7   83
7   122
2   69
3   74
7   107
2   91
0   57
3   54
21   179
1   64
2   34
4   82
8   69
2   72
1   81
3   72

One Van Door Closes, Another One Opens!

One Van Door Closes, Another One Opens!

I recently bid a bittersweet goodbye to my beloved Winnebago Travato camper van, which was a fantastic RV and daily driver for the 2-1/2 years I had the pleasure of owning it. It moved on to some ecstatic new owners in Utah who are planning a ton of exciting adventures with their first RV. I couldn’t be happier with the outcome of the “adoption” of my baby to its next home, plus making new friends in the process! πŸ™‚

I had started shopping a little while back for my next class B camper van. Knowing that I’ll hopefully still have my dogs for a while, that I love driving to visit my friends and family scattered across this continent, and there’s tons of destinations I still want to explore in North America, RVing will be my primary method of travel much of the time – for a few more years, anyway! I knew I wanted my next van to meet more of my current needs and provide a fresh start in this next chapter of my life and travels.

I made lists of must-have and nice-to-have features, did a lot of online research, visited dealers, read forums and Facebook groups dedicated to each model, and ruled out quite a few floor plans right off the bat. I ultimately decided I wanted something built on the Ford Transit chassisΒ after test-driving one and loving it. As much as I liked my Dodge/Ram ProMaster while I owned it (and had no issues with the chassis), the Ford had some new features and comforts I really desired, especially since my camper van is my daily driver too. I also wasn’t interested in a Mercedes Sprinter chassis, partly due to its higher upfront and maintenance costs and because it lacked some features I really wanted. Vehicles are ultimately very personal choices, however, and I’m far from an expert on any of them, nor am I about to claim one manufacturer to be better than another!

Choosing the Ford narrowed my options considerably, because very few Class B RV’s on the Ford Transit exist at the time of writing this. Fortunately, when I found the newer Coachmen Crossfit model, it seemed like an ideal next van for me.

Image credit: Coachmen website – http://www.coachmenrv.com/

The exterior and interior both have an aesthetic I love – a modern yet clean appearance. The exterior should be stealthier when parking it in public places, and the interior will serve as a blank slate to decorate to my tastes.

After reaching out to a few dealers to compare prices and features, I purchased my van from Sunshine State RVs in Gainesville, Florida, flying solo one-way from East Tennessee to buy it and drive it 500 miles home. It was a fantastic experience. I initially chose them as a dealer for their selection and focus on Class B’s, then they wowed me with stellar customer service. They answered all my questions promptly at every step of the way, picked me up at the Gainesville airport, walked me through everything in my van in detail, and I left there feeling like a new member of their family. If you’re in the market for a class B, give Sunshine State RV a call or email, and tell them (especially Nick) that I sent you! πŸ™‚

For a full list of specs, more photos, videos, and the two floor plans, you can visit the Coachmen website here. Stay tuned for more interior photos of mine, and information about the modifications I’ll make to it!

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15 Comments

  1. Meagan C
    Aug 6, 2018 / 11:52 am

    Looks amazing!! Congrats on the new ride-and-sometimes-home!

    • Kristin
      Author
      Aug 6, 2018 / 12:04 pm

      Thank you! Another visit to see you guys will definitely be in order – maybe next summer!

  2. Aug 6, 2018 / 11:53 am

    Looks like a great new traveling vehicle for you and the doggies! Nice! Maybe another trip to Alaska is in your future? Would love to see you again! Happy travels!

    • Kristin
      Author
      Aug 6, 2018 / 12:05 pm

      Thanks, Denise! Probably not Alaska by RV again (working makes it hard to take that much time off) but by cruise ship someday for sure, and you better believe I’ll come up your way to visit again! Happy travels to you guys as well! πŸ™‚

  3. Aug 6, 2018 / 3:45 pm

    are you finding the additional 14 inches on the Crossfit’s length over your old Travato an issue in parking sometimes ? Thanks and congrats on the new RV

    • Kristin
      Author
      Aug 6, 2018 / 3:49 pm

      Hey Craig! A couple of times now I’ve had to find a bigger parking spot, but overall it doesn’t feel that much different. It’s only the clearance below the van that takes getting used to – this one has a sewer hose holder and spare tire below the rear, and it feels like it’s a bit lower than the lowest point on the Travato was. I may end up removing the sewer hose holder, if needed, so it’s easier to hang the rear end over parking lot curbs and bumpers. I’ll be sure to update with my thoughts after a little more real-world experience with it!

  4. Aug 6, 2018 / 8:42 pm

    Congratulations Kristin! Have a wonderful time in your new dream machine!

  5. Aug 6, 2018 / 11:07 pm

    This is slick! Thanks for sharing all of the pictures.

  6. Aug 7, 2018 / 1:52 am

    I kinda wanna drive it but it’s too big πŸ˜€

  7. Lorie Raschick
    Aug 7, 2018 / 5:39 am

    That looks very nice. Congrats and happy travels!!!

  8. Martin Odom
    Aug 7, 2018 / 10:14 am

    You did a lot of research for me. Was it mostly a fiscal reason not to go with the Mercedes? Are Mercedes that much more expensive?

    • Kristin
      Author
      Aug 7, 2018 / 10:24 am

      It was largely fiscal – the base price of the class B RVs on Sprinters is a bit higher, and I’ve heard a lot of stories about parts being pricey and maintenance locations being hard to find. I also am not as big of a fan of the aesthetic, both inside and out, of the Sprinters, but that’s more of a personal preference thing. I’d say go check some out, drive them, and see what feels right to you. To me, the Ford is the most comfortable and feels the most “me” of any of the vans I researched. I personally like the ergonomics and handling of it better than my former ProMaster, but that doesn’t mean you might not like the Dodge or Mercedes better! πŸ™‚

  9. Page
    Aug 9, 2018 / 12:54 pm

    Just catching up on my blog reading.
    You go girl! That is a nice rig. Perfect for you and the pups.
    I hope our paths cross again in the future.

  10. Robert Garcia
    Aug 11, 2018 / 9:31 am

    Hi. How long is your RV? How do you like the induction stove? How is it driving uphill and curves. Thanks!

    • Kristin
      Author
      Aug 12, 2018 / 3:56 pm

      Hey Robert! I’ve only had it a couple weeks now so I haven’t used the cooktop yet, but I like not having the extra gas lines run in the RV, and one more connection that could leak.

      The van is 22 feet, 2 inches long and it has been incredibly nimble and powerful driving uphill and around curves. I have the Ford EcoBoost and it has fantastic torque. It hasn’t struggled yet on any of the hills I’ve driven on here in East Tennessee, and merging onto the highway is effortless. Hope that helps – you can also join the Coachmen Crossfit Owner’s group on Facebook if you’re on there and have questions. They’re really helpful!

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