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Old 01-25-2021, 08:47 AM   #1
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Default First Time Buyer Seeking Advice

I'm a newbie in California looking for a Class B van and would appreciate any information/opinions on what I'm searching for. I will use the van as a second vehicle so I need to park in any market space. There will be three travelers most of the time, one being a senior, so I also need a smooth ride and comfort. As far as sleeping only two will sleep inside once in awhile on a short camping trip (enjoy motel life).

I have not been able to find a manufacture that fits my needs in a 19ft. I was going to look into Sportsmobile and find out if I can get a custom built that will fit my needs.

1) I would like a 19ft in order to park in any spot. I will use as a second vehicle to drive around town.
2) I need a third Captains chair for traveling
3) I need to be able to leave the AC on for the dog if I run into a store for a brief time.
4) toilet, sink, shower
5) Refrigerator, microwave, couch bed with seatbelts

Also I am not sure which vehicle is better Sprinter, Ford or Dodge?

As for running the AC for the dog, will a two lithium battery alternator system work or do I need a generator?

Thank you for your assistance
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Old 01-25-2021, 01:14 PM   #2
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Default Finding a Class B

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Originally Posted by Rvdreamin View Post
I'm a newbie in California looking for a Class B van and would appreciate any information/opinions on what I'm searching for. I will use the van as a second vehicle so I need to park in any market space. There will be three travelers most of the time, one being a senior, so I also need a smooth ride and comfort. As far as sleeping only two will sleep inside once in awhile on a short camping trip (enjoy motel life).

I have not been able to find a manufacture that fits my needs in a 19ft. I was going to look into Sportsmobile and find out if I can get a custom built that will fit my needs.

1) I would like a 19ft in order to park in any spot. I will use as a second vehicle to drive around town. I recommend a 20' or 21' which parks as well as a 19'
2) I need a third Captains chair for traveling Most newer B's have them but seat comfort is important.
3) I need to be able to leave the AC on for the dog if I run into a store for a brief time. We have cats and find that AC works on a generator but the noise is not always allowed. The newer Onan/ quiet gens are perfect. We put a thermometer that has a phone app to keep track of the inside temp when we go out.
4) toilet, sink, shower Our Travato 59K has a great toilet sink and wet bath shower but you will find the location of choice. I like the rear bath for cleaning.
5) Refrigerator, microwave, couch bed with seatbelts I recommend a 12V ref ridge and a convection microwave.

Also I am not sure which vehicle is better Sprinter, Ford or Dodge? I think any of these are good vehicles, but I choose Dodge Promaster with gas. Dealer can work and service well. I get 17-18 mpg.

As for running the AC for the dog, will a two lithium battery alternator system work or do I need a generator? If you get the optional alt system for around $20K it will run the AC with lithium on the Travato K and G L's. Seems like a like for someone you won't use unless you boondocks a lot. Oh and get a good surge protector and water filter. Some Parks are not that great and can damage your vehicle.

Thank you for your assistance
I have put some responses next to your questions and I have found that a lot depends on use and comfort. We believe in ease of use. We added a cargo rack with boxes in the back to carry things for our pets and supplies/bikes. I highly recommend a ladder with sports rack on top. Also the Sumo suspension is something that just was added the past year and can be put on older models. Tires, brakes, noise, and suspension are a important part. They even have a NDQ quieter AC with remote thermo control which may help your AC situation. The Truma water/heater is outstanding. Best wishes and get out of CA asap. LOL
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Old 01-25-2021, 04:05 PM   #3
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Some great ideas, thanks from another NewB. Which surge protector would you suggest for a 30amp (max) service?
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Old 01-25-2021, 07:21 PM   #4
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check local parking regs if you need to street park


although I am ok with vehicle length visiting MiL in Santa Monica...I am overheight and require a permit ( which can only be issued to residents)...nobody has ever measured the height, so far we've been fine with a normal "guest parking hanger" on the street over the years.

I would suggest that an 8 or 9000 pound RV is a daily driver as fun to drive as a Uhaul
expect poor fuel mileage and quick wear of the brakes and suspension

we use ours for trips- 90% highway miles


if using motels, think about a conversion van which will be 1/2 the weight, 1/2 the cost


for a quick run into a store/supermarket, unless it's 90ļ the dog is fine with windows part down in an already cooled down RV for a period.


if hotter, someone will stay in van and run the chev air conditioning




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Old 01-26-2021, 11:30 PM   #5
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Some great ideas, thanks from another NewB. Which surge protector would you suggest for a 30amp (max) service?
I bought a surge protector on Amazon and got a mid range (I can check the lights on the unit at a glance) for about $80. They can go way up in price. I figure that if it keeps from reverse polarity, or big power surges, that is worth it. I have only had this surge happen once in a Florida state park. Same thing with my water filter (green) and have the pressure tester. These items keep from things happening inside your rig. Also I have a good tire air pressure gauge, and figure that getting a TPS is just another thing to add on. Remember in a Class B the game is to reduce all interior items, and live small. Take care and travel safe. Oh I have found that my personal modifications have really helped for ease of use in my travels such as I got rid of the big center table, took out one of the legs and holder, then made a smaller narrow version using a cutting board.
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Old 01-28-2021, 08:13 PM   #6
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New models would include Airstream Interstate 19 or Pleasureway Ascent both are Sprinter based chassis. Both are 19 feet in length.
There are a variety of Promaster chassis but they seem to be using the 19'7" overall length configuration versus the shorter chassis.
In the used market, the list is extensive for exactly what you are looking for.
If you need to leave an animal in the van, you could search for vehicles that include an onboard generator and operate it to run the "house" air conditioner.
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Old 01-31-2021, 06:07 PM   #7
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Hi, I’m in Los Angeles and also new to the RV life. I bought a 2000 Roadtrek 190 Popular back in August. It is 19’3”. It has the two front captain seats and one behind the passenger seat. Also includes all that you were looking for regarding amenities. I was fortunate to find one with only 15K miles on it and it has been running great. Built on Dodge 3500 chassis. Check out Craigslist LA if you are open to a used one.
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Old 02-01-2021, 12:24 AM   #8
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Default New floorplan

If you are looking for a new coach, Jayco and Entegra have announced a new floorplan 20A in their class B rigs built on the RAM chassis. It has 2 additional captains chairs.

This is a new unit, and I don't know if they have a prototype unit yet.
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Old 02-03-2021, 05:58 AM   #9
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If you’re running into a store for just a brief time, your dog probably won’t need AC. Cracking a window and running the roof fan creates plenty of airflow to prevent a rapid rise in temperature. You can also invest in a cellular thermometer that can send an alert to your phone if the inside of the coach reaches a specified temperature. If you base your buying criteria on the need to run AC off the lithium batteries, you are then limiting your buying options tremendously while also increasing the price by around $20k.
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Old 02-03-2021, 05:50 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Roadtrek Rich View Post
New models would include Airstream Interstate 19 or Pleasureway Ascent both are Sprinter based chassis. Both are 19 feet in length.
There are a variety of Promaster chassis but they seem to be using the 19'7" overall length configuration versus the shorter chassis.
The actual difference between those Sprinter and Promaster chassis are only a couple inches:

Overall length:
Airstream Interstate 19: 19' 5"
PleasureWay Ascent: 19' 5"
Roadtrek Zion SRT (Promaster 159 chassis): 19' 7"
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Old 02-04-2021, 04:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadtrek Rich View Post
New models would include Airstream Interstate 19 or Pleasureway Ascent both are Sprinter based chassis. Both are 19 feet in length.
There are a variety of Promaster chassis but they seem to be using the 19'7" overall length configuration versus the shorter chassis.
In the used market, the list is extensive for exactly what you are looking for.
If you need to leave an animal in the van, you could search for vehicles that include an onboard generator and operate it to run the "house" air conditioner.
Also looking for small footprint. However, slipping over Dodge frames due to lack of safety features ( blind spot, collision avoidance, afaptive criuise, lane keep). Looked at Winnebago, Thor and airsyream. Any it3her maker recommendations? Thanks!
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Old 02-04-2021, 10:56 AM   #12
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For new Bs, only the Coachmen and Interstate come with 3rd captains chair. Everyone either use the coach in the back or the bus seat like the Begos
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Old 02-04-2021, 01:36 PM   #13
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You should look at Panoramicrv.com they have everything you need a super European design capable of seating 4 persons and sleeping 3 . You can look on you tube ultramobility and contact Neil he have one on trial in California. Also you can contact Philippe an ask all the question tel: 514-776-9775
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Old 02-04-2021, 04:15 PM   #14
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Also looking for small footprint. However, slipping over Dodge frames due to lack of safety features ( blind spot, collision avoidance, afaptive criuise, lane keep).
Ram Promaster does have crosswind assist, blind spot monitoring, digital rear view mirror, and collision avoidance / emergency braking available for 2021. No lane keeping assist or adaptive cruise control however.
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Old 02-04-2021, 04:30 PM   #15
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Ram Promaster does have crosswind assist, blind spot monitoring, digital rear view mirror, and collision avoidance / emergency braking available for 2021. No lane keeping assist or adaptive cruise control however.
Very good to know. Thanks very much. Any idea when the '21 can be ordered?
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Old 02-04-2021, 06:50 PM   #16
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Very good to know. Thanks very much. Any idea when the '21 can be ordered?
Ram started shipping 2021 model year Promaster vans last October. However many RV manufacturers label their models a year higher than the chassis (2022 model year RV on 2021 van chassis). That varies by manufacturer so double check the underlying chassis year.

Winnebago for example includes the crosswind assist, blind spot monitoring and digital rear view mirror on their new Travato and Solis Promaster units, but not the optional collision avoidance. That seems like a reasonable choice if your RV travels don't include too much downtown stop-and-go traffic since the Promaster and Sprinter vans already feature a high seating position with good forward visibility over traffic.
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Old 02-05-2021, 04:28 AM   #17
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Given your advice, i checked with Thor today. Checking out the Sequence. Straight talking and helpful guy said they would not change to the 2021 drive train until September . The salesmam had no idea. Soured our experience.

Will now look at Transit chassis. We favor Beyond. Also checking out Sprinter. Probably ERA.

Thanks again for your thoughts on the safety item transition on Rams.
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Old 02-05-2021, 03:01 PM   #18
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An earlier post noted that certain additional safety features would be “available” on the 2021 Promaster chassis. Made me wonder, if they are options, do most camper upfitters typically order units with all available safety upgrades? I could see Sprinter buyers being more willing to pay for the best current safety features, but Promaster targets a more budget-sensitive buyer. Just curious.

I’m not big on some of them, particularly adaptive cruise. My wife’s new daily driver has it, and it requires so much intervention it’s hardly worth using cruise at all. Automatic emergency braking is one I would want if available.
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Old 02-05-2021, 04:08 PM   #19
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Given your advice, i checked with Thor today. Checking out the Sequence. Straight talking and helpful guy said they would not change to the 2021 drive train until September. The salesmam had no idea.
Winnebago Solis and Travato buyers report getting the new safety features on units shipped since November 2020. So it definitely varies by RV manufacturer.

And unfortunately your experience with dealer salesmen is very common. They just want to push whatever is currently on their lot, regardless of what new features may be upcoming on factory units.
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Old 02-05-2021, 08:52 PM   #20
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Just a quick comment. The folks at Sportsmobile in Fresno at first rate. We bought a Sprinter from them in 2008 and they did an excellent job.
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