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Open Roads Forum  >  Class B - Camping Van Conversions  >  General Topics

 > Worth buying a Hymer Sunlight and upgrading it?

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ctilsie242

Austin

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Posted: 08/15/17 10:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The Hymer Sunlight, which is sold at CW is an interesting model. First, it has a very low price, likely in the 55k-ish range when all is said and done. However, you do get what you pay for, as per the YouTube reviews.

There are a few major downsides to the van:

  • Combined black/gray tank, 23.1 gallons.
  • Trim is "meh" at best.
  • No onboard generator, it uses a secondary alternator.
  • Has a funky, folding wood divider between the bathroom and the rest of the van.
  • No rear backup camera.

    The combined tank isn't too bad an item. The backup camera can likely be wired in. The wood divider can be removed, and a shower curtain placed there. Since the van uses an inverter, the A/C hits the inverter with the locked rotor amps, and not the alternator/generator upstream. This means one can get away with using a 2000 watt inverter generator to run it, so when boondocking, the generator can be placed well away from the van to minimize noise and vibration.

    The main issue I'm concerned about is how the plumbing/electrical/appliances will last.

    The trim level is of an entry level class "C", or a trailer. A concern, because a class "B" isn't something that you keep for 5-10 years then have hauled to the town dump like one does with most new trailer brands. However, it seems decent, especially for the price range.

    I wonder what other people think. For me, adding a Honda generator to keep it powered while boondocking isn't that big a sacrifice for a "starter" class B, which won't depreciate much, especially here in Texas, where ten year old T1N Sprinters still sell for for 50k+ at PPL.

  • Bumpyroad

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    Posted: 08/15/17 02:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

    looks interesting for the price but what type of upgrade are you talking about. instead of that, spend a few thou more and get a fancier unit.
    bumpy





    ctilsie242

    Austin

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    Posted: 08/15/17 03:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

    For me, the unit is pretty close to ideal. I don't need heated floors or other stuff. The main thing I care about is having a good A/C in the Texas heat.

    The next step up for the same floorplan as a variant of the Winnebago Travato, and those are upwards of 80k, so I would pay 60% more for basically the same chassis if I go that route. The "engine generator" also comes in handy, especially if I have a Honda 2000 watt model that I can pull out when boondocking.

    Bumpyroad

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    Posted: 08/15/17 04:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

    did that have a shower? but yes, ideal, sort of. not sold on automatic awnings.
    bumpy

    eric1514

    AZ ID

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    Posted: 08/15/17 05:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

    Take a look at this video.

    https://youtu.be/-WzUs5IqtEo

    I saw one in person last week and most of the QC issues this guy saw are true.


    2015 Travato 59g


    mumkin

    Chanhassen, MN/Mesa, AZ

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    Posted: 08/15/17 06:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

    If length is no issue, I'd probably go with the Travato. Better quality, better galley. To me the advantages of the Sunlight is the shorter length and that underhood generator, but I don't live in the south.

    If you could do any re-builds yourself, it might be worth considering just to get the basic Promaster... Lithium batteries, inverter, underhood generator, AC, microwave, fridge (all of which are the same stuff in the much more expensive Hymer/Roadtreks)


    Mumkin
    2015 Roadtrek 170
    2011 LTV Libero
    2004 GWV Classic Supreme


    Bumpyroad

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    Posted: 08/16/17 04:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

    mumkin wrote:

    If length is no issue, I'd probably go with the Travato. Better quality, better galley. To me the advantages of the Sunlight is the shorter length and that underhood generator, but I don't live in the south.

    If you could do any re-builds yourself, it might be worth considering just to get the basic Promaster... Lithium batteries, inverter, underhood generator, AC, microwave, fridge (all of which are the same stuff in the much more expensive Hymer/Roadtreks)


    YES, I would prefer a Travato. but another advantage of the sunlight is $30,000 saved. my problem with that floor plan is there is no place for passengers.
    bumpy

    ctilsie242

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    Posted: 08/18/17 06:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

    Just the van itself is about $38,000 (MSRP). Upfitting from a place like Sportsmobile is going to be a minimum of $40,000. So, I'm looking at $80k, perhaps 75k.

    The hardest parts for me to improve are the basic setup, the plumbing, the propane lines, electrical, the alternator, etc. However, there are some nice things that provide a foundation for something usable, mainly the 200 amp-hour lithium battery and the inverter. With that setup, I just need a portable generator that can be placed well away from the van, or perhaps placed on a front hitch mounted rack.

    Of course, some things likely can be upgraded. I'm sure the water pump is an entry level model, so replacing that with a variable speed would be nice.

    Of course, being a van, it is inherently a lot more resistant to water intrusion than the cheapie rubber roofs that are the norm in virtually other type of RV.

    mumkin

    Chanhassen, MN/Mesa, AZ

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    Posted: 08/18/17 08:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

    ctilsie242 wrote:

    The hardest parts for me to improve are the basic setup, the plumbing, the propane lines, electrical, the alternator, etc. However, there are some nice things that provide a foundation for something usable, mainly the 200 amp-hour lithium battery and the inverter. With that setup, I just need a portable generator that can be placed well away from the van, or perhaps placed on a front hitch mounted rack.

    I do believe that it has the underhood generator (2nd alternator) so you merely run the engine instead of trying to figure how to carry a portable.

    tatest

    Oklahoma Green Country

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    Posted: 08/22/17 01:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

    Have you looked at Roadtrek's own Simplicity line? Starting MSRP for the Simplicity SRT, same length as Hymer-branded Sunlight, is about $10,000 lower. But then CW might be inflating the MSRP to make it look like the actual sale price is a huge bargain.

    I don't see anything about the house systems and appliances that would call for an upgrade, for reliability. Equipment is the same grade used in most mass market RVs. I'm seeing fit and finish problems, but nothing different than what I typically find in low-price RVs of all types when I go to RV shows. If you strip everything out to upgrade it, cost may be about where it would be doing a conversion on a new van, much of the cost being labor.


    Tom Test
    Itasca Spirit 29B


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