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Old 11-25-2020, 09:07 PM   #1
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Van for family of 5

The idea of a class A beast is overwhelming with concerns of storage when thereís a good chance it will not get used more than a few times a year at most. Maybe I should rent an RV a few times, but Iím so cheap I have a hard time justifying it when I see Minnie Winnieís for $2000-3000 and class A for $10,000.

I recently passed on a 1984 Westfalia Mercedes 309d with a 3.0 non-turbo diesel motor because I knew this thing had a top speed of 60 mph with the 4.9 rear end and no overdrive. My wife was not trying to stop me from moving forward with a trade-purchase that would have cost near $10,000 but the seller wanted $12,500. It will surely be the one that got away for ever because I know I could have upgraded the drive train and changed the ring and pinion with one from a sprinter and installed massive rear tires. Still, would I have felt safe white-knuckling this thing at 85 through Kansas if I could upgrade the drive train to make it happen?

Anyway, ever since I let that go, kids 9, 12, 13 surely want to get out for some adventure with all this covid lock down stuff. No flights. So driving is the only ďsafeĒ way. Right?

I think weíve decided that we donít need a toilet on board. We can get a bucket and sheet for that if really needed.

I question whether thereíd be value in a shower, but what we know we will really really want/need is a safe place to sleep in the following events:
- didnít plan ahead for hotel
- didnít plan ahead for pitching a tent
- bad weather
- fear of bears

So it comes down to really wanting a setup that we can spread out a bit in AND get comfortable bed setups.

Surely we arenít the only people thinking of this right now. Iím guessing Sprinter and Transport prices are through the roof for these reasons right now.

Do you guys run across many people like me?

We have a 2007 Honda Pilot and a 2006 Honda Ridgeline, and I honestly havenít even thought about trying to convert either of those for this purpose, but maybe it is possible.

What would you guys suggest?

Am I in the right place?
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Old 11-26-2020, 09:14 AM   #2
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It sounds like you might be handy. That's the first prerequisite.

We bought an older Class C for 9500. It had no slides but would sleep lots of people and was totally self contained. We didn't feel the need to tow a car and made lots of memories. Maybe a Class C should be considered. You're kids will be gone before you know it.
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Old 11-26-2020, 09:53 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by okcnewbie View Post
It sounds like you might be handy. That's the first prerequisite.

We bought an older Class C for 9500. It had no slides but would sleep lots of people and was totally self contained. We didn't feel the need to tow a car and made lots of memories. Maybe a Class C should be considered. You're kids will be gone before you know it.

Yes, I think a class C would cut the mustard but maybe be a little bigger and more complicated than what Iíd like to have around forever. My gut is telling me to get a sprinter or ford transport and maybe setup the rear so it could be used for beds in a pinch. The fact is that I donít know what we really need or want though.

Class-c seem to be quite a large variety. It seems some extended height vans might fall into the class c category. Do I have that right?

My gut tells me that 2-3 things benefit some of the more modern vans:
- speeds up to about 85 mph, practically the speed limit in Kansas, anything less and you might be holding up traffic. Right?
- fuel economy.
- handling on mountain or winding roads and highway speeds

I understand that lots of RVíers have found that 62 mph feels like the right speed for their rig. I understand that fuel economy falls off like a rock above 55 mph. So I understand that hopefully most of time is spent driving enjoyably at conservative speeds, but I donít want it to be a limitation of the vehicle that ends up giving me time to think we should have just driven a car and booked hotels for every night. 55 mph through Kansas behind the wheel of a slow beast thatís all wound out at 4000 rpms sounds like my idea of hell.
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