Small RV/Campervan Shopping Notes
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These are my notes from looking at and shopping for various small RV’s (class B, B+ or C) during 2015-16:

RoadTrek CS Adventurous 4×4

  • narrow Sprinter body, 4×4 option
  • advanced electrical options
  • 800Ah lithium battery, 470W solar, 3500W engine generator w/auto-start, 2500W inverter
  • compressor-driven refrigerator (AC/DC), induction cooktop x 2, (E-Trek version has smaller fridge)
  • optional diesel Alde heating system, remove propane system??
  • tankless on-demand hot water
  • not very good construction or build quality
  • poor layout makes space seem very cramped – compare to Pleasure-Way

Winnebago View / Itasca Navion

  • good cabinetry, materials and design elements (matte finish available)
  • decent design and construction, including some care for cold weather
  • doesn’t have awning windows (for rain), but sliding windows open more fully
  • great optional sliding cab window blinds
  • good size refrigerator (but it’s absorptive, propane-based)
    • for 2018 models, they’re now putting in a compressor-based refrigerator, yay!
  • great interior height (6’8”) but kinda big: 11’2” tall and 7’6” wide, 25’5” long
  • lots of room over cab (storage and cats will really like)
    • ?? is cab-over bed worth extra size, height, drag?
  • has tank heat pads and optional heated drainage system
  • optional Froli deluxe sleep system
  • optional dual-pane acrylic windows
  • optional skylight/roof vent with screen
  • great screen door
  • MCD roller shades
  • optional heat pump
  • optional diesel generator (no option for extra engine alternator instead)
  • optional tankless water heater (but propane)
  • optional solar (but only 100W, 450W max)
  • no option for advanced electrical: lithium battery system, eliminate propane (stove, furnace, water heater, refrigerator)
  • no option for induction cooktop
  • no option for building on Sprinter 4×4 (do aftermarket, but already too heavy?)
  • limited remaining carrying capacity (1100? 1300 lbs?)
  • kinda big: 25’5” long, 11’2” tall and 7’6” wide for dirt roads, city/parking
  • screams “motorhome” w/graphics, clunky adornments like awning support, cab over bed, sliding windows
  • View/Navion 24J (corner bed)  [favorite]
    • most open/spacious, best dinette space
    • corner bed only 50″ wide though
    • great U-shaped dinette with folding footrests, converts to 82” long bed
    • dry bathroom and sink outside so can be used simultaneously
    • can put litter box in shower space
    • well-placed TV: no need for second TV over corner bed
  • View/Navion 24V (twin flex bed)
    • larger than cal king bed (74 x 87″)
    • not as open with bath in middle, less ideal lounge area?
    • dry bath room but more cramped than 24J
    • wardrobe looks smaller than 24J
    • can’t put litter box in shower space because of door

Winnebago Era 70X

  • narrow Sprinter body, 4×4 option
  • good cabinetry, materials and design elements (matte finish available)
  • decent design and construction (but watch for quality issues found in 70C)
  • wider than queen size bed (70×80”), looks nicer than RoadTrek, galley faces campsite
  • NOT open/spacious, manageable interior height 6’3”
  • MCD roller shades
  • optional solar (but only 100W)
  • kinda long for dirt roads? (24’3”)
  • wet bath
  • no option for advanced electrical: lithium battery system, eliminate propane (stove, furnace, water heater, refrigerator)
  • no option for induction cooktop (and cooktop cutout is difficult shape)

Airstream Interstate Grand Tour

  • narrow Sprinter body, 4×4 option
  • looks nicer and feels more open than RoadTrek or Winnebago, galley faces campsite
  • kinda long for dirt roads? (24’5”), wet bath

Pleasure-Way

  • looks nicer and better construction than RoadTrek or Winnebago
  • excellent cabinetry and materials
  • galley placed on open door side, more open from driver’s seat
  • 200Ah lithium battery
  • tankless on-demand hot water
  • Plateau FL or TS
    • narrow Sprinter body, aftermarket upgrade to 4×4??
    • feels more open than RoadTrek or Winnebago, galley faces campsite
    • bed is only 76” long, wet bath
  • Plateau XLTD
    • larger than cal king bed (74×86”)
    • short in comparison to other wide-bodies at 22’9”
    • dry bath with separate shower
    • can’t put litter box in shower space because of door
    • kinda big: 11’ tall and 7’7” wide for dirt roads, city/parking
    • excellent interior height at 6’8”

Leisure Travel Vans

  • best looking and best construction
  • excellent cabinetry, materials and design elements
  • 200W solar option (better than basic 100W)
  • optional tankless on-demand hot water: Truma Combi (electric/propane combined furnace/water heater)
  • windows are awning style (and frameless)
  • LED light strip on awning works when closed
  • MCD roller shades
  • good size refrigerator (but it’s absorptive and must be level)
  • ducted A/C with heat pump standard
  • optional diesel generator (no option for extra engine alternator instead)
  • no option for advanced electrical: lithium battery system, eliminate propane (stove, furnace, water heater, refrigerator)
  • no option for induction cooktop (carry portable 110V?)
  • no option for building on Sprinter 4×4 (do aftermarket?)
  • Unity models are kinda big: 25’1” long and 7’10″ wide for dirt roads, city/parking
    • even wider than the View/Navion but not quite as tall: 10’6”
    • older models 24’7″ x 7’8″ ??
  • Serenity model is kinda wide: 8’1” but a little shorter at 24’6” – dirt roads, city/parking?
  • Unity 24FX (Flex)
    • very open (corner bath)
    • similar to View/Navion but has murphy bed behind convertible sofa/dinette
    • murphy bed is not very long but is wider than queen (68 x 76”)
    • sectional sofa area does not convert to bed but has hidden ottoman/desk
    • less cross ventilation from windows unless bed is down
    • has dry bath in rear corner but more cramped with sink and toilet together
    • has great three-way foldable bathroom door
    • can put litter box in shower space
  • Unity 24TB (twin bed)  [favorite]
    • not very open (bath in middle) but largest king bed (76 x 88”)
    • dry bath, separate shower space
    • more capacity (36 gallons fresh, 37 gray, 29 black)
    • cat house door: storage under bed wraps around back and outside
      • could put litter box back in storage area under bed
  • Unity 24CB (corner bed)
    • very open (corner bath) but short bed (52 x 74”)
    • dry bath, separate shower space
    • similar to View/Navion, but not quite as open and optional U-Lounge dinette is smaller
    • has potentially more wardrobe space though (near bath and external door)
  • Serenity (power sofa)
    • no slide out but still open with 54×80” bed (wider than View/Navion corner bed)
    • dry bath, sliding divider door so can put litter box in shower space
    • short shower (no added height from skylight)
    • only 6’3” interior height (Unity is 6’5”, Navion/View is 6’8”)
  • Free Spirit (discontinued, used only)
    • narrow Sprinter body width (6’9”) with slide out for more room in living/sleeping area, 9’9” tall
    • bed is only 74” long, wet bath
    • large dry bath w/separate shower but lots of space given over to bath
    • small table for sofa
    • lots of storage and hanging wardrobe space

Size Comparison (2016 Models)

width length exterior height road clearance ceiling height  bed size
LTV Serenity  8’1”  24’6”  10’3” ? 6’3”  54 x 80”
LTV Unity U24TB 7’10” 25’1” 10’6” ?  6’5” 76 x 88”
Pleasure-Way Plateau XLTD 7’7” 22’9” 11’ 6″?  6’8”  74 x 86”
Winnebago Navion/View 24J
Navion/View 24V
 7’6”  25’5” 11’2” 8.5”  6’8” 50 x 80” +82” alt
74×87” + alt bed
Winnebago Fuse  7’6” 24’ 10’2” ?  6’8”  60-70 x 87”
+ alt bed
Airstream Interstate GT EXT  6’8”  24’5”  9’8” ? 6’2” 70×82”
Winnebago Era 70X 4×4: 6’4”? 24’3” 9’8” ? + 2” 6’3” 70×80”
Lexor TS  7’  20’11” 9’3.5” low  6’3” 73×76”
Pleasure-Way Plateau FL or TS  6’11”  22’9”  9’8” 6″? 6’3” 70×76”
RoadTrek Zion  6’11” 20’9” 9’5” low  6’2” 74×76”
RoadTrek Zion SRT  6’11”  19’7”  9’5” low 6’2”  62×74”
LTV Free Spirit  6’9”  23’4”  9’9” ? 6’3”  68×74”
RoadTrek CS 4×4
RoadTrek CS 4×4 XL
6’8” 22’9”
24’1”
 9’9” 8.5” 6’2”  69×78”
Tesla Model X 6’10” 16.5’ 7.3”/8.3”
GMC Yukon 6’9” 16’11” 8.0”
Ford F150 6’8” 17’5/19’4”  8.4”/9.4”
2009 RAV4 4WD  6’ 15’1” 7.5”

 

Go here to read about what model I finally settled on.  See also my in-depth and ongoing page of various RV Tips, Upgrades and Customizations.

The following is a list of RV manufacturers that do small RV’s as well as campervan conversion companies that I gathered while trying to figure out what I wanted to get: