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Old 01-22-2018, 12:45 PM   #21
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OMG, very interesting about The Russo's. I wonder what they will choose next and if it will be a similar situation as this or something they actively want without any strings attached.

Jrobe, I missed your message yesterday... I thought the front bench seat was quite stiff and I cannot characterize it as comfortable. But I like having a small seating area in that location such that you could keep the back set up as a bed and still have a place for cards, board games etc.

Wingeezer and Mumkin, thank you for your encouragement... have the wind pulled a bit out of my sails as I'm finding I'll either go forward with a purchase with lots of trepidation or not go forward and find another year gone without doing something I want to do and seeing my kids grow another year older.. time is fleeting. My son still likes to do things with me!! My daughter is at an age that she's happiest when with her friends (typical 16 yo girl).

One thing I'd like to do is learn more about the Safari Condo flex which has a similar layout. Not so easy to see this without a dealer network. And what about repairs? The extra layer of ordering direct from Canada may or may not be worth it? Hard to tell...
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Old 01-22-2018, 02:15 PM   #22
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The dinette seat is not bad, especially for those who want to double it as a work desk.

It is not a sofa.
It is not really built for 2 adults.
(note how they put a kid in their brochures)

This is a class B, it is small no matter how you slice it.

If you are over 5'8", don't take the window seat, because your head will hit the overhead cabinets.


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Old 01-22-2018, 02:18 PM   #23
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Check out the Westfalia


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Old 01-22-2018, 03:13 PM   #24
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BBQ, your assessment of the bench mirrors mine. Best for one person (even kids- that would be way close quarters for my kids, fortunately there are other seat belts). Best for a smaller person. I'm 5'4", not a very big person, the seat felt more than roomy enough for me, just a bit too upright to be called comfortable but I can still see it's value.

I've been watching a zillion YouTube videos, trying to educate myself on mechanical and electrical matters so that I can make a more educated decision if I decide to make a purchase. This is tough!
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Old 01-22-2018, 03:48 PM   #25
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Check out the Westfalia


Obviously bigger and more comfortable than the Activ or Travato, but still affected by the camera making it look bigger. The last Westphalia imported in the early 2000s here in the US was nowhere near that plush or roomy - it was very industrial. LOL
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Old 01-22-2018, 04:32 PM   #26
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That is so perfect! The market is ripe... what are the chances of the westfalia making a reappearance?
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Old 01-22-2018, 05:52 PM   #27
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That is so perfect! The market is ripe... what are the chances of the westfalia making a reappearance?
In my opinion in the scale of 1-10, with 10 being very likely Ė it is 0.

Daimler Benz almost destroyed Westfalia by buying the company and getting rid of them with a major loss leaving Westfalia on an edge of demise. SUV sales kicked out VW Vans from NA and Rapido group saved Westfalia. I very much doubt neither Rapido nor Westfalia have an appetite for NA, a very different market. http://www.corporate-rapido.com/en/r...estfalia.phtml
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Old 01-22-2018, 08:10 PM   #28
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finding the right B is like chasing a Unicorn

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Old 01-22-2018, 08:36 PM   #29
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You will not be able to find a unicorn if you are specifically looking for one, for sure. If you go looking for something that you can ride on comfortably and will get you where you want to go, you will find numerous options available. Turn them down because you just have to have a single horn?

Joking of course, but we know from personal experience that at least 1/3 of the things we were certain were critical to us in a class b, turned out to be essentially non issues, and stuff we never thought of came to be more important, once we actually started camping and using our class b.

We spend much less time in the van that we thought we would, which in hindsight we should have realized, as that is the reason to go camping. After a while, we pretty much quit rotating the front seats or using the fold out table, and removed the power sofa and replaced with a permanent bed and lounge pillows. Works great for us for the couple of hours of DVD's or reading the news on the laptop. Never use the stove, removed the generator, etc. You get the picture, we thought we had to have them early on. We even found we like the 3 front roof windows covered most of the time after downrating other models for not having them when we were shopping for a B.

Don't pass up very good in the quest for "perceived" perfect. After a year, the perfect probably won't be, and very good might be even better
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Old 01-22-2018, 08:59 PM   #30
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finding the right B is like chasing a Unicorn


No it isn't. You use Sportsmobile or one of the custom builders and design it exactly the way you want it. It takes time but the process is really fun. It isn't even more expensive depending on what you want. I think the build quality is also significantly better than most of the pre-built B's.
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Old 01-22-2018, 09:06 PM   #31
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No it isn't. You use Sportsmobile or one of the custom builders and design it exactly the way you want it. It takes time but the process is really fun. It isn't even more expensive depending on what you want. I think the build quality is also significantly better than most of the pre-built B's.
This is only true if you special order your second or better third rig because as booster said... especially with your first RV, what you think you MUST have end up being not only unneeded, but unwanted.

This is why there are so many year old rigs for sale with less than 10K miles on them... quickly traded in for the next iteration.

Been there... done that. (even ignoring the fact that as we age, our needs change too... sometimes dramatically)
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Old 01-22-2018, 09:12 PM   #32
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No it isn't. You use Sportsmobile or one of the custom builders and design it exactly the way you want it. It takes time but the process is really fun. It isn't even more expensive depending on what you want. I think the build quality is also significantly better than most of the pre-built B's.
Personally, I would have to disagree with this, unless things have changed a whole lot since we were looking 10 years ago. I looked, and talked to, Sportsmobile a bunch in those days, and found that, yes, you could arrange things "mostly" where you wanted, but you were still stuck with the basic modules and such. We tried to get as close as possible to a Chevy Roadtrek 190P with the Sportsmobile and wound up with more cost than the Roadtrek, and was not as usable as the Roadtrek appeared to be. In those times, anyway, Sportsmobile did not do a full custom "exactly like you want it" van. Full custom builders were over double the cost of a Roadtrek or Sportsmobile. Now days, even ARV has limits to how much you can change in relation to locations of stuff, and they approach $300K or more.

At least now there are enough different manufacturers of B vans that nearly anyone can find one that suits their style and use.
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Old 01-22-2018, 09:45 PM   #33
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Nobody can build the perfect B.
Not even Sportsmobile or Safari Condo or ARV.

Because the perfect B does not exist.

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Old 01-22-2018, 10:59 PM   #34
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Obviously "perfect" is only meaningful WRT a given owner. My take on how to approximate perfection is to: (a) find an upfitter that will modify their standard plan to your specifications; (b) delete anything they can't do the way you like; and (c) finish it off DIY.

That is pretty much what I did with Great West. Sadly, they are no longer an option. I think that they were the last of the small upfitters that were willing to do this in a cost-effective way. It is a real loss to the market. If I wanted to replicate what we have today, I honestly don't know how I would be able to do so.
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Old 01-22-2018, 11:13 PM   #35
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Obviously "perfect" is only meaningful WRT a given owner. My take on how to approximate perfection is to: (a) find an upfitter that will modify their standard plan to your specifications; (b) delete anything they can't do the way you like; and (c) finish it off DIY.

That is pretty much what I did with Great West. Sadly, they are no longer an option. I think that they were the last of the small upfitters that were willing to do this in a cost-effective way. It is a real loss to the market. If I wanted to replicate what we have today, I honestly don't know how I would be able to do so.
That would certainly work for us, too, but nobody wants to have the customer do any part of it, and they would never leave out and credit their crappy charging systems.
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Old 01-25-2018, 03:56 PM   #36
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I saw an Aktiv at the Tampa show that had a pop up roof with a upstairs bed area that looked like a cool deal if you traveled with kids. The opening was above the dinette with a ladder.
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