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Old 10-15-2014, 04:09 PM   #1
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Default Good literature/websites comparing makes?

We're new to this business - our only previous experience with an RV was the1962 VW bus that Arlene owned and Bill "converted" when we were first together 45 years ago (and which vanished into the mists 41 years ago, when we loaned it to a friend who blew the motor three states away). We're looking at buying a Class B vehicle and are inclined toward a Mercedes-based van, partly for the good diesel mileage and partly because they seem to handle better. Arlene, at five foot nothing, wouldn't be as comfortable with a van that drove "like a truck." We're looking to buy used but not worn out; the years of buying a clapped-out vehicle that Bill had to work on every second weekend are, we hope, behind us forever.

We're on California's North Coast, about an hour north of San Francisco. We almost flew up to Eugene this week to look at a Gulf Stream conversion, until we read some of the online conversations about the quality of the make (including one very helpful one here on the Class B Forum). We'll be reading through the reviews here, on both this review forum and the other discussions, and are confident we'll get plenty of good information.

But we're also wondering if there are good Consumer-Reports-type comparison books or websites that would let us narrow down our search to the best laid out and most durable/reliable makes. Any guidance folks can offer will be appreciated.
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Old 10-15-2014, 06:43 PM   #2
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Default Re: Good literature/websites comparing makes?

I haven't found one. I ended up hoofing around the internet and to different dealers before I settled on my choice (Advanced RV). I can confirm that Arlene should have no problem with a Sprinter, I'm under 5 feet tall and short in the limbs and I find I can be comfortable driving one. Good luck in your searching.

ETA: I took a little over 2 years to do my research. Hopefully you won't need quite so long to find what you want.
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Old 10-15-2014, 08:01 PM   #3
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Default Re: Good literature/websites comparing makes?

If you were looking at the Gulfstream that indicates you were looking at the old Sprinter models. When I did my research for our first Class B (ultimately a 2005 Pleasure-way Plateau) I had it narrowed down to the Pleasure-way and the Leisure Travel Vans Free Spirit. If you can find either one of that era you would be getting a good B. All in all there were not a lot of Class B Sprinter converters back then. None were really bad.
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Old 10-30-2014, 01:53 PM   #4
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Default Re: Good literature/websites comparing makes?

BillandArlene - when I first started on the RV quest, I found the RV Consumer Group (www.rv.org) which is publishes a rather extensive review of all types of RV's. It's the work of a small team and probably doesn't have the clout of Consumers Reports, but it is relatively objective. Some of the reviews are based on actual site visits; for others, its not apparent how they got the information.

I purchased both the motorhome as well as the towable publications.
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Old 02-05-2015, 03:12 PM   #5
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Default Re: Good literature/websites comparing makes?

Billand, you're just where Ethyl and I are! Been researching now for over two years, and Ethyl has given me the okay to go into debt. All I know, is quality has a way of spoiling ye. Giving satisfaction that's a bit subjective, nevertheless, it's real. So, I've kind of narrowed my search down to Roadtrek, Pleasure Way, and...... Oh me, watch out lucres.... Airstream, all based on Mercedes Benz diesel.

We've had two VW Campmobiles over the years, loved them! After travel trailers now, we know class B is for us. As for places for reviews, so far, this forum is about the best I've found! I want to know wha' people who actually use their Class Bs are saying.
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Old 02-22-2015, 10:17 PM   #6
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Default Re: Good literature/websites comparing makes?

mikes47 - Thanks for the information about www.rv.org. I'm curious how well you liked the publication? I've been on my research journey about which class B to buy for about a year and haven't run across their name or web site. Would appreciate any feedback you would be willing to share about the org.
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Old 02-23-2015, 01:45 AM   #7
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Default Re: Good literature/websites comparing makes?

taDtaP: I find it fascinating that 3 of the 6 responses are from current or future owners of Advanced RV (www.advanced-RV.com). We certainly did not compare notes! I have listened to Davydd a great deal and suggest that his observation that back then, "none were really bad" still applies to the up-fitters in business today. This forum has provided a lot of insight into the strengths and weaknesses of the various brands - and a lot of it is "eye of the beholder" variation. A floor plan that works for one may not for another. It really depends on your style of RV-ing.

But, to your question regarding rv.org: I found their publications (searchable databases and a book) to be excellent (for me) insight into the whole range of RV choices. Initially, I focused on Class C's but my wife wanted something she could feel comfortable driving so we went with a B. As I mentioned, some of their information is based on actual site visits. I mentioned the RV.org to Mike Neundorfer of Advanced RV and he commented that that group had never visited the AVR shop. So, the published information was dated and subjective in nature. I suspect that the more established B up-fitters like Roadtrek, PleasureWay, LTV etc. would have more up to date information and may represent actual site visits. The rv.org group gathers feedback from RV owners as well and includes that in their write-ups.

For an investment the size of an RV, a few bucks for the Motorhome publication makes sense.

Mike

PS: IMHO If Airstream is currently on your short list; Advanced RV should be as well.
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