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Old 03-02-2017, 12:12 AM   #1
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Default WTB: Class B W/Upper Bunk

Hey -

We run DitchingSuburbia.com - a resource for families looking to simplify, roadschool and work on the road. We've been in a fifth wheel but are looking to downsize.

We're in the market for a Class B. We are looking for one with:

- High enough of a roof raise to have an upper bunk (Airstream, Falcon, Coachmen, etc)

- Rear bath floorplan so it includes a jacknife couch.

We're ok with late 80's - early 90's era if clean/well maintained. I'd prefer ugly and unmolested over "improvements" by previous owners.

We're in Texas, and obviously the closer the better, but willing travel for the right deal.

We always love a good story - so would live to make the story of your Class B part of ours!
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Old 03-02-2017, 08:29 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyink View Post
We're in the market for a Class B. We are looking for one with:

- High enough of a roof raise to have an upper bunk (Airstream, Falcon, Coachmen, etc)

- Rear bath floorplan so it includes a jacknife couch.
Large Class Bs are most commonly built on the Mercedes Sprinter chassis. Sprinters have also been sold under the Dodge and Freightliner brands in the past. These don't have custom roof additions on them, because (if I recall) Mercedes doesn't allow that, although Sportsmobile (a custom upfitter) has been allowed to put pop-up tops on them. The typical interior height is 75" for all Sprinters, regardless of the RV company. Some companies put the plenum (the air conditioner's air distribution box) where it's in the way and you have to duck under it. That takes away a little less than 3".

Mercedes has also started importing their Super High Roof (a.k.a. Mega Roof or Super Roof) model again. Unfinished, its interior is 84" tall. The actual height would be a few inches less, once the flooring and the ceiling panels have been installed. These have been offered off and on over the years under their various brands, so you may find an older one someplace that would be good to use for your purposes.

There have also been Class B conversions built on the Ford Econoline/E-Series van and the Chevy Express/GMC Savana van. Many of these have been built with custom roofs, increasing the interior height. The square footage of these van conversions, however, is fairly small. Although you may technically be able to fit a tiny rear bath and bunkbeds into one of these, putting a family into so small a space would guarantee more than a few fights.

There are new RVs built on the Ford Transit and the smaller Dodge Promaster chassis. These have only been around in the US for a few years. Both were and are popular in Europe. The Promaster is sold as the Fiat Ducato over there.

The rear bath floor plan with a jackknife couch will be more difficult to find. Sportsmobile offers this plan. You might contact them about used RVs (Sportsmobile Custom Camper Vans - PreOwned Van Locations). There may be or may have been other upfitters with this plan, but I'm not familiar with them. A good place to check is the Sprinter forum (https://sprinter-source.com/forum/). They have sections on DYI conversions of Sprinters and a very active DIY community.

Have you considered a Class B+ or a Class C? These offer more space, so you're less likely to encounter friction between cramped humans.
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Old 03-02-2017, 10:11 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply.

I'm aware of the alternatives in the RV market.

I'm looking for what I described.
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Old 03-02-2017, 12:13 PM   #4
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Airstream Interstates from the 2004-2007 period commonly had rear baths coupled with jack-knife couches. However, they were built on T1N Sprinters, and even if you could make mods to add an elevated bunk, there's no way you could stay within GVWR with four adult-sized people plus gear.
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Old 03-02-2017, 12:15 PM   #5
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The older Ford-based Airstream is more what we are looking for. They have a bunk, couch and rear bath.

And there aren't four of us.
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Old 03-02-2017, 01:24 PM   #6
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I had noticed this on Craigslist recently. From the description it sounds close to what you are looking for.

https://tampa.craigslist.org/pnl/cto/5994337972.html

There's also a nice looking Ford based Coachmen camper with a top that looks like it could have an upper bunk but no interior pictures or description.

https://tampa.craigslist.org/pnl/rvs/6008286712.html
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Old 03-02-2017, 01:37 PM   #7
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Yep - those are in the area of what we're after!

I already have details on the Coachmen/Fiesta. MsBoyink and I are currently discussing the "redness" of it..
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Old 03-02-2017, 01:44 PM   #8
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The upper bunk, tall space and rear bath that is most intriguing to me is the 2005 era Airstream Westfalia short Sprinter. Only about 200 were sold but the plan lives on in the European James Page.

I still wonder if I would have bought one for my first B if the obnoxious salesman knew how to fold out the couch into a bed.
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