Originally Posted by lcastric
I have had some experience with motorhomes and trailers. I want to go on extended trips in the West. I want a camper that can boondock and run backcountry roads.I don't want to tow a trailer. I'd like a comfortable bed and solar power. I'm 78 so I want to keep it simple. I can't afford new...hoping to stay in the $40,000 range. Any ideas/experience will be appreciated.
Not a lot of specificity above but here goes from my point of view of extensive dispersed and dry camping in the four years since I've retired.
I camp in a class B Roadtrek, 2000 200 Versatile. It has worked out well for solo traveling. It has plenty of tank storage for two weeks between fill/drain unless the weather is really hot and humid, which I avoid. Fresh is 35, grey 28, black 10+. It won't go every where but that's why I have a motorcycle in the trailer that I pull. It's good on gas(15mpg without trailer), has a shower in the aisle so not cramped, and is small/narrow enough to get into and (more importantly) out of some tight places.
Class B units are definitely not for everybody, they are small inside as well as outside. I just spend more time out in the back yard. Short of expedition type units or a tricked out truck camper this seems to be the way to go, for me, in my travel budget.
If traveling as a couple the class b can get really small if you're stuck inside due to weather, bugs, etc. It takes a bit accommodation on each person's part to make that work. We do OK for a month but by that time the wifey is ready to haul butt home. The fridges in most Class B-s are quite small at 3 cubic feet, ours is 4. The 4 works out OK for us. Most class B-s have the fridge at floor level(ours is not) so that kinda sucks.
The issue I find with the short class C-s is that the cab area does not incorporate with the floor plan, it's just wasted space when set up to camp, not to mention a wider footprint for getting out in the boonies on forest roads. My and most class B-s have swivel seats up front turning the front into a "living room" and depending on the floor plan, another lounge area in the rear.
Lots of trade offs getting into the smaller units that are desirable for back country camping. Only you can know what will work for you.
If in your shoes I would get out and look at some stuff and envision how the floor plans would work for you.
If it whatever you find doesn't have solar you could simply get a portable set up and be all in for $4-500 for 1-200 watts including extra cord, a chain and a lock. This will work fine unless you have a dorm or residential type fridge in it. Plus with portable you can park in the shade, angle the panels better and it's easier to keep them clean.