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Old 08-19-2020, 03:35 PM   #1
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Default Sold our Airstream trailer, shopping for a Class B

Relatively new member here. We had a 28' Airstream travel trailer for seven years, and a B+ Phoenix motor home for a couple of years before that. We've recently sold our Airstream and are now in the market for a true Class B. Given our years of experience, we're pretty particular about what we want to see in our next camper and are doing significant research in an effort to find something that checks most of our boxes, hopefully minimizing the urge to immediately start ripping, replacing and/or upgrading things.

We're interested in keeping a new (or new-to-us) camper van as short as we can, so we're looking at RV's built in the 19' Sprinter, the 22' Transit, and the ProMaster. At the moment, our closest fits appear to be the Midwest Automotive Designs Passage 144 / American Coach Patriot FD2 / Fleetwood IROK, the Coachmen Beyond 22D Li3, the Coachmen Nova 20C, or the RoadTrek Zion. The Panoramic is also interesting, given they now have an American distributor. We have zero interest in the Travato. The Solis PX is interesting, but we don't need the pop-top, so we probably won't go that way.

Anyhow, we're researching and waiting for availability to improve as we expect to see trailing indicators for the economy kick in and the RV market to soften a bit over the next 6-9 months. We could of course be wrong on that, but in the meantime we just learn more.
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Old 08-19-2020, 03:48 PM   #2
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Hi and Welcome


I'd strike roadtrek of the list- the collapse of roadtrek over the past years was spectacular, and sad, leaving thousands of vehicles on the road with falsified safety certs.


the popular chassis are ford, dodge and MB- compare those = gas or diesel


look at layout options and how they fit with your needs



I really suspect that with your experience you be teaching us!


Mike
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Old 08-19-2020, 04:53 PM   #3
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Thanks, and good point, re: RoadTrek. There are still plenty of folks out their loving their RoadTreks, especially those built on the Chevy chassis. Unfortunately, though as you've noted, RoadTrek's multiple business failures have led to a situation where spare parts for their previous vans, especially the Chevy-based units they've abandoned, are going to become more and more difficult to find as time goes on. So, we'll see what happens to RoadTrek as part of Rapido. It didn't take long for Hymer to ruin everything, but here's hoping Rapido will be successful.
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Old 08-19-2020, 05:10 PM   #4
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...well, if you were interested in a used unit, the R/T Chev units are older with more standardized builds, with appliances/systems common to many RV brands. Likely to have propane, and old tech 3 way fridges ( none of the less than promised battery/alternator technology they advertised)
the parts problems might only be with road trek specific body parts


but anything Chevrolet is plentiful
I have a Chev based 2006 Pleasure Way Lexor TD.
anything I can;t handle* can be fixed anywhere, by anyone, with parts from autozone**


If looking at R/T chevs

the Versatile models are sideways sleepers- if you are tall- no go ( plus a middle of the night climb-over to use the can)

the Popular models sleep fore/aft

the 170 is short wheel base, the 190 is a extended van, 210 models are widebodies on extended van


I checked out older R/T's and my issues were:
the extra seating required relocated cabinetry and made claustrophobic for me...cabinets overhanging the feet in bed...

and the drop floor was good for headroom, but i kept tripping on the step


my van has just the 2 seats up front, one of the largest beds available and a more "open feel"


mike


* I do alot of my own work and have a gmc sharing common drivetrain and manuals, tools.


**in my motorcycle world it was similar Harley /BMW
I loved the BMW but any part or service was 2 or 3 times the cost ...oilfilters were $36 vs $8 for the Harley.

and that extended to every part and accessory
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Old 08-19-2020, 11:04 PM   #5
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This is great stuff, thank you for demystifying all the Chevy RT models. We're not specifically committed to RT, but they are on our list of potentials. I was wondering what each model name meant! Sounds like the wide-body models, with custom fiberglass shells, may be good ones to be cautious of given the likely difficulty of sourcing fiberglass body parts, and also due to our interest in sticking with a standard-width van. This will help us as we search for our next RV.
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Old 08-19-2020, 11:19 PM   #6
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for chev based pleasure ways,

the lexor TD has 2 sofas (no seat belts) and can fill center aisle with bolsters
beds are 84" on one side, 78" on pass side



the lexor TS has motorized sofa, less storage under, but the sofa has seat belts if you have passengers


PW also has a widebody excel model built on a ford


I'm not too up on newer models..I stopped looking when we bought our PW in 2014



Mike
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Old 08-24-2020, 10:57 AM   #7
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Airstream has a 19’ class B
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Old 08-24-2020, 04:35 PM   #8
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I have a Chevy Express-based Airstream Avenue Suite. I'm an "old-school" guy and love it too much to sell it, but the day of cut-out roof/fiberglass top vans has passed.

To me, the Ford Transit has the sweet spot. Several lenghts (all shorter than the long Sprinter), gas engine, and wide availability of service.

The Transit choices are somewhat limited, but many more models are coming. I'd probably be most interested in a Pleasureway Ontour so long as I could get awning style windows and a Maxxfan.

Too bad none of the Sprinter/Promaster/Transit vans have the old pop out windows on the rear doors. We find them very handy on our older Chevy.
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Old 08-24-2020, 04:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rowiebowie View Post
the old pop out windows on the rear doors. We find them very handy on our older Chevy.

good point, I use all the time
Mike
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Old 08-24-2020, 06:23 PM   #10
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good point, I use all the time
Mike
Ah, yes. Cross ventilation is good, but sometimes the wind blows towards the back and new vans have no windows that open there. A critical oversight on the newer vans.

And, when there is no breeze, we pop on the Skreenz and turn on the Maxxfan. There's nothing like a cool breeze blowing over your head.

Plus you can leave them open when you leave your van.
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Old 08-24-2020, 08:04 PM   #11
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When the Ford Transit first came out I thought it would be the van of choice for up fitters but that didn't come to pass over the Promaster. I thought it was a better profile fit than N1T Sprinter or the Promaster. Why not? I didn't know because it wasn't a personal choice for me thus I never paid much attention. It is just now making inroads.
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Old 08-24-2020, 08:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davydd View Post
When the Ford Transit first came out I thought it would be the van of choice for up fitters but that didn't come to pass over the Promaster. I thought it was a better profile fit than N1T Sprinter or the Promaster. Why not? I didn't know because it wasn't a personal choice for me thus I never paid much attention. It is just now making inroads.
I wasn't paying that much attention, but my impression is that the previous generation Transit was pretty crude and truck-like. The current generation is a whole new ball game. Seems quite competitive (with some pros and cons) with the Sprinter when judged simply by the vans themselves. When taking into account the ancillary issues such as dealer network, service costs, large petrol engine and the Sprinter reliability nightmares, the Transit is a clear winner to my eye.

The availability of true all-wheel-drive is a big plus as well.
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Old 08-25-2020, 02:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Airstream has a 19 class B
Yes, thanks, knew about that one. We're giving Airstream Interstates a miss this time. The 19' is too short, and the 24' is too long.
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Old 08-25-2020, 02:05 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davydd View Post
When the Ford Transit first came out I thought it would be the van of choice for up fitters but that didn't come to pass over the Promaster. I thought it was a better profile fit than N1T Sprinter or the Promaster. Why not? I didn't know because it wasn't a personal choice for me thus I never paid much attention. It is just now making inroads.
We're quite interested in Transit-based camper vans, and the current model year Transits have a very good feature set (including AWD, EcoBoost, and active safety features). We've found the Pleasure-Way OnTour 2.2, the Coachmen Beyond, the Midwest Automotive Designs Ford Passage, and the American Coach Ford Patriot. (Midwest also makes the camper vans for American Coach. They're identical except for the badging.) Pleasure-Way also makes the OnTour 2.0 in the shorter Transit, but it's going to be too short for us, and on top of that, there's no bathroom sink in the OnTour 2.0.
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