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Old 06-14-2016, 10:26 PM   #1
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Default Help!! Newbie trying to figure out what brand to buy...

Hi- I'm brand new here, never owned an RV. My wife got me excited about buying a Class B, and we went to look at models for the first time on Saturday. This is more complicated than I realized! I'm hoping some of you can point us in the right direction.

We have decided we want the Mercedes Diesel Sprinter chassis. We would use the van for road trips, either my wife and grandson, or both of us alone, or both of us and grandson, and would also like to have room for another couple at times. So, need to sleep and seat 4. We want something easy to drive and park, so leaning toward a 22 ft, but maybe 24 ft if they aren't much harder to drive.

We are used to comfort(not roughing it) so we would be happiest with more upper-end brands. We def. want a functional shower & desk space(we work from home and would want that capability on the road). We also need to be able to charge multiple devices daily.

We need excellent air conditioning in order to sleep well. I've heard running the a/c with the engine off is LOUD on many models, is this true? We REALLY would like a top-quality mattress, as we sleep on Tempur Pedic due to my back issues.

We want a functional tv(as big a screen as possible) and internet access is a must(both still working). We also are looking for low-maintenance and ease of use, and DEPENDABILITY-I am not a handyman, so if it breaks we will have to depend on dealers to fix. We live about 30 min. from RV World, a large dealership.

Budget is bet. $65,000 to $110,000. Right now we're considering a very slightly used 2014 Roadtrek CS Adventurous and also a new 2015 Roadtrek E-Trek. But honestly, I don't know if these are good choices for us, or if there may be something better. We considered having one customized, but the truth is we know so little about how everything works, it probably isn't worth all the extra time and effort involved.

Can anyone give us some advice on what brands/models we should look at?

Thanks!!
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Old 06-15-2016, 12:40 AM   #2
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Your desires are bigger than your budget. Have you priced those two Roadtreks?

Traveling with a grandchild is always a romantic goal of newly retired grandparents. We went through that. It is actually more difficult than imagined because the design sacrifices you have to make that take away from 95% or more of your two person travels. Children have high curiosity at first and are good for a trip or two with grandparents and then it gets old for them. They just don't have that travel patience. "Are we there yet?" We had the seats but for sleeping it was the floor in emergencies (rain one time) or otherwise a tent.

The other couple at times concept is nice if you intend to use your B for other functions such as tailgating or everyday use. The most functional way to accomplish this in a Sprinter is an electric sofa/bed that has seat belts. The extra captain chairs Roadtrek and some others provide kill a lot of space for touring. Interestingly, some of the Promaster models accommodate more people, more functionally for the seldom done trips. I just don't think they are as adequate as the Sprinters for two people long term touring (more than a week). I imagine Promaster owners can give you another view about this.

A 24 foot Sprinter is as easy to drive as a 22 foot Sprinter. The difference is not noticeable. I've had both. Both are longer than the standard 20 parking stall so take some experience in knowing where to park. It doesn't keep us from ducking into a McDonalds or a Starbucks. We pretty much go everywhere including parallel parking on downtown streets. Obviously shorter is always better but shorter gives up a lot in my mind.

Most Bs have wet baths in that the bathroom becomes you shower stall. Again there is a big sacrifice for space otherwise. Some wet baths are more functional than others. As for a dry separate shower in the Sprinters only Winnebago Era and Coach House Arriva provide one.

Era | Floorplans | Winnebago RVs

Luxury Motorhomes - Fuel Efficient Downsized Class C (Class B-Plus) RVs - Arriva

Air conditioning? Yes loud. Despite what anyone says, if you are going to use air conditioning to sleep 8 hours you will need to seek a campground with a 30A shore power service. If you think an air conditioner is loud, a running Onan generator under your bed makes it doubly loud and vibrating.

Work desks are usually accomplished by turning around the driver's seat and having ample room behind for a desk be it fixed or drop down. Coach House Arriva and Airstream Grand Tours have good setups built in desks. Advanced RV has done desks in many custom configurations. Using a temporary table is another option just about everyone has.

Wifi or Internet connection is best accomplished cellular from a phone or device via creating a hotspot your computer can connect to. Wifi on the road is not dependable. I have an internal wifi network router with a booster to pick up any available wifi such as at a campground and then can connect all my devices (iPhone, iPads, laptops, etc.) to just the one connection just like at home. However, you have to have a reliable wifi source to pick up over the air. You can't improve their speed unless you want to connect at 3 AM in the morning when all the other users are asleep.

TV? I have I think the biggest TV provided for a B and that is a 24" model. Digital TV reception is usually good near metro areas. Only expensive private campgrounds like KOAs provide cable service.

Bed comfort? You just have to try them. Everyone is different in that regard. I like very firm. I have custom electric articulating beds I designed and Advanced RV developed and built. I'm on my third Class B so had a really good idea of what I wanted. My experience has been chronicled here:

http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f5...lvar-2905.html
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Old 06-15-2016, 07:41 AM   #3
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Wow, David wrote a great reply to your post. I'll second everything he wrote, and probably the rest of the things he thought, but didn't have time to write.

The one additional thing I might offer is that if you have back issues, many Sprinter seats are not all that comfortable. Driving more than a couple of hours a day might be a deal breaker for you depending on your particular back issue.

It may well be that if it is an issue for you, maybe Class B RVing might not be for you. The larger rigs can provide many more comforts.

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Old 06-15-2016, 02:19 PM   #4
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I recently mentioned seats in my Advancing Alvar thread. I am very comfortable sitting in them and they can be improved as I mentioned there. I am not sure larger RVs can provide anything better. My all-time favorite seat was my 1999 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck. If the Chevy vans have anything close, they would be hard to beat.
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Old 06-15-2016, 03:58 PM   #5
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Thanks Davydd! We have found 2 RT models that fit in the budget-the 2014 with under 2,000 miles for under $100k & new '15 E-Trek we found online for $106K(plus shipping, I'm sure). We live 30 minutes form the Coach House factory and will visit them this weekend. However, the wife isn't keen on anything larger than the standard Sprinter footprint, as her concern is maneuverability when traveling alone. Thanks for suggesting the 24' is just as easy to drive as a 22', we should demo both. In your experience, what do you typically get in that extra 2' of space? We are leaning toward Roadtrek as they sleep 4, which is important to us. I haven't seen many Sprinters that sleep more than 2. Plus, we like the more upscale look and feel as compared to Winnebago and other brands. If we stick with Sprinters, can you suggest other higher-end brands that sleep 4?
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Old 06-15-2016, 04:21 PM   #6
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Advanced RV but they are way beyond your stated budget. However, they currently have a rental RV named Kinder that sleeps four with a fold out upper bunk above an electric sofa/bed. It seems to me to be the most unobstrusive way to sleep 4 in a Sprinter without interrupting other functions inside. It is used and might be for sale.

https://advanced-rv.com
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Old 06-16-2016, 12:43 AM   #7
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Davydd is right about sleeping four in a B-Van. A close friend has a new Roadtrek with the beds over front seats. They didn't work that well as they block access to doors in front of van. The Advanced RV bunk beds are likely the best way to accommodate extra sleeping space in a van. Check out this post on the Sprinter-Forum for more rear bunk bed ideas.
3500 sprinter as band tour band - Sprinter-Forum

I like our Airstream Interstate because it can also be used as a family bus. We were just visiting a family of five and it was nice to get all seven of us in one vehicle with everyone belted in and two in booster seats. The extra captain chairs up front also provide us a separate seating area when camping. Fortunately there are enough different floor plans on the market to satisfy most folks needs.
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