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Old 09-24-2015, 08:46 PM   #1
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New smaller RUVs on Ford Transit chassis

Just saw that Thor is introducing new RUV models based on Ford Transit cutaway chassis. The only floorplan is similar to 25.2 Axis/Vegas, but smaller.

I'd be interested to hear first reactions. Specs list only the Diesel engine -- don't know if gasoline is available.

I like that the bedroom can double as a compact lounge area. It shows they are thinking about introducing multi-use areas.
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Old 09-24-2015, 10:22 PM   #2
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"Class B+" seems to say it all. They appear to be trying to compete with the RoadTrek's, etc.

I wouldn't consider the Transit coaches for size reasons. We started looking a B+'s and found them just too small. The Axis 24.1 is tight, but perfect for us.

I'd also be leery of the Transit platform in this application. Just too new.

They look nice though!

Randy
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Old 09-24-2015, 10:42 PM   #3
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Randy is correct Class B+ says it all.

Only advantage I see is that it will be cheaper than the Class B coaches running on the Sprinter chassis. Who knows, maybe Ford will let Thor put emergency start switches on these unlike MB.

By the way, where does the food go? A six pack of beer will take all the fridge space.
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Old 09-24-2015, 11:00 PM   #4
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Here are a bunch of links:
2016 Gemini

2016 Compass Motorhomes

TMC Displays New RUVs on Ford Transit Chassis | RV Business

My $0.02: They do look small, however they are only 23 feet long. Chop off 2 feet from an Axis/Vegas and see how much room you get.

Interesting: The Transit in general has a lower GVWR than the E-350 (look here: http://www.ford.com/commercial-truck...ions/view-all/ only 9,000-10,000 lbs).

Wow the interior is very contemporary:

They did steal the table from my Axis--and they have it in backwards! (you put the angled side towards the seats to make it easier to get in and out of the bench).
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Old 09-24-2015, 11:01 PM   #5
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I'm curious how they keep the weight within the limits of its 10,360-pound chassis GVWR.

This unit is a little shorter, narrower, and lower than an Axis or Vegas, but still has one slide on a chassis 2,000 lower in capacity. Some of that deficiency is probably made up by the lower chassis weight (I presume) compared to larger E-Series chassis, but cargo carrying capacity must still be very limited.

It'll also be interesting to see how they price it compared to the larger Axis/Vegas. And fuel economy should be interesting as well due to small diesel.
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Old 09-24-2015, 11:09 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
....cut...

Wow the interior is very contemporary:

They did steal the table from my Axis--and they have it in backwards! (you put the angled side towards the seats to make it easier to get in and out of the bench).
Probably no accident. Makes the aisle look wider on picture in my opinion.

By the way, is your table single pedestal?
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Old 09-24-2015, 11:29 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Chance
By the way, is your table single pedestal?
The front table between the captains chairs is single pedestal, the table in front of the slide is two pedestal. From the looks of it our table in front of the couch is bigger than the Compass/Gemini tables.

These new B+ campers also have a table in the rear:


Another interesting thing about these campers: The water heater is an instant tankless model (look in the features).
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Old 09-25-2015, 03:21 AM   #8
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I am not big on the contemporary/European look but at the end of the day we all have different tastes and needs. The market will drive looks and sizes and thankfully we have a lot to choose from to meet our own needs.
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Old 09-25-2015, 03:46 AM   #9
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This Transit version from a European manufacturer shows just how different the RV industries design motorhomes.




For me it's hard to justify a Class B+ motorhome this small because it's not that much bigger than available Class B vans (up to 24-feet long). Granted you gain much more width, but give up the factory van body.

Both the Euro and Thor models have clever use of space which Thor could utilize in the Axis/Vegas RUV lines. The narrower cabinets, euro gas range, etc. could make an Axis feel more spacious without necessarily having to rely on slides.

As with most European motorhomes, it has a huge bike-size garage in back. However, this particular floorplan does not place the twin beds over the garage (typical Euro floorplan), instead the space over the garage is used as a closet accessible from rear bathroom. That is something that could work in US because I doubt Americans want twin beds set high.
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Old 09-25-2015, 11:38 AM   #10
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Interesting on that Euro model: the drop down bunk is manual (see that he just grabs it and pulls it down). Since we in the US like our bells & whistles all the drop down bunks are power (either that or they think that all of us obese people simply don't have the muscle to drop the bunk! LOL).

When I first saw the glass cover on the stove in the Thor models I thought that they had installed an inductive cooktop. That would have been really cool.

Those Chausson motorhomes are quite interesting:
http://www.chausson-motorhomes.com/ranges/

Check out the class C units and how the bed in front gets a "buldge":


Looking at those I can see why there is that company importing Axis/Vegas units to Europe--they fit right in!
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Old 09-25-2015, 11:48 AM   #11
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One more comment: I *want* that roof vent!


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Old 09-25-2015, 01:16 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
Interesting on that Euro model: the drop down bunk is manual (see that he just grabs it and pulls it down). Since we in the US like our bells & whistles all the drop down bunks are power (either that or they think that all of us obese people simply don't have the muscle to drop the bunk! LOL).

When I first saw the glass cover on the stove in the Thor models I thought that they had installed an inductive cooktop. That would have been really cool.

Those Chausson motorhomes are quite interesting:
Chausson motorhomes. The proper balance between equipment and price

Check out the class C units and how the bed in front gets a "buldge":


Looking at those I can see why there is that company importing Axis/Vegas units to Europe--they fit right in!
Jamie, the bed is electric. He reaches up because the switch appears to be mounted on bed frame and moves up and down. I kind of like that because it gives the operator added physical feedback of what he/she is doing instead of relying simply on visual feedback.

The glass cover over stove is a great idea in my opinion and should be offered as an option on Axis/Vegas for those who like them. It yields more counter surface area in a small RV. Plus it just looks a lot cleaner than typical gas stove that rattles and we rarely use anyway.

The 610 model in video review is under 22-ft long, has no slides, probably no generator or standard AC, and is built on light-duty front-wheel-drive van chassis limited to under 8,000 pounds (+/- 3,500 kg) -- either Ford or Fiat.

It's hard to compare such a small motorhome directly to an Axis. Exterior size and fuel economy seems closer to a Sprinter Class B.


Regarding the Class C bulge over cab, that's a product of FWD. They seem to make motorhomes much lower to ground for fuel economy, handling, and ease of entry, so there would not be enough height for a bed over cab unless they add that bulge. However, because of its shape it's probably very aerodynamic versus making the entire motorhome taller. That's another big difference between American and Euro engineering. They at least try to make RVs that are stable and easy to drive and we make them bigger and taller and then install all kinds of gadgets to fix steering, sway, crosswinds, etc. not that there is anything wrong with that if "big" is what you need or want.
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Old 09-25-2015, 01:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chance
Jamie, the bed is electric. He reaches up because the switch appears to be mounted on bed frame and moves up and down. I kind of like that because it gives the operator added physical feedback of what he/she is doing instead of relying simply on visual feedback.
Yeah I see that now: what threw me off was how fast it came down--much faster than the Schwintek one in our Axis.

On 2nd viewing I also noticed that the table has a power raise/lower as well.
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Old 09-25-2015, 03:26 PM   #14
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Yeah I see that now: what threw me off was how fast it came down--much faster than the Schwintek one in our Axis.

On 2nd viewing I also noticed that the table has a power raise/lower as well.
Yeah, I noticed the powered table too. I'm not sure what the main advantage is other than it can be moved out of way of bed without having to find a place for the table and pedestal. And I'd guess if strong enough it can support the lower bed cushions (video didn't show the bottom bed being made up). On the other hand it doesn't look like table can be removed completely out of way if one wanted the clear floor space.

Regarding the upper electric bed I can see the tracks at front but can't make out the tracks at back of coach. Regardless, I'd like to see US manufacturers make more use of elevating beds. An Axis similar to 24.1 with elevating twin beds over a lounge are could practically double living space during the day.



Anyway, hopefully we'll see more pictures of Transit-based Thor B+ soon. I'd also like to hear an MPG estimate.
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Old 09-30-2015, 04:44 PM   #15
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In small RVs storage is at a premium of course. So what baffles me is Thor's decision to favor the mere cosmetics of a nice homey bedroom over practical utility in this Compass/Gemini. Why have open, shelved display cases flanking the bed rather than closed cabinets in the same space that could be used for actual storage (cabinets that look as if they also could be a few inches deeper and wider)? And really, who wants to travel with unsecured knick-knacks and framed pictures in a moving vehicle?

Also, while the open skylighted area above the cockpit surely enhances the sense of interior spaciousness and light, and might improve the momentary ease of access to the rear, I would prefer the far greater utility of an over-the-cab storage locker there.

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Old 09-30-2015, 05:09 PM   #16
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Why have open, shelved display cases flanking the bed rather than closed cabinets in the same space that could be used for actual storage (cabinets that look as if they also could be a few inches deeper and wider)?
I don't think those side shelves could be any deeper as that part of the bedroom is part of the slideout. If they were deeper they would intrude into the living space more.
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Old 09-30-2015, 05:16 PM   #17
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But the ledge at their base is a few inches deeper, and appears to be part of the slideout too--which is why I thought the outer edge of the cabinets could be flush with that ledge (or nearly so) and still not impede on the backward and upward travel of the mattress when it's folded up.
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Old 09-30-2015, 05:31 PM   #18
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To me, and this is my personal opinion, that bed looks like it is already a royal PITA to make (change sheets etc...). Bringing those shelves or cabinets (if they were enclosed with doors) out to the edge of the ledge would make that task even harder. The other half would think long and hard with the current configuration. Makes to shelves deeper and she would walk away without saying a word.
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Old 09-30-2015, 05:52 PM   #19
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Aha! Good point. I neglected to consider housekeeping functionality.
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Old 09-30-2015, 06:19 PM   #20
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One other point is that over the cab skylight. I don't see a shade and that would necessitate a night time (after dark) test drive to determine how much glare is reflected on the driver's controls and front windshield. It may have a shade but I don't know.
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