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Old 09-22-2016, 02:46 PM   #1
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Default Looking for a Class B ... in a Transit.

Hello all,
I did a search, both here and at RV shows, and I have been having a hard time finding a true Class B built on the Transit platform. Regardless of what the industry calls them, a Winnebago Fuse, Thor Compass, etc. are NOT Class Bs in my book. The Class B+ is a new term to me and a very gray area. Just because it doesn't have a bunk over the cab ... Aesthetically, I really do NOT like Class Cs. It's either a Class A or Class B for me. Since I don't have $300k laying around, I'm thinking there's a better chance of getting a Class B.

Anywho, I don't want a cut away, I don't want a Class B+/C. I'm 6'2" and while the Sprinter works in some configurations and builds, I want to know what the options are for a Transit High Roof.

I am familiar with Sportmobile. Who else is out there building a straight sided Class B with something other than a Sprinter platform?

On a side note, while searching here, I saw a thread on a home built van and someone else called it a "camper van" and said it was not an "RV". Anyone care to explain the difference?

Also of note is, I'm a backpacker so even a Class B is going to be ginormous compared to the Big Agnes Flycreek 2 but I would like the longest van while keeping the straight line sides.
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Old 09-22-2016, 03:24 PM   #2
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The Transit has a new WInnebago Paseo coming out....discussion here and info on the WInnebago website.
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Old 09-22-2016, 05:51 PM   #3
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The Transit has a new WInnebago Paseo coming out....discussion here and info on the WInnebago website.
Thx. I'm not sure if that's the one I found early this morning or not. The website looks right. I plugged in my addy for a brochure.
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Old 09-22-2016, 08:56 PM   #4
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In addition to Winnebago Paseo and Sportsmobile noted above, Van Specialties in Oregon builds Class B units on the Ford Transit chassis. Like Sportsmobile they are a custom upfitter.

RVIA industry association defines Type B (aka Class B) RVs as van campers, so it's just terminology. Sometimes campervans are associated with more basic features and fewer luxury options but again that's just individual usage.
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Old 09-22-2016, 09:19 PM   #5
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In addition to Winnebago Paseo and Sportsmobile noted above, Van Specialties in Oregon builds Class B units on the Ford Transit chassis. Like Sportsmobile they are a custom upfitter.
Thx, I'll check them out. That'll be closer to my (hopefully) future home.

Quote:
RVIA industry association defines Type B (aka Class B) RVs as van campers, so it's just terminology. Sometimes campervans are associated with more basic features and fewer luxury options but again that's just individual usage.
Muddy waters indeed. I was hoping for something a little more black and white even if it doesn't make sense.

Camper = no shower or
RV = toilet plumbing thru walls/floor or
camper = home made


I got excited when I saw this guy's page...
Design and Build Information for Camper Vans – Build A Green RV
He did his build for $6k. Some of the stuff I like but then it started getting ghetto pretty quick. His gray water tank is kinda scary. And I'm not sure I want a composting toilet... especially one that empties into a 5 gallon paint bucket. Gotta give him props for doing it 1) himself and 2) on a shoestring budget tho.
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Old 09-23-2016, 09:05 PM   #6
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Have you checked out the Promaster forum? Lots of self-builds there.
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Old 09-26-2016, 03:53 PM   #7
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Have you checked out the Promaster forum? Lots of self-builds there.
I have not. This is my first foray into the RV forum world. I don't know that I'm ready to tackle an RV build. My "fit and finish" on projects is lacking. They start out ok and then I get tired of the grunt work. It quickly becomes a "good enough for government work".

I will give a look-see just to see what kind of floor plans people are coming up with. But now that you've mentioned it, did I google correctly for the ProMaster? From what I've seen on the Dodge and Ford spec sheets, the ProMaster is significantly shorter than the Transit. Something like 29" shorter than the Transit XL. The sheet says 263.9" on ext. length (235.5 reg length).

Oh wait, I see an EXT in the 3500 line. I didn't see that last week but they I only went as far as the 2500. It's still "just" 250 inches tho. I doubt Ford included an extra foot plus of bumpers. I dunno about engine compartment, front cab, etc. It would be nice to have real spec sheets that can be compared side by side. Cubic space and nice and dandy but if it's not usable floor I couldn't really give 2 shits.
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Old 09-26-2016, 11:31 PM   #8
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Check out Sportsmobile.com. They build semi-custom conversions and they have a lot of information online to help you compare Promasters/Transits/Sprinters.
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Old 09-27-2016, 03:23 AM   #9
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When comparing, remember that the PM has the shortest nose.

For reference, my 136" WB PM is a hair over 10 feet from rear of cab to rear doors. The 159" adds 23" behind the slider. The extended 159" adds another 4" behind the rear wheels.
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Old 09-27-2016, 12:50 PM   #10
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When comparing, remember that the PM has the shortest nose.

For reference, my 136" WB PM is a hair over 10 feet from rear of cab to rear doors. The 159" adds 23" behind the slider. The extended 159" adds another 4" behind the rear wheels.
That is the kind of info that is helpful and probably the very reason it isn't posted on stat sheets. The sheets are never consistent between mfg for a reason. Damn marketing departments.

Any idea why the PM doesn't come in a 1500 or 2500? I dunno how big the florist industry is but there's got to be someone that wants a long 1500 that doesn't need a 63 ton payload.
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Old 09-27-2016, 01:09 PM   #11
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Check out Sportsmobile.com. They build semi-custom conversions and they have a lot of information online to help you compare Promasters/Transits/Sprinters.
Already have. Unless I'm missing it, I don't see a good comparison of the floorplans. Ideally, I'd like to see them all together instead of the EB110S used on multiple pages. I did see (but can't find it now) a bunch of RB ??? floor plans all on the same page. But, still no way of knowing what platform was being used.

Oh wait, this page looks promising...
So am I reading this correctly? From shortest to longest, PR 140" +6" (???), Transit 151" +7" (???), and Sprinter 180" +5" (???). Oh there's the asterix. http://sportsmobile.com/transit-van-info/

Ford's spec sheet says "Cargo Length Front (at Floor)" and "Cargo Length Front (at Belt)" which are 170.2 and 161.2 respectively. http://www.ford.com/commercial-truck...ions/interior/

Sprinter's spec sheet on a Super High Roof (didn't know there was a Super) says 193.9 http://www.mbvans.com/sprinter/comme...vans/cargo-van
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Old 09-27-2016, 01:24 PM   #12
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We on the PM forum have been trying for two years to determine what, if any, difference there is between 1500, 2500, and 3500 except the badge and sway bar. IIRC, the longer ones actually have less payload because the extra length makes the vehicle itself heavier.

FWD is a huge advantage of the PM. Besides the extra 7" of headroom, the handling has to be experienced to be believed, especially in adverse conditions. I read of Sprinters and Transits being sensitive to crosswinds; our PM outran a tornado at 80MPH with 65 MPH crosswind on a narrow 2-lane road. Our Corolla wouldn't have behaved as well. Another biggie for me is that Sprinters and Transits have rust issues that the PM doesn't.

(You might guess I love my PM.)
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Old 09-27-2016, 01:39 PM   #13
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We on the PM forum have been trying for two years to determine what, if any, difference there is between 1500, 2500, and 3500 except the badge and sway bar. IIRC, the longer ones actually have less payload because the extra length makes the vehicle itself heavier.
Ok I'm window shopping for what might be in 5 yrs when I'm actually ready to do something but damn!! If owners can't figure it out then the mfg is doing something VERY wrong. I'm no stranger to cars and weird ass stats but still.

Quote:
FWD is a huge advantage of the PM. Besides the extra 7" of headroom, the handling has to be experienced to be believed, especially in adverse conditions. I read of Sprinters and Transits being sensitive to crosswinds; our PM outran a tornado at 80MPH with 65 MPH crosswind on a narrow 2-lane road. Our Corolla wouldn't have behaved as well.
Ideally, I'd like 4x4. Then AWD. Then ... I dunno if I'd rather have RWD or FWD. In cars, I prefer RWD but own both. In a van that isn't going to handle like a car anyway... probably prefer understeer to oversteer.

Quote:
Another biggie for me is that Sprinters and Transits have rust issues that the PM doesn't.
Oh??? Good to know.

Quote:
(You might guess I love my PM.)
I kinda got that impression. It's all good.
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Old 09-27-2016, 01:48 PM   #14
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(You might guess I love my PM.)
I do like the 73" interior width (Sportsmobile link) but I can't give up the extra 40" in length. Tell your buddies down at Dodge to get off their asses and make ax XLB. 73"x 185", the extra 5" just to piss off Sprinter.
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Old 09-27-2016, 01:54 PM   #15
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Sorry keep thinking of more stuff to comment on...

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Originally Posted by MsNomer View Post
except the badge and sway bar. IIRC, the longer ones actually have less payload
Bigger swaybar is generally a good idea unless we are talking small RWD cars. Sliding them around cones and on the track . I'd do it in a van if they let me woot woot. ...but wouldn't want to do it on a mountainside with snow/ice.

Anywho, don't know if I mentioned it but weight isn't that big a deal to me at all except that it kills gas mileage. Payload I don't care at all about assuming it's high enough for the adding of cabinets, water tanks, RV stuffs. Tow rating on the other hand... 5k would be nice. 3k would be the minimum. I would probably want to tow a Miata, Mini, BRZ, ... something of that sort.
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Old 09-27-2016, 05:50 PM   #16
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So am I reading this correctly? From shortest to longest, PR 140" +6" (???), Transit 151" +7" (???), and Sprinter 180" +5" (???)
The Sportsmobile interior length specs for Promaster are shorter because they subtract for an 8 inch footrest platform behind the passenger seat. You can see that footrest in the Sportsmobile interior photo below.

Actual interior floor lengths for the longest Promaster and Transit are within a few inches. The Transit's longer exterior is due to the traditional RWD longitudinal engine and transmission mount whereas Promaster uses a more compact transverse powertrain typical of FWD.

The longest Sprinter does indeed have more interior length than either Promaster or Transit. You might want to visit a Winnebago dealer to compare interior space of the Travato (Promaster), Paseo (Transit) and Era (Sprinter) units once the Paseo arrives in November.

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Anywho, don't know if I mentioned it but weight isn't that big a deal to me at all except that it kills gas mileage. Payload I don't care at all about assuming it's high enough for the adding of cabinets, water tanks, RV stuffs. Tow rating on the other hand... 5k would be nice. 3k would be the minimum. I would probably want to tow a Miata, Mini, BRZ, ... something of that sort.
For towing the Promaster has very limited capacity whereas the higher GCVWR Sprinter and Transit can tow moderate loads. But that brings up the question of why get a Class B, which are usually chosen for maneuverability and avoiding the need for a separate tow vehicle. You might want to consider a larger Class C or Class A for a full tow rig.

Sportsmobile Promaster pic:
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File Type: jpg smb_promaster_step.jpg (98.9 KB, 14 views)
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Old 09-27-2016, 06:04 PM   #17
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The Sportsmobile interior length specs for Promaster are shorter because they subtract for an 8 inch footrest platform behind the passenger seat. You can see that footrest in the Sportsmobile interior photo below.
That is goofy as hell. I've not seen that. Nor have I seen the 3 or 4" step down in a true Class B. The B+ and c, sure. But not in a B.

Quote:
Actual interior floor lengths for the longest Promaster and Transit are within a few inches. The Transit's longer exterior is due to the traditional RWD longitudinal engine and transmission mount whereas Promaster uses a more compact transverse powertrain typical of FWD.
Makes sense. Guess I'm used to the conversion vans where there's a huge bubble in the interior of the cab for the engine.

Quote:
The longest Sprinter does indeed have more interior length than either Promaster or Transit. You might want to visit a Winnebago dealer to compare interior space of the Travato (Promaster), Paseo (Transit) and Era (Sprinter) units once the Paseo arrives in November.
Finding a B by anyone doesn't seem to be so easy around this neck of the woods (Baltimore/Harrisburg)


Quote:
But that brings up the question of why get a Class B, which are usually chosen for maneuverability and avoiding the need for a separate tow vehicle.
Because if I have my way about it, I'll be living out of the RV. At the very least, I'd like to do 2~4 months at a time. It's kind of a toss up in my mind too. I don't generally like car campgrounds but if I was to drop anchor somewhere for a week/month, I don't want to roll up the awning, stash the pink flamingos , and whatever else just to drive to the grocery store. Is the occasional trip to the grocery store worth dragging a tow vehicle around for 4 months? I dunno. I'm YEARS away from buying anything unless that long lost uncle kicks the bucket and leaves me with millions. And even if he did then I'd buy a Class B and tow it behind the Class A just because I can.
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Old 09-27-2016, 06:12 PM   #18
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I also need to find a company that has a lay away plan. I want to start making payments now but I don't want to take delivery. I also don't want this year's model. I want to pick up the 2037 model brand new when I finally can retire and have it paid off. To hell with 401k, school 529 plans, etc. Someone needs to make an RV savings program that's tax free and you can start at 22 yrs old with your first real job.
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Old 09-27-2016, 08:15 PM   #19
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Is that a shower under the counter in that Sportsmobile photo...behind the driver seat...like the RT Link??
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Old 09-27-2016, 09:11 PM   #20
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Is that a shower under the counter in that Sportsmobile photo...behind the driver seat...like the RT Link??
Yep, Sportsmobile built this as a show demo with an unusual shower/bath that pops up from the countertop. Interesting concept but doesn't seem to have been too popular. Most SMB demo units sell at the show or within a month or two; this one has been sitting for over a year.

Cabinet and countertop build quality looks good though...

pics:
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File Type: jpg smb_popup_bath1.jpg (109.7 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg smb_popup_bath2.jpg (168.5 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg smb_popup_bath3.jpg (135.6 KB, 15 views)
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