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|Grand Caravan - mini RV by Les|
|I looking at the possibility of converting a grand Caravan into a mini RV of sorts.
GTRV makes a nice pop top version, but its just a little out of my price range.... at $6500 just for the installation of the top.
we recently picked up a 2000 Grand Caravan that had been modified with a lowered floor and folding side wheel chair ramp. I've decided that it or one like it would be the perfect canidate for mini rv conversion, having already had the floor lowere six inches giving additional headroom and on this particular model, the whole van lowers when the ramp is used, so I'm assuming the suspension has already been altered/upgraded? as well.
If I can find one of the after market conversion tops for even more headroom, all the better, or if possible a poptop, like the one on the GTRV minivan option.
I will start with a van that either has the 3.3 or the 3.8 liter engine, preferring one with the 3.8 for the additonal hp, but either would be fine, add an addtional tranny cooler to be on the safe side.
I plan to have the bed running along the drivers side, from front seat to the rear hatch, giving more than enough leg room for someone my height (6'1") or taller, folding to give a little floor space and when open, nearly as big as a twin sided mattress, a little snug for two people, but still functional. a shelf/counter across the rear w/small sink and faucet, and a microwave w/convection oven option.
A small cargo trailer (narrower and shorter than the van) will not effect the mileage much and give space for Generator, water and propane tanks along with addition gear, freeing up space in the van.
another option would be to modify another caravan, using the rear section only (like the trailers that people have made using pickup beds)
although the look (if both the RV and the trailer are painted to match) would be nice, I think the weight as well as the additional work to make it wouldn't be as cost effective as buying a ready made cargo trailer.
Even though it will be very small, as long as the bed is confortable, the front seats (at least the passenger seat) will be reclining swivel type, so some addional seating, facing the rear where a small flat screen tv (or at least a good dvd player) will be mounted. with generator to power microwave, small refrigeratot (not sure where to locate it yet, still work in progress, actually only still a plan at this point)
I've been accumating parts from RVs and Conversion vans for some time now and i nearly have enough to start the build, but planning a move from Ohio to NC first, then will start on the mini RV.
I have an older Class C (25') but with it only getting around 10 mpg... I can't see using it for much long distance traveling unless I didn't have a house payment or rent to pay... allowing that money to offset the fuel costs.... that being said, a mini RV that gets over 20 and possibly near 30 mpg, which I've gotten on a 97 grand caravan in the past
|All Messages in Thread||Author||Date|
|Grand Caravan - mini RV||Les||5-14-11|
|Re: Grand Caravan - mini RV||Les||5-15-11|