The construction techniques used are what is needed produce an RV that can be priced to sell a targeted number of units. The construction you describe is what you find priced to sell into the highest volume markets.
Other construction methods are used at higher price points, including molded roof caps atop straight walls of varied construction (on type A motorhomes) and molded shells for the whole house.
Don't have it, but have been thinking about it, along with similar floorpans from Winnebago (Era 70X) and Roadtrek (E-Trek, RS Adventurous, and the Chevy-based Versatile).
What's holding me back is that I already drive a 1-ton passenger van, I know how it handles and rides, and do not have the expectation that an even larger van is going to be more comfortable than a decent mid-size sedan (have owned five of those over the years) and certainly not as comfortable as a nice minivan or mid to full-size SUV.
What I hate most about the van I already have is how hard it is to find a place to park it, when I get out of Suburban and six-pack pickup country into areas where most parking is sized for passenger cars and mid-size SUVs. Thus what concerns me about a 25-foot Eurovan B is that it is going to be almost as difficult dealing with parking in the city as is my current 29-foot motorhome. At least the Sprinter-based van conversions are under seven feet wide.
A neighbor occasionally drives his Era 70 around town, but this is in the world of everybody driving 22-25 foot trucks, so it is just another form of 25 foot truck here.
You might look at Roadtrek's 170 Versatile, as it is no longer than the standard 12-passenger van, compressing a similar floorpan into a shorter space. It might work for two adults and two small children, while the larger B's are about trying to seat 6-7 grown adults for travel.
Not just the weekend. For many public parks with a 14-day stay limit, folks will book the 14 days with the weekend they want at the end of that period, blocking availability for a couple of weeks on a site they'll occupy for 3-4 days.
Having that weekend for them is worth paying $150-200 to hold a camp site they are not using. They even do this for unreservable sites, come out a couple weeks ahead, pay for the two weeks, put up a play tent to "occupy" the site until they are ready to come use it.
If you want to go RVing on holiday weekends, you'll need to learn how the game is played in your area.
OK but how do I use it as a hot spot, exactly. I have a Samsung with Android. The phone is only about 3 months old but was not the most expensive one through Cricket wireless. Do I connect my laptop to th phone or what?
Cricket is a re-seller, not a service provider. Hot spot service is usually enabled by the service provider, under contract. I know some pay as you go re-sellers offer hot spot, sometimes an extra cost option, but I don't know about Cricket. You need to talk to Cricket.
Also, the specific phone has to be able to operate both mobile data and WiFi at the same time, and have software to operate as a router and server IP addresses to the WiFi clients. These features are usually included in more recent Galaxy S phones and iPhones, but not every Samsung phone is in the Galaxy S class.
We don't do DMV for vehicle registration. It is the business of the state's Tax Commission, which farms it out to private enterprise, i.e licensed Tag Agents. Since the Tag Agent gets a small fixed fee for each transaction, it is in his best interest to handle it all as quickly and efficiently as possible.
In that era B+ type Cs were just growing from a boutique market into something offered by major manufacturers. Before 2000, look for Coachhouse, Dynamax. , Later R-Vision started doing some of their Trail Lite C's without the overhead bed, Gulfstream entered the market with th BT Cruiser, inventing "B+" as a marketing term, Phoenix Cruiser started manufacturing, and Forest River created the Lexington line, stretching the B+ idea to include some very large Cs, up to 30 ft.
When I was shopping in 2004, most of what was pre-2000 used was Coachhouse, what was available new was mostly Gulfstream and Forest River, with Phoenix Cruiser trying to establish a dealer network.
When I look around today at the used market, what I see most are Winnebago Aspect and its Itasca twin, because that's the volume manufacturer that stayed with the type, after others backed out of the segment during the recession. But those will be mostly 2005 and later, and indeed, the B+ market was at it's peak 2005-2008, so you might adjust your target years. 2005-2008 even Coachmen, Thor/Fourwinds and Fleetwood got into the B+ segment.
When in Texas (or Oklahoma or Kansas) in the summer, parked in the sun, I've come to accept that anything under 90 F is"cool." That's with 30 feet of house and one 15K A/C unit. When the A/C is taking in that 90 F air, it is pumping it back out of the vents at 70-75, so I sit under a vent.
2 A/Cs do better than one; high end motorcoaches in 40-45 foot range may have three to five 11K to 13.5K units to better handle solar heat loads and manage zone cooling.
Solar heat loads can be hard on RVs. Parked in my driveway on a 80 F day in full sunlight, all closed up the air in my RV can reach 100 F within two hours. That's not as bad as my dark gray car, which can get over 140 F in 30 minutes, on an 80 degree day. At least with the RV I can open the windows, run the vent fan, and pull in that warm outside aur to help cool the inside.
Summertime, I seek campsites under trees, for at least some partial shade. If the outside temperature is much under 85, and I have to be in the sun, I'll open up to the outside rather than try cool a solar oven with an inadequate mechanical A/C. I know a few other RV campers who will just stay outside under an awning, because that's more comfortable than being in a closed up hot box.
Conversion vans tend to be a bit heavier than passenger vans, but yours isn't too bad, since the original empty van was probably around 5600-5700 pounds. That is the source of the "6400" number, 12,000 - minimum possible weight of an empty van = advertised towing capacity.
Loading the van to GVWR of 7200 (which includes tongue weight) gives "maximum towing capacity" of 12,000 - 7200 = 4800 pounds. You don't have a lot of wiggle room. Even though you would not be so close on the weight if you had an Express 2500 with, say, GVWR of 8600 to 9000 pounds, the same drive train would keep GCWR at 12,000.
Express can be an impressive tow vehicle, but only with the right combination, Express 2500/3500 for the weight carrying capacity, 6.0 V-8 or Duramax to bump GCWR up to 16,000-17,000 pounds.
Ford E-350 vans with 6.8 V-10 push the GCWR to 18,000 with the right gearing, and thus might tow as much as 9000 pounds when loaded to 8600-9000 pounds. But even that van is down to 15,000 GCWR with the V-10 and economy gearing.
I have a E-350 passenger van with V-8, 6300 empty, 9500 GVWR, 13,000 GCWR for "towing capacity" of 6700 pounds. My target weight for any towable RV would be 4500 or less, so as to retain carrying capacity for eight humans and their gear (I stripped out that 200 pound back seat). What I had in mind when I bought the van was a Casita or a hard side pop-up camper, well under 4000 pounds.
I think a lot about farming, what I am seeing and how things are being done. I stop in many of the little towns I go through, take some pictures of what I see special locally.
But I try to stay off the Interstate highways through most of the middle of the country, but even that driving is not necessarily boring. With all the bad driving in heavy traffic on these highways, sometimes just staying out of trouble is exciting enough. I think a lot of the bad behavior might have to do with what other drivers are doing to distract themselves from the important task of heads up driving.
You may be in a market for which seasonal use of permanent sites could be the normal use of larger travel trailers. Another three feet doesn't make that much difference, except when visiting older public parks where many sites are smaller. At 35 feet, you were already in the "too big" category for small campsites.
Reminds me of the late 1950s Lotus Elite, which use a fiberglass monocoque structure (with some steel reinforcement for a roll cage) to which the chassis parts were bolted. The primary market was the low displacement classes in GT road racing, but they did need to sell some to road customers as well. Things tended to break away from the plastic structure, or the structure itself would fracture, as real world use on badly maintained roads introduced stresses well beyond the those discovered by static testing.
The original Elite was replaced by the Elan, which put a box-girder backbone under the fiberglass body. That one held together better.
At the asking price, I don't think I'd want to be one of the road testers of a radical engineering experiment. I have enough towing capacity that I can handle an egg-trailer sitting atop a steel frame, which can still weigh under 2000 pounds at this size. Buying one of these is going to be like buying one of the first Tesla models, it needs to be backed up by a great warranty program. I'm surprised that Airstream would stick their necks out to produce something this extraordinary, but it will probably require Airstream branding to find a market at the asking price.
You will get better at it with practice, if you don't give up.
It sometimes takes more than 30 minutes to get my motorhome de-camped and ready to move, but my wife and I have done it in less than 5 minutes if just driving a few hundred feet to the dump station.
RVIA puts them in the "camping trailer" category which also includes pop-ups and tent trailers. I suppose this forum is called "folding trailers" as well, to include more than pop-ups (and I don't know of any manufacturer that sells them by that name).
I looked at a 122S when we still had a dealer in the region carrying Rockwood folders, and was fairly impressed with the build and finish, but concerned about the Cool Cat being under the bed. I was also looking at lightweight pop-ups (dealer was selling off the rental fleet and good prices) so hadn't decided to buy anything (still haven't, three years later, convinced myself I need a second RV for camping at the lake).
I got taken over to look at an A-Liner that someone had just traded on a toy-hauler version of the Rockwood, and was no longer so impressed with the Rockwood. This was a Thursday afternoon. I called back Monday to ask about buying the A-Liner, and it was already gone.
If you have an air-conditioner in one of these, you want the Cool-Cat. It is designed to operate through a wall with just a vent. Lately I've seen manufacturers, to save money, installing low-cost residential window air conditions in a box (rather than having the condenser sticking outside), and these do not work so well, having air flow restrictions and sometimes drainage problems if the RV is not leveled so as to force condensation to run outside. You don't want that.
Jayco/Starcraft is also building these (in a Starcraft plant). I've looked at the Jaycos at the factory showroom in Middlebury a couple of times when passing through, and seen the Starcraft models at RV shows. I've been a bit disappointed about some of the finish details, not up to the quality I've expected to see in Jayco RVs over the past 10 years. I've not seen this quality slippage in any of their motorized RVs, so it may be a plant issue; still, I would expect better attention to be paid to the finish of an example being displayed at the factory showroom.
Affordable depends on your budget. As owner if a class C motorhome for 10 years, 30,000 miles of driving, the $9800 I spent for fuel was almost nothing compared to $40,000 depreciation, $48,000 lost investment income, $12,000 insurance, $7,000 storage fees, and $15,000 routine maintenance on the motorhome chassis.
If cost of fuel is your first concern, you are financially way over your head.
Living and RVing in the middle of the country, I've never hsd anything stolen and I've had fellow campers and park rangers chase me to return what I've left ata campsite. But other parts of this country have different ethics.
The kids left, the first one a long time ago, the second after we gave her an essentially free house inthe town where she grew up. Still, while we traveled more than half the year every year, we kept a home for them to come back to, where we stored all the junk we bought for them that they've not yet decided to abandon, and they pick through from time to time. They come home between moves, they come home in times of trouble, and they come home to take cate of us.
Since my wife died, I travel less, 2-4 months out of the year, mostly to visit my kids, and they visit less often, but stil visit. I keep the home base for me, I have 30+ years of connection with a small city community. I keep it for them, it is where they grew up.
I live in a low cost part of the country, can afford to keep a home base and travel as much as I want, for a small fraction of urban or suburban life. I don't have to break those connections to afford travel, but my travel doesn't have to be full time, and doesn't have to be RVing full time,since my interests are more global. Full time RVing would be pretty much boring for me, because it would mostly be in the U.S. where every city and town is culturally interchangable for another, my experience 20,000 miles a year road tripping 21st century U.S. (It wasn't like this 50 years ago).
If you havedoubts, keep the home base, try the travel.
Consider the difference in cost. Sprinters are either sent to Freightliner as knockdown kits for U.S. assembly, to avoid the 25% "chicken tax" or less popular models like the cab-chassis or bare chassis just pay the tariff. Transits sold in the U.S. are assembled in the U.S. (with mostly local drivetrain components except for an imported diesel engine), so you are paying less in the U.S. for what is inthe global market, basically the same thing.
If you are talking about the diesel engines, the one in the Transit is kind of old, not as up to date as the engines from FIAT and Renault (but wait, we don't get that one) but more of a truck engine than the M-B passenger car V-6 used in the Sprinter for North America emissions compliance.
I would likely opt for the Sprinter, recognizing that it comes at a premium price, but if I don't spend the money, mykids will probably waste it sending my grandchildren to university.
I am permitted to park in my driveway up to 72 hours, longer if nobody complains to neighborhood services. I am not permitted to park on the street beside my house, with any vehicle, longer than two hours, and the zone in front of my house is no parking at any time. General rule for this city is no vehicle may be parked on the street for more than 24 hours without moving. My brother lived in a city that allowed no parking 2 AM to 6 AM on any city street.
The 2 AM was pretty important, because that meant if you were having a party at the house, it had to start breaking up before your guests would have their cars towed away.
Parking ordinances are quite variable, what the rules are for someplace else are irrelevant to your situation. Find out what are your rules locally.