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Old 06-09-2018, 03:29 PM   #1
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Downsizing Continues

Motorhome downsizing trend seems to be accelerating. Through first four months of 2018, sales by motorized RV type were:


Class As down 4.2%

Class Cs up 6.3%

Class Bs up 30.5%


SSI: Motorized Sales up 1.8% for Four Months | RV Business

SSI: 'B' Sales on a Roll; Up 30.5% For 4 Months | RV Business


Other than higher fuel costs, I’m curious what’s driving (no pun intended) this significant shift towards smaller motorhomes.
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Old 06-09-2018, 03:39 PM   #2
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Having downsized from a 41 foot DP to the current Gemini, I can tell you, in our case it was driven, by several factors. We travel differently now, as we rarely if ever go on long trips for months at a time, which we did with the Bus for years. We now prefer shorter trips, usually within four or five hours from home, and for shorter periods of time, usually for 5 to 10 days at a time. Also wanted something that was just easier to deal with, and could be used in a more spontaneous manner. We also used to take grandkids with us, often, and now that they are grown, its just my wife, small dog and myself, so we really did not see the need for a huge bus. The fact that the bus got 6.5 MPG and the Gemini gets between 17 and 18 MPG is certainly a nice feature, but in our case not a major factor in our decision.
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Old 06-09-2018, 03:45 PM   #3
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Gas prices

I think that you will find that it tracks gasoline prices.
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Old 06-09-2018, 04:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laco View Post
Having downsized from a 41 foot DP to the current Gemini, I can tell you, in our case it was driven, by several factors. We travel differently now, as we rarely if ever go on long trips for months at a time, which we did with the Bus for years. We now prefer shorter trips, usually within four or five hours from home, and for shorter periods of time, usually for 5 to 10 days at a time. Also wanted something that was just easier to deal with, and could be used in a more spontaneous manner. We also used to take grandkids with us, often, and now that they are grown, its just my wife, small dog and myself, so we really did not see the need for a huge bus. The fact that the bus got 6.5 MPG and the Gemini gets between 17 and 18 MPG is certainly a nice feature, but in our case not a major factor in our decision.
We've been thinking of possibly trading our 5er for a small class A,, haven't looked much yet, but curious what chassis is under your Gemini.
I've driven Ford's at work for 30+ years & at 17-18 mpg no way could it be the Ford V10, the pickups I drove couldn't/wouldn't get near that going down hill with the engine off, If you dropped the "1" off the front it would be closer to the mileage. Therefore have been hesitant as most come with the Ford chassis.
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Old 06-09-2018, 04:53 PM   #5
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downsizing

Regarding downsizing … Ron has been considering downsizing from our Axis to a B .. we have had 2 b's in the past and liked them ..the largest we have had was a 30' toyhauler.
We love the Axis, but, as we have aged even the Axis is a bit larger than he feels comfortable with some of the time. We looked at a Winnebago Travato 59k as it has the twin beds … he did not care for it that much and the trade was not favorable...and our Axis is spotless with many upgrades !

Therefore, when we leave for FL to see family for the holiday...we will continue to enjoy our Axis … and if we see something along the way that we cannot resist we may trade ! At this point we really don't care !


Ron and Kay
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Old 06-09-2018, 05:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travelin' Texans View Post
We've been thinking of possibly trading our 5er for a small class A,, haven't looked much yet, but curious what chassis is under your Gemini.
I've driven Ford's at work for 30+ years & at 17-18 mpg no way could it be the Ford V10, the pickups I drove couldn't/wouldn't get near that going down hill with the engine off, If you dropped the "1" off the front it would be closer to the mileage. Therefore have been hesitant as most come with the Ford chassis.
The Gemini's are available on either a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter or a Ford Transit Chassis. Both are Diesel:
https://www.thormotorcoach.com/gemini/specs/
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Old 06-09-2018, 07:52 PM   #7
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It’s interesting in the two sales reports that Thor has a larger market share in Cs versus As, which is good, but trail way back in Bs where growth rate is highest. Winnebago and Hymer are each much larger than Thor in van campers. Granted, total volume of Bs is small by comparison to As and Cs.



Quote:
Originally Posted by vkb View Post
Regarding downsizing … Ron has been considering downsizing from our Axis to a B .. we have had 2 b's in the past and liked them ..the largest we have had was a 30' toyhauler.
We love the Axis, but, as we have aged even the Axis is a bit larger than he feels comfortable with some of the time. We looked at a Winnebago Travato 59k as it has the twin beds … he did not care for it that much and the trade was not favorable...and our Axis is spotless with many upgrades !

Therefore, when we leave for FL to see family for the holiday...we will continue to enjoy our Axis … and if we see something along the way that we cannot resist we may trade ! At this point we really don't care !


Ron and Kay

Kay, as i mentioned in other thread, we’re also in the middle between those two sizes. An Axis 24.1, which can sleep up to 5, is much greater in size than we need 99% of the time. The Travato floorplan we like has forward-facing seats for two others and can haul bikes which are must-haves, but we really don’t like corner beds or wet baths. Plus it just feels tight even for two, so taking two others along is hard to imagine even if young grandkids.

Since vehicle OEMs are unlikely to make much larger vans (which would be ideal), it would at least be nice to see one or two RV manufacturers offer compact Class As that are significantly smaller and more fuel efficient than Axis, but still significantly larger than a Travato Class B.

One idea that Hymer has mentioned is having a Class B with option to tow an aero lightweight trailer when more space is needed. That could work provided the base van was designed from the ground up for that purpose. Unfortunately, the present ProMaster van doesn’t have much towing capacity.
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Old 06-09-2018, 07:57 PM   #8
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The Gemini's are available on either a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter or a Ford Transit Chassis. Both are Diesel:
https://www.thormotorcoach.com/gemini/specs/
Correct, although other manufacturers offer competing Transit-based motorhomes with gasoline V6. Reported fuel economy is about 12 MPG with 3.7L gas engine.
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Old 06-09-2018, 10:48 PM   #9
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Perhaps existing owners that downsize; are doing so because they've gotten older, and don't want to be driving such a large rig anymore...
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Old 06-09-2018, 11:50 PM   #10
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There are those of us that also go the other way. We had a 35' fiver with 3 slides, traded for a 31' class C with 1 slide, now traded for a 40' DP with 4 slides. The class C was nice to drive in the campgrounds and other tight spots but it sure doesn't compare to hitting our horribly bumpy highways with the air ride of a 40' DP. We do spend a few months at a time though so I could see if your not going for that long it would be too much.
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Old 06-10-2018, 12:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chance View Post
It’s interesting in the two sales reports that Thor has a larger market share in Cs versus As, which is good, but trail way back in Bs where growth rate is highest. Winnebago and Hymer are each much larger than Thor in van campers. Granted, total volume of Bs is small by comparison to As and Cs.

Kay, as i mentioned in other thread, we’re also in the middle between those two sizes. An Axis 24.1, which can sleep up to 5, is much greater in size than we need 99% of the time. The Travato floorplan we like has forward-facing seats for two others and can haul bikes which are must-haves, but we really don’t like corner beds or wet baths. Plus it just feels tight even for two, so taking two others along is hard to imagine even if young grandkids.

Since vehicle OEMs are unlikely to make much larger vans (which would be ideal), it would at least be nice to see one or two RV manufacturers offer compact Class As that are significantly smaller and more fuel efficient than Axis, but still significantly larger than a Travato Class B.

One idea that Hymer has mentioned is having a Class B with option to tow an aero lightweight trailer when more space is needed. That could work provided the base van was designed from the ground up for that purpose. Unfortunately, the present ProMaster van doesn’t have much towing capacity.
Chance … keep in mind … even tho the Axis is rated to sleep 5 and it will...5 people inside that motorhome for any length of time will be close! Say..inclement weather situation.

The Travato 59K which Ron drove...had the wet bath, which we were willing to accept in downsizing...and those twin beds are awesome...the refrig is the size of a postage stamp as well as the microwave. I would have have major adjustments to make. These units are nice, but a person must be willing to accept those limitations when downsizing. The Travato with the corner/murphy bed we ruled out as our first 21' B+ had a corner bed and we swore we would never have another...climbing over one to get out is not fun and gets old quickly...even tho we put up with it for 3+ yrs !! and we still say, if that Starflyte had had a slide we would have kept it much longer !

Yes, the Axis does not get great gas mileage, but that is something we are willing to accept at this point in time...and have for the last 20 years with the various motorhomes and trailer we have had.

We viewed the Hymer online and some other units .. on our upcoming trip we will have no time restrictions and plan to stop at a few dealers to checkout what else might be available...until then
WE STILL LOVE OUR AXIS !!

K
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Old 06-10-2018, 12:51 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Travelin' Texans View Post
We've been thinking of possibly trading our 5er for a small class A,, haven't looked much yet, but curious what chassis is under your Gemini.
I've driven Ford's at work for 30+ years & at 17-18 mpg no way could it be the Ford V10, the pickups I drove couldn't/wouldn't get near that going down hill with the engine off, If you dropped the "1" off the front it would be closer to the mileage. Therefore have been hesitant as most come with the Ford chassis.
The Gemini TX is built on the Mercedes Sprinter 3500 chassis, uses a 3.0L diesel V6. Probably wouldn't show well on a drag strip, but does well on grades, and certainly normal highway driving.
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Old 06-10-2018, 12:34 PM   #13
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Old 06-10-2018, 04:09 PM   #14
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This “beginners guide” comparing differences between As, Bs, and Cs does a fair job with pros and cons of each type.

https://www.consumerreports.org/vaca...tor-homes-rvs/

I suppose we each have a combination of different reasons why we want one type over another. One reason that resonates with us:

Quote:
Class B vans aren't the most generous RVs for camping, but they excel at touring. That's why they're sometimes called "traveling coaches."
We also like Class B safety, inherent quality, quiet ride, able to park at home, serve as second/third car, and not having to tow a car.


Limited space is no doubt a huge compromise with Bs. With present van we’ve stayed out as long as 2 weeks at a time, but expect much larger vans like ProMaster or Sprinter would make month-long tours enjoyable. Research indicates some couples manage fine, others not so much.
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Old 06-10-2018, 05:05 PM   #15
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The B's were something we did look at, and I do like their compact size, but we really did not like even the idea of a 'wet bath' let alone having to deal with it, and for us we wanted a separate sleeping area, which the Gemini provides for us. Frankly when the slides are in and we are under way, its not that much bigger then the B's, though certainly it is a larger vehicle.
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Old 06-10-2018, 05:20 PM   #16
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Question: Where does the toilet paper sit; when you've got a wet bath?
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Old 06-10-2018, 05:26 PM   #17
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Good question, guess you need a water proof container for it, but we never even got that far, since virtually every aspect of a wet bath was something we were not going to deal with.
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Old 06-10-2018, 05:28 PM   #18
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I was afraid that I'd have to have the Missus hand it in through a cracked-open door...
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Old 06-10-2018, 05:30 PM   #19
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Question: Where does the toilet paper sit; when you've got a wet bath?
Don't need it!! It's a walk-in bidet, turn on the shower.
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Old 06-10-2018, 05:32 PM   #20
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Yeah, B+ are nice too, but from my perspective, once we go beyond a “B”, there isn’t as much incentive to keep it all that small. I’m not against larger size itself, and don’t mind driving a little larger RV.

Even a small B+ (which is technically a C) loses many of the benefits we like. I can’t park a B+ at home, it wouldn’t serve as a second car, it doesn’t normally have full body paint, the structure isn’t as strong in an accident/rollover, fewer locations to service, it’s not as stealthy, etc.

It’s a tough choice, but I see why Bs are becoming more popular. Just wish they were even larger (they need more width — are plenty long and tall already).
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