Class B decision

Discussion in 'Class B Motorhomes' started by CharlieG, Aug 27, 2003.

  1. CharlieG

    CharlieG New Member

    HI All, I am a newbie, and my wife and I are planning to buy a class B motorhome next summer. We are both 56, and are looking forward to a new lifestyle with our 2 little doggie-girls once we retire. I was wondering what the consensus is among the group regarding quality of the Class B's available, and why did you choose the one you have? The vehicle will become a second vehicle, and I want the ability to go to a store and park easily in a lot.
    Thanks!
    Chas
     
  2. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Class B decision

    Just like everything else, quality varies from manufacturer to manufaturer, model to model, year to year, and even, sometimes, unit to unit.

    2 people and 2 dogs in a class B sounds pretty cramped. How long of trips are you planning?

    '2nd vehicle' usage and decent gas mileage are a couple of the best features of the class B. However, parking 'easily' could be a pipe dream. Class B's are not very wide, so often make up space by being long. Long = hard to park. But at least you usually only need one space...

    There are 2 types of class B. The most common is standard width. You can get one complete from several companies, or you can have one custom built by Sportsmobile. The advantages of the latter course of action is the base van is your favorite brand and they have a pop-top option which greatly reduces the cramp factor without increasing the top heaviness, wind resistance or storage difficulty. Besides, they seem to be cheaper than many of the premades, and you can have any layout you can dream up.

    The other is a wide body, sometimes called a class B/C. These are less cramped than standard width, but harder to find. I like the Winnabago Rialta layouts, and as far as I know, the Volkswagon chassis is good, unlike the Renalt chassis they started with. Quite pricey, though.
     
  3. CharlieG

    CharlieG New Member

    Class B decision

    Thanks again John,
    I have glanced at the Rialta but have a hard time believing that 2.8 v-6 can move such a big vehicle. As for use as a second vehicle, I don't expect it to be the same as a regular van, and we are considering the 'widebodies' available from RoadTrek, Leisure and Pleasure-Way. Thing is, we dont want a 25' vehicle sitting in our driveway, and the van based models will become the largest vehicle either of us have owned. I find the Gulfstream B-Touring Cruiser interesting, but it seems big to me.
    I have looked at Sportsmobile and they do not seem to offer a model with the bathroom/shower facilities like the others have.
    Chas
     
  4. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Class B decision

    You could be right about the Rialta engine, but I wouldn't dismiss it till I drove one. By the way, Winnabago considers it a Class C, so you may be right about the overall size being too big. I was impressed by their claimed gas mileage, and the extendable shower stall, and the interior was the most spacious I had seen so far.

    Did you look at the design it yourself Sportsmobiles? They used to offer a porty potty or marine toilet/holding tank option, and a twinky shower curtain shower over a recess in the floor or a built in bath compartment. They even used to have the combo toiler/shower stall option.

    In any case, lets face it. Shower facilities in any class B are going to be cramped for anyone over the age of 8 :).

    Unfortunately, the smaller an RV is on the outside, the smaller it is on the inside...

    One of the major class B makers (I forget which) claims they make RVs which don't look like RVs (more like regular vans). Perhaps that may be a way of reducing the impact of a 25' vehicle in your driveway.
     
  5. CharlieG

    CharlieG New Member

    Class B decision

    Not sure which one says that, though RoadTrek's logo says "the rv that drives like a van". So maybe that's it.
    As for the Rialta, I did look at it carefully, but it's just too long for my taste. A number of RoadTrek owners, speaking very highly of their rigs, encouraged me to consider the 200 model, which is the widebody. I am definitely open to anything at this point.
    btw, the people at Sportsmobile were very helpful and prompt!
    :cool:
     
  6. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Class B decision

    I don't know if RoadTrek is it. The dealer of whichever it was claimed that their goal was to create an RV which looked pretty much like a standard custom van rather than a RV. The A/C was hidden in the roof, and the standard RV externals was camoflaged to some degree. You could still tell if you looked closely, but not to a quick glance.

    My problem with most of the class B's I looked at was that if you have 2 big, ungainly people, who have to get up several times during the night, they couldn't do it without at least one of them having to clamber over the other person.
     
  7. CharlieG

    CharlieG New Member

    Class B decision

    Gotcha. Luckily, neither of us are ungainly. Clumsy maybe, but not ungainly. Especially my wife.
    chas
     
  8. Socks

    Socks New Member

    Class B decision

    Hi Chas, We looked for over a year at all the Class B RVs. Having owned a Class C, we realized we didn't need to drag around all that extra equipment. We have a very large dog but we are both small in stature so the Class B works great for us. Our choice, no question, is the Leisure Travel Van. It is, without doubt, the most solid built for the money (under 100K) and is a dream to drive (my husband had the wheel extenders and stabilizer kit added). We average around 14 miles to the gallon. I could write a book about the features in this van (we have the Freedom 2/A) but this would be easier for you to understand:
    http://www.leisurevans.com/2a.html
    The company is a class A act and always so helpful :) Good luck!
     

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