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Old 03-14-2015, 07:20 PM   #1
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B or B+

I am ready to buy my first RV and thought I had settled on a Class B Winnebago Era 70C (Or a Leisure Free Spirit SS, if I could find one) but this weekend I took a look at a couple of Class B+'s and now I'm rethinking what I want.

The two that caught my eye are the PleasureWay Plateau XL and the Leisure Unity (but it seems to be on a several month back order).

Here's some of my "must have" criteria for an RV:

Mercedes Sprinter Van Chassis
Comfortable bed
Separate shower (no wet bath!)
Easy to drive in the city
Larger refrigerator / freezer
Screen door
I plan to full-time and boondock so fully self contained (I will add solar after making my purchase.)

The murphy bed of the Plateau XL really feels great. Plus it sets up easily. AND I can pull off the road for a nap with it, rather than having to use the slide out of the two class B's above.

On the other hand, the window space is minimal compared to the Class B's. And I also love the sleek profile of the Class Bs vs. the boxy look of the Class B+'s.

It's just me and my dog, so I don't need much room but I want to be comfortable.

What should I consider that I may be missing?

AND I'd especially love to hear from anyone who has a PleasureWay Plateau XL.

Thanks!

Peter
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Old 03-14-2015, 09:01 PM   #2
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I have owned a 2014 Free Spirit SS for nearly one year. Have had numerous problems with mechanical elements (navigation system, on-demand hot water). The inverter did not function properly for six months...until it was discovered that the dealer had installed replacement house batteries of an inferior quality; not the quality of the factory-installed version. Once replaced with proper batteries, the problem has disappeared. The original batteries had a crack in the casing, and were inoperable. They were replaced on day-of-delivery.


The on-demand hot water heater is scheduled to be replaced (it's on order). Time will tell whether that problem is resolved. Eleven months without reliable
hot water supply.


Strangely enough I really like the van! Apparently the 2015 Free Spirit production is on-hold to accommodate production of other models.
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Old 03-15-2015, 11:49 AM   #3
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We were looking at B+ from LTV and really liked them. It got down to our need to be agile and mobile in urban environments and finally settled on a small B (SS Agile).
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Old 03-15-2015, 12:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weazelll View Post

Here's some of my "must have" criteria for an RV:

Mercedes Sprinter Van Chassis



Peter
Good choice! I have had five MB vehicles, all diesels, since 1983 and now have an S350 Bluetec -They know how to make diesel engines. My S350 is nearly 5K lbs, all wheel drive, runs so quiet and smooth you wouldn't know it was a diesel, and as a bonus I get 34+ mpg on the highway and can drive 600+mi with a single tankful of fuel.
All the best in your search!
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Old 03-15-2015, 12:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PDX_Don View Post
I have owned a 2014 Free Spirit SS for nearly one year. Have had numerous problems with mechanical elements (navigation system, on-demand hot water). The inverter did not function properly for six months...until it was discovered that the dealer had installed replacement house batteries of an inferior quality; not the quality of the factory-installed version. Once replaced with proper batteries, the problem has disappeared. The original batteries had a crack in the casing, and were inoperable. They were replaced on day-of-delivery.


The on-demand hot water heater is scheduled to be replaced (it's on order). Time will tell whether that problem is resolved. Eleven months without reliable
hot water supply.


Strangely enough I really like the van! Apparently the 2015 Free Spirit production is on-hold to accommodate production of other models.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCabin View Post
We were looking at B+ from LTV and really liked them. It got down to our need to be agile and mobile in urban environments and finally settled on a small B (SS Agile).
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Old 03-15-2015, 05:48 PM   #6
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I have similar criteria as you do and I have whittled it down to 4 - mostly keying on the fact that they all have dry baths. As its only the two of us and space is limited for the B and B+, we like the Murphy and convertible beds.


B Class
Winnebago ERA 70C
Leisure Travel Vans Free Spirit SS

B+ Class
Leisure Travel Vans Unity MB
Pleasureway Plateau XL



The funniest thing you find will be people arguing about the nomenclature of B+ being a C or vice versa. I find it pretty humorous how crazy people get about it.
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Old 03-15-2015, 10:10 PM   #7
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Well, I made a decision . . .

So, after searching and researching for the past several months I put a deposit down on an RV today. I could not be more excited or sick to my stomach!

My research led me to conclude that a Class B Mercedes Sprinter Van was my best choice. I had narrowed things down to the Leisure Travel Free Spirit SS or the Winnebago Era 70C, with the latter being my top pick.

After having been to a couple of RV shows, I was waiting to make my final decision until after attending one more RV show in Portland. (I had done PLENTY of additional research - including renting a PleasureWay Plateau FL for a long 4-day weekend in February.)

I went to the RV show Friday afternoon. My daughter was kind enough to go with me. While I know she had her fill of RVs, it was very helpful to have her there! We looked at lots of different Class B Mercedes Sprinter Vans, including the Winnebago Era 70C. Although I had spent a lot of time researching them - especially the 70C - I discovered some new things I needed to consider more carefully.

That led us to look at a few Class B+ Mercedes Sprinter vans, including the Leisure Travel Unity and the PleasureWay Plateau XL. As the afternoon (and my daughter's patience) wore on, I kept coming back the Class B+ units. They offered some additional flexibility that I realized I might appreciate.

I left having decided to head out to the dealer the next day to test drive a Plateau XL they had on their lot. The next morning I took my test drive and was still impressed but also decided that the difference in price was going to be a barrier. The sales person confirmed my fears.

While this rig has some very nice features the Class B units don't have, it also fell short of some of the other rigs I had looked at. I spent time comparing them and eventually concluded the Plateau XL had the edge. (Not in small part due to the bed.)

Today I had a call from the sales person with an offer that was a couple of thousand above my upper limit. I thanked him for his time but said it was just out of my reach. He called back an hour or so later and said they would meet my price. (There are lots more details here that I may go into at another time.)

Bottom line, I put a deposit down to hold the unit which I should take possession of in the next couple of weeks.

I could not be more excited. Or sick to my stomach!
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Old 03-16-2015, 06:16 AM   #8
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Best of luck. I'm sure you'll love it. The Pleasureways are really nice and that 5-year warranty is tough to beat!
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Old 03-16-2015, 12:56 PM   #9
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B or B+

Congrats Peter and good luck, looks like a nice unit.
See you out there on the road.
Steve
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Old 03-30-2015, 10:16 AM   #10
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congrats Peter. I am a huge fan of the straight B's .... very nice and sleek. I see the problem being storage and livability vs the B+. I am sure you made the right call for you and we look forward to pictures and stories from our up coming adventures!
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Old 04-28-2015, 07:59 AM   #11
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We recently purchased the Era 70X B trading in our Trail-Lite B+, and just came back from our first trip, 2 weeks to Florida and back up the East Coast, hitting Orlando, St. Augustine, Myrtle Beach, and Assategue Island. Loved the ease of drive, loved the large screen doors, and openness to the outdoors. It's kind of a trade off with a B or a B+. We love the Era, but if I were full timing, I think I would go with a B+ personally having had both, but the 70C and SS seem a great choice for just 1 person. What we like about our B also is all the windows and openness to the outdoors. The B+ right now we would choose would be the Navion/View as Winnebago put larger windows inside for 2015 and wow does it make a difference, so much more open than any other B+/small C we have seen including PW and LT's. We also really liked the Coachmen Prism 24J, with outside TV, outside table and grill, in a small B+ size, beautiful cabinets inside and much less expensive than the PW, Winnebago's, LT's, etc. If Coachmen puts the same large windows in their Prism like Winnebago did in the 2015 View/Navion, that would be the one for us. Of course, some times we will find the B easier to park and drive, better for very small older towns like we sometimes go to up north on the East coast which can also have bridges, but compared to our B+ it is only a slight difference so far. And like you, we really like the sleek look of the B's. I think as we get closer to retiring and traveling longer times in it, we will trade back to a B+. We also really liked the PW Pursuit, but needed more windows/larger door. If they could somehow have a back door in that one that could open up to the outdoors like they do in the B's, that would be the perfect one for us.
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Old 04-29-2015, 08:22 AM   #12
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The reported problems with my Free Spirit SS are mostly resolved. My conclusion is that the on-demand hot water heater is poorly designed; and thus unreliable. The inverter problem disappeared once the inferior batteries were replaced by the dealer. Unfortunately it took 6 months to resolve the battery problem, and 11 months to have the water heater replaced with a new unit.


After nearly a full year of disappointing experiences, I have negotiated a trade-in of the SS for a LT Unity Twin-Bed model; due for delivery in mid-May. The warranty coverage policy has been a major issue. The "it works for us" attitude was encountered repeatedly. When you take an RV back six times with the same issue, it's infuriating that they suggest you're trying to beat them out of something. It takes nearly $25 in fuel and half a day to return the RV to the dealership; and then to be told there's nothing they can do.


I've learned that I must document everything; names, times and places. Only after getting the manufacturers (RV + water heater) involved did I finally get results. The new Unity will be from the same dealership. I'll report back after I've had some experience with the new unit.
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Old 06-19-2015, 04:46 AM   #13
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I'd go B+, more RV for the money, more room.
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Old 09-09-2015, 10:47 PM   #14
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We recently purchased the Era 70X B trading in our Trail-Lite B+......What we like about our B also is all the windows and openness to the outdoors. ....


I see what you mean....Click image for larger version

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