190 wanna B

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Shepsky
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190 wanna B

Post by Shepsky »

Not a B 190 owner, but we are hoping to be soon’ish. The wife wants a class B RV, and I like projects. We both really enjoy the look of the B 190s. So we are searching and researching right now. From reading it sounds like there aren’t any years that mechanically stand out. I assume later years are going to have coil suspension vs leaf springs, and other amenities I’m not thinking about.


Can anyone tell me what years have the largest beds? There are two adults, two kids, and a dog who all plan on sleeping inside. I found the below thread about size, but I think i'm more confused after reading it.
viewtopic.php?t=82
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skater
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B190 Year: 1991
WBCCI: 13270
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Re: 190 wanna B

Post by skater »

There are a few things here and there, like the V10 engine is known for popping spark plugs, but it's a well known problem and there are kits to fix it if it does happen. Of course the 460 is known to be very thirsty all the time, so there's good and bad.

For the beds: The overhead bunk is essentially the same size, except for '97 and some '98s. 1997 was the first year of the shorter top, and in those the bed doesn't slide back as far, so unless you can fit across, it's too small for an adult to use. They seem to have fixed the issue in the middle of the 1998 year. If you look at the two pictures in this thread the first one shows the bed only sliding back to the cabinets, while the second one shows the bed sliding under the cabinets (it's especially clear if you look at the cabinet on the right in both pictures).
1991 Airstream B190 - bought, 2005; sold, 2011; bought 2017
1995 Airstream Excella 30' trailer

WBCCI #13270, Washington, DC Unit
kstills
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B190 Year: 1996

Re: 190 wanna B

Post by kstills »

Shepsky,

Welcome!

Like you, I really liked the look of the B190s (quirky, but has a truck camper/B van vibe) and my wife loved it because it's retro! One fell in our lap, and I've been looking at it as a project much like you are.

So far my experience with it is that it's very well built, very poorly insulated, and very easy to work on. A perfect project RV! We have a 1996 with the 460 and I much prefer the longer overhang front bed to the shorter style of the later models. The 460 is an EFI in the 96 model year, and kinda weak relative to what it could be, however you can mod it to produce more HP and especially more torque. I'm not sure the E350s ever went with a coil spring setup, but you'll find plenty of relatively cheap and easy suspension mods to improve all sorts of drivability issues on this forum.

Understand when I say 'cheap' I'm referencing what it would cost you to buy a new B van 8O vs what it is going to cost you to mimic that new van with the mods you make to this.

Ditch the shower, it's useless, get a recirculating one from Hamwells. Buy a Laveo cartridge toilet and you can get rid of the black tank (uninsulated, useless for cold weather). Plenty of usable room in the back to make a nice bathroom that's more functional than what they put in back in the 90's.

Make sure there's no rust underneath, and that everything else works, and you'll be able to put together a pretty sweet rig with a lot of space for not so very much money.

Good luck, keep us posted.
kstills
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Joined: Thu May 26, 2022 1:02 pm
B190 Year: 1996

Re: 190 wanna B

Post by kstills »

Actually, the Wanna B would be a great rig name, lol.
Shepsky
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Re: 190 wanna B

Post by Shepsky »

skater wrote:
Thu Jun 30, 2022 7:14 am

...

For the beds: The overhead bunk is essentially the same size, except for '97 and some '98s. 1997 was the first year of the shorter top, and in those the bed doesn't slide back as far, so unless you can fit across, it's too small for an adult to use. They seem to have fixed the issue in the middle of the 1998 year. If you look at the two pictures in this thread the first one shows the bed only sliding back to the cabinets, while the second one shows the bed sliding under the cabinets (it's especially clear if you look at the cabinet on the right in both pictures).

Good to know. So the 98.5 and 99s with the smaller top maintained the same bed size? that's good to know.



kstills wrote:
Thu Jun 30, 2022 7:35 am

....

Ditch the shower, it's useless, get a recirculating one from Hamwells. Buy a Laveo cartridge toilet and you can get rid of the black tank (uninsulated, useless for cold weather). Plenty of usable room in the back to make a nice bathroom that's more functional than what they put in back in the 90's.
....

Good luck, keep us posted.
I didn't know the bathroom was that bad. The floor plan in the later models looked more useful.
kstills
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B190 Year: 1996

Re: 190 wanna B

Post by kstills »

I guess it comes down to how you want to use it. Lots of folks don't bother using the bathroom at all, me, I want to be able to boondock in this thing. So my personal preference is for very low water usage and functionality.

Plus, the pre 97 models have a sit down fiberglass 'bath/shower' which is really kinda dopey. :wink:
Shepsky
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Re: 190 wanna B

Post by Shepsky »

Are the early 90s ford coachman and falcons related to the b190s at all? I've seen coachmen for sale with a rear table/bed instead of a bath. That layout out is more useful to us. They seem to come with a 351 instead of the 460 though. I want to be able to tow 2500lbs, am not sure smaller 351 work well here.
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skater
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B190 Year: 1991
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Re: 190 wanna B

Post by skater »

Shepsky wrote:
Sun Jul 31, 2022 8:33 pm
Are the early 90s ford coachman and falcons related to the b190s at all? I've seen coachmen for sale with a rear table/bed instead of a bath. That layout out is more useful to us. They seem to come with a 351 instead of the 460 though. I want to be able to tow 2500lbs, am not sure smaller 351 work well here.
Not really - there were a few brands producing similar vans in the '90s.
1991 Airstream B190 - bought, 2005; sold, 2011; bought 2017
1995 Airstream Excella 30' trailer

WBCCI #13270, Washington, DC Unit
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