Least VS Most Expensive Class B Campervans | Super RV Show

Published on Apr 19, 2018 367,402 views

We just returned from the Super B RV Show in Phoenix, AZ where more than 125 Class B RV campervans were on display and for sale. We thought it would be interesting to compare the least expensive (a Carado Banff van) with the most expensive, a Roadtrek 2017 Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL van. Both offered scores of great features, even though the Banff was less than half the cost of the CS Adventurous XL.
Now there's no way we can touch on all the features of each van. To do that, check out the detailed specs on the product pages for each vehicle.
For more info on the Carado Banff go to http://caradorv.com/models/banff/
For more on the Roadtrek CS Adventurous go to http://www.roadtrek.com/models/cs-adv...

SUBSCRIBE to our Channel to Get More RV Travel Videos and Tips: https://www.youtube.com/roadtrekingmi...

To see master lists of all the products, apps, gadgets and gizmos that we mention on the blog, podcast or here on the RV Lifestyle Channel, go to http://roadtreking.com/gear We update the lists regularly as we try or hear about new stuff of interest to RVers.

Don't forget to like us on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/roadtreking

Join the Roadtreking community on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/roadt...

Follow us on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/roadtreking

Watch More:
RV Tips & How-To's: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...
Best RV Trips: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...
How We Roll: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...

We're journalists Mike and Jennifer Wendland, and we travel the country in an RV doing RV travel videos about the RV Lifestyle. Please subscribe to our channel for more RV Lifestyle videos! We like to virtually take you with us and regularly do lIve reports from our RV travels and also post new RV videos a couple times a week. Pleas subscribe so you'll know when there's new content here.

DISCLAIMER: We often review or link to products & services we regularly use and think you might find helpful. To support the channel, we use Affiliate links wherever possible, which means if you click one of the links in this video or description and make a purchase we may receive a small commission or other compensation. Thanks for the support!

Comments
  • Stephen Koppe
    Stephen Koppe 5 months ago 180k and doesn’t even have its own shower unreal
  • justsomeguy
    justsomeguy 1 year ago I don't see a $70,000 difference.
  • Jorge Fagundo
    Jorge Fagundo 2 months ago Mm
  • CSM1470
    CSM1470 1 year ago 90k difference...wow...not impressed by neither..but if I had to make a choice...the cheaper van is my choice..put 10-20k in improvements and you'll be all set..
  • windsongshf
    windsongshf 1 year ago You guys are very informative, and I appreciate you lots, but for actually buying, I'm gonna go back to getting ideas at the "cheap RV living" channel, lol! One thing interesting... no matter the income, if you've got the travel bug, there's a way to do it! Love of exploring is what all of us have in common, and the characters one meets on the way is a bonus! :)
  • M
    M 1 year ago I don't see how the 60K van is worth 60K. People have built their own vans which are much nice, for only a few grand. YouTube is full of their videos.
  • stillaliveandwell
    stillaliveandwell 11 months ago Yes but the world is full of people with mucho $$ and no no-how, or interest in knowing how. Just turn the key....
  • EC A
    EC A 8 months ago Cool thing is that you needn't any know-how! But truly, yes, there are ppl who'd rather buy expensive just to buy expensive. They've already driven up the price of tiny homes by getting giddy about it, making manufacturers well off and good for them but, good luck to the invisible middle class... They'll have to build their own. Many of which end up building their own, incredibly comfortable tiny house on wheels inside vehicles, instead. Vans, buses, refurbished rv's. ☺️
  • Two Watt
    Two Watt 7 months ago There's a few grand just in xantrex and lifepo.... How would you build that and more for "just a few grand"?
  • EC A
    EC A 7 months ago Two Watt you gotta shop around. Plenty of quality products to choose from at decent prices and many people do what they can, get everything livable and continue to build onto that as they go. And some simply live with what's available to them with what money they gave and still create a perfectly comfortable, beautiful living and traveling space.
  • Two Watt
    Two Watt 7 months ago @EC A Well then those situations aren't really comparable to or"nicer than" this turn key sometime are they?
  • Forty-one Shades
    Forty-one Shades 5 months ago Ummm... yes , you can outfit an old van for a few grand, but it would be a far cry from the Banff. But if that's all you can or want to spend, more power to you. We all get to enjoy the same scenery and experiences!
  • google sucks
    google sucks 5 months ago those are old vans, with someone privately hired to build something that may or may not last more than a couple of years. these are brand new, with full service warranties.
  • Stephen Koppe
    Stephen Koppe 5 months ago And the list price was 85k 😂😂 yea right never in a million years
  • zvczvcvzxcv
    zvczvcvzxcv 4 months ago No way you are building what the Banff has for a few grand, to speak nothing of the time, effort, and skill. It seems like a reasonable price.
  • Dreamingrightnow
    Dreamingrightnow 4 months ago @EC A All true. Just like the price of the Pro Master; getting closer and closer to a new Sprinter price. Only a year ago I saw these new for 19 k.
  • Dreamingrightnow
    Dreamingrightnow 4 months ago @Two Watt The difference is what you can't see. The materials used, the insulation that will mold, the pressed wood that will vibrate off their hinges, the wiring.. And the desig: they don't put enough solar in and make the showers too big; there's no need for a black tank, which is just gross. Also all those cheap plastics and toxic adhesives are going to off-gas forever, especially if you're in a hot climate, which is where most people go for the majority of their time. These are not for living aboard; they are just shiny objects for sitting in your driveway 10 months of the year. There are professional shops that will do a barebones install with materials of your choice and upgradable solar that can get you started all the way to full conversions of high quality materials that will last the life of the van for less than this. AND you're supporting local families instead of these international mega sharks.
  • Dreamingrightnow
    Dreamingrightnow 4 months ago @google sucks Dude, you've clearly never bought a new rv. There's no such thing as a 'full warranty', even in a car and especially not one of these.
  • Two Watt
    Two Watt 4 months ago @Dreamingrightnow So build your own. Problem solved ;)
  • Dreamingrightnow
    Dreamingrightnow 4 months ago @Two Watt You make my point for me. ;)
  • Two Watt
    Two Watt 4 months ago @Dreamingrightnow I wasn't arguing with you. I was disagreeing with people who say this is overpriced. It's priced at what the market bares. Poor, whiney or discerning people all need to look elsewhere. But for people dumb enough to eat at McDonald's, this is perfect.
  • google sucks
    google sucks 4 months ago @Dreamingrightnow i jus got 1
  • Bekanne Miller
    Bekanne Miller 8 months ago Can buy 2 least expensive vans & have 17k to upgrade bits.
  • Empire State
    Empire State 1 month ago I'd just buy a second-hand van for 30k and spend another 15k on upgrades.
  • energymaven
    energymaven 1 year ago It's all about build quality. For our money, we'll stick with the PleasureWay.
  • Mark Miller
    Mark Miller 9 months ago I'm with you I can't believe that people can't see that most of these units are junk!
  • Forty-one Shades
    Forty-one Shades 5 months ago @Mark Miller The Hymer-built unit is actually quite nice for $60K.
  • Duane Wilson
    Duane Wilson 4 months ago So far I've found that the pleasure way and road trek have a 5 and 6 yr warranty respectively. For me it will probably be one of those two. Also, it will have to incorporate lithium battery's as well. That's the future for sure.
  • The FPV Life
    The FPV Life 6 months ago I went with a used 8 yr old low mileage roadtrek 190p n saved a boat load of dough.
  • This Guy2386
    This Guy2386 2 months ago The FPV Life So what you’re saying is that you got an RV and boat for the same price… LOL
  • Clark Kent
    Clark Kent 8 months ago (edited) VERY silly shower/ drawer/ wet clothes combination. Didn't think it ALL THE WAY through.
  • al808
    al808 1 year ago The newer RT's are ok, but I most definitely prefer the inside layout of the 1995, 190 Versatiles. The bathroom and shower area are much bigger with the two doors that shut off the bathroom/shower area front and back in the older models. There is so much more to like in the older models like choices between using electric, propane and 12 volt appliances. And with the doors, you have three separate enclosed spaces.
  • Frank Danielson
    Frank Danielson 1 year ago I have a 95 Versatile 190 and agree with you completely. The newer Class B's look great on the showroom floor with the open interiors and lots of windows but the livability is awful. The galley area is usually the worst with no counter space and the stove out in the open with no backsplash or vent hood so it makes a huge mess if you cook. I actually cook in my kitchen, bathe in my shower, and sleep in my bed. I've taken trips with both my mother in law and adult daughter on separate occasions and the ability to section the van in to a master bedroom and guest bedroom worked perfectly.
  • Constance Condit
    Constance Condit 6 months ago I had a 1997 RT Dodge Popular. What a great layout. Good ground clearance too. Buy an old one and renovate it.
  • Justaname
    Justaname 1 year ago Great tour. I would not buy a new class b. I would go used 10 years. Unfortunately I see no value in the cheapest or the most expensive. Things are so overpriced now unfortunately. What about the pop up bed on the roof? Where are mom and dad supposed to sleep. :(
  • Robert Pruitt
    Robert Pruitt 1 year ago jessykapop They were overpriced 10 years ago too, and they built them with even shittier materials than they do now. Which is still pretty bad.
  • wincrasher2007
    wincrasher2007 1 year ago these aren't family campers
  • TRS Cubes
    TRS Cubes 6 months ago The cheapest is sixty grand....the build looks nice but not worth the money. You could build this yourself, best part about doing that is getting to choose quality insulation that a lot of RV companies skimp out on.
  • Forty-one Shades
    Forty-one Shades 5 months ago IF you have the time, skills, and desire. I think Hymer did a nice job with the Banff at that price point (it's a Hymer-owned company) and I'm glad to see them brining some of their more affordable option to the states. No way that Roadtrek is worth that much more.
  • TRS Cubes
    TRS Cubes 5 months ago @Forty-one Shades I understand what you're saying.
  • Kathy
    Kathy 1 year ago Thanks for showing these!...I thought the Roadtrek - at nearly $150K was almost "Meh". For some reason, RT continues to use the same finish/color schemes of 10 years ago, while most others have gone more "Euro" style/finish. RTs look dated to me. Meanwhile, the sub-$70K units are underwhelming in fit and finish, but might be fine for light usage.
  • D LG
    D LG 1 year ago I agree. Roadtrek is an industry leader when it comes to the systems powering the coach, but they desperately need to update/upgrade the interior design of all their vans. Truth is, their build quality is sub-par across the board, compared to brands like Pleasure Way and Airstream. I expect better at this price range. High price vans like the CS should be much more modern looking and better built, and this particular one isn't even loaded loaded. You can easily spec a CS to over $200k if you add desirable options!
  • D LG
    D LG 1 year ago I like LTV. They are well built and modern looking coaches, but they're way behind when it comes to the electrical systems powering the coach. I don't even think they offer more than 200 watts of solar or lithium batteries at all yet, which is ridiculous at this late date. In my opinion, for too long RV manufacturers have been lazy about innovation and implementing new technologies, but buyers are beginning to expect more, especially as prices rise through the roof.
  • D LG
    D LG 1 year ago My point is that solar and lithium technology have been around long enough to be standard equipment by now. A coach with decent solar (at least 500w) and an ample lithium battery bank (at least 400 amp hrs) shouldn't cost me thousands of dollars extra when I'm already spending over $140k for the base coach. It's ridiculous.
  • D LG
    D LG 1 year ago That just not true. Roadtrek offers up to 600 watts of solar and 1600 amp hrs of lithium battery power. Obviously, I'm not suggesting that those specs should be standard, but there are still many brands that don't offer any standard solar and AGM batteries are still the norm across the board, not lithium.
  • ziggyff
    ziggyff 1 year ago The Roadtrek also offers you a 4WD option...if you ski..that's a big feature as mine has become a portable lockeroom around Tahoe which has 8 choices to ski at... thus avoiding paying at each and every ski area you goto
  • Phyllis Stein
    Phyllis Stein 1 year ago You two are ADORABLE! but i'm gonna say the biggest difference between the two is the PRICE! nicely done.
  • Richard McCombs
    Richard McCombs 1 year ago I was at that same show! I like the class b campers but can’t understand the pricing (I call it gouging). These vans are for the most part factory issued exteriors with minor additions. A friend of mine just bought a new sprinter high top , so same as the 150k class b, this van cost him just under 40k. I see roughly 20k in materials and I estimate the installation at most 10k. That is 40+20+10= 70k total cost , so what do you get for the extra 80k? A pretty key farb?
  • Athol Dickson
    Athol Dickson 1 year ago I thought that too, until I had a custom class B built. Three men have been working on it for eight months, and they still have another two or three weeks to go. I visit their shop every week so I know they're not wasting time or working on other projects. If everything had worked out perfectly the first time, they might have been able to build it in five months. If they were building on a production line, maybe a month. Certainly no less than that. Also, you're way off on the materials cost. My van has a 600 amp lithium battery which costs $5400 plus shipping. Add a 3000w inverter, a 200a lithium specific charger, a battery monitor, remote start/stop module (for automatically starting the engine when the battery is low), a second high output alternator plus an upgraded original alternator and the dual alternator compatible voltage regulator, and the total for electrical equipment alone is about $15k. The wholesale discounts on these things is not that much because they're specialty items which are not mass produced. So the total materials are nearly three times more than your estimate. And those are fair prices. I know because I created the materials list when I designed the van so I shopped for everything personally.
  • ZeoCyberG
    ZeoCyberG 1 year ago Yes, there's a lot of variables that can greatly effect the final price for any build. Build quality, included features and options, not only material costs but cost of using specific materials and whether they need specialty tools can vary, the amount of labor involved can vary by a lot depending on whether the product is being mass produced or custom built, the complexity of build can also vary with things like advance wiring systems that allow for more advance features to be available that would be far more expensive to retrofit, costs to prototype if creating new features, etc. While people should also be wary not to confuse depreciated/discounted prices from the original costs... RV's do tend to depreciate rapidly but it's mainly those that are not well built that depreciate the most. Low cost models can have issues like the structure flexes enough that after a few months the laminated materials are already delaminating... Cabinet doors may get out of alignment... There's far more use of imitation materials in low cost builds... Light fixtures, plumbing, and wiring may not be entirely properly done... Basically a long list of things that can be wrong with it and are more likely with a low cost model. Cost variations also involves what gets put into them as well... More expensive appliances, etc. will of course also effect the final price... While outward appearances can easily be deceiving as to whether you're actually getting a quality product or not. Mind, low cost models can end up costing someone multiple times what they paid for it with all the repairs and maintenance they can end up having to do on it. Not to say there's no price gouging but a good portion of the pricing differences has valid reasons behind them and thus why some people are willing to pay a premium to get a better product and/or just something that better fits their use case...
  • Richard McCombs
    Richard McCombs 1 year ago I do understand the variables as I was a protect/mechanical engineer, so these kind of builds were what I did for 40 years. Skipping the custom builds with an open checkbook. Most everything I see in the class b’s are off shelf or easy fabrication. The bodies were not modified other than bolt on ground effects. You can buy a class c that has a custom body added for 10k less than the cheapest b. If they sell these at same volume the b should be a little less than the c. I don’t know the class b volume of sales so not sure as that would be a major factor. The 59k b they had was a hymer which is a respected European manufacturer , they build these in Canada. Dodge should be able to market these direct for 45-50k and make a big impact. Engineering wise the design in cad would be about 30 hours but with design teams that figure would more than likely double. So 60 hours at 100/hour is 6000 , say you sell 1000 units then each unit would need to recoup 6000/1000 or 60$ ( not much ) . Rough estimate of materials that I saw would be 10k (I came up with 6500 but erring high). Production assembly is hard to say for me but in my old (union) shop the first pc would be 8-10k ,production line would cut this in near 1/2. Summery of what I’m saying is that reducing price with an increased less expensive sales force would make a much better entire level product in the 45-50 k area where everyone is still making money.
  • ZeoCyberG
    ZeoCyberG 1 year ago Sorry but I don't think you're actually understanding... Again, there are significant differences between the lower and higher cost models. Low cost models don't get things like lithium power systems, they don't have smart home like features where just about everything can be automated and run from even a tablet or smart phone, they don't have custom made fixtures and furniture made of real wood with custom joinery like dovetails, etc. You won't see advance power system that will auto activate a generator or engine to charge the batteries when they're low or advance heating and cooling systems like radiant floor heating, heat pumps and AC ducting in low cost models. These things in fact get heavily modified... They start with bare bones vehicles that are little more than the engine, drivers cab, and chassis frame. So they don't come with plumbing or wiring for anything that isn't vehicle related. RV's get 15/30/50/100 Amp service wiring, multiple water tanks, ports, vents, multiple subsystems, leveling jacks, etc. Except for the base vehicle chassis and the base hardware components just about everything is hand made and when conforming to a frame with curved and uneven surfaces means everything has to be custom fitted... Class B's also vary in length between and around 17 to 24 feet and the doors, and other structural aspects can be modified as well. The Winnebago Revel, for example, has bump outs to make more room for the elevator bed, along with advance features like 4x4 drive and insulated plumbing with heating so it can handle freezing cold temperatures. Just like trucks, there's also price differences between diesel and gas models and they're working towards hybrids and EV models now too. There's really a long list of reasons why the costs can vary by a lot... Really, even just the solar power system and lithium batteries will cost you more than $10K... Btw, Class B's start around $40K and Class C's start around $60K... So you're not going to find a cheaper Class C unless it's a cheaper build or depreciated model and that also means the entry models are already in the range you're suggesting... There's just a big difference between what the entry model offers and what the higher end models can offer...
  • NotStock Photography
    NotStock Photography 1 year ago If you live in and drive the more expensive ones you will understand the difference.
  • Cathy Furtado
    Cathy Furtado 1 year ago (edited) @Athol Dickson If it's not too personal, where are you having your build made, chassis and final cost? Thanks! (Just curious if my dream to have a custom-made is only a pipe dream....maybe if I have to ask, I can't afford it??)
  • Maxima
    Maxima 1 year ago That extra 80k in markup is the great American price gouging....
  • BrickBike
    BrickBike 1 year ago Richard McCombs It's actually a lot cheaper/easier to bolt a cheap plywood box onto a chassis cab than it is to build out a camper interior into the irregular shaped inside of a cargo van where the corners aren't square and the walls aren't plumb. It's a lot more labor intensive regardless of the quality of materials. They can slam those class C boxes together on an assembly line with air staplers so fast it'll make your head spin. But with a class B at least you won't have the leaky roof issues that a lot of the class C's have.
  • Freddy T
    Freddy T 9 months ago Richard McCombs I don’t know about your cost estimates.a friend of mine did a Sprinter van conversion from scratch. He’d done many kitchen and bath remodels but said the van was a nightmare, all custom wood framing and cabinets, complicated electrical, generator,.fans, fridge, lighting,stove, tv, stereo and pump. Then you have to plumb the sink, toilet, shower and water tanks. After that still loads of stuff like blinds flooring, counter tops and fittings. Must not forget the three way controller and tank install. A $100K cash, a lot of skill ,3 months or more a van you could have bought low mileage used.
  • q anon
    q anon 5 months ago @Maxima (((price gouging)))
  • Dwight Bernheimer
    Dwight Bernheimer 6 months ago PS one of the things that you're RV sales person will never tell you is that you can't park on city streets overnight in the Phoenix Metro area just thought I'd mention it. Cheap RV living is the way to go stealth camping don't make it look like an RV. When I saw the picture for the video I said that's got to be Arizona cuz that's the stadium in Glendale used to live right down the street. Again I have to stick up for Ford Transit van. You can get the extended length on the long chassis and that gives you 41 and 1/2 inch storage behind the rear wheel well. Waiting for mine to arrive good video thank you.
  • One Journey
    One Journey 1 year ago 🎬 1 📽 🎞 🗣 🎙 🧐❤❤❤❤❤ 🚐 Outstanding, thank you so much for sharing. 🚐 RV Journey 🚐 24" Long is always a winner! Best way to purchase an RV
  • rodney taylor
    rodney taylor 1 year ago Great
  • Old Soldier
    Old Soldier 1 year ago You know why they're asking for 147,000 for these units? Because there are idiots that will pay for them. Then there are those that have deep pockets so money is not an issue.
  • Flower Child
    Flower Child 1 year ago (edited) Those Banff ‘s are $70,000 according to their site. The only option seems to be the color which is fine. Since the Dodge is front wheel drive they have a lower floor height (which is great) but I wonder where the black/grey/water tanks are. I would love to take out one of those beds and make a great lil reading nook. Thanks you for making this vid though. It is wonderful!😎
  • Mike R
    Mike R 1 year ago flower child.. It has a combination black-gray waste tank to save space.
  • Flower Child
    Flower Child 1 year ago Mike R - Thanks much!