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Old 09-16-2015, 08:28 PM   #81
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Best quote of the day? Woman in a 44ft $500k Entegra "I must have 1-1/2 baths!"
Well, of course she does. Can't be sharing the bath with just "anyone"...
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Old 09-16-2015, 08:47 PM   #82
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A little surprising since Ford is dominating in cargo van sales.

I personally don't see the need for a Transit Class B.
Did you not see this fatal flaw article linked to by mojoman on this thread? Many of us live far away from MB dealerships too which makes them even less desirable.
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Old 09-16-2015, 08:54 PM   #83
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Well, of course she does. Can't be sharing the bath with just "anyone"...
Well, as Greg said "different strokes for different folks".

I got the impression that people buying an Entegra are going out on the road full-time, maybe even selling the house. So for someone really replacing their home with a 2 bedroom RV, 1-1/2 baths makes sense, along all the other home amenities.

The Hershey Show is really huge - a billboard says "300 football fields full of RV's". All kinds of buyers, each with different critieria, and all kinds/types of RVs to fill it. A bit like a boat show - dinghies to multi-million $ yachts. So,what do you need?

For anyone going to Hershey, get there early. Also, (1) check out the sliding screen door on the Airstream Class B's - really heavy duty frame, slides very nice and easy, and (2) a few RV's had Drawer Microwaves - lets you mount below counter and use it without getting on your knees. Sharp was one brand.
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Old 09-16-2015, 09:11 PM   #84
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That sounds disappointing I was hoping for a European floorplan like the ones that have the rear set and the crosswise bed, with an aisle shower.

I just wonder why the US RV industry is so stunted when it comes to new stuff? One sees what happens in Germany and Japan with the cool stuff there. Here, we might get a better sound system or a bigger TV, as the latest 2016 class "C"s I looked at all had a hatch by the door for a flat-screen, and before that, it was speakers and subwoofers.
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Old 09-16-2015, 09:26 PM   #85
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That sounds disappointing I was hoping for a European floorplan like the ones that have the rear set and the crosswise bed, with an aisle shower.

I just wonder why the US RV industry is so stunted when it comes to new stuff? One sees what happens in Germany and Japan with the cool stuff there. Here, we might get a better sound system or a bigger TV, as the latest 2016 class "C"s I looked at all had a hatch by the door for a flat-screen, and before that, it was speakers and subwoofers.
I have heard "but that's what customers want". So we keep getting the same plans and layouts.

Then again, Steve Jobs (yes, he has a controversial history) once said "It's really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them.” and "You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.

Interestingly, I was just checking the site of Chausson, a French RV company. They now - for their Class C's - give you the choice of either the Fiat Ducato or the Ford Transit. Same layouts, but the choice of the base vehicle. How is that for an option?

Actually, I think the Travato is closest to a Euro layout with the cross wise bed. Leave the galley and dinette as is and just reconfigure the rear shower/bed/fridge-cabinet layout.
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Old 09-16-2015, 09:39 PM   #86
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My group will be there Friday. We'll be posting lots of pics of what we see.

I'll keep an eye out for any Transits in the Class C/B+ space - where I've expected to see something at Hershey if there will be ANY in 2016.
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Old 09-16-2015, 09:58 PM   #87
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Did you not see this fatal flaw article linked to by mojoman on this thread? Many of us live far away from MB dealerships too which makes them even less desirable.
I know all about it. I'm saying I don't see a need for a Transit class b because the Promaster is such a great platform at a much lower price than both Transit and Sprinter. It is the base vehicle of 2/3rd of all motorhomes in Europe.
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Old 09-16-2015, 10:06 PM   #88
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Maybe if someone needed to tow something heavy...
but I'm not sure how big a market that is...
Class B's seem to be a pretty small part of the market as it is...
I don't see the need either, but then again, I like the Promaster..
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Old 09-16-2015, 10:12 PM   #89
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When I first saw the 59G, it was one of the first true Euro layouts I've seen on this side of the pond that did more than just the couch or twin beds in the back that was pretty much the standard for "B"s in the US for decades. Most European vans have the backseat and a dinette or a half-dinette.

I'm actually surprised Ford doesn't try to seize this market. A campervan or a small "B" would be a very good alternative to the Chevy Suburban, and with people actually leaving cities now, a 4x4 Transit with a pop-top or some bunks, a stove, microwave, fridge, and other amenities would sell well, similar to a VW Westfalia. However, the only RV product I've seen from Ford is a rebranded Livin' Lite truck camper for the F-150. Even Mercedes had a very nice prototype of a campervan on a short Sprinter chassis at last year's Dusseldorf show.

One company I'm curious about is Hymer. Did they sneak out the back door when nobody was looking? Their Grand Canyon or one of their multitudes of "B"s, "C"s, or "A"s would sell extremely well here, especially now that gas is down and people are starting to poke their heads out of the cement canyons again. I remember reading that European converters were having an extremely difficult time going from 240VAC to 120 VAC electrical systems, which was one of their main barriers, that and US motorhomes have a generator and AC.
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Old 09-16-2015, 10:31 PM   #90
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Maybe if someone needed to tow something heavy...
but I'm not sure how big a market that is...
Class B's seem to be a pretty small part of the market as it is...
I don't see the need either, but then again, I like the Promaster..
I'd agree there was room for a Transit B if fuel prices were still high and/or climbing. Growth in B's is still happening, but it's not nearly as hot as the other categories now. At one time, I thought it would develop into a nice niche in the middle - cheaper than Sprinter, more expensive than Promaster.

But I doubt there is room for 4 chassis under current conditions. Alot of money has been invested in Promaster and Sprinters. One or the other would have to be tanking in sales to make room for Transit if the overall market is not growing really fast. By all accounts, all existing models are selling really well, including the ancient Chevy Express.
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Old 09-16-2015, 10:38 PM   #91
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I know all about it. I'm saying I don't see a need for a Transit class b because the Promaster is such a great platform at a much lower price than both Transit and Sprinter. It is the base vehicle of 2/3rd of all motorhomes in Europe.
Europeans tend to have 0-2 kids though, so the 2-4 seat designs work great for them. Over here in the states, there’s still more than a few of us with 3+. The Sprinter Bs often seat 7, Promasters not so much.

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Maybe if someone needed to tow something heavy...
but I'm not sure how big a market that is...
Class B's seem to be a pretty small part of the market as it is...
I don't see the need either, but then again, I like the Promaster..
Like a light weight trailer so the whole family has space to sleep?

I’m pretty sure the stubborn market is a pretty small market. I might be the only one in it. I’m still holding out for a true B hoping I won’t have to settle for a “B+”.

Chausson’s Fiat or Transit chassis option sounds really appealing. Are you listening Winnebago? It shouldn’t be too difficult to offer an option like that for the Trend for instance.
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Old 09-17-2015, 01:31 AM   #92
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Europeans tend to have 0-2 kids though, so the 2-4 seat designs work great for them. Over here in the states, there’s still more than a few of us with 3+. The Sprinter Bs often seat 7, Promasters not so much.
I don't quite know how to respond to these inaccurate statements.
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Old 09-17-2015, 02:10 AM   #93
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Europeans tend to have 0-2 kids though, so the 2-4 seat designs work great for them. Over here in the states, there’s still more than a few of us with 3+. The Sprinter Bs often seat 7, Promasters not so much.
I never heard that statistic before; where did you dig that up?

Anyway, today at Hershey, given it was a Wednesday, very few children. Many like us - retired, in their 60's or +, no kids or no kids at home anymore, all looking at RV's - for us the Class B's. Maybe we need to go to Europe
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Old 09-17-2015, 04:03 AM   #94
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I never heard that statistic before; where did you dig that up?

Anyway, today at Hershey, given it was a Wednesday, very few children. Many like us - retired, in their 60's or +, no kids or no kids at home anymore, all looking at RV's - for us the Class B's. Maybe we need to go to Europe
I thought the dropping fertility rate in the developed world was common knowledge; I guess I stand corrected. For most of Europe and the US, the fertility rate is 1-2 children on average per woman.

Italy and Germany are on the lower end at 1.49 and 1.44 children on average per woman (but by no means the lowest). And the UK and, US are at 1.9 children which is certainly more but still leaves a lot of room for many 0-1 children households/families.

A personal anecdote: As a child, I lived in England from 1988-1991 and my family visited numerous museums, castles, Roman ruins, etc. Most of these locations required admission and they often had a "family" rate that was cheaper than buying individual tickets. The only caveat? They defined family specifically as two adults and 1-2 children.
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Old 09-17-2015, 11:37 AM   #95
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My take on it is that with the growth of the Class B market and the Ford Transit now getting to the point where it is outselling the Sprinter by a factor of 4 in the US and the large dealer network with Ford we will have to see some Class B competition from the Transit vs the current Sprinters. Will it be a new manufacturer or one of the current ones? Probably not someone like Roadtrek with lots of current models and a large investment in the Sprinter as a platform. Winnebago has room for more models and the dealer network to support growth and could either add the Transit or transition from the Sprinter to the Transit without much investment. Someone will be first but who will it be? The Ducato segment is probably not effected much by the Transit, it seems pretty well positioned at this point.
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Old 09-17-2015, 01:45 PM   #96
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I thought the dropping fertility rate in the developed world was common knowledge; I guess I stand corrected. For most of Europe and the US, the fertility rate is 1-2 children on average per woman.

Italy and Germany are on the lower end at 1.49 and 1.44 children on average per woman (but by no means the lowest). And the UK and, US are at 1.9 children which is certainly more but still leaves a lot of room for many 0-1 children households/families.
transit,

Thanks for the link. With so much information & news available today, I don't always keep up with everything. But interesting to see the European low end at 1.44 and U.S. at 1.9.

While the overall demographic numbers may be useful in forecasting the overall RV market in the U.S., i.e. how many people take vacations, where do they go, how do they get there, where do they stay, etc. I think, that maybe (would love to hear manufacturers input on this) most RV companies focus, maybe simplistically, on more specific questions "where is the money?" and "how much do they have to spend?"

A large segment of Big Class A seems to focus on mainly on empty nesters, selling the house, going on the road full-time. And from what I have seen in CGs, less expensive, smaller Class A's/C's, but especially large trailers with their lower price point have a lot of families - with those 1.9+ children, and less disposable income.

Everyone looking at Class B's yesterday were late 50's and older (part of that due to it being Wed.) One woman told us she started out with a 36' RV, then as children moved on, went to a 26' RV, and now was looking at Class B's for she and her husband. Possibly, the Class B market is moving toward the retired (or almost retired) couple, not full-timers, willing to spend some additional $ to get a smaller, more maneuverable, 2 person package. The SRT Zion ("Perfect for a couple or single traveler") seems a move in that direction and Hymer is supposed to be (again) showing the Grand Canyon ("a premium product") at Elkhart this month.

I think the next few years will be interesting in the Class B market.
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Old 09-17-2015, 02:46 PM   #97
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At this point in the Class B game, the closest brand to European design is Safari Condo.

I think when North American manufacturers say, "We're just giving people what they want when it comes to design.", it's total BS. They are simply taking the most profitable path of least resistance.

Imagine being in the meeting at Roadtrek when they decided on the Zion SRT... "Hey guys, what can we do to introduce a revolutionary new model at Hershey and steal the show? I know, let's cut 15" off of the Zion! Winning!!!
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Old 09-17-2015, 03:27 PM   #98
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At this point in the Class B game, the closest brand to European design is Safari Condo.
Oops, forgot them. Yes, the Promaster XL21 series Flex is on my list. Love the rear queen bed that can be raised for cargo.

And they are here in North America! Do not understand why they don't expand their market with U.S. dealers and service, but they must have their reasons. Maybe something to do with "Conversion sold in USA directly from the factory" and their pricing structure.
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Old 09-17-2015, 03:42 PM   #99
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It seems to me the Safari is a custom conversion, mom & pop type shop. I think that is holding them back. If they adopted a business model more like Roadtrek or Pleasureway, I'd bet they could be successful.
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Old 09-17-2015, 04:00 PM   #100
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Advanced RV is the closest company we have in the United States to a Tesla for Class B RVs. The ownership evaluates the needs of the customer and places functionality at the top of the list.

This is an excellent forum and have learned quite a bit from others.

MY 1st and only RV was a Airstream Sprinter Westfalia and had it for nearly a decade. It was a Mercedes Sprinter van with the interior designed and fitted by Westfalia. I took a risk in buying it but appreciated the engineering that went into the design. While some of the components were German manufactured and hard to source, they were generally reliable.

I would attribute most of the problems I had with the unit to cultural differences. The unit was originally designed for a cassette toilet, had no house air-conditioning, and no on-board generator. Airstream felt customers would not accept the product without these things and retrofitted when the unit came across the pond.

These features added weight, complexity, and had reliability problems.

I was glad to hear Hymer is still planning to build the Grand Canyon here in America. I believe I and many others are not looking for a shrunken Class A with all the legacy carryovers (solid wood doors, refrigerator for a months worth of groceries, powered devices where manual effort will do, outdoor TVs, etc.).

A class b used to be for weekend get aways with a very specific set of requirements. A larger US manufacturer who specialized in Class B / B+ units would be helpful. The trend appears to be smaller RVs and not larger ones. Maybe sustainability and eco-friendly RVs could be the future in the USA.
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