Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-10-2015, 04:06 PM   #1
Platinum Member
 
ponti33602's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Florida
Posts: 247
Default New or Used

Hi - did a quick search and didn't stumble across this.............

We are still a year or so out from a purchase. We tend to pre-plan so starting to do research. Thinking class B due to size, mileage and will prob not stay in any given location more than a day or two. Any one else purposely choose a class B for the similar reasons over a Class A or C?

Anyway, we typically are buy new people. However, these type of vehicles may lend themselves to buying used model. She has looked on-line and will go this weekend to look at a Leisure Travel Van Unity MB model. Looks like with options she would want the MSRP would be ~$140K but looks like I see used with less than 20K for ~$100K-$115K pretty frequently. Curious what your thoughts?

Also, she only picked this brand due to the floor plan. What are the other brands that folks seem to like?

Would like Diesel and prefer Mercedes but would be open.

Anyway, appreciate any feedback/comments and will begin reading as much here as possible as we begin our learning process.

Regards,
Bob
__________________

ponti33602 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2015, 05:42 PM   #2
Platinum Member
 
BobB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 691
Default

It's good that you have some time before buying.

Starting in Oct. the RV shows start. See you are in Florida so check out
FRVTA - Current RV Shows . Should be lots of models to see, different floorpans, options, prices. Even if you want used, seeing new is still valuable - you will see many of the same models, though a bit older, on a used lot. Go, see, ask questions, take photos, compare and then go home and digest it all.

The Unity is quite roomy, but you say Class B, and I would consider the Unity a Class B+, given it is over a foot wider, almost 2 feet longer, and 9" taller than the Spirit models in their lineup. In fact most Class B's from other manufacturers - Roadtrek, Winnebago, Pleasureway, etc. are more the size of their Spirit line.

Size does make a difference when driving and maneuverability and it sounds like you will be driving a lot, moving every day or two. Best way to find out is test drive both, if you can arrange that.

I am sure others on this forum have experience with both sizes and will offer opinions.
__________________

__________________
BobB
'99 VW EVC
BobB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2015, 05:48 PM   #3
Platinum Member
 
ponti33602's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Florida
Posts: 247
Default

Thx Bob. I actually found that link and have a show we will attend at the FL fairgrounds in Nov. Makes more sense a B+ and probably why she was attracted to it as a bit larger yet still on an easy to drive platform or so I "think".

Any thoughts of used versus new? I view these as motorcycles, boats, etc and you can prob find a basically un-used one if you are will to go fly and get it in some cases. That being said if we will simply save $20K+- I am not sure. If used, I see the RV Trader. Is that where most folks tend to look?
__________________
Regards,
Bob

2017 RT Agile SS
ponti33602 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2015, 06:40 PM   #4
Platinum Member
 
BobB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 691
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ponti33602 View Post
Any thoughts of used versus new? I view these as motorcycles, boats, etc and you can prob find a basically un-used one if you are will to go fly and get it in some cases. That being said if we will simply save $20K+- I am not sure. If used, I see the RV Trader. Is that where most folks tend to look?
Understand used - I bought my 1999 VW EVC with 103k miles on it - they don't make them anymore (yes in Europe, but not available in NA).

Depreciation is a big factor in new vs used. The nice thing about "recently" used is someone else has broken in the systems, dealt with the numerous things that need fixing when delivered new, field tested it all for you. For many, non-smokers and no pets is also an important criteria. Save $20K? Buys some nice trips. Or $20k less payments. You might save more. A lot of RVs in Florida and may be some deals. People sell for all kinds of reasons, including trading up to a bigger rv.

RV Trader is one place to start. Start reading them and keep notes on brand, model, year, mileage, condition, etc - start doing your own comps to get your own sense of what a "fair and reasonable" price would be. Unlike real estate brokers, RV dealers are not going to help you with that.
__________________
BobB
'99 VW EVC
BobB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2015, 06:43 PM   #5
Platinum Member
 
BobB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 691
Default

Oh, one more thing - search/browse through the RV Education 101 threads on this forum. Lots of useful articles - Tips on Buying, Going to an RV Show, etc.
__________________
BobB
'99 VW EVC
BobB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2015, 06:45 PM   #6
Platinum Member
 
ponti33602's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Florida
Posts: 247
Default

Great insight and thx again........brings up another thought........do most people then get a class b or b+ simply due to budget when you mention trading up? It would always be only the 2 of us and were thinking it would be a more practical fit but if there is a progression of sorts from b to c and then a I would probably just have her start thinking a.............lot to learn for sure...............any trouble with diesels....do more people prefer them over gas or gas over diesel. Was just thinking diesel made more sense for this type of vehicle.
__________________
Regards,
Bob

2017 RT Agile SS
ponti33602 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2015, 07:31 PM   #7
Platinum Member
 
BobB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 691
Default

People trade UP and DOWN.

Downsizing - just a couple, kids moved out, saving $, etc. But there are also probably people who start out in a B, then realize they want something larger and go to B+, C or some to A. I have met campers who started in a tent, went to large C, back down to a B and ended up in an A. And there are "towables". One thing I do know is that Class B is a very small part of the market.

Gas vs diesel? I am sure there are several threads on this Forum discussing that!
__________________
BobB
'99 VW EVC
BobB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2015, 01:42 AM   #8
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 1,135
Default

I'm a single traveler and started out with a Class B, a Great West Van, in 2004. I prefer new since I'm not mechanically inclined.

In 2010, after a couple years with no RV, I decided to go bigger and ordered a small Class C (IMHO there is no B+ and even LTV now properly calls their units a Class C) I didn't want diesel, so I went with the Libero on a Chevy platform.

My travels have changed again and I traded in the Libero and will be getting a new Class B, the smallest made, a Roadtrek 170.

I can highly recommend the LTV units... beautifully built with quality materials and they keep their value. The downside being that they are very expensive, in high demand so there is little discount, and there is 9-12 month wait if you order a new one. The used ones sell pretty fast. My dealer sold my trade-in in less than a month to someone in Texas... sight unseen...

Attend a few shows... figure out what will work best for you...
__________________
Mumkin
2019 Roadtrek Simplicity SRT (almost a Zion)
2015 Roadtrek 170
2011 LTV Libero
2004 GWV Classic Supreme
mumkin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2015, 04:56 AM   #9
Lou
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Vancouver BC
Posts: 70
Default New or used

The 22' Triple E class C we used to have was good quality but much cheaper than a Class B. We bought a 3 year old one because that is what we could afford. I noticed the other day that a current 3 year old seems to have only gone up by a few thousand since we first bought in 1996. The Class Bs seemed to have increased in price a lot faster. We also bought it second hand.
Even if we could afford to buy new I am not sure I would if it was my first RV of that type. You have a lot less to lose on a second hand one if it turns out not to suit you.
Both times we rented a similar RV before we bought.
I like our 20' Pleasure-Way because it is small enough that we are allowed to park it in front of our house. No need to store it somewhere.
You also need to think how you are going to use it. Although our B is smaller it seems to have more living space. We can sit in front seats turned around or on the couch. In the C there was only the uncomfortable dinette or the bed. We have more windows to enjoy the view. Do you both go to sleep at the same time? If not where will the other person sit?
For us the downside of our Class B are the tiny fridge below the counter and the tiny shower. Lots of the newer ones have bigger fridges.
Lou is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2015, 05:13 AM   #10
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 178
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ponti33602 View Post
Hi - did a quick search and didn't stumble across this.............

We are still a year or so out from a purchase. We tend to pre-plan so starting to do research. Thinking class B due to size, mileage and will prob not stay in any given location more than a day or two. Any one else purposely choose a class B for the similar reasons over a Class A or C?

Anyway, we typically are buy new people. However, these type of vehicles may lend themselves to buying used model. She has looked on-line and will go this weekend to look at a Leisure Travel Van Unity MB model. Looks like with options she would want the MSRP would be ~$140K but looks like I see used with less than 20K for ~$100K-$115K pretty frequently. Curious what your thoughts?

Also, she only picked this brand due to the floor plan. What are the other brands that folks seem to like?

Would like Diesel and prefer Mercedes but would be open.

Anyway, appreciate any feedback/comments and will begin reading as much here as possible as we begin our learning process.

Regards,
Bob
I owned two C class RVs both bought used. Saved a lot. Currently have Pleasureway Plateau TS bought used. If you buy a diesel RV ie MB then the mileage is academic. How well they are served and generally maintained is the most important. I am looking at a LTV UNITY TB model but so far the prices are too scary. My current rv has about 50K miles on it and the engine isn't even worn in yet--nature of diesels.
The Unity is actually a C class and the fiberglas bodies on frame are different from the all steel Sprinters especially in width AND turning circle so if you are dodging in and out of small shopping malls, bear that in mind. My wife wants the Unity while I am happy with the TS. Happy shopping.
AL
Fastpaddler1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2015, 05:23 PM   #11
Platinum Member
 
ponti33602's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Florida
Posts: 247
Default

Lots of great feedback and appreciate all the thoughts.

Few bits back:

Didn't realize the LTV Unity is considered a C. Can't really find that on their site per se but will factor that into my equation. Most C's I have looked at have the storage/bed above the drivers cabin.

We do sleep at the same time so that shouldn't be an issue.

Since someone mentioned Pleasure Way I did look at these. Although she hasn't seen it, will go this weekend locally, it looks and designed very similar to the Unity without the slide. Also about 3' shorter. Still, I think she would like. They appear to be a bit less $$ as well.

Thx for the response to the quality of the LTV. Is their one brand that stands out from the field or are they essentially very similar across the vans with equal platforms?

Although the shopping and researching models/floorplans is "fun" I feel very uneducated in things like power.

Solar
Generator via LP
Generator via Diesel
Batteries

If you have solar and or batteries does one typically need a generator as well? My guess is yes. Also, watched a video on LTV site and the description on why you might want LP vs Diesel seemed similar. So if we didn't stay put very frequently I am intuitively thinking diesel but my intuition is usually not correct on topics I do not know well.
__________________
Regards,
Bob

2017 RT Agile SS
ponti33602 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2015, 01:16 PM   #12
Platinum Member
 
ponti33602's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Florida
Posts: 247
Default Viewed this weekend

Well....we went to a dealer this weekend and viewed various models. Went into a standard b and she felt it was too small. Of all the B+ she looked at for our use the LTV Unity Murphy bed seemed to be the one she really liked. We dend to not take too long in deciding things and the sales person was a bit surprised. Although we like the Pleasure Way online we really didn't like the step up to the rear of the RV.

After the slaes guy took all notes in watching my wife, he said, "let me show you another B". It was a Free Spirit SS. She realliy liked it in fact like the dry bath better than the one in the unity. Liked the added windows and despite not much/any outside storage there appears to be more inside. So we think we have accomplished:

1. Picking the make.
2. Narrowed to 2 models.

Now we know the SS is in a stop production mode. Not sure if it will ever come back? Anyone here know any more?

Her only concern with the SS was the bed which was essentially the sofa opening flat. It has memory foam but she is thinking the murphy bed may lead to better rest resulting in longer trips.

Would love any insight folks have on that. The flip side being that where the SS is a tad smaller would we use it more frequently? Anyone have differences with the sprinter on a true B versus B+. Will I notice a significantly easier drive?

SO much to consider. :>
__________________
Regards,
Bob

2017 RT Agile SS
ponti33602 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2015, 02:42 PM   #13
Platinum Member
 
Davydd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 4,575
Default

LTV has indicated the Freespirit SS would come back, that is, if they get back into the van conversion business. They haven't been definite one way or the other. So it is an open question and probably a decision to be made later.

The Freespirit SS is going to drive better, drive easier, go in more places, park easier. The Unity is extremely popular right now but it is no Class B. It seems the idea of a dry bath seems to be the clincher for going to small Class Cs like the Unity. If you like the bath in the SS over the Unity then that is a big plus toward the SS. If you like the windows and the spacious feel then that is a plus. As for the bed, it might be best to actually try them out in both models to make that decision.

Now the debit side to the SS for me as well as the reason I would never buy a small C. I park on this busy street at my son's house anywhere from 6-12 times per year. I prefer to sleep in our B in this situation though we have slept in the house. We have that option. As you can see you cannot put the slider out in this situation. And slider or not, I would not want to park a much wider Class C here in this situation. I've parked this way in many residential areas. Also, when you want to stop for a short period of time or overnight in a stealth situation I think I would find putting a slider out for a short nap at a rest stop or an overnight a pain. That's me. I've adapted travel habits I like. Class Bs are a minority of RVs by far so obviously my habits are not shared by the vast majority of RVers. Eventually no matter what you choose I just think you adapt your habits to what you have. If I had the SS I think I would double down on my offer to my son to foot the bill for a backyard basketball court for my grandsons which would be about 20' wide by 28' long.

__________________
Davydd
2015 Advanced RV Ocean One Mercedes Benz Sprinter
Previous Class Bs:
2011 Great West Van Legend Sprinter
2005 Pleasure-way Plateau TS Sprinter
Davydd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2015, 03:28 PM   #14
Platinum Member
 
ponti33602's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Florida
Posts: 247
Default

Davydd,

Thx for your response. My gut told me an SS would drive easier. Still worried about sleeping I it compared to the bed. Looking at all I know it comes down to what seems to be the right layout. Also, we looked at a used Unity, 2013 with about 18k. I thought it was pretty clean but I know she is set on new after looking at both side by side. Despite her having been a math major, she doesn't have depreciation anxiety as I do.

Now, should we decide on a B like the SS but it not be around when we buy we do see the Winnebago ERA 70C has the same layout and approx $18k less on MSRP. Haven't walked thru one yet but will this weekend. They appear to not have as nice fit and finish. Is that a fair statement or is it decent considering the price break?

We viewed a coachman as well as he wanted us to view an inexpensive b+. She had no interest but online the ERA appears slightly better finished.
__________________
Regards,
Bob

2017 RT Agile SS
ponti33602 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2015, 04:01 PM   #15
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 157
Default

If you want a 70C, I would check out La Mesa RV. They have some good pricing on closeouts 2015s. I wouldn't buy a 70C, as the bed is unusable unless the slideouts. If you are considering a LTV Unity, you might as well consider a Winnebago View/Navion as the specs are about the same with the same MB chassis. You can get late model used ones in the 70K range and new leftovers for $90K or less. And these Cs are quite usable with the slides in. Of course the LTV has higher quality interiors, but $40K buys a lot of stuff. Bs and small Cs both have advantages/disadvantages to each, and one can make arguments for both.
tbirdman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2015, 08:34 PM   #16
Platinum Member
 
Davydd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 4,575
Default

$18,000 is nothing to sneeze at. There are two differences. LTV fit and finish and materials are better than Winnebago. You'll have to decide for yourself if that is worth it. The body, chassis, engine and wheel base are the same other than Winnebago uses the extended body (16" longer). To me that was a puzzler and here is why. From the back wheel wells forward the Freespirit SS and the ERA 70C are almost identical in design dimensions and layout. They both have the limited width bed because of building in the available opening where a sliding door would have gone. So basically both have large bathrooms about 3-4 times the size of a typical Class B beyond the back wheel wells. So, you would think both are more than enough and you might ask yourself do you want 16" extra length in a B without much gain?

The Coachmen is a Class C, no ifs, ands or buts much more so than a Unity when trying to justify a B+ definition. I've already expressed my opinion on this. Just don't kid yourself thinking you will be getting functions and advantages that a Class B has. At the same time don't expect a Class B to provide you what you can get in a Class C.

As for depreciation I think true Class B camper vans hold their value longer and I suspect they will physically last longer as well. I have benefitted greatly in low depreciation. Longevity was never my concern as I never expected to have an RV for the long term.
__________________
Davydd
2015 Advanced RV Ocean One Mercedes Benz Sprinter
Previous Class Bs:
2011 Great West Van Legend Sprinter
2005 Pleasure-way Plateau TS Sprinter
Davydd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2015, 09:03 PM   #17
Platinum Member
 
BobB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 691
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ponti33602 View Post

Although the shopping and researching models/floorplans is "fun" I feel very uneducated in things like power.

Solar
Generator via LP
Generator via Diesel
Batteries

If you have solar and or batteries does one typically need a generator as well? My guess is yes.
It comes down to how much electricity - both 12v and 110v - you will use; sometimes called an energy audit. Basically, you need to sit down and figure out what electrical devices - microwave, lights, fridge, laptop, TV, cell phones recharging, fans, AC, etc - you will use and for how long each day. Some run on 12V and some run on 110v via an inverter (if you are not plugged into shore power). Also, how often will you "plug in"? Or do you want go out into the wilds - boon docking - for a week or two at a time.

There are many forum members who could help you with that, and probably, a few threads here. Plenty of info on the web.

Once you know what your average daily power requirements are, then the questions of how big a battery bank, do I need a generator, how many solar panels, etc. will become easier. The technology is getting better and can help you do almost anything, but it basically comes down to the more power you need (when not plugged into shore power), the more it will cost. IMO. And it is best that you figure this out before you buy.
__________________
BobB
'99 VW EVC
BobB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2015, 02:03 AM   #18
Platinum Member
 
BobB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 691
Default

Ponti,

Quick clarification on the "figure it out before you buy" comment.

You might buy a great used RV for $$ - great deal! - and it has a 200 Amp Hour (AH) battery bank and no inverter, generator or solar. To run the A/C and the microwave you need to be on shore power. But you like to boondock for a week at a time. And maybe you are the kind that does want to run the MW while not hooked up. And you use and recharge your laptop a lot. And the TV with the Blueray player. And the fan, because you don't really need the AC, but maybe you want 2 fans all night long.

So that great deal now means you need an inverter, maybe a solar panel or two (with controller), maybe a generator. Maybe not. And, because, as you say, you are "uneducated" in the power business, you need to hire someone to install/upgrade all this for you. That great deal $$ just added another $ to the bottom line.

So that great deal might not be such a great deal after all. But that doesn't mean you should buy a used RV with all the goodies either - 800 AH battery bank,inverter, solar panels, generator if you don't really need them.

Doing an energy audit is just a relatively straightforward - data-based - way of figuring out what you envision your RV lifestyle to be.

Read "Building Alvar" by Davyyd on this forum or Building Annie and you might get sense of the decision making process - albeit on a custom and a DIY basis, respectively - entails. Yours will be simpler, but it will be helpful figuring out what you need in an RV from a power standpoint. Power = $. or $$$.

If you find a really, really good dealer, then they can help you figure if the RV you are looking at is the one for you. In the meantime, look at RVs, have fun. Just figure out a few things beforehand.
__________________
BobB
'99 VW EVC
BobB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2015, 03:48 AM   #19
Platinum Member
 
ponti33602's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Florida
Posts: 247
Default

Thx Bob. Good stuff we need to think thru and this is a subject that is not in my "wheel-house". We will map out what we envision for power use. This is hard as we have never done this before.

She really wants to see the country while we still can and do all the hiking etc she wants to do while she views us as young enough to do.

We keep our house air set at 80 degrees and live in Tampa so guess we are lighter than most users. But need to figure lap tops etc for sure.
__________________
Regards,
Bob

2017 RT Agile SS
ponti33602 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2015, 02:35 PM   #20
Platinum Member
 
BobB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 691
Default

ponti,

Here is a link I found that outlines how to do an energy audit (better term might be audit).

RV Electrical Power for Dry Camping

Others on this forum might know of better articles or have or know of spreadsheets that you can use. I am working on one right now, but it is not quite there yet.

Some tips:

1. I find it easier to break the list down into categories, like Plumbing, Galley/Kitchen, Lighting, Electronics, and Inverter Loads (all the AC stuff).

2. Recommend you don't just use their numbers. Best to look on back of device for amps or watts used, or look online for similar device (like an RV water pump) to find out how many amps it uses.

3. Think carefully about how many hours average per day you will use something. If you only plug in your laptop to recharge for only 2 hours every 4th day, then that goes in as ".5 hours". But the fan on all night, every night, is 8+ hours per day.

4. Lights - Most RVs new come with LEDs. So instead of 2 amps load, maybe they are only .15 amps. If you are looking a used, ask about the lights. If they are all halogen, that's okay, especially if you like the RV. But first thing on your list will be to upgrade all the lights (in some cases just a bulb change) to LEDs - they really save energy.

How you use energy is an interesting exercise. We only have a small battery (at the moment) in our '99 VW camper. All the lights have been changed to LEDs. We don't have an inverter, and all of our phones, tablets, and laptop can be charged via 12V. I carry extra batteries for our cameras and if really need to recharge them, then we camp somewhere with electrical hookups so we can use the 110v outlets in the van. No microwave, no A/C, no electric coffeemaker (we use the propane stove), no fridge (just really efficient icebox) just fans. So we have made some lifestyle changes to work with what we have.

In the end you will have a rough idea of how many Amp-hours/day (average) you need. Then if you find your perfect RV and the dealer says it only has a 200 AH battery bank and no generator, at least you can then ask how much to install another 200 AH and add a generator or solar panels, because you know you will need them.

Rather than continuing this in this thread, you might consider starting your own thread - something like "How much Energy Do I Need" - and post your efforts and calcs there. There are lots of people on this forum who really know this stuff and can help you.
__________________

__________________
BobB
'99 VW EVC
BobB is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT. The time now is 12:08 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×