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Old 06-21-2013, 10:00 PM   #1
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Default To upgrade or not?

I have a 1995 Pleasure Way STW on a Dodge 350 chassis, 318 CID engine. Current mileage is 190,000KM (say 120,000 miles). Everything is original except for the addition of wheel spacers, changeover to a new flat panel TV/DVD and a 90watt solar panel/controller (I don't have a generator).The van is well maintained (since I bought it 5 years ago at 120,000 Km). I like the layout (particularly the bed options), and the handling is wonderful. It meets all my needs. The van runs reliably and takes me on 6 to 8000 Km trips through the US Southwest each winter, plus numerous more local trips in Western Canada.
Occasionally (OK, regularly) I wonder if I should trade it in and get a newer model - perhaps a 2007 to 2011, and I'm not committed to a Pleasure Way.
The van really does meet my needs, but it's getting older. When I read the various posts on this forum, I get the sense that newer is not necessarily better, and that some newer models have more reliability problems than my older beast,
So... thought I would put the question out there to solicit the opinions of the "B" owners. What are the pros and cons (besides price) of continuing to accumulate miles on my current "B", versus changing to a newer model?

Les
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:33 PM   #2
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Default Re: To upgrade or not?

With everything in life, you place your bets. I've not heard many horror stories about newer "B"s.

In fact, quality appears to be pretty good in the "B" market overall. I've yet to read about someone buying a new rig, and being stranded, wheels falling off, or the vehicle turning into a pumpkin. There are issues with all makes (T1N vehicle, you need to get the turbo resonator fixed ASAP), but none are overt lemons. The only non-drivetrain thing I'd look at is on gasoline rigs, I'd replace the generator carb because it almost certainly is plugged unless the PO ran the generator on a schedule for maintenance.

I'd start looking, perhaps take a mechanic with you to confirm 100% that the shape is good. Hard to go wrong with any of the brands out there.
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Old 06-22-2013, 12:11 AM   #3
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Default Re: To upgrade or not?

If you're happy enough with your RV and it runs well then keep it a few more years. Another 15,000 miles on it probably won't affect the trade-in or resale value much at this point. We are probably going to see many new Class B models soon. Class B conversions based on the new Ford Transit and the new Ram ProMaster vans are coming.

Your STW has a nice layout:



Currently, to see much of a difference in interior space you'd probably have to get a Sprinter based B.

I looked at a 2008 Class B this week (just looking) - I was amazed at the amount of surface rust underneath and the overall poorly maintained look of the unit. By comparison there is no rust underneath on my 1997 RV so newer isn't always better.

Alternately, start getting trade-in quotes and price units you are interested in as it may take a while to find a well maintained low mileage unit. Looking won't cost you much and will give you a better idea if it is worth getting something newer.
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Old 06-23-2013, 02:53 AM   #4
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Default Re: To upgrade or not?

That is a very good point. I live in Texas so rust tends to be not a front/center issue. However, one rig I was going to look at was hauled in to the state from somewhere in/near the Rust Belt, and that would have been something to scrutinize the van thoroughly because it could render it inoperable.
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Old 07-02-2013, 12:35 AM   #5
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Default Re: To upgrade or not?

I'm always looking at new(er) models with a view to update my RV, and like you, currently have no brand loyalty. I think it would have to be a fabulous deal to make me start the ball rolling on swapping the old rig for something new. I think?
My rig is newer than 1995, but it's as old as yours in mileage years, and like Mark says, a few thousand more miles on it aren't going to make much difference in it's trade in value. We could probably get a bit more for our respective vans if we were willing to price them higher, place ads in papers and online, and wait for a buyer. Then go without, while we start looking for a new ride.
Or, we just throw a few bucks into them whenever they need it, to keep them safe and functional.
They are "the devils we know", after all.
Sorry, not a great answer. Or was it?
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Old 07-02-2013, 02:31 PM   #6
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Default Re: To upgrade or not?

If you can hold a purchase for the next 1-2 years, the "B" industry will be going through one of the biggest shake-ups it has ever seen. The gasser Ducato will be out late August/early September, the diesel Ducato will be out next year, and the Ford Transit will be out the summer of next year. European RV makers have no foothold on the US market because they can't really upfit Econolines or Express chassis models. However, Fiat actually has engineered the Ducato to be extremely RV upfit friendly.

Correction: Dodge Promaster, not Fiat Ducato.
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:03 PM   #7
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Default Re: To upgrade or not?

Waiting is not an answer, especially 1-2 years. I can already tell you, IMO, the Dodge Promaster is a shell of the Sprinter in design potential, quality and functionality based on the 15 European models that have been posted here and Winnebago's first anemic effort. So you wait. For what? Maybe a 10-20% savings many think may be the case? That would be wiped out in waiting. I'd venture to guess they will certainly cost more than the current crop of Chevy and Ford Bs. Not to mention 1-2 years of Class B enjoyment when your health is highest.
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:14 PM   #8
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Default Re: To upgrade or not?

Good points, both.
The price of the B may not be as important as the age of the owner, when it comes to expedience, if upgrading is in the cards.
Just hope I live long enough to see how it all plays out.
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:15 PM   #9
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Default Re: To upgrade or not?

Looks like PW may be putting something out with a similar length to your 1995 rig. A local dealer is going to be stocking Ascents (which I thought were discontinued), and these are on the 144" chassis. Their CCC is probably anemic, but other than the power couch, the floor plan is very similar to yours.
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:58 PM   #10
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Default Re: To upgrade or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mlts22
Looks like PW may be putting something out with a similar length to your 1995 rig. A local dealer is going to be stocking Ascents (which I thought were discontinued), and these are on the 144" chassis. Their CCC is probably anemic, but other than the power couch, the floor plan is very similar to yours.
It might be OK for CCC, unless you meant interior physical volume for storage? Not a stump puller, but it looks like it's got legs. For me, CCC always means how much extra weight can it pull, not how much stuff can I cram into it.

From PW/Ascent website.

2013 MB SPRINTER CHASSIS SPECIFICATIONS
8550 LB GVWR SPRINTER VAN CHASSIS
3.0 V6 MB BLUE TEC TURBO DIESEL ENGINE
188 HP @ 3800 RPM
325 LB-FT TORQUE @ 1,400-2,400 RPM
WHEEL BASE 144
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