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Old 09-18-2011, 09:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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The wife wants an RV

So please ejumukate me with your experiences. The manuf, size, eng. We have family of 4 + 2 dogs. What else do you need to know? Class A's appear way too big. I dont have a truck, so pull behinds and goose necks are out of the question, plus she doesnt want that. Anyway thanks!
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Old 09-18-2011, 09:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Then Class C is where you need to be. Just make sure it's designed for towing, those without the tow package will have iffy frame extensions on the rear.

Heck, even with a tow package, check the extensions and reinforce as needed.

I have a 79 Minnie Winnie 23' Class C on a B300 Dodge chassis. These old homes were well-constructed compared to newer units, but age is taking its toll now. Finding tires is proving to be a bitch, as it came with 16.5's and really small D range tires (9.00x16.5LT). I found a place in El Paso that stocks the original size, but they are still bias ply and well over $100/each. Something like $950 for the set + mounting/balancing.

My siggestion would be fin a mid-late 80's chevy chassis with a 454 and TH400 on 16" wheels. Aftermarket tranny cooler, reinforce the framerails and a custom hitch, and you have a good base RV for the family.
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Old 09-18-2011, 09:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Are you going to tow with it? Class A is the best way to go if you are going to do the rv thing as far as I'm concerned. I started with a class c 1 ton chassis chevy and it would pull ok but stopping was a scary event and that was only pulling two quads on a small utility trailer. Next was a 30 foot class c ford e350 tandem axle holiday rambler it pulled and stopped good but the power was awful unless on flat ground and it was just not practical for trying to manuver the land yacht with an additional 18 foot of trailer behind it. If you arent pulling they are not as bad crosswind takes a while to get used to and just driving it in general takes some time to adjust. Class c rvs are cheaper and usually have a lot of nice features but the overhead bunk is not a great sleeping corridor. Class a is alot more money most of the time but you get what you pay for and they dont have the aerodynamics of a brick. Check the roof really good any leak at all means it is going to be a pain to fix right and they are usually a big project if you see water damage. Also gensets and appliances are costly to fix so the price should reflect it if anything doesnt work.
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Old 09-18-2011, 09:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Are you going to tow with it? Class A is the best way to go if you are going to do the rv thing as far as I'm concerned. I started with a class c 1 ton chassis chevy and it would pull ok but stopping was a scary event and that was only pulling two quads on a small utility trailer. Next was a 30 foot class c ford e350 tandem axle holiday rambler it pulled and stopped good but the power was awful unless on flat ground and it was just not practical for trying to manuver the land yacht with an additional 18 foot of trailer behind it. If you arent pulling they are not as bad crosswind takes a while to get used to and just driving it in general takes some time to adjust. Class c rvs are cheaper and usually have a lot of nice features but the overhead bunk is not a great sleeping corridor. Class a is alot more money most of the time but you get what you pay for and they dont have the aerodynamics of a brick. Check the roof really good any leak at all means it is going to be a pain to fix right and they are usually a big project if you see water damage. Also gensets and appliances are costly to fix so the price should reflect it if anything doesnt work.
Towing is not a concern. Who is the bestr manuf? Gas? Diesel? Is it a situaution where you buy as much as you can afford?
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Class A or C is just up to how comfortable you feel driving it..

C feels more like a van/car

A feels more like a big rig and some wives will not drive Class due to size and not feel comfortable.

go to rv place and test drive them to see which you feel comfortable with.

now for interior with a family of 4 and 2 dogs I suggest getting one with bunks beds.. the ideal one I wanted but could not find was a Class C with bunk beds in back for kids and then queen bed over drivers area of adults, so we could put kids to bed and close off back area and then we as adults could stay up hang out etc and go to bed later on.

since i could not find C like that I got Class A( well sort of ) and made back bedroom into kids room and we sleep on couch in front area.. so same idea.. put kids to bed then we can hang out relax, drink etc and go to bed later on.

fyi we are family of 4 with 1 dog
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Old 09-19-2011, 08:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I hated my 1977 Chevy Class C (400sbc/T350). It couldn't get out of its own way on flat ground. Maybe topped at 45mph, and got 6-8mpg.
I never bothered to tow with it.

Couldn't be happier with my UHaul toterhome. I can run 60-65mph with 2 rigs and still get 6.5-7mpg. I can run 65+ with one rig and get 8.5mpg, and 65-70mph and 10mpg empty. Space is easily 3-4x as much as a Class C. Family of 4 with 2 dogs (was 3 a year ago ).

If I ever wanted a towing motorhome again, I'd look for a nice, older diesel Class A. Several of the Rock Brawlers run them and they seem pretty happy with them.

You couldn't pay me enough to run a gasser Class C with a pickup engine and an auto. It would be worthwhile to find a cheap Class C with a dead motor and shoehorn a 12V into it, though.

Did I mention I hated my Class C? Yes, hate is a strong word. H A T E.
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Old 09-19-2011, 12:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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There are some bargains to be found in 15 year old Class A diesel pushers. I know because I just sold mine and took a beating on the price. Mine was a '95 Country Coach and it was actually rated to tow 7000 pounds. Most class C's are lucky to be rated to pull 3500 pounds. The diesel pusher never was bothered by pulling the trailer.

Now even if you never expect to tow a trailer, the Class A diesel pusher has its advantages. For instance, the rear engine makes it much nicer going down the road because it's quieter. And the build quality is noticeably better.

For an older used motorhome Class A pushers beat almost every front engine class A's and the class C's. But maintenance costs on a diesel pusher are higher. And bargain for the best price you can, because if you sell it later, you'll get killed!
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Old 09-19-2011, 05:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I like the Scotty Dodge Diesels in a class C...they get decent mileage, built stout, and if you can find one have good storage....also you can get the 5 speed or auto with a 12v and be down simple to work on...
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Drive a few and see what you like and spend some time on rv.net. Do plenty of research cause motorhomes are maintenance hogs. I suggest buy really new so hopefully no major problems arise for a while or buy really cheap and fix it up.
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
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We found exactly what we were looking for after about 18 months of shopping. What we wanted was: cheap enough to pay cash, class C, Chevy chassis, Aluminum instead of fiberglass or filon, great shape/ready to go/not a "project", and most important - bunk beds in the back. We found it in a Class C Chevy for $7k and it is great. My wife and I in the queen up top and two kids in the bunks in back, we don't have to mess with setting up extra beds out of the dinette or something (though that becomes another bed too.) Still small enough to get in to the tight sites of the state parks and nat'l forests we like to go to in the Cascades.

For towing it does alright with a small 2-horse trailer with a couple horses maybe 4-5k total, but you know it is back there and I wouldn't want to do 500 miles of interstate towing. I sure wouldn't want to tow more weight than that either. With the 4.10 and T400 you are really only gonna do about 65 anyway even without towing. And yeah gas mileage is about 9-10 (at 60 mph). But no payments and insurance is about $100 a year so it all equals out. Works great for our family of 2 adults, 2 kids, 2 dogs.
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Old 09-20-2011, 07:13 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I hated my 1977 Chevy Class C (400sbc/T350). It couldn't get out of its own way on flat ground. Maybe topped at 45mph, and got 6-8mpg.


You couldn't pay me enough to run a gasser Class C with a pickup engine and an auto.
To be fair, "pickup engines" of today are nothing like a 70's carbed smallblock. I've towed with carbed 350's, TBI 350's, and now a Vortec 6000. I thought the TBI 350 was Worlds better than the carbed truck until I got the 6.0. It's in a completely different class than the others.

That said, it's no commercial diesel. It's just that I'm guessing something like a late-model V10 Class C would be a HUGE improvement over your '77 model.

BTW, I have a co-worker who inherited a nice class A that is now for sale (gas, unfortunately) Personally, I think you'd come out ahead to get a nice sedan & a listing of all the Super 8's & Best Westerns
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:41 AM   #12 (permalink)
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To be fair, "pickup engines" of today are nothing like a 70's carbed smallblock. I've towed with carbed 350's, TBI 350's, and now a Vortec 6000. I thought the TBI 350 was Worlds better than the carbed truck until I got the 6.0. It's in a completely different class than the others.

That said, it's no commercial diesel. It's just that I'm guessing something like a late-model V10 Class C would be a HUGE improvement over your '77 model.

BTW, I have a co-worker who inherited a nice class A that is now for sale (gas, unfortunately) Personally, I think you'd come out ahead to get a nice sedan & a listing of all the Super 8's & Best Westerns
Fair enough. He didn't say what his budget was. If he's willing to spend ~$10k, he could get a lot nicer, later model Class C than I had for $3k.
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Old 09-30-2011, 12:35 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Fair enough. He didn't say what his budget was. If he's willing to spend ~$10k, he could get a lot nicer, later model Class C than I had for $3k.
I figured I wouldnt get anything I 'wanted' to drive for less than $20k.
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