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Old 02-11-2019, 05:22 PM   #1
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Default Wheelbase VS ride comfort and safety?

Hi everyone,
I don't yet own a class b yet but I am moving closer, so with that I have a question you folks might be able to help me with, I am looking at a 2006 Itasca Navion J and a 2008 PW Excel with the 5.4L Ford engine.

Is a Sprinter chassis at 159 inch wheel base and dual rear wheels more comfortable, stable and safer to drive than 138 inch wheel base in a PW Excel with single wheels on the rear?

Thanks for all your thoughts on this.

Cheers, Mike.
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Old 02-24-2019, 05:03 PM   #2
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Looking up the Excel TS online it is a slightly widened Class B, not really a B+ (a Class C without overhead bed). The Navion or View is a full Class C with overhead bed unless you order the IQ version, their Class B+. So these are very different units both driving, and amenities/roominess. I’d suggest you narrow down if you want a B,B+, or C and the floor plans you like. A straight B, whether older style Ford/Chev or newer euro Sprinter/Ram style, will drive more like a van and be more maneuverable, and able to park in a car spot. The B+ and C are ‘motorhomes’ They are arguably a better(bigger) home away from home, but like driving a truck/ cube van with 10000 to 12000 lb GVW. You want the dual wheels and longer WB on these but don’t need for a Class B van.

Regards
Gary
08 LTV Libero
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Old 02-24-2019, 05:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
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Looking up the Excel TS online it is a slightly widened Class B, not really a B+ (a Class C without overhead bed). The Navion or View is a full Class C with overhead bed unless you order the IQ version, their Class B+.
How do you "widen" a Class B? This would require extensive structural work. I don't think this has ever been attempted. If it is a cutaway with a fiberglass body, it is a Class C.

Also, what makes you think that the presence or absence of an overhead bed has anything to do with the definition of a Class C? It does not.
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Old 02-24-2019, 07:37 PM   #4
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Of historical interest - There was a fully widened Dodge van produced for 20 years - not by Dodge but by a company (Wide One) that widened them: CC Outtake: The Very Wide Van

https://www.lctmag.com/article/41966...limousine-look



They were widened all the way front to rear. It must have been a tremendous amount of work.
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Old 02-24-2019, 07:57 PM   #5
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My guess is that the Class B 2008 PW Excel would handle a bit better than the Class C 2006 Itasca Navion J. The Excel would probably be lighter, less tall and more aerodynamic. Most Excels I've seen have adjustable air bags to assist the rear suspension. I think 2008 was a changeover year for that Ford van. The front on an actual 2008 would look quite different than a 2007. I just mention this because RV's can have a chassis that is a year older than the motorhome part.

Nothing beats getting out there and test driving a few Class B's and Class C's though.
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Old 02-24-2019, 08:17 PM   #6
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I think both the Excel on the Ford chassis and the Roadtrek 210 Chevy started as full bodied vans so technically would be a widened class b even though the sides and roof are fiberglass. Of the two, we have heard of a lot less problems with handling of the 210s than with Excels, and that might be at least in part because of the wheelbase difference. The 210 would also have more room than the Excel because it is lengthened a bit.
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Old 02-24-2019, 08:26 PM   #7
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I think both the Excel on the Ford chassis and the Roadtrek 210 Chevy started as full bodied vans so technically would be a widened class b even though the sides and roof are fiberglass.
My understanding has always been that it is only a Class B if it is substantially enclosed by a factory van shell (I suppose it doesn't matter what material that shell is made of). I don't see where it matters how it started out.

No?
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Old 02-24-2019, 08:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
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My understanding has always been that it is only a Class B if it is substantially enclosed by a factory van shell (I suppose it doesn't matter what material that shell is made of). I don't see where it matters how it started out.

No?

Can't disagree with the logic, but the definition we have nearly always heard was if it started as a full van or a cutaway, which I would think could cover everything up to putting the running gear into another complete structure, so very hard to define. Kind of like the vague consistency of what a B+ is.
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Old 02-24-2019, 08:51 PM   #9
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"It depends what your definition of 'is' is?''
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Old 02-24-2019, 10:27 PM   #10
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Wheelbase is only one of the factors that may impact handling and stability. We have a 2017 144 Sprinter and it is very stable, smooth and handles very well IMO compared to long and short Ford and Chevy vans and older Sprinters I have driven. Length, suspension design (and components), wheelbase and weight can all be factors. Best to do a test drive.
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