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Old 02-17-2014, 06:11 PM   #1
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Default Considering a 2008 Great West Vans Classic

Hello, new member here. This weekend I looked at a used 2008 Great West Vans Classic (Elite, Ford chassis) at a sportsmens show. I've been searching for a used Class B for about 6 months. But they are rare around Pennsylvania, USA. So when I saw this one, I arranged with the dealer selling it for a tour at the show. The unit has only 3500 miles on it, having been used by a senior couple who are now experiencing health issues (or so the dealer's story goes...). The same dealer was the original seller and then bought it back from their customer. The price is in line with similar models. It is in excellent shape. I have an appt. to take it for a test drive this coming weekend. I spent over two hours reviewing the unit both when the dealer was and was not present. I had a checklist prepared of all of the things to consider, examine and catalog the condition. Almost all of that was positive for this unit. The ones that were not are features that either could be added later, like a rear view camera or changed, like the placement of the TV (it blocked the extendible cutting board in the kitchen area). I plan to use this unit solo for extended trips (across the USA and Canada) as well as to local events. I will have a friend traveling with me on some of those trips. My objective is touring, not so much just camping.

I do know that it has the Tri-fold electric sofa/bed and with that, a lot more storage than I have seen in other Class Bs. It also has storage above the cab, open but with a cargo net already installed. And an outside "drawer" big enough to hold such things as leveling blocks, hoses and even chairs and a folded rug. Very little storage int he kitchen unit, but not a deal-breaker. The wet bath was very confining but not much different from other Class Bs. It does not have the expandable shower area that some Roadtreks have, for example. The front seats swivel and a built-in, foldout table for two is made for them. That was a very comfortable area in which one could dine or work on a laptop.

Despite some extensive searches on the Internet, I'm having trouble finding any information on this model regarding reliability or problem areas to watch out for. So my request here is for some assistance from other GWV owners or any others who can point me to some sources for this information. I want to make sure that I am buying something with any known problems already repaired (like recalls, for example). I am aware that GWV was bought out a couple of years ago and that they are no longer making the Classic models, only the Sprinter Legends. So, that is a factor in my decision as replacement parts might be difficult to obtain in case of damage.

Let me know if there is any other information that I can try to obtain before I decide to purchase this unit. Thank you.

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Old 02-17-2014, 06:23 PM   #2
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Default Re: Considering a 2008 Great West Vans Classic

We liked the Great West vans when we were looking in 2006-2007 timeframe. Very well built. We drove a Classic on the Ford chassis and found it didn't drive as nicely as the Chevies we drove. Maybe the shorter wheelbase, maybe other things, maybe only that one, but it was noticeable. Pleasure-way Fords have also had some handling complaints, so it may be chassis related. Many folks love their Fords.

Best thing to do is get it out and drive it in the wind, traffic, trucks, rough roads, etc, to see if you are comfortable driving it under all the conditions. If the dealer has some other b's on other chassis, you may want to drive them to compare, if you haven't driven any other ones.

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Old 02-17-2014, 08:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: Considering a 2008 Great West Vans Classic

The Pleasure-way Excel was built on a Van chassis and the Great West Classic was built on a cutaway chassis. They are not the same and I suspect the Classic would outperform the Excel in handling and definitely loading capacity. For what it is worth Great West Vans told me they would not put a wide body on a Van chassis as Pleasure-way did because of handling problems. That Classic would be a great bargain as they are going to be rare finds since with new ownership they are no longer made.
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:55 PM   #4
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Default Re: Considering a 2008 Great West Vans Classic

The GW Titan was built on a cutaway chassis. The GW Classic Elite looks to be a van chassis.


Forum member Seadog posted about a few problems with his newly acquired used Great West Classic. Those posts are listed here: I don't think there were any major issues.

The unavailability of some parts on discontinued models is common across all brands. There always seems to be a work around.
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Old 02-19-2014, 05:12 PM   #5
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Default Re: Considering a 2008 Great West Vans Classic

Thank you all for the good information. My test drive is on Saturday. I will definitely try out a variety of roads, parking, etc. Then I will get back to you with the results.
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Old 02-27-2014, 12:18 AM   #6
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Default Re: Considering a 2008 Great West Vans Classic

I saw a beautiful all leather one on Dave Arbogast website.Looks like new. The shower system is in the hall I think unlike the GWC SPrinters which have enclosed wet bath. GOod luck

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