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Old 10-31-2015, 05:41 PM   #15
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While looking at Newmar also look at Georgetown. Very similar but build on a bit lighter chassis so they have more capacity. The capacity limit is the 26,000 lb or less vehicle does not need an upgraded driver license criteria not an "it's gonna break" issue. That is where Baystar Sports come in as they are also the lighter chassis. Georgetown is a Forest River product I first saw a few weeks ago. Very similar layout, similar complaints as in not many. May be a bit lower in features you probably do not need.

FWIW as far as doing it in a B goes that has to be the dumbest idea floating around. It is a spartan existence, not living in my book. I'd rather back pack as then I would know why I was living so simply.

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Old 04-17-2016, 10:09 AM   #16
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Hardly the dumbest idea out there. It all depends on ones lifestyle. For the active person wanting to travel light and unencumbered, who doesn’t mind ditching the couch and big screen TV, the Class B is a very nice option, even for full timing.

They still have a hard sided insulated shelter, heat, air conditioning, refrigerator, stove, comfortable bed, table, plenty of storage for food and necessities, and a healthy amount of water, batter, and LP. They travel easily, use half the cost of gas, and do not have the limitations associated with larger RVs. In exchange, one gives up space and some comfort.

But if the goal is to live out of the rv having it support an outdoors lifestyle, they may not be giving up much at all by spend far less time inside anyway. It doesn't mean a spartan existence for all, but could be form fitting for many. The question for the OP, is your lifestyle more indoors or out? Primarily mobile or stationary? It isn't for everyone, that's for sure.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved the trailers, class Cs, and As I’ve owned, and they were great when I had my kids and camped. I would get one again if I were full timing and planned to stay in place for weeks at a time at a location before moving on. But I also love the convenience of travel with a class B as it supports a more transient lifestyle without giving up much in the way of needed comforts.

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Old 04-18-2016, 07:21 AM   #17
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Read the original post. A short B makes everything a minimalist choice. There is no room for a bit of comfortable adequate let alone excess.
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Old 04-18-2016, 10:40 AM   #18
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I believe a lot depends on the kind of lifestyle you want. Sure there are people that have lived in a VW bus or a class B, If you don't mind no personal space it would be okay. I always ask people to tell me how they would feel if they were cooped up in their RV for and extended period, say a week, due to inclement weather. Would you still be a happy camper? As a full timer storage will become an issue too. JMHO.

Good luck with your decision
Tony & Ruth........... FMCA#F416727
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Old 04-18-2016, 11:49 AM   #19
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As another said, put some of your cargo in a trailer, cargo area of a toad. Also, are you counting full fresh water and full black/gray tanks? I would think it would be a rare case where all three were full at the same time.

I could not fathom full timing in a B. We started with a 2000 VW camper then a Winnebago Rialta and neither one would work for us for longer than a week.
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Old 04-18-2016, 01:33 PM   #20
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Have you seen this? http://roadtreking.com/

Originally Posted by lnanne View Post
We are not finding what we want in a class A so rather than go bigger, we want to revisit smaller...
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Old 04-18-2016, 04:58 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by lnanne View Post
... but we seem to be around 300-400 lbs and that doesn't feel comfortable....
Ellen & Pat
So, what will the class B provide?
Jay & Peggy Monroe with Dolly
Can't take it with you - don't plan on leaving any behind
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Old 04-19-2016, 07:55 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by TonyDi View Post
I always ask people to tell me how they would feel if they were cooped up in their RV for and extended period, say a week, due to inclement weather. Would you still be a happy camper?
This is where the difference of living IN your RV, or living OUT of your RV is important. I’d go nuts being cooped up for a few days in a B. In fact, I felt the same even in our A that was full of slides and floor space. So we went out instead!

Some ways to counter this; Save the laundry, shopping, errands, movies, museums, indoor activities, mall shopping, travel, shows, library visits, etc, for those inclement whether days when possible. That gets you out and about and free from sitting in an RV all day. Even sightseeing drives on rainy days can be very enjoyable if the rain is not too heavy, and/or your destinations are indoors. While everyone else is inside sitting in their RVs watching TV, your out still getting exercise and avoiding the crowds and enjoying why you are there in the first place, travel.

Originally Posted by nothermark View Post
Read the original post. A short B makes everything a minimalist choice. There is no room for a bit of comfortable adequate let alone excess.
I did read the OP, which is why I responded as I did. I still respectfully disagree. What might be minimalist for one, could be normal for another, or indulgence for yet another. With smart choices, good planning, and reasonable compromises, its hardly spartan or minimalist IMO.
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Old 04-19-2016, 08:10 AM   #23
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There is an allure to going small and light, but a persons personality is key. I’m the two bedroom condo person. My wife is the 7 bedroom 5 bathroom person. Guess which we live in
She would not do well in a B, but is a large 5th wheel person with 12 slide outs. I love the B, for fitting, everything has a place, no wasted space, yet afford the comforts I desire.

There is so much you can do to make your storage more efficient and maximize your compromises to retain comfort and avoid the minimalist approach. Its a different mindset, and is not for everyone. But for those that can make it work, and wish to travel over than camp, it can be very enjoyable.

In my backpacking days, I always took pride in maximizing the space in my backpack. I had no choice, weight and bulk makes the difference between an enjoyable trip or a disaster. Everything was nested tightly when packed, no wasted space. If there was an cubic inch of space, I used it for water purification tables, lip balm, or something small that would fit.

I’d look for items that had multi-functions which allowed me to ditch taking some other tool saving weight and bulk. I opted for lighter weight and smaller when it didn’t compromise its mission.

Minimalism to me would be to use a stump or rock as a chair, thereby not having to carry a chair at all and still be able to sit. Being efficient to me would be to pack and chair that is comfortable but also form fitting for bulk and weight. The Zero Gravity chairs from my Class A wouldn’t fit in my B, but instead of going minimalist, a couple comfortable folding camp chairs fit nicely. I didn’t have to give up much in the way of comfort, yet greatly reduced bulk and weight saving more space for other comfort items.

The same approach can be used in a Class B allowing one to take everything they need, plus comfort items. No need to be spartan if one thinks smartly to reduce bulk, maximize the utilization of storage space, multi-function where possible, and pack it carefully.

Nesting all your storage makes a huge difference. There is so much wasted space in how we normally pack items which can be easily reclaimed with minimal effort. This frees up a lot of room. Starting out with nesting, efficiency, and reducing bulk in mind from the beginning can have a dramatic result in what one can bring in a B.

Look at what you really need, vs want.

At home, my closet has about 12 pairs of shoes. I only wear 3 regularly. I could ditch the other 9 and never miss them. I could probably get along fine with 2 pairs and some flip flops. Looking carefully at what you really need, use regularly, and can do without is important. Cull it down to want you absolutely need, then add back in your wants.

In our A we had 4 pots of varying sizes from 3/4qts to 3qts. Can a 1qt and 3qt do the same job as the 4 pots? Do I even need a 3qt, or would a 2qt work. Same with skillets, mixing bowls, etc. Multi-use saved a lot of space and bulk without compromising our cooking abilities. Instead of a 10 cup drip coffee maker, a french press is much smaller, lighter, and even produces superior coffee IMO.

Its a mindset, similar to the efficiencies with backpacking. Multi-purpose, nesting, utilizing storage space efficiently, using every inch and then some. Everything has a place, every space is used smartly.

I think some of the major questions you need to dwell on are;

Do you want to live OUT of your RV, or IN your RV?
Will you be traveling more than stationary?
What do you really need to have with you?
After your needs, do you have enough of your wants?
How well you get along with your SO? Tight quarters
Are you organized enough to keep things in their place?
Are you willing to be flexible in order to deal with weather?
Do you need to be hooked up every day?
How much personal space/privacy do you require?

The middle ground to me is a compromise of compromises. Your still too big for the advantages of the smaller Bs, such as fitting a normal parking space, maneuvering in a city, fitting in small sites, etc. Once you step into the middle ground, stepping up a bit in size to reduce compromises doesn’t carry many disadvantages or limitations anymore. Going slightly larger to get what you desire is an easy decision (to point of course).

Read the RoadTrek blog posted earlier. Lots of good info there. Also check out some of the YouTube videos of those FTing in a B. Keep in mind they generally show the positives and not so much of the negatives, but there is a lot of good info. One couple got married and went on their honeymoon in a Class B for a two month trip. They loved it so much, they are still going over a year later. Their channel is A Guy, Girl, and A Campervan. It could give you some ideas/thoughts on the compromises they have made to make it work. They have nearly 60 videos of their travels and some of the issues they faced.

Their goal is traveling, not camping, which makes a huge difference in their mindset. I would travel all over full time in a B in a heartbeat. But I wouldn’t full time in it if I was camping for weeks at time before moving on. I think you need to be a ‘rolling stone gathers no moss’ type of person for FTing in a B IMO.

Watch this short video "Van Life - Couple Survives 2 Winters Living in a Van!" done by Exploring Alternatives first. Its more about how they lived during the winter, but interesting to watch.
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Old 04-19-2016, 09:07 AM   #24
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When I was much younger, I crisscrossed Europe on the motorcycle. Packed very minimal, and pretty much followed GP, and Formula 1 races from track to track. Never did laundry. Threw away dirty, and purchased new as needed. Slept in hostels, and/or campgrounds on the track. Carried a small (2 person) tent on the bike. That was VERY minimalist, but it suited the lifestyle I chose at that time. No wife, no girlfriend (new "guest" in my tent in every new country), no pets, and no responsibility at all.

A year went by FAST. Went to military academy after that, and the life hasn't been the same ever since.

Swore I'll never camp again after I took the uniform off (after MANY years,... lifetime it seems). After that, I adopted different lifestyle,......five star hotels, resorts, suites, valets, minimum "business class" flights (mainly first).......THAT lifestyle. Trying to reward/pamper myself perhaps, after decades of following orders. In those decades three marriages went down the drain, and I agreed to "try camping" again at the suggestion of my new wife. It was a compromise.

MY lifestyle today demands certain luxury. I am not in my late teens any more (still maybe in my head), and I just can't "go minimal" again. I need 40' DP minimum (45' would be nicer!). Now I travel with wife, four dogs, and two cats. A LOT of responsibility. But that's ME, and I like to think of myself as "different" (as I'm sure all of you do as well). I don't throw my laundry away any more either (I need W/D in my coach, as I'll NEVER use public laundromat!). Stuff like that.

So answering OP's "is it crazy",........I don't think so. It CAN be done, but it all depends on YOU. Not what "other people" are doing/thinking. IF your lifestyle allows it,.....by all means. If one is OK with laundromats, cooking in a very cramped setting, eating and sleeping in the same area,.......that's OK. No judgement here. We are all different. If it's a case of "changing lifestyle", that's OK too. This B can always be sold, bigger one purchased, or changing back to S&B setting. There are no mistakes. Life is too short to be hellbent on one thing. People should try ANYTHING once, BEFORE they form their opinion. I don't respect opinions that are not based on experience. Once someone tries a different lifestyle, and decides he/she doesn't like it,......it's easy to change.

There are certain things I (personally) would never try (drugs for example), but I don't judge people that like them. For example,.....my best friend smokes medical MJ for his broken back (bad para landing in combat), and I don't judge, nor join. He doesn't like my single malt, and Monte Christos.

Do whatever your heart desires, .......as long as you are not hurting someone else (my life motto).

Try fulltiming in the B, and if it doesn't work for you,...no harm done. Move on. You might waste some money trying different things, so what? Money is only good if you can please yourself with its buying power. Nothing more.
Think of it as "buying experience".
1995 Vogue Prima Vista
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Old 04-19-2016, 09:47 AM   #25
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I met a fellow who was a ski bum. He wintered in a Volkswagen camper at or near the ski hill. All told it was fortunate that a number of his ski friends rented an apartment where he was able to get showers and stay when the weather was too cold.

IMO it can be done as long as there is an adequate support system available.
Gordon and Janet
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Old 04-19-2016, 08:58 PM   #26
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I think there is some wonderful advice posted here and it's been a tougher decision than I thought. I feel like we keep going around in circles - thinking about all the options then focusing on one then discarding it when it looks like it's not for us. Then we move on to the next and the next and then we come back to the 1st one we discarded and try again!

We are now back to where we started for the 3rd time at least - looking at shorter gas class A's (around 32'). We have always gravitated towards the short A's but couldn't find one with carrying capacity we wanted and lots of windows and higher quality. We might have found one in a 2017 model.

We mainly stopped looking at the B's for these reasons...

1. I really want a dry bath and that's rare in a true B.
2. We wanted the good mpg but that most likely means Mercedes Benz sprinter vans but we really don't like the lack of choice/competition for getting them serviced and the resulting higher cost of maintenance and more difficulty finding service as we travel to more remote places.
3. We just couldn't picture sitting comfortably inside for long periods of time. We looked at B plus vans and those could work but then the carrying capacity dropped to 1000-1500 max and after adding water, bodies, bikes, etc. we'd not have much left to carry anything.

With a short class A, we hope we will have more choices with the state/national parks than 40' and we like keeping it simple (fewer "things"). And a better balance over the class B (comfort/room) when we might spend longer stretches of time "inside" as events unfold in our lives (illness, taking care of family, etc.).

But hey, that's today's story. Until you see the tag line below changed with what the final decision is! A little over 6 months to go, we have a little time!

Thank you for your thoughtful replies.

Pat & Ellen
2017 Newmar Bay Star 3009
2015 Honda CRV
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Old 04-20-2016, 07:54 AM   #27
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IMO the big issue should be comfort. It will not be the end of the world if the size of the coach eliminates a park or two. There will generally be an alternate location nearby if you really want to spend some time in the area.
Gordon and Janet
Tour 42QD/inTech Stacker
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Old 04-20-2016, 11:36 PM   #28
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You like boondocking ... have you thought about a truck camper? A double/triple slide TC has both full sized dinette AND reclining seats, something that most 27-28' Class A's don't have! Put this on the required 1 ton dually with a large cab and bikes and a lot of supplies can go back there. plenty of storage. not that stealthy with slides out!

Go with non slide camper, the smaller the stealthier. With a short bed truck, you can get those HUGE rear cabs for more bikes/storage. non slide camper is stealthy.

Any of the truck campers can be 4-season, no huge cab single pane window to deal with.

Of course, when boondocking drop the camper and you have a truck!

Full-time in <2 years and counting ...
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