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Old 05-30-2016, 09:52 PM   #1
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Default New buyer recommendations

My wife and I were starting to look around at some RV shows. I had a C for several years and she is new to RVing. Since it's just for us two, I was looking at one of the new smaller Class A models. She liked the B profiles more. I'm starting to come around to that being the better choice. The things that throw me off are having the shower combined with the toilet, and the beds that are converted pull out seats with the big crevasse in the middle.

We would use it for some long weekend trips, tailgating, maybe to accompany each other on our business trips so that we don't have to spend a lot on airline tickets and have the comforts of our own place.

What models have separate showers and more comfortable beds? We only need the one bed for us, and we're both not big people. I was looking at an article on the Winnebago Era 70C even has a slideout and that seems to be about right, are there others that are recommended like this? What brands are more popular and reliable? There seems to be a lot of entrants into this space. We'd probably go for a lightly used and well loved model over a brand new one. Would like to stay between $60-80k if possible.

Thanks in advance for any help.

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Old 05-30-2016, 10:38 PM   #2
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If you can find one, take a look at the Great West Vans Legend. The company has recently gone out of business, so you would be buying an orphan. But if you can live with that (and no warranty, I assume), I am betting that you could negotiate a great deal on either an old-stock new model, or a used one in dealer inventory.

We love ours, and it scores well on both of the specific items you mentioned:
--although it does have a wet bath, recent model years have one that is probably the best of its kind. Very roomy, and it has a fold-out door feature that extends the bath area across the van.
--Most models come with a unique "Tri-fold" bed, which we find very comfortable. It folds flat in three sections with the seams traveling perpendicular to the sleeping position, where they don't really matter much. Also, the bed is completely clear-span underneath (doesn't touch the floor anywhere), so there is huge storage. Finally, it has a "push forward" feature that lets you create a very large storage space in the back when you need it.

I bet with a little negotiation you could get a new one in your price range.

Formerly: 2005 Airstream Interstate (Sprinter 2500 T1N)
Now!: 2014 Great West Vans Legend SE (Sprinter 3500 NCV3 I4)
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Old 05-31-2016, 01:35 AM   #3
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I'll throw in my 2 cents. Take it for what it's worth.

One of my sons is head of Maintenance for a trucking company, so my first call went to him. Gas or Diesel? He explained that at this point in time, they're adding a lot of pollution controls on the Diesels, and the manufactures are going through a learning curve. He's having issues with the new Diesels right now.

Then I looked at the ERA. That Mercedes emblem scared me a bit. I owned a Mercedes a few years back, and parts and maintenance were crazy expensive. And I'm not really a fan of pullouts.

I ended up with a 2015 Travato. Ram Promaster 3500 with a 3.6 liter gas engine. I love it. Paid 76k for it, new off the lot. Maintenance is reasonable. I peg the cruise control at 60mph, and get 19 to 20mpg. If I go to 75+mph, it drops to 14 to 16mpg. I use it for work, and have 48k miles on it after 10 months. So far, it's trouble free.

As I said, it's just my 2 cents on the subject. You're spending quite a chunk of money, so research the hell out of it, and get exactly what you want.
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Old 06-02-2016, 07:43 PM   #4
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Maybe a B+ is a nice compromise for you. A B+ is basically a C, however there is no top bunk and they are in general thinner then a C. Most of the nice ones arent box looking like Cs.

You are going to need twin beds. The only other options are either the big crack down the center couch bed that you dont want. Or a super small corner bed type thing like in the Travato. I was shocked one person could fit on those beds when I tried them. And im only 5'8 150. The most comfortable RV bed setup is twin beds. But very few configs have them anymore.

Some models of interest to you....

Coach House 220 - Luxury Motorhomes - Fuel Efficient Downsized Class C (Class B-Plus) RVs - Platinum 220
Coach House 261XL - Luxury Motorhomes - Fuel Efficient Downsized Class C (Class B-Plus) RVs - Platinum 261XL

Coach House RVs are top quality. Only really bested in areas like interior finish by Leisure Travel and sometimes PW IMO. But their shell is the best there is. One piece fiberglass. Look for used ones, you will find some in that price range.

Winnebago Fuse 23a - Fuse | Floorplans | Winnebago RVs

New Ford Transit RV. Good floorplan. But diesel. Many like diesel. Personally I prefer gas in my RV. But if you dont mind diesel get a Ford. Vast service network. Sprinters are expensive to fix and hard to fix places that fix them.

Phoenix Cruiser 2100 - Phoenix Cruiser Model 2100
Phoenix Cruiser 2551 - Phoenix Cruiser Model 2551

A good company. They make a quality RV that is well built with a better shell then most. Interior touches have gotten better. You can tell they dont have the interior design teams like some of the others. But the last few years they look nice inside, although a bit more basic looking then some.


Travato 59k - Travato | Floorplans | Winnebago RVs

Im biased against Promaster RVs like the Travato 59k. No RV should have single rear wheels IMO. But thats a choice for you to make. I also believe they really messed up the bathroom. More then enough room back there for a proper dry bath but they had to put in that giant wardrobe and you have to button up a awful curtain to take a shower. In general Winnebago is the best mass RV builder there is. Much better then places like Coachmen. Not quite as good as places like Leisure Travel and Coach House. But really good value for the dollar because of the scale at which they build.

Forest River MB Cruiser 220 and 222 - 2006 Forest River Mb Cruiser 222, san leandro CA - -

Older model not made anymore. Hard to find van layouts that I find nice with a dry bath and twin bed setup. This is a solid one. Well within your budget.

LTV Free Spirit SS - Leisure Travel Vans - Free Spirit SS - Overview

Probably out of the price range used. But figured id put it in.

I really only put ones from quality companies. The Forest River is a solid unit, though not the quality of the others. Just hard to find vans that fit what you are looking for. Most have awful small wet baths. As far as overall quality I would rank companies out there like this:

Leisure Travel
Coach House
Pleasure Way
Phoenix Cruiser

The top three are just insanely priced new. Winnebago being easily the best value for the buck when buying brand new.
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Old 06-02-2016, 10:41 PM   #5
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Absolutely agree with mrshowtime3 recommendations. Great detailed reply.
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Old 06-03-2016, 09:15 PM   #6
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Yes - Very good information there. But I'm a Travato guy.

I usually travel alone, but when my wife comes along, we have enough room in the bed to sleep comfortable.

I removed the curtain in the bathroom. It's a wet room, so I found the curtain unnecessary. A quick wipe down after a shower does fine.

As far as dual wheels on the rear, the van isn't heavy enough to need duals. Just more thing to go wrong, and extra $$ on two additional tires.

I'm really happy with the Ram Promaster. Parts and Maintenance are reasonable compared to the Mercedes.
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Old 06-04-2016, 01:06 AM   #7
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Default Husband has chimed in....

And don't forget, the Pleasure-way has those amazing Eco-ion batteries too.

For us, at least, the choice between the Pleasure-way and the Roadtrek is not easy. We are watching this board to see if it can help to swing us one way or the other.
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Old 06-04-2016, 01:30 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by JustFoolingAround View Post
And don't forget, the Pleasure-way has those amazing Eco-ion batteries too.

For us, at least, the choice between the Pleasure-way and the Roadtrek is not easy. We are watching this board to see if it can help to swing us one way or the other.
I think it would pay to do some research on the Pleasure-way lithium setup, if you can get some information. We talked to the Pleasure-way guys at the RV show, and they couldn't tell us anything about the system. Didn't know if they had heaters, and didn't even know they may need them. Couldn't say how the charging worked for any of the three sources. Didn't know that there needed to be a method of getting started again if they hit cutoff. Didn't even know if any of the electronics included a battery monitor. The system may be great, but it did look like a typical drop in lithium setup like Smart Battery or Stark, which have been discussed here a lot, and the rest of the system shouldn't just be the same as with AGM.
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Old 06-04-2016, 01:34 AM   #9
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Default Eco-Ion

Thank you 'Booster'. That is exactly the kind of information we are hoping to get on this forum. I appreciate your time in posting it.

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