I recently bid a bittersweet goodbye to my 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 a great new home, with owners who are planning a ton of exciting adventures with their first RV. I couldn’t be happier, plus I made some fun new friends in the process! 🙂
I had started shopping a little while back for my next RV. I knew I wanted another class B / camper van. Knowing that I’ll hopefully have my dogs for a while longer, that I love driving to visit friends and family scattered across the continent, and that there’s a substantial number of destinations I still want to explore in North America, RVing will likely be my primary method of travel for a few more years. I was also just ready for a fresh start in this next memory-making chapter of my life and travels.
I made lists of must-have and nice-to-have features, visited a few dealers, read forums and Facebook groups dedicated to each model, watched videos, and even dreamed about vans. 😂
I ultimately decided I wanted something built on the Ford Transit chassis after test-driving one and loving it. I liked the Dodge/Ram ProMaster well enough while I owned it (and had no issues with the chassis), but the Ford had some new features and comforts I really desired, especially since my camper van is often my daily driver.
I wasn’t so interested in the long-popular Mercedes Sprinter chassis, partly due to its higher upfront and maintenance costs, and because it lacked some features I wanted. The aesthetic really wasn’t me, as well. Vehicles are ultimately very personal choices, however, and I’m far from an expert on any of them, so I’m not 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 22C (since renamed the Coachmen Beyond 22C), it seemed like an ideal next van for me.
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, after 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 too. 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 RVs a call or email, and tell them (especially Nick) that I sent you! 🙂
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!
Looks amazing!! Congrats on the new ride-and-sometimes-home!
Thank you! Another visit to see you guys will definitely be in order – maybe next summer!
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!
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! 🙂
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
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!
Excellent photos. Real interested in what your solution is with the sewer hose? I am wwrestling with same on my new coachmen Beyond.. thanks
Hey Kent! Thank you! I ended up removing the sewer hose holder entirely, though I know some people have had success moving it around under the van. I wanted as much ground clearance as possible, and worried about it melting near any exhaust pipes under there or not having access to my spare tire. I have a pretty steep ascent/descent a lot of places here in hilly East Tennessee, so I’d rather not risk it breaking and losing my hose. I ended up buying a sewer hose waterproof tote from Camping World to store under the sofa in the rear with my power cords, levelers, and such. As long as I rinse it and put the end caps back on my hose (I use the Rhino Flex hose) they don’t smell in the living area. I put my extra fittings in large Ziplock bags. Hope that helps! Thanks for reading. 🙂
Congratulations Kristin! Have a wonderful time in your new dream machine!
This is slick! Thanks for sharing all of the pictures.
I kinda wanna drive it but it’s too big 😀
That looks very nice. Congrats and happy travels!!!
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?
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! 🙂
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.
Hi. How long is your RV? How do you like the induction stove? How is it driving uphill and curves. Thanks!
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!
Its really nice. I feel very great after reading your blog.
I just read like 4-5 articles haha!
Also, my in-laws are in Knoxville and we spend a good bit of time there. #itsasmallworld 🙂
Good luck with the Ford!
Wow! Such a small world. So nice chatting with you today via email – let me know next time you’re in Knoxville and I’d love to meet up with you and your wife if you’re interested, to share some travel tales and budgeting tips! Maybe we could do a collaborative blog post sometime? Hit me up via my contact page if you’re interested. 🙂
For sure! That would be great 🙂
I need to get back to releasing blog posts regularly! haha, but yes, that’d be fun too.
Hello, glad to see you bought a crossfit awhile back, so did we for pretty much the same reason. We only had a few issues with ours and would like to share to help you out if you run across the same issues.
Plastic hot air vents are kinda cheap and ours got damaged so I replaced them with flat vents from Menards (our local big hardware store). Also, refrigerator went out but a recall to replace control board and added a vent fan seems to have solved that. Cabinet hardware not very strong and drawers would open up on turns, installed cabinet magnets as well as original hardware, they stay closed now. Plus we got tired of installing the front window covers, added a shower rod and heavy curtain that slides behind the drivers seat. If you would like to see what we did, send us a email and I’ll send you some pictures.
Thanks for reaching out! I love my Crossfit and have only had a few minor issues with it, thankfully. My air vents are terrible too and I definitely need to replace them – thanks for the reminder. 🙂
My fridge is still good, but I received a recall notice about the ventilation and plan to get that fixed soon. I’m unfortunately quite a ways from the nearest Coachmen service location, but may make the drive up to Indiana sometime soon and have them do a number of things at once.
The drawers of my cabinets have been good, but my bathroom door squeaks and comes open, as do a lot of peoples’ in the Facebook group I’ve heard from. Definitely want to have them address that so I can stop wedging a towel in them and bungee-ing the handles together.
I bought the WeatherTech sunshades for when I want to deflect or absorb light (they’re insulated and reversible for different weather conditions) and I use those plus some curtains I added behind the cab that sound just like yours, and it helps a LOT, especially in very hot or cold weather. Thanks for reaching out – if you make any other mods you love, let me know!
Anyway to send you pictures, as a old saying, a picture is worth a thousand words. Might help out, I got ride of the door squeaks by adding the magnet and adjusting the existing lower ones.
Well we just did it. Purchased a 2020 Crossfit/Beyond. I guess they had to change the name because of a lawsuit. First short trip for a shake down next week. Do you know if anyone has put a cargo carrier on their rig. Going from a large class C we are downsizing considerably. Could use a little more room for stuff.
Hello! A little late LOL but just found this page and had a question, if I may? We are downsizing from a Renegade Villagio and were looking at a 2018 CrossFit 22c – anyway, I wondered what your opinion would be in regards to an airbed or some kind of bed conversion being put across the front seats to have an additional sleep space? I’ve combed the internet and just can’t find anything on that so I super appreciate it if you can take a sec and give me your take.
Hi Alli! Pleasure-Way makes an inflatable cab bed for on the Promaster and Sprinter chassis front seats that might work in the Ford Transit, but you’d have to measure the cab area of one to find out for sure: https://pleasure-way.myshopify.com/products/bed
Another thing some people have done is have a custom plywood platform built that’s upholstered with foam and is hinged to fold into thirds, if you have the room to store it while traveling. Someone in the Facebook group for Coachmen Crossfit/Beyond van owners (https://www.facebook.com/groups/coachmencrossfit) did this. You can search the group if you’re on Facebook for “upholster roadtrek” and find the posts and images of it. If you aren’t on Facebook, let me know, and I can email the photos to you. 🙂
The cab area does get hotter/colder than the rest of the van, depending on the season, so some good reflective windshield and side window shades (I have the WeatherTech ones and they work great) are a necessity, as well as a fan of some sort that can circulate air up there in warmer weather. Being all glass and metal – and the least-insulated part of the van – that’s going to be the case with any class B.
I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any additional questions!
Thank you! Excellent. We just pulled the trigger on a “slightly’ pre-owned 2020 Beyond 22D. Flying next week from Cali to ATL to take delivery then head out for a few days around are and smokeys if weather permits before driving home via Grand Canyon.
Yay! That’s fantastic – I hope you absolutely love it! I’m in Knoxville, Tennessee, so if you are in the area of the Smokies and have time to meet up I’d be happy to have a beverage or a meal with you, and we can geek out over our Crossfit and Beyond. 😀
Omg. Knoxville. We hope to be. Depending upon weather. Will see when we get closer to 11/17
We are looking at the Winnebago Travato or Coachman Beyond. How would you compare the 2 and any pluses or minuses on either rig, driveability, comfort etc.?
My RV decision is mostly based around sleeping and drivability, because I spend most of my time in the bed or driver’s seat. I can’t speak much to the twin bed use in either of the vans: I didn’t use the Travato beds as twins that often, because I’m usually traveling with a partner who I want to cuddle with, and/or my little dogs like to sleep with me. They seemed a bit too narrow to me in the Travato when I did use them a couple times, though. When the beds were combined in the Travato using the center table, making an almost-queen, you can only (practically, anyway) sleep cross-coach instead of length-wise, so for anyone over 5’8 or so, your head and/or feet will be touching the van walls. It’s also a pain to crawl over the bed (and your sleeping partner, if you’re the one sleeping closer to the front) to get to the bathroom, and to set up and take down the bed twice each day is a lot of work. I wasn’t interested in the lofted corner bed in the Travato G – I like having more space around me to sleep. I love having the rear, lengthwise bed in the Crossfit, and being able to leave it down when I don’t need the couch/dinette, and it not restrict my living space much. I also really like the windows all around me, and being able to relax on the bed with the back doors open, as well as it being easier getting in and out of the bed without disturbing someone next to you.
I had some trouble with the Winnebago’s finishes: I had to repair the cabinets several times, re-adhere some of the faux wood panels they used, or reinforce other pieces of the interior that came loose in normal use. Coachmen’s finishes seem to be more durable to me, and I haven’t had any damage in the nearly 2 years and 20k miles I’ve had it.
I love the extra seatbelts in the Crossfit rear bench for taking people with me, and that the passengers are forward-facing on a reasonably comfortable bench seat instead of sideways seated on a bed with their back to a window. A big fridge with an actual freezer, and not having to kneel on the floor to get anything out of it, was a big selling point too! The bigger propane tank is also nice, since I like colder weather camping, and the extra carrying capacity and stability from having the dually wheels is handy for longer trips. It also looks a less like an RV on the outside, in my opinion. I really didn’t like the Travato branding all over it, and the other exterior embellishments.
Since the Transit wasn’t an option yet on any Class B’s when I purchased my Travato, I went with a chassis I wasn’t in love with at the time. I wasn’t overly thrilled with the ProMaster chassis and driving experience, to be honest. It was reliable and got decent gas mileage at about 14-16 mpg, but it wasn’t what I’d call comfortable or pleasant to drive necessarily. I knew I didn’t want a Sprinter due to cost, maintenance, and not liking the cab ergonomics as much, so I hadn’t considered anything but the ProMaster at the time. I’m absolutely in love with the Ford – the EcoBoost tackles huge mountains with hardly any strain, I average 14-17 mpg, it’s very comfortable for long distances, has all the modern conveniences you’d find in a car, and has great in-dash GPS and apps through smartphone integration, if you have one. I have no regrets, but definitely recommend going to check them out yourself if possible, drive a few, and decide which would work best for your needs. I hope that helps!
Thanks for such a great response! Will take me awhile to chew on some of the aspects that you mention as well as more reading about each model. We live in Western NC south of Asheville, so not so far away from your area. I do like the idea of a dually chasis for a pretty heavy vehicle. We RV’d with travel trailers and 5th wheels using a heavy duty Ford F-250 truck. So, I definitely am in favor of a Ford chasis for a class b. It helps us a lot to hear from actual owners. Most RV reviews I see are more just a sales pitch, so hearing +/- about a rig from someone who has or had one is very helpful.
Thanks a bunch
Hey Rick, it’s my pleasure! I hope that my perspective does help a bit. If we weren’t in the middle of the pandemic I’d invite you over for a van tour and test drive! Hopefully our paths can cross sometime when it’s safe to travel again – we find ourselves in Asheville quite often.
I also just heard that Pleasureway has a new model on the Ford Transit, the Ontour, that you might check out. I’m not familiar with their quality, but it’s very similar layout to the Crossfit/Beyond. Hope you find one you love!
Thanks for your help & advice on RV selection. We went to our closest big RV dealership and looked at and test drove both a Travato 59K and Coachmen Beyond 22RB.(Our 2 top picks) After viewing both it was a toss up. After driving both, it was no contest. For us the Beyond hands down drove better, was more stable, more comfortable driving & had no sway. So, we bought the Beyond. Pick it up in a week or so.
Thanks for your help!
Wow! I love your response to Rick’s question. I had the same question after seeing that you have owned your Beyond for over a year now. Your answer is so thorough. My husband and I have narrowed our choices down to the Travato and the Beyond.
We are leaning toward the Beyond because I like the dual wheels and I find the AWD to be an option worth considering. We have also read where the Ford is more comfortable to drive. We have only seen the Travato in person and the legroom in the cab for two six foot plus men was lacking.
Your answer has definitely added another pint for the Beyond!
I’m so glad to hear that sharing my experiences helped you make your decision. Let me know if you have any other questions! I do really like the dual wheels, even if they’re a bit more hassle to check the tire pressure for, and they’ll cost more to replace them someday. I feel more stable and secure that if one of my rear wheels had a flat, I have the 3 others to distribute the weight. I’m not very tall, but my partner is, and she finds it much more comfortable to drive and sleep in. Hopefully our paths cross someday – let me know if you’re ever near East Tennesee. Happy travels!