including large and luxury motorhomes, that have a couch that turns into bunk beds so that they don't take up more width. It also makes it better to share unit with friends versus partner, or for kids.

If building it myself, I may try to design it so it's a couch, bunk bed, or side-by-side gaucho for sleeping. If so, I'd probably use it as bunk beds most of the time so I can enter and exit from aisle without disturbing my wife. Plus we'd be able to access whatever is across the aisle (storage, kitchen, etc..) while one person is in bed.
 

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Very Very Nice...

I wonder how much one of those would set you back?
The Grand Canyon I saw at the Tampa RV Show was a little north of $90,000. Don't have any idea what their final pricing will be like.
 

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Looks nice, but what's up with the TV location?

I don't watch TV, but it can't be very comfortable to sit sideways on the rear bumper when you want to use it. :)
 

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http://roadtreking.com/new-class-b-activ-hymer-makes-debut/

Apparently they have changed the name from Grand Canyon to Aktiv.

I'm posting this mostly because specs in article (and who knows about accuracy) indicate that they have a 280 Amp X 12-Volt underhood generator in addition to the standard 220-Amp alternator.

I would personally prefer a second alternator from factory, but in any case expect a company the size of Roadtrek and Hymer would have done their due diligence if it's an aftermarket add-on. Either way I see it as good news.


By the way, for those that don't already know, Hymer reportedly purchased RoadTrek.
 
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