I highly recommend watching the video above so you can see the actual order sheet our dealer provided us with as well as follow along line by line, in real time, as I explain which factory upgrades we chose and which ones we skipped. You’ll also get to see visuals of each of the features as well.
In previous videos I’ve explained why we chose a 5th wheel RV, why we liked the Grand Design brand in particular and then why we decided on the 397TH floorplan. If you haven’t seen those yet you can check them out here: https://rebrand.ly/4176ayd
In today’s installment I’m going to explain why we custom ordered our rig and then take you through our custom build sheet, step-by-step, and explain which factory upgrades we chose, which ones we skipped, and show you the exact process we followed to submit our custom build to the factory.
WHY DID WE CUSTOM ORDER?
What made us want to custom order an RV rather than simply scooping up one that was already built?
Less Wear & Tear
First, it meant we were going to get a freshly produced rig that we knew hadn’t been sitting around for months at a time on a dealer’s lot.
During our shopping we’d seen plenty of brand-new units that already had tons of wear and tear from all of the foot traffic of people looking through them.
Not to mention possible weather damage from something like an imperfect roof seam that may have slipped by a dealer’s inspection.
I’ve personally seen a brand-new unit with rusty water dripping from one of the light fixtures before, so we definitely wanted something as fresh from the factory as we could get.
Pick & Choose Features
It also allowed us to pick and choose our exact features and options, so we weren’t paying for extra things we didn’t want, and we weren’t missing out on anything we might need.
HOW TO ORDER
To place a custom order for a Grand Design unit, our first step was to reach out to a Grand Design dealer so they could provide us with an official order sheet. I reached out to multiple dealers via email and received the same one-page document from all of them.
THE ORDER SHEET
Layout, Interior Decor & Standard Features
First, we chose the 397TH floorplan and then the darker Mocha colored interior color vs the lighter Oakley color.
The next few options on the sheet were considered “mandatory” and came standard across the board on all models, so we couldn’t make any changes there.
The first upgrade we chose to add was the 3rd awning, which is located on the main living room slide.
We knew we wanted as much shade as possible to help with summer heat, and this awning was on the slide with the most windows, which made this a no brainer for us.
Garage Screen Wall
The next option was a pull-down screen wall in the garage. We skipped this because we knew we wanted the Gen II three-season glass wall, which was listed further down the sheet.
We added on an Onan 5500 gas generator which gave us full off-grid power capabilities from the moment we picked up the rig.
Climate Control Options
We chose to add a 3rd A/C in the garage because:
- This was going be our office and we’d be spending a lot of time in there
- It provided the maximum amount of cooling for the entire rig
- It contributes to the redundancy, so if one or two of the other A/C units breaks down, we’d still have at least some form of cooling until we can get those fixed
We also added a heat pump, which is located in the main A/C unit in the living room.
That essentially allows us to pull any heat from the surrounding outside air, and pump that inside, which gives us another layer of heating redundancy on top of the electric fireplace and propane furnace.
Plus, if we’re at a campground and the electricity is included with the spot, we can save some money by using the heat pump instead of propane.
We then chose dual pane windows, which not only helps to keep the heat and cold out, but they also cut down on noise.
We went with the king bed upgrade, which was pretty much a necessity for us, because I’m 6’ 3” and need as much space as I can get.
We also chose to add the Rockford Fosgate Speakers with the amps and subwoofers.
Not only can you play music wirelessly from your phone on the inside and out, but you can also connect the system to the TV and enjoy theater quality sound & bass when watching movies.
And the sub is right behind the couch, so you can really feel the rumble in your chest.
But we don’t blast it when we’re in an RV park or around other campers because… that’s just rude.
We skipped the super sofa upgrade because we wanted the dining room table and smaller couch setup instead.
We added on the Happi-Jac electric bunk system so we could convert the garage couches into our large office desks and have the ability to raise and lower them for sitting, standing or to the ceiling for storage on travel days.
We also chose the patio system which they have listed as the rear aluminum deck. This turns our rear ramp door into our own little private balcony and gives us an extra awning and light on the back. Without this add-on we’d simply have a ramp door that folded down to the ground and nothing else.
We didn’t choose the rear patio steps because we figured that’d just be another big and bulky thing to carry around on travel days and we already have a front and back entry door anyway, so we didn’t think we’d need to enter and exit directly from the patio that often.
We chose to add on the Gen II sliding glass doors in the garage which gives us temperature, bug and wind control while also allowing a full glass wall view.
We didn’t add on the Momentum patio chairs because we figured that’s another thing to haul around and we already had our own folding chairs anyway.
We did choose to add slide-out toppers, which protect the roof of all of our slide outs from the weather, helping to reduce wear and tear as well as providing additional shade from the sun.
Full-Body Paint Options
Finally we chose full body paint in black & silver because one, we love the way it looks, and two, with proper care, it should hold up much better over an extended period of time than the plain white gelcoat.
Codes & Seals
Then, we’re located in the US so we didn’t need the Canadian Standards or any of the state seals. And we knew we’d be taking delivery in the summer of Florida so we didn’t need winterization either.
SUBMITTING THE ORDER TO GRAND DESIGN
After filling out the sheet, I emailed it to our Grand Design dealer. They then provided their initial quote, we finalized pricing, and then once we put down a deposit they officially submitted the order to Grand Design.
Lead time for a custom ordered unit with full body paint was right at 3 months in the spring of 2019.
We were also assigned a Grand Design Factory Rep when we first reached out to dealers in our area expressing interest in ordering a new unit. Our factory rep worked directly for Grand Design and was the one who was able to provide me with lead time estimates and answer any specific rig questions I had as I was planning everything out.
We put our deposit down in late April, and our rig was delivered to the dealer exactly 3 months later in late July. So in our case, the lead time estimates were very accurate.
I also called my sales rep at Lazydays every month or so to check on the status of the build and she was able to stay in contact with the factory and let me know the exact progress.
This allowed me, in our case, to more precisely schedule the move out date from our home, complete administrative tasks and plan out all the modifications I needed to do in order to get us ready to move our entire life and business into the rig and on the road.
Our next step was to figure out exactly what type of truck we needed to safely tow a twenty-thousand-pound trailer. Make sure to subscribe here because I’ll cover that next.
To make things easier to follow along with, I created a video playlist that covers each step we took, in chronological order, as we built out our full-time setup. You can find it on my YouTube channel homepage or click here.
I hope you guys find these videos helpful!
🔗 LINKS 🔗
Camera Gear Used In This Video
Panasonic GH4 Camera Body – https://rebrand.ly/alhkrti
7.5mm Lens – https://rebrand.ly/vhtm769
Tripod – https://rebrand.ly/8pwpcxj
Tripod Head – https://rebrand.ly/1fq74b0
Wireless Mic System – https://rebrand.ly/4i0e01g
4.5mm Mic Clip – https://rebrand.ly/v9vs09p
Camera Stabilizer / Gimbal – https://rebrand.ly/xnuljsv
Osmo Pocket Gimbal Camera – https://rebrand.ly/qkbad7y
4k Drone – https://rebrand.ly/f10c0pv
Drone Lens Filters – https://rebrand.ly/fq9njr3
GoPro Black – https://rebrand.ly/pq9u9b8
Other Items Appearing In This Video
Office Desks & Gear – https://rebrand.ly/k3xvhen
Day One RV Necessities – https://rebrand.ly/g6saull
Security System – https://rebrand.ly/ztx2cld
5 Camera Surveillance System – https://rebrand.ly/myltgks