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Old 03-21-2017, 08:02 PM   #1
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Thumbs up Wants to upgrade to a Class B

Hi,

We've tented from college years to retirement. Then camped out of an Aliner for the last two years. Now my wife has a medical condition where having a toilet and shower would allow us to continue traveling and camping. Staying small and mobile is still important to us - hence researching class B RVs. Nice to find this forum. Thanks and Happy Camping.
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Old 03-22-2017, 03:13 AM   #2
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IsleB,
Good luck on your trail to find a Class B. I hope your journey goes as smoothly as ours did finding our used 2010 Leisure Travel Van Free Spirit on the Mercedes Benz Sprinter Van. Here's what worked for us last year: we knew we wanted a gently used Class B on Sprinter Van, and we would have traveled to get the right one. We visited a few dealerships in Arizona, and did lots of online shopping, narrowing our search to several brands with the floorplan we liked. We got lucky and found our van listed on RVTrader.com at a used RV dealership in the Phoenix area, only a few hours from where we live in northern Arizona. I learned alot from several online forums, such as this one.
Happy trails!
Karen aka NAZCamperVan
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Old 03-22-2017, 11:41 AM   #3
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Greetings. I suggest that you evaluate whether a Class B model with unobstructed, use-able back doors would be a good choice for you. This feature is not important to many owners, but I would not have a rig without it. I was a backcountry tent camper for decades before my husband and I bought our Class B. I didn't want to have to forfeit the immediacy of a full-on tent-like experience. I usually camp with one or both doors open, and I sewed a floor-to-ceiling no-see-um net to go across the back doors so that I would be able to do this (it's held in place with tiny neodymium magnets). There are also custom screens for sale in the commercial market for some models.

I find the more-enclosed Class B layouts to be claustrophobic. A couple of models remind me of rolling coffins.

Here's a triptych showing some of my views. It's a Sprinter-based Class B so those doors could also be folded all the way back if desired. This lay-out represents the best of both worlds, as far as I'm concerned. Vehicle with its conveniences plus tent-like with its openness.

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Old 03-22-2017, 05:03 PM   #4
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Recently we made a decision to go back to our Westfalias experience with our 1977 and 1985 vans and decided to do our own conversion, one of the reaon was to get a van with many windows. Being an active member of the Sprinter forum I observed a binary DIY world there, folks loving no windows vans (often align with the stealth crowd) and folks with must have - windows around, I belong to the full window vans group so we started with a passenger model. For us the outside visibility is part of the camping experience, and often our rear doors or open at night. Good luck searching.

George.
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Old 03-22-2017, 05:56 PM   #5
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That was a secondary factor that drew me to our model (2007 Airstream Interstate). Everywhere there can be a window, there is a window.

And I stealth camp routinely. I've never understood the windowless preference. All one needs to do is cut a set of Reflectix window coverings and the back of the van can be blacked out for less than twenty bucks. The ones I made attach using adhesive Velcro dots. The dots are black and are not visible against the black window frames. I keep mine all rolled up and next to the windows for which they were fitted. My husband jokes that they look like Freebirds super monster burritos. (The internet says that Freebirds has only set up shop in seven states, so some readers won't get the humor in that).



For the front of the van, I use Heatshield brand windshield and side cab window shades that are fitted to our model of Sprinter. I also use the privacy curtains supplied by Airstream. I can achieve a pretty good state of black-out with all of this stuff.
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Old 03-22-2017, 11:24 PM   #6
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Thanks for the feedback, and sharing your class B. It helps.
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Old 03-22-2017, 11:34 PM   #7
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Thank you. I agree, I like windows, lots of them - one thing you don't have in a tent unless the fly is off. I like the idea of the backdoor screening! I agree on the back door windows as well. I like the bench seats/beds compared to a full bed in back as well - easier for my wife to be able to get on it and for me to help her without having to climb on the bed. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 03-22-2017, 11:41 PM   #8
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GeorgeRa, Thanks for sharing. That's pretty sweet!
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