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Old 08-21-2019, 10:14 AM   #21
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You've had some great experience! Would love to hear why you settled on the B-van (assuming you have and aren't going back to a C, etc.). I've camped in A's, B's, C's, trailers, etc., but the AI is the only RV that I've owned for any length of time (3 yrs now). Every time I have to use the shower, I say bad words as I bang my knees and elbows on stuff and get a renewed interest in getting something else. At 6', 190lbs, I'm just a bit too big to fit in there....



On the helicopter analogy, if that were true of my van, I would have sold it already. I have very limited time off (typical salary slave with 2-3 weeks off per year), so when I get to go on trips, especially our annual dad/daughter trip, that time is very precious to me. Anything breaking down and preventing that would quickly find its way to the next owner.
Experience? Well, I've made just about every mistake that CAN be made, and since I'm a slow learner... probably some of them two or three times. If that counts, then I guess I have some experience. <grin>

I have the '04 AI AND an '06 Born Free 32' Super-C. I use them for very different purposes. Your AI isn't old enough to really have many failures... yet. They're pretty reliable... until they're not. Then they're complex, expensive, and at least from MY perspective, difficult to repair.

Travel trailers are excellent for staying in one place for a time. You have a base, generally utilities at the power pole, and your tow vehicle allows you to explore. Using them the way I use them, however, for extended travel to friends' and family inexpensively, stay in rest stops, parking lots and where-ever and still have the luxury of the microwave, and the rest of the systems. I still have the flexibility of having the motorhome(s) as a base camp and a Jeep to go exploring with if I decide to tow it. Towing the Jeep with either motorhome carries almost no penalty in fuel costs. It drops the AI from 23mpg to 20, and with the 8.1L V8 and Allison 5 speed transmission in the Kodiak chassis, it doesn't even know that the Jeep is behind it.

Regarding the shower, I'm 6'5" tall and 200 lbs and while the shower IS pretty tight in the AI, I still use it, mostly sitting on the john lid, of course... but anything else this size is going to be just as small. Every one of them has been. The Coachmen didn't even have an inside shower. I can't stand upright in the AI anyway. I could in my Coachmen and the B-190, so I kinda miss that, but it's not a fatal flaw.

So, there you go... Did I answer your questions?
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Old 08-21-2019, 11:14 AM   #22
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Experience? Well, I've made just about every mistake that CAN be made, and since I'm a slow learner... probably some of them two or three times. If that counts, then I guess I have some experience. <grin>

I have the '04 AI AND an '06 Born Free 32' Super-C. I use them for very different purposes. Your AI isn't old enough to really have many failures... yet. They're pretty reliable... until they're not. Then they're complex, expensive, and at least from MY perspective, difficult to repair.

Travel trailers are excellent for staying in one place for a time. You have a base, generally utilities at the power pole, and your tow vehicle allows you to explore. Using them the way I use them, however, for extended travel to friends' and family inexpensively, stay in rest stops, parking lots and where-ever and still have the luxury of the microwave, and the rest of the systems. I still have the flexibility of having the motorhome(s) as a base camp and a Jeep to go exploring with if I decide to tow it. Towing the Jeep with either motorhome carries almost no penalty in fuel costs. It drops the AI from 23mpg to 20, and with the 8.1L V8 and Allison 5 speed transmission in the Kodiak chassis, it doesn't even know that the Jeep is behind it.

Regarding the shower, I'm 6'5" tall and 200 lbs and while the shower IS pretty tight in the AI, I still use it, mostly sitting on the john lid, of course... but anything else this size is going to be just as small. Every one of them has been. The Coachmen didn't even have an inside shower. I can't stand upright in the AI anyway. I could in my Coachmen and the B-190, so I kinda miss that, but it's not a fatal flaw.

So, there you go... Did I answer your questions?




Appreciate the insights.



Our travel style fits the B van/small C quite nicely. Always moving, rarely staying in the same place more than 1-2 nights. The smaller rigs allow for the most flexibility at campgrounds as they will fit in almost any space that's available.



On the shower, I'm leaning towards a dry bath in the "B+/C-" vans. They are the same overall length, slightly wider, but still fit in a parking space, which I find to be very important at places like national parks, etc., especially during the busy summer months. Totally agree with your point, no other wet bath is going to work better/worse than what's in the AI.
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Old 08-21-2019, 06:20 PM   #23
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Why on earth would you want to leave
Iowa???!!! .
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Old 08-21-2019, 06:44 PM   #24
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Why on earth would you want to leave
Iowa???!!! .
One appreciates the finer things in life while one is not among them.
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Old 08-22-2019, 06:11 AM   #25
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One appreciates the finer things in life while one is not among them.

Very well said!
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Old 08-22-2019, 08:46 AM   #26
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Appreciate the insights.



Our travel style fits the B van/small C quite nicely. Always moving, rarely staying in the same place more than 1-2 nights. The smaller rigs allow for the most flexibility at campgrounds as they will fit in almost any space that's available.



On the shower, I'm leaning towards a dry bath in the "B+/C-" vans. They are the same overall length, slightly wider, but still fit in a parking space, which I find to be very important at places like national parks, etc., especially during the busy summer months. Totally agree with your point, no other wet bath is going to work better/worse than what's in the AI.
Quite honestly, if you're only doing campgrounds there's not much difference between a 23' Class C and a 32' Class C as far as driveability. They'll both fit in all of the campground sites. The big difference is in the sleeping arrangements, and yes, the bath area. My 32' Born Free has a dry bath and large enough shower that I can stand up and turn around in it easily.

There's a big difference, however, between a 22' or smaller Class B and a 23' or larger Class C, particularly when the Class B is on a 3/4 ton chassis vs. a one ton chassis with duals. Having had a Born Free 23 rear kitchen on an E450 chassis with duals, I can tell you that they're NOT as agile as a my single-tired axle Class B's for driving in parking lots, parking, or doing narrrower lanes and roadways. As a matter of fact, my 23RK felt more like driving my 32RQ than my B-vans. It boils down to that it's all about trade-offs and what you can live with and without.

Frankly, that's why I have two motorhomes.
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Old 08-22-2019, 10:42 AM   #27
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Quite honestly, if you're only doing campgrounds there's not much difference between a 23' Class C and a 32' Class C as far as driveability. They'll both fit in all of the campground sites.

That hasn't been my experience, at least not where I've camped. Two years ago at Yellowstone, the only way I was able to get a last minute site was because I was under 25'. This year in Banff/Jasper, same story (and I booked a few weeks in advance). There is an added "challenge" in the Banff/Jasper area where in some campgrounds, they separate campers into "soft side" and "hard side, fully enclosed campers" areas due to predators (bears, wolves, etc.), so having a van provides the greatest flexibility.



Closer to home here in CA, the various CG's like Redwoods, Big Basin, Humbolt, etc. all have size restrictions. Roll into one of these with a 30'+ rig, you will have fewer options than you will with a < 25' rig. I've even seen camp hosts pull out a tape measure when they feel peeps are "stretching the truth" (or in this case compressing it ) and turn them away. This is a big reason why I chose a B van. With so many people out here all wanting to pack their camping trips into the 10 weeks of summer when the kids are out of school, having the most options can mean the difference between camping or staying at a nearby hotel.......
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Old 08-22-2019, 09:30 PM   #28
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What an answer!
Have a fantastic trip and share the best of your voyage. We might not be far behind. No matter where we have been, I always love coming home though.
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Old 08-23-2019, 06:45 AM   #29
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That hasn't been my experience, at least not where I've camped. Two years ago at Yellowstone, the only way I was able to get a last minute site was because I was under 25'. This year in Banff/Jasper, same story (and I booked a few weeks in advance). There is an added "challenge" in the Banff/Jasper area where in some campgrounds, they separate campers into "soft side" and "hard side, fully enclosed campers" areas due to predators (bears, wolves, etc.), so having a van provides the greatest flexibility.



Closer to home here in CA, the various CG's like Redwoods, Big Basin, Humbolt, etc. all have size restrictions. Roll into one of these with a 30'+ rig, you will have fewer options than you will with a < 25' rig. I've even seen camp hosts pull out a tape measure when they feel peeps are "stretching the truth" (or in this case compressing it ) and turn them away. This is a big reason why I chose a B van. With so many people out here all wanting to pack their camping trips into the 10 weeks of summer when the kids are out of school, having the most options can mean the difference between camping or staying at a nearby hotel.......
My comment was more aimed at the driving and maneauvering part of owning a motorhome. There's less difference between a 23' Class C and a 32' Super-C than there is between a B-Van and a 23' Class C. Of course MY van is a 2500 without duals. I've not driven a one-ton Sprinter WITH duals to make that comparison.

I've been thrown out of Yosemite in a '70 Airstream 23' Safari Special single axle (they cleared the campgrounds fearful of high winds and widowmakers) and I've been thrown out of the finest WalMarts in Denver, but I've never been refused a spot in a campground because my 32' was too long. I'm always honest about the length, but after a couple of campground places who were skeptical eyeballed it, they let me park anyway. I'm sure that there are places where the 25' limit means a 25' limit, but I've not found a place yet that it was a problem. I've even parked a '94 Airstream 34' tri-axle, two-door trailer in a 25' spot in Indiana Dunes State Park, much to the amusement of the folks we were camping with.

All that said, I recognize that "camping" has become MUCH more crowded than it was 30 years ago, especially in CA. Around MY neck of the woods, in most places (especially County campgrounds) there still isn't any kind of reservation system, and there are ALWAYS sites availalble in most of them.

Iowa is the best-kept secret in the country.
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Old 08-23-2019, 06:58 AM   #30
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ROGER; you blew it. Now everyone in the world knows our little secret. Last week, I toured one of my old CG's and it was full. there were RV's from out of county AND out of state. The secret is now out.
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:05 AM   #31
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ROGER; you blew it. Now everyone in the world knows our little secret. Last week, I toured one of my old CG's and it was full. there were RV's from out of county AND out of state. The secret is now out.
mj
Mike, Mike, Mike... you forget that you live in Scott County IL now... you guys effectively seceeded from Iowa long ago...

Metro Cedar Rapids campgrounds fill up pretty quickly too as do those around Des Moines. But up in God's Country, the county campgrounds are ALWAYS accomodating, even on holiday weekends!
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Old 08-23-2019, 10:05 AM   #32
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My comment was more aimed at the driving and maneauvering part of owning a motorhome. There's less difference between a 23' Class C and a 32' Super-C than there is between a B-Van and a 23' Class C. Of course MY van is a 2500 without duals. I've not driven a one-ton Sprinter WITH duals to make that comparison.

On one of my RV trips many years ago, we rented a 27' Minnie Winnie class C (built on the Ford chassis). That thing was frightening to drive in windy conditions. We have a bridge north of where I live that goes across the Carquinez Strait near the town of Benecia. It's notorious for the wind. Driving across that in the Winnie I was blown into the next lane. Nothing I could do about it. Big gust came up and there I was. Thank doG there wasn't a car next to me. Same story driving it through the Columbia River gorge. I was going slower than the semi trucks and still getting blown all over the place. White knuckle doesn't begin to describe it. To this day, the driver's seat cover still hasn't been found.....


Contrast that with the 24' Interstate 3500. Absolute world of difference. The Interstate handles like a big SUV (which I've owned for over 2 decades). Yeah, I feel the big gusts, but it's totally composed. It just means I can't drive 70mph all the time and need to slow down to 60 when it's windy. Meh. And my van doesn't even have the wind assist feature that is in the newer 2500's. Hopefully your Super C is more like this vs. that doG awful Minnie Winnie....
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Old 08-23-2019, 03:18 PM   #33
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There's a big difference, however, between a 22' or smaller Class B and a 23' or larger Class C, particularly when the Class B is on a 3/4 ton chassis vs. a one ton chassis with duals. Having had a Born Free 23 rear kitchen on an E450 chassis with duals, I can tell you that they're NOT as agile as a my single-tired axle Class B's for driving in parking lots, parking, or doing narrrower lanes and roadways.
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I've not driven a one-ton Sprinter WITH duals to make that comparison.
85MH325 - Comparing Sprinter 2500 and Sprinter 3500 with Dually - other than slight difference in the rear due to the stiffer rear end, I see no other difference in agility, parking lots, narrow lanes. I have driven my friends 2500 (single rear axle) exclusively when we go on long excursions. I have logged more miles in his than my 3500 dually. I may even have an edge in terms of rear passenger harshness due to my VB Air suspension. But his has no rear seats, only mid cabin 3-person bench.

Comparing Sprinter 3500 dually to a Ford E450 dually is like comparing apples & oranges. They are both round and their ass-end are both wide. But the difference is on a Sprinter 3500, the additional dually wheels are installed inside the 2500's original track, making the rear track of a Sprinter 2500 virtually identical to that of the 3500 (ok, technically the 3500 is slightly wider but not by much).

Wheres the rear track of my F150 (which I have 2 of, a 2001 and a 2018) is narrower than my old E450 (no longer have due to this issue you clearly brought up). The way Dodge or Ford or GM installs their dually is to put the additional dually wheels outside of their respective 150 rear tracks, which makes them terribly wide in front and very non-agile in all & every situation.

MB Sprinter 3500 Dually is a much better setup than any pickup dually every made. It handles just like the non-dually counterpart.
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:25 PM   #34
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85MH325 - Comparing Sprinter 2500 and Sprinter 3500 with Dually - other than slight difference in the rear due to the stiffer rear end, I see no other difference in agility, parking lots, narrow lanes. I have driven my friends 2500 (single rear axle) exclusively when we go on long excursions. I have logged more miles in his than my 3500 dually. I may even have an edge in terms of rear passenger harshness due to my VB Air suspension. But his has no rear seats, only mid cabin 3-person bench.

Comparing Sprinter 3500 dually to a Ford E450 dually is like comparing apples & oranges. They are both round and their ass-end are both wide. But the difference is on a Sprinter 3500, the additional dually wheels are installed inside the 2500's original track, making the rear track of a Sprinter 2500 virtually identical to that of the 3500 (ok, technically the 3500 is slightly wider but not by much).

Wheres the rear track of my F150 (which I have 2 of, a 2001 and a 2018) is narrower than my old E450 (no longer have due to this issue you clearly brought up). The way Dodge or Ford or GM installs their dually is to put the additional dually wheels outside of their respective 150 rear tracks, which makes them terribly wide in front and very non-agile in all & every situation.

MB Sprinter 3500 Dually is a much better setup than any pickup dually every made. It handles just like the non-dually counterpart.
Thanks for the summary of your experience. Good stuff to know!
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:42 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by FlyFishinRVr View Post
On one of my RV trips many years ago, we rented a 27' Minnie Winnie class C (built on the Ford chassis). That thing was frightening to drive in windy conditions. We have a bridge north of where I live that goes across the Carquinez Strait near the town of Benecia. It's notorious for the wind. Driving across that in the Winnie I was blown into the next lane. Nothing I could do about it. Big gust came up and there I was. Thank doG there wasn't a car next to me. Same story driving it through the Columbia River gorge. I was going slower than the semi trucks and still getting blown all over the place. White knuckle doesn't begin to describe it. To this day, the driver's seat cover still hasn't been found.....


Hopefully your Super C is more like this vs. that doG awful Minnie Winnie....
The Kodiak cutaway chassis was a pig and absolutely frightening to drive... until I had front and rear anti-sway bars and a Davis Tru-Trac bar installed on it. Now it too drives like a big SUV. The Ford e-cutaway chassis used for motorhomes also benefit greatly from the installation of anti-sway bars. They're much more tame to drive with those additions, and they're NEVER included from the factory.
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Old 08-25-2019, 04:51 PM   #36
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Switching to a B

Just wanting some opinions on the class B. Really like the Atlas but quite pricey. We recently bought a new 25í trailer (not as). As we are older I think it really is stressing hubby out towing it. Gas mileage terrible, etc. Thinking maybe we should consider a class B. I do love the space of the trailer but the whole towing thing brings anxiety. Opinion appreciated!
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Old 08-25-2019, 05:54 PM   #37
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Just wanting some opinions on the class B. Really like the Atlas but quite pricey. We recently bought a new 25í trailer (not as). As we are older I think it really is stressing hubby out towing it. Gas mileage terrible, etc. Thinking maybe we should consider a class B. I do love the space of the trailer but the whole towing thing brings anxiety. Opinion appreciated!
Hi Mimi! Welcome to the Forums!

Your question is a good one, and unfortunately one only you and your husband can answer for sure. All of us in this particular forum will tell you that we like Class B motorhomes... and they're wonderful for travel.

It's been my experience that travel trailers are really excellent if you tow to a place and stay in one place for a period of time using your tow vehicle to sightsee. On the other hand, if like me, you travel a fair amount but don't stay anywhere but for a day or two, and if you have lodging available at the end of long trips, the camper van is perfect. If you travel a fair amount, but just stay in the coach at the end of your journey, a larger motorhome may be better with towing a car four-down.

Past that, there's really not much difference in amenities among the various kinds of RVs.
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Old 08-25-2019, 06:47 PM   #38
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Quiltermimi, we just jumped into a Interstate Lounge. We are loving it so far but there is still some anxiety. I wish I could say there isn't, but being truthful, I feel there is. I read through a lot of posts and think I minimized some of what was said, but it doesn't mean the purchase wasn't worth it. Biggest thing for me is finding space to put everything we need to travel, and getting used to the systems in the Interstate. If you were asking me, I'd recommend looking throughly at the B and B+ offerings as there are some pros and cons both was including storage space. I'm amazed at the ease of drivability of the Interstate, and having a mini space to call home and go where you want to go is really beyond my greatest dreams! Making pros and cons lists might help you make your mind up. Good luck with your decision!
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Old 08-25-2019, 08:07 PM   #39
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QUILTERMIMI - we have a 2018 AI EXT Lounge. We love it. It does get cramped when sleeping 3 adults & 1 child. But we are family, so the intimate space helps us bond with our grandson. If was to do it over, what I would love even more is the AI 22 ft. 3500 EXT Dually with VB Air, E&P hydraulic levelers, 9-pass. seat belts and pull an AS Nest. I would love that setup better than my current or an Atlas for the ultimate in flexibility that is tailored to our needs, i.e. drop-off trailer at campground and use the even shorter dually as a people mover exploring the local spots. Unfortunately, AS no longer makes the 22 ft. AI so my only option to get my dream setup is a custom ARV that costs 2x as much. Will have to dream for awhile, maybe forever.
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Old 08-25-2019, 08:20 PM   #40
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We do not have an interest in going someplace to just hang out for days or weeks. We like to travel to new places and see and do things. We seldom spend more than one night in one place before moving on. We are very flexible and often don't know where we will stay the next night. In 5 years and 70,000 miles I think we have made campground reservations for less than 10 nights. I think we've used a commercial campground less than 10 times as well. We have never lit a campfire except for the few times we have camped with the grandkids. Sitting in smoke just doesn't appeal to me anymore. For us the Interstate is perfect. We have taken trips ranging from 2 to 6 weeks. We typically bring enough clothes for ~2 weeks. We make 1 or 2 laundry stops on the longer trips. We mostly eat inside instead of hauling everything out to a picnic table and then back in. We have to coordinate our movements with 2 in the small space, but have never wished that we had bought something bigger. We have never felt the need for more storage space. On our 6 week trip we had boxes of extra cereal, etc. stuffed under the bed - which we always leave made up as a bed. I love the idea of setting up camp in a few minutes, and not needing to get out if the weather is lousy. With care we can find a site and a way to park in it that does not require leveling blocks.

But if we wanted to go sit someplace warm for 2 months in the winter, or be a campground host somewhere, the Interstate would be the exact wrong RV.
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drove off with cord connected jpar Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 2 11-14-2007 05:29 AM


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