Introducing RV Renovation with the Flipping Nomad & General RV

"The Flipping Nomad" Cortni Armstrong with the 2021 Keystone RV Ultimate Montana concept RV
“The Flipping Nomad” Cortni Armstrong with the 2021 Keystone RV Ultimate Montana concept RV

When you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, sometimes you just have to make it yourself. That’s how Cortni Armstrong was able to create her dream RV and fall in love with the lifestyle in the process. She’s taken that passion of RV renovation and transformed it into a successful business known as the Flipping Nomad. General RV has teamed up with Cortni to bring her educational DIY seminars to the 2023 Florida RV SuperShow in January.

From Impoverished to Impassioned: Flipping Nomad’s Humble RV Restoration Journey

Cortni credits RVing with transforming her life in ways she could have never imagined. In fact, Cortni became an RVer during what she considers one of the darkest periods of her life. After graduating from college, Cortni discovered success wouldn’t come as easy for her as it did for her peers. In 2014, her father suffered a stroke, forcing Cortni to take over his two businesses. Neither one was successful enough to turn a profit. At the same time, she was trying to find a new place to live after her lease expired. A family friend that manages a KOA campground informed her of a fifth wheel for sale. He also offered her a job managing the front desk in exchange for the site expenses. Despite having zero knowledge of RVs, or that people actually live in them, she took him up on the offer.

After several months of adjusting and fully immersing herself into the lifestyle, Cortni decided to buy another fifth wheel the following year. After researching countless floorplans for months, she discovered her dream RV simply didn’t exist. Instead, she purchased an older fifth wheel and decided to remodel it herself. After completing what she considered to be a modest remodel, Cortni eventually made the life-changing decision to renovate RVs and sell them for profit. That’s when the Flipping Nomad was born.

After seeing how much Cortni was loving her new RV lifestyle, her mother, Patti, partnered with her daughter to help renovate RVs for customers. What started as a small business with an RV renovation here and there has exploded into a blossoming company with a waiting list hundreds of customers long.

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Redefine luxury RV camping in the first ever Brinkley Model Z

The first ever Brinkley Model Z 3100 fifth wheel

Take camping to the next level in the all-new Brinkley Model Z. The first-ever luxury RV created by a startup company is designed for and by RV owners. The Model Z boosts an automotive exterior and a residential interior filled with more features and amenities than traditionally available.

The Model Z first launched in 2022 as a prototype, drawing the eyes of industry-leading publications and earning praise for its clean lines and unique design. General RV Center is the debut partner of Brinkley RV for the Model Z at the January 2023 Florida SuperShow in Tampa, Florida. The Model Z’s spacious floor plan delivers the comforts of home along with a surplus of luxury amenities that will revolutionize your camping experience.

Automotive features put the Model Z fifth wheel in a class of its own

The sleek, clean exterior will turn heads at the campsite. Sitting at nearly 35’ long, 96” wide, and 12’ 9” tall, the fifth wheel has plenty of room for its luxury features both inside and out. Brinkley designers brought many high-end features to their newest model. With 7K HD axles, commercial-grade 17.5” H-rated tires and flush floor slides the Model Z is built for durability and ease. The front cap, lights and lenses used throughout the exterior are all automotive grade, making them resistant to chips and roadway debris. Small details, like a double taillight system and backup camera prep, make the luxury RV even safer to drive.

Enjoy luxury RV camping with a modern, open living space

The Model Z takes the comforts of home up a notch. The bright, modern interior is perfect for hosting guests or spending a relaxing night alone. The light brown interior with dark wood accents provides a chic and open vibe. Residential frameless windows throughout the main living area open up the space, allowing natural light to flood in making the already spacious floorplan feel even bigger.

Take a load off in the theater-style seats right across from the entertainment center that includes a remote-controlled, 5,000 BTU electric fireplace with multi-colored ember beds and flame. You can also stretch out on the 72” trifold couch that extends to a 61” x 69” bed that is perfect for guests. Beside the couch are custom-built end tables with hidden storage and charging ports. The comfort continues through the living space with a split booth-style dining table. Overhead storage throughout the living room allows you to keep all your essentials tidy and out of sight.

A luxurious RV kitchen with space for every chef’s essential

 

 

 

 

 

An abundance of counter space allows for creative cookery and comfort in the kitchen. The fifth wheel includes many space-saving features that open up space for food prep and cleanup. A double pull-out trash can with integrated paper towel holder, a built-in spice rack and an 84” pantry make it easy to keep your kitchen organized and counters clear. The kitchen includes a three-burner range, a 30” microwave and a 16 cu. ft. refrigerator, which opens even with the slideout in. A deep single-basin sink with a high-rise faucet and a pullout sprayer makes cleaning up a breeze. Other appliances, like coffee makers or toasters, can sit conveniently in the hutch located right next to the pantry. Pets are also able to enjoy the kitchen with built-in dog bowls underneath the kitchen island.

A luxury RV bathroom that goes far beyond the essentials

Residential hardware and brass-plumbing connections create an upscale bathroom. Solid surface countertops, a modern faucet and LED lighting give a glamorous touch to the bathroom. Both the bed and bathroom deck ceilings sit at 6’ 7.5” tall making space for campers of all heights to comfortably enjoy the 30” x 42” shower. The tankless water heater also insures that showers are at the perfect temperature every time.

A primary suite redesigned

The main bedroom of this vehicle sits at the front. It features a queen-size bed that sits partially within a slideout. The fifth wheel uses a power gear system, similar to those found in motorhomes, freeing up space for a deeper bed slide and large bedroom windows. The front-facing wall contains a stylish closet door and space for a stackable washer/dryer. Storage is available throughout the bedroom with built-in cabinets. Plus a sliding dresser top that opens up to reveal a hidden storage compartment. A 4K TV makes the space perfect for a movie night, and dimmable lights can help set the mood. Motion-activated floor lights are placed strategically in the bedroom to make it easier to traverse the space at night.

Redefining the luxury RV experience, one feature at a time

The Model Z features a bucket list worth of features and amenities designed to make your experience memorable. On the outside, there is more than 130 cubic feet of exterior storage available with plenty of room to store your camping essentials. The storage doors also feature built-in magnets making it easier to prop a door open. Brinkley installed LED lights on the chassis and on the dual awnings to keep you outdoors long after the sun has set. The entry has quad-solid steps with motion lights, so you are never in the dark when moving in or out of your RV. Other notable features that set the Model Z apart from other manufacturers:

  • 370W Solar Panel w/50 AMP MPPT Controller (Inverter Prep and Lithium Ready)
  • Wide stance auto leveling system
  • Electric dump valves
  • Maintenance-free roof
  • 90-gallon water capacity
  • Easy access to underbelly panels
  • Two awnings with LED lighting
  • Pass-thru storage

Tour the new Brinkley Model Z 3100 today with General RV

Brinkley RV swung for the fences with this first ever model and successfully hit it out of the park. Luxury was brought into every detail of the Model Z fifth wheel, stepping up the RV camping experience. Visit your local General RV dealer today to see the Model Z in person. To learn more, visit GeneralRV.com. Still looking for your perfect fifth wheel? The RV experts at General RV Center can field your questions and help you find your match. Remember to subscribe to the General RV blog for more tips, reviews, and recommendations.

Top 3 Ford Transit Vans and What You Need to Know Before You Buy

A Ford Transit Sanctuary driving across a bridge
Ford Transit camper vans can easily handle rough terrain

If you’re in the market for a Class B motorhome, you’ve probably noticed the debate on which chassis is best for van life. The Ford Transit, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Ram ProMaster camper vans are soaring in popularity and all chassis options are great in their own unique ways. Several factors can help your decision on what chassis is best for you and your adventures. This is the first of a three-part series looking at the top three camper van chassis by Ford, Mercedes-Benz and Ram. We will dive into the Ford Transit camper van chassis and how it’s driving the #vanlife movement.

History of the Ford Transit Van

Ford has been around since 1903, leading innovation in the automotive industry worldwide for more than a century. In fact, the Ford Transit is the oldest cargo van built, compared to the Ram ProMaster and Mercedes Sprinter, and has gone through multiple generations. In 1965, Ford introduced the Transit, also known as the T-Series, as a cargo van in the European market. However, it wasn’t until 2014 that Ford presented the fourth generation of the Transit chassis to the United States. People loved converting Transits into RVs and Ford took notice, acting on the popular movement and manufacturing the beloved chassis for RV companies.

 What is the Ford Transit Van Chassis?

The cab of the Ford Transit

The Ford Transit is one of the most popular lightweight commercial vehicle chassis that Ford manufactures, making it a great chassis for camper vans. The Ford Transit camper van drives very similarly to a cargo van, even with the added weight of all the motorhome essentials. You will find it comfortable to drive with the shorter front end and the familiarity in the driver’s seat and dashboard. These vans are also not so high off the ground and have AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control and side-wind stabilization. These features greatly improve stability and control, while maintaining a smooth, comfortable ride. Transit camper vans are also very easy to maneuver and have a tighter turning radius.

In 2020, Ford introduced all-wheel drive and a 10-speed automatic overdrive transmission for the Transit van chassis, making it a popular choice for camper vans. The Transit van also features 310 horsepower and 400 ft-lb of torque for handling everything from straight plains to rugged mountains with ease. Almost all RV manufacturers produce their camper vans with the AWD Transit van for tough terrain. That same year, Ford also introduced adaptive cruise control and pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking (AEB). This is helpful if you are in the wilderness and animals cross your path or in the city with pedestrians.

Inside the Transit van cab, you will have an AM/FM stereo with Bluetooth, as well as a large digital display. The Transit is also equipped with the FordPass Connect, an app that allows you to check important stats of your camper van, remotely start and stop it, as well as a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot and more. A great thing about camper vans is that the front driver and passenger seats swivel around for added seating room, and many floorplans have removable tables for these seats.

How Does the Ford Transit Van Compare to Other Camper Van Chassis?

A family staring up at the stars around a campfire. Their Thor Sanctuary 19PT is in the background lit by the fire.
The Ford Transit is perfect for small families and couples

Ford Transit Van Price Comparison

If you’re looking for a new camper van, the price can range from around $100,000 MSRP to over $250,000 MSRP. If you’re looking for a lower-priced gas motorhome, the Ford Transit and Ram ProMaster are great camper van options. The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has a higher price point for camper vans; however, diesel camper vans do start at a higher price compared to gas.

Ford Transit Vans vs. Diesel Alternatives

There are pros and cons to gas and diesel camper vans. The Ford Transit camper van is a gas fuel type like the Ram ProMaster and is available in a gas or diesel option depending on the year and make of the RV. Diesel camper vans like the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, have better fuel efficiency than gas camper vans. Diesel engines can also last longer if properly maintained. On the other hand, gas engine RVs have a lower initial price point. They’re also cheaper at the pump, and there are more fuel stations available compared to diesel. An added bonus is that engine repair and maintenance cost less.

Ford Transit Van Power & Towing

The Ford Transit features AWD as well as options for rear-wheel drive camper vans. The ProMaster camper van is front-wheel drive and the Sprinter camper van has a rear-wheel drive. 4WD is also an option that is available for many new Sprinter camper vans. A great thing about the AWD option in the Transit camper van is that you don’t have to think about when to enable the traction needed. Like a car, AWD and 4WD also provide great handling in the snow and heavy rain.

The Ford Transit camper van chassis boasts 400 ft-lb of torque and 310 horsepower, which is more than both the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Ram ProMaster camper van chassis. This power is important to get your RV moving and keep it moving over rough terrain.

The towing capacity can vary on camper vans, however, most have the capacity to easily haul a small trailer for a motorcycle, kayak or lightweight toys. Some camper vans can even tow up to 5,000 lbs. for heavier machines you want to take on your adventures. Camper vans also include great features like bike racks, gear racks on the roof or cargo storage inside.

Diesel camper vans can pull more weight and easily take on mountains and rougher terrain where gas camper vans might struggle. Even though class B RVs have less towing capacity than larger RVs, you can still tow a small trailer with a powerful enough engine. Diesel camper vans like the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van have a higher towing capacity, but there is more upkeep and routine maintenance needed.

Ford Transit Van Repair & Maintenance

With the Ford Transit camper van, there is a lower maintenance cost to keep your motorhome running longer. Because the Ford Transit is a gas motorhome, you’ll save money on maintenance costs. With more than 3,000 Ford dealerships and 600 commercial vehicle centers (including 14 General RV Center locations), preventative service, repairs, parts and labor can be found nationwide. Stuck on the road? There are 800 mobile service vans ready to assist.

Ford Transit Vans You Can Buy Right Now

Coachmen RV Beyond Transit Van

The Beyond is built for adventurous RVers. This gas camper van is 22 ft. 2 in. long and features three floorplans to choose from, with AWD and RWD options. The 22C features a lay-flat sofa at the rear, while the 22D has two facing sofas that convert into a large bed. The 22RB has a wet bath in the rear and two twin beds that are perfect for camping with friends. All the floorplans have a wet bath, galley and tons of overhead cabinets for storage. To learn more, check out this RV overview for even more features and benefits of the Beyond Transit camper van.

Thor Motor Coach Sanctuary Transit Van

The Sanctuary 19PT and 19LT camper vans are great options for off-grid camping. Both floorplans are 19 ft. 7 in. in length and have great layouts for couples and solo campers. The 19PT features a foldout sofa in the rear, with a removable table and overhead cabinets. There is also a large refrigerator, sink, microwave and two-burner gas cooktop. The 19LT has a spacious bed in the rear of the camper van. Plus, there is additional seating with a removable table, as well as a large refrigerator, microwave and sink. Both floorplans have a spacious wet bath with a cassette toilet. The Sanctuary also comes in the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis for a great diesel B van option.

Thor Motor Coach Gemini AWD Transit Van

The Gemini is a Class B + RV that’s built for the long haul. This camper van is 24 ft. to 26 ft. long, depending on the three models available. All three floorplans have a slide out for more room to move, tons of storage space and a full bath. The 23TE features plenty of room with the rear bath and spacious floorplan. A Murphy bed folds up to reveal a comfortable sofa with a removable table for dining. The Gemini AWD 23TW has a larger slide-out for more room. There is a flip-up queen bed with a couch underneath, as well as a dream dinette for additional sleeping space. Last but not least is the 24KB floorplan. This camper van has a rear bedroom with two twins that can convert into a king bed. This gives you a great option for camping trips with friends or loved ones.

Interested in learning more about Class B motorhomes? Check out this Class B RV buyers guide for helpful information. The camper van experts at General RV can also help you find the perfect Transit camper van. Our online showroom is always open and our internet sales specialists can answer all your questions via text or chat. Prefer to explore Class B motorhomes in person? Visit one of our RV dealers near you today.

Camp without compromise in Keystone’s Wheelchair Accessible Outback RV

Keystone RV’s Wheelchair Accessible Outback 342CG

Make sure every camper can come along on your next adventure with Keystone RV’s new wheelchair accessible Outback 342CG. Designed with accessibility in mind, this premium toy hauler accommodates travelers with physical disabilities while still providing versatile garage space.  When the luxury trailer first hit the market, two leading RV publications named it 2021’s Best Model of the Year. Like other models in the Outback line, the 342CG delivers the built-for-the-long-haul quality you expect, along with some exclusive innovations.

As an RV designed using the direction and oversight of disability advocates, Keystone ensures campers can enjoy luxury and explore the world without obstacles. Sitting 38’ long and over 11’ tall, the Outback can sleep up to eight with plenty of room leftover for all the toys campers could need for their next adventure.

An RV built for accessibility with plenty of room for everything you need

An accessible toy hauler perfect for campers with physical disabilities.

Wheelchairs can easily move in and out of the Keystone Outback thanks to a 54” wide extended ramp and adjustable legs. The extension lowers the ramp grade, allowing the ramp to sit at the natural point of ingress and egress for wheelchair users. Able to hold up to 1,000 pounds, the gentle incline also makes it easier for travelers to load their motorcycles, ATVs and even golf carts. The handy D-Rings installed on the floor make sure your toys will not move during transport. If you need even more space, the cargo bunk beds fold up so you can store more. Whether you like to spend your days paddling on a crisp, clear lake or want to tear up the forest trails on your dirt bike – there is plenty of room for your adventure essentials.

A luxurious RV interior redesigned for comfort and accessibility

A reimagined floorplan to camp without compromise.

Keystone redesigned the Outback floorplan to allow a standard wheelchair to traverse the space without obstacles. Designers opted for barn doors instead of hinged doors to help wheelchair users move easily from room to room. The main doorframe is 30” wide, so it works with an aftermarket wheelchair lift. Keystone also slimmed down the entertainment center wall so a wheelchair can freely move into the living room from the garage. A wider and shallower pantry gives those with limited reach mobility the ability to access all they need.

Space for everyone — and then some — in your toy hauler 

Every camper can come along in the 342CG with space for eight.  The front cargo garage holds flip-down bunk beds, while the living space has a sofa sleeper, a booth dinette and a king-sized bed. The space is perfect for large families or a trip with friends. With a built-in kennel in the primary suite, even the furriest campers have a special place to stay.

Inside the Outback, campers will experience the royal treatment. The private suite comes with under bed storage, overhead storage, a floor-to-ceiling wardrobe and a dresser. The Outback includes bedside outlets and USB ports, too, so you never have to worry about finding power.

You can make the space even more luxurious with a TV hook-up. The private suite also comes with a separate entrance to avoid the traffic in the living space.

Bring the comforts of your accessible home on the road

The sleek, modern kitchen is perfect for prepping, cooking and packing up your meals. Solid surface countertops and a flip-up feature give you space to prep your next culinary masterpiece. The 10 cu. ft. 12V GE refrigerator in the Outback cools faster than other models and is designed to keep your food safe while traveling on the road. There is no need to worry about putting ice in the coolers. The 21’ Furrion stove has a three-burner gas range to help you cook up something great. After enjoying your meal, the deep, single basin stainless steel sink, with a high-rise faucet and pull out sprayer, makes cleaning up a breeze.

The bathroom includes a full porcelain toilet. The sliding barn door also makes it easier for wheelchairs to move in and out. Campers can clean off in the 30” x 40” step-in shower. There is also room for all your toiletries on the expanded bathroom counter.

The all-new matte black interior features modern and sleek designs that gives a relaxing vibe. With neutral furniture, brushed gold hardware and light wallboard, the interior gives off an elegant and cozy look. After listening to customer responses, Keystone removed all carpet from this model opting instead for hyper deck flooring. The water resistant, fiberglass backed linoleum is perfect for campers with dogs or kids who may forget to wipe their feet at the door. The Tru-Fit slide construction creates a seamless interior ideal for wheelchair maneuverability.

Hit the road with confidence all year

Exclusive Blade Pure System

The Outback is ready for adventure, any time of the year. For the summer, Keystone has the Blade Pure design, an upgraded airflow system that combines air filtration and quieter technology. The system can produce 20% more airflow in the cabin. The dual-ducted racetrack A/C system pushes air through the rig in a circular pattern via two ducts for maximum efficiency and cooling – quickly dropping the accessible RV’s temperature on sweltering days. When temperatures dip, the Outback has you covered. The underbelly is fully heated and enclosed with Astrofoil insulation to maintain temperatures. The Outback also has added heating pad protection to help prevent fresh and waste water tanks from freezing.

Convenience features that make the Outback toy hauler built to last

Designed with ease in mind, the Outback has many features that make it easier for all travelers to set up camp. It’s equipped with the BAL Norco 5.1 stabilizing system. Instead of manually moving each leveling jack, the RV can do it at the push of a button. Maintenance is a breeze thanks to Keystone’s color-coded 12V wiring. The system has easy-to-trace circuits that help dealer service techs troubleshoot and complete repairs quickly, saving owners time and money. Other notable features that make the Outback adventure-ready:

  • Lightweight, corrosion-resistant Norco BAL frame
  • Leaf spring suspension
  • Painted fiberglass front cap w/ LED strip lights and rock guard
  • Fully walkable 3/8’ roof decking with rear ladder
  • Double welded dual battery brackets w/ battery disconnect
  • Continuous charge through SolarFlex200

See the accessible Keystone Outback 342CG at General RV

Accessible RV designs make life easier for everyone. The universal designs used in the Outback toy hauler can help campers of all abilities enjoy the great outdoors. Visit your local General RV dealer today to see the Outback 342CG in person. To learn more, visit  GeneralRV.com to learn more. Still searching for your perfect toy hauler? The RV experts at General RV Center can answer all your questions and provide recommendations for your perfect camper. Remember to subscribe to the General RV blog for more tips, reviews and recommendations.