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Old 03-02-2018, 10:16 PM   #1
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Default Could you recommend a Class B under 20' in length for solo travel

I've just started looking for a Class B for full time solo travel. I'm leaning toward buying new or nearly-new to get the latest technology and also, hopefully, more reliability and/or a warranty. I'll be traveling solo, no pets, and no need to haul gear. I'd like a very short RV (under 20') to make it easier to drive and park in urban areas.

Google showed me the Roadtrek Versatile, which is a tad under 19'. Any experience with it, or thoughts about other models I should look at?

It has to have a toilet and shower.
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Old 03-02-2018, 10:41 PM   #2
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What? You don't want to poo in a bucket like all those Youtube vanners? Well, aren't you the fancy one.
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Old 03-03-2018, 12:52 AM   #3
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We ended up ordering a new 2018 PW Ascent. Because the PW coach warranty does not transfer to a second owner. The Mercedes chassis warranty does. The two short wheelbase units we were considering were the PW and a Roadtrek. I didn't care for the location of the microwave under the counter in the Roadtrek.
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Old 03-03-2018, 12:55 AM   #4
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I think you are on the right track with the Roadtrek. If I were single looking for something to travel in I know what I would buy: a Roadtrek 190 Popular or a Roadtrek 170 Popular. The 170 Popular is no longer built but you can find them previously owned. You can buy a 170 Versatile new if you want the extra seats. Me? I would take the Popular for the extra storage.

I wouldn't recommend just looking at new rigs. Many of us treat our Bs like the precious jewel they are and keep them in new condition.

The 190 is a teeny bit over your length limit by five inches, but you sure do get a lot more than in a 170 room and storage wise as well as tank size wise for water and sewerage.

Got to Roadtrek.com and look at those models. You can find used and new to look at on rvtrader.com and rvt. com.

Paul
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Old 03-03-2018, 03:48 AM   #5
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I just typed a long long message to you over on RV Net and the stupid system wouldn't post it. Some of the other posters here have agreed with me and covered it.

I like my little 170 (even though I am trading it in on my newly ordered Roadtrek) which I ordered with both the wardrobe behind the drivers seat and a removable armoir behind the passenger seat. I had no need of a third seat so it is in storage. Even with all that, it is pretty limited for full timing IMHO, but perhaps you are more of a minimalist than me. LOL The 190 is just under a foot longer, but if purchased with the rear dinette (makes two twin beds) you have significantly more storage than with the electric sofa. And it gives more outside storage for hoses and such. Also the 170 has the aisle shower while the 190 has a wet bath. pros and cons...

I also hear rumors that Roadtrek is having trouble getting the small Chevy that is used on the 170.
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Old 03-03-2018, 12:13 PM   #6
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Do you care whether the chassis is Dodge Promaster (gas), Chevy (gas), Ford (gas) or Mercedes Sprinter (diesel)? do you have a price point? If you do, that will help to narrow your search.

I think your primary choices are going to be among the following models. I'm not personally familiar with all of them so a couple might not have a full bath - others on here can correct the list. Some on this list are as long as 20ft, but I don't think any are longer than that. All are 2015 models or newer.

Roadtrek: Simplicity, Zion, 170, 190, Agile, Adventurous

Winnebago: Travato 59G or 59K, Revel

PleasureWay: Lexor, Excel, Ascent

Hymer: Axion, Banff, Aktiv
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Old 03-03-2018, 03:32 PM   #7
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I would strongly suggest you make yourself a formal or informal spreadsheet and compare the following on the models you consider:

1. Fresh, gray, black tank capacities
2. Useable storage both (a) interior and (b) exterior
3. Height, width, length
4. Comfort of the seats for driving and camping
5. Size of refrig
6. Microwave only or micro/convection combo
7. Practicality of the bath arrangement for showering
8. Practicality and comfort of the bed.
9. Overall driveability
10. Driving visibility
11. Feeling of confined quarters
12. Upteen other subjective things you can come up with

I always find that actually making a list like that and putting down the measurements and assigning a 1-10 personal rating on the subjective items really help comparisons. It is sooo easy to get lost in the details and memory when looking at one unit compared to another.

Being pretty picky about things, I have actually taken chalk and drawn the length and width profiles of various rigs on top of each other in my driveway! That makes it easy to get a feel for size of the various footprints.

Finally, I don't fall in love too quickly. Date a lot! Look over several options carefully. A lot of that can be online "dating". Sites like rvtrader.com and rvt.com allow you to select some filters and push a button. The listings generally have bunches of pictures and are a good place to spend some time looking and narrowing down your choices.

Paul
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Old 03-03-2018, 04:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
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I would strongly suggest you make yourself a formal or informal spreadsheet and compare the following on the models you consider:
...
Paul


+1


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Old 03-03-2018, 04:53 PM   #9
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Lots of great suggestions here.
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Old 03-03-2018, 05:02 PM   #10
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Good advice... a couple of caveats...

They tend to look better in photos than in real life and they tend to look bigger... especially on the manufacturer's websites.

Note to Phoebe3's list... The Roadtrek Zion and Simplicity are just under 21 feet. There is an SRT version of both that is 19'7" - The Adventurous is just over 22'.

Travato is also 20'10" - as is the Pleasureway Lexor

The only Sprinter based units under 20' are the Roadtrek Agile and Pleasureway Ascent.

I always use a Excel spreadsheet to compare units when I am shopping as Doneworking recommended.
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Old 03-03-2018, 05:31 PM   #11
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mumkin, I have always dreamed of finding a camera with the kind of lens they use taking interior shots of Class B vans

They can make two feet look like four and the photo work on the interior width is (not almost but IS) laughable.

You are in good company: them pics are sumpin'!! But they are a place to start, certainly not decide.

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Old 03-03-2018, 05:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
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mumkin, I have always dreamed of finding a camera with the kind of lens they use taking interior shots of Class B vans
The 21st century secret for this is to use an Iphone in panoramic mode. With a little practice, you can do even better than a "Realtor's Special" wide angle lens.

Here's an example from our old Airstream Interstate:

Interstate Pano.jpg
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Old 03-03-2018, 06:08 PM   #13
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You can buy fisheye and wide angle lenses for smartphones. The fisheyes distort somewhat as the panorama feature does but some of the wide angle lenses do a good job. But a professional or experienced photographer with expensive wide angle lenses and cameras can do even better.
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Old 03-03-2018, 06:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mumkin View Post
Good advice... a couple of caveats...

They tend to look better in photos than in real life and they tend to look bigger... especially on the manufacturer's websites.

Note to Phoebe3's list... The Roadtrek Zion and Simplicity are just under 21 feet. There is an SRT version of both that is 19'7" - The Adventurous is just over 22'.

Travato is also 20'10" - as is the Pleasureway Lexor

The only Sprinter based units under 20' are the Roadtrek Agile and Pleasureway Ascent.

I always use a Excel spreadsheet to compare units when I am shopping as Doneworking recommended.
Thanks for the clarification, Mumkin. Ok, so the list might look a bit more like this:

Roadtrek: 170, 190, Agile (Sprinter)

Winnebago: Revel (Sprinter)

PleasureWay: Lexor, Excel, Ascent (Sprinter)

Hymer (Carado): Axion, Banff
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Old 03-03-2018, 08:15 PM   #15
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tons of great info here.

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Old 03-03-2018, 08:17 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mumkin View Post
Good advice... a couple of caveats...

The only Sprinter based units under 20' are the Roadtrek Agile and Pleasureway Ascent.
The Winnebago Revel is also under 20’
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Old 03-03-2018, 08:49 PM   #17
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Would 20' 1" be a deal breaker?

Because my '99 Roadtrek 210V measures 20'6" and honestly, the extra 6" doesn't matter in "real life". I have parallel parked it many times on my city block and one memorable time in St-John's Newfoundland.

Most of the time you'll find a spot where you can just pull right in (before or after a drive-way for example).

I don't think up to 21' should be a deal breaker for you if you can find the "perfect" van for your budget. Especially since there are a lot of vans between 20' and 21' in length (I think ).

If parallel parking is a frequent possibility, I would suggest a back-up camera. That would be money well spent no matter the length as it would make it much easier to park in tight spaces (no matter the length).
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