Sunday, May 9, 2010

The "B" Perspective


As our cork floor and seat installation projects extend a few days further, I thought I could maybe share a few thoughts on the "Class B" perspective. I always forget that not everyone sees things the way we do and that the hows and whys are maybe not so obvious. The spectrum of comments and questions we get is interesting and shows how diverse mobile dwellers can be. Questions from "How can you live in such a small space?" to "Why do you need all that?" which of course are based on views relative to situational preference and perfectly understandable.

To understand our perspectives, it helps to know our "Grand Plan". Heidi and I love traveling, immersing ourself in new areas to learn the history and culture as well as experiencing the beauty that our country has to offer. We want to keep living this way from here on and have no desire to stop and settle in any one place. Since neither of us has any significant financial resources, our mobile lifestyle has to be sustainable with little work. The comfort factor is very important to us as well since Taj is our home and we have both have enough experience to be aware of our preference.

Class B vans are typically amazing examples of engineering and design. They really have an ideal balance of storage space, living space and creature comforts to make our lifestyle extremely enjoyable. Taj who is our 1997 Roadtrek at 17 feet in length and under 8 foot tall, is surprisingly roomy inside yet still has most all the features of a larger RV.

Hanging out in our B is a bit like being in a well-appointed efficiency apartment. In the evening with the curtains drawn, it is private and comfortable. Heidi can often be found in the back watching a movie and knitting or maybe browsing the web while I am in front quietly playing guitar and most likely enjoying some hot tea. During the day if we choose to be inside, chances are you will find me making jewelry or reading while Heidi exercises or cooks lunch/dinner or ??? Taking showers, cooking, washing dishes, all the things you might do in a house, apartment or class A motorhome, we do quite comfortably in our little VanHome.

Driving a B is a joy compared to larger rigs I have owned in the past. In the wind, Taj is rock steady with one hand on the wheel. She climbs mountain passes easily and navigates tight parking lots with minimal effort. Parking on street or in regular parking spaces is no trouble at all. Fuel mileage is reasonable with 15 to 17 MPG average. The 35 gallon fuel tank is good for over 500 miles though we usually don't let it go below a quarter tank.

With Taj we have a lot of flexibility in where we stay. We fit in just fine at RV parks yet have enough stealth to hide in plain sight when convenient and enough resources on board (Electric/Water/LP/Food storage/Waste tanks) to boondock in comfort for at least a week without moving.

We hope our perspectives help others to understand our choices and maybe help with decisions they may be facing. There are so many great ways to live a mobile lifestyle, this is just the one that "turns our wheels" ;)

11 comments:

  1. We are presently saddled with a very large house. Our plan has us leaving in 1 1/2 - 2 years time. I have been thinking about many different plans and RV configurations. Mostly very large with a towed.

    But, one of our desires is to travel quite a bit in the first year or so. I know I could live in a Class B, but I'm not sure my husband could.

    I will be very interested in reading more of your blog over the next year. Be free with the pluses and minuses!

    I'd like to get a B for a year, go to Alaska, and trade into something bigger when we get back if that is what we want.

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  2. Thanks for sharing your perspective on living in a small (Class B) van. I think I could do it quite easily too. I've really enjoyed reading your blog.

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  3. Merikay, Here is a another couple that is full timing in a Roadtrek. Thought you might find it interesting.

    http://www.mytripjournal.com/wecoombs

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  4. Merikay, Thanks for your comments. I will do my best to show the good and bad of traveling this way though finding things that are bad is pretty hard honestly. It isn't perfect, but for us it is as close as it gets I believe. I like the idea of starting with a B and going bigger if needed. I did the opposite, thinking I would need more room than I did. Maybe Your husband will love living in a B, they kinda sneak up and surprise you that way :)

    Terria, Thank You for the comment! I always enjoy your blog too! You always have important and uplifting stuff there! Very cool!

    Sandee, Thanks for the link. I have been there before too but can't seem to find anything past the starting out post. Any tricks to finding more posts or is that the only one? Not real familiar with that system I guess.

    -Mike

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  5. I started large and ended up small. I prefer the van over the 35 foot motor home pulling a car. There is less stress and it is spacious and comfy. Great post.

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  6. Very balanced and helpful post!

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  7. Thanks for the comments LHOW and Vickie! Very much appreciated!

    -Mike

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  8. Thank you for sharing your perspective. It appears we have very similar ones :) I find that the less i have, the more free I feel. And it is this freedom that I crave. After all, the things you own end up owning you.

    Laura Anne

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  9. Really helpful post, thanks! Still in pre-shopping mode...

    Bradley

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  10. Hi, great blog! I just discovered you from the Class B forum on rvnet and am looking forward to following your adventures.

    p.s. Mind is a 03 190V RT :)

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  11. Thanks for the Comments Laura Ann, Bradley Fish and Diana! I have been enjoying all of your blogs too BTW :)

    -Mike

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