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Old 03-25-2015, 03:06 PM   #1
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Default What would you buy with $70K?

We are planning our RV life on retirement in 2016 and starting to get our ducks in a row. We live in Ontario, Canada and plan to spend 2- 3 months away at a time in the southern US, mainly in the winter months. Our preferred style is boon-docking and to move on every 2 or 3 days or so. Multiple batteries and recharging is therefore important to us. We have a $70k budget to buy a class B and we are limiting ourselves to buying a used vehicle in Canada. I'm not hugely worried about the model year but we would want something fairly new. We've considered gas versus diesel and decided on gas mainly because I'm not a huge fan of the look of the sprinter - too tall and narrow for me. Roadtrek, Pleasureway, Great West etc all make good quality class b's and we will probably end up buying one of these. We are limited by our driveway to a length of 21ft. I'm prepared to do a lot of kicking the tires etc but wandered what the experienced community here would do if they were starting again and had this budget available with these requirements. One other factor is the comfort of the sofa/bed - the missus really insists on a good nights sleep. Can these be upgraded if necessary? Anyway, I really appreciate this website. It's a great resource.

Neale
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Old 03-25-2015, 03:38 PM   #2
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Default Re: What would you buy with $70K?

From the big 3 that you listed, it is unlikely that you will find something with really good boondocking capabilities. 220AH AH of batteries is about max you see, with low rate charging from the engine alternator. Generator would help, but many don't like to use them much.

All of what you list would certainly be doable by modifying some of the systems, like adding solar, more batteries, bigger alternator, etc.

I guess the big question is lifestyle in the van, especially for longer periods like you are looking at. If you are very electrically frugal, you can get by with stock systems, many have done it and continue to, but if you are into more power hungry endeavors you may not have enough. The stock engine charging system to the coach batteries is pretty slow and would require something like 4+ hours of driving to get the batteries full every days or so. You also need to get plugged in about once a week to get the batteries topped and healthy if you want to preserve them better.

At the length you are looking at, even a Chevy Roadtrek 190 with a rear spare will be a little too long. Put the tire inside and you really lose space. I think a Pleasure-way Excel on a Ford would make your length. You probably would find the Roadtrek 170 way small. A Great West Titan might be short enough.

This forum has a huge wealth of past data on stuff that works, and stuff that doesn't.

Good luck with your quest!
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Old 03-25-2015, 03:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: What would you buy with $70K?

since you've set the parameters to 21 feet and 70,000 dollars you've already narrowed your choices-even a roadtrek 190 with tire on the back will be over 21 feet-unless you remove tire and put back on.

a used roadtrek ranger without a generator has tire underneath and is 20 feet 5 inches. regular sprinter van 19.5 but with tire on back i don't know.

a promaster model of somebodies would be under 21 feet if tire kept underneath-or non existent.

Travato 59k-NOT 59G-might be good bet
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Old 03-25-2015, 03:51 PM   #4
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Default Re: What would you buy with $70K?

Just looked. A Titan is 21' 4", but an Excel on a Ford would squeeze in, and is a wide body so more space for long term. Some have had handling issues with Excels, some have not.
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Old 03-25-2015, 03:56 PM   #5
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Default Re: What would you buy with $70K?

Neale-is that 70,000 canadian or USA


multiple batteries and recharging?. do you want an onan generator? Safari Condo might be a good bet. you should talk to GeorgeB(i think thats his user name)
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Old 03-25-2015, 09:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: What would you buy with $70K?

Here's a possibility.

Since most/all of the older B's do not have a lot of boondocking capabilities with a lot of battery power, perhaps look for a lower cost unit and do a bunch of upgrades. For example find a unit for $30-45k and get a second alternator installed with a large battery bank. While you're at it you could also get some solar installed. With any extra money do some other upgrades on the unit, maybe a new transmission as well.
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Old 03-25-2015, 10:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: What would you buy with $70K?

I like Bruceper's idea. I'd go for a unit with low mileage so as to hopefully avoid any major mechanical issues. I'd be fine with two house batteries if moving every two or three days. You have to empty tanks and get water etc. anyway. Booster's suggestion to plug in once a week or so is good advice.

You might be able to get a near new unit with your budget though.

I took a quick look on Autotrader turned up 2012 Roadtrek 190P with solar and only 7,000 kms, yes kilometers. It's a bit over your budget but not so much that a max offer of $70k would offend anyone. It probably has two house batteries and would have an inverter. It was out West though.

The Roadtrek 190P has a nice exterior storage compartment and lots of interior storage.

You also could get a very nice unit for much less if you are patient but can also act quickly.

Your question - What would you buy with $70K? - is a tough one for me to answer as I'd look for something costing less than that that has low mileage and was demonstrably well cared for. No rust.

A brand new Safari Condo Promaster Flex starting price is CDN $88,530. I like that layout and would probably opt for rear twin beds. GeorgeB posted photos here: http://www.classbforum.com/phpBB2/vi...tart=44#p25721

Start visiting all the dealer lots near you and get inside the units to get an idea of the different floor plans. You might find that you have a strong preference for one over others. That would help narrow down the search.
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Old 03-25-2015, 11:21 PM   #8
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Default Re: What would you buy with $70K?

Well, if you are committed to moving every couple days, then just about ANY van can be made to work. It's the sitting in one place for more than that that will narrow your choices. So primarily you need enough battery and tank sizes to last until you can move again.

You should be able to buy a brand new Travato for $70k, with a full warranty. You can easily have a dealer add a second battery and solar on a 59G. If you wait for a 59k, you can get those things on a factory order - hopefully you could get one by summer.

Mine has been trouble free in the year that I've had it. No warranty claims or problems. Only a couple minor recalls from Chrysler.
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Old 03-25-2015, 11:54 PM   #9
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Default Re: What would you buy with $70K?

I would take the wife to a large RV show and sit in various models to insure you both can live with the layout. You may end up with a class C which are less expensive with more comforts/options.
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Old 03-26-2015, 01:01 PM   #10
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Default Re: What would you buy with $70K?

thanks for all the advice. I'm probably limiting myself too much on the driveway space. I could go to 23 feet if necessary and that would open up a few more options. I'll certainly consider the Travato and Promaster Flex. Again, thanks for the feedback.
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