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A Small Class B-plus With BIG Coach Features - Yes, You Can Have It ALL

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After living in our 40' Country Coach diesel pusher for 7 years, we decided that it was time to buy a home and downsize our RV, but we didn't want to give up any of the features that we had become accustomed to in our big coach. Sure we wanted to have a smaller RV with all the benefits described in the June 2014 magazine article on downsizing, but we had become so used to many of the comfort features of our big coach that we decided to be creative in our search for alternatives.

After much searching, we finally found an RV that has ALL we could ask for in a small footprint. Our new RV has a king sized bed, a Splendide washer/dryer, dual 50 amp service, a large kitchen with pantry and large counter top for food preparation, a large comfortable sofa, a large hanging wardrobe closet, massive storage drawers and plenty of space for lots of clothes and camping supplies, a nice sized dinette table plenty large enough for two, and double opposing living room slides that make our current living space as large as the one in our old diesel pusher coach. How is this all possible? I'll explain briefly...

My wife has severe allergies, and using any laundromat is completely impossible for us as she would immediately break out in a severe rash if she used a washing machine that anyone had used standard laundry detergent in. She has strict limitations on what she can use for doing our laundry. So thus started the search for a small coach floorplan capable of installing a Splendide washer/dryer. After searching for over a year and looking at hundreds of RVs, we finally found the perfect solution to our needs. We purchased a Monaco Safari Damara 252DS.

Here is a summary of the modifications I made to this RV:

1. Installed Splendide washer/dryer

2. Removed the fold out standard-sized sofa-bed from under the sofa and installed a massive 5' x 3' x 10" drawer under the sofa

3. Installed 2 gigantic full-extension slide-out drawers under the dinette seats 40" x 20" x 12"

4. Removed the old TV and installed a new Samsung 32" LCD TV on a swing-out bracket in the same location.

5. Built a large clothing storage cabinet in the void left by the old TV (behind the swing-out LCD TV).

6. Completely rewired the entire RV with dual 50 amp service (100 amp total) so that everything in the RV can be run at the same time without ever blowing any fuses

7. Installed extra GFI power outlets in the kitchen, bathroom, dining and living areas (great for running multiple electric cube heaters in the colder weather)

8. Installed a new Progressive auto-transfer box with monitoring gauge so we can continuously monitor how many amps we are drawing on each 50 amp leg

9. Installed an 50 amp autoformer to automatically correct any low-voltage situations without manual intervention

10. Installed a Banks Power-Pack to boost the horsepower and torque of the 6.8L Triton V-10 - now this "pocket- rocket" passes everything on the road

11. Expanded the size of the exterior outdoor storage bays to accommodate our water softener and extra camping gear

12. Installed Bogart house battery monitoring system so we know the power charge of our house batteries at all times

Many RV manufacturers claim to have the perfect downsizing solution for people wishing to own a smaller RV, but I have yet to see even one come close to the functionality and comfort we have packed into our 252DS.

Lastly, we have had lots of experience with RV service from many different RV sales and service companies. We decided that we wanted an RV built on a standard Ford E-450 chassis so that we could take it to any Ford dealer to be serviced and not be forced to take it to an RV service center. The 252DS is built on a standard Ford E-450 chassis and I have the complete annual service work done every year at my local Ford dealer for less than $200! That is a gigantic savings compared to service at any of the RV dealers.

The moral of the story... it is possible to downsize to a small Class B-plus RV and still have all the features and capabilities of a much larger coach! :rolleyes:

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