My Class B Manufacturer List


Last Updated November 20, 2017

A resource for the Class B enthusiast dreamer.

Frequently, in comments on the blog, or through email, I’ll get asked, “Have you heard about the Model X from ABC RV?” Often times, I have heard of them, but every once in a while someone finds one I haven’t heard of, and my list grows for the better. It finally occurred to me that I should share my list of RV makers with our readers. Well, actually, it occurred to Stef, and she told me to write this up. And since I always do what Stef says 😉 , I now present you with this list.

But let me quickly explain what this list is – who’s on it, and who’s not. This is a list of current Class B (camper van) manufacturers in North America only. I didn’t include Class B+ (really C), because that pretty much explodes the list to everyone (though some of these manufacturers also make Class C products). I tried to include mainstream manufacturers who have more or less standard Class B RV offerings. Although, in some cases, I’ve included custom makers who we’ve had contact with. I’m sure there are a lot of smaller custom shops around the country that do excellent work. But if I were to include all of them, the list would be unmanageable – and I might even include myself on it… (No.  Stef says I’m not taking orders.)

I’m sure I haven’t gotten all of them. And as time goes on, some will fall off the list, and some will be added on. That’s OK. If I’ve left off a favorite of yours, post it in the comments below and we’ll see about adding it! If you find that one of them has stopped making Class Bs, let me know! I intend for this to be a living list.

I’m presenting the list in alphabetical order, because that’s the only way I know how to be fair.

So now with that out of the way, here we go!

North American Class B (camper van) Manufacturers

Advanced-RV

Advanced RV Exteriorhttp://www.advanced-rv.com/
Based out of Ohio, Advanced-RV makes what we consider to be high-end conversions based on the Mercedes Sprinter van. They work closely with each owner to design the perfect RV for them; so every coach they make is a little bit different. We’ve gone to visit them on several occasions, and there's always something interesting going on there. The latest news from Advanced-RV is that they're starting to make camper vans based on the Mercedes Metris van!

Airstream

Airstream Thumbnailhttp://www.airstream.com/touring-coaches/

The shiny travel trailer folks also make the Interstate, which is based on the Mercedes Sprinter van. There are several floor plans to choose from. Their interior styling is particularly impressive.

American Coach

American Coach Thumbnailhttp://www.americancoach.com/

American Coach is a unit of the REV group, and they've apparently entered into some sort of partnership with Midwest Automotive Design. Their American Patriot Class B looks very similar (in floor plan, accessories, and decor) to the Midwest Automotive offerings. They also offer an executive limo product. We've seen them at RV shows, and they've got a big brand engine behind them. So I'd expect them to stick around for a while.

Carado

Carado RVhttp://caradorv.com/

Carado is another unit of the Hymer Group, and they seem to be aimed very squarely at the entry-level end of the Class B market. We saw Carado vans in Europe, so the name is not new, just new to North America. Over here, they're currently making two models, the Axion and the Banff. We've been inside some of their vans, and there are some interesting features (drop-down metal roof structure, for example) that we've not seen anywhere else.

Chinook RV

Chinook RV width=http://www.chinookrv.com/

Chinook RV made some pretty interesting small Class C RVs back in the day. They went away for a while, but now they're back! (Well, at least the name is back.) The reinvented Chinook is making the Countryside RV based on the Mercedes Sprinter chassis. They seem to have two main floor plans available. They also make an executive limo product on the Sprinter. If the loyal fans of the original Chinook flock to this new Class B, they could be in for a good long run.

Coach House

Coach House Arrivahttp://www.coachhouserv.com/

This direct-to-consumer manufacturer from Florida has been making small Class C motorhomes for a while, but they’ve entered the Class B market with their Arriva. Since they sell direct, we’ve not seen one on a lot anywhere to review. We did catch up with some owners as they passed through Salt Lake City, and we filmed a quick walk through of their home on wheels.

Coachmen

Coachmen Galleria Thumbnail

http://www.coachmenrv.com/

Coachmen has gotten into the Class B RV game with its Galleria. We reviewed the Coachmen Galleria at its retail debut at the Pomona RV show in 2015, and they've recently upped their game with a Lithium battery option that's just about the same thing we have in our rig. The galleria boasts some of the best cabinetry we've ever seen in a Class B. Coachmen also makes the Crossfit, which we've also reviewed here at The Fit RV.

Creative Mobile Interiors

Creative Mobile Interiorshttp://www.creativemobileinteriors.com/

Definitely a custom shop, but they do make Sprinter conversions (in addition to just about anything else on wheels you can think of). We check in with each other about every six months or so. One of these days, it’s on our agenda to have a visit with them in their Columbus, OH area facility.

GTRV

GTRVhttp://www.gtrv.com/

GTRV seems to exclusively work on pop-top camper vans. That's OK with us! We think that's cool. Some of their models will fit in a standard garage, which can be a big deal for a large segment of the market. They seem to work on several platforms, and they seem to be a "bring your own van" outfit. Regardless, if you need a garage-able van, or just want the pop-top, give them a look!

Grand Coach

Grand Coachhttps://www.grand-coach.com/

Grand Coach makes several models, and we've actually seen some of them in person. We did a quick walkthrough of some of them for GoRVing on their Facebook page at the Pomona show in October 2017. Very Very Interesting paint jobs, and they go the extra mile of even getting a color-matched dashboard in their Sprinter build-outs. They also had one model of RV that was basketball-player-tall. Interesting stuff, check them out!

Hymer

Hymercar Grand Canyonhttp://www.gohymer.com/

European motorhome manufacturer Hymer has made its entry into the North American Class B market with their AKTIV model, based on the Dodge Ram ProMaster. Since we encountered them at the RVIA show a couple years ago, they've acquired Roadtrek, and have begun selling RVs here in the US. For now, we're listing Hymer and Roadtrek as two separate entities, but there's clearly a good bit of technology sharing going on between the two. Hymer also owns the Carado brand, which is also being sold here in North America (and is on this list).

Midwest Automotive Designs

Midwest Automotive Designshttps://midwestautomotivedesigns.com/

In addition to custom coach (think airport limo) and other Sprinter conversions, Midwest Automotive Designs also does what we think of as more typical RV conversions. Check out their Weekender and Daycruiser models for that. They're based in Elkhart, so they should be easy enough to check out if you're in the RV capital of the country. They seem to have entered a partnership of some sort with American Coach, which is a unit of the REV group. You'll find American Coach on our list as well. The coaches are just about identical.

Outside Van

Outside Vanhttp://www.outsidevan.com/

Falling more on the custom side of things, Outside Van works with several different van platforms from their Troutdale, Oregon HQ. Mostly, I put them on here because they have some really creative and drool-worthy bike storage options. Check out their pictures to see what I mean.

Pleasure-Way

PleasureWay-LexorTX-ProMasterhttp://pleasureway.com/

A family-owned RV manufacturer from north of the border. Pleasure-Way makes several models of Class B based on either the Mercedes Sprinter, or the Dodge Ram ProMaster from their facility in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. We’ve reviewed a Class C Pleasure-Way before, and also one of their Class B offerings. We’ve also chatted it up with Dean, their CEO. They do have an outstanding warranty, which they’re pretty confident you won’t need.

The RV factory

Avion Azurhttps://thervfactory.com/

Besides travel trailers and fifth-wheels, the RV factory makes the Avion motorhome based on the Mercedes Sprinter. They’re a factory-direct outfit, so it’s unlikely that we’ll see one on a lot anywhere to review. They have at least one floor plan where the sleeping is cross-coach in a Sprinter – that's pretty uncommon in the US. That requires bump-outs in the sides of the van, and gets them a nod from us for creative thinking.

Regency RV

Regency RVhttp://regencyrv.com/

Regency RV makes the Concept One and Xalta Sprinter based motorhomes. We've not seen one out in the field, but this appears to be a luxury Class B with an interesting offset twin bed arrangement. If we ever do catch up with one, you can bet we'll get in for a review.

Road Trek

Roadtrek E-Trekhttp://www.roadtrek.com/

Roadtrek produces nothing but Class Bs from their facility in Kitchener, Ontario. They have floor plans on several different gas and diesel van platforms. We’ve taken a quick look at their E-Trek model before. Since that initial look, they've continued to work on their E-Trek systems. Though they've been acquired by Hymer, they remain a distinct product line, so we're continuing to list them here.

SVO group

SVO Embassyhttp://www.svogroupinc.com/

We've yet to see one of these live "in the wild", but they're still around on the internet. And they have their own domain name now, so things must be looking up for them (at least in the IT department)! Still, I love the out of the box thinking of the patio deck model they have. Seems like it would be the ultimate tailgating machine. With any luck, we'll see one of these someday at an RV show or something.

Safari Condo

Safari Condo ProMasterhttp://www.safaricondo.com/en/

A creative Class B (and small trailer) manufacturer from Quebec. They make Class Bs on platforms from GM, Mercedes, and Dodge. They’ve got some really creative features that they can incorporate – like motorized, adjustable-height beds. I’m unclear exactly how a US resident would get one… I’ve heard you have to buy your own van and bring it to them in Quebec? Though we've never seen one of their vans in person, we did meet the team from Safari Condo at the Truma HQ in Munich. Nice bunch of people!

Sportsmobile

Sportsmobilehttp://www.sportsmobile.com/

Sportsmobile are pretty unique – they’re another maker that works with each customer to make the Class B motorhome that is right for them. They can build on chassis from Mercedes, Dodge, Ford, Chevy, or Nissan from 3 facilities across the United States. From what we can tell, their facilities each have different capabilities. Even if you don't actually get one of their vans, their site is interesting for the variety of floor plans they publish on it. (You could spend hours on there daydreaming!)

Van Specialties

Van Specialtieshttps://www.vanspecialties.com/

Definitely a custom maker, Van Specialties works with a variety of chassis from their Portland, Oregon area facility. If going custom is something you’re thinking of, you should check out their gallery for some inspiration.

Winnebago

2015 Travato 59Ghttp://winnebagoind.com/

And finally, we have the makers of our own RV, the Travato! But besides the Travato (which is based on the Dodge ProMaster), Winnebago also makes the popular ERA on the Mercedes Sprinter platform, and the Paseo on the Ford Transit platform. And NOW FINALLY, they're making the Revel 4x4 Adventure Vehicle! We’ve reviewed two models of the Travato (three, if you count our own RV), the 59G and the 59K. Winnebago continues to refine and develop the Travato almost as fast as they can make them. We had to create a new video just to keep up. We're thrilled that the Travato - which is geared toward the active and outdoorsy crowd we hope our readers are - has been such a hit!

So there you have my list. These are the ones we currently follow.

If I’ve left your favorite off the list, sound off in the comments below and help us grow this resource!



James is a former rocket scientist, a USA Cycling certified coach, and lifelong fitness buff. When he's not driving the RV, or modifying the RV (or - that one time - doing both at once), you can find him racing bicycles, or building furniture, or making music. In his spare time, he works for a large IT company.


    96 thoughts on “My Class B Manufacturer List

    1. Jim Roberts

      I am looking for my first rv. We definitely want a class B. We have been to Hershy twice and are down either to a Pleasure Way or Roadtrek. I think the Roadtrek has the better warranty but my wife likes the Pleasure Way fit and finish. Are there any other warrantys even close to these two?

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I think both of them have the longest warranties.
        With the Pleasure-Way at least, I doubt you’d much need it. I really admire the fit and finish of Pleasure-Way. Roadtrek tries to be more forward thinking in their technology (though PW has used only lithium batteries for quite a while…)

        Reply
    2. Christina Engh

      We recently purchased an SVO Group Embassy and the RVD2 is roaming wild! On the road as we speak. Still new so learning the ropes. Slept overnite in 28 degrees F with two dogs. Heater kept us a toast 72. Drives well. Super pretty. Soft close drawers, amazing finish on the walls, floor, cushions, etc. The “poop deck” is perfect and easy to use. We love it and hope to see others out in the wild!

      Reply
    3. Liza

      I’m looking for the smallest, reliable RV. I’m 5 ft, 60 y/o.
      The wish list would be a bed/cot, kitchen, shower (I believe they are standard in all RVs). Would also want solar panels.
      Wondering what would be possible options for me to start doing further research.

      Thanks for your post and your input.

      Reply
    4. David Huff

      Have a friend of a friend who lives in Austin, TX (nowhere near Quebec) who raves about his Ram Promaster-based Safari Condo. Great build quality, reasonable price (OK, for an RV), excellent customer service. He and his wife are both young, “sporty” types (mountain biking, Ironman triathlon, and such pursuits) and said it fits their needs perfectly.

      They bought their Promaster in the States and arranged delivery of it at a Dodge dealer in Vermont. Then drove it across the border, tout de suite.

      Reply
    5. Edward Victory

      Love your site and your insight on vans, very informative. I found Leisure Travel, another Canadian maker which seems to have very nice products. Their url is https://leisurevans.com/
      Thanks for your continued info and entertainment! Ed Victory, Lancaster CA

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Leisure Travel Vans technically doesn’t make Class B vans anymore. But if you can find a used Free Spirit – that was an awesome van!

        Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Well, brifely:
        Class B RVs: start life as complete vans. The RV is built inside an existing automotive van body.
        Class C RVs: start life as automotive cabs only, typically with just rails and wheels in the back. The RV is made on those rails. The cab is still Ford, or Mercedes, but everything else is made by the RV manufacturer.
        Class B+ RVs: aren’t an official RV class. It’s a marketing term used to describe smaller Class C RVs.

        Reply
        1. James - Post author

          Right on. Thanks for the reminder!
          We saw them in Pomona this year, actually.
          I’ll be sure to include them in next month’s update.

    6. Gaius Gracchus

      Missing:

      1) Forest River Crossfit http://www.coachmenrv.com/product-details.aspx?LineID=453 (similar to Winnebago Paseo)

      2) Carado Axion/Banff http://caradorv.com/ (subsidiary of Hymer, I think)
      Lithium Batteries optional but 200 Watt solar standard) How they fit as much as they did into the 17ft 9 inch Axion is beyond me. Banff is 19.5 ft. Dodge Promaster.

      3) Okanagan Tribute RV (made for CountryRv.net, fraserwayrv.com by Adventure by http://www.AMLRV.com) This one is nice – Truma Combi, compressor fridge 3.8cu, convertible twin beds, Ecoboost on Ford Transit, solar ready, LED, Micro/Convection, Engine block heater, Rear camera, Maxx Air fan w/hood, tanks 20/14/14, etc.)

      Reply
      1. Gaius Gracchus

        BTW – oddly enough, the Okanagan Tribute RV does not show up on manufacturer’s site – only on sites of the actual distributors for which it was made.

        Reply
      2. James - Post author

        Thanks for the recommendations.
        I usually update the list some time around November.
        There are also a whole bunch of new Sprinter builders lately that I will try to add.

        Reply
    7. Sara B

      We looked at a few Class B RV’s but all of the ones we saw had minimal insulation. Are you aware of any class B’s that are better insulated?

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Other than going custom (like Advanced RV and some others, where you could specify a level of insulation), we don’t tear them apart in a review, so I can’t say for certain.
        I do have some information on the new Winnebago Revel, and it seems to be better insulated than anything else I’ve seen.

        Reply
    8. Charlie

      Looking for a “touring Class B RV” – will use hotels as night, needs toilet, refrigerator, table,same fuel generator (diesel/diesel or gas/gas) or 14 [email protected]% LPG genny.. Occasionally slept in by 1 person. Prefer 4-wheel drive but seems unlikely with same fuel generator. Live in NJ. Not looking for trouble – Roadtrek hi-tech or high probability and history of problems. Prefer old.proven tech from above average quality manufacturer Age 75.

      Reply
    9. Joel

      Hello,

      Found you guys from your YouTube channel. I’m also a cyclist interested in getting into RVs (specifically Bs). At 6’4″ I’ve been considering a DIY build on a Ford Transit chassis (the only one with extra headroom), with a high bed and bike garage similar to your Travato. I’m also looking at commercial models to save the 6 months a DIY build would require while working a full-time job.

      Anyway, the only commercial Bs I have found so far are the Winnebago Paseo and the Coachmen Crossfit (transverse bed rules that one out for me). Are there any others that you are aware of?

      -Joel

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Those are the only two Transit builds I know about.
        If you specifically want a Transit, you may have to look at custom builders.
        There is also a super-high-top Sprinter available, but I don’t know of any commercial build on it.

        Reply
        1. Lawrence Edger

          Advanced RV in one of their videos claims they build on a super high top Sprinter. After all their CEO is 6’3″!

    10. Dr. Trent Saxton

      Class B (camper van) Manufacturers… I snore, does anyone make a sleeping arrangement where two people could sleep without disturbing the other?

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Our RV – the Winnebago Travato G, has two separate sleeping areas, separated by about 10 feet (measured head to head).

        Reply
    11. Rich

      Recently bought my class B from GTRV. They are a custom manufacturer in California. They’ve been building them for more than 20 years. Mine is based on the Metris but they build on many different chassis. I suggest you add them to your list. The website is http://www.gtrv.com

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Interesting. Do pop-top campers count as Class Bs? I’ve never checked into that.
        If they do, I’ll put them on the list the next time I update it.

        Reply
        1. Bob B

          Sure – vans with pop-tops are Class B (IMO). Not all that different than cutting an opening in the van top and then attaching a hard shell on top for headroom and sleeping lofts, like many early Class B’s did. Also companies like Sportsmobile offer pop-tops for their conversions – useful if you have garage clearance issues. My ’99 VW EVC (Winnebago) is considered a Class B.

          Availability of high-top vans is a relatively recent development in the history of Class Bs.

    12. Skip McImber

      Hi James, I have been asked by a CA company specializing in lithium batteries to assist in a prototype Sprinter B van using batteries to allow for a complete weekend of dry camping without using the generator, including frig and AC. I would like your input on this project and that of your blog members as well,

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        And the thought I have right away is that if you’re going to run air conditioning the whole time, you will need to basically fill the Sprinter with batteries.
        Our 420AH setup will run air conditioning for 3 hours and 19 minutes. So if you do the math, running the AC for 48 hours will require about 6200 AH…

        Reply
      2. Jerry Gilkerson

        James
        Hi. I have been interested in motor homes built onto sprinter/Mercedes chassis for awhile now. I have been battling a staph infection that got into a knee joint replacement 10 years ago now and the surgeons in my own town have been very poor. As a result I have found a surgeon out of state whom I trust. My 3rd knee is now failing and I will have to go to SF, CA to try and save my leg. Because it’s so expensive there I’m trying to find a not very old used motor home, on sprinter/Mercedes chassis to purchase and live in while recuperating in SF. Could you possibly steer me to some sites where there might be such vehicles to purchase? Any help you might be able to provide would be greatly appreciated. I am in Portland, OR and can be reached at {redacted} please accept my apologies if I have stepped over any boundaries. I am heading into my16th surgery with more to come and as you might guess, running out of steam. Again, thanks, Jerry

        Reply
        1. James - Post author

          Hi Jerry –
          When I sold our last Sprinter-based RV, I sold it on RVTrader.com. There were plenty of rigs on there at that time, and we sold ours easily enough.
          Overall, my experience with them was good, and I can recommend them for selling your rig. Seems like they would work even better for buying it.
          Best of luck!

    13. Sandy

      I’m looking to buy a used (i.e. affordable for me), gas powered, Class B with the bed in the back. Unfortunately, I can’t find a list of rigs like that. When you hit your 8th decade, a 45-year old International Travelall just doesn’t cut it for both of us anymore. Any suggestions as to back bed (or, possibly, another configuration that allows you to leave the bed down all the time) models and specific recommendations regarding good years ($30 k max) would be much appreciated.

      Thanks for providing this forum for all of us out here.

      And to the two folks getting gouged out of New York City, if the road doesn’t work for you, check out the Albuquerque area, where you can buy a house for the price of a new, high-end Class B.

      Reply
      1. Diane

        Hi Sandy, I’m one of the NYC peeps that posted. I can’t speak for Prof John but I do appreciate your suggestion. I have visited NM, but only Santa Fe and Abiquiu. Beautiful land and nice town – I enjoyed my stay there, but it wasn’t long enough to get a feel for what it would be like to live there.

        However, I’m more suited to Northern climes, cooler, chillier weather, and places without scorpions. Also, I have no desire to own a home anywhere unless it is to rent it out for ongoing income while I travel – but I’m nowhere near having enough $$ to do that.

        For now, I’m focusing on researching and saving up for a vehicle that I can be comfy living in while visiting both urban and rural locales. I’m flip-flopping back and forth between a van that I build out myself which can be stealthy, or a Class B. I found a video earlier this year by a manufacturer who I believe is sort of new to the Class B scene and I really liked the model they showed. However, for the life of me, I can’t recall the maker’s name and can’t seem to find it again! I think they are somewhere in the Southeast US.

        Thanks again!

        Reply
    14. Randy W.

      Love your write ups on Lance. I owned a 2008 Sportsmobile based on the Sprinter chassis with a pop top.

      I am looking for a non pop top that can sleep four, like the Travato G. Is there anything else on the market that can sleep four?

      Thanks and happy travels!

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Beyond the Travato G, I’m not aware of anything with beds for 4 in a Class B Van.
        You could always go custom?

        Reply
    15. Sam

      Was wondering why the “Serenity” true Class B offered by Leisure Travel Vans was not on your list? Have you seen one, if so, what are your thoughts?

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        The Serenity is an awesome vehicle and we’ve reviewed one before.
        However, it is *not* a Class B van. The Serenity starts off as a Sprinter Cab Chassis, and Leisure Travel Vans adds the body themselves (which they make out of fiberglass… it’s a cool process).
        That’s the technical definition of a Class B, and the Serenity, though awesome, doesn’t fit. That’s why it’s not on this list.

        Reply
    16. John Bennett

      Thanks for another interesting, helpful article.

      In some of your videos & blog post you comment about “a 4 season” van.

      Can you add a notation as to which units meet a “4 season” standard/criteria?

      Perhaps, a video of a van model which meets this standard, with you pointing
      out the features would be helpful?

      Thanks, again for all the information and ideas you present on your site.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        That’s an interesting idea for a post, actually.
        There’s no standard definition of one – I’d have to make it up!

        Reply
        1. tamara

          Just wanted to second the wish for a 4 season van blog post. I’d really like information about insulation from makers – R rating on walls, ceiling, and floor. Like you and Steph, I really enjoy winter camping for the quiet and solitude. I’m shopping for my first RV now for full time use for at least a couple of years.

          I’d also really appreciate easy mods and recommendations for those of us who are not handy to make winter camping possible in a 3 season vehicle.

          Thanks so much for your website and videos, great job.

    17. Enid

      We loved your video tours/reviews for the Pleasureway and Winnebago Fuse B+ models…especially the detail that James goes into on the workmanship, undercarriage views, etc. We’re now looking at another B+ as an option for our first RV purchase in a year or so…the Dynamax Isata 3 (RWM). Any chance you’d consider doing a review of it, or maybe share your opinion of it’s pros and cons? Thanks for making RV “research” fun 😉

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Never seen one in person. It’s a true class C.
        It looks like all the floor plans they have use slides.
        If we see one in our travels, we’ll have a look!

        Reply
    18. Prof John

      Love your videos … Thanks to your videos I’ve switched my mind at least 10X which one I should buy. I really like the fuel economy and stealthness of the ‘B’ vans. Owned German made cars all my life (VWs, vanagons, superbeetles, scirroco .. ) and had a love/ hate relationship when they break down (and they will) especially when you’re in the boonies and no mechanic wants to work on them (especially on a weekend) … and when you get the bill for parts, you climb under your vehicle to see if the reason they are so expensive is that they were gold plated.

      I’m losing my NYC rent stabilized apartment after 40 years … (Slumlord bought the building and is trying to kill us to get us out) … and… I’ve had it with apartments … I’m going to live on the road, full time, what I only experienced a few months in my VW Vanagon days … the problem is, choosing a vehicle.

      I loved the Pleasureway Lexor … open, spacious … like sitting in a cornfield, enjoying nature, without the nasty bugs, pythons and no see-ums. Alas, then a friend said to me, “Many big windows. Tree falls, breaks glass. Thieves break in, psychos break glass. When sleeping, glass shatters on your face.”

      Wasn’t a pretty picture. Then I saw JustinCredible’s videos, who, outside of your great videos, enthralls me. Opened me up to the world of older RVs (1/3 or less the cost), that have stood the test of time. Loved the storage capacity of the Dodge Xplorers, the old Pleasureways … even the B+ fiberglass, like the Chinooks, Gulf Stream BT’s (sucky gas mileage if we ever approach 4 bucks a gallon again) ….

      I would love to have one of the older models, or the new Ram Promaster with one of those eco toilets which you crank and are filled with coconut crunchies that also has solar power … but I also like the security screens JustinCredible put on his Gulf Stream and thought, since I will be traveling with the most vulgar languaged parrot in the world (He learned it all from watching Soap Operas when I wasn’t home), how being able to leave the window open for your pet with no chance of someone breaking in (well, as much as a detterant as you can … what a relief). Damn … am I confused.

      Looking forward to going to the big Hershey PA RV show next week … climb in these units first hand (there ain’t no selection to look at in NYC) .. hope to make a decision .. but in the meantime, any suggestions will be appreciated. Don’t know if I’ll need the rubber band exercise hitch on the back of my vehicle, but who knows. Maybe I’ll take up dancersize and naked pogo dancing if I spend too much on the road …. Again … thanks .

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Piece of advice for Hershey. Take a video camera!
        You’re going to see so many RVs, you won’t remember which one had the cool drop down TV, and which one had the bed with the cushions that made a gap in a weird place!
        Glad you like our stuff. Best of luck!

        Reply
      2. Diane

        Omigosh, Prof John! I have been in my rent-stabilized apartment for almost as long as you have in yours, and I recently came to admit that NYC has kicked my butt and it’s time to get out. I don’t have very much savings, but last week I started the process of selling everything I own. My lease is up later this year. I’m still formulating my plan, and I’ve never been a camper, but I hope to purchase either a regular van and fix it up (with help) or buy a small Class B. Are you still in NYC (I’m writing this in Jan. 2017). Would love to chat with you if that were somehow possible. If not, I wish you the best!

        For James – thanks for this list! I wonder, though, why so many makers base their models on the Sprinter. Do you know? From reading many, many blogs of nomads and van dwellers these past few months, it seems that most of the bloggers who are full-time on the road praise and prefer GMC engines for their power and lasting quality. I don’t know much about cars, so it gets confusing!

        Reply
        1. James - Post author

          Hi Diane – The GMC vans aren’t really produced anymore. That’s the main reason! By modern standards, they’re really inefficient. The Sprinter/ProMaster/Transit chassis offer more stand up room inside, straighter walls, etc.

    19. Maddy Smith

      I’m only interestes in the short sprinter class b models. So far I only know of two: Roadtrek SSAgile and the Pleasure-Way Ascent. Are you aware of any others (excluding the ones where you it your own van and have it customized to order)

      Reply
      1. Alain

        Safari Condo makes a nice one on the short Sprinter platform. Its not a custom job, its a standard model. Unfortunately, as James pointed out above, American customers have to supply their own american purchased vans. But if you live close to Quebec, check them out.

        Reply
    20. Staci James

      Hi James- I’m surprised to not see Pleasure-Way on your list. They are my top pick so far and it would be good to get your opinion…

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        You had me freaking out there for a second! Pleasure-Way is on the list. They’re alphabetical.
        Don’t scare me like that!

        Reply
    21. Robin

      After owning your Travato for a while now, can you please give and updated review based on your experience as an owner. I am particularly interested in what you think about the reliability, and longevity of the Promaster platform. Also like to hear what you think about the installed rv systems and the Travato in general. I am very interested in purchasing a 59k, but don’t feel like I can make a completely informed decision, because of the lack of information I have been able to find on the Promaster. For me, I think the 59k floor plan is the best in the market.

      Thanks for all you do,

      Robin

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Hi Robin – While our experiences might be useful to you – especially on the gas ProMaster chassis, which has been a total non-issue – the systems installed in our RV are a bit different from what most people have. And I’ve further modified the RV quite a bit. In short – we’re not the typical Travato. If you want lots of owners’ opinions, you should check out the Travato Owner’s Group on Facebook. There are hundreds of owners and wannabe owners there discussing all manner of things ProMaster and Travato related. Stef runs the group, and they keep it pretty cordial.
        Thanks for reading!

        Reply
    22. Alain

      During the plant tour at Safari Condo in early June, I asked the question about US sales. You are right that US clients have to supply their own US sourced vehicle for conversion. It all comes down to certification cost and the fact that they are too small an outfit and the volumes would not justify it. I can’t say for the Sprinters, but the Canadian Promasters are build in Mexico, apparently not where the US Promasters are built. So a US customers is supplying a vehicle that is already certified and built for the US market. Beside that, Safari Condo already have a 1 years waiting list, so it’s not like they are missing work. Certification in Canada also explains why they can’t put the same Seitz insulated windows on their vans that they but on their trailers. I asked to have them when they build ours next winter, but they have to put automotive type tempered windows. And the frame is not the same, so I can’t easily retrofit after the fact (and under the radar).

      It’s really a shame for US customers, because I consider the Flex models (both Sprinter and Promaster) to be the ultimate class B toy haulers. What you give up in additional “structured” wardrobe and storage space you gain in a big ajustable open space to put bikes, small kayaks (or inflatable), and general gear under that raising bed. For buyers in the North East US the distance would not be that great if you really like the models.

      But to each his own.

      Reply
    23. Mary

      Next posting … how about rating all of the class B’s similar to Consumer Reports? Pricing, quality, consumer satisfaction, etc.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I wish we had the resources to do that properly.
        Unfortunately, without the resources that a large organization (like Consumer Reports) has, I don’t think I’d be able to give everyone a fair shake. I’d probably just wind up getting us into trouble!
        (But hey, Consumer Reports, if you’re reading this, and you need an RV tester… I’m your guy!)

        Reply
    24. Mike Stratton

      My wife is a year away from retirement. As such we are a year away from a purchase. Please consider us pre-novice. We are looking at a B or small C.
      What would you recommend as “must have” equipment (ie; generator, hoses, etc..??) and what is “nice to have”?
      We appreciate your guidance.
      Thank you

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Well, just about every RV will come with the “must have” equipment. Beyond that, it’s a matter of long and careful thinking about your needs.
        I’m actually working on a piece about how to pick out your first motorhome. It will be up soon.

        Reply
    25. Terry Frisch

      Here is one I think you are missing. The new Chinook RV on Sprinter. Started by Phil at Wagon Trail/Creston RV in Las Vegas and Kalispell. Now also owns Van City. website is ChinookRV.com Thanks.

      Reply
    26. Bill

      My Airstream interstate is a Lemon due to extremely shoddy workmanship. Watch my YouTube videos titled airstream lemon part 1 and 2. You won’t believe it!

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        We’re good with our new RV for now, but it will be interesting to watch Avion (The RV Factory) over the next few years.

        Reply
    27. Sarah Brashear

      You mentioned Sportsmobile but did not mention that they have eco options. It takes a little digging around in their website http://www.sportsmobile.com/ to get the full story on this, but they have the technology available, You can delete the propane system, which makes me very interested.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Deleting the propane has always been an option with them, as well as omitting a generator altogether. I haven’t looked at their site in a while, but if they have a second-alternator-and-tons-of-batteries option, that would give them an offering basically equivalent to the e-trek options from RoadTrek.

        Reply
    28. Ted

      Here’s another new manufacturer in Quebec that is building on the Promaster Van, Gala RV

      http://galarv.com/index.html

      Currently their website has no English translations so I’m left to looking at photos and trying to figure out how they can fit a 45 gallon “Eu Grise” (Grey Tank) on their chassis.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Interesting.
        I can read French a bit, and there’s not much more info on the site yet – other than that they put a priority on maximizing volume for the tanks underneath the rig.
        But I did like the insulation job I saw in one of the pictures. And the tanks really were pretty big. They also took the European method of bringing along propane, and there’s no permanent tank – just swap bottles. I can’t decide if I like that or not. But it sure would be easier to get a refill sometimes…
        If they’re not available outside of Quebec, I wonder if I should include them on the list or not. We’re not likely to ever see one…

        Reply
        1. Lori Raymond

          We saw one at the Montreal RV show and liked it a lot…the salesperson said they can export to the U.S., but I have no other information on that.

    29. Scott Malan

      If u would have removed your seat post would your bike have fit into the LTV Unity storage compartment you all did a great review on? It looks close. I have a quick release on my bike and wondered if that would do it?
      Thanks.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Honestly Scott, I don’t remember. It was close. I wouldn’t normally remove the seat post because it’s set very particularly, so I didn’t think to check.
        I think it was close on the wheel size as well,though.
        LTV will send you the size of the doors if you ask (they may have changed slightly since our review). That might help you.
        Sorry I don’t remember enough to be more help!

        Reply
    30. John

      Regarding Safari Condo, yes you would have to purchase your own van, especially a Sprinter (metric instruments in Canada). I looked at doing this with Advanced RV but I also ran into a problem with approved importers. I believe
      it has to do with RV standards. So you need to check with customs.

      Thanks for the list.

      Reply
    31. Doug

      Hi James,

      We have been planning to travel more when we become empty nesters next year. We originally thought let’s get a Class A DP. But I started thinking about how we would travel, i.e. not in the same place more than a few days and wanting a nimble coach to get in to all places we want to see, and the Class A idea started having less appeal. Then I found your web site and discovered that a Class B or B+ will fit our travel style much better. Now with this posting, I am already drawing-up factory tour travel routes in my mind…you know, RV Factory to Advanced, etc. in a week-long trip. Thank you for the good info. Like your wife, mine has DRY BATH on the must have list. I guess I understand.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Glad you found the list helpful. I hadn’t thought of using it as a trip planning tool!
        I wonder how they would look if you plotted them all on a map. Now there’s an idea…

        Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Ted, I knew you’d have some.
        I actually had checked out Morehead before, but decided not to include them because they seemed smaller and I couldn’t get a good feel for them from their website. I haven’t actually contacted them though. Maybe I’ll try.
        Evergreen I did look at and I decided that it was a (very weird) class C. I’ll leave them here in the comments, but won’t add them to the list.
        The other two are new to me. I’ll check them out
        Thanks!

        Reply
        1. thomas

          i don’t spend your money on websit or advertising! never felt like charging you for stuff that wasn’t going into the van. if website and advertising is important to you then let us know and we can charge that cost to you!!! thanks for the look and props. van on! keep an eye on facebook for current builds.

        2. James - Post author

          And for those playing along at home, that was from Morehead Design Labs. Van on. (Kinda like that.)

      2. Randee Mathers

        We are having Bob and Lois Murphy of Florida RV Deals build a Promaster RV for us. You can watch it being built on their Facebook page.
        So far, they are very amiable to work with and will entertain any ideas you have.
        Randee

        Reply
      3. Jean-Guy Marcotte

        Also you should to your list a new manufacturers of Class b motorhome on Promaster chassis see there web site at : panoramicrv.com

        Reply

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