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Old 03-07-2010, 03:46 AM   #1
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Default Class B with storage for a tall man?

I've been doing some fairly intense web research on Class B's - I used to own a Chevy Express 3500, and like the "stealth" aspect and handling of a camper in that size range. However, I'm 6'5",250, and: a) I need to be able to take my fiddle, guitar, banjo etc., camera equipment, computer and other odds and ends with me, and they need to be inside (heated) and secure; and b) I need at least an 80" bed (84" is better). I found one Roadtrek floor plan with an 80" bed, but you have to assemble it, and then there's the SS-Agile, but neither has any bulk storage capability. The only thing I've seen which might work is the GulfStream Vista Cruiser G24 MB - the model with the raised bunk and under-bunk rear-accessible storage, but only because they pop out the sides, adding enough space at the bunk level that I might be able to sleep crosswise. However, it's very expensive for something I can't stand up straight in, and I'm not at all sure, with my size and two prosthetic knees, that I'll be able to use the bathroom! The rear bathroom configurations pretty much preclude rear-accessible bulk storage.

Has anybody out there had to deal with this problem? If so, what kind of solutions have you come up with? Are there some models I've missed? Are there any older models which do any better (some of the models with less streamlined look seem to have more headroom, for instance)? Or am I stuck with either building my own, or moving up to Class B+ or C?
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Old 03-07-2010, 03:54 AM   #2
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Default Re: Class B with storage for a tall man?

Look up Sportsmobile. They have standard packages and can custom make or design others (within parameters). I haven't looked on their site lately but they did list and show different options to where you can design your own and most all specs needed. They also have a used section to look through.
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Old 03-07-2010, 04:31 AM   #3
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Default Re: Class B with storage for a tall man?

Yes, I've looked through Sportsmobile's offerings, and noted they have 6'5" clearance in the extended Chevy version with their Voyager top. I haven't called them, but I think I could probably design a bed which used their roof-lift system to drop it down over a dinette/storage area, and power lift it up against the roof for normal traveling, or make a 7-foot fold-out couch and externally accessible rear closets. The bathroom could be problematic; they say they're limited in where they can put it. We might be able to come up with something, but the logistics are problematic, since I'm in Boston and I believe they're in California. Also, starting with a new van, and requiring custom engineering and construction, I suspect I'd soon be in the same price range as a new Roadtrek/Gulfstream. $100K punches a big hole in my retirement fund; I'm reluctant to spend the price of a hunting camp and 90 acres in the Adirondacks, or a 60-acre farm, on a part-time vehicle, no matter how convenient. I'm hoping for a cheaper alternative - at least something used I can buy at half that price.
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Old 03-11-2010, 07:13 PM   #4
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Default Re: Class B with storage for a tall man?

I tried searching this forum using "tall" as a keyword and got a couple of hits for threads which
might help a bit. Some of the other folks on here are also dealing with how their physical height
creates other interesting issues. You might want to ask them via posting, or PMs, how they
deal with the "I'm a tall person, which van works best" questions. Most folks are happy to help,
if they can.
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1131&p=4286&hilit=tall#p4286
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=1365&p=5437&hilit=tall#p5437

There are quite a few threads on the subject of maximising storage, and you can keyword search
it too, from the little "search" window in the top right corner of most of the pages on this site.
Some people have made some pretty cool mods to their vans, and some have chosen to add external
carriers, to increase their travelling storage capacity.

Anyway, good luck.
(I considered going to a B+ recently to get a more usable shower, but couldn't justify losing most
of the other advantages of a "B", some of which you've mentioned )
Was down in the Boston area last August, but just passing thru on a Sunday afternoon.
The traffic out to "Cape Cad" was unbelievable. Turned around and headed back west and stopped
at a mega-mall with all sorts of stores including a Walmart and I think a Home Depot to name a few.
It also had a Starbucks, so we stopped for a cafe before heading home to the Niagara peninsula in Ontario.
Can't remember the name of it, but the mall was huge. Started with a "C" the name I think. Just off
a State Road on our way inland towards I-95 to jog north a bit, to then pick up I-90 west.
Nice area, around and in Boston.
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Old 03-16-2010, 03:08 AM   #5
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Default Re: Class B with storage for a tall man?

Thanks for the links, Mike. Interesting, and I'll take a closer look at Pleasure-Way's offerings.

Don't know which mall you stopped at - they keep getting bigger, and I'm not much for either shopping or for crowds. I like the Boston area (I've lived in Cambridge for 40 years), but my experience driving an extended van in Boston is one reason I'd like to stay with a "B". I know what you mean about Cape Cod - no way I'd even attempt it during prime time. Interestingly enough, there's a beach at the edge of the Cape Cod Canal and Massachusetts Bay, entrance just *before* you go over the Bourne Bridge onto the Cape. Once, coming back from a Saturday performance on the Cape, with another on Sunday in Hingham, we pulled in there to spend a few hours. It was early in the season, but we were astonished to find the large parking lot full of RVs all set up - must have been 40 or 50 of them! Nobody was on the beach (we lay down and napped for an hour or two in the spring sun); they apparently just came down to get away for a weekend (less than an hour from Boston) and socialize with their brethren.

g1g, I downloaded and studied the Sportsmobile floor plans in more detail, and indeed they have some options for longer beds, including one which I'm going to have to ask about. They have a bathroom/shower configuration which might work, too. I'd have to plan a trip to their shop to check things out and plan the interior, and it would be pricey, but it looks like an option.
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Old 03-16-2010, 05:54 PM   #6
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Default Re: Class B with storage for a tall man?

When returning to FL last week, we were passed by a Westfalia...it had a molded top that seemed to be 4' above the roofline. I've never seen any B as tall as this was....ironic it was For Sale and tagged in Maine! All I could think of was it was outfitted for a tall person. When I seen your Post, I instantly thought about this rig - looked as tall as an 18 wheeler. Hope you can find the B that you will enjoy. Safe travels.
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