Building an RV with a kitchen, full bath, and living space using an extended-length van is a challenge. But fitting the same features into a standard-size van? That effort requires another level of planning and creativity, not to mention some trial and error. 

Yet the team at Advanced RV pulled it off at the request of existing clients who wanted to downsize from an extended-length 170-inch wheelbase RV. They chose a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter with a 144-inch standard wheelbase so they could camp and park in more sites than before. But while they wanted a smaller RV, they didn't want to sacrifice functionality. Meeting those needs required ARV to rearrange its standard configuration.

The RV is named Mies, after the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, one of the pioneers of modernist architecture. The name is appropriate, reflecting the interior's modern/minimalist aesthetic, and because it required architectural skill to make everything fit. ARV started with sketches and digital software before moving on to cardboard mockups. Then they did walkthroughs with the clients to confirm everything before starting the build. 

The biggest hurdle involved the bunk beds. The clients, a retired couple who appear in their seventies, would need to climb in and out of the beds, one of which sits four feet off the floor. But it was the only solution that allowed a large bathroom and galley kitchen inside the small space.   

The full bathroom includes a sink, macerating toilet, and shower. Towards the front, the kitchen features a stainless steel countertop with an integrated sink on the driver's side and a microwave and refrigerator on the passenger side. The front seats swivel and include a pair of desks that double as a dining area or workspace. 

The vehicle is designed to operate in all seasons. Power is supplied by a 6.9 kWh lithium battery system, including a 3000-watt inverter and charger housed underneath the bottom bed. A 40-gallon freshwater tank, 27-gallon gray water tank, and 27-gallon black tank are all heated and insulated. A diesel furnace warms the interior while also generating on-demand hot water and keeping the water tanks from freezing.  

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