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Old 02-06-2020, 01:37 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Bob Denman View Post
It seems to be in our nature to always want more...

Something in that size category will always be bypassed in favor of "bigger, better, better-equipped, and fancier"...
We have done some serious downsizing, going from a 41 foot Tiffin Bus to the Gemini. Took some getting used to, but the Gemini was just a far easier size for us to deal with. Last week we sold the Gemini, so for now have no RV. Not really sure our future travels will be via an RV or not, but should we decide to continue the RV route, it will most likely be one of the high end class B's that now offer a standard bath, not the IMO that horrible wet bath. Time will tell what we decide, but we are in no rush.
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Old 02-06-2020, 03:40 AM   #22
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My first RV was a 1995 Chinook Premiere. It is a class C (some would say a B+.) 21í, built on a Ford E350 Frame. It had the V8, the V 10 came out the following year. I restored it and loved it. There is a very vigorous and involved group of owners, with more than one Chinook ownerís forum. They were well made and are still pretty pricey for a used MH of that size. Youíll see them in the parks and on the road. All the owners wave to each other, chat about their rigs.

I recall those well.

We looked at them and also the Born Free which were similar when we purchased our Coachmen Class C ages ago. I really liked them and how they were built very solid (and heavy), but decided we needed a bit more sleeping space so got the Class C with large over-cab bed. Our children are now grown so those smaller floorplans would have worked better today.

The rounded and sleek lines looked great, but outside storage was really limited. And many of the smaller floorplans had door in rear so awning wasnít as effective in light rain. The rear entry door also made it more difficult to carry bikes or cargo boxes on hitch carriers.

Itís funny how many of the ďclassicĒ motorhomes that people restore and form clubs around tend to be smaller than average. While Iím sure it happens, I donít see as much interest in restoring 40+ year old huge motorhomes.


By the way, Coach House motorhomes at Tampa Super Show reminded me of Chinook and Born Free. They must be one of the last building that type of MH.
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Old 02-06-2020, 08:18 AM   #23
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Size does matter.....
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Old 02-06-2020, 05:48 PM   #24
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Yes, of course size matters. Too small can be as bad as too large, depending on intended use. Small units allow driving and camping in places that larger units should not go at all; but have limited room and comfort when parked.

Thereís a happy medium, and everyoneís is different. An 18-footer with pop-top that can go just about anywhere, be parked in a home garage, driven daily as a second car, and gets 20 MPG has some appeal but is clearly too small for most campers ó at least for us due to lack of bathroom, shower, and standup room.


Paraphrasing Einstein, make mine as small as possible, but not smaller.




Example of too small:
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Old 02-06-2020, 06:05 PM   #25
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What's wrong with a little bit of "Creeping Wretched Excess"?
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Old 02-06-2020, 09:34 PM   #26
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What's wrong with a little bit of "Creeping Wretched Excess"?

Nothing wrong with excess, unless it comes at too high a cost ó and I donít mean just financial.

For example, you wouldnít want to drive a 40-foot diesel pusher where you can take a Rebel van camper, right? Whatís more important to buyer? Depends on buyer.

Iíd like a motorhome larger than the Rebel below, in part because I wouldnít likely drive those kinds of trails. But Iíd still want the option to go/drive many places that large motorhomes just shouldnít go.
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Old 02-07-2020, 02:01 AM   #27
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Aha! I have figured out the flaw in your logic...
You camp in "small places"!
You just need to make reservations at places that have room for much more than a pup-tent and a campfire!
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Old 02-07-2020, 02:18 AM   #28
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No such thing as 'one size fits all' as far as RV's. When we had our 41 foot bus, it was perfect for us. We took grand kids with us often, and had plenty of space for all of us to be comfortable. We would typically travel to someplace we loved, often the Oregon Coast, and stay in one spot, sometimes for six weeks at a time. Then suddenly the grand kids were teens and grown, and into their own activities and friends, and our taste for traveling was changing. Got to where we really did not want to travel long distances, or for long periods of time, so the 41 footer was just more than we needed or wanted, plus it was getting fairly old and needy. Traded it for the Gemini, which served us well for several years,now just my wife, me and our small dog traveling, and we typically stayed within several hundred miles of home, and only for a week or two at a time. The Gemini filled the bill well. Now we have decided that we are really not sure we even want to continue RVing, the Gemini was sold last week. Right now we have no RV, considering the possibility of one of the higher ends class B's, but have made no decision so far.
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Old 02-07-2020, 01:28 PM   #29
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The one constant event in all of our lives; is change!
Here's to hoping that a Class B will be the next perfect RV for you!
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Old 02-07-2020, 05:08 PM   #30
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Our previous motorhome was a Winnebago Rialta, similar to what you have pictured but a B+ layout. It was powered by a Volkswagen VR6 with front wheel drive and required premium fuel. It had a gross vehicle weight of just over 7000 lbs. and got 15-18 mpg.

We replaced it with a 2017 Thor Compass TB on the Ford Transit 350 HD TurboDiesel chassis. It is just under 24ft. long and a little narrower than most class C's. It has a bedroom slide which allows us to leave the bed made and just fold the bottom up when the slide is retracted. It has a roomy dry bath and a tankless water heater that allows for long showers when connected to water and sewer. With a gross vehicle weight of just over 12,000 lbs. we find it very easy to stay within load limits. It is small enough that we can drive and park it nearly anywhere yet roomy enough that we don't mind spending a couple months on the road in it. The 5 cylinder turbodiesel with the 6 speed transmission has plenty of power and happily cruises all day at 65 to 70 mph regardless of terrain. The best part is after 48,000 miles we have enjoyed a fuel mileage average of 16-1/2 mpg, and have seen tank returns as high as 18 mpg. If one looks at the price of diesel compared to premium gasoline this motorhome is more economic than our Rialta was even with 5000 lbs. more gross vehicle weight.
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Old 02-08-2020, 10:00 PM   #31
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Our previous motorhome was a Winnebago Rialta, similar to what you have pictured but a B+ layout. It was powered by a Volkswagen VR6 with front wheel drive and required premium fuel. It had a gross vehicle weight of just over 7000 lbs. and got 15-18 mpg.

......cut.....
The Rialta looks about the perfect size for some couples that like touring more than camping in one place for extended periods. Specifications indicate the Volkswagen chassis has the same ratings as the Vista, so low GVWR, low GCWR, and minimum towing capacity. It also has limited dealership support compared to a Ford. Even so, they sold well.

A manufacturer could build a motorhome that size on the E-Series chassis that could offer more space than a van, and at a lower cost. Compared to Rialta, it would need to be at least 12 to 18 inches taller though if built on a Ford van chassis. Probably close to 10-feet high overall.
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Old 02-09-2020, 12:00 AM   #32
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The first lint is to a homemade camper built on a used Tacoma truck. Hardly a commercial venture. The second is a foreign sales minivan camper. Neither of those links compare to the products produced by Winnebago, Damon, Chinook, Sunrader or Dolphin. But like I said, if one was produced, a version would be in my driveway.
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Old 02-09-2020, 12:35 PM   #33
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Mercedes is getting into the small camper segment with a Metris-van based unit similar to the second link Dave posted. Looks like it follows the old VW bus concept.

Itís way too small for us, but shows that Mercedes market research must have concluded there may be demand for such a tiny rig.

https://www.usatoday.com/picture-gal...an/4677207002/


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Old 02-09-2020, 02:18 PM   #34
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A few issues for me. 1. After looking at smaller class B's and their price, many class C's look like a bargain Tens of thousands cheaper... a $$ mind bender at that point.
2. HYMER looks the most interesting due to the fact of the inside materials they use. The FIT and FINNISH is Amazing. Not throwing the same 68" jackknife sofa in every unit no matter the size wasted space everywhere.
3. HYMER reminds me of something my WIFE said at the Chicago Boat & RV Show about 15 years ago.... looking at all of the RV's & Boats for the day even though we will never be buying a boat (had one) it's fun to look at them.
... The wife says "why don't the RV guys go over to the boat people and have them design an interior of an RV" ?
This is what Hymer seems to have accomplished. I am just hoping Thor does not destroy this concept by using inferior materials, that would be a shame. Thor..Can U Hear Me Now?????
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Old 02-09-2020, 03:13 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by revjeffrey View Post
A few issues for me. 1. After looking at smaller class B's and their price, many class C's look like a bargain Tens of thousands cheaper... a $$ mind bender at that point.
2. HYMER looks the most interesting due to the fact of the inside materials they use. The FIT and FINNISH is Amazing. Not throwing the same 68" jackknife sofa in every unit no matter the size wasted space everywhere.
3. HYMER reminds me of something my WIFE said at the Chicago Boat & RV Show about 15 years ago.... looking at all of the RV's & Boats for the day even though we will never be buying a boat (had one) it's fun to look at them.
... The wife says "why don't the RV guys go over to the boat people and have them design an interior of an RV" ?
This is what Hymer seems to have accomplished. I am just hoping Thor does not destroy this concept by using inferior materials, that would be a shame. Thor..Can U Hear Me Now?????
Funny! We were at our local RV show yesterday (didn't see anything we'd want over the Axis--especially with our new kitchen) but did pop our head into a Sol Horizon. The reason I mention this: The thing is all fiberglass and on the inside it smells just like a boat ! LOL

We were curious as there was one near us on our last trip and they look soo funky LOL.
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Old 02-09-2020, 03:24 PM   #36
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That camper is too cute for words!
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Old 02-09-2020, 04:18 PM   #37
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........cut.......

1. After looking at smaller class B's and their price, many class C's look like a bargain Tens of thousands cheaper... a $$ mind bender at that point.

......cut.....

You nailed it with #1. In my opinion thatís the crux of the matter.

Even in Europe, B+ the size of vans are becoming popular. Lower cost and greater space in similar-size package has to be a major factor.

Being completely honest, if everything was equal I would prefer a Class B over a B+ or C. They have OEM full body paint, are less likely to leak, are safer, I can park it at home, etc. However, all available vans in US at present are narrow, which limit floorplan designs. And having curved walls makes their cost higher and space towards top even worse.

For less cost than a van, manufacturers could build a COMPACT B+ or C thatís essentially the same length, width, and height but with greater space, better/smarter floorplans, and much more storage inside and out.

So, why doesnít any US manufacture build a B+ or C the size of a Rialta or Vista on the popular Ford E-Series?

The only answer that makes sense to me is that the RV industry is programmed to think that all buyers want greater size if for about the same cost. So if they built a 22-ft long by 7-ft wide Class B+ or C to compete with vans, the very next thing theyíll do is make it larger because the added cost is minimal.

The root problem is that until recently, there was no value to ďsmallnessĒ for the sake of being smaller. I had a long conversation with a product manager at Tampa Show that confirms that that is finally changing. Small is not for everyone, but those who want smaller rigs donít want large ones even if at same cost. Itís not that difficult a concept to grasp, yet itís taken them years.



P.S. ó Not suggesting they stop making large RVs, just that they should offer more smaller options. The two can coexist.
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Old 02-10-2020, 12:41 AM   #38
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Their marketing research folks are probably whispering in mangment's ear that the public likes them bigger, and better-equipped.
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Old 02-12-2020, 05:54 PM   #39
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Maybe marketing guys can get a different perspective from this design. Is there a market for this size rig if designed better than we have now? How would we know if they donít build it first.

This is the size motorhome I was thinking would provide a bit more room than a van but maintain most of the maneuverability, parking, and fuel economy advantages.

Itís a nice looking rig only 23-ft long, just under 10-ft high, and 7-ft wide. The rear overhang isnít too long, and with lots of ground clearance so it can be backed over a curb. It seems well designed with attention to detail. Itís even available in AWD.

This design doesnít necessarily have to be fancy and expensive to have similar function. They could build this size rig on a Ford chassis while keeping cost lower for those with tighter budgets but similar tastes.
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Old 02-12-2020, 06:07 PM   #40
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That;s not their job to investigate "different perspectives". They talk to the buying public, and try to figure out what folks are willing to buy...
They take that info to endless Corporate meetings, and eventually it gets told to the design engineers. (Hopefully!)
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