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  • build your own van?

    Hello everybody,
    I thinking of going mobile and I have found the web: where they sell a book and a dvd and they show you how to build your own van but I try to find something in the internet about them and I found nothing so if any of you could help me or if you have bought their books and they have been useful for you or not please tell me because they cost $200 and I don´t want to waste my money.
    I´ll be waiting for your answers.
    Thanks anyway

  • #2
    I don't know about that package, but it sounds like from the cover page they have a lot of useful information. My boyfriend, son and I built our own, no book, trial and error, I probably wasted 200 in mistakes. I bought an old bus, and converted it. I do know you can get most of everything you need at home depot, on demand water heater, tub, (if you don't HAVE to have a grooming tub) I fit a 5 ft tub in the bus. The tanks and pipes, outside fittings for water fill up and emptying grey water is all at RV places. I hired an electrician to put electric in. Total cost including bus was 20,000. I have photos of the inside on my webpage.
    Good Luck. Remember If you do it yourself you can have it any way you want it. I put two drains in my tub so I don't have to worry about being the wrong way on a hill.


    • #3
      Hi Jen,
      I have recently bought a grooming van that was poorly designed and I am going to gut it and rebuild it. I bought that dvd/book set about 2 weeks ago. I am about half way through the book. It has alot of detail on where to abtain a van and how to get financing. (I skipped this part, since I already bought a van) So far the book is very informative, and is giving me some new ideas. The dvd is really short and just explains "their" process of building the van. In the dvd, there is only one way to do things explained, not any other options. But this was helpful to me, since my van is not set up the same as in the dvd, so I have something to compare it to. I like the fact that it is a guide on how to build a van with the least possible cost. It won't be a fancy waggin tails, but it will be a working van.

      They do make alot of references to 'professionals'. Such as, "give your wiring diagram to your electrician", or "once your carpenter has built your tub stand..." The hiring of these professionals is not listed in the cost sheet. If you are handy, you could do alot of these things, if not, you will have a little more expense because you will have to hire people to help you.
      Hope this helps!


      • #4
        Do it yourself

        Hi Jen, Yes I saw that samw add last year when we were contemplating, either a conversion on the backyard RV, or buy a completed rig...
        What I found was of the most help was to start reading the Mobile board here...ask a few questions, and go from there.

        I already had most of the equipment, and had been grooming fro a good number of my thing was in building or buying a ready-made.

        We opted for to convert the RV in the back yard...yes a few minor glitches here and there , mostly original parts on the RV needing to be replaced, but on the whole the best decision for me.

        You can see the process we went through on my web site
        If you are already a knowlegable groomer, then it's a snap to get up and running, if you are not a groomer, I suggest going to school, and then apprenticing for a year to get a good foundation, and help learning some of the tricks, both grooming/customer relations, and business end...but that's only a suggestion.

        Hope this helps.


        • #5
          building your own van ca be tons of fun.

          Building your own mobile can be tons of fun. I've met a lot of people who have. Been there. Done it literally hundreds of times for virtually every state in the union and wear the tee shirt everyday.

          Before I would be too concerned with how this book, any book, other people who build their own units or even what I say on how to must check out local business code for groomers and mobile groomers.

          The code will dictate some of the basic choices you will have to make.

          Be careful when you build according to someone else's way of building. I can go to several websites right now and see several easy local code breakers and several of them are builders selling their units. One is a major electrical code violation because of a lack of wiring protection on a bathing device. Another is a use of fabric goods that would not pass even in little ole Pickens county. In many areas you are required to have gray water holding tanks. In short, what you see may not be what you have to have so start at your local code enforcer office.

          For example, one build it yourself book(don't know if its the same one you are talking about) showed pictures of their van and it was trimmed out with some type of fabric carpet looking stuff. fabric goods are often used in covering those hard to cover transition areas where weird shapes occur in the build and the cosmetics require some sort of flexible covering.

          Fabric or water absorption goods can not be used in the construction of the working interior of grooming units according to most governing codes. Don't take my word for it. I'm sure there are plenty of groomers here who can share their area's codes to confirm.
          Get this. Any AZ groomers here to confirm the following story?

          The Story!
          Keeping in mind that many cities require health department or USDA inspections of the vehicle before it can be put into service.

          I received a call from a groomer somewhere in AZ. She wanted me to be aware of what she found out about code and wanted to fax me the code to read. I think she owned a self built van and was curious if this could happen in other parts of the country and want to know if I was aware.

          Here goes.

          A groomer was happily grooming a dog in her mobile grooming van and she heard some firm knocks on her door window. The visitor was the health department inspector. No appointment. He just walked up to her van and started an inspection. He cited several violations of which one is recommended in the book I found on the net about how to build your own van... Fabric goods trim out on parts of the interior. He stepped out of the van. Asked her to step out of the van. He closed the door and put a bright sticker on her van door that basically ordered that the unit could not be used until cited issues were corrected and follow-up inspection completed. She was out of business for weeks to come. End of story.

          I'm passing this on from memory so small details may be a little off base but the total gist is right on. She posted about it on some of the boards.

          I would love to say that this is just one of "those counties" but I'm sure other members of this group can share what their local requirements are and we will find that it is not uncommon to have to meet so health requirements within the basic design.

          So go to your local health department or the like and other government offices that manage business inspections and find out what you are required to have first. Commercial builders are generally aware of most requirements and know what to avoid but it all depends on the particular inspector.

          Once you know what is locally required, use all the resources you can find to decide how to meet those requirements and still get what you want. But for sure, avoid fabric goods and I would even avoid vinyls because they all have some fabric backer and have some moisture absorption ability which is what the inspectors do not want to see. So if the inspector know this about vinyl, even vinyl would not be allowed.

          Have fun and enjoy the build. It can be a very satisfying experience.



          • #6

            Hello everybody,
            I thinking of going mobile and I have found the web: where they sell a book and a dvd and they show you how to build your own van but I try to find something in the internet about them and I found nothing so if any of you could help me or if you have bought their books and they have been useful for you or not please tell me because they cost $200 and I don´t want to waste my money.
            I´ll be waiting for your answers.


            Are you a groomer?

            I am driving a van that I built and have helped in building of several others.

            Before you think about building, look at all the mobiles you can and make lots of notes. Likes dislikes.

            I would also recommend that you look at the used units and see what can be created from those. Sometimes a little creativity goes a long way and gets you on the road sooner.


            • #7
              build van?

              I've seen their website ,it seems to easy but I doubt it,it's like learning to groom on dvd I don't think so. unless you have somebody with construction experience and the money and time!.We have a wtn van and there's so many things to consider I think I just leave it to somebody the knows how to do it.there's many good used vans out there.Remember if it looks too easy it might not be... Good luck!