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  • Home conversions resourses

    We are going to look at chevy step van to convert into grooming/camping van that we can take to shows and camping.
    I have no experience with mobile grooming/van conversions and google search doesn't bring anything.
    When people convert their vans by themselves do they just wing it?
    I assume there should be some resources, but I can not find any leads.
    I have million questions from is it legal to how to balance the weight, electricity and on and on.
    Can you recommend anything?

  • #2
    Right on here (in the mobile groomer section somewhere)is the Doggette course on how to build your own mobile. I believe it's $200 but if you feel like you don't know where to start I would think this would be your best bet. It should cover everything!
    What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.

    Comment


    • #3
      Check out this link:

      http://mysite.verizon.net/res0vpto/s...uiltTheVan.pdf

      Its a 5 page document talking about this building out of a step van from start to finish...it doesn't have step by step on everything, but its a start...I found it interesting at least! : )

      Comment


      • #4
        Carol Doggett is her name that has "building the mobile grooming unit" - [email protected] the email address. They have a DVD (I believe it's a DVD) that you can purchase.

        Comment


        • #5
          I recommend Ellen Erlich's book, "Go Mobile & Succeed" instead of the Doggett "course" IMNHO.
          EDITED to add all my original comments: The several hundred dollar Doggett "course" had less info than the Erlich book which cost less than $50.


          It really pisses me off to edit my comments so that readers hear will be ripped off by not being able to tell the truth as I see it.
          Last edited by Smart-n-Pretty; 02-17-10, 07:53 PM.
          "We are all ignorant--we merely have different areas of specialization."~Anonymous
          People, PLEASE..It's ONLY a website!~Me

          Comment


          • #6
            Building any mobile is kind of like building an RV. Things need to be light weight, practicle and well laided out.

            First you need to look at what you will definitely need to groom. Power, Water, Hot water, Heat, Air, Ventilation, Insulation, Storage, Tub, Grooming area, Supplies, dryers, etc.

            Start by figuring out the size and area requirements for each of those needs. Then start playing with it on grid paper.

            As far as things to put in the mobile you need to think more along the likes of durability. so when I think abou those two things. light weight and durabilty I think of racing. That was a big part of my formal life.

            So if you need cabinets and like the nice white ones. Just google " Aluminum Trailer Cabinets" If you provide dimensions they can build and get you exactly what you need depending on your preferences and storage needs.

            If you need wall storage or places to store bottles, you can look at products from companies like Pit Pals.

            The rest of it is open to your imagination. If you are looking for things cheap, try northern tools. Honestly it wouldn't be that hard to build a mobile unit, if you just research how an RV is built and step it up from there.

            Good Luck.

            Comment


            • #7
              You may need info from several sources

              Go to any good bookstore or camping supply house and get a copy of Bob Livingston's RV Maintenance and Repair Guide. It's about 400 + pages, and it tells you EVERYTHING you need to know about RV systems, from plumbing to electrical systems both shore and 12 volt, and nearly everything in between. Need to know how to wire up and plumb a propane water heater? It's in there. Gray and fresh water plumbing? It's in there. We keep a copy on board right next to the toolbox.

              There is no SINGLE source that will tell you how to build your own mobile unit to YOUR liking, you will have to figure out what goes where, what you can and cannot put in due to weight restrictions (yes, you have to add up the weight of everything, INCLUDING the water at 8 pounds per gallon) and make sure you don't build an overweight beast that you can't operate legally). Look at the gross vehicle weight rating and the actual vehicle weight. Subtract the second from the first, and then subtract YOUR weight. That will give you the actual weight you can put in the vehicle.

              As for one source over another, both the Doggett DVD and Ellen's book have their plus and minuses. Doggett is a bit pricey, Ellen's book is a bit thin IMHO. Both are supporters of this forum. Get them both if you feel you need both. Discuss with your accountant, any of the supporting publications you use to start your business may be deductible as a startup expense.

              Laura and Richard
              "With God's help, all things are possible!"
              Laura Lee Ray
              I am kats_melody on eGroomer. Follow my Twitter tweets - @ZOOMGROOM on Twitter.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Smart-n-Pretty View Post
                I recommend Ellen Erlich's book, "Go Mobile & Succeed" instead of the Doggett "course" IMNHO.
                EDITED to add all my original comments: The several hundred dollar Doggett "course" had less info than the Erlich book which cost less than $50.


                It really pisses me off to edit my comments so that readers hear will be ripped off by not being able to tell the truth as I see it.
                I haven't purchased the Doggette course, but from what I understood from reading it tells you how to build your own mobile vehicle, not something Ellen covers in her book. I love Ellen, love her book, but I think Lexa is looking specifically for a "how to build" kind of guide.
                What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thank you guys!
                  We looked at the beast and it was a no go. Too big and cannot be taken to intestate because it would not go faster than 40mph.
                  We will keep looking.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Have you considered a used minibus? There are hundreds on eBay Motors in all price ranges. We found our base van on eBay (it was listed by a dealership several states away). Take out the passenger seats and you won't need a commercial drivers license to drive it. You'll need the space for the grooming equipment anyway.
                    "With God's help, all things are possible!"
                    Laura Lee Ray
                    I am kats_melody on eGroomer. Follow my Twitter tweets - @ZOOMGROOM on Twitter.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mylady View Post
                      I haven't purchased the Doggette course, but from what I understood from reading it tells you how to build your own mobile vehicle, not something Ellen covers in her book. I love Ellen, love her book, but I think Lexa is looking specifically for a "how to build" kind of guide.
                      Mylady, it's not really any more specific than Celeb Pet has been in his post here. I OWN both books. The book Kats-Melody recommended was closer to what I was looking for as far as technical info & it can be bought for under $20 on Amazon.
                      "We are all ignorant--we merely have different areas of specialization."~Anonymous
                      People, PLEASE..It's ONLY a website!~Me

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Some people will buy rv's & put a tub in it. Then take just a little out for a space for the table, bam there is your grooming rig & you can still camp in it Most clients don't care what the outside looks like for the most part as long as you do a good job on their pets.

                        I know 2 groomers that have gone to an RV dealer & had a new RV changed alittle to make it a grooming unit. The one lady's rig I have been in had a full size tub, couch & over head bed was still there, sink, bathroom & microwave was still there. They had a huge counter top for the table but I'm sure you could ask for space for a real grooming table. Stove was gone. If & when they wanted to go camping they would just bring a little portable stove or BBQ. I wouldn't mind going this route next time, even though spendy, rv's are cheaper then buying a new grooming rig too.

                        When we built our camper van we took pictures of everything, ripped it all out & built it back simular to the way it was just with my grooming stuff. In my van the water tank was under the bench seat so we kept the bench seat. Comes in handy for my 5yr daughter to hang out while I groom. I kept the hotwater tank (bought a new one as old one was broken) & kept heater also. We did take it camping last yr, not super comfy but it worked. Daughter had the over head part but she ended up rolling out when we were parked on a little angle lol. Talk about ruid awakining when you go flying through the air & land on the floor. Hubby & I were in the bench seat that folded out, why the heck do I get the part where the metal bars poke through lol.

                        Shannon
                        The Soapy Puppy
                        Last edited by Starshan; 02-18-10, 08:58 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Oh also someone suggested when I was building our van was to get the RV repair Book. I found it on Amazon.com for less then $20 used. It helped hubby fix things he didn't know how to fix. Was worth the money, paid for itself as we could fix the grey water tank rather then replacing it. Look for RV Repair and Maintenance Manual: Updated and Expanded (Paperback) by Bob Livingston.


                          Shannon
                          The Soapy Puppy
                          Last edited by Starshan; 02-18-10, 08:51 PM. Reason: More info

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Smart-n-Pretty View Post
                            Mylady, it's not really any more specific than Celeb Pet has been in his post here. I OWN both books. The book Kats-Melody recommended was closer to what I was looking for as far as technical info & it can be bought for under $20 on Amazon.

                            Wow, their advertising makes it sound like they tell you exactly how to build your own unit. I went back to look at their ad just to make sure I wasn't imagining things, but their ad here says

                            Construction Phase

                            Proper head room clearance
                            Layout of the work area
                            Tub and water tanks placement
                            The importance of understanding water weight
                            Construction materials and supply list

                            Systems Covered under Construction

                            Choosing the best floor covering
                            Proper interior walls for durability and maintenance
                            Framing
                            Windows
                            Exhaust system
                            Water System: tub info, water heater facts and choices, water distribution, fresh and gray water tanks, water lines and fittings, winter weather and plumbing, gray water disposal
                            Electrical facts that are vital to know & understand
                            Three power choices
                            Heat and Air Conditioning, Generators
                            Plugs, switches and outlets
                            The best electrical system to meet "your" needs
                            Lettering your new unit...how to save a lot
                            Selecting your grooming tools carefully

                            I would have thought it would have great detail on all those things. Hmmm, that's disappointing.
                            What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by mylady View Post
                              Wow, their advertising makes it sound like they tell you exactly how to build your own unit. I went back to look at their ad just to make sure I wasn't imagining things, but their ad here says

                              Construction Phase

                              Proper head room clearance
                              Layout of the work area
                              Tub and water tanks placement
                              The importance of understanding water weight
                              Construction materials and supply list

                              Systems Covered under Construction

                              Choosing the best floor covering
                              Proper interior walls for durability and maintenance
                              Framing
                              Windows
                              Exhaust system
                              Water System: tub info, water heater facts and choices, water distribution, fresh and gray water tanks, water lines and fittings, winter weather and plumbing, gray water disposal
                              Electrical facts that are vital to know & understand
                              Three power choices
                              Heat and Air Conditioning, Generators
                              Plugs, switches and outlets
                              The best electrical system to meet "your" needs
                              Lettering your new unit...how to save a lot
                              Selecting your grooming tools carefully

                              I would have thought it would have great detail on all those things. Hmmm, that's disappointing.
                              It mentions those things but, NOT in great detail. I was disappointed.
                              "We are all ignorant--we merely have different areas of specialization."~Anonymous
                              People, PLEASE..It's ONLY a website!~Me

                              Comment

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