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Old 02-28-2019, 04:09 PM   #1
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Short Isata 5 with ALL -Time bed

There have been a few requests for smaller floor plans in diesel with more CCC, but with an all time bed (IE, bed can be used with the slides in or out). We have also gotten requests about solar, Offroading, more CCC, winter camping, private bedroom, etc, etc.

So I thought, why not cover them all in one fell swoop.

So, here are a couple of things we are playing with for the 5 series. 30' bumper to bumper.

Double slide would be nice. Solid, sliding door, 2nd slide will add a little money and weight and somewhat limit outside storage. But, nice layout and we could fit a combo W/D I think.

Single Slide would be a fixed bed at all times. We could have a HUGE pass through in the back, with potential room for kayaks. It would be easier to heat in cold weather camping and we could then have weight to upgrade to dual pane windows.

The goal with this would be to pair it with a lithium battery system. Max out the solar and do an insulation package for the utility bay that would have auxiliary heat. So a four-season, off-road, off-grid package 4X4.

If we want to take it to the extreme, I have talked to a company about 12V AC units. Either roof mount, or maybe storage mount with air ducted to the roof. That would free up even more space for solar and would be super quiet. With the advantage of running off 12V natively so that you could run it driving down the road without running the gen. The dual alternators on the dodge should be more than enough to keep up with one AC (pulling roughly 100 amps at max usage).

Discuss away.
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Old 02-28-2019, 04:46 PM   #2
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Thumbs up Short Isata 5

Outstanding plan, Brian - especially would be interested design#2, single slide. I think both would be a big seller, there is a demand for an RV like this on the Ram 550, 6.7 Cumins Diesel platform - years ago I had a 1997 Serro Scotty Class C on the Dodge Ram 3500 4X4 Chassis Cab with the 5.9 Cummins Diesel when I lived in Alaska - I regret selling it. Please keep us informed on this.
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Old 02-28-2019, 04:58 PM   #3
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You sir are onto something. Where was this 3 years ago when I was shopping??? Now I'm never going to be able to get out of a big truck
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Old 02-28-2019, 05:09 PM   #4
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Where's the Class 8 chassis 'discuss away' thread?
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Old 02-28-2019, 05:10 PM   #5
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Brian,

I like the 2 slide model and I am so glad you are considering this plan. The washer and dryer would sell my wife. Please also consider offering a sofa or recliners rather than a dinette option. We were really looking at a new Sprinter on the new Chassis when it became available but we could wait for this model. It would give us the towing and ccc that would surpass the Sprinter. No other manufacturers are offering anything like this concept. We camp in National parks so a small motor home that is easy to drive and park is critical. Thanks

Tom and Linda in Texas
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Old 02-28-2019, 05:19 PM   #6
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Equip this with the Ambulance Prep package and you should be in the neighbor hood of 440 amps at 12v (twin 220 amp alternators). that could include a high idle controller to actually get the RPM needed to get max amps. you could run the whole coach on that. no need for an additional generator at that point. add extended fuel tanks and it would be a beast off grid. for kicks and giggles let them order it with the PTO on the transmission for higher output electrical or air pumps.
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Old 02-28-2019, 05:42 PM   #7
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Withe demise of Roadtrek and Hymer there is a market for shorter motorhome.
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Old 02-28-2019, 05:55 PM   #8
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Brian

I would hope you make a lot of these suggestions options to keep the cost down. If you can make this motor home reasonably priced to compete wit the Sprinter crowd, it will do well but if you load up with a lot of hard core items, I believe the cost will be large and the potential buyers will shrink. A great camper for most retired couples will not be 4 wheel capable.

Tom and Linda in Texas
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Old 02-28-2019, 10:36 PM   #9
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I also like the single slide, would you offer the theater seating in place of the dinette?
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Old 02-28-2019, 10:53 PM   #10
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Brian,

I joined the forum just to reply to this thread. We are a family of 5 who spent a year living in a Diesel Pusher wandering around America ... We are now back in the real world looking for a vessel to take us on more adventures .

1. I can’t tell you how impressed I am at your willingness to engage on the forum. It is unparalled and admirable.

2. I am very interested in your concept. I don’t intend to offend the writer above ... but the market is flush with products for “retired couples who don’t want 4 wheel drive”.

I envision this product for a family or couple who will be engaged in an active lifestyle ... skiing, mountain biking, kayaking, surfing. They aren’t looking for “full hookups” ... in fact they are probably looking for no hookups at all.

3. I imagine your concept as something between an Earthroamer, Winnebago Revel or Sportsmobile. If you aren’t familiar with these products ... google them ... they are sweet.

4. Things I would recommend
4x4 / AWD ... we boondock at ski resorts and mountain bike locals
All weather capability ... insulation and furnace for the living area as well as holding
tanks ... to keep up with cold temps at ski locations
Battery bank / Solar ... probably lithium with a large solar system ... I like the idea
mentioned above about deleting the gen set and using the 2 x 220 amp alternators
already installed. (Earthroamer does this)
Clever storage systems for Mountain Bikes, Skis, Kayaks, etc. ... the “Van Life”
crowd has some very cool solutions.
OFF GRID ... solutions to make this a reality

5. After (extensively) reading through the threads on the Isata - 5 30FW ... I was considering contacting you about some of the R&D ideas you offered for a “semi custom” build ... then I ran into this thread

Anyway ... all that to say ... keep up the good work.

Cheers

Rick

btw ... just curious ... what made you choose the Dodge Ram over Ford or GMC products?
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Old 02-28-2019, 11:00 PM   #11
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Amen Brian!

The main reasons we just sold our 2 year old Isata3 were that darn folding mattress and the CCC.

This is very exciting.
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Old 02-28-2019, 11:01 PM   #12
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Very nice! And of course 4x4 in the Laramie package?
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Old 02-28-2019, 11:15 PM   #13
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Brian - First of all, respect and kudos for the very high level of interaction and super-fast responsiveness. Some of this theme was discussed within the last week on another thread, and you and your team develop and share two excellent concepts within days! Wow! What a welcome and innovative and practical product development approach! Is this the tech industry?! It was a pleasure to see this thread show up today.

Here are some thoughts for consideration:

Both Plans
  1. ALL - Time bed! Thank you!
  2. Great rear bedroom windows. Very nice!
  3. Separate bedroom with bathroom in middle for good access from rear and front without disturbing someone sleeping is great.
  4. Nice window in bathroom.
  5. Thank you for leaving enough room between the dinette and counter when the slide is in. (I just got to walk a 30FW this week. When the slide is in, it is passable but very tight to get through. Won't work for us. We plan to buy a unit where that space is more easily usable by passengers when the slides are in. These layouts appear to give that extra room.)
  6. Suggest making the main bed 80" long. I know that increases the overall length, but in my opinion well worth the trade off.
  7. Suggest making the dinette 80" long. I know that increases the overall length, but in my opinion well worth the trade off.
Brainstorming

In the brainstorming category on the single slide plan, what about making the storage even more awesome by:
  1. having the rear bed on a lift, like a happijac or the Winnebago Revel bed lift or your 24RB bed;
  2. having a large access door -- not necessarily a fold down ramp door, but something large enough to fit bicycles and other large gear; and
  3. creating the "Dynamax Outdoor Explorer" which would be a similar, but way better, concept to the Winnebago Revel for the following reasons:
  • sleeps 4-6 instead of 2;
  • has space to move around;
  • has higher OCCC;
  • fits bikes without dismantling them;
  • fits lots of gear;
  • still has 4x4;
  • more solid and powerful chassis/engine.
M2 Chassis Considerations (vs. Ram chassis)

  1. M2 would allow the driver and passenger seats to swivel and join the living area. In a shorter plan with dinette only, it would be very nice to have that additional seating.
  2. M2 would allow easier access to the living area without the slight twist, kneel, squat needed in the Ram chassis.
  3. M2 would allow passengers in living area to see out front windows and look eye-to-eye with driver.
  4. M2 would give greater CCC (you could get even more stuff in the "Dynamax Outdoor Explorer" brainstorm version discussed above )
  5. M2 has 5" more width to put where most useful in living space.
  6. M2 would be more expensive as you explained in previous thread. However, are the benefits above worth that difference? And is there a simple, “stock” M2 version at a relatively low delta that gets a lot of bang for the buck? Maybe going back to 6.7 vs 8.9 Cummins assuming this smaller rig spends more time by itself than towing, and when towing doesn’t need as much capacity?
Thanks so much for these exciting and nice concepts. Looking forward to the discussion!
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Old 03-01-2019, 08:31 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by mookieblaylock View Post
Where's the Class 8 chassis 'discuss away' thread?
Waiting for Freightliner to get a front axle rating that we can build on

They keep building the legacy Cascadia...which we won't bother tooling for knowing the new one eventually will get a bigger front axle.
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Old 03-01-2019, 08:32 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by hpdrver View Post
Brian,

I like the 2 slide model and I am so glad you are considering this plan. The washer and dryer would sell my wife. Please also consider offering a sofa or recliners rather than a dinette option. We were really looking at a new Sprinter on the new Chassis when it became available but we could wait for this model. It would give us the towing and ccc that would surpass the Sprinter. No other manufacturers are offering anything like this concept. We camp in National parks so a small motor home that is easy to drive and park is critical. Thanks

Tom and Linda in Texas
As with all of our stuff, we will design it for Dinette, Recliners or sofa.
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Old 03-01-2019, 08:33 AM   #16
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Equip this with the Ambulance Prep package and you should be in the neighbor hood of 440 amps at 12v (twin 220 amp alternators). that could include a high idle controller to actually get the RPM needed to get max amps. you could run the whole coach on that. no need for an additional generator at that point. add extended fuel tanks and it would be a beast off grid. for kicks and giggles let them order it with the PTO on the transmission for higher output electrical or air pumps.
lol...we already offer dual alternators today. and yes, 440 amps is nice.
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Old 03-01-2019, 08:36 AM   #17
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Brian

I would hope you make a lot of these suggestions options to keep the cost down. If you can make this motor home reasonably priced to compete wit the Sprinter crowd, it will do well but if you load up with a lot of hard core items, I believe the cost will be large and the potential buyers will shrink. A great camper for most retired couples will not be 4 wheel capable.

Tom and Linda in Texas
We would likely have an "extreme" package. We option 4x4 now and lithium. The issue is, everyone wants to ala-carte the options. That gets very tricky because they will not be available for all floor plans. Lithium, I think we would like to have available. But some of the other items add weight. So while 4x4 and lithium would likely be "stand-alone", the other ones would be in a package.
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Old 03-01-2019, 08:36 AM   #18
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David and I love this concept and would go along with other comments re theater seats rather than a booth, with the addition of a removable table in front of them. Personally, I would also like to see a choice for fabric upholstery for the seating rather than faux leather, as it might wear better. Love love love the w/d idea and the linen closet in the bedroom! We are looking forward to seeing how this great idea turns out!! Thanks for letting us share ideas!
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Old 03-01-2019, 08:49 AM   #19
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Brian,

I joined the forum just to reply to this thread. We are a family of 5 who spent a year living in a Diesel Pusher wandering around America ... We are now back in the real world looking for a vessel to take us on more adventures .

1. I can’t tell you how impressed I am at your willingness to engage on the forum. It is unparalled and admirable.

2. I am very interested in your concept. I don’t intend to offend the writer above ... but the market is flush with products for “retired couples who don’t want 4 wheel drive”.

I envision this product for a family or couple who will be engaged in an active lifestyle ... skiing, mountain biking, kayaking, surfing. They aren’t looking for “full hookups” ... in fact they are probably looking for no hookups at all.

3. I imagine your concept as something between an Earthroamer, Winnebago Revel or Sportsmobile. If you aren’t familiar with these products ... google them ... they are sweet.

4. Things I would recommend
4x4 / AWD ... we boondock at ski resorts and mountain bike locals
All weather capability ... insulation and furnace for the living area as well as holding
tanks ... to keep up with cold temps at ski locations
Battery bank / Solar ... probably lithium with a large solar system ... I like the idea
mentioned above about deleting the gen set and using the 2 x 220 amp alternators
already installed. (Earthroamer does this)
Clever storage systems for Mountain Bikes, Skis, Kayaks, etc. ... the “Van Life”
crowd has some very cool solutions.
OFF GRID ... solutions to make this a reality

5. After (extensively) reading through the threads on the Isata - 5 30FW ... I was considering contacting you about some of the R&D ideas you offered for a “semi custom” build ... then I ran into this thread

Anyway ... all that to say ... keep up the good work.

Cheers

Rick

btw ... just curious ... what made you choose the Dodge Ram over Ford or GMC products?
In fact when this idea hit me...the first thing I said was "who is doing anything close to this??? Earthroamer?...at 5 times the price".

And yes, I agree. I am still a family with an active lifestyle. For years (and still to this day) my former division built a winter unit for Canadream RV. What spurred this, is I am heading up there next weekend for a retirement party and I thought of that unit. I stayed in the parking lot of each resort with a good friend (and their product development guy). We would ski all day, drive to the next mountain, park, eat, repeat. It was 7 degrees average temp and we stay toasty warm using all the devices. We spent 10 years dialing in what worked and what didn't, and I have personally used it in action. Also, there was just a video of a former NFL football player that gave all his stuff for charity, got a rescue dog and is exploring the US in a B-van. At the heart of RV'ing...THAT is the spirit of what this is all about. Disconnecting from everything else. There is nothing like the freedom of waking up and saying "where do you want to go today". Or driving until you find a little hostel with no hook ups, but the most gorgeous views. These pics are from one of those trips.

A for Ford versus GMC...we are mainly known for M2's. While we have expanded our product offering, we are still primarily married to Cummins. They have been reliable and have a long history of that. You can go back and certain years the power stroke has had bad years and good years and some really bad years. Plus the Ram just drove better.
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Old 03-01-2019, 08:56 AM   #20
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David and I love this concept and would go along with other comments re theater seats rather than a booth, with the addition of a removable table in front of them. Personally, I would also like to see a choice for fabric upholstery for the seating rather than faux leather, as it might wear better. Love love love the w/d idea and the linen closet in the bedroom! We are looking forward to seeing how this great idea turns out!! Thanks for letting us share ideas!
We would have recliners and a table option.

As for the faux leather. I agree, I am not a big fan. However, unlike a trailer, motorhomes have to pass 302 flame spread rating. So when we do fabrics, most of them do not pass. As such, we have to treat them, which increases cost and also makes them much stiffer than the nice soft fabric that we chose in the first place. the faux stuff passes inherently so what you see is what you get, no surprises after treatment.

What we are doing, is working with a supplier to configure a 10 year warranted product that we can use across the board with better feel and durability. We already run a version of that on the DX3 and Xl....just working on one that we would run across the board.
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