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Old 06-22-2016, 02:09 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: San Francisco
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Default Class B ratings and comparisons?

Is there an unbiased resource for reviews and information on B class RVs? Iíve watched videos on YouTube, read forums and blogs, but I canít find a place that actually rates and compares the quality and features of the different models and brands.

Are the RV Buyerís Guides worth the money? Are they unbiased? Informative?

Since Iíve never owned an RV I donít know what to look for. I donít think sales people will be very helpful.

There are different heating systems, different air conditioners, different electrical control panels and wiring schemes. I want to know whatís really better? How is the over all quality?

The videos ďreviewsĒ on YouTube are pretty funny. The presenters make the worst features sound like great things. ďJust look at this genuine garbage, itís the best on the market.Ē

Iíve noticed that some manufactures seal the rooftop components with messy gobs of sealant (Winnabego) others are much neater. Is that a tipoff of their over all quality?

What about the things we canít see? How well insulated is the RV? Are the wheel wells sprayed to dampen sound? Are they made with low emissions materials? I donít want an RV that off gasses formaldehyde and VOCs.

Iíve noticed that Leisure Van has some nice details. For example, their grab bar at the exit is brushed sculpted aluminum with LEDs on the inside. However, theyíre a little bigger than I want and their seating doesnít look comfortable.

Thanks in advance for your responses.


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Old 06-22-2016, 10:38 AM   #2
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Location: New Brunswick, Canada
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Keep reading.
Go and see as many units as you can. Then go see a few more.
If you are only interested in brand new then the Hershey Show in September usually has a good selection of Class B's on display.
Don't be mislead by newly purchased unit owner reviews. At the very least try to follow up on those to see if they still even own the unit after a few months or would still recommend it after using it for several trips.

I'd say take your time and decide for yourself what is better. Seems like everything can be better based on the point of view; more efficient, less expensive, more comfortable, easier to maintain, more convenient etc.

Two bikes on sliding cargo box: & 1997 GMC Savana 6.5L Turbo Diesel Custom Camper Van Specifications:
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Old 06-22-2016, 11:34 AM   #3
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Location: PHX, AZ
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kick figure out the features of value to you and vice versa.

figure out which chassis you want- MB, Chev, Ford, etc each has +/-'s

once you have a chassis and preferred features, look at which makers have that.

I found dealer videos on youtube very helpful- I watched how the seller ( usually large) moved around the RV- some showed little knowledge of RV's and they were soon skipped- others showed stuff i had not yet thought about.

we looked at a variety of new and used rv's to get an idea of quality in builds- and ALOT did have out gassing of materials and bad odors.
we lifted cushions to see bad woodwork, we looked at how wiring and plumbing was run and dressed to get an idea of overall quality.

but it came down to us being smart shoppers.

our search lead us to a PW Lexor which was almost 8 years old...and less than 1/2 our budget.
very happy with our choice

I'd suggest that IF you are tall, sideways sleeper models are out.

how many seats? we have 2 ----- 3rd or 4th seat would be a waste of space
do you want lots of cabinetry or prefer a more open or spacious interior

what is your use, do you want to be fully able to go out in a remote area for 10 days or are you merely day-driving between KOAS ( which is more what we do)- the decision to be a "space ship" requires different capabilities; power, water, waste

diesel or gas, domestic or import.
..I'll tell you that my gas chev can be serviced on every 2nd block of anytown in north america with parts available at any autoparts store for cheap. an import diesel may not be as easy
my neighbor did his own 4wd conversion of a ford based PW excel- in his driveway with readily available parts
diesel will give better MPG, but the cost diffential is not very wide
( we get about 16 MPG on gas) are you puling a trailer- GVWR?, do you plan on flatland like florida or rocky mountains- are you ok with the slow lane up 6% grades?

watch out for flavor of the month features- the +/-'s of a genny under the van are known- the benefits of other electric systems and batteries is still shaking out- you can read up on other users experiences with different systems
and which features really matter in the end
(turns out we don;t really have much need for any AC power except to charge up batteries if not driving)
solar can be hnady but roof mounted can really affect MPG, as can motor driven alternator/generator type power sources.

I found these and other forums and websites much more balanced than "rv" magazines which seemed to be cut and paste press releases

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