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Old 08-03-2020, 04:10 AM   #21
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Great post by Synergy* & Davvyd is on point,

*a Driver after my own Heart, into the night we march ...

You might need to bite the bullet with your seat of the pants feelings & then have to upgrade or downgrade once or twice more.

The Rental costs are obscene right now, not such a good idea unless you can get an exact model.

You cannot go wrong with a Black Tank or a Porta Potti & anything in between.

The other reason I suggest a Porta Potti is its a $135 investment that works & doesn't involve a large & expensive build out for somethings you may not need.

And you must not be sitting in a raised position when you evacuate your bowel as in the pedestals many rv toilets are attached to- the Porta Potti, just pull it out& use it & if you are on the road, there are plenty of places with normal toilets in which to dump.

It's a temporary solution.

But buying a rig for $100-+200k & discovering its great but just not ideal, then there is a big cost to your present position, even in today's sellers market which could evaporate tomorrow.

Beware, there is such a thing as RV Envy, and one can never be satisfied - I am still working on ideas 9 years later.

A Class B in itself is a compromise.

But ownership is a learning experience that makes you a better person & a better couple.

A Class A for the person who needs the kitchen sink.

Before talking to Colonial, etc I would suggest you buy* an hour of an Engineer's time at a RV custom builder & talk to him - lots of standard coaches are generic answers, a custom builder can give you ideas outside the box, you havent considered.

*the person's time is valuable

You are asking many questions none of us from where we sit can only offer opinions on a moving target but not the answers you need - but your backside will inform you of a few thousand miles down the road.
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Old 08-03-2020, 09:58 PM   #22
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knitsafghans: Aflter reading your last post, I take back the recommendation to rent first. You sound like you enjoy the experiences of different styles of travel and understand this is not a rolling hotel room and that its much much better! Jump in! Find a Class B that most closely matches your style of travel (layout (most important), seating capacity, off-grid capability, storage etc.) and jump in. A custom-built takes a long time, especially these days, and you also probably don't yet fully understand how you might want it customized). Make the custom van your second one.
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Old 08-03-2020, 10:34 PM   #23
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Try finding a good used unit, for say around $50-60k, +- a few k. By staying in this price range, fro what I have experienced and see in the market overall, f you did decide the unit wasn’t the “right” one for your needs, you can always, say after giving it a few runs, sell it, get most of not all your money back. By this time, hopefully, you’ll have a better idea of what your needs and likes are, and what you don't like and want, in the idea for you rig.

I have found that most people, usually, go through at least a couple of units before they find one that they can live with. I find that I need two units, one for long range travels and the ability for daily driving, and one for short range driving, also with daily driving, but with the ability to haul stuff (lumber and other materials) for DIY and honey do’s around the house. My DW’s daily driver is an LX470, which satisfies our needs for a “regular” vehicle, and I have an old jeep that gets me to the hardware store, seafood house, and the coast lines when I want to wet a line; it works for us.
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Old 08-03-2020, 10:41 PM   #24
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Well stated.

If the Covid buying craze continues, purchasing a Rig now might be like flipping a house, if the hysteria falls away in a month or so, the market might stay buoyant for another few months.

Many of us, have enjoyed the modification process of making what we have, the very best Tree House on Wheels, we can own.

Suddenly as owners, we are the Smartest People on the block, or any block of anything we choose to part next to ...
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Old 08-06-2020, 05:02 PM   #25
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Welcome to the Class B forum and congratulations on the twins coming! They will appreciate you coming to help! I know this is a big decision and there are many options. My partner and I looked at several options 2 years ago and ultimately decided on a 2014 Roadtrek SS Agile. The company has gone through some restructuring and people weren't happy that their warranties weren't honored, but we have been quite happy with ours. We are planning a trip from the Bay Area to Chicago for our daughter's wedding (which has been postponed due to COVID). I would drive what you can and visit the dealers close to you. If you are comfortable with a used one, check out RV Trader. Ours had less than 10K when we bought it. It was a bit of a learning curve but we have the lane assist and the safety features you may be looking for.
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Old 08-07-2020, 12:14 AM   #26
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Roadtrek Popular 210 has 4 seats....though I feel it is a 2 person van. We recently sold our Popular 190 and loved it except for the features your husband has grown accustomed to. You would think for $100,000 you would have electric adjustable seats, automatic wipers...but no. Even the Mercedes models often don't have electric seats and lane assist..
Only in 2020-2021 models you see a lot of tank heaters, side cameras, and modern cockpits that you expect. Look for the 10 inch displays on Mercedes...as a clue.
You might look at Isata 3 and Winnebago View for example.
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Old 08-07-2020, 12:20 AM   #27
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We have lane assist and rain sensor wipers in our 2014 Mercedes SS Agile. No electric seats however.
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Old 08-07-2020, 04:37 AM   #28
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A couple of questions - do folks who have described having lane assist also have adaptive cruise control? That's the feature my husband thinks is most critical. And the folks advising staying in the 50-60k range - there just isn't much available at all in that range around here. Within 150 miles on rvtrader at that range there is a 2006 Roadtrek active-n6 for 50k, a 2016 DYNAMAX CORP REV 24TL for 54k, and a 2017 Roadtrek simplicity sort for 58k. The models we've been looking at seem much more expensive?
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Old 08-07-2020, 05:38 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knitsafghans View Post
A couple of questions - do folks who have described having lane assist also have adaptive cruise control? That's the feature my husband thinks is most critical. And the folks advising staying in the 50-60k range - there just isn't much available at all in that range around here. Within 150 miles on rvtrader at that range there is a 2006 Roadtrek active-n6 for 50k, a 2016 DYNAMAX CORP REV 24TL for 54k, and a 2017 Roadtrek simplicity sort for 58k. The models we've been looking at seem much more expensive?
Keep in mind that the new models priced at $130k actually sell at $100k. So a 3 year old might be in the 70s.
Adaptive cruise control is great, unfortunately rare, and not same as lane assist.
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Old 08-07-2020, 12:22 PM   #30
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Just to avoid confusion:
There are two kinds of "lane assist" with confusingly similar names. The older style was available ca 2014. In Sprinter-world it was called "Lane Keeping Assist" and it warned you if you started to drift out of your lane. It came in the same package as blind-spot warning, auto-dimming headlights, and a few other things. These vehicles do not have adaptive cruise control. Near the end of NCV3 production, they added cross-wind assist, but only on the 2500 platform (at first).

The new VS30 Sprinters have "active" safety and convenience packages. As the name implies, these features can take control of the vehicle to a certain extent. They tend to have the word "active" in their names, e.g. "Active Lane Keeping". In this generation, adaptive cruise control is called "Active Distance Assist with Distronic".

Other brands have different names for nearly-identical features, which makes shopping a challenge sometimes. When shopping, it is worth maintaining the distinction between safety features, such as blind-spot detection and convenience features such as adaptive cruise. I am a fan of both, but obviously the former are more important.

Here is a good summary of current Sprinter safety and convenience features:

https://www.motortrend.com/news/2020...rinter-safety/
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Old 08-07-2020, 02:58 PM   #31
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I have the previous model Sprinter (2016) that has the non-active MB safety features - light on mirror monitors side lanes, beeps if drift out of lane, frontal collision avoidance etc. Not quite as comprehensive as current model safety features but has the most important features. I recommend replacing the Sprinter rear view camera with a more functional one (it does not have rear side traffic collision avoidance). I feel very confident driving this model Sprinter despite not having previous experience driving such a large vehicle.
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Old 08-09-2020, 12:20 PM   #32
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-Maybe it's a good idea to try one Black Tank and one non-Black Tank solution? My husband's view is if we go non-Black Tank it's all on me to deal with it ....

I understand that this is far more than turning a key. What's a little funny is that we're already part of a kind of lifestyle community with the Tesla? And I get that that doesn't require nearly as much handiness as it sounds like the B maybe does. I honestly don't know whether we're that handy.

...

Husband keeps poking at me to just get a trailer. He says it fills the same Covid needs and is much less expensive than a B. But for me it's not the same? Is a B really so hard? Should I give up?
For some reason I can't get my head wrapped around a "non-Black Tank" (cassette, compost, etc.) Yes, I know that's what the Europeans do, but I like the tried and true black tanks we use here in North America.

I agree with Synergy that getting a used model makes loads of sense (depreciation and the initial repairs of a new unit) however, an older unit may not have the features you are looking at.

We aren't handy either and we have a 2011 Sprinter-based Class B. This leads to more expensive maintenance (A & B schedules) and repairs that are typical to the Mercedes-Benz brand. I suspect also that in New Jersey you should have a Sprinter Mercedes-Benz dealer which are harder to find as well. So, if you can get the features you want, and try renting a Sprinter van with the features you want, I think you are headed in the right direction.

As to trailer vs. Class B (or any motorhome for that matter), the chief advantage is being able to access the cab from the living area, which I view as a safety measure. Of course, a new trailer plus tow vehicle would be cheaper than a new Class B, but a Class B IMHO is the way to have your cake and eat it too when traveling. It is your vehicle.

Good Luck,
Ray B.
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Ormond-by-the-Sea, Florida
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Old 08-09-2020, 09:43 PM   #33
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[QUOTE=Ray B;114151]For some reason I can't get my head wrapped around a "non-Black Tank" (cassette, compost, etc.) Yes, I know that's what the Europeans do, but I like the tried and true black tanks we use here in North America.

I agree with Synergy that getting a used model makes loads of sense (depreciation and the initial repairs of a new unit) however, an older unit may not have the features you are looking at.


There are literally tons of units availabe on the market all accros the US, of all makes and models. Ive made several new purchases over the years, and several used ones too. Ive faired way better with the used ones than the new. The Navion I have now I purchased used. It was 2 years new, had less than 25k miles on it and it was in great condition. The original owner, a FedX pilot and retired Air Force pilot, barely used it, kept it in his airplane hanger most of the time. I have all of the original paper work, which showed that the MSRP was $139,900.00 plus, plus, plus. He paid $127,864.50 out the door.

His asking price to me was $89,900.00. It was fall/winter and they were ready to deal. I purchased it from him, handled through a third party dealer, for $59,990.00, period; this included all taxes, tags and registration handled for me. At this price, I receieved the van completely serviced, new brakes, 7 new Michelin LTX MS2 tires with extended valve stems on the rears, transmission and driveline serviced, four new batteries, and a full detail, gassed up, ready to go. I had to fly in to take delivery and was provided a camping spot for three nights and days to ready myself for a fall/winter run into Alaska from California; it was a great trip.

I felt like I got a great deal. After one year of use in Alaska I had to replace the automatic steps and the Y cable, due to harsh winter conditions, which happens. Ive owned the Navion approximately ten years now and Ive used it a lot. Yes, Ive had normal wear and tear, an EGR and glow plugs replaced (normal) but I have just over 110,000 miles on it. Shes still going strong, and I will keep her as long as I feel that I can enjoy the ride; this works for me. I saved a lot of money over buying a new one for sure. Look at the amount of money the original owner spent, just to have the RV for two years, 25k miles. Hard to see the payoff here, the benefits; maybe Im wrong.

There are great deals out there, take the time and search. Call dealers. If you were buying a new rig, you would be doing the same search and buy practice. You can negotiate pricing on a new or used unit, even repairs, most anything is negotiable. Just don't fall in love right off the bat and let emotions kick in and dictate your wants. Once you find the right rig, start dealing, stick to your guns and make the best deal for you. The money you can potentially save is worth the time it takes to deal. Be patient. On a used unit, there may be some repairs here and there that must be taken care of, even a new unit is likely to have some needs that must be dealt with. But, with a used unit and the money you will likely save, things can be taken care of more affordably.

I have bought new rigs, lost a little money here and there, but no where near what the original owner of my Navion lost. Each one of the new units I owned, I was always tense about owning it, worrying about the money end of things, and had a hard time enjoying the rig as such. I usually sold the rigs after a year of ownership (indebtedness) just so I wouldnt lose too much money, so I could justify the money spent at that point to a years vacation. My Navion helped me to better enjoy RVing. Im done with buying new, as buying used works better for me.
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Old 08-24-2020, 12:49 AM   #34
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Progress to date:
A few things -
1. We reserved a rental in early September for 3 days!
2. Found that to get the safe driving features my husband wants we will either have to go new or be VERY lucky in used availability.
3. Right now our favorite candidates based on combination of features and availability are: the Airstream Interstate GT and Coachmen Galleria probably 24-A, or possibly the Boldt. Of course we haven't seen any of these! We're in quarantine because my second son was quite ill in Maryland and we had to go help out. Back in NJ that means 2 weeks quarantine - which will be up next Friday. Not that will help with an Interstate - but luckily our rental is a 2018 Interstate which should give us some feel and it may be possible to hop over to PA when out of quarantine to see a Galleria. Will keep you all posted and thank you so much for help so far.
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