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Old 11-20-2019, 09:54 AM   #1
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Help picking Class B (I think) for my Mom

Hello!

Not sure if this will be the right place since it appears the lines between Classes have blurred. When I was first looking into this purchase a couple of years ago, I think Leisure Travel and Pleasure were considered from B (at least the smaller PWs) to B+? Now it looks like Leisure is billing itself as technically C, though... they still come up in ALL my "Class B" research search results.

Anyway, if this is the wrong place, let me know and kick me out.

I'm helping my Mom assess the offerings for a retirement purchase high quality, moderately sized, NON-trailer style camper / motorhome. She was originally enmoared with T@Bs, but I made her realize that she did NOT want to tow anything. I mean the gal doesn't like to take a left without a turn light...

She is wide-ish. We're not talking hugely obese, but she's been overweight for most of the past 30 years. She has been fairly sprightly, always a long distance walker, but that's taken a hit lately due to a knee issue. She thinks TVs in campers is pretty stupid, but the thought of heading out on the road seeing cool things and so one AND still being able to watch a Sounders game now has some appeal.

So, single (still married to my Dad really, but they have separate homes, friendly, but fed up type of deal), retired lady, not the most confident driver, hefty enough for wet baths to probably be such an uncomfortale hassle she'd never use it and to appreciate some room between features. Likes tech, but doesn't consider TVs everywhere part of "camping", loves quality and "nice" things.

Given the above I think these are indicated:

Flat floor
Dry Bath
One nice comfy bed (she would say accommodation for family would be a plus for her but I want to focus first and foremost on HER comfort)
Nothing too big
Comfy Chairs
Nice Galley
Quality / nothing "cheap" feeling
EASE OF OPERATION and DRIVING (probably not too much stuff for her to have to do on the outside)

Given the above I've been mostly looking at Leisure and Pleasureway, especially Corner Bed models. The Murphies would work too probably, but I don't like the idea of her having to manipulate the main bed twice a day. In general I'm drawn to the layout, space and accommodations of the Leisure, but I also like the nimbler size and passenger side windows of the Pleasureways.

Am I missing something here? Is there a great quality B, B+, C brand, layout or model for a single retired lady I should know about? I should point out, that I'm guessing MOST of the time she was using the vehicle I'd actually be there with MY family (separate, as of yet TBD, accommodations) so she wouldn't be ALONE alone, but it would be VERY nice if she could use it when I wasn't there at all.

Thanks for your time and input!


navajas
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Old 11-20-2019, 10:05 AM   #2
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Choose a budget amount and go look at some Class B, etc.
It's really hard to even know what you want and what's important until you've been in some MH's.
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Old 11-20-2019, 10:15 AM   #3
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by navajas View Post
Hello!

Not sure if this will be the right place since it appears the lines between Classes have blurred. When I was first looking into this purchase a couple of years ago, I think Leisure Travel and Pleasure were considered from B (at least the smaller PWs) to B+? Now it looks like Leisure is billing itself as technically C, though... they still come up in ALL my "Class B" research search results.

Anyway, if this is the wrong place, let me know and kick me out.

I'm helping my Mom assess the offerings for a retirement purchase high quality, moderately sized, NON-trailer style camper / motorhome. She was originally enmoared with T@Bs, but I made her realize that she did NOT want to tow anything. I mean the gal doesn't like to take a left without a turn light...

She is wide-ish. We're not talking hugely obese, but she's been overweight for most of the past 30 years. She has been fairly sprightly, always a long distance walker, but that's taken a hit lately due to a knee issue. She thinks TVs in campers is pretty stupid, but the thought of heading out on the road seeing cool things and so one AND still being able to watch a Sounders game now has some appeal.

So, single (still married to my Dad really, but they have separate homes, friendly, but fed up type of deal), retired lady, not the most confident driver, hefty enough for wet baths to probably be such an uncomfortale hassle she'd never use it and to appreciate some room between features. Likes tech, but doesn't consider TVs everywhere part of "camping", loves quality and "nice" things.

Given the above I think these are indicated:

Flat floor
Dry Bath
One nice comfy bed (she would say accommodation for family would be a plus for her but I want to focus first and foremost on HER comfort)
Nothing too big
Comfy Chairs
Nice Galley
Quality / nothing "cheap" feeling
EASE OF OPERATION and DRIVING (probably not too much stuff for her to have to do on the outside)

Given the above I've been mostly looking at Leisure and Pleasureway, especially Corner Bed models. The Murphies would work too probably, but I don't like the idea of her having to manipulate the main bed twice a day. In general I'm drawn to the layout, space and accommodations of the Leisure, but I also like the nimbler size and passenger side windows of the Pleasureways.

Am I missing something here? Is there a great quality B, B+, C brand, layout or model for a single retired lady I should know about? I should point out, that I'm guessing MOST of the time she was using the vehicle I'd actually be there with MY family (separate, as of yet TBD, accommodations) so she wouldn't be ALONE alone, but it would be VERY nice if she could use it when I wasn't there at all.

Thanks for your time and input!


navajas
The dry bath requirement and narrow aisles may trim down your list of options in a type B van conversion to just one or two, and I think most have Murphy beds (Winnebago ERA 70M for example), except the Coach House Arriva. It has splt twins amidships, dry bath at rear.
l think a small C like Winnebago's View/Navion, or Porto/Vita, or similar from other builders might be your best bet, considering one of these will tick more of the boxes, except maybe the solo travel one. They're a bit bigger, but are still pretty manageable by most drivers.
She would have to go see both of these types of "dry bath" motorhomes to make that decision. Find a Winnebago dealer near you and go see what they've got on display.
Another isssue may be price. Some of the models that would tick the most of your boxes, are on the MB (or possibly Ford Transit) diesel chassis, and that can drive up the prices significantly. Some suggest maintenance costs are greater, but that's a toss up in some cases.
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Old 11-20-2019, 02:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winterbagoal View Post
The dry bath requirement and narrow aisles may trim down your list of options in a type B van conversion to just one or two, and I think most have Murphy beds (Winnebago ERA 70M for example), except the Coach House Arriva. It has splt twins amidships, dry bath at rear.
l think a small C like Winnebago's View/Navion, or Porto/Vita, or similar from other builders might be your best bet, considering one of these will tick more of the boxes, except maybe the solo travel one. They're a bit bigger, but are still pretty manageable by most drivers.
She would have to go see both of these types of "dry bath" motorhomes to make that decision. Find a Winnebago dealer near you and go see what they've got on display.
Another isssue may be price. Some of the models that would tick the most of your boxes, are on the MB (or possibly Ford Transit) diesel chassis, and that can drive up the prices significantly. Some suggest maintenance costs are greater, but that's a toss up in some cases.
Thanks for this. I'll check out your recommendations. I don't want to say, "price is no issue" because it always is, but of primary concern here is comfort, quality and use-ability, not cost.
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Old 11-21-2019, 03:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by navajas View Post
Given the above I think these are indicated:
...
One nice comfy bed (she would say accommodation for family would be a plus for her but I want to focus first and foremost on HER comfort)
navajas
Make sure your mom actually tries these beds out for comfort. She may not like the idea of scooting in and out of one of those corner beds.
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Old 11-21-2019, 03:28 PM   #6
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Since she wants a dry bath, that pretty much eliminates class B's. Yes, there are a few that have a dry bath, but if you're mom is on the biggish side, the baths are quite tight. The B+ is a better option and Pleasure Way and Leisure are the best out there. I think the Pleasure Way is a bit nicer and has better tech than the Leisure. Also the Plateau XLMB is only 22'9" long while all the Leisure's are 24'. The XLMB is probably easier to handle.
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Old 11-21-2019, 06:27 PM   #7
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The Solis and Safari Condo look promising... but thereís that bath issue.

If Iím venturing into Class Cs, can someone recommend a quality maker. I donít want to insult or condescend anyone, I think itís great that the industry is big enough to support many levels of product, but Iím definitely not looking for what Iíve found to be sort well... cheap Indiana style fare. I mean, I donít want my Mom to buy what amounts to a giant R-Pod with a motor held together with staples that springs a leak and has trim falling off of it 40 miles down the road.

Is Winnebago above that level? Again, I just donít have the experience.

Iím seeing Coach House, Pleasure Way (not Cs though), Leisure (actually ARE Cs now right, not B+)... I think generally considered in that order of quality too, right? Iíve spent a LONG time perusing the B and B+ market during my fevered stints the past few years, but Iíve never looked seriously at Cs, probably because of my own prejudice of them from the 80s.

Thanks so much for your input folks!
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Old 11-21-2019, 06:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by navajas View Post
The Solis and Safari Condo look promising... but thereís that bath issue.

If Iím venturing into Class Cs, can someone recommend a quality maker. I donít want to insult or condescend anyone, I think itís great that the industry is big enough to support many levels of product, but Iím definitely not looking for what Iíve found to be sort well... cheap Indiana style fare. I mean, I donít want my Mom to buy what amounts to a giant R-Pod with a motor held together with staples that springs a leak and has trim falling off of it 40 miles down the road.

Is Winnebago above that level? Again, I just donít have the experience.

Iím seeing Coach House, Pleasure Way (not Cs though), Leisure (actually ARE Cs now right, not B+)... I think generally considered in that order of quality too, right? Iíve spent a LONG time perusing the B and B+ market during my fevered stints the past few years, but Iíve never looked seriously at Cs, probably because of my own prejudice of them from the 80s.

Thanks so much for your input folks!
It's unlikely you'll find something that ticks all the boxes, so you've got to decide which boxes are more important than others, make a sorted list with high to low importance, and start looking at the ones that have most of your "must haves" items. Then you hold your nose on the rest of it, or try to figure out if you can add or delete something, after you buy it. These things can be modifed after the fact. Most are.
Motorhomes in similar price ranges will ususally have similar quality fit and finishes, and those will also have similar and/or different flaws and shortcomings.
I think that after having 3 different types of motorhome in 3 different levels of finish, I can safely say you (usually) get what you pay for. Whether or not it's above or below your expectations is up to you. Things that repulse some, will be acceptable to others. It's very subjective.
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Old 11-21-2019, 07:04 PM   #9
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One big thing that you have not talked about is, how is she going to use this RV. Is she planning to full time, snow bird, take extended road trips, etc? You also mention not towing anything, I assume then that she is not going to be towing a car. How is she going to get around at her destinations, driving a motorhome everywhere (grocery shopping, etc), can be done, but has limitations,...


Also smaller class B's tend to have very limited capacities, this includes water and propane tank size, as well as limited weight carrying capacity, pots pans, bbq grills, clothes, food, etc. weight adds up fast.
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Old 11-21-2019, 09:03 PM   #10
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Help picking Class B (I think) for my Mom

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One big thing that you have not talked about is, how is she going to use this RV. Is she planning to full time, snow bird, take extended road trips, etc? You also mention not towing anything, I assume then that she is not going to be towing a car. How is she going to get around at her destinations, driving a motorhome everywhere (grocery shopping, etc), can be done, but has limitations,...


Also smaller class B's tend to have very limited capacities, this includes water and propane tank size, as well as limited weight carrying capacity, pots pans, bbq grills, clothes, food, etc. weight adds up fast.


Look at the Coach House Platinum 220. It is pricey but excellent construction and on the Ford E450 chassis. FYI the 261 and the 271 are the same exterior size and just under 27 ft. The 261 has a larger bath and a bigger kitchen counter. We have the 261 now and previously had the 231. In 16 years of use we have never used a toad. With Google Maps you can check out the parking lots access etc. If the lot has a landscape strip between lanes you can back in and fit in a standard space, maybe cheating a little on the width. Then there always Uber etc and the rental cars will deliver and pickup. Our total cost for these services in 16 years is far less than outfitting a car to tow
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Old 11-22-2019, 11:53 AM   #11
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Iíll take a look thanks. Whatís up with Coach Houses level and model numbers, Platinum I-III, etc...? They just look like floor plans. Kind of a confusing product line.
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Old 11-22-2019, 12:23 PM   #12
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Iíll take a look thanks. Whatís up with Coach Houses level and model numbers, Platinum I-III, etc...? They just look like floor plans. Kind of a confusing product line.
Probably is just a defining number for a floor plan.
The 220 and 261, 271 model names usually refere to approximate length in feet/inches.
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Old 11-22-2019, 01:47 PM   #13
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It tells you type of construction. The Platinum is built on a Ford E450 cutaway chassis with the one piece fiberglass shell. The II is built on a Mercedes diesel cutaway and the FG shell. THe III is built on a Ford Transit diesel chassis and FG shell. The Arriva is a converted Mercedes Sprinter van. The 261 and 271 have the exact exterior dimension, with just under 27 ft in length
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Old 11-22-2019, 02:42 PM   #14
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Ideally youíd take a little road trip (maybe rent a RV) and get Mom inside as many different models as possible (you need to go to them). Youíll know right away what youíll need to shop for. I completely understand the drivability of a B...but itís kinda like buying a cute pair of shoes on line~yikes!
To me if sheís not comfortable in her bathroom especially with her being built a bit bigger sheíll curse it everyday. The scooting in and out or across her bed I think will become a painful (frustrating) daily aggravation especially with her knee issues.
Thereís going to be adjustments and sacrifices true...but they shouldnít be in her daily comfort. Hard to be happy that way.
She sounds like a class C kindaí gal to me. If sheís worried about driving take her out for test drives. Get in as many different types you can. And let HER take all the test drives.
Have Mom actually pretend sheís going about her daily routines inside the rig. May sound silly but itís surprising how many people just donít do it. Sit down at the table and the toilet ect...
It can be overwhelming (so many choices) take your time and donít settle.
Good luck!
Best Wishes ~
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