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Old 03-03-2022, 08:04 PM   #1
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Default Class B or Small C

Hi all, first post here. Newbie from NJ
I've decided to take my vacations on the road now that I've all but given up on finding a vacation home after 3 years of searching, losing at bidding wars, and screwed during/after attorney reviews....

I was pretty much set on used Roadtrek, Pleasure-way, Gulfstream, etc. at about $50-60K. But then looked at the smaller Cs like the Winnie Trends and really like the extra store options and larger bathrooms with full showers. Has anyone owned both who can weigh in on their experiences with both? Obviously the Cs are wider and about 2-3 longer, but I also like the idea of getting something newer. For about the same price, for small Cs but 5 years younger.

In general given that both RVs are in good condition. Should I consider a newer RV with more miles (like 80k) vs an older one with lower miles (50k)?
Thanks, and I look forward to chatting with the good folks here. Tralfaz
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Old 03-03-2022, 08:19 PM   #2
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Our first rv was a 2007 coachman class c, about 25’. We bought it in 2015 and it only had 7,500 miles on it. It was great, we had no problems with it at all. We used it every other weekend because my wife was performing at festivals. We also lived in it during the winters because we did shows in Florida when it was cold in the north. We sold it two years later because we needed more room for more equipment at the festivals. We got almost what we paid for it. We moved into a small class A. She gave up the festival circuit so we just sold the class a and bought a 2015 Roadtrek Ranger that had 44,000 miles on it. This one looks new inside and out, plus it runs great. So I have no issues buying a used rv because there are some really nice ones available. Just take your time and keep your eyes open and you’ll find a nice rig and not have to spend a fortune.
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Old 03-03-2022, 08:33 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum Tralfaz!

The real estate market it crazy, but you may find the world of RV's equally so.

We bought our class b in 2017 after a year-and-a-half search to find one in good condition that was reasonably priced. Even then, I paid too much, but saw that as the price of admission. Strange thing is, I could get more than I paid for it now due to crazy demand and pricing.

Entering the class b world, I knew what I was getting into since my parents had several in the past. I also wanted something small, easy to drive, easy to park, and fairly good gas mileage (14-16 mpg).

Other considerations were the fact the cab in my "B" is as big as any class C and that is where we sit there an average 5-6 hours a day. The bed (at least in mine) is as big as any class C and that is where we spend another 8 hours a day. Finally, except for cooking and eating, we are outside the rest of the time which makes the small space of B to be less of a compromise.

However, if your concern about having a separate stand-up shower from your bathroom is a major one, there are not many (hardly any) B's you'll like. But we do fine in our wet bath by taking showers mostly sitting down. And if most were honest, you bath less while traveling unless you are a hiking, biking, or running enthusiasts.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.
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Old 03-04-2022, 11:39 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Tralfaz View Post
Hi all, first post here. Newbie from NJ
I've decided to take my vacations on the road now that I've all but given up on finding a vacation home after 3 years of searching, losing at bidding wars, and screwed during/after attorney reviews....

I was pretty much set on used Roadtrek, Pleasure-way, Gulfstream, etc. at about $50-60K. But then looked at the smaller Cs like the Winnie Trends and really like the extra store options and larger bathrooms with full showers. Has anyone owned both who can weigh in on their experiences with both? Obviously the Cs are wider and about 2-3 longer, but I also like the idea of getting something newer. For about the same price, for small Cs but 5 years younger.

In general given that both RVs are in good condition. Should I consider a newer RV with more miles (like 80k) vs an older one with lower miles (50k)?
Thanks, and I look forward to chatting with the good folks here. Tralfaz
Something to consider of late. I was on FB and looked at the Ekko gas mileage. Some are reporting mileage of under 10/gallon. This could mean a lot or nothing. If you are planning on doing lots of driving in your vehicle? Gas prices will probably be increasing in the near future? A class B will get around 15-18 miles per gallon? Sure you will get more storage in a small C. You have to decide if the additional fuel expense is worth it. I personally own a B van. I have been thinking of a B box of late. For me, I think it will be OK since I do not plan on lots of driving. Just 1 week trips and staying for 4-5 days at a time.
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Old 03-10-2022, 04:22 PM   #5
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My wife and I bought a used Class B, 2018 Winnebago ERA 170X and found it perfect for the two of us. She'd like a bigger bath/shower but the trade-off for driveability is worth it for us. And the diesel gets 18-21MPG so a bit of a relief. And with 7 seat belts, it's great for visiting the grandkids. We've driven from coast-to-coast and about 20,000 miles in two years. With 28,000 total miles, we're going to sell it and move on to boating. One caution on Class C or B+, there have been recent articles on the very limited cargo carrying capacity of them. Carefully question the seller on the cargo carrying capacity of the larger units after you, spouse, fluids, travel supplies, are loaded.
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Old 03-10-2022, 05:01 PM   #6
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Tralfaz, I don't think you've given us enough information about yourself and how you'd like to travel and camp to really give you good advice. That said, I think you should probably rent before you buy. It's pretty easy to rent Class C campers of all different sizes, and we see tons of rental Class C's on the road all the time. We rented a Class C before we bought our Class B, and had some of the best vacations we've ever had. Renting a Class B might be trickier, since you'll probably have to go to one of the peer-to-peer sites like rvezy.com. My brother rented through one of them (I forget which) and it worked out really well.
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Old 03-10-2022, 11:09 PM   #7
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Tralfaz, Lots of good advice here. Your style of vacationing informs your RV decision. Will you spend more time in one place, sort of a replacement to a vacation house? Then you may prefer a larger RV ~ Class C. If you'll travel frequently, then a Class B may serve you well, since it's easier to drive and to park, with better fuel mileage. Good advice to rent first to try an RV out for size and style. Good luck with your decision and search.
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Old 03-11-2022, 03:45 PM   #8
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Back in the 90’s when the kids were young, we brought a class C. It slept 6. Years later sold it. Years later I decided to get into camping again. Now it’s just me. I brought a class B because I didn’t need a big RV. I’ve always had a van & have no problems driving one. I even drove in a hurricane. I recently purchased my 2nd used class B, a 2001 Roadtrek Versatile. I love it! It’s my only vehicle. What I like about my van is that I can use it both as a passenger van ( seats 4) or a camper. The best of both worlds.
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Old 04-11-2022, 02:39 PM   #9
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I have a Travato, but was really tempted by the Trend (still am occasionally).
We've also considered the newer Coachmen Small C's and the Ekko - they ALL are very useful, fill a good market, and are years ahead of the big old E class Ford cutaways.
That said, as others have commented, A van is best suited for travelers while a Class C (ANY Class C) is better suited for campers. If you have a lot of "stuff", I recommend a Class C (or a trailer behind a class B).
That said, the parking and convenience of a B is SO nice. Whenever we start considering a C, and we're driving around in our B, we find multiple times a day when we say, "Well, we wouldn't have done THAT UTurn with a C", or "We couldn't have parked HERE with a C", or "I wouldn't have tried to drive THIS dirt road with a C", or "we never could have Overnighted HERE with a C", or "I'm glad we're not driving around in THIS city with a C". It goes on and on.
But as it always goes, most people figure out how to adapt their equipment to their situation. You don't make the Uturn, You find a little less convenient place to park, You stay off the dirt road, or haul a jeep behind you, You pay for a campsite, and maybe use a towed or public transportation to travel into a city.
Best of luck!
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Old 04-14-2022, 01:32 PM   #10
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I have a Trend and formerly owned a small 17' Pleasureway Class B on a Ford E250 chassis. They are very different vehicles with different strengths and weaknesses.

We ran into Russ Garfin from Winnebago at an RV show several years ago while looking seriously at the Travato. After a brief discussion he pointed us to the Trend. We looked at it and were impressed, but were both pretty firmly against it because of how big it seemed. Fast forward a few years and after looking at Class Bs exhaustively we concluded that the Trend was really the best option for a family with kids and we would just have to live with its limitations. We even started looking for a Class B to go along with it so we could continue to enjoy the benefits of both! After a few months of owning the Trend however we ditched the idea of getting a second class B to complement it. It does have some limitations but they were far less than we feared and not enough to justify a second camper.

In terms of driveability the Trend (with SumoShocks) is much better then anyone should reasonably expect it to be. Even at 24' the incredibly tight turn radius of the ProMaster chassis makes it easy to do U-turns anywhere you have at least three lanes of width. I have never compared it, but I'm pretty sure it has a significantly tighter turn radius than my 17' Ford did. That, combined with the large mirrors and backup camera make it quite easy to manuver in tight spaces.

The Ford, even though it was 2WD and had pretty low ground clearance, was significantly better offroad. The Trend is a heavy vehicle and it will get stuck easily on soft ground (I know this by experience). It has great ground clearance everywhere but the rear axle, however the long rear overhang makes uneven roads a bit too much of an adventure. How much this limits you depends on your style of camping. I doubt a 25' MB Class-B van would fare any better in most circumstances, and some of the limitations of the Trend would apply to most ProMaster Class-Bs as well (the weight, the low rear axle, etc). If the dirt road areas you navigate are passable by those types of Class Bs you could probably bring a Trend along the same route.

Parking was unquestionably better in the 17' Ford. That being said, although I sometimes have to look longer for parking I have almost never found myself unable to find it in all our travels. The far bigger limitation in terms of parking comes from cities with a "No RV" parking ordinance, a "No Vehicle Parking over 19" ordinance, or parking lots that specifically forbid RVs of any length. I run into these far more often than I do space challenges with parking the Trend, and they would apply to any Class B that was not stealth.

I almost always back into parking slots (it is safer because you always have the best situational awareness when you first approach a parking spot). With this technique I regularly fit the Trend into ordinary spots even in dense urban areas. The Trend is only as wide as its front running steps and has the same stock side mirrors as every Promaster so it fits fine in pretty much any parking spot I come across. The key is to have an area behind the parking spot that I can hang the tail over. These are usually available on the edges of lots, or sometimes when a lot has a raised grassy area between sections. In these situations the back wheels can be brought all the way back to the parking stop and the front fits fully in the space that a normal vehicle occupies (e.g. it doesn't stick out any further than the other cars).

For parallel parking I find the Trend to be as easy or easier than most vehicles. You need a bit longer of a space, but the tight turning radius and backup camera let me fit into spots that are only just a bit longer than the Trend itself. Fold the mirror on the traffic side and it works great. I live in the NE where parking slots are routinely shorter and narrower then they are in the rest of the country and successfully park in all sorts of urban and dense urban areas without much difficulty.

In terms of usage I would say that we used our 17' Pleasureway as a daily-driver all the time, and thought nothing of picking it for any sort of day trip we took. That's not the case with the Trend. I do drive it for errands when necessary, but the extra effort of maneuvering a larger vehicle makes me lean towards my other cars more. We take it for long day trips, but not for short trips to the park. This is partially because the absorption fridge is near-useless without an extended time to cool down. Having a compressor fridge was a key advantage of the 17' Pleasureway as we could put stuff in, turn it on, and it would rapidly cool down before the food started to warm up.

On the other hand, we never seriously considered anything other than vacation trips in the 17' Pleasureway. We have taken several month long trips in the Trend. The extra space makes it so much more livable. In fact, we have even used it for multiple months - something we never would have done in our Class B. The Trend is a virtual palace compared to a Class B on the inside, especially on a rainy day with children! The near-full-length awning provides a lot of protected outdoor living space in wet weather too.
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Old 04-14-2022, 06:25 PM   #11
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I have a Trend and formerly owned a small 17' Pleasureway Class B on a Ford E250 chassis. They are very different vehicles with different strengths and weaknesses.

We ran into Russ Garfin from Winnebago at an RV show several years ago while looking seriously at the Travato. After a brief discussion he pointed us to the Trend. We looked at it and were impressed, but were both pretty firmly against it because of how big it seemed. Fast forward a few years and after looking at Class Bs exhaustively we concluded that the Trend was really the best option for a family with kids and we would just have to live with its limitations. We even started looking for a Class B to go along with it so we could continue to enjoy the benefits of both! After a few months of owning the Trend however we ditched the idea of getting a second class B to complement it. It does have some limitations but they were far less than we feared and not enough to justify a second camper.

In terms of driveability the Trend (with SumoShocks) is much better then anyone should reasonably expect it to be. Even at 24' the incredibly tight turn radius of the ProMaster chassis makes it easy to do U-turns anywhere you have at least three lanes of width. I have never compared it, but I'm pretty sure it has a significantly tighter turn radius than my 17' Ford did. That, combined with the large mirrors and backup camera make it quite easy to manuver in tight spaces.

The Ford, even though it was 2WD and had pretty low ground clearance, was significantly better offroad. The Trend is a heavy vehicle and it will get stuck easily on soft ground (I know this by experience). It has great ground clearance everywhere but the rear axle, however the long rear overhang makes uneven roads a bit too much of an adventure. How much this limits you depends on your style of camping. I doubt a 25' MB Class-B van would fare any better in most circumstances, and some of the limitations of the Trend would apply to most ProMaster Class-Bs as well (the weight, the low rear axle, etc). If the dirt road areas you navigate are passable by those types of Class Bs you could probably bring a Trend along the same route.

Parking was unquestionably better in the 17' Ford. That being said, although I sometimes have to look longer for parking I have almost never found myself unable to find it in all our travels. The far bigger limitation in terms of parking comes from cities with a "No RV" parking ordinance, a "No Vehicle Parking over 19" ordinance, or parking lots that specifically forbid RVs of any length. I run into these far more often than I do space challenges with parking the Trend, and they would apply to any Class B that was not stealth.

I almost always back into parking slots (it is safer because you always have the best situational awareness when you first approach a parking spot). With this technique I regularly fit the Trend into ordinary spots even in dense urban areas. The Trend is only as wide as its front running steps and has the same stock side mirrors as every Promaster so it fits fine in pretty much any parking spot I come across. The key is to have an area behind the parking spot that I can hang the tail over. These are usually available on the edges of lots, or sometimes when a lot has a raised grassy area between sections. In these situations the back wheels can be brought all the way back to the parking stop and the front fits fully in the space that a normal vehicle occupies (e.g. it doesn't stick out any further than the other cars).

For parallel parking I find the Trend to be as easy or easier than most vehicles. You need a bit longer of a space, but the tight turning radius and backup camera let me fit into spots that are only just a bit longer than the Trend itself. Fold the mirror on the traffic side and it works great. I live in the NE where parking slots are routinely shorter and narrower then they are in the rest of the country and successfully park in all sorts of urban and dense urban areas without much difficulty.

In terms of usage I would say that we used our 17' Pleasureway as a daily-driver all the time, and thought nothing of picking it for any sort of day trip we took. That's not the case with the Trend. I do drive it for errands when necessary, but the extra effort of maneuvering a larger vehicle makes me lean towards my other cars more. We take it for long day trips, but not for short trips to the park. This is partially because the absorption fridge is near-useless without an extended time to cool down. Having a compressor fridge was a key advantage of the 17' Pleasureway as we could put stuff in, turn it on, and it would rapidly cool down before the food started to warm up.

On the other hand, we never seriously considered anything other than vacation trips in the 17' Pleasureway. We have taken several month long trips in the Trend. The extra space makes it so much more livable. In fact, we have even used it for multiple months - something we never would have done in our Class B. The Trend is a virtual palace compared to a Class B on the inside, especially on a rainy day with children! The near-full-length awning provides a lot of protected outdoor living space in wet weather too.
I have a PW lexor TS on Promaster chassis. Is the Trend made on a Ram truck chassis? Does it utilize the same 3.6L gasoline powered engine? Is it adequate to power a class C?

Thanks
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Old 04-14-2022, 06:37 PM   #12
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I have a PW lexor TS on Promaster chassis. Is the Trend made on a Ram truck chassis? Does it utilize the same 3.6L gasoline powered engine? Is it adequate to power a class C?

Thanks

I just looked at the specs for a Trend and it showed 93xx# GVWR so I don't see how you could haul more than in a Travato which would be the same, but maybe I missed something. With 4 people besides, I would think you would have more place to put stuff the load capacity to carry it.
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Old 04-14-2022, 07:23 PM   #13
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The Trend is built on the cutaway Promaster chassis, so it is identical in specs to a 3500 Promaster.

The 3.6L engine struggles, especially maintaining speed on the freeway where nearly every hill requires downshifting to maintain ~75MPH.
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