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Old 07-13-2018, 08:30 PM   #1
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Howdy. I'm in the early stages of research. I plan to become a full time solo RV'er. It's a bit daunting trying to decide which Class B to choose. I figured as a single person I didn't need anything very large but was baffled to find that the smaller the Class B, the more expensive it is. I love the idea of the Winnebago Revel or the Roadtrek SS Agile, but the price of the two make them out of my reach as they are nearly doubled the price of the larger Class Bs. The new models with the lower price points tend to have the strangest floor plans with the bed right in the middle where you have to crawl over it to get to the toilet.

I'm sure I'll find something for me at the price I'm able to afford. Glad to have these forums to help with the research.
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Old 07-13-2018, 09:21 PM   #2
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Welcome! There are a lot of options at various price points - I'm sure you'll find something that suits your needs.
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Old 07-13-2018, 09:39 PM   #3
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Howdy. I'm in the early stages of research. I plan to become a full time solo RV'er. It's a bit daunting trying to decide which Class B to choose. I figured as a single person I didn't need anything very large but was baffled to find that the smaller the Class B, the more expensive it is. I love the idea of the Winnebago Revel or the Roadtrek SS Agile, but the price of the two make them out of my reach as they are nearly doubled the price of the larger Class Bs. The new models with the lower price points tend to have the strangest floor plans with the bed right in the middle where you have to crawl over it to get to the toilet.

I'm sure I'll find something for me at the price I'm able to afford. Glad to have these forums to help with the research.
Look at both Travato models. Great value.
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Old 07-14-2018, 01:08 PM   #4
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Welcome! Just yesterday, I hatched this thread on another forum. It focuses on the forum brand, but a lot of the pointers will be suitable for prospective buyers who have not yet settled on a brand or configuration to purchase.

I will say that, if you plan to (1) full-time, and you plan to (2) do it sanely, and you plan to (3) do at least some of it in Texas, then your needs are not going to be the same as the average buyer's needs. You are likely going to need a lot more capability than the casual user who simply hooks up at KOA. If I were you, I would focus strongly on that aspect of your decision tree.
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Old 07-14-2018, 05:49 PM   #5
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Welcome! Just yesterday, I hatched this thread on another forum. It focuses on the forum brand, but a lot of the pointers will be suitable for prospective buyers who have not yet settled on a brand or configuration to purchase.

I will say that, if you plan to (1) full-time, and you plan to (2) do it sanely, and you plan to (3) do at least some of it in Texas, then your needs are not going to be the same as the average buyer's needs. You are likely going to need a lot more capability than the casual user who simply hooks up at KOA. If I were you, I would focus strongly on that aspect of your decision tree.
Thanks for the welcome and also that link. I do worry about my learning curve since I plan to fulltime. I'm looking for something that's suitable for boondocking even if I do plan to hook up at campgrounds or rv parks half the time as well. I'm not a bit concerned that it's highly likely I'll get a lemon. It seems like everyone I talk to has an RV that has spent months in the shop every year.
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Old 07-14-2018, 10:12 PM   #6
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Given that you are not going to be a casual Class B user, the big questions are (1) how handy are you, and (2) how badly do you want a successful outcome? If you fail on either of those answers, you might have big problems with your venture.

My husband and I decided to invest in a Class B instead of a cottage. This way we have a "cottage" that we move from place to place.

It has been one of the coolest things I've ever done in my life, but it literally has taken us thousands of DIY hours and something approaching $20K in components to turn our off-the-lot Class B into what we need for our context and application. And of course it's still not perfect. But it has been working for us both personally and professionally (knock wood).
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Old 07-14-2018, 11:43 PM   #7
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Hmm, I'm not very handy. Sure, I could figure out how to fix a problem with a leaky toilet in my house, but I doubt I could figure out how to fix anything in a running vehicle. I can change a tire and that's the extent of my handiness with automobiles. It's hard to get an actual sense of what people's lives are really like when they spend it living in RVs.

I'm starting to think that living out of my minivan and having zero creature comfort would have better outcomes for the average person... This has zero appeal to me. Like you I want a traveling cottage, not to be sleeping in the backseat of my car and peeing in a coffee can. Yuck.
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Old 07-15-2018, 12:20 AM   #8
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I had zero mechanical ability when my husband and I started this gig. I've learned a hell of a lot in the past four years! Hopefully it will help stave off dementia.

I was open to learning, and willing to take on DIY projects, some of them massive. My husband is an engineer and a car hobbyist (Ford Mustang restoration) so his experience provided quite a head start on our learning curve. But this lifestyle definitely is not for everyone.
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Old 07-15-2018, 02:15 AM   #9
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I had zero mechanical ability when my husband and I started this gig. I've learned a hell of a lot in the past four years! Hopefully it will help stave off dementia.
Oh it will definitely stave off dementia, but whether it will stave off homicide..... well, the jury is still out.
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Old 07-15-2018, 02:37 AM   #10
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.

Some people lose their hair after working on the RV for a while.

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Old 07-15-2018, 04:19 AM   #11
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So I'm starting to wonder why anyone gets an RV if it's that bad. One person saying they needed $20k and her husbands engineering degree and people are talking about losing their hair working on it. I knew the youtubers edited out a lot of the bad stuff but didn't realize they told lies. Now I understand why people spend the same money to just get a converted campervan. Might go ahead and go that route instead.
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Old 07-15-2018, 05:42 AM   #12
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So I'm starting to wonder why anyone gets an RV if it's that bad.
It's really not all that bad. What you have to understand is that RV forums are not just technical stamping grounds. They're also cathartic sanctuaries that tolerate our inveterate kvetching over anything and everything in our RV that is less than perfect.
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Old 07-15-2018, 12:09 PM   #13
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So I'm starting to wonder why anyone gets an RV if it's that bad. One person saying they needed $20k and her husbands engineering degree and people are talking about losing their hair working on it. I knew the youtubers edited out a lot of the bad stuff but didn't realize they told lies. Now I understand why people spend the same money to just get a converted campervan. Might go ahead and go that route instead.
It's not that they are lying. It's all about context. Don't make the mistake of comparing apples and oranges and then suspecting that the apple people were lying when you discover that some of us are actually driving around in oranges.

Apples: Most Class Bs are engineered only far enough to satisfy the lowest common denominator customer: an older person or couple who toddles from one on-grid campground to the next, who meanders from one scenic overlook to the next, and whose most strenuous activity is the lifting of a selfie stick aloft so that they can capture their own grinning faces and imply that they're actually engaged in something adventurous and meaningful.

Oranges: In sharp contrast to that low-end scenario above, what I'm talking about is having a Class B that I can live in OFF GRID -- and do my paying job out of -- for a month or more at a time, while I travel vast distances (thousands of miles) without forfeiting any of life's functionality. That's a totally different scenario. That's the scenario that takes twenty thousand bucks and two thousand DIY hours to convert the average apple into an orange.

Alternately, it could instead take $200,000 to $300,000 for a more extensively outfitted Class B (e.g., Advanced RV) if one is not able or willing to ante up with those DIY investments. But my husband and I don't have that kind of cash laying around, so we went with the grunt work approach.
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Old 07-15-2018, 01:23 PM   #14
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If you use a broader definition of off-grid (broader than just not plugging into grid power) then you realize that Class B RV use is really very much dependent on a support grid.

IMHO, a B van that supports and permits 3 days/nights of autonomy is a very capable unit.

Class B limiting factors:

Waste tank capacity
Fresh water capacity
Fuel capacity
Laundry handling
Garbage handling
Recycling handling
Food storage capacity
Battery capacity

Typically one or more of those items will force a Class B user to connect to some form of grid support after a few days out.

When it comes to extended trips lasting months or even full-timing we all have very different ideas of what would make such a trip enjoyable. There are the visit 50 states in 50 days type of folks and folks that will park somewhere for 6 months and really get to know an area. There are all types in between those as well.

I think it would be a good idea to rent a Class B to get an idea of what life in one is like before committing a tremendous amount of money toward purchasing one.
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Old 07-15-2018, 01:26 PM   #15
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Buying a class b was one of the best things we have done, I really wish we did it sooner, my only advice would be to see as many as you can, and get a feel of what you do and donít like,,beds, bathrooms, and comfort were big on our list. I remember when we started looking I was leaning towards a Volkswagen Westfalia, talked to several owners who were really honest with me, and decided no way, no bathroom, and constant break downs,,,,ended up with a well taken care of used Roadtrek, still not as nice as the new ones, but very happy with it so far,,,,,good luck in your search,,,,
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Old 07-15-2018, 01:38 PM   #16
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So I'm starting to wonder why anyone gets an RV if it's that bad. One person saying they needed $20k and her husbands engineering degree and people are talking about losing their hair working on it. I knew the youtubers edited out a lot of the bad stuff but didn't realize they told lies. Now I understand why people spend the same money to just get a converted campervan. Might go ahead and go that route instead.
If you use the same attitude towards buying a house,
you will never buy one.

As a matter of fact, if you use the same attitude towards buying anything,
you might become so disillusioned you will become violent.

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Old 07-15-2018, 01:43 PM   #17
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....
Typically one or more of those items will force a Class B user to connect to some form of grid support after a few days out. ....
The AVERAGE user, yes. But not the customized off-grid user. Here's a point-by-point response to those factors in our case:

(1) Waste tank capacity – Currently about 10 days on general principle when off grid and remote (it could be made to stretch longer, but would I want that?). If necessary, this factor could be made to be pretty much unlimited (dig a latrine with a proper composting structure - I know how to do that given my personal history).

(2) Fresh water capacity – Unlimited in my target areas (fresh water sources)

(3) Fuel capacity – Not a limiting factor as boondocking to me means not moving much, or just moving a few miles locally from one trailhead to the next.

(4) Laundry handling – Not a limiting factor – when required, I do it the way it was for almost all of the last 170,000 years of human evolution – by hand. Our clothing is selected to be readily hand washable (quick drying fabrics).

(5) Garbage handling – Not a limiting factor, as it is burned.

(6) Recycling handling - Not a limiting factor, as it is burned.

(7) Food storage capacity – With careful planning and preparation, we have the potential for at least 4 weeks if we wanted to stretch it that long, in part because we custom-designed a Yeti hitch carrier in which we can use either water ice or dry ice. Our fridge is a Danfoss model, so its capacity to keep cold (including the freezer) is also unlimited due to the battery system described below. If we wanted to remain out a REALLY long time, we could stock dry and canned goods with very long lifespans.

(Eight*) Battery capacity – Unlimited in our case (300 AH lithium with 300 W solar plus an upgraded alternator that can use in a pinch to recharge the battery without draining too much diesel). (*I don't know how to turn off the sunglasses emoticon which auto-fills when the number eight is put in brackets)

Edit: (9) You didn't mention propane. While it's nice to have, I can get around that limitation by (a) having very good goose down sleeping supplies (blankets and bags) so that I don't need to run the van's furnace, and (b) using biomass for cooking and heating water for washing purposes, and to make it potable. Pic below of my Kelly Kettle, which is a highly efficient water boiler. And my biomass supplies truly are unlimited for this purpose.

We haven't pushed our van to see what kind of a record we could set with it for unsupported off-grid use. Neither one of us is retired, so we simply don't have the time for that right now. Maybe some day.

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Old 07-15-2018, 02:36 PM   #18
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............ I plan to become a full time solo RV'er.........
I don't know what type of full time RV use UnderSky is anticipating and that is the point of my earlier post. There may be other types of RV that would be a good fit. It's all about figuring out what you want.

Take showering daily in the RV. Lot's of folks would like that option. To do that for more than a few days even with an unlimited supply of water you'd have to be in an area that permits dumping gray water on or in the ground otherwise you are on the move again seeking out a dump station.

If you are more you're into a camping type experience then you can stretch one or more of the limits I mentioned previously.
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Old 07-15-2018, 03:13 PM   #19
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If you use the same attitude towards buying a house,
you will never buy one.
...
Actually no. The OP is in Texas, where our house construction methods have improved dramatically in recent years. Part of that has been driven by building code changes, but a lot of it is due to the culture of the construction industry, and how it interacts with its customers.

That's one of the arguments that have been put forth on another active thread in this same vein - if the housing industry can accomplish what it did, then why on earth can't the RV industry make the same improvements?! There's no excuse! Building a house is arguably more complex than building a van!

See this permalink here and especially this other one here for elaboration.
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Old 07-15-2018, 06:37 PM   #20
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If you use the same attitude towards buying a house,
you will never buy one.

As a matter of fact, if you use the same attitude towards buying anything,
you might become so disillusioned you will become violent.

Oh no, buying a house isn't in the cards for me. I have never been interested.
I can't imagine settling down in one place for the long haul. That's why I'm in the market for an RV. Or so I thought. To be determined.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo View Post
I don't know what type of full time RV use UnderSky is anticipating and that is the point of my earlier post. There may be other types of RV that would be a good fit. It's all about figuring out what you want.

Take showering daily in the RV. Lot's of folks would like that option. To do that for more than a few days even with an unlimited supply of water you'd have to be in an area that permits dumping gray water on or in the ground otherwise you are on the move again seeking out a dump station.

If you are more you're into a camping type experience then you can stretch one or more of the limits I mentioned previously.
Mostly I just want to live in it. I want to be able to boondock as well as connect at campgrounds. A little bit of everything. One week go off grid, next week on grid, a day here or there. No set pattern. I imagine going off the beaten path to some dispersed camping sites but also checking out some more touristy attractions in larger cities. Very slow travel, a little cottage that could travel with me and be able to see as much as I can. I'd like to keep to snowbird routes, always chasing 75 degrees when possible. I have complete location independent income and move around frequently as it is. I want to make my moving a bit more mobile.

I'm not that concerned about being able to shower in there. It would be nice to have the option to take a quick one on occasion, but I'll always have other methods for keeping clean (campground showers, gyms, wipes, bucket baths, etc)

I'll be taking the advice mentioned above to rent a class b. Should at least give me an idea of what to expect.
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