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Old 05-28-2010, 05:44 PM   #1
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Default Why do you have a B?

My home away from home is a 30' trailer. Over at the Airstream forum, there's some discussion of the B vans that Airstream has made and the possibility that they may be coming out with some new ones soon.

Wondering what you veteran "B"ers find appealing about van conversions given the myriad choices that are out there, particularly similarly-sized and appointed truck campers and the smaller motorhomes.
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Old 05-28-2010, 06:13 PM   #2
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Default Re: Why do you have a B?

Got a few minutes? This link is to RVNet's forum and someone asked a similar question over there
It actually gets asked a lot so it would seem.
The answers are many and varied, and I would agree with most of them.
http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fusea ... 946336.cfm

Mileage is better than most other small motorhomes. I looked at some small Cs and the
best estimates I got was 8-10mpg. My RT 190 gets around 18mpg with a light foot.
Most chassis service can be done by the chassis manufacturer, whoever that might be.
You don't have to rely on someone who has to work on every type of chassis, you get
your own brand name specialists, and most OEM dealerships can handle them on at least one
of their hoists. You might be able to DIY a lot of the maintenence yourself, as much of it
is to scale (smaller).
They park, drive and handle like a large car/truck/van, less so like a moving van or bus.
They fit in most drive thrus.
Roadside assistance doesn't usually require specialized equipment like a relatively rare
heavy tow truck.
You almost never bring too much stuff with you, 'cause it won't fit.
Dry camping (boondocking) is usually easier, as they can be used in a stealthy manner
in a Walmart or other short term parking place.

Those are just off the top of my head.

Here is another article on Bs, and other RVs including some info about the whys and whats.
http://www.ehow.com/way_5376300_class-motorhomes.html
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Old 05-29-2010, 05:10 AM   #3
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Default Re: Why do you have a B?

Hey, that thread on RV net prompted me to write a blog post on this. It was the last one I did actually

http://www.vantramps.com/2010/05/b-perspective.html

Hope that helps a little!


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Old 06-02-2010, 06:30 PM   #4
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Default Re: Why do you have a B?

Thanks for the replies.

I will note that a major factor driving my decision to get an Airstream rather than some other brand was the semi-moncoque construction and the potential, at least, of longer life for the skin and roof than would be the case with most other trailers. It hadn't occurred to me that B vans have a similar advantage, so I've already learned something new.

So, to summarize and paraphrase the comments on the posts above and the linked material, we have:
1) Potential for longer life than truck campers and class Cs due to monocoque construction and quality of materials and workmanship
2) The fuel economy is better than any other type of RV
3) The size is sufficient to provide the customary RV amenities without being large enough to pose problems for driving, parking, and storage
4) Most of the category benefits of motorhomes over travel trailers apply to Bs (access to coach from driving position, possibility of a generator plumbed to the main fuel tank, no hitch to fuss with, no special skills required to back and park)
5) The complexities of hitching toad are avoided since B vans work well for daily transportation

I believe that ability to pull a trailer and "stealth" (ability to camp in areas where larger RVs are not tolerated) were mentioned in passing.

How's that?
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Old 06-02-2010, 10:30 PM   #5
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Default Re: Why do you have a B?

Pretty much.
Each and every travel home has it's pros and cons. It's very subjective as such.
I could see there are some advantages to pulling a trailer. If your vacation plans tend to
keep you in one place for a few days, you can unhook, and use the truck to explore
the locale, without disconnecting from your campsite's support system. Handy?
Class A/C motorhomes have a much roomier and probably luxurious fit and finish
than some smaller Bs or B+s, but that usually comes with an appropriately higher price tag.
Bs are just a nice combination of the best bits of them all, in my opinion, and that's why
I drive one.
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Old 06-03-2010, 12:22 AM   #6
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Default Re: Why do you have a B?

A couple more for your list

They hold their resale value very well and actually, there are a ton of people looking to buy them!
It is very easy to keep a B clean.
Maintenance costs are much lower overall.
Fuel efficiency also applies to LP. It just doesn't need as much to keep it heated, cooling is also similarly effected.
Lower cost for toll road situations that many other rigs.
For B's like the Roadtreks, the height and weight keeps the ferry fees down which is nice. We pay the same as a car to ride here in the Puget Sound area. If we were any taller or longer, it would multiply the costs dramatically.
Handling is excellent in windy situations compared to larger rigs.

There are others I am sure too, but I have to run out and get busy finishing mods!

Oh, that is one too, they are really fun to modify!

Everything can be modified of course, but for some reason, I have had more fun modding the B than anything ever. I don't leave anything alone usually, but this thing is more fun for me, addictive even!

I do agree with Mike though too, Other style rigs may fit other people better and for some B's have cons just like others have pros. I can't figure any out, but I do know it's true!

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Old 06-03-2010, 04:33 AM   #7
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Default Re: Why do you have a B?

Well, categorically, travel trailers do have certain benefits over any kind of motorhome, but that's been extensively discussed elsewhere (briefly, the tow vehicle can be repaired or serviced separately, you can't hear the galley noise while traveling, the tow vehicle can be replaced when it wears out which may be a better choice than living with a runout chassis, loss of the trailer due to fire is more rare than loss of the motorhome, and the overall cost picture is often better especially for people who need a truck for something else anyway).

In my case I wanted to have more space than a B would permit this time around. Nonetheless, I find Bs intriguing.
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Old 06-03-2010, 06:00 AM   #8
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Default Re: Why do you have a B?

1. gas MPG is better
2. more stealthy
3. easier to adapt a garage to fit in
4. I don't like driving big things, I drove a few trucks and a class C and didn't like it
5. easier to get around town and other places including parking
6. takes up less room during storage
7. only 2 or 3 of us plus the dog and we fit fine
8. it still has everything needed, stove, fridge, toilet, bed, AC, 120v and more
9. well that's what I can come up with off the top of my mind but there is more
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Old 06-03-2010, 06:19 AM   #9
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Default Re: Why do you have a B?

Airstreamer, those are things some people would consider good of course, but I would never own a TT. Just not something I would be interested in at all. It doesn't suit me or our(wife and I) style of life. We want to be able to go cab to coach without getting out. Don't ever want to have to leave our stuff anywhere. Don't like maneuvering anything larger. Don't care about stuff "wearing out" since we just replace it anyway. Unless the coach gets in a serious unrepairable accident, I will replace/upgrade every part that wears out as long as I own it. If I had unlimited resources, I would still be a B owner. You couldn't give me a motor mansion!

Just perspectives. I am glad you like TT's though if they work for you.


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Old 06-03-2010, 02:40 PM   #10
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Default Re: Why do you have a B?

I owned a vintage Airstream and enjoyed the elegance, design, romance, comraderie and history of it very much but quickly realized I was a tourer not a destination camper. I like to drive and go anywhere a vehicle can go on roads. If I need to pop into a Starbucks in the morning for coffee I can. Even though most Starbucks have parking lots designed for the Toyota Prius set I usually can still park easily. I'm approaching 60,000 miles in my 5th season on the road. I can't imagine putting those kind of miles on another kind of RV especially when I rarely stay in one place more than a couple of nights.
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