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Old 04-16-2017, 03:34 AM   #1
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I'm new here, hello to all of you that have some experience with class B motor homes. I am a dairyman in Utah, 56 years old. My wife and I are trying to learn how to relax and travel to places that aren't just industry meetings. We are transitioning our business to the next generation and they would like some breathing room. My wife and I have always been intrigued with class B van concept.
Having lots of rolling stock in the operation of our business some things we see that we would like are dual rear wheels for stability after pulling varied machinery and cattle trailers with both single and dual rears over the years. The economy and performance of the diesel engine would seem to be an advantage in this type of application.
The variety, price and number of manufacturers is a bit overwhelming. How do you begin to narrow things down? New, used, is a nearby servicing dealer important? On the dairy we do most all our own maintenance and repairs but stil find nearby service a plus.
We are not real interested in sleeping lots of people, the box style van seems like it would be more prone to leaks and noisier and perhaps be less fuel efficient. I think in size and option level we would aim for more middle of the pack.
I would like to hear opposing viewpoints so i can learn. Looking forward to your discussion, and a time when my life is not entirely ruled by cows. Thank you in advance
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Old 04-16-2017, 03:54 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Farmer John View Post
I'm new here, hello to all of you that have some experience with class B motor homes. I am a dairyman in Utah, 56 years old. My wife and I are trying to learn how to relax and travel to places that aren't just industry meetings. We are transitioning our business to the next generation and they would like some breathing room. My wife and I have always been intrigued with class B van concept.
Having lots of rolling stock in the operation of our business some things we see that we would like are dual rear wheels for stability after pulling varied machinery and cattle trailers with both single and dual rears over the years. The economy and performance of the diesel engine would seem to be an advantage in this type of application.
The variety, price and number of manufacturers is a bit overwhelming. How do you begin to narrow things down? New, used, is a nearby servicing dealer important? On the dairy we do most all our own maintenance and repairs but stil find nearby service a plus.
We are not real interested in sleeping lots of people, the box style van seems like it would be more prone to leaks and noisier and perhaps be less fuel efficient. I think in size and option level we would aim for more middle of the pack.
I would like to hear opposing viewpoints so i can learn. Looking forward to your discussion, and a time when my life is not entirely ruled by cows. Thank you in advance
Well, if you enjoy opposing viewpoints, let me assure you that you've come to the right place.

I think your first task is to decide on the platform that best suits you and then look at the various builders that build on it. The platforms currently available in class B are:

Mercedes Sprinter
Ford Transit
Dodge Promaster
Chevy Express

If your preference is for dual wheels and a diesel plant, you will find that combination only in the Mercedes 3500 Sprinter which is a popular choice.
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Old 04-16-2017, 12:36 PM   #3
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But don't make those absolutes. Sometimes, experience can be a detriment--B's are not farm equipment. You don't need dual unless you load it down and diesels are having enough problems with emission controls you might look more favorably at gas.

Take yourselves to a city that has dealers for all four choices of base vehicle. Drive them all, even several lengths of each. One will probably grab you more than the others.

Then think hard about the amenities you want.
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Old 04-16-2017, 02:08 PM   #4
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Another thing to look at is the trending of the increase of taxes on diesel. California is raising the diesel tax 20 cents. Other liberal states tend to adopt California trends. That is why we are hated so much. England who once promoted diesel cars are now against them. Once they convince the public that diesel is bad for the environment, they will use it as a cash cow.
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Old 04-16-2017, 04:40 PM   #5
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Another thing to look at is the trending of the increase of taxes on diesel. California is raising the diesel tax 20 cents. Other liberal states tend to adopt California trends. That is why we are hated so much. England who once promoted diesel cars are now against them. Once they convince the public that diesel is bad for the environment, they will use it as a cash cow.
CA Taxpayer Here...

Sometimes good intentions are easy to act on when it is not your money paying for it.

$204 million has been allocated for a Golden Gate bridge suicide barrier.


While not being insensitive to the plight of those suicidal, but if someone wants to take their life, I'm not sure one can stop them. Are we going to build barriers around all buildings, bridges, etc.?
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Old 04-16-2017, 05:08 PM   #6
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If you don't mind used, then I'd hang out at the barrier and see if you can pick up a Roadtrek, as their owners are obviously done with them..
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Old 04-16-2017, 05:40 PM   #7
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Why don't they charge a fee, require them to register, or tax them, thats seems to be the methods by government that are typically used to discourage behavior and generate revenue.
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Old 04-16-2017, 05:58 PM   #8
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Your questions are typical- where to start?

most B's have either a large bed or head- not both !
we went for the largest bed we could find- sideways sleepers will require a climbover and be limited.
It seems model with a large head have a smaller bed- some are fine with that.
we don;t use out aisle shower- we either use campground shower or are remote enough to use exterior shower ( which most B's have)

seats? 2 seats that swivel suit us- more seats would reduce our use of space

the B's advantages are ease of driving, parking and mpg- the C class are a better value if these advantages mean little to you

for fixin' you'll be the best judge.
i have GM's so am familiar with the layout of the chassis and major components- my tools and manuals I have for my truck translate to the chev 3500 van

So I can work on it, so can anyone anywhere with parts from autozone. other brands may have a long and narrow supply line.
call your local autoparts store about say a brake caliper for a sprinter or the fiat/dodge- then ask about a chevy. compare price and availability.

our chev doesn;t need dual rear- it is fine as is. typical use is highway rolling with 5% dirt track.
we don;t use our expensive specialized rv for a "2nd vehicle" as some builders advertise

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Old 04-16-2017, 09:04 PM   #9
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FarmerJohn, Many of us can share our journey finding a suitable RV. We wanted a recently used Class B campervan, MB diesel. We looked at numerous models and brands at several dealerships to get a feel for the layout and accessories that appealed to us. Then I did extensive online searching. We got lucky and found what we wanted just a few hours away. Depending on your location in Utah, perhaps visit dealerships or RV shows in SLC, St George, Las Vegas.
By the way, after considering Class B Winnebagos, Roadtreks, Airstreams, and Pleasure-Ways, we got a well-cared for 2010 Leisure Travel Van Free Spirit 210B (on 2008 MB Sprinter 2500 Chassis, 20+mpg) I found it listed on rvtrader.com at a used RV dealership in Mesa, AZ. The LTV Free Spirit model is no longer made, but used ones are out there. In the year we've owned it, both the chassis and coach have performed well. We've modified and upgraded a few things (added solar and new batteries) and we love it! Best wishes on your search.
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Old 04-16-2017, 09:15 PM   #10
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FarmerJohn,
Among the scads of online sources for info about Class Bs, I've enjoyed and learned from this blog, and they are from Utah! Part of their blog is about customizing their Winnebago Travato, part about fitness and cycling, and part about Class B rigs and travel/camping in general.
https://www.thefitrv.com/
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