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Old 04-15-2018, 10:55 AM   #1
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Class B vs B+ Motorhome

Hi All,

My wife and I currently own a wonderful 25' Flying Cloud and love it. As you may know from other threads I've posted in the last couple of months ("What do you like about your Interstate?", "What don't you like about your Interstate?", etc.) we are considering first renting and, if we like it, perhaps purchasing a small motorhome in the next couple of years.

We toured some Interstate Grand Tour and Lounge models a couple of weeks ago and found them to be a bit too small for our taste. I'm curious if any of you have owned a Class B+ motorhome (with or without a slide) and if so what your experiences were with the unit. Looking for pros and cons that anyone is familiar with who has actually experienced the motorhomes.

It seems to me that the 24' Sprinter Class B+ models gives that extra width that we desire without giving up too much maneuverability or taking too much more space to limit our campsite selections (we like the old small campgrounds, being able to pull over at pull-outs easily to explore, etc.).

All of your sharing on the other threads has been so helpful to me. Thank you.

Chris
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Old 04-15-2018, 11:56 AM   #2
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Hey Chris,

You're right, the B+ vans give an amazing feel of being much larger than they actually are. Spend some time in a Leisure Travel Serenity or Unity and you'll see what I mean. They are about 15" wider in total (so 7.5" on each side), but feel many feet wider when you're inside. It's really wild when you're in one to think that it's only two spans of your hand wider than the B.

Re. maneuverability, the body of the B+ is no wider than the mirrors, which are mounted at the same location as the B van, so if you can fit somewhere in a B van, you can fit with the B+. One small difference is height (at least for the Leisure Travel Vans), which pushes the number to 10'1" vs. 9'6". I don't know of a single place I've ever been where that would make a difference, but it's still something to note.

Re. fitting in smaller campsites, the B+ is about 6" longer, so still in that magical 24' (ish) zone (max length at some CGs like the ones I liked at Yellowstone).

Since you're looking beyond the B size, don't be afraid to check out the C's (Winnebago View/Navion and others like it). They aren't much bigger than the B+ (mainly they're taller), but their added height really opens things up even further. Plus, you get the added bonus of another sleeping area above the cab, which is a plus if you travel as a family of 3-4 and don't want the hassle (albeit limited) of setting up a second sleeping area every night. I see a LOT of Views/Navions out on the road, so they seem to have hit a sweet spot with that format.
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Old 04-15-2018, 03:00 PM   #3
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Hey Chris,

You're right, the B+ vans give an amazing feel of being much larger than they actually are. Spend some time in a Leisure Travel Serenity or Unity and you'll see what I mean. They are about 15" wider in total (so 7.5" on each side), but feel many feet wider when you're inside. It's really wild when you're in one to think that it's only two spans of your hand wider than the B.

Re. maneuverability, the body of the B+ is no wider than the mirrors, which are mounted at the same location as the B van, so if you can fit somewhere in a B van, you can fit with the B+. One small difference is height (at least for the Leisure Travel Vans), which pushes the number to 10'1" vs. 9'6". I don't know of a single place I've ever been where that would make a difference, but it's still something to note.

Re. fitting in smaller campsites, the B+ is about 6" longer, so still in that magical 24' (ish) zone (max length at some CGs like the ones I liked at Yellowstone).

Since you're looking beyond the B size, don't be afraid to check out the C's (Winnebago View/Navion and others like it). They aren't much bigger than the B+ (mainly they're taller), but their added height really opens things up even further. Plus, you get the added bonus of another sleeping area above the cab, which is a plus if you travel as a family of 3-4 and don't want the hassle (albeit limited) of setting up a second sleeping area every night. I see a LOT of Views/Navions out on the road, so they seem to have hit a sweet spot with that format.

Thanks for your response. Really helpful.

I've been most interested in the Leisure Travel Van Unity which is a B+. I'm most concerned with losing all the great windows that we have in our 25' Airstream. I'll know more once we can actually sit and explore some models.

And you're right, I'm afraid of looking at C's ! I think a B+ is as boxy as I can go!

Again, I so appreciate you reaching out and sharing your thoughts. This possible RV change won't be easy as there is no one solution that hits all of the buttons. Especially over time.

Chris
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Old 04-15-2018, 04:26 PM   #4
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Happy to help.

I spent 2 years "lookin'" and finally decided to just pull the trigger on something. My daughter was getting older by the day and I realized if I kept up with the "analysis paralysis" she'd be a teenager and not want to go on RV trips by the time I got something. One of the many reasons I picked the Interstate was they hold their value so if I decided that wasn't the right choice, I knew I could sell it and get something else and not lose much. So while these are big decisions, they're not permanent. The LTVs also hold their value really well. If you decide you don't love it, sell it and find something else. By then you should have a really good idea of what does and doesn't work for you, so you should be able to zero in on your "Goldilocks" coach (i.e. the one that's juuuuuust right).

Good luck!
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Old 04-15-2018, 04:35 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Meeks View Post
Hi All,



We toured some Interstate Grand Tour and Lounge models a couple of weeks ago and found them to be a bit too small for our taste. I'm curious if any of you have owned a Class B+ motorhome (with or without a slide) and if so what your experiences were with the unit. Looking for pros and cons that anyone is familiar with who has actually experienced the motorhomes.



Chris
We have had both. In 2008 we bought a Navion IQ B+. It was an ok motorhome but had some design deficiencies. In 2013 we bought an Airstream Interstate Twin. I like it a lot but wife has never been very happy with it do to the cramped quarters. We just put a deposit on a new Unity Twin which we should have in 4 or 5 weeks. Here are what I consider the pluses with the B+: 1. step in shower and with the Unity a split bath. 2. Much bigger twin beds (34" wide vs 27" in the Airstream). 3. Slightly larger tank capacity. 4. Roomier in general with travel seating for 4 vs 3 in the Interstate Twin. 5. Lots of outside basement storage and even one pass thru storage bay. 6. Way more inside storage. We settled on the Unity because the quality of build and components equals or exceeds the Airstream. The main advantage of the Airstream was about 3mpg better fuel mileage.
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Old 04-15-2018, 05:04 PM   #6
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Happy to help.

I spent 2 years "lookin'" and finally decided to just pull the trigger on something. My daughter was getting older by the day and I realized if I kept up with the "analysis paralysis" she'd be a teenager and not want to go on RV trips by the time I got something. One of the many reasons I picked the Interstate was they hold their value so if I decided that wasn't the right choice, I knew I could sell it and get something else and not lose much. So while these are big decisions, they're not permanent. The LTVs also hold their value really well. If you decide you don't love it, sell it and find something else. By then you should have a really good idea of what does and doesn't work for you, so you should be able to zero in on your "Goldilocks" coach (i.e. the one that's juuuuuust right).

Good luck!

Glad you got the Interstate and started enjoying! Your logic is sound in regards to slower depreciation on Airstreams and LTVs vs some brands and that no RV decision is permanent.

"Goldilocks" coach...I like it! Though I am convinced that doesn't exist for me. I'm like some others...I want to drive a Class B and when I arrive at the campsite have it magically change into our 25' Airstream! Ha!

Thanks again for your encouragement and info.

Chris
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Old 04-15-2018, 05:12 PM   #7
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We have had both. In 2008 we bought a Navion IQ B+. It was an ok motorhome but had some design deficiencies. In 2013 we bought an Airstream Interstate Twin. I like it a lot but wife has never been very happy with it do to the cramped quarters. We just put a deposit on a new Unity Twin which we should have in 4 or 5 weeks. Here are what I consider the pluses with the B+: 1. step in shower and with the Unity a split bath. 2. Much bigger twin beds (34" wide vs 27" in the Airstream). 3. Slightly larger tank capacity. 4. Roomier in general with travel seating for 4 vs 3 in the Interstate Twin. 5. Lots of outside basement storage and even one pass thru storage bay. 6. Way more inside storage. We settled on the Unity because the quality of build and components equals or exceeds the Airstream. The main advantage of the Airstream was about 3mpg better fuel mileage.

Great to learn of your experiences! We had a pop-up tent camper (1st RV) for one year, now with our Airstream for four years and will probably have it another two, and then....maybe a Class B+.

Thanks for letting me know the pluses of the B+. What are the negatives since you've owned both B and B+?

Chris
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Old 04-15-2018, 05:59 PM   #8
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I want to drive a Class B and when I arrive at the campsite have it magically change into our 25' Airstream! Ha!
HA!

You and everyone else want basically the same thing, and you're right, at present, it doesn't exist.....but it might in the next few years. The Class B market is currently experiencing a bit of a "Renaissance" and every coach builder on the planet it building on that platform now. Heck, American Coach has even introduced a luxury Class B for 2018, and they typically only build big luxury Class A's. What this means is these guys aren't going to be able to compete just on price. They're going to have to start to innovate or they'll be just another builder among the dozen+ to choose from. What I hope to see is some real out-of-the-box thinking, like what I see in the VW California XXL concept:





Maybe not everyone's cuppa, but it shows some real, original thinking that I hope will inspire other manufacturers and get them moving in a new direction.

So, what is it about your 25' FC that you want to see in a smaller coach? Maybe make a list of "must haves" and "like to haves" and see if any of the B+ or *gasp* C's come close.
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Old 04-15-2018, 06:20 PM   #9
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Great to learn of your experiences! We had a pop-up tent camper (1st RV) for one year, now with our Airstream for four years and will probably have it another two, and then....maybe a Class B+.

Thanks for letting me know the pluses of the B+. What are the negatives since you've owned both B and B+?

Chris
The Navion had a lot of negatives mainly design related. The negatives of B+'s in general is they will get a bit less mileage. My Navion averaged 15.3 on a cross country trip and the Airstream averaged 18.3 on 2 cross country trips so 3mpg less with the B+. The B+'s also have body structure outside the rear wheel track so less stable in winds and trucks passing. It would be nice if Mercedes offered a wider rear axle for RV upfitters.
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Old 04-15-2018, 06:52 PM   #10
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I owned a class C on a sprinter chassis before buying an Interstate so I am a little outside of your original question. One reason I sold the C was that it had very little cargo carrying capability, something like 1100 pounds. While it had great outside storage I had to always be very careful not to overload it. I essentially had to keep the black and gray tanks close to empty when traveling and I never filled the fresh water tank.

Another reason I sold it was I did not like the way it handled. The Interstate is much more stable on the road. Another selling point of the Interstate is the very comfortable seats in the back. The only place to sit in my class C was the dinette seats (excluding the front seats). Our dinette was very uncomfortable to sit in.

The extra width and height of the class C was not an issue getting around (except for handling and wind noise). The mirrors on my unit actually extended out more than the Interstate.

With all this said I did look at the Unity. That is a very nice unit.
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Old 04-16-2018, 06:15 AM   #11
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One thing to ask yourself is WHY a Class B feels small to you. Do you or your traveling companion simply not like the sensation of walls you can reach out and touch, or is the complaint more functional than aesthetic?

Functional can largely be fixed. Aesthetic concerns, not so much. As I often say, our Interstate was tiny back in 2014 when we bought it, but it's pretty darned large here in 2018 because of what we added to the functionality. And I'm not nearly done yet.
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Old 04-16-2018, 08:32 AM   #12
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All in can say is B+ = C. The RV manufacturers created the erroneous Class B+ for marketing. Anything built on a basic cargo van is a Class B. Anything built on a cab chassis cut-away is a Class C. Some say if a cab chassis motorhome doesnít have an over cab bunk it is a B+. But Iíd call it a C-
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Old 04-16-2018, 09:05 AM   #13
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The B+'s also have body structure outside the rear wheel track so less stable in winds and trucks passing. It would be nice if Mercedes offered a wider rear axle for RV upfitters.
Wow, I was being too obsessed with the "aesthetics" of body structure hanging outside of rear wheel track and did not even think of it's impact on stability. Good point. Today, I was behind one of those big Dodge RAM pickup duallies so it's rear track was wider than front. Commented to wife that if MB had offered a wider rear axle for our duallies, we probably would have ended up in a LT Unity TB. Few minutes later, we came upon a B+ and wife realized my point. We love the Unity TB with the separate shower & toilet compartment, even if a bit small separating them individually. But one big reason the AI Lounge pushed us to the finish line was it's legal seatbelt capacity when we are using it just as a people mover. What I would do to have a B+ with wide rear wheel track/axle with same exact interior layout as AI Lounge (4 capt chairs) up front, power rear sofa (3 seatbelts) and individually compartmented shower & toilet like LT Unity TB. That would be heaven for me

INTERBLOG - We are on same wavelength today, weighing functional vs. aesthetic
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Old 04-16-2018, 09:20 AM   #14
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Wow, I was being too obsessed with the "aesthetics" of body structure hanging outside if rear wheel track and did not even think of it's impact on stability. Good point. Today, I was behind one of those big Dodge RAM pickup duallies so it's rear track was wider than front. Commented to wife that if MB had offered a wider rear axle for our duallies, we probably would have ended up in a LT Unity TB. Few minutes later, we came upon a B+ and wife realized my point. We love the Unity TB with the separate shower & toilet compartment, even if a bit small separating them individually. But one big reason the AI Lounge pushed us to the finish line was it's legal seatbelt capacity when we are using it just as a people mover. What I would do to have a B+ with wide rear wheel track/axle with same exact interior layout as AI Lounge (4 capt chairs) up front, power rear sofa (3 seatbelts) and individually compartmented shower & toilet like LT Unity TB. That would be heaven for me 😁
I haven't spent any time driving a LTV, so I don't know how the "overhang" actually effects things vs. the combo of "overhang" PLUS the added height that you get with the View/Navion. It's another foot higher than the LTV. The combination must play a role in the rolls, which is a common View/Navion complaint. We also don't know what suspension package each company buys, so there may be some difference there as well.

I don't know why more upfitters don't build on the Ford E450 cutaway chassis. A neighbor has an older Forest River Class C on that platform and the outer dually is perfectly aligned with the outer wall of the RV. I would think that would make for a more stable platform. Is the Ford cutaway not considered "fancy" enough, or have enough creature comforts or safety features for the RV crowd?
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