I just bought a Trail Lite B+ 211s with 8.1 Chevy
engine. This is my fifth motorhome (others range
from an old 20' Vagabond, and three Winnegagos, from 19 to 32'. This vehicle is fantastic. I am
using it as a mobile office (and sneaking in a fun
journey from time to time). It gets about 9.5mpg
and I believe I could pull a bus behind it if I wanted! I paid low $40's which is about what I had expected to pay for a five or six year old Chinook with a nicer interior, but fewer features
(slide). I am delighted thus far.
* This post was
edited 08/20/07 10:14am by an administrator/moderator *
2006 Lexington 235S; 6.8L Ford E450,
2005 30RLS Outback Sydney Edition,
2007 Jeep Compass
2009 Mini Cooper S
Daniel, There is a tremendous interest in the Trail Lite B+. Please keep us posted as you roll up some miles. For starters,how do you like the dual wheels as they affect handling and ride? I expect the fuel mileage will improve after break- in. Any thoughts on that? Finally,any comments on the bed? That is one feature that seems not up to par with the rest of the design. Thanks for any thoughts you might have.-------Labtek
Labtek; I have already driven 1500 miles in two weeks!. I will average about 500 a week for the next couple of months,then about 1200 a month. I do not expect mileage to increase much, but I am having so much fun with that engine that I really don't care (a different tone will prevail when gas returns to $2 a gallon!). I had driven about four different brands from a couple of Rialta's, and three van conversion brands, one with fancy air bags, that could be adjusted from the cab and all at least 20K more new, and none with the same room. They all were rather vague on the highway. My Trail Lite is much more stable (due to the duals probably). I plan to use the slide a lot, and that may be achilles' heel in the construction. I suspect that the mechanism was not designed for repeated use, and may begin to separate over time. Added screws will help there. I plan to put a swivel under the passenger's seat at some time in the future. I also plan to get some pads for the couch and dinette (for better sleeping). Both are only about 40" wide, and though the unit is rated to sleep 4, I suspect that they grow pretty small people at the factory!
Since I do not plan to sleep in the unit much, I am not much concerned with that. In fact, I have been thinking about getting a sizeable trailer in the future to pull behind the B+ when I am retired and want to stay in one place for longer periods than a couple of days. Sorry for the long reply.... I have obviously been obsessing a lot over this vehicle over the past few months!
I just noticed on the Moturis website (www.moturis.com) that they have a new D-21 'supervan' for rent, and it looks like the Trail-Lite 21 ft. They have locations around the country so it might be a good way to try one and see if you like it.
Reilly's Law: You can prove something is possible by doing it. You can not prove something is impossible by not doing it.
The Motorhome in Moturis is a Trail Lite, but not the slide model. The slide uses a different couch, which is somewhat smaller, but with better quality covering. With the slide extended, the interior gives the feel of a much larger coach. I drove a version like the one listed in Moturis, but, with the 5.7L engine it is not as inspiring to drive in traffic. Those two additions (engine and slide) give an entirely different feel (driving and parked) to the 211s model with the larger engine. To put the power in perspective, drive a class A with the 8.1 workhorse chassis, then imagine the same engine with about 5,000 fewer pounds, a low center of gravity, and begin to grin.
Another 1000 miles. Engine is using about a quart of oil every 2000 miles. Settling in on about 10 mpg. I am still "playing" with it some,and haven't really tried to get the best mileage, but do not anticipate better than 10.5. On the other hand, if I wanted to, this vehicle would easily top 100 mph! And quiet on the road! I have had some discrepancies though; the slide is going to need adjusting - the bottom makes contact before the top, so leaking will be a given until fixed. I love that slide, but suspect I will be cussing at it in a couple of years! There have apparently been a couple of errant screws that caused some engine electrical problems (fixed quickly at factory expense), and the factory stereo only works on mono (I suspect that there may be a speaker wiring problem causing this - I will get fixed, because I want to put my own better stereo in and don't want to have to troubleshoot the speaker wiring myself). The dealer and factory have been great on making things right. I haven't bought a new rv in fifteen years, but am very pleased. Any time I am tempted to wish I had gotten a more expensive unit (any Dynamax, Chinook, even an Xplorer), I get in my new PT Cruiser Limited Edition and take a ride (about the difference in the next more expensive unit).
We just purchased a new B Touring Cruiser by Gulf Stream. 23.9'with slide. It has a V-10 Ford engine. It sounds similiar to the Trail Lite B. I'll give an update on ours after we take a few trips in it. We moved up from a Roadtrek. We needed a bit more room. I sure hated to part with the Roadtrek but, life goes on. AJ
Looks like you got a sweet RV. I was not aware of that unit when I was shopping, and it looks like the price is about 5+K more. It also looks like you have some trim upgrades over the Trail Lite (wheels, bath, steps, etc.). Is your slide an electric or manual unit? Mine is manual. Probably more reliable, but I never know how much to twist the crank at the end of travel. I am currently driving about 600 miles a week and will continue to drive at that pace until May, when I plan to get the discrepancies fixed, and start sharing my work driving with my PT Cruiser. I really believe that you will be excited about the increased stability of the duals over the usual single rear tires of B's. I find the handling deceiving. Sometimes, I inadvertently forget the mass I am hauling and lean too much in turns (too fast). The chassis can handle that fine, but the usual junk in the cabinets complains as it shifts around! Curious about your gas mileage as you go. I have read that the V10 gets a little better mileage than the chevy 8.1. It is interesting what drives a buy decision in a vehicle of this size. I suspect that you will forget your B shortly, as you stretch out, and perhaps have a better handling vehicle to boot. I was trying to compromise between my old 1986 28' Winnebago Chieftan (bought new in 87), and a fairly new Winstar. I sold them both for the Trail Lite.