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Any Class B owners? [motorhome]

Elan

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Have contemplated buying a Class B motorhome for many years. Now that I've retired, it's moved up a little on my priority list, although I still have a couple of years before I will likely do anything due to wife still working. We currently own a very small camp trailer, so we're pretty familiar with RV's, RV systems and the nuances of camping in a small RV, in general. Our use cases would be 1) long weekend (3-5 day) remote camping trips in the local area, 2) 1-2 week trips to more distant locations, such as the Oregon Coast, and 3) driving the US for multiple weeks/months, utilizing a mix of RV, VRBO and hotels.

For those of you who own a true Class B, can you share your experiences overall, and specifically your experiences with overnight reservations on longer trips, including RV parks, campgrounds, Harvest Hosts, etc.
 

moonstone

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77,000 RCI points (Sunrise Ridge Resort, TN)
Friends of our bought one a few years ago, the one made from a Mercedes Sprinter. They live in the Toronto area and have a condo in southern Florida that they drive back and forth to several times a year and wanted something they could use just for the drive and spend a night or 3 on the way in a familiar bed as well as have a fridge for meals, cold drinks and their own bathroom. Money is no issue for them and they got one loaded with all the bells and whistles, it is very nice! The thing DH and I most disliked about it is the bed. Yes its a queen size but one person needs to crawl over the other to get out of bed. At our age, our knees dont like doing that and we would prefer to be able to get out on either side of the bed. Maybe there are different layouts, I'm not sure. The other thing they didnt realize when they got it was after they were stopped somewhere for the night or a couple of nights and Graham wanted to go to the store for beer or groceries, everything inside had to be secured and utilities unplugged for the trip, and Linda had to go too, or else she got to sit in a lawn chair on an empty campsite with no bathroom or even shelter. Graham is a real outgoing chatty guy so a quick run to the store can end up taking him an hour or more if he found somebody to talk to or saw something interesting! Now they try and make sure they are all stocked up before pulling into a campground or state park for the night. They prefer staying at state parks due to the space between sites.

It is small and easy to drive / park and very comfortable to ride in, but Linda said its just too cramped for them to spend more than a couple of nights in one place. If we ever go back to camping I think we are leaning towards getting a Class C and tow a small car.


~Diane
 

Elan

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Yes, there are multiple floorplans from the various manufacturers based on the 3 main van chassis's -- Sprinter, Transit and ProMaster. Price (new) is anywhere from around $95k to $200k plus. I'd either buy used, or buy a bare van and have it customized.
Definitely trade-offs in having such a small RV, but it's really the only option I'll consider, given intended usage.
 

geist1223

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I have owned several trailers. I have looked at the Class B RV'S but the problem is if you want to go to the store you either tow a vehicle behind it to use locally or take the whole RV to the store, Park, where ever. If you buy a trailer you choose either a 5th wheel or hitch model. The 5th wheel is easier to tow and maneuver but you lose your truck bed. If you choose a hitch model make sure you get the type of hitch that has the bars to help distribute the weight.
 

easyrider

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Knowing what I know now, I would consider a truck camper because it's easy to park almost anywhere. Our thing is using bonus time at Worldmark and VI resorts and driving to them in our Lincoln Towncar. It's a very comfortable ride and I can fit a lot of stuff into that trunk.

Bill
 

Elan

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Typical Class B will fit in a common parking spot. I've considered a truck camper, but I'd have to trade the half ton for at least 3/4 and I'm not interested in doing that.
 

isisdave

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We looked at them because two couples we know have them. The price per unit area is much higher than a Class C motorhome or travel trailer and the truck to pull it. While short trips in that small space seemed possible, the idea of spending more than two weeks in one seemed preposterous. DW brings a couple of boxes of art supplies, and that kind of storage is not in a Class B van. Most of the bathrooms are minimal, and most are "wet" meaning that you basically shower while sitting on the toilet, and many have cassette toilets, which I've never used but look more user-hostile than having to dump tanks. And we travel with a dog.

You could solve the "only one vehicle" problem by also driving a car. This would give you more storage, and the trip-to-market flexibility. Most campsites allow two vehicles, some would charge for the car. If you only drive say four hours a day, this might be doable, but you can't share driving of one vehicle so longer drives are harder.

By the way, there are lots of forums just like TUG for RVing. And way more Facebook groups for RVs and camping than there are for timeshares.

We finally chose a 30-foot travel trailer and F-250, and are happy with the size and convenience. When traveling, we do no more than two overnight stop before staying somewhere 3+days, and driving is limited to 4 hours -- about 260 miles -- almost always. The truck gets 11.5 mpg average (diesel) when towing, 17 around town and 20 on the highway not towing, so it's OK as a seldom-used second car. I just park it far away in the parking lot, as it's a bit longer than a standard parking space.

Finally, campgrounds are getting more expensive, but so are motel rooms, and having a dog makes a difference in price and convenience.
 
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easyrider

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Typical Class B will fit in a common parking spot. I've considered a truck camper, but I'd have to trade the half ton for at least 3/4 and I'm not interested in doing that.

My brother in laws parents had a Chinook class b van conversion with a small bathroom. They used it to visit their kids and go on long trips. They would flat tow their Jeep. After he sold it, he told me that he wished he had kept it.

The old next door neighbor had a 90ish class b Dodge van conversion they used all the time. They upgraded to a Mercedes Sprinter a few years before he passed away. They liked to travel with their dog.

Are you looking at anything in particular ?

Bill
 

callwill

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I have contemplated a motorhome for a few years. We still have the popup camper heavily used when the kids were young. Many lakeside weeks on lake ontario (east end), many weeks going to races at watkins glen with a buddy, weeks on the ocean at assateague island and in NJ as well as a couple traversing the US from WNY to Yellowstone and back. It also came in handy when we had a house fuller with guests. 5 or 6 kids (or 5 adults) could sleep in the camper set up just off the deck with easy house access along with all that got beds in the house. I would find the class B smallish for all my needs which would include letting the kids use it. I still go to a few races a year and this would set us up for getting on the road the day before, boon docking along the way there and back as well as staying for those whole race weekends. I would prefer to go fully loaded and not need to venture for the store. I like the class c with the extra bunk over the cab in theory, but so many of those with that poorly supported structure just end up with problems there(sagging and leaks). Class As sometimes offer an option for drop down bunk over the cockpit but rarely found used, which is the best way to buy them. That first few years of shake rattle and roll reveals most all the problems that need to be fixed before they become more enjoyable and less annoyingly problematic. One drawback in NYS is their 2 yr registrations. I can remember many years back (and you can still do it with tow behind campers) when you could register a vehicle and later take it off the road and get a refund for the unused months...after all, im not camping for at least 5 months of the year or more! Now, it would be register for 2 years and in effect use it for 1, all the while requiring insurance as if im driving it around because its registered.
 

SmithOp

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I own the small Promaster City van, mainly to haul our eBikes to the beach for rides. There are lots of motorhome owners that do day camping at the beach, so I chat with them. I also read a Promaster web forum, so you might want to read there about maintenance issues with the Promaster chassis.

A lot of owners are buying eBikes to haul for running errands instead of towing cars, some have eTrikes. They use portable solar panels for charging. Lectric is a popular brand.
 

Elan

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Thanks for all of the input. I'm not really interested in anything other than a class B. I've researched extensively and it's the only option that's desirable to me.
Mostly soliciting input on the reality of traveling in a Class B. In particular, the ability to trip plan and find an overnight spot on short notice, be it CG, RV park, Walmart parking lot or Harvest Host, etc.
 

Elan

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My brother in laws parents had a Chinook class b van conversion with a small bathroom. They used it to visit their kids and go on long trips. They would flat tow their Jeep. After he sold it, he told me that he wished he had kept it.

The old next door neighbor had a 90ish class b Dodge van conversion they used all the time. They upgraded to a Mercedes Sprinter a few years before he passed away. They liked to travel with their dog.

Are you looking at anything in particular ?

Bill
Well, I've looked at most of the major brands, Winnebago, Coachmen, Thor, Roadtrek, etc. The ones that stand out that are within my price range are the ProMaster based Winnebago (Travato, Solis) and the Coachmen Nova. Having said that, I'm not opposed to Sprinter or Transit chassis if I find a good used unit.
 
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Elan

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I own the small Promaster City van, mainly to haul our eBikes to the beach for rides. There are lots of motorhome owners that do day camping at the beach, so I chat with them. I also read a Promaster web forum, so you might want to read there about maintenance issues with the Promaster chassis.

A lot of owners are buying eBikes to haul for running errands instead of towing cars, some have eTrikes. They use portable solar panels for charging. Lectric is a popular brand.
Thanks. I have been primarily focused on ProMaster chassis. The ProMaster is slightly wider than the other 2 options which could come into play given that I'm around 6'1". Also, ProMaster based versions tend to be a little less costly than Transit or Sprinter. I've researched quite a lot and am even still considering doing my own conversion.
Agree that ebikes are common for B owners. I would likely go that route as well.
 

Elan

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I should add that I'm even contemplating ditching my F150 and using the B as a daily driver. Likely not, but it's an option. Lots of folks in this area drive conversion vans daily.
 
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