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Judy’s build is better than factory, not including the fact that it was built to her specs. High quality materials throughout that you won’t find in factory builds. I just don’t buy that it should cost more than materials, which we know are relatively modest, plus a reasonable compensation for the guy’s time.

One more note: The window trim deserves whatever praise It receives.
Yes I believe they saw Judy as an easy mark, unfortunately. This, unfortunately, is what can easily happen when people take on projects they have no real familiarity with and simply equate price with quality rather than investigate what and why they really need.
i worked for 35 years as a custom home builder and I saw this over and over again. Couples would approach me with a folder full of ideas and photos and when I gave them a price they would be in shock because they were totally unsophisticated and unrealistic in their needs and goals. The husbands would almost always contact me on the side and ask me for a realistic quote based on need, value and cost and then I would almost always get the job. Many of my fellow custom builders were more than happy to promise them the world knowing full well it would get them the job and they would end up with a very poor and disillusioned client in the end but they milked the job for as much as they could nevertheless. I’m not suggesting this is what happened in this case but a sophisticated consumer would understand that it’s all about the profit, not the product, and act accordingly. Never ever blindly accept a so called experts suggestion without exploring all your options and needs
 

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Wow. In one sentence you manage to insult Judy and the builder.
No, not all all. It’s just pretty obvious what happened here and why. It happens every day in commerce and it’s certainly not illegal it’s called Capitalism. Judy understands this and she is still happy and got what she wanted, both she and the builders are happy and smiling and they have reason to. Her next build if there is one will be substantially different and less expensive I’ll wager because she will have become a sophisticated buyer.

The point here is do your homework and then do it over again. Hopefully newbies hoping to do something similar will read this thread and understand some of the pitfalls, understand what they actually need, why they need it and what they don’t need and then act accordingly.
I understand more than many here that there is a fine line between helping yourself and helping your customer. In my business career I always had happy customers long after the job was finished because I tried to fill both their needs and mine.
 

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2014 136” HR
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This forum thrives on bones to knaw. We’ve knawed insulation, flooring, batteries, windows, you name it. Lucky Judy, you present us a brand new never-explored bone—hiring out a build similar to ours. So we lick our chops and dive in—as usual with several points of view butting heads. None of us are “right”. We simply hope that anyone contemplating hiring out a build will read our viewpoints and approach the process as an informed, sophisticated buyer.

This bears repeating:

Never ever blindly accept a so called experts suggestion without exploring all your options and needs.
 

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Yes, well said MsN! I think it's safe to say you are a much more sophisticated "vanner" now, than you were 5 years ago, in part because of this forum and everyones caring opinions.
 

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Ain’t that the truth! I had some woodworking skills and tools, but knew absolutely nothing about upfitting a van. MrNomer had residential electrical experience, but 12V was a whole new ballgame. This forum has been our savior.

ThomD, you may be right about the Victron. Do you have an approximate price list for your components?
 

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Judy's design is nice, implementation is good...

Cost?

I put it in the context of the new 2020 Thor Sequence, selling for $79,995. No options, and the included package covers a lot of high end items (Thule, Truma, Pioneer Aftermarket Radio, Leather, etc.) It's built on a 3500 Window Van, so they've done a lot with the additional $40,000.

59119


Not sure a DIY'er could get close to their selling price!

I've thought about it for a while... for me, it comes down to the way we use our campervan. Primarily, it would be a trade off between a significant upgrade in features vs. a significant loss of storage space and simplicity!
 

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2018 3500 EXT
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Funny thing about that electrical setup. Just looking at the list, I'd bet most of it is Victron. It looks a lot like my electrical list. Frankly, Victron is expensive. That isn't the same as over priced. FWIW, a Victron 100 Ah battery is almost $1400. So for everyone who is saying that things were "over priced" I'd say get over it. You don't know exactly what is in there or exactly what was involved.

Judy, I'm 700-1000 hours into my build. It is a good thing I'm free labor because I could not afford myself.
Thanks ThomD
You wrote exactly what I was thinking "Seems to be Victron to me also" & I totally agree with your statement "expensive is not the same as over priced".

MsNomer

Judy’s build is better than factory, not including the fact that it was built to her specs. High quality materials throughout that you won’t find in factory builds. I just don’t buy that it should cost more than materials, which we know are relatively modest, plus a reasonable compensation for the guy’s time.

One more note: The window trim deserves whatever praise It receives.
Thanks MsNomer
I agree Judy's build is better than factory and has cost less in my opinion of what I understand typical new factory would be with similar features. And the window trim is artwork

I respectfully disagree with you on the "materials plus labour"cost comment. It should cost; materials, labour, tools & special equipment, corporate overhead costs (including warranty and insurance and commissioning and office /shop and blaa blaa blaa), and a profit. A business that does not make money will not exist to perform services for customers.


Thanks KOV
Have you ever noticed there are people on this forum who openly complain about "self claiming experts" and then self proclaim to be an expert?

Actually I don't have a mirror yet installed in my van & was wondering if you had a good recommendation for me? ?

But seriously; Without having an identified equipments list and design we are just assuming vast amounts of information and any chatter about the costs charged is just prejudice (pre-judging).

I hear the passion in your words and can appreciate you were most likely "one of the good guys", and cared about your home owner clients per your report. That is admirable & I can understand you being a watchdog on here with regards to reasonable costs for a reasonable job (sounds like that was your passion in your career also).


Hi JudyPDX
In the short time you have been on this forum, you have impressed me. "Caveat Emptor", in my opinion you exercised this to the best of your ability given your parameters and experience and dove right and accomplished what seems to me as just an excellent build. Nor do I think you overpaid.

Again I do not think this can fairly be compared against DIY conversions

and I applaud you - Job Well Done !!
 

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Ain’t that the truth! I had some woodworking skills and tools, but knew absolutely nothing about upfitting a van. MrNomer had residential electrical experience, but 12V was a whole new ballgame. This forum has been our savior.

ThomD, you may be right about the Victron. Do you have an approximate price list for your components?
I can tell you this;

I purchased a Victon charger/inverter 12/3000/120 and it was over $2,000 Canadian. It was one of my early purchase errors, I never installed it and it sits in my house collecting dust. I would sell this at a huge loss if anyone wants it. FYI Judy most DIY forget about the over expenditures and re-buying materials that they cut wrong when they provide you their cost of DIY (oh did I need to buy tools?) In my case I did not included this $2,000 error in my judgement nor the $350 fee to restock the Wallas Duo cooktop/heater I took back to the store in my estimated DIY cost.

My Victron Battery monitor "bluetooth" was around $200 or $300 Can. I use it and it is great?
 

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For a bespoke solution like the Unicorn, I think Advanced RV is a better market comparison than any production unit. Advanced RV has some nice used models available. How about a 2016 Sprinter 4x4 with 29k miles for $238k (not $240k and not $235k)?
 

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I always had happy customers long after the job was finished because I tried to fill both their needs and mine.
... I say both Judy and Marc succeeded in this, and ultimately this is where it should rest imo...
 

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Well I am an expert on the things I speak about just as Thom is an expert on electrical systems, gadgets and probably many other things I don’t claim to know anything about lithium or Victon because I have no need to. My system works extremely well for my needs (and most other peoples needs most likely) but I’ll be the first to admit there are other systems that some people may want and need because of their lifestyle. What I’m pointing out that many of you seem to miss is you people have done your home work and made your choices based on your perceived needs, costs and skills while others (and I’m not naming names) have absolutely no idea what their needs are and have to depend on being "sold" their needs By someone who’s first allegiance is to profit. I’m not saying this is wrong but rather if you don’t understand your needs up front and have to depend on others to fill them you are allowing yourself to be potentially exploited.
People seem to forget that a van is a tin can on wheels, you may call it a home but it’s not a house and never will be. They have different functions. A house is (usually) an investment where as a van is a depreciable asset - has a limited life cycle and use cycle. In 10 or 15 years and a 150k miles a van, no matter how expensive or well done when new is basically worth nothing. If you get a state of the art van today it will be tomorrow’s junk and you won’t want to look at it anymore.
People tend to get all wrapped up in the moment and think how wonderful it would be to have a fancy van that will do everything in life one could possibly want and then when reality sets in realize maybe they didn’t really need or want all that stuff after all. The market for used luxury vans is pretty soft. Drive out the door and lose your shirt basically. If you understand that fine but typically people don’t till it’s too late.

One of my jobs here is to make people think for themselves (something many people are terrified of doing). people need to know their options and goals upfront and this forum, in particular, helps them realize what those needs and goals are. Much on this forum is about educating people who don’t really know their options or needs. Giving constant, mindless praise does nothing to make people think it only causes them to accept what they have been programmed to believe already.

I’m no expert on mirrors but I would suggest one that is unbreakable if you plan on spend a lot of time looking backwards. $120k (US$) is $160k C$ doesn’t seem like such a great deal to me. I have to agree with Ed when he says you can buy a Thor for $80k that really is just as comparable in amenities and $40k less. Just what does that extra $40k buy other than being able to say "I had it custom built"? Nothing I would say over it’s lifespan.
 

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I can tell you this;

I purchased a Victon charger/inverter 12/3000/120 and it was over $2,000 Canadian. It was one of my early purchase errors, I never installed it and it sits in my house collecting dust. I would sell this at a huge loss if anyone wants it.
Can you go over to my build thread or send me a message and post the specs for the inverter or a link to the model?
Also, why you didn't use it.
Thanks.
 

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You can buy a perfectly good 2500/3000 w inverter for under $200 that will fill all your needs and more. Why would you even consider spending $2k C$ ($1.5k US$) for one?
This is part of your ed-jucation here and it’s comes free with your lifetime membership to the forum?. Other opposing views (as always) are strongly encouraged.?
 
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You can buy a perfectly good 2500/3000 w inverter for under $200 that will fill all your needs and more. Why would you even consider spending $2k C$ ($1.5k US$) for one?
This is part of your ed-jucation here and it’s comes free with your lifetime membership to the forum?. Other opposing views (as always) are strongly encouraged.?
KOV

Why?

Because I made an error in judgement.
No I was not "ed-jucated" here on the forum. I actually did not use this forum much during my build (that may show or not). I did use the internet and there are many good sites from very knowledgable people with science backgrounds - Reference GaryBIS website - "Science"

I am on this site 1000% more now that I have performed the majority of my build (I didn't read the instruction manual and was posting - but it did not get posted as I was too dumb to understand I needed to post 1st in some thread to get accepted). I am actually entertained by the opinions, banter, opposing views, and human interaction. Also I post due to my massive ego that I will thinly veil it as being helpful to others.?
 

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You can buy a perfectly good 2500/3000 w inverter for under $200 that will fill all your needs and more. Why would you even consider spending $2k C$ ($1.5k US$) for one?
I was thinking he would sell me a $2k inverter for $200 because I'm such a nice guy. :)
I was just curious what kind it was, features, build quality, why he didn't use it and what he's looking to get for it. I won't know if I'm interested without any of that data.
I honestly don't know what my budget is for electrical yet. I do know that I'm not looking to spend $2k on an inverter. But I know I will have to spend more than $200. With all due respect, there is absolutely a difference in how they are made and perform. But don't want to get into the weeds about it here. I just figure I will end up in the middle somewhere.
I will hunt for a quality product, without the high end price tag.
Sometimes manufacturers will build a unit with the same quality components and build technique, but brand it for a store chain with a different name plate, for a lower cost.
Then there are cheap Chinese knockoffs that are cheap, but they only mimick the higher end models on the exterior. Open them up and it's obvious they are crap. There are also units that claim to be high end and cost a premium for the name but when you open them up, they're not much better than the cheap knockoffs. It requires a little research.
But I don't want to debate the subject because it's still a ways off in the build and honestly it's above my pay grade at this point.
I very well may end up saying you were right and just get a $200 inverter when it's all said and done.
 

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I was thinking he would sell me a $2k inverter for $200 because I'm such a nice guy. :)
I was just curious what kind it was, features, build quality, why he didn't use it and what he's looking to get for it. I won't know if I'm interested without any of that data.
I honestly don't know what my budget is for electrical yet. I do know that I'm not looking to spend $2k on an inverter. But I know I will have to spend more than $200. With all due respect, there is absolutely a difference in how they are made and perform. But don't want to get into the weeds about it here. I just figure I will end up in the middle somewhere.
I will hunt for a quality product, without the high end price tag.
Sometimes manufacturers will build a unit with the same quality components and build technique, but brand it for a store chain with a different name plate, for a lower cost.
Then there are cheap Chinese knockoffs that are cheap, but they only mimick the higher end models on the exterior. Open them up and it's obvious they are crap.
But I don't want to debate the subject because it's still a ways off in the build and honestly it's above my pay grade at this point.
I very well may end up saying you were right and just get a $200 inverter when it's all said and done.

RnR

I posted on your thread as you asked. If you are not buying expensive batteries the Victron is overkill for you IMO.

My biggest cost errors were not understanding how the batteries work - I got educated by an electrician friend of mine to set me straight. Most batteries are speced at 20hours draw down - the "math" does not directly correlate if you use massive amps (3000 Watts or more - maybe 30amps) for a long period of time.

Are you going LiPo4?

Check out your build thread where I posted per your request, I feel bad forhijacking Judy's thread (are we in Judy's thread?)
 

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Discussion Starter #100
Funny thing about that electrical setup. Just looking at the list, I'd bet most of it is Victron.

Judy, I'm 700-1000 hours into my build. It is a good thing I'm free labor because I could not afford myself.
Lol, I couldnt afford myself either. It would take me 10 years.

Yes, there's a lot of Victron and the batteries were in the neighborhood of $1400 each from the manufacturer.
 
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