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Haley

Rochester, NY

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Joined: 10/28/2003

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Posted: 11/22/11 03:57pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks all. It is re-assuring to reach the same conclusion as the consensus of experienced folks.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
John H.

Eyegor

NY

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Posted: 11/22/11 04:21pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Guess it is left to me to be the contrarion.
Let me start by saying that I agree with most all the points made by others. I too agree that you and the family are probably better off with a C. But the B is not completely out of the question.

It was years ago but I did travel for almost a month with 3 other folks in a Airstream B190. These older raised roof units are much more comfortable when sleeping 4. Airstreams, Falcons, Sportsmobile, are some of the more common units. I think SMB may be the only one making hardside high top vans. They also make pop-tops along with a few others.

It sounds like your family is an outdoor family. If the rig is only to be used for sleeping, changing clothes, etc. then the B is doable.

And as a 2nd vehicle the B shines. I do occasionally use my V8 460 Class C as a 2nd vehicle. Not ideal, but it gets me where I'm going, and is probably good for the truck.

In closing, the B is definitely doable, but the C is likely better. In your situation, I would only consider one with an upstairs, not the Versatile. I might let other factors like my wallet, how long will I keep it, more kids, etc. help make the final decision.

* This post was edited 11/22/11 04:29pm by Eyegor *


87 Mallard Sprinter 24' Class C Ford E350 w/460 gas "The Runny Duck"
Shiny side up, Rubber side down.


Handbasket

Asheville, NC

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Posted: 11/22/11 05:34pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Might work... a few major 'ifs', tho'..

1) Are you fairly normal-sized or smallish folks, and pretty flexible, both physically and mentally? If X-Large's, no.

2) Are you mostly going to be outside during the day? Four couch potatoes, no go.

3) Can your kids (and adults) be content for long periods being pretty still, reading, etc, in bad weather?

4) Are you looking for a small place on wheels, or a no-setup self-propelled tent with cooking and bath facilities?

I had a Versatile and liked the floor plan. What other B can seat _eight_ at table? But the bed is pretty short. At 5'11"+, I had to sleep sort of catty-corner. At least it's plenty wide.

Read the FAQ's here on buying used. Especially if it's on the Dodge chassis, pay close attention to the part on the importance of the test drive.

Yes, there are plenty of C's in that price range, and most have water damage, or will need major work to prevent it in the near future.

Jim, "Parked illegally? Avoid parking tickets... leave your wipers on at maximum speed."


'06 Tiger CX 'C Minus' on a Silverado 2500HD 4x4, 8.1 & Allison (aka 'Loafer's Glory')

Gene in NE

Omaha

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Posted: 11/22/11 10:41pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Haley wrote:

"2 cozy / 4 crazy" - great advice from another thread. We are four - two adults, a 10 year old and a 12 year old. I have been shopping primarily C's but a RoadTrek Versatile popped up on craigslist.

Pros:
Use as second car (sell mine).
Gas mileage on long trips.
At $10k, it is less expensive way to check out RVing than a $20k used C.
Body seems more solid than the panel walls of a C, may hold up better.
Seems well taken care of and all systems go.
Smaller space to heat for dry winter camping.
"Bear proof" & indoor potty - two requirements from DW for camping.
Travel soccer, travel baseball, Scouts just got more comfortable.

Cons:
Front sleeping, may resort to tent next to van.
1996!
Over 100k miles!
Storage (maybe use trailer or hitch rack).
Less room to work on stuff as it needs fixing.

What am I missing? Is this a "pay now or pay later" scenario where the vehicle may seem a bargain but then eats you alive in service?

Any small families out there making a Versatile work for them?

jh
It seems like your usage might be traveling or a 2nd car and sometimes spending the night. On those times out when merely traveling, just drive the Class B. On those outings where you will spend the night, pull one of these Scamp types -

with one of these floorplans -

Solves the bear problem.


2002 Trail-Lite Model 211-S w/5.7 Chevy (click View Profile)
Gene

goreds2

OH H ..... EYE OH !

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Posted: 11/22/11 08:04pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Eyegor wrote:

It sounds like your family is an outdoor family. If the rig is only to be used for sleeping, changing clothes, etc. then the B is doable.

And as a 2nd vehicle the B shines.


Yep, if you are an outdoor family that is very key. Using it as a 2nd vehicle I would think would be very valuable going to your kids school functions etc. Best wishes in your decision.


See Picture In My Profile
1989 Dodge XPLORER RV Van- Purchased 10/15/10
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1775

NY

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Posted: 11/22/11 05:01pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If your two kids are average size, the four front seats that convert to beds in the Roadtrek are not that bad - adults are not comfortable in them but kids seem to be fine. As to the rear seating. If the older RT is like my new RT (without the power bed/bench) in the rear, there are two seat belts but no shoulder belts in the rear - but there is also no real back support either. I would not want anyone to sit back there in mine while on the road, as one's head is pretty much up against the rear door window glass. The Versatile has the two additional passenger seats in the front and these have shoulder belts and are fine to ride in.

If your kids like the idea of sleeping in a tent you get a lot more room inside for the two of you - and all of the advantages of a B - park anywhere, use as a second day to day vehicle, stealth appearance, store on a suburban driveway, etc.

If the size of a C is better for you and you have no problem with a larger RV then it may be a better choice for a family, but take a look at a B in person and see for yourself how doable it is for you all.


Roadtrek 190 Popular 2011

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Gene in NE

Omaha

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Posted: 11/23/11 07:22pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Haley wrote:

...Camping Trailer / Casita: I have thought of a camping trailer but never both. Very interesting idea...
One of the nicer things about the small fiberglas "eggs" is that they hold their resale value like nothing else. If you do not believe that, try finding one - we have. Here is an example of a 35 year old one in Syracuse, NY. Asking $3,995

Haley

Rochester, NY

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Posted: 11/23/11 06:17am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great feedback:

Size Matters: I am 5'9", a few inches shorter than my wife. The kids are smaller now but will be taller than me. They are all thin but I am about 220lbs. I think we could still squeeze past each other in the center passageway. Sleeping lengths will be an issue in a B or other RV's.

Camping Trailer / Casita: I have thought of a camping trailer but never both. Very interesting idea. The pop-ups can be roomy, and I have always liked the Scamp/Casita line ups because they look much more durable. I would love to winter camp and those trailers are great for that.

Some of the small Castitas beg the question why not just tow with our new Toyota Sienna minivan. I have seen some do it. The Sienna is more comfortable to ride in, safer, better mileage, more reliable, etc. and a Scamp would provide the ability have the kitchen & bathroom always available. The cons of that are the Sienna is rated at 3500lbs. There are Scamps below that but I factor in wind resistance too. Also a trailer is less stealthy - towing it to a Soccer game would be odd. Plus the B is attractive because I'd like to bring the boat. I also find towing more stressful than just driving.

Haley

Rochester, NY

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Joined: 10/28/2003

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Posted: 11/23/11 06:50am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

1) Are you fairly normal-sized or smallish folks, and pretty flexible, both physically and mentally? If X-Large's, no.
Mostly normal, on the tall side. I am very flexible. DW may be less tolerant - not 100% into camping (yet).

2) Are you mostly going to be outside during the day? Four couch potatoes, no go.
When we tent camp, the tent is for sleeping and quiet time before Bed. Originally I planned on bringing a tent for sleeping, my small hardy backpacking tent. If I pursue this I am now thinking an EZ Up with optional sides - something large enough for day use. Although that is a big thing to pack store in a B.

3) Can your kids (and adults) be content for long periods being pretty still, reading, etc, in bad weather?
Honestly, no. I would not hunker down in the B with four people - unless there was radioactive fallout or something. What I like about the B is it seems flexible enough to temporarily break camp, head to town and find something indoors to do. Without a parking hassle. Also, son and I are pretty impervious to rain - if you have the right gear it is usually ok unless it is cold. The other thing is I have no problem changing plans midway. With Scouts we occasionally leave at 9am rather than 3pm if the day is a wash. I would not have an issue paying for the site, but bugging out early if it saves the trip. Plus, "ABC": Adversity Builds Character.


4) Are you looking for a small place on wheels, or a no-setup self-propelled tent with cooking and bath facilities?
This one required thought. What am I looking for. The best way to explain would be to say if this was in my driveway now, right now, what trips would I be planning:

Disney: We went once and stayed in a hotel. 4 nights 3 days at Ft. Wilderness. RV would mostly be a crash pad in between trips to the parks, pools, and surrounding area attractions. Disney is 20 hours away.

Granny: Granny is in FL as well, 24 hours away. Next to a FL State Park (biking/walking distance). Visiting Granny is great, her community has pools, tennis, golf, kayaking, etc. Staying with Granny is tough - she has to "prepare" the place for guests and it stresses her out. Pulling up to her house on a bike and saying "no sweat, we are sleeping in the park next door" would be sweet.

NYC, DC, Boston: My kids have not seen NYC or Long Island (where I grew up) yet. Would love to take them. Each of these major metro areas is within 8 hours. When we did DC a few years back the hotel was a place to sleep.

Lake Champlain: Favorite place. Grew up there as a kid. Would love to go, camp, boat, visit relatives. Do Vermont and NY.

National Parks East: Acadia (and/or other nooks and crannies in Maine), Great Smokeys, Civil War sites, Adirondacks, all of the usual natural grandeur sites.

Winter Camping: Less people, no bugs, winter sports, no rain. I was in a tent in the Adirondacks last Jan. 10F the first night, -10F the second. We did okay but the wife would prefer if I had a bit more insulation for her precious ones. I would think I can dry camp in a B either using the propane furnace or an electric heater (if there are hook ups).

Scout Camping I: The Scoutmaster can not hang in an RV while the lads chill out in tents. But if the van is my personal vehicle there is nothing written that says I can't use it make sure I am well supplied with coffee, use it as a warming hut, haul the gear trailer, or invite the wife & daughter.

Scout Camping II: My son has asthma. Last year we "camped" in a cabin with a wood stove that did not have the best venting. It was not a safety concern for all, but that wood smoke smell did a number on his asthma, he was on medication for weeks afterwards. This year's plan is either no cabin camping trips or go and sleep out doors. In this case I can make a case for him and a buddy sleeping in the van.

Food Allergies / Other allergies: Both my kids have severe allergies to nuts. Eating out is usually not the best option for us. When we hoteled in DC I had to walk for miles finding food for them (minivan was in a parking garage that turned out to be closed on Sundays!) The portable kitchen is a big draw. My daughter also is allergic to pets and assorted other things. Wife too. We have had trips where hotel/motel/B&B environment set their allergies off and hurt the trip. So traveling with out own "bubble" is a big draw. With that said I have to be careful because I think any RV stored for a while can turn into an issue (water damage, mold, mice, etc.).

Sporting Events:Soccer, baseball, etc. I watch the games but inbetween there is sometimes down time. Also, because of their severe allergies we usually stay rather than drop off. Asking a volunteer coach to train up on epipen use sometimes is less than appropriate.

Phew - if you have read this far I thank you!

jh

* This post was edited 11/23/11 07:00am by Haley *

Francesca Knowles

Port Hadlock, Washington

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Posted: 11/23/11 12:31pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Haley wrote:

Great feedback:

Size Matters: I am 5'9", a few inches shorter than my wife. The kids are smaller now but will be taller than me. They are all thin but I am about 220lbs. I think we could still squeeze past each other in the center passageway. Sleeping lengths will be an issue in a B or other RV's.

Camping Trailer / Casita: I have thought of a camping trailer but never both. Very interesting idea. The pop-ups can be roomy, and I have always liked the Scamp/Casita line ups because they look much more durable. I would love to winter camp and those trailers are great for that.

Some of the small Castitas beg the question why not just tow with our new Toyota Sienna minivan. I have seen some do it. The Sienna is more comfortable to ride in, safer, better mileage, more reliable, etc. and a Scamp would provide the ability have the kitchen & bathroom always available. The cons of that are the Sienna is rated at 3500lbs. There are Scamps below that but I factor in wind resistance too. Also a trailer is less stealthy - towing it to a Soccer game would be odd. Plus the B is attractive because I'd like to bring the boat. I also find towing more stressful than just driving.

I wouldn't trade my little trailer for an all-in-one!
In addition to my opinion that cars are a safer ride than RV's, I like the fact that I don't have a second motorized vehicle to insure and maintain, and that my good-mileage daily driver can tow it! And its small size makes it remarkably maneuverable.

My '78 Trillium 4500 weighs 1400 pounds dry- about 1900 with the mods and loads I've added.
The 4- cyl. '97 Kia Sportage pictured has towed it all up and down the west coast and as many as four people can sleep in it.

A particular plus for you might be that its lack of particle board/wood etc. makes it virtually hypoallergenic. I've literally washed it inside and out with a garden hose (after removing cushions, of course!) Do be aware though that not all fiberglass trailers can say the same- some have just as much wood/particle board as a regular "stick-built" rig.


" Not every mind that wanders is lost. " With apologies to J.R.R. Tolkien

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