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Old 08-14-2018, 12:19 AM   #1
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Default Help me decide on a new class b

Hello all. Just coming from a large dp and downsizing to a unit we will hopefully use a lot more.

Our main use will be just for travel to and from and occasionally to camp.

We have narrowed down our choices to the Winnebago era and airstream interstate.

Budget wise we are hoping to be at 60 but may go up a bit for the right deal.

Right now we have identified a 2014 era that fits our needs and a 2010 Airstream.

Would you go with the newer bus that is arguably a lower build quality or the older higher quality unit.?

Give me the pros and cons of each of you donít mind. I have spent hours researching and just need a little outside direction to help my decision.

Thanks in advance
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Old 08-14-2018, 12:36 AM   #2
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I'd be surprised if you can find either of those models for $60K.

If the 2010 Interstate is built on a 2009 Freightliner Sprinter - it would be a pre-DEF model. That would be worth buying since most of the Sprinter emissions system issues have been related to the DEF system on Sprinters since 2010.

Good Luck
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Old 08-14-2018, 01:46 AM   #3
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I was unaware that 2010 model interstates were pre DEF...thatís definitely a plus.

Price wise both units asking prices are within a couple of grand of my stated goal price wise.

The ERA is a better ďdealĒ on paper but still a tough choice
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Old 08-14-2018, 01:59 AM   #4
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Bryantch, Have you considered a used Pleasure-way or Leisure Travel Van Free Spirit? In our search 2 years ago, we found those Canadian-made Class B's to be high quality rigs, and the layout more to our liking than Winnie, Airstream or Roadtrek. We got lucky with a 2010 (on pre-DEF 2008 Sprinter) Free Spirit in excellent condition. There are several listed on RVTrader.com.
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Old 08-14-2018, 02:36 AM   #5
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We like the Both of those units but they are not easy finds...especially in our price range.

Arenít their issues with the toilet, awning and holding tanks on the interstate?
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Old 08-14-2018, 07:19 AM   #6
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Default Why are you assuming the newer one to be of inferior quality?

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Originally Posted by Bryantch View Post
Hello all. Just coming from a large dp and downsizing to a unit we will hopefully use a lot more.

Our main use will be just for travel to and from and occasionally to camp.

We have narrowed down our choices to the Winnebago era and airstream interstate.

Budget wise we are hoping to be at 60 but may go up a bit for the right deal.

Right now we have identified a 2014 era that fits our needs and a 2010 Airstream.

Would you go with the newer bus that is arguably a lower build quality or the older higher quality unit.?

Give me the pros and cons of each of you donít mind. I have spent hours researching and just need a little outside direction to help my decision.

Thanks in advance
My advice generally is always LOOK for the newest model.. and CONDITION and maintenance records are everything....

I looked at Winnebago Era models before I purchased my 2012 RS Adventurous by Roadtrek. If you can find a clean 2014 and it's been well taken care of, I would choose that over older models.

Look, the DEF issue is here to stay... would you rather have an older non DEF model that someday won't pass emissions... think about that?

The older model has more time wear and tear.. don't dismiss that as nonsense. A lot of parts wear out because of time.. it's not just mileage. Mileage is only one factor..

And the value of your rig is based on how "new" it is not on low mileage. A lot of people miss that point.

So, that's my advice, hope it helps.
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Old 08-15-2018, 12:21 AM   #7
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We like the Both of those units but they are not easy finds...especially in our price range.

Arenít their issues with the toilet, awning and holding tanks on the interstate?
I'm on Airforums.com and can't recall issues with the toilet, awning and holding tanks on the interstates in your age/price range.

I've been where you are when looking for my first class b last year. It was an agonizing process trying to find the "perfect rv for me".

The popularity of rv's in general has unfortunately kept prices up. In my case, I purchased at '2012 Airstream Avenue Suite (Chevy 3500 chassis) for $56,500. I paid too much until you consider it was $10K less that comparable Avenues and Roadtreks I'd been seeing for sale. The only reason I mention this is I bet I could have bought the same model back when it was 2-3 years old for very little more than I paid for it at 6 years old.

Yes, I retired 5 years too late.
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Old 08-15-2018, 04:00 AM   #8
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...



... Look, the DEF issue is here to stay... would you rather have an older non DEF model that someday won't pass emissions... think about that? .....

I don't think this statement is accurate.

Yes - DEF systems are here to stay and required on all road diesels built since 2010. But they will not be required on pre-2010 diesels. There has never been a retroactive emissions system requirement slapped on older vehicles as long as it has the original engine. The requirements change as they did from 2007 to 2010. In 2007 diesels were required to have Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF) to reduce particulate emissions, the black smoke common on older diesels. That change also drove the requirement for Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel (ULSD). Then in 2010 diesels were required to further reduce NO (Nitrogen Oxide). Most manufactures installed Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems that requires Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF). DEF is essential to the catalytic process. The chemical urea in DEF reacts with the nitrogen oxide after it has left the engine, turning 90 percent of it into nitrogen and water vapor. This almost completely eliminates the harmful emissions.

The only major diesel vehicle manufacturer that didn't use SCR and DEF in 2010 was Volkswagen and we all know how that ended.

Vehicles are only required to meet the emissions requirements in force in the year they were manufactured. New emissions requirements don't flow backwards to older vehicles.
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Old 08-15-2018, 05:57 AM   #9
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I wouldn't say an Airstream is a higher quality build than an Era. It may have some nicer laminates - but that's about it. Era has a great track record of reliability. There is much more to a Class B than what the cabinets are constructed out of. Most of the appliances and the systems like water pumps, furnaces, refrigerators, cooktops and water heaters, etc., are the same units in all Class B's.

My bet is the Airstream is over-priced if it's on par with a Winnebago that is 4 years newer, unless the Era has really high mileage that is pushing it's value down.
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Old 08-15-2018, 06:10 AM   #10
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One thing I found helpful was to make a list of "Must Have" items and find the motor home that the most number of these features.

My goal was to find the smallest class b with all the features below
:
1) Minimum 76" bed. (I believe all long Sprinter based models meet this criteria, but so do some others).
2) Compressor refrigerator (Airstream went to these earlier than most).
3) Gas engine (If you think this rules out Airstream, wait until the end).
4) Fully enclosed wet bath. (a few Roadtreks lack this feature).

My search took a while and I had to drive to Houston (200 miles away) to find the model rv I wanted. Turns out I found a '2012 Airstream Avenue Suite on the Chevy 3500 chassis that had the top items I wanted. Plus, it has passed our Neighborhood Assoc. scrutiny for nearly a year now.

So I suggest you make you own list of pros & cons that can help you narrow your choice.

Good luck!
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Old 08-15-2018, 02:11 PM   #11
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That's a nice looking rig! I wish more mfgs built on the Chevy chassis...
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Old 08-15-2018, 02:58 PM   #12
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That's a nice looking rig! I wish more mfgs built on the Chevy chassis...
Thanks. It's pretty much down to a couple of Roadtrek models, I believe, that are still built on the gas Chevy model.

Airstream probably made only a hundred or so Avenues from 2010-2012 so they are pretty rare. I had never owned a diesel before, the extended Sprinters are just a bit too long for my driveway, and short Sprinters beds were too short. Most Avenues had the side to side bed (way too short for me) but in the final year they made the Suite. Minus the two additional front seats, but with a 76" longitudinal rear bed with the seat down and enclosed wet bath. Both work for me.

Think Roadtrek 190P with the galley and bath flipped to the opposite sides and you have a good idea of the inside layout of my Avenue. Coincidentally, Airstream is coming out with a new short Sprinter for '2019 that is almost the spitting image of Avenue, minus the long bed (see comparison below).
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Old 08-15-2018, 03:58 PM   #13
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Default great layout

I like that layout. IMHO, bathrooms belong on the driver's side, and the galley on the "camp" (passenger's) side. I'd buy that floorplan in a split-second, if it came on a Chevy-based model with good quality construction and modern amenities like lithium batteries, high capacity pure sine wave inverter, underhood generator, compressor fridge, and such.
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Old 08-15-2018, 04:04 PM   #14
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I like that layout. IMHO, bathrooms belong on the driver's side, and the galley on the "camp" (passenger's) side. I'd buy that floorplan in a split-second, if it came on a Chevy-based model with good quality construction and modern amenities like lithium batteries, high capacity pure sine wave inverter, underhood generator, compressor fridge, and such.
I agree. It is an excellent layout. The only thing I don't like is the shower directly behind the driver. If they swapped the shower position with the microwave-fridge stack, there could be some open space behind the driver's head, which is good. Just a minor nit. Other than that, it is pretty close to perfect, IMO.
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Old 08-15-2018, 04:53 PM   #15
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I agree. It is an excellent layout. The only thing I don't like is the shower directly behind the driver. If they swapped the shower position with the microwave-fridge stack, there could be some open space behind the driver's head, which is good. Just a minor nit. Other than that, it is pretty close to perfect, IMO.
The shower directly behind the driver's seat does limit travel and seatback angle. I'm comfortable there at 6'2" but just by luck.

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I like that layout. IMHO, bathrooms belong on the driver's side, and the galley on the "camp" (passenger's) side. I'd buy that floorplan in a split-second, if it came on a Chevy-based model with good quality construction and modern amenities like lithium batteries, high capacity pure sine wave inverter, underhood generator, compressor fridge, and such.
Sounds like a Pleasure Way Lexor on the gas Promaster would be worth checking out. Except they still use a propane fridge. It's always something!
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Old 08-15-2018, 04:55 PM   #16
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TSounds like a Pleasure Way Lexor on the gas Promaster would be worth checking out. Except they still use a propane fridge. It's always something!
If a propane fridge were the only problem, I wouldn't even think about it. Swapping in a compressor unit would take maybe an hour. In the grand order of things, it would be a small matter.
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Old 08-15-2018, 09:51 PM   #17
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That's the Crossfit 22C layout on the Ford Transit. Plenty of room behind the driver's seat (which we fill up with the catbox) and compressor fridge, but no lithium at the moment - possibly in the fall. NO idea why the pic is sideways...
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Old 08-15-2018, 10:23 PM   #18
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That's the Crossfit 22C layout on the Ford Transit. Plenty of room behind the driver's seat (which we fill up with the catbox) and compressor fridge, but no lithium at the moment - possibly in the fall. NO idea why the pic is sideways...
Phonbe3, until I saw your Crossfit layout, I didn't realize it is nearly identical to my Avenue. I will admit the Transit is taller and more open (like the Sprinters). The chevy-based rv's like mine can be a little claustrophobic in comparison.

Bryantch, you should look into the Crossfit. You may find you don't need the lithium battery option. We don't in our Avenue with just two lead-acid wet cell (spelled "cheapo") Sam's Club batteries. We do driving trips and never stay more than a single night in one location. Usually hit camp about 6pm and broke camp about 9am the next morning, on average.

As long as we were only doing a single overnight dry camp and our batteries were fully charged from driving, we were fine. We dry camped 9 of 13 nights on our trip in May from the Texas coast to Yellowstone. We were able to run our lights & 12volt tv/dvd combo from 6pm-10pm, run either our Maxxfan or furnace overnight (depending on temperature), and never woke up to less than 70-75% battery capacity. And we also have the compressor fridge running 24/7. We did not have a need to use the inverter our entire trip, so that additional battery drain was not an issue.

Phoebe3 can probably confirm that if you are judicious with your electricity use and eliminate unnecessary parasitic drains, you can get by without the need for a costly Lithium battery option (along with the accompanying teething pains of a fairly new technology).
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Old 08-16-2018, 12:46 AM   #19
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We've been surviving on two 105AH lead acid batteries for a year now. We have similar power usage to RowieBowie except we power a couple of laptops instead of the TV. We can easily go 24 hours without starting the van engine or genny. However, you need the generator or shore power to run the microwave or AC since there's no inverter.

We have a propane cooktop (i.e., no induction) and the Truma heater, which uses propane to heat and 12V to run the fan.

If you installed an inverter, you could probably run the AC for about 45 minutes using the existing wet cells - long enough to buy groceries or grab a quick lunch with your pet in the van.

My floorplan is a little different since I have the 22D. We wanted to be able to load large things (bikes, kayak, lumber, etc.) through the back doors.
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Old 08-16-2018, 03:59 AM   #20
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I don't think this statement is accurate.

Yes - DEF systems are here to stay and required on all road diesels built since 2010. But they will not be required on pre-2010 diesels. There has never been a retroactive emissions system requirement slapped on older vehicles as long as it has the original engine. The requirements change as they did from 2007 to 2010. In 2007 diesels were required to have Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF) to reduce particulate emissions, the black smoke common on older diesels. That change also drove the requirement for Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel (ULSD). Then in 2010 diesels were required to further reduce NO (Nitrogen Oxide). Most manufactures installed Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems that requires Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF). DEF is essential to the catalytic process. The chemical urea in DEF reacts with the nitrogen oxide after it has left the engine, turning 90 percent of it into nitrogen and water vapor. This almost completely eliminates the harmful emissions.

The only major diesel vehicle manufacturer that didn't use SCR and DEF in 2010 was Volkswagen and we all know how that ended.

Vehicles are only required to meet the emissions requirements in force in the year they were manufactured. New emissions requirements don't flow backwards to older vehicles.
FYI-

The smog requirements in California are probably the most stringent in the nation.
Here's the emissions requirements below.....

I hope your vehicle is excluded .... otherwise, you're subject
By the time your vehicle is over 21 years old.... I'm guessing that you'll want a newer model?

Currently, smog inspections are required for all vehicles except diesel powered vehicles 1997 year model and older or with a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVWR) of more than 14,000 lbs, electric, natural gas powered vehicles over 14,000 lbs, motorcycles, trailers, or gasoline powered vehicles 1975 and older

If your vehicle fails to pass...you will not be able to get your vehicle registration.. effectively grounding you... without extensive repairs.... cost will be extremely expensive. Read what happens if your vehicle is identified as a "gross polluter"....

Of course if you don't live in California...you won't have to worry about these regulations.
One final thing many states are adopting new emissions requirements all the time... the newer vehicles are lower on the carbon footprint....


https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/?1...dmv/vr/smogfaq
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