East Coast Streamers

Adventures in the Guest House

How About a Class B Camper Van? | 2020 | Post 2

Our research for the perfect RV started with the Class Bs. Barry loved the class Bs because they are an all-in-one solution. The pluses are numerous. The length is generally between 21 to 24 feet and the shorter Class Bs can fit into a standard parking space. They can sleep 3-4 people depending on the floor plan. They also usually have surprisingly great storage. We also liked that they don’t look like a traditional RV. They also sport automotive windows and paint and generally look like a regular van.

There are negatives to the Class B camper van. They are small. I know – I noted that as a plus. But they can be really cozy. Some floor plans will only accommodate 2 travelers, so getting all three of us into a camper van would require the exact right floor plan. The other bug negative is the wet bath. This is where the toilet, shower, and bath sink are all in the same space. Taking a shower means getting the entire room wet.

Barry initially started looking at the Winnebago Travato because he had seen some YouTube videos by people who owned and travelled in them. He loved that van and it seemed like to absolute perfect solution.  The Travato is built in the Ram ProMaster and all of the house features are fit into the van. There’s a small kitchen, a wet bath, a main bed space, and a dinette that converts to a small bed. Camper vans built on this model have similar floor plans.

It was about then that I started looking at the choices on the market.  I looked up the best selling Class B RVs and found the Winnebago Travato (of course), the Road Trek, Coachmen, Pleasure Way, and Airstream. There are pluses and minuses to all fo these coaches. Oh yeah – people call them “coaches”. Learning new terminology along the way!

The Winnebago Travato – as I mentioned – built on the Ram ProMaster chassis. The Travato has all the basics – kitchen, wet bath, bed space, TV, heat, AC, awning, water, electric, ability to hook up to utilities or dry camp (camping in the van with no access to utilities). The Travato has several models to choose from with slight floor plan differences.

Road Trek always comes up in searches for the best camper van for boon-docking (also known as dry camping). Road Trek has always been small production and uses good quality materials and attention to detail. They have a more modern look and feel with darker laminates and upholstery in shads of grey (there are other color schemes). On the minus side, it generally only sleeps two travelers. There is also the drama around Hymer (used to own RT) selling to Thor but Thor required Road Trek be left out of the sale because of some accounting irregularities. Those showed up only after Hymer bought Road Trek a few years ago.  Then, after Hymer abruptly shit down production at Road Trek, the irregularities were cleared up and Thor is apparently completing purchase of Road Trek separately.

Coachmen makes a few Class Bs. Some are really more of a cross between a B and a C. The Class Bs include the Galleria and the Beyond. The Galleria is built on the Mercedes Sprinter 3500 chassis and comes in four floor plans. I had been looking (briefly) at the 24Q because it has lots of seats (and seatbelts). Unfortunately, it doesn’t have enough sleeping space for all of the passengers! I didn’t look at the Beyond because it’s much shorter and really only meant for one or two people.

Next on the list, and really only for a minute was the Airstream Interstate. Now this is a seriously beautiful camper. Ultimate luxury and price tag to go along with it. These start at about 130k base and can be tricked out to a whopping 200k! So – I continued the search.

Pleasure was makes a really nice Class B camper van and it stayed at the top of my list for quite a while. Pleasure way produces a Class B using both the Ford Transit and the Mercedes Sprinter Chassis – the most commonly used chassis for Class B and C campers. The Ford version is about 21 feet while the Mercedes version is just under 23 feet. Surprisingly, the extra 2 feet makes a big difference. The down side is the wet bath and it is a bit cozy. I started thinking about the camping trips we have taken where it rained and we spent time in the tent. The tent was feeling roomier than the Class B camper van.

So, I kept looking.

As always, stay with us while we research RVs, and cool (and necessary) equipment we discover along the way. We’ll share with you how we figured out what works for us and our travels in our RV. Of course we will give unbiased reviews of RVs, equipment, places we visit, and the best way to travel comfortably with only the necessities.

Thanks for being our guest. We’ll see you soon.

Sharon, Barry, and Sami