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Old 12-28-2011, 12:53 PM   #1
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Class B van conversion opinions?

Just beginning to investigate buying new or near new class B to travel in. Any advice or recommendations on manufacturers and/or models appreciated. Any to avoid? Top priority is quality built and a reputation for dependability. But like everyone I'm looking for the best value for the dollar. I've owned a class C in the past and am well aware that all rv's are lousy investments so I'm proceeding cautiously! Among the B's, which brands and/or models typically re-sell well? Any opinions along those lines would be welcomed.

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Old 12-29-2011, 09:49 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by JR-DR View Post
Any opinions along those lines would be welcomed.
Winnebago manufactures a nice rig called an Via, Reyo and an Era. You may want to see if you can get one of these motorhomes either new or used.

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Old 02-14-2012, 07:32 AM   #3
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We looked at three of the conversion vans built on/into the Sprinter chassis. The three we looked at were Roadtrek, Airstream, and the Winnebago ERA. As it turned out, we liked the 2012 ERA the best as the fit and finish was certainly on a par with the other two we looked at. What really sealed the deal was the ERA, when equipped the same as the Roadtrek and Airstream, was at least $20k lower purchase price than either of the competitors.
I would definitely look long and hard at the Sprinter based class B's. There's so many things going for the Sprinter--better head room, more floor space, Mercedes V6 turbo diesel (18-20 mpg), wide doors, spare tire under the van not under the bed or attached to rear of van, integral tall body, not a "glued on" fiberglass roof extension just to mention a few.
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:42 AM   #4
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We are looking very hard at a Sportsmobile. A bit pricy, but worth it. We're about ready to order the base van, have it shipped to Sportsmobile and converted to our design. This way I get what I want and no more (and then only have myself to kick in the rear, if I don't like it). Pleasureway Traverse is another option in the pop up line of B's. But they offer one plan only. No options or add ons. Their storage is very limited. GTRV makes a nice unit and are out of western Canada, so you got to watch the dollar value.
We're going with Sportsmobile for a number of reasons, but a large factor is they located in the midwest as are we, so proximity has its worth.

Hope this helps.
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:29 PM   #5
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Toured the sportsmobile place. Nice folks! As I recall they had a 6 mo wait time. They are nice units.
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:19 AM   #6
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Nothing against Sportsmobile, fine units. However, the OP asked about resale value. A custom designed one off, while perfect for the original owner, will suffer in resale if it has unique features. If it doesn't have unique features (such as disabled access), why custom build?

Also consider the seat belted capacity of a class B. We chose the ERA with the folding couch rear as it has 7 seat belts. The competing models with twin bunks only belt 3 seats. Great for an empty nester couple, but unsellable to a large family looking for a highway cruiser with galley and potty and intending to tent camp or hotel it. The new ERA replaces a Ford E350 passenger van in our family for just that purpose.

I loved the Airstream & Roadtrek, but the few different features from the ERA did not justify the greatly added cost. We did see a 2010 ERA on the same lot as our new one, it was $15K less, but was on the single rear wheel 2500 chassis with less power and weight capacity. It was tempting, but we went new to get a better bank rate, 13K miles of "newness", more capable load capacity and full factory warranties.
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Old 03-30-2012, 02:16 AM   #7
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It really depends on what your needs are OUTSIDE of what you're already mentioned, which was:

* Quality built and a reputation for dependability
* The best value for the dollar

For me, when the time comes, I'll be traveling cross-country and have been eyeing the Roadtrek RS Adventureous for awhile now.

Seeing as I'll be doing this cross country journey w/my wife, we'll need a large amount of storage. Seeing as the RS has the option of an added storage cabinet behind the passenger seat AND the driver seat...as least they did on the 2011's I've seen...can't imagine they'd remove that option on any 2012 model....whereas the ERA doesn't...at least from what I've seen/heard...the ERA isn't looking like it's going to work for us!

Also, we're looking at gas mileage...but seeing as most of today's leading Class B's are on the MB Sprinter chassis, it's almost a given that one would expect around 20mph, so that's not really something to lose sleep over!

All I would suggest is to really analyze how you'll be using the coach/van...and what you're really looking for INSIDE the van in such a way that when you're out on the road, the layout offers you the convenience and luxury you're looking for!

Does no good...IMHO...to have a great coach that has a great reputation for build quality and resale value...but doesn't meet my needs when it comes to LIVING IN IT for any amount of time!

Get out to as many local dealers that you can and check out the ERA (Winnebago) and the RS Adventurous (Roadtrek) and really spend some time in them and ask yourself....

"does the inside of the van give us everything we think we'll need/want for as long as we're in it?"

Let's also not forget one important thing...that redbusdriver has pointed out in their post...and that is...


Good luck in your decision and do let us know which one you decided to go with when the time comes!

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Old 04-04-2012, 08:13 PM   #8
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I own a Pleasure way Plateau TS, a class B built on a Sprinter platform. I would have to agree with RogueRVer. Storage space is important. Quality is important. In the case of the latter, both Roadtrek and Pleasureway are reputable, although I've heard disparaging remarks on both by owners. They both have room for improvement.

Getting back to the first point though, we are buying a toad, for two reasons. Freedom to go to the store, without having to disconnect everything and pack up; and, storage. One thing I do love is 20 mpg if I keep it at 65 or below.
Dave Foghorn
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& soon, 2012 Mini Clubman S toad
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:24 AM   #9
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If you are interested in the Sprinter, their 2013 model will have many upgrades including an estimated 30 mpg and possibly 4WD.

Just check out www.edmunds.com for all of the details.

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