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Old 02-16-2018, 06:10 AM   #1
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Default Help me find a good class B or B+

Iíve been researching for about a month and Iím having a heck of a time finding a good solution. In fact if I follow all the advice there is no good solutionó so maybe thereís something out there I havenít heard about.

The most ideal right now seems to be the Pleasure Way XLMB ó but alas sprinters are high maintenance and add $30k to the MSRP.

There are no 2009 sprinter XLMBs from Pleasure Way (eg pre emissions)

I would prefer not to have a slide out, but I need to sleep with the slide in a lot if there is one.

I like radiant heat, Truma combi, compressor refrigeratoró preferably swing arm, so Engel. Which means building myself. This is what Iím considering- converting a promaster van.

I can do all of the conversion except for a heating system since that requires fuel and thatís outside my expertise (I have expertise with lithium batteries and chargers and can handle solar panels and doing the interior build.)

But I would rather not do the build myself.

I need under 24 feet, preferably 22 or 20 feet LIA.
Need to be able to set up a laptop and work and strongly want to not have to make the bed to then switch to sleep mode. (I like to lie down with phone while researching, then get up and go Back to workó donít want to be making/unmaking the bed 4-5 times a day.

And Iím a big guy. I will have trouble with a bathroom thatís less than 32x32, though I may just have to give up on that and leave the door open or something.

It will be just me. I need to carry a bike. I might get a folding bike.

And if Iím paying $100k for something it needs to be good enough to last ten years.

Also I will be living aboard full time, driving a fair bit and spending more time in cool temperatures than hot temps. Would love something capable of working below freezing but can compromise that as well.



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Old 02-16-2018, 06:11 AM   #2
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Oh forgot my question: is there a huge difference in driving a B and B+? Eg is a XLMB going to be much worse to drive than a plateau FL? Why did leisure travel get out of the class b market?

Does anyone make a good class B/b+ besides leisure vans and Pleasure Way?


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Old 02-16-2018, 09:32 AM   #3
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Also looking at the TRAVATO 59G. Every time I go to an RV show I intend to give the Hymer Activ a serious look... and then immediately walk out when I walk in. I think because it feels unmanageably small. The TRAVATO 59g I havenít had a chance to be in. Iím hopeful the bathroom is bigger than the Hymer. Iím willing to put up with a lot of compromises but I physically need to be able to fit in the bathroom. This may force me up to the Isata 3 or a B+ alone.

Any thoughts on build quality between Hymer and Winnebago?

I like Hymer using lithium and embracing technology, and the TRAVATO seems a bit behind even WBO standards (no multiplex wiring).


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Old 02-16-2018, 10:40 AM   #4
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Have you looked into the Coachmen Crossfit? It's a lot cheaper than Sprinters on a Ford Transit platform. I've seen them drop in price recently to less than $80K. 22ft, Truma Combi, multiplex wiring, Solar, dovetail joint cabinetry, etc....

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Old 02-16-2018, 12:26 PM   #5
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As much as I love my Crossfit, I can't recommend it in this case - the bathroom is too small. And I can't recommend the Winnebago Paseo (also on the Ford Transit platform); the bigger bathroom in the Paseo comes at the expense of being able to move the Driver's seat back. Even the passenger seat is blocked by a permanent table behind it.

Coachmen says they are going to come up with a new floorplan for the Transit and you can call and ask what it will be: +1 574-825-8465

I think the bathroom requirement is going to limit you to a bath in the rear - side baths will be too narrow.

Of the ready-made vans, I suspect the Travato K will be closest to meeting your needs, but it's on a Promaster chassis and you need to spend some time driving one to see if you are happy with the seating position. Some people love it and others hate it, but not very many say they don't care.

Depending on your time constraints, you might consider getting Sportsmobile or some other upfitter to build you a van on the Ford Transit HD350 chassis. Knowing you want a Travato K clone, but perhaps with one extra-wide bed and storage on the other side, might make it pretty easy to design, but there will be a wait.
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Old 02-16-2018, 01:05 PM   #6
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.

You are describing the Travato 59K.

It fits you to a T.

You can lie down, stretch out, and think all day on the lounge/bed,
then pop up and the table is right there with the computer
waiting for you to work.

The bathroom is huge.

Forget about lithium batteries.
You might think you need them.
You might not.
Even if you do, you can swap them out later.
Maybe 2~3 yrs later.
The technology will be changed again (we are looking at 48v systems now),
you will get a better system, and still save $20k.
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Old 02-16-2018, 01:51 PM   #7
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Hi Phoebe3,

It appears that the Crossfit is a very good value. You some downsides for a large fellow, if ordinary in size what are the downsides? What's missing?

I suppose with a Large compressor refer another battery would be nice is.

Bud
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Old 02-16-2018, 03:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technomadness View Post
Why did leisure travel get out of the class b market?
The popularity of the small Class C's meant that they gradually stopped building their B's... first the Chevy disappeared and then the Sprinter. Very sad... but they realistically looked at their labor pool and expanding the factory wasn't in the cards. Made me very sad when I needed a smaller rig and had to trade my Libero for a Roadtrek 170. (major step down...)

Either the Serenity or the new twin bed Wonder would seem to fit your needs... and the price on the Wonder is a bit easier to swallow.

If you can wait for the year build time, Sportsmobile is probably your best option. You might take a look at these Promaster conversions at this company. They are quite luxurious for under $90K... check out their floor plans and options:

https://midwestautomotivedesigns.com...end-class-b-rv
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Old 02-16-2018, 03:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud View Post

It appears that the Crossfit is a very good value. You some downsides for a large fellow, if ordinary in size what are the downsides? What's missing?

I suppose with a Large compressor refer another battery would be nice is.

Bud
I think the Crossfit is an excellent value, but the Coachmen Class B Division has been very responsive to user comments and there are upgrades in the works that may increase the price. For one thing, they are going to provide the 3.5 L Turbo engine (Ecoboost) which provides significantly more HP and torque than the standard 3.7 L engine. We have the 3.7 and think it's fine, but the vans with our engine are taking a price cut right now and here in CA, you can find a Crossfit for around $77K. I expect the newer versions will sell for mid-to-high $80's.

They come standard with 100W of solar and door screens for side and rear. Alloy wheels are optional, but I haven't seen one without them. The components are above average and moving into Pleasureway territory: beautiful solid wood cabinets, marine grade vinyl walls, fiberglass shower, 6.0 NovaKool fridge with separate freezer, 51 lb (12 gal) propane tank, Truma combi heater/water heater, etc.

The power tech has some plain vanilla components with a couple of modern upgrades - 210 AH of batteries (used to be flooded, but moving to AGM - our flooded are working fine), propane cooktop (induction optional). It has multiplex wiring and BMS by Precision Plex and the system seems to handle the batteries very well and they don't appear to be overcharging on float. Onan 2800 generator. More batteries might be nice, but we haven't needed them so far - batteries are charged by Transit engine, generator, shore power, or solar.

AC and microwave (no convection) require shore power or generator. There is no inverter but the electrical guy at coachmen has promised to provide advice and guidance should we decide to install one ourselves.

Compressor fridge uses 4.5 ah, but only runs about 33% of the time, so you can figure using 32 AH per day to keep your food cold, depending on ambient temp.

Coachmen orders the HD version of the Transit chassis, which has dual rear wheels, so you get better load support, but slightly lower mileage and more expense when you replace the tires. Unlike some of the Sprinter chassis-based vans we looked at, the Transit isn't stripped down. Coachmen orders them with Dual AGM batteries and a heavy-duty alternator. Currently, they come with Ford's Sync-3, but ours came with an aftermarket Kenwood - I can plug in my iPhone and it displays Google maps. Ours did NOT come with lane departure and I don't know if the new ones have it. We drive about 60mph and get about 16mpg.

What might you not like? Well, I padded the over-front-seat storage because everyone hits their head on it when moving from the front to the back. Ford stupidly put the parking brake between the seats so transferring from front to back is tight. If you are 6ft tall, you will also hit your head on the AC when you step up to the bench area (note that the power sofa version doesn't have a raised platform).

The twin beds (in the dinette version) are narrow and hard. I added a foam topper and we leave one of the two small tables in place between them at night. Wouldn't want them any wider because we use the center aisle to haul things, but if you are on the larger side, you will want to set up the bed at night.

There is plenty of cabinet and drawer space, but one bench seat covers the Truma and converter, the other houses the fresh water tank so storage of larger items is limited.

It's a gravity dump so if you need to dump uphill, you don't have a macerator (again, not a problem so far for us).

We are not big people, don't need to boondock for days, don't drive in the left lane, and don't have high electrical power needs so this has been the perfect van for us. YMMV

Would also like to note that I have received stellar support whenever I've called Coachmen, so there's that to consider, too.

Happy to answer any other questions to the best of my ability. You might also consider checking out the Crossfit FB site:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1366...?ref=bookmarks
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Old 02-16-2018, 04:42 PM   #10
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Thank for the response. You write:

"they are going to provide the 3.5 L Turbo engine (Ecoboost) which provides significantly more HP and torque than the standard 3.7 L engine"

I seldom use anywhere near full throttle, so the 3.7 would be fine and would run off and leave a Sprinter (trying to avoid one).

"What might you not like? Well, I padded the over-front-seat storage because everyone hits their head on it when moving from the front to the back."

That would be me as I got very close to knocking myself out when I put on a hat before trying to leave the 190P. It was padded so my forehead was ok after awhile.

Seems like all is there but the inverter, no big deal.

Concerning the twin beds, I would not want that narrow a bed. With my 190 I simply removed the cushion and placed a sheet of plywood cut to size = 6 inches wider and just about as comfortable as my home with 3 kinds of foam. The nightstand is still there. Some couples make each bed 3 inches wider. Or remove the nightstand and have a wider bed(s) yet. I only stand in the isle to walk the seat or bed, or use the overhead cabinets with not much room needed for that.

This seems to be maybe the best value in a class b if it meets one's needs, or one of the best values.

Thanks again.

Bud
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