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Old 12-25-2015, 07:01 PM   #1
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Comparing B+'s

I am looking to fulltime in an RV here in San Francisco. It wouldn't be as hard as some would think.
I currently own a Eurovan Full Camper which I will be selling if it ever gets out of the shop.

I have been looking at all kinds of options in the B market, but just stumbled upon B+'s and I think the layouts would work much better for me fulltiming and the tank sizes and more convenient.

Here are some of my needs:
1. I would like to keep my length under 22ft but I would possibly go 1-2 ft larger.
2. 2000-2006 Ford E350 chassis
3. $20k - $40k price
4. One piece fiberglass
5. A dinette or area to build a computer workspace
6. A propane oven or room for an oven.
7. Not a permanent bed. I prefer a jacknife couch
8. High quality build materials and construction
9. Large tanks.
10. Good ventilation/ large windows/ opening windows

Here are some bonus wants:
1.solar pre-wire
2. good insulation
3. heated tanks
4. quality electrical system
5. room for at least two coach batteries

I have narrowed it down to the following coaches, listed in order of most favorite to least favorite - at the moment. I still have a lot to learn.

1. 2000-2003 Chinook Concourse.
I can't afford any newer. They seem to have higher prices, but a loyal following and great quality. I also like that some have been converted to 4x4. They also are the most visually appealing to me, also seem to be the smallest exterior dimensions out of my list.

2. 2004-2006 Coachmen BTouring Cruiser.
A bit larger in width and height than the Chinook, but the prices are really good. Easy to find a 2004 with low miles in the low $20k. Seems like quality build and materials. I would be interested to compare the drivability of this compared to a Concourse. I really like the layout and the amount of space compared to the Concourse. Does this feel a lot bigger when driving and parking?

3. 2001ish Coach House Platinum. I think the 232 is the only short model? I don't know much about these, but they look nice and sleek on the outside. The quality looks good. A little weird having the toilet out in the open, but I could figure something out. The prices seem to be even higher than Chinooks. I would appreciate any more info about these.

4. Born Free Built For Two. I don't know much about these either, except they seem to be rare, and I am not sure if I want a rare coach, its nice to have the support base of other owners.

Please people who have experience with any of these vehicle - Let me know your likes/dislikes and comparison thoughts.

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Old 12-25-2015, 09:24 PM   #2
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I have a friend with a Born Free class C. She's had the inverter replaced once in a years time.
If the unit you are looking at has an AimsPower inverter ask to see the manual.

Myself...I wouldn't buy a Bornfree.

I'm curious where you are going to park the RV for full timing. We stay at Candlestick every year or so and prices are pretty steep.

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Old 12-27-2015, 12:14 AM   #3
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Both Born Free and Chinook are high quality build. DH is eyeballing a Born Free 4x4 currentKY for taking skiing and snowmobiling.
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Old 12-28-2015, 11:21 PM   #4
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We had a 2004 Coach House 232 that we drove for 9 years until we traded it for a larger 2013 model. That model seemed to have what you were looking for. One piece FG shell, 150 watt solar panel, jack knife sofa, dinette, an enclosed head with a full size standup shower. Coach House is a family owned mfg that only sells direct and uses first class products and materials. No particle board. We had no leaks or rattles after 9 years of use. Yes they do cost more but the quality and favorable deprecation are worth it. Send me a private message if you would like more details.
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Old 01-01-2016, 09:54 AM   #5
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Comparing B+'s

We owned a 2005 Chinook Concourse with the layout you describe. Build quality is very good. The area you need to watch for leaks is the rear door design (changed in 2003), the rear storage compartment door seals and the fridge vent on the sidewall. View one on a rainy day if you get a chance. The sidewall angles in slightly in the design by the fridge vent and water can hit the platform that the fridge sits on. On my model it had a plastic tub and drains at the fridge platform and the rear storage compartment to divert any water away. You can easily add peel and stick RV gutter for added insurance at the rear hatch, fridge vent, and top of the rear door. In my case the only water that ever appeared was at the rear step in a heavy storm. Gutter above the door eliminated the issue.

There are different trim levels on the Chinook. Concourse is the top of the line in the shortest models and the dead giveaway are the trapezoidal side windows. Premier is the next level down with rectangular windows. The Eagle is the bottom end and I wasn't happy with the quality of cabinetry. Bigger versions are the Cascade or Destiny. 2 feet longer and 6 inches wider. The Glacier is on the 450 chassis and has a slide. The Summit is the largest one they produced.

We recently transitioned to a 2008 Winnebago view 24H. The reason? A family of 4 in a Chinook Concourse was just too tight. It was much more viable for 2 people. The change meant moving from 2 feet, 8 inches longer. Width of the View is actually slightly narrower than the Chinook.

We still use the View for day trips and camping. It is great for both. We like being able to have 2 kids go to bed in the small cabover while we can stay up for a bit longer and the small slide has made a big difference room when we are together. Narrow is helpful for parking. The build quality and materials are not up to a Chinook but the added space has more than made up for the difference. The view has a fiberglass roof and cap and filon sides. Leak risks are at the skylights and of course as with any other RV, vents, TV antenna, etc. There are also models with storage over the cab instead of a bunk. I considered a Born Free but it was out of our price range.

Here are the possible leak areas to watch on the chinook. You will see the gutter I installed above the door for added measure.

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Old 01-10-2016, 12:29 PM   #6
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Have you looked at bigger C's(B+)?
on the Ford E-450 chassis?
Tom & Bonnie
2008 Winnebago Aspect 29H
A Class C Not a B+
2010 Ford Flex
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Old 01-10-2016, 10:40 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by rvten View Post
Have you looked at bigger C's(B+)?
on the Ford E-450 chassis?
Dont want anything over 22ft long 9ish feet wide.

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