We are considering a class B, van conversion, for touring the East Coast, north east in particular. I wondered about storage of clothes, cookware, etc. in a Conv. class B? How often do you have to refill the fresh water tank and dump? (an average of course as I know it varies based on number of people, etc.) Any helpful hints about getting max. storage space would be appreciated. Also, where do you tend to stay at night? Are most of you satisfied with the size, manueverability (spelling wrong) of yours, recommendations on what is good to have on one..not necessary, etc. THanks so much for any information. We have looked at a couple of Pleasure Ways and really like the concept. We have a Class A right now but it is so big, you have to tow a vehicle, would be hard to get around in certain areas of the NE, etc.
The primary decision that you must make relates to how you plan to use your RV. In our case, we had no intentions of RVing on a fulltime basis and did not feel that we needed a large Class A or a Class C unit. Our main concern was to have an RV that was comfortable and maneuverable enough to take the road less traveled and permit parking in standard parking areas. We have accomplished this with our Class B unit. Our goal was to see as much of this great country as possible, not to try and take our home with us. We keep the unit stocked with basic supplies (dishes, pots, pans, towels, etc.) so we can depart at any time with little advance notice. Most of our trips are 5 to 7 days but we are often away for 4 to 5 weeks at a time. We pack enough clothes, foodstuffs and other expendables for a week, after which time we stop to do our laundry and replenish supplies. When we do stop, we try to find a KOA campground because of their cleanliness, amenities and other added features (potluck stews, etc.). We also frequently stop at State and National Parks whenever possible.
Since we also utilize BLM lands and access other dry camping areas, we have made frequent use of our generator for cooling and cooking. How about having breakfast along the side of the road underneath the giant redwoods or enjoying fresh coffee while watching the early morning wildlife in a state park? When touring a major city, we have often used the Class B as a comfortable lunch spot.
I'm a former B owner, with a C that's B-sized now. Except for the cat, I'm usually traveling alone, mostly trips six days or shorter. I mostly overnight in rest areas, truck stops, and WalMarts. I park with the cars, and carry ear plugs.
IMO, the biggest problem for sleeping in most B's (and my C) is the noisy furnace blower. Even ear plugs that moderate traffic noise don't keep that roar out. I'd just as soon run the generator and a small space heater.
FW & grey tankage will last longer if you get in the habit taking 'sea' or 'Navy' showers... wet down, turn the water off, soap & scrub, then turn the water on for a quick rinse.
I wouldn't even consider a larger unit.... period. I've no use for something that won't fit into a standard on-street parallel parking space. Yep, there are compromises in that size. Yep, they're well worth it, for me.
Jim, "A closed mouth gathers no foot."
'06 Tiger CX 'C Minus' on a Silverado 2500HD 4x4, 8.1 & Allison (aka 'Loafer's Glory') www.tigervehicles.com
A lot of the storage issues will depend on the floorplan you select. Ours has a lot of storage under a fixed queen-sized bed. The compromise is less interior floor space, although I don''t think any B has an abundance of anything. We don't have a lot of hang up space, and end up moving those clothes around when we setup at night. That being said, we are tourers not campers, we haven't been in any one spot more than 2 days. So far, we always stay in campgrounds so we dump often.
We have done various RV set ups over the years. We started with a 29 foot fifth wheel, but I was not comfortable driving with all that behind me, hubby was. Great unit.
We decided to go the "B" route, smaller so I would feel comfortable driving it, and after much searching got a '03 Pleasure-way Excel TD which we really liked. Excellent fit and finish, easy to drive, but did not do well in the 35+MPH winds of the prarie land of South Dakota. We had all the steering helps, stabilizer bars, added on, but still scary handling problems at times in heavy cross winds. It's only other draw backs were hitting your head when entering the cockpit and getting up from the dinette, and the small refrigerator on the floor.
We then went the small "C" route with a Chinook Glacier, which is 25 foot dual wheels with small slide. Great unit, very stable driving with all the bells and whistles, who's factory sadly went out of business. So we were in the hunt again, not feeling comfortable keeping it, plus wanting smaller for ease of parking while visiting our children who now live in big cities.
So now we have ordered a 2007 Born Free "Built for Two" which we hope will be the final purchase and the best solution for our needs and wants. Being the size of many larger "B's" with it's 22 foot length, plus dual wheels, it will have the stability for ease in driving, plus easy to park and get around in big city traffic. It has plenty of space inside, full size fridge, and a larger wet bath. We decided smaller and simplier was the way to go, and less worries with no slide, hydraulics, computerized jacks, etc. Born Free does not do slides, instead you have three tubular steel roll bars for safety.
As for storage, we have been amazed each time we have unloaded one at all the stuff that we never really used. It tends to accumulate, and we always had plenty of space for whatever we needed in each one we owned. We have cooked our meals and showered in each unit, toured, camped for up to 10 days at a time, and all have worked well. You just have trade offs and learn to adapt and be creative wiht each set up.
Good luck with your search for your perfect RV.
ClassBGirl, Hubby, and "Bogie" the Basset Hound
2012 Triple E Regency - GT24MB (Grand Touring - 24 ft. - Murphy Bed)
Ford E450 Chassis with 6.8L EFl V-10 Triton
If you have ever enjoyed tent camping, car camping, or back packing, or even a lot of staying in motels and toting suitcases, then you will find a B to be a luxury of space and convenience. Otherwise, it's possible it will be just too cramped for you.
Consider "B's" on the Sprinter chassis. Since you are downsizing from an "A" you will probably like the added length you get in the interior. We have a Leisure Travel Van and love it. We looked at just about every B out there and did not feel claustrophobic with the extra length it provides. It is narrower than the wide body models but this allows for parking in normal width spots. Most all brands have a Sprinter model now. Great gas milage too.
We love the electric sofa across the back of ours. This can be lowered to a reclining position so you can be very comfortable watching TV,DVD or reading in that position. It makes into a queen bed that we find very comfortable. The length is great for my 6ft. husband. We don't like ours left in the bed position all day. We use the Travasak bedding and just roll it up, press a button to return the bed to the sofa position and store the Travasak underneath. We have the Flexsteel drivers and passanger seats that we find very comfortable. Other features we like and use are the back-up camera, awning, AC, generator, microwave, TV/DVD,and the extra coach battery. We also like the placement of the refrigerator and microwave in ours. They are not low or on the floor like in some models.
We vary in where we stay, sometimes in a private campground,other times in State and National Parks, other times in Flying J or Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart being our least favorite.
We've found Eagle Creek Packing Cubes and Folders great for packing our folded clothes. They are soft and fit easily into a variety of storage cabinets. You can go to their website to see them and where they can be purchased. We use Hugable Hangers from HSN or a version of them from Bed Bath and Beyond for our hanging clothes. They are much thinner than plastic ones so you can fit more items in the closet. Clothing doesn't fall off these hangers either.
How often you have to dump and refil water totally depends on your use. Your kitchen items will depend on what you eat and how you cook.
We took our 03 Dodge PW Lexor TD on a couple of three week trips to East Coast and West Cost from Colorado. We generally use state or commercial camp ground a hook to electric only or electric/city water sites - but not sewer sites. We found that the 3 cubic foot fidge was adequate for food supply, but probably "grocery shopped" about every other day. As for capacities, we kept fresh water tank over have full (over 15 gallons of thirty capacity) - and hooked up to city water when we camped (use a filter and pressure regulator). You do use fresh water tank on the road - but we re-filled fresh tank about every 5 or five days (at campground from city water fill) - black tank lasts about 3 days for the two of us - so we dumped black and grey every 2 or three days. Laundry?? - we did that about once a week at campground with washer and dryer (which we inspected prior to use for exceptional cleanliness) or during visits along the way. hope this helps. Jean and Jan in Colorado 06/07 RT210P
We just returned from a 17 days, 2,909 miles trip to Florida in our B. We learn something new from every trip we take and are constantly changing the way we do things to make the next trip easier and better.
Before leaving on a trip, I check this website and others for info. I keep my Trailer Life Directory, The Next Exit, and a map book close by. State Welcome Centers and my new wireless laptop are my new best friends!
Hubby uses the cupboard area for his clothes and shower bag. We have a huge storage area under our queen size bed. That is where I keep my clothes in a 31 gal. Rubbermaid storage container. There's room for a large container under our table and that is where I keep my LL Bean shower bag and some clothes. We have never put water in our B but that's just us. We use campground showers. We do use the commode in the B. We keep a gallon container of water in the bathroom just in case we need it. We hang our towels on tension rods in the bathroom to dry.
We keep bottles of water, beer, soda in the fridge. Easy to open up a bottle of water to make the morning coffee. A plastic container holds the cookies, donuts we have with our coffee. We keep a large container of baby wipes handy (like them much better than regular wipes), paper towels, and paper plates nearby. We use our favorite coffee cups from home.
We are early morning risers. After coffee and showers, we are ready to unhook the electric and head out usually by 8AM. (We don't dump at every stop). We stop at a local restaurant for breakfast. We like to eat where the locals eat. Then we are on our way for the day, stopping wherever or at whatever interests us.
Abour 4PM, we start looking for a good restaurant to eat our late dinner/early supper. Also, we start thinking about where we want to spend the night. Sometimes we find a place and just drive in or sometimes I call ahead to see if they have a spot and will hold it for us till we get there. On this trip, we only had reservations for the two nights we HAD to be somewhere on specific dates. The rest of the time was at our leisure and we didn't have any trouble finding a space. We basically travel during January/February/March so maybe this wouldn't work in busy summer seasons. (We heat with an electric ceramic heater in the cold months).
We live at our DE cottage in the summer months and use the rv as a car mostly during that time. We've never had to use the ac except the ac in the front. We found the fantastic fan surely is fantastic during hot weather.
We found it easy to drive thru Miami and Savannah just to name two of the many places we were at these past three weeks. We could park in downtown regular parking spaces in most places. At an average of 20 to 22 mpg, not too shabby either on the diesel.
When we first got our B, I furnished it with all kinds of dishes and things that eventually I discovered I didn't need. That might be different for those of you who cook. One of the things we like to do is to eat out. I don't cook at home most times. I do keep a few things on board just in case like the time we pulled into our campground in Nashville and a thunderstorm hit. We decided to make Pasta Sides in the microwave instead of venturing out and that was fine, too.
On last year's trip to Las Vegas and the west, we drove until dark and then checked in where we were going to stay. That is the one thing we changed on this year's trip. It works much better to check in before dark. Plus, you get to meet other rvers, use the laundry, walk around the campground, talk to others about what not to miss in the area, etc.
We don't carry alot of extra things with us because nowadays you're only a stone's throw away from a Walmart or grocery store. You will find it fun and easy to adapt to a B kind of living. Good luck and enjoy!