Planning on a Class B

Hi everyone,
My wife and I are planning on buying a Class B before long. Similar to another of your posters. We have ruled out the new Freightliner chasis due to lack of storage (none outside, little inside), and narrow width prevents sleeping crosswise.
Currently we are most interested in the Pleasure-Way Ford Excell TB. We also remain interested in Great West, Roadtrek, and Leisure Travel vans.
Main questions for experienced Class B RVers are:
1) Are your "swiveling" front seats useful? They seem hard to swivel and when positioned very vertical. What is the experience of those of you using them?
2) What is the realistic travel mileage you obtain (Interstate freeway driving and overall)?
3) How useful are the "showers"? Do you ever use the showers?
4) What general comments or tips can you provide someone who is about to buy their first Class B?
Any input would be appreciated.
- Bob
Planning on a Class B

Hi Bob, I am in the same boat, RV as you!!
I will be monitoring the answers.
We intend to use the shower, period. So its usefulness is a concern.
I am still thinking about the Freightliner based van, the mpg is very tempting!!
Planning on a Class B

In 1991 we bought a new Roadtrek Popular. Before that we owned a used Class A and a new Class C. The Roadtrek was by far the best RV for the two of us. We still have it - over 135 K miles - all on trips. As for your questions .........
1) When we travel we leave the rear section set up as our bed. At the campground I turn the passenger seat around and set up the small front table. This takes about a minute. In the morning we eat - then reverse the process and we are ready to go.
2) When new we got about 16 mpg on trips - now about 15. We dont use it as a 2nd car but I think it would get about 10 mpg in city driving.
3) Our RT does not have a shower. Our class C did and we only used it once. The campground showers are OK for us.
4) We think Roadtrek is a great class B - but have never owned any other brand. Class B's are good for 2 people - easy to drive - park - good mpg - etc. If you want to pull a car and live in your RV for months the class B is too small.
Hope this helps - Ed
Planning on a Class B

Chas & Ed,
Thanks for the replies.
The Freightliner is a great rig (we have looked at 3 different van companies). The mileage (up to 22) is great - but having owned a trailer in years past cannot imagine surviving with no outside accessible storage.
The Roadtrek models appear great to us. Our major concern is the aisle shower.
We plan on a lots of traveling as opposed to camping. Many miles per day, brief overnights - about 1/3 in campgrounds, 1/3 freebies (Wal-Mart etc.) and the other 1/3 in motels.
Thanks particularly about the swiveling information - we had concluded that the driver's seat is probably next to worthless in the swiveled position.
We also like the idea of leaving the bed setup (or nearly so).
The shower is relatively important since many of our stops (judging from our experience) will be in primitive campgrounds where no fancy campgrounds or hotels exist.
Does anyone have direct experience with the Pleasure-Way Ford Excel models? We are leaning toward the TD model (more storage, probably a more comfortable bed, and by using light sleeping bags the beds are essentially always made while maintaining the dinette in position - but the twins convert to a king bed when desired).
Thanks guys,
Planning on a Class B

Bob, I have been corresponding with a local PleasureWay "Ambassador" (they are volunteers) and she couldn't speak highly enough of her Excel, and the company in general. I must say that the PW and RT are the 2 highest on my list. We are going to the Pennsylvania RV show this saturday, so seeing them in person should make a difference.
According to literature, and a conversation with a salesman at VanCity in St. Louis, the Freightliner gets 22 city and 27 highway. Amazing.
At, there is a section of owner reviews. 5 stars is the highest. Every PW got 5 stars. The RT got 4.
Planning on a Class B

Bob - We are also travelers more than campers and we don't think an on-board shower is important because .......
If you use it at a primitive or freebee you will deplete your on-board water supply and fill your holding tank (both are small on class B's). Motels and most campgrounds have good shower facilities so you will not need the on-board shower at these lay-overs.
Planning on a Class B

Chas & Ed,
Thanks again for input. I'll be interested in your input after the Show. The 3 manufacturers literature which I have seen on the Freightliner (Gulf-Stream, Leisure Travel Vans, and Xplorer) all say up to 22 mpg. Usually literature overstates, rather than understates. Of course the mileage comes from the 5-cylinder diesel engine. I really prefer the looks of the Freightliner chassis.
Concerning the shower - good input, which we keep wondering about. Years ago we had a small trailer and put many thousands of miles on it. We never had a shower in it. But we found we were active enough that there were plenty of times we would have preferred an easier way for a sponge bath or "sit down shower" as much of the Class B literature describes. We were very frugal on water and used campground showers at every opportunity.
To date I have physically seen all the Class B manufacturers of strong interest (including all the models of the Leisure Freightliner). But that is a far cry from experience - that's why I appreciate input from you guys.
Planning on a Class B

Thanks for the tip. I had tried to go to that site sometime ago - and could never get through. After your recommendation it took several times but I finally got through. It is a wealth of information for someone like me - and valuable since it presumably is honest input from people with similar interests and concerns.
Thanks again,
Planning on a Class B

Thanks Bob, I felt the same way too. There was so much positive info about PW, its making the decision worse.

As for the Freightliner, I don't want to be argumentative, but all the companies you mention state 22 mpg, not up to, in the online literature. I did have a conversation with a salesman from VanCity who, with some companions, drove a <few> Freightliners to a show in Kansas and they all attest to 27 mpg on the highway.
We are going to the Pennsylvania RV show in Harrisburg tomorrow. I will let you know if I find out some great news!! (Whatever that might be!)


New Member
Planning on a Class B

Hi! We own a 2002 Roadtrek 190 Versatile Dodge 318 and admittedly I drive 70-75 mph as often as it is safe or legal and I get 13 mpg no matter what (up hill, down hill, cruise control or not, high octane gas or not) In 12,000 miles I once got 16 mpg and another time 15 mpg.
The seats swivel just fine and I find them useful and easy to use. I changed the heavy shower curtain for a lighter weight one that takes less space, but then never used the shower. I took the RT to water ski tournaments and loved the outside shower after getting out of a lake on a warm day.? :cool:
Now that we are going to try living in an RV for a couple of months we have put it up for sale. (] I will cry when it leaves. If you know of anyone interested, we are at (WA state) It has screens, overhead drawer, awning, and tow pak. We are thinking $41,500. Does that seem in the ballpark?
Planning on a Class B

Hi Skicong,
Thanks for the information. I don't know what to tell you about value of used ones - not something I have been concerned about. Thanks for the specific data (swiveling seats, shower, and mpg). Sounds like you drive like I do. Does the 318 provide enogh power or would you like more? Currently we are leaning towards the Pleasure-Way Ford Excel with a V-10 (lots of torgue).
Bob (also WA state)