Saturday we got a chance to look at the Gulf Stream BT Cruiser 5210 B+ motorhome. The first thing that happened is Chuck G fired up his email program and wrote to tell me about the NeXus Viper 25V, another Class B+ motorhome.
Like Gulf Stream, NeXus RV is a small independent RV company. While the company makes a variety of RVs including Class A diesel pushers, the model I’ve chosen to look at is its smallest Viper model because it compares in many ways to the BT Cruiser.
First, I have to commend the company on a modern website that actually has videos, and good ones at that.
What I learned was that the NeXus Viper is built rather unusually. The company offers a choice of either the Ford E-350 or E-450 chassis. I would suggest going with the most capable model and getting the E-450 only because I would imagine it is just more capable and would theoretically last longer.
The way the motorhome portion itself is built is quite unusual.
While most RVs are either wood or aluminum under the skin, the NeXus Viper uses a steel cage around the space. While I have no way of proving this, the company claims that this results in a 72 percent more rigid construction.
The nose cap is one piece of fiberglass surrounding the underlying structure. The walls are vacuum bonded with that steel cage around an Azdel man-made substrate, and then high gloss exterior fiberglass. There is also the option of going with the stickers on the outside or upgrading to full body paint.
The rear wall is also vacuum bonded and built of the same materials. Furthermore, there is a modular surround. So if there is ever damage to the rear components they can be replaced in pieces rather than having to replace the entire rear surface. This is really some unusual thinking.
NeXus also brags about using thicker automotive-grade seals around the windows and while I couldn’t see how they were built they did look better than most RV window seals.
The roof really caught my attention as a one-piece fiberglass exterior laminated to a foam core and, again, more welded steel structural members. The roof has an arched exterior surface with the air conditioning ducting inside the foam pieces.
Storage and tanks
How the company mounts their holding tanks is also unusual. The tanks are mounted above the frame rails of the coach and are visible in the storage compartments. The compartments and space the holding tanks are in are all heated so the tanks won’t freeze.
Furthermore, the knife valves and even sewer connector are also in heated and enclosed compartments. I like this approach.
On the subject of storage, you’ll never get a huge compartment in a 25-foot Class B+, right? Well, sort of.
There actually is a large compartment on the road side that has a shelf partition in the middle that’s easily removable. You can literally store multiple golf bags in this compartment. Furthermore, there is basement storage in this rig. While it’s not on the level of a Class A diesel pusher, it’s not bad –and more than I have in my own travel trailer.
These compartments are also lined with galvanized steel.
Stepping inside there is a really warm and rich feeling to the interior of this coach. Lots and lots of RVs have an almost cold feeling nowadays. I think that’s due to their choosing from the low end of the price scale in terms of upholstery.
Immediately, the upholstery and fabrics in this coach feel better than average. The company states that the dinette is sourced from a local furniture builder and features the “Dream Dinette” mechanism. That allows you to simply push down on it to lower the table into sleeping position.
The cab of the truck is a night-and-day difference between the Gulf Stream and this only because the folks at NeXus have re-covered the dash with a beautiful dipped burled wood appliqué. It transforms the experience of sitting behind the wheel.
They have also re-covered the front seats to match the rest of the interior using a leatherette material that feels better than the delivery van upholstery you’d normally find in an E-Series cutaway.
I like that they put side-view cameras on this as well as a rear-view camera which is adjustable when you’re towing.
NeXus also talks about Amish cabinetry. While I can’t speak to the religion of whomever built it, I will say that they do really nice work.
The NeXus Viper 25V has almost a full wall slide
I liked that the BT Cruiser that we looked at had the simplicity of having no slide room. While Gulf Stream does offer a model with a slide, you can also get them without. That’s not true of NeXus – and their slide is almost a full wall slide on the camp side.
I know, I know. Slides make for roomier interiors. I’ve just filed lots and lots and lots of warranty claims on slide rooms. Some of that was because they were never maintained properly, or rocks or tree limbs got in the way of them operating properly.
The last thing to think about is the galley, where you’ll find a rather large microwave as well as an oven. You can also opt for a convection microwave if you choose. I will say the sink appears to be rather small, although there is a counter extension. So that’s good.
The only challenge I came across is that there really aren’t a lot of images of this rig. While the company is great at the video walk-throughs, I wish there were more pictures. Otherwise, I really like this rig and the fact that there are still independent RV manufacturers who have unique takes on how to accomplish RV build methods.
Tony comes to RVTravel having worked at an RV dealership and been a life long RV enthusiast. He also has written the syndicated Curbside column about cars. You can find his writing here and at StressLessCamping where he also has a podcast about the RV life with his wife.
These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. We receive no money or other financial benefits from these reviews. They are intended only as a brief overview of the vehicle, not a comprehensive critique, which would require a thorough inspection and/or test drive.
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