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Old 10-29-2015, 04:07 PM   #1
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Class B for full time - are you crazy?

We are not finding what we want in a class A so rather than go bigger, we want to revisit smaller and have questions for those of you who full time or tried to full time in a class B.

We like the Unity MB because of the dry bath and layout.

1. 25 ft sounds long for being stealth and moving and parking around town. What is your experience with that?

2. What is the carrying capacity of these or does it matter since you can't bring much?!

3. My biggest worry is how to downsize THAT small! We will have 2 bicycles and a small dog with her crate. But it's hard to picture how to fit two seasons of clothes including boots and coats (we will be in the NW often). I am not a clothes or shoe person but still! And camp chairs and supplies. We like boondocking and we've been camping and Rving for many years. But at most two weeks.

Excited to try this but think we're crazy to even consider it for long term!

Pat & Ellen
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Old 10-29-2015, 04:21 PM   #2
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Class B for full time - are you crazy?

Quote:
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 and have questions for those of you who full time or tried to full time in a class B.

We like the Unity MB because of the dry bath and layout.

1. 25 ft sounds long for being stealth and moving and parking around town. What is your experience with that?

2. What is the carrying capacity of these or does it matter since you can't bring much?!

3. My biggest worry is how to downsize THAT small! We will have 2 bicycles and a small dog with her crate. But it's hard to picture how to fit two seasons of clothes including boots and coats (we will be in the NW often). I am not a clothes or shoe person but still! And camp chairs and supplies. We like boondocking and we've been camping and Rving for many years. But at most two weeks.

Excited to try this but think we're crazy to even consider it for long term!

Pat & Ellen

The answer is, it depends. We've been full time for 8 years in a 40' DP. I can imagine being ok in a couple of the 36-38' coaches I've seen, but smaller would be problematic for us.
1. This question sounds like you envision not towing. Do you really want to unhook & drive the coach when you need to grocery shop or see a movie or do any of a large number of daily chores?
2. CCC or OCC will be low of course but the limited space takes care of that. Your tank sizes will also be small. You will have to level manually.
3. Make a list of personal items and camping/recreation items and visualize the pile. Then double it for the stuff you will remember when you start loading up.

What are you looking for that you can't find in a class A? All coaches are a compromise but full time living may necessitate reprioritizing.


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Old 10-29-2015, 05:33 PM   #3
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There are many people who have lived in old Volkswagen camper vans for years at a time. With a dog and bicycles. I spent five months traveling the country in a 1982 VW Westfalia when I retired a few years ago. The current Sprinter and Transit vans have every bit of three times the interior volume of the old VWs. Luxury!



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Old 10-29-2015, 10:18 PM   #4
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For a Class A, we wanted Gas, large passenger side window around 32 feet (35 feet max), fairly new and reliable manufacturer. We have been looking at 2015 and 2016 Newmar Bay Star's but as we look at options and carrying capacities, we realize that we might have all this great room but we can't take it with us! We wanted around 1500 pounds left after full tanks, options and passengers but we seem to be around 300-400 lbs and that doesn't feel comfortable. We plan to post a question to the group to see if we're looking at this wrong somehow!

But I have always loved the freedom and ease and gas mileage of class B's. But that's a big change. We've camped in a 23 foot, then 27 foot as a family and now it's just the two of us. But we just don't have a feel for what we'd like full time. We thought 32 feet would be small enough for parks but large enough to be comfortable. But now that the CCC is an issue, we really just don't want to move up to longer and heavier! So we're torn about what to do.

Thanks for your thoughts! Always good to have other perspectives and especially experience!!

Ellen & Pat
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Old 10-29-2015, 10:42 PM   #5
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I just looked online at a baystar and it has 4114lbs NCC.

If you loaded with 80 gal water and all propane, that's about 740 lbs ... so that's 3300 lbs for you and cargo! The harder parts is making sure weight is forward, it's easy to overload the rear axle.
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Old 10-29-2015, 10:53 PM   #6
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You can use whatever fits your needs and lifestyle. It would not be my cup of tea but I am not living your life. It may be something to start in and do some traveling and then move up as you determine your final needs.
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Old 10-30-2015, 05:32 AM   #7
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Class B for full time - are you crazy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lnanne View Post
For a Class A, we wanted Gas, large passenger side window around 32 feet (35 feet max), fairly new and reliable manufacturer. We have been looking at 2015 and 2016 Newmar Bay Star's but as we look at options and carrying capacities, we realize that we might have all this great room but we can't take it with us! We wanted around 1500 pounds left after full tanks, options and passengers but we seem to be around 300-400 lbs and that doesn't feel comfortable. We plan to post a question to the group to see if we're looking at this wrong somehow!

But I have always loved the freedom and ease and gas mileage of class B's. But that's a big change. We've camped in a 23 foot, then 27 foot as a family and now it's just the two of us. But we just don't have a feel for what we'd like full time. We thought 32 feet would be small enough for parks but large enough to be comfortable. But now that the CCC is an issue, we really just don't want to move up to longer and heavier! So we're torn about what to do.

Thanks for your thoughts! Always good to have other perspectives and especially experience!!

Ellen & Pat

The Baystar certainly looks like a viable option. Are you getting this CCC (current is OCC) figure from inspection of an actual coach. The coach builders don't typically put this in their literature because it depends on options. Looking at the Baystar specs it certainly looks like there should be over 1500 pounds available.

I know you said gas but if you go back 3-5 years and look at a Winnebago Journey, they made 32-34' floorplans in some years. In the interest of full disclosure, I don't own a Winnebago. I have a close friend who owns an '01 32' Journey. He has looked to trade up many times but can't find anything that suits him as well.

Reading between the lines, I think you are somewhat "smitten" with the idea of the class B size. You really need to resolve this issue before you proceed. Ask yourself; when stuck in days of rain with no let up in sight, will that 24-26' coach start to feel somewhat confining.

You guys need to go somewhere & look at a large number of coaches. Take a trip to Tampa, FL in January. 2-3 days there with ever coach known to man may give you some fresh ideas. See you there.


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Old 10-30-2015, 06:37 AM   #8
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Because of our requirement (for us) to have a large passenger side window, that limited the models greatly and the bay star models that had this feature start between 2700-3000 lbs before options. We looked at one at the dealer that had similar options to what we wanted and it was down to 1985. Adding in all liquids and our bodies brought it down to 400 lbs or so to carry our stuff. We plan to post a separate thread on that to double check our numbers and get thoughts in case we are missing something.

We could consider reducing the options (one heat pump instead of two?) but thought we'd ask about downsizing further and get the advantage of being more nimble in a class b. We love stopping along the way, parking near town or near trails and using it as a base to sightsee to come back when tired and eat or read and take naps then head out again. We don't want to head all the way back to camp which is hopefully not too close to town. At least that's what appeals to us with a class b.

Back to the bay star, we had decided to go new so we could order what we want and because we need the larger chassis so that limits us to 2015 or 2016.

We have been going to RV shows for years and with our experiences with a large variety of camping methods, we have a good feel of what we like but with the ccc issue, we're struggling with the tradeoffs of moving up to 38 ft with larger chassis or downsizing and simplifying to get what we really love about class b's. That's why the middle seemed the best for us - compromising and losing the advantages of both! Lol!

Ellen
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Old 10-30-2015, 06:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lnanne View Post
Because of our requirement (for us) to have a large passenger side window, that limited the models greatly and the bay star models that had this feature start between 2700-3000 lbs before options. We looked at one at the dealer that had similar options to what we wanted and it was down to 1985. Adding in all liquids and our bodies brought it down to 400 lbs or so to carry our stuff. We plan to post a separate thread on that to double check our numbers and get thoughts in case we are missing something.

We could consider reducing the options (one heat pump instead of two?) but thought we'd ask about downsizing further and get the advantage of being more nimble in a class b. We love stopping along the way, parking near town or near trails and using it as a base to sightsee to come back when tired and eat or read and take naps then head out again. We don't want to head all the way back to camp which is hopefully not too close to town. At least that's what appeals to us with a class b.

Back to the bay star, we had decided to go new so we could order what we want and because we need the larger chassis so that limits us to 2015 or 2016.

We have been going to RV shows for years and with our experiences with a large variety of camping methods, we have a good feel of what we like but with the ccc issue, we're struggling with the tradeoffs of moving up to 38 ft with larger chassis or downsizing and simplifying to get what we really love about class b's. That's why the middle seemed the best for us - compromising and losing the advantages of both! Lol!

Ellen

Compromise is not fun. For a full time RV dweller it's necessary. Assign a little more value to the "self contained" aspect of the class A. For those on the road stops, we have used WalMarts, truck stops, road side pull outs. We parked with friends at a Walmart in Oregon and went to Crater Lake for the day. Returned, shopped, over nighted and we're off the next AM. Over nighted at a Cabela & visited the Corn Palace. Over nighted at many casinos & visited the surrounding area while there.

That generator and holding tanks make for lots of freedom.

I see much soul searching in your future.


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Old 10-30-2015, 07:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lnanne View Post
For a Class A, we wanted Gas, large passenger side window around 32 feet (35 feet max), fairly new and reliable manufacturer. We have been looking at 2015 and 2016 Newmar Bay Star's but as we look at options and carrying capacities, we realize that we might have all this great room but we can't take it with us! We wanted around 1500 pounds left after full tanks, options and passengers but we seem to be around 300-400 lbs and that doesn't feel comfortable. We plan to post a question to the group to see if we're looking at this wrong somehow!

But I have always loved the freedom and ease and gas mileage of class B's. But that's a big change. We've camped in a 23 foot, then 27 foot as a family and now it's just the two of us. But we just don't have a feel for what we'd like full time. We thought 32 feet would be small enough for parks but large enough to be comfortable. But now that the CCC is an issue, we really just don't want to move up to longer and heavier! So we're torn about what to do.

Thanks for your thoughts! Always good to have other perspectives and especially experience!!

Ellen & Pat
I can't help with you large passenger side "requirement", but maybe on your size / CCC.

We ordered our Tiffin 31SA (actual length is ~33') with the optional 24k chassis (standard is 22k). My CCC is 3,600#s, which includes full fuel, full fresh water, and 4 passengers, as well as almost every option on the list, so in reality given how we travel it is about 4,000#s. I don't have my actual scale weight handy, but are under 22k (note that 500# of the 2k# upgrade is eaten up by the additional chassis weight of the larger chassis) and can't image what you could possible carry to exceed the GVWR.

We are not full timers, but no problems with trips of 30+ days, and next year we have a 3 month trip planned. In any case, it is going to be a lot more comfortable than any class B, but of course a toad is pretty much a necessity....

Good luck, but I think at some point you are going realize the desire for the large passenger side window may need to be nixed to get everything else you really need in a full time coach.

Regards
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Old 10-30-2015, 07:27 PM   #11
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Pull a toad or a trailer. We have been full timing since April 2014 and still don't have it down, but we are getting by and having fun.

Check us out at jtappen.wordpress.com

Currently in Ely, NV
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Old 10-30-2015, 09:37 PM   #12
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Jackfish, great to see your blog and that you have a unity mb. We could look at pulling a small trailer. Might allow us the best of both worlds. Question on the Unity length, It seems long for parking. Do you usually go out to sightsee in your car instead?

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Old 10-31-2015, 09:59 AM   #13
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Jackfish - very nice blog. Enjoyed looking at it.
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Old 10-31-2015, 05:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Jackfish, great to see your blog and that you have a unity mb. We could look at pulling a small trailer. Might allow us the best of both worlds. Question on the Unity length, It seems long for parking. Do you usually go out to sightsee in your car instead?

Ellen
We use the toad a lot. Parking the Unity takes two spaces and it is very wide as well. It's doable, you just have to scout out your spots well. Good Luck!
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