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Old 07-17-2019, 12:09 AM   #1
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Default Still motorhomeless

Hi, New guy here. I'm in the market for a class b motorhome with the features I want and within my budget. I thought I'd register and lurk around here to pick up some info from real owners.
So far I'm targeting Mercedes Sprinter chassis, diesel, 18-24'. Newly retired and itching to get out and see the country. Wife is still working so short trips for a few years.
Thanks,
John
Alameda, CA
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Old 07-17-2019, 11:41 AM   #2
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Welcome to the world of forums.

During your evaluation, it will be a good idea to explain the type of usage that you envision for yourself. Probably the most common newbie mistake is buying a van that was optimized for travel scenario X when they really intend to do travel scenario Y.

Another common oversight is underestimating the cost of purchase and ownership. These suckers tend to be expensive, especially if one enters the realm of off-gridding.
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Old 07-17-2019, 02:57 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InterBlog View Post
Welcome to the world of forums.

During your evaluation, it will be a good idea to explain the type of usage that you envision for yourself. Probably the most common newbie mistake is buying a van that was optimized for travel scenario X when they really intend to do travel scenario Y.

Another common oversight is underestimating the cost of purchase and ownership. These suckers tend to be expensive, especially if one enters the realm of off-gridding.
Or, unless you're in the fortunate position to build your own. That both greatly reduces costs and gets you a camper optimized for your needs.
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Old 07-18-2019, 01:28 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InterBlog View Post
Welcome to the world of forums.

During your evaluation, it will be a good idea to explain the type of usage that you envision for yourself. Probably the most common newbie mistake is buying a van that was optimized for travel scenario X when they really intend to do travel scenario Y.

Another common oversight is underestimating the cost of purchase and ownership. These suckers tend to be expensive, especially if one enters the realm of off-gridding.
Excellent post.

Going off grid does not necessarily require a large investment, though. I camp without hook ups probably well into the 80% range, the most of the rest is driveway camping.

I have a 100 buck Wally group 29 battery, 150 watts of portable solar, and a couple of cheap meters from Amazon. All told, into the system for less than 500 bucks including some extra cable and chain and locks, not counting the battery.

The set up works great for us but we do not have big power demands.

If we didn't have to come out to do the tank fun we could stay out perpetually. We are good without solar for three nights, assuming we don't run the furnace a lot or the Fantastic fan all day.

Off grid does not have to be expensive, but it can quickly get expensive when you start talking lithiums
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Old 07-18-2019, 04:57 AM   #5
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We have a 12V fridge (Truma Combi), which is our biggest consumption of power, but if we don't need to run the furnace, and the weather is sunny, our 200W of solar seems to keep up indefinitely. We run out of black tank space before we run out of battery.

Winter camping is a different story... then we need to run the van engine about an hour a day to keep up.

We have an onboard generator, but we only use that when we want to use the microwave. The noise is terrible. The van engine is much quieter, and it also charges faster.
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Old 07-18-2019, 04:29 PM   #6
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Thanks. I appreciate the advice. This is a new realm for me and I intend to take it slow and do some research. The wife and I plan to narrow the type of van down to what we think will fit and rent one for trip to see how it goes.
When looking at the range of class b RVs is very broad, floor plans varied. I plan to buy used as new is out of my target budget.
Initially what looks good to me is one of the many built on the Mercedes Sprinter platform 18-24'. But with that said as time goes on my target may change. I maybe satisfied with Westfalia, so you can see I'm open to a lot of possibilities.
I'm also a cyclist, need to plan for racks as they're coming along. There's so many places I haven't ridden and I want to do it before I get too old to.
John
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Old 07-25-2019, 07:34 PM   #7
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May I suggest that you buy used. There is a bromide among RV owners in that the first RV will be replaced with what you really needed within the first couple of years. Another advantage to buying used is you don't take the early-years depreciation hit and the problems associated with buying new (loose moldings, ill-fitting drawers, hardware falling off, or worse) will be alleviated.

Good Luck with your search. If I were you I would make Rvtrader.com my best friend. I still look at it weekly even though we're pretty happy with our current home on wheels, and we've been doing the RV thing since 1995. It's worth it to at least know for how much you can get something. I've driven 300 miles to get our current RV and we saved about $11k doing so.

Ray B.
Ormond Beach, FL
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Old 07-25-2019, 10:01 PM   #8
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Default Used Van -Canada

Hi. I was looking for a used 19 ft sprinter class B back in the fall of 2016. I found a 2013 Roadtrek Agile SS that was in Edmonton Alberta that had only 17,000 kilometers on it(10,000 miles) lightly used.
I live in WA and had a friend in Calgary check it out as well as back and forth with the RV place. It wasnít exactly how I would have built out a van, but it was such a great deal and in excellent shape so I went for it. I would definitely watch the Canadian market as the exchange for US $$ is a 25%discount. I didnít spent that much more than the actual Mercedes van would have been! Of course you pay a GST tax and have to come thru the border but that was all fine.

Now Roadtrek is in bankruptcy and been sold out of receivership to Rapido, a French company. But I had no warranty anyway. I love the van and rarely ever camp with plug in service. Mine has a generator, propane and an inverter. The fridge can run off propane or 12V or plug in. I use the microwave for storage as it only works with plug in.

Good luck in your search!
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