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Old 01-21-2018, 10:01 PM   #1
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Default Family Friendly Class B - Advice?

Hello! Newbie here looking for advice on a family friendly Class B. My husband and I are avid tent campers (I like car camping so I can drink beer and eat hot dogs, he's more backcountry, freeze-dried food and no crowds) but we now have a toddler and another little one on the way so I think I have finally convinced him that a Class B is the way to go. Here's what I *think* I am looking for, but I appreciate any advice from other family campers!

- 4 captain's chairs. We'll be needing to put two carseats in the van for the next several years, so I think we'll need 4 captain's chairs for ease of car seats, handing the kids snacks, toys, etc.

- sleeping space for 2 adults, 2 kids. Ideally the space for the adults would be at least a queen size bed.

- don't really care about the bathroom set-up. I'd be fine with a porta-potty, no shower.

- simple kitchen is just fine with me. I think we'll still cook most meals outside, just use the kitchen during bad weather or to quickly make coffee, etc.

Thoughts on models to consider? Our max is $40k. Thanks for your advice!
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Old 01-22-2018, 12:16 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Kitty_Q View Post
Thoughts on models to consider? Our max is $40k. Thanks for your advice!
Sorry to say it...but at 40k mostly likely will have to build your own from a used cargo van.

If you find a used Class B with four captain chairs at 40K...jump at it asap because there are more buyers in this range than there are Class B campers.

The Aktiv and 59G do not have four captain chairs, but do have four forward facing seats...only one seat behind the driver has the child car seat anchor. I have not seen these two vans being sold for under 60K.

The four captain seat models are usually the longer extended vans costing 90K or more.

My opinion is based on the fact I want the exact same van on the east coast and have had no luck in finding a used one...maybe you have more options on the west coast!
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Old 01-22-2018, 01:12 AM   #3
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See this Nissan conversion, similar in price and layout to our 2 Westfalia for our family of 4 in seventies and eighties.

Market is getting hungry again for this type of RVs so more folks are building them. Unfortunately for NA RVs available in EU are not available here, search for Mercedes Marco Polo, or VW California not available in California.

Check Metris by Sportsmobile, Metris is bigger about the same size as old VW vans.
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Old 01-22-2018, 01:45 AM   #4
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There are many others on this forum more knowledgeable than I, but I wondered if you would consider something other than a class B? Given your seating/safety constraints and your willingness to use a cassette toilet, you might consider a crew cab truck with a cab-over camper. They usually have a bed over the cab and another that converts from the dinette - and the truck would have the child-friendly seat belts. Plus, as the kids get older, you will be able to take their friends, too. You could probably find a fairly recent setup in your price range.
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Old 01-22-2018, 03:42 AM   #5
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Roadtrek 190 Versatile. -- 4 seats.
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Old 01-22-2018, 04:01 AM   #6
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We have a 97 Dodge Great West class B van.
It has the 4 Captains chairs..a bed above the front of the cab.
Rear bed is a double size..not aware of queens in the Class Bs
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Old 01-22-2018, 04:46 PM   #7
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Thank you all! Very helpful. Yes, I figured our budget constraints would make this tricky, but I'm hopeful that if we are willing to go old enough (in terms of van age) we can find something that fits in our budget. I've been looking at the Roadtreks and Pleasure Way vans. Seems like a late 90s/early 2000s model would be in our price range.

Good idea on the truck and camper, Phoebe3. We had a pickup truck and camper when I was a kid and I have many fond memories of camping trips in that rig. I had pretty much ruled it out as it felt like to haul anything bigger than a Four Wheel Pop-Up Camper we'd need a decent size truck (bigger than a Toyota Tacoma or F150) and those are rather spendy. But, more versatile as a daily driver, so lots of pros and cons....
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Old 01-26-2018, 12:42 PM   #8
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You don't really say what appeals to you about a Class B, but from what you do say, I'd say a Class C would make more sense, mostly because they are less expensive. I've had a 19' Roadtrek (Dodge van) and I've rented Class C from Cruise America, and the Class C is much more comfortable for a family of 4. There are longer Class B's, of course, but not in your price range. A lot of people swear by the older vans, but ask yourself if you have the resources (i.e. a good mechanic) to keep a 20 year old vehicle running well. If Cruise America rents their "compact" Class C model in your area, I would definitely think about renting one for a week.
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Old 01-30-2018, 02:27 PM   #9
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Consider a VW, Winnebago Rialta, model Q. Has all the amenities and four captains chairs. Still available here and there, Rialta heaven in California rebuilds them and well within your budget. Rod
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Old 02-02-2018, 05:25 AM   #10
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that's exactly what I was thinking when I read your reply
sounds like it would meet all the criteria including price.
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