The only time I have noticed ANY difference between gas grades/brands/blends is when I filled up with "real gas" instead of the 10% ethanol junk. Within a few miles down the road, the MPG readings on my Scan Gauge were about 0.7 - 0.8 mpg higher than my typical MPG numbers. I didn't realize until afterward that I had filled up with gas from a state that didn't require ethanol blends. That works out to about a 10% boost in MPG.
We have the rig in our signature. Fully loaded the rig weighs about 21,000-21,500 lbs. and our Honda Odyssey weighs in at just under 4,500 lbs.
Roughly speaking, we probably see a 0.5 mpg decrease in fuel efficiency, and we average about 7.0 mpg-8.5 mpg depending upon generator/AC use, terrain and speed.
We use a brake system and don't notice any difference in stopping ability. However, I can tell feel the Odyssey back there when trying to accelerate. The RV is feels peppier (if you can use that word with a motorhome) when the Odyssey is not connected. But as I said, with the Silent Partner Braking System, I really don't notice any difference in stopping ability when towing.
The cost while travelling is probably a non-issue. The major expense is the initial set-up. If you're handy and can do that on your own, then you can save some $$$.
Keep in mind, we have children and that certainly influenced our decision.
We have the booth and like it because:
1.) It provided 4 extra seat-belted positions (bringing total to 12).
2.) Extra bulk storage space (tools, paper towels & TP).
3.) 2 Extra drawers for pots, pans, etc.
4.) Another sleeping position or two (actually more comfy than the sofa).
5.) Kids can use the table while underway. Good for snacks & games.
Truthfully, they may not be the most comfortable things to sit on for long, extended sessions, but so far no problems. The kids are fine. I have some back issues, but usually the less comfortable a chair is, the better I like it. :) Odd...but that's the way it is. So I don't have any issues with the dinette seating. Of course, I do carry a bit of my own padding with me! LOL
A word of advice, though, let your wife make the final decision. :)
As wildmanbaker states, we need some more info. Were they working until recently? Any warning symptoms (slow movement, noise, etc.) the last time the sides were used? On mine, the engine must be OFF to put the slides out (it can be running to bring them in) and certain exterior bay doors must be closed (so they won't interfere with the slide).
Do you know if your slides are electric or hydraulic? Do you hear anything when you try to open the slide(s)? How many slides do you have and are they both experiencing the same problem? Make sure the slide controller has a good, solid ground connection.
The more you can tell us, the more likely we'll be able to get your slides working! :)
We have a 36' class A gasser, with dual sofas and a dinette. We also tow a Honda Odyssey and are below all chassis weight limits.
Personally, I think anything LESS THAN 36' is too small for what you want to do. We've had 9 & 10 people in our rig for up to 5 days at a time, and we did fine. But this was at a full hook-up site. If we were boondocking, I doubt we would've pulled it off. We did have 9 for a 3 day boon-docking expedition and that worked. From a driveability point of view, if someone can get a 34' DP down the road or into a campsite, I bet they could do the same with a 40' as well.
When we were purchasing our rig, we did look at a 34' dual sofa class A. Guess what? The sofas were smaller than the ones in our 36' rig. They still had 3 seat belts on them, but they were each 4"-6" shorter than the ones in the rig we ended up purchasing. Plus we gained an extra couple of inches of critical kitchen counter space, more room in the bedroom and extra cabinet storage space. (I think, but am not 100% certain, that the dinette was slightly larger (roomier) as well.) Plus, we got larger holding tanks, which is really important with a large crew. So you have to be careful about classifying a rig with "2 sofas & a dinette". There are different sizes.
You sound like you're pretty locked into your plans, but remember that the kids grow, and as they do, you'll NEED more storage space, holding tank capacity, sleeping room, etc. We're thrilled with the floorplan on our 36' motorhome, but I know now that had we "settled" for the 34' version, we would be not be as happy. We would've had to compromise on many areas which I know would've raised the stress level, and thus reduced the "fun" aspect of the trip.
There may be other reasons for not wanting a 40' rig, but IMHO, the excuse that it's not useable but a 34' rig would be, to me, just doesn't make sense.
As for a diesel rig with a gas generator, that, to me would be a deal breaker. Why deal with another fuel? We use our generator a lot and one powered by any fuel other than the chassis engine fuel would be quite inconvenient.
Good Luck in your search, but my vote would be to stick with the 40' rig you've got for at least a year or so to make sure that the concerns raised are, in fact, justified and not "buyer's remorse" or rooted in some irrational feelings.
If you're still reading, as others have said, check the sofas, there is a good chance they have fallen down onto the floor. If so, pull them back up and you're good to go. Well...with one caveat. Weigh your rig loaded, ready to travel. If you have the ability to carry the weight of all your passengers and remain under the GVWR (and GCWR, if you're towing), then you should be all set.
If they are not there, I bought some to install across our bed to secure the kids when we drive at night from SeatBeltPros.com. Make sure you get belts which are long enough.
Our Georgie Boy rig came from the factory with 12 seatbelts (4 at the dinette, 3 on each of the two sofas, driver & passenger). We like it because it give people options as to where to sit. And we have none of this "This seat not to be occupied while in motion" stickers. (How dumb is that? Seatbelts at a dinette with one of those stickers? Buckle up...dinner is served! LOL )
I think it's smart to be belted in while travelling. But I view seatbelts in a motorhome the same way I view seatbelts in an airplane. They are there to keep you in place during evasive maneuvers & minor (non-structural threatening) collisions. In a collision severe enough that the very structure is compromised, they no longer have any benefit. Once the walls start coming apart and the microwave and refrigerator go airborn, what's a seatbelt going to do for you?
In my opinion that D.O.T. approved mumbo jumbo is there for the legal experts to dicker over in court. Rig up something to keep your passenger butts planted if you should need to lock up the brakes 'cause some idiot cut in front of you.
In a collision, mass is your friend. You want to be in the heavier vehicle. In a motorhome, the vast majority of vehicles on the road are much smaller than you. That plays to your advantage. NHTSA & D.O.T. would have you believe that seatbelts, crumple zones & airbags can make up for lack of mass. They can, but only up to a point. Most motorhomes exceed that point. Mass is your friend. :) Keep the rig on the road and watch out for the other folks on the road and you'll be fine. In other words, drive defensively.
Go camping. Enjoy your family & friends and enjoy the trip. :)
By the way, I don't want a class A; the lack of a driver's side door would drive me crazy when hitching, launching, and retrieving the boat.
Hi, my class A has a driver's door. I wouldn't want an RV without one either. I'm sure you might have other reasons for not wanting a class A, but if not, then perhaps you should add them to your search list. There are a lot of Workhorse Class A's out there with the 8.1L/Allison combo. I have one and think it's a great combination. But there are guys with Ford based A's and they like theirs too. So....chassis manufacturer isn't such a big deal.
I believe you will be overlooking a lot of good floorplans by not including Ford rigs in your search. The Kodiak C's with the 8.1 or Duramax diesel are larger rigs then the E-450 sized models, so yes, they are extra $$$. Add a diesel engine & diesel generator to the package and the price really jumps.
My Advice: Look for a rig which has the floorplan you need that is within the chassis weight ratings you need. Once that's done, it really doesn't matter who makes the chassis. On the rare chance you'll have two rigs with the right floorplan/weight ratings from different manufacturer's, then worry about which chassis to buy.
Otherwise, it's all about the floorplan. If it doesn't work for you, it doesn't matter WHO makes the chassis. If it's not safe to travel down the road 'cause you're over the weight limits, it doesn't matter who made the chassis. When you have to do some chassis work and you have to curse at the egg-head engineers who designed it...THEN you can complain about who made the chassis. But I've done that for ALL of my vehicles...Ford, GM...even Honda (though not as much :) ).
Enjoy your search, and please reconsider the Fords.
I'd suggest that you reconsider Libby's Oceanside Camp in York, ME. We bring our 36' Class A in there without any problem. During the season when the place is full, it can be tight, but I would think in May it shouldn't be much of a problem. And when the park is busy they will give you assistance into your spot. They do have a couple of pull-through sites available as well. Personally, we like those that face the water better than the back-in sites because you get to see that gorgeous view out the front windows. We usually stay there at the end of the season in October. (Note: In the picture, Libby's is the campground between the road and the ocean. There is another campground on the inland side of the road. You ARE right on the water at the end of the beach.)
The owners are very nice and keep the place in immaculate condition. It will be one of the most expensive campgrounds you will ever visit, but it is well worth it. Like they say....location, location, location. :)
During the summer we have stayed at See-Vu Campground in Wells, Me. (It has a pool and playground area for the kids). It, too, is a nicely run family campground and right on Route 1.
I haven't been anywhere near as active on it as I was about 12 years ago when I bought my Kubota, but I always felt the folks at TractorByNet.com were very helpful and cordial. In fact, I believe it was someone on that forum that recommended RV.net to me. :)
They even have a Ford Vintage Tractors Forum. :)
Ummmm...there ARE some gas class A motorhomes that can tow 6,000 lbs. and be within their chassis limits. They're not common, but they can be found.
OP, look for a rig with a GCWR of 26,000 lbs. and one with a GVWR of 20,000 lbs. or less AND which will WEIGH 20,000 lbs. or less when fully loaded ready to travel.
Most likely, the factory hitch will only be rated to a maximum of 5,000 lbs., but you can put a larger hitch on it and a trusted frame shop should be able to do so in a safe manner.
Your odds of finding such a rig are better if you a.) keep the length short and b.) minimize the number of slides. Every foot adds weight. Slides add a lot of weight.
Are you looking for new or used? I know when we bought our rig back in 2004 there were some rigs on the Ford F-53 chassis that weighed in around 16,000 lbs. empty with a GCWR of 26,000 lbs. Unfortunately, I can't remember any specifics.
Be patient, I believe you can find a gasser that will do what you want. On the other hand...if you can afford a DP...go for it! :)
OK...on edit...in case you're looking for new...I just went to Winnebago's site. Check out the 2013 Vista 26HE. It has a GVWR of 16,000 lbs and a GCWR of 23,000 lbs. That technically means you can tow 7,000 lbs. over the 16,000 GVWR as long as the hitch can handle the weight. Unfortunately, Winnie only puts a 5,000 lb. hitch on it, so you'll have to upgrade the hitch. If you were looking at the Winnie Vista 27N, I don't think you'll be within the weigh limits. The GCWR is 23,000, but the GVWR is 18,000. Assuming you'll be near the 18,000 lbs, loaded, that only gives you 5,000 lbs. for towing.
Just found the 2013 Thor Hurricane. Their entire line is on the 26,000 lb. GCWR Ford chassis, so if you choose one of the shorter models which will weigh in under 20,000 lbs. loaded, you'll be good to go. Uhhhh....AFTER you upgrade the hitch! :)
I'm sure there are others out there. They do exist, but you'll have to look.
Before you put money down on anything, though, know what the rig will weigh fully loaded and ready for travel. Make sure that weight is LESS THAN the GVWR, and then make sure that there is sufficient weight capacity between GCWR & the vehicle weight.
When my spring failed, I used a medium sized rubber band looped around the handle with the other end secured by one of the handle mechanism screws. Loop the rubber band around the handle, unscrew one of the upper screws, work the rubber band so it goes around the screw hole and re-insert the screw. The rubber band seems to last about 2 years or so.
I am one that doesn't think 1 million is alot of cash. Any thoughts????
Yeah. I think $1,000,000 IS a lot of cash! LOL I don't begrudge you for having it, and I hope you enjoy it. And if gold ever goes up to $2,000,000 per ounce, I'll have it too! (Of course, I'll have to pull a couple of teeth to collect!) LOL :)
OK...we're not quite that bad, but as a family whose net worth is about 1/2 of your cash reserves, we're obviously in different financial circles. It bothers me that in recent years, the social & political climate has been such that those of affluence are almost "demonized" as being an "evil" upon society and should be "punished". No. In my opinion, what has made this country great is that the average citizen can aspire to reach a level of prosperity, and should be ENCOURAGED to do so.
So while we may be in different economic classes, I bet if we ever meet at a campground sometime, we'll get along just fine. And it is THAT experience, of making new friends and seeing new sites, that is what makes it all worth while. But if you still have that million when we meet, how about you buy the first round? LOL :)
I'm a bit late to this party...sorry.
Back when we bought our rig in 2004, I would estimate that the $100k purchase price (new) of our rig was somewhere between 30%-40% of our net worth at the time. We were still paying on our mortgage, too, but no other loans or debts. We had four children. Single (middle class) income with a stay-at-home mom. People thought we were nuts to spend that much. And I'm sure many reading this now are shaking their heads in disbelief.
While we began our search for the "ideal RV" for our family more than two years before we purchased, our decision to purchase was accelerated when our oldest daughter (then 7) was diagnosed with lymphoma in October 2003 with a 15% chance of survival to five years. Once the initial panic passed, wifey and I decided that it was time to move now. She had to undergo a 2 year chemo regimen and we felt that a motorhome was the best way (perhaps the only way) for us to visit family, friends & places while being treated for her illness. Thank God she responded well to her chemo treatment, and we were able to enjoy 4 1/2 more years with her. In April 2008, her disease relapsed and she passed away in September of that year.
After her diagnosis, during her treatments and while she was in remission, the motorhome allowed us to spend more time as a family and to visit family and friends which we never would've been able to without the rig. (It's hard to show up at someone's house with 4 little ones in tow (one with a toolbox full of medications) and not feel like you're intruding into their lives.) The motorhome allowed us to visit during the day and then "return home" at the end of the day to the rig which was parked either in a nearby campground or in their driveway.
Were we going out on a financial limb when we bought it? Maybe. But I would do it again. NO ONE who said we were "crazy" when we originally bought it feels that way now that they have seen what it allowed us to do as a family. Lexi's exclamation of "Awesome" when she first saw Niagara Falls was worth it alone!
So, that's our "long story", not-so-short. :) Here we are, 9 years after purchasing with one year left in payments. (We financed for 20 years with an accelerated pay-off schedule.) It's hard to believe the years went by that quick. A lot of things are still hard to believe. But you better believe the memories we made in our rig with our four children were worth every penny, as are the memories we've made since her passing.
Get off that porch and go RV'ing! :)
I installed three belts across our bed to help keep the kids in place when we drive through the night. I got them from SeatbeltPros.com. I think I got the longest, non-retractable ones they made with snap-hook ends and I mounted eyebolts underneath the mattress support board. We remove them when we don't need them. We've only used them a couple of times. (But the eyebolts have come in handy several times! :D )
I used three belts because the kids are all different heights, so everyone had at least one belt holding them in place. Basically I want something that will keep them on the bed if I need to brake hard.
So far, no problems.
Please continue to read and post on these forums. You've already discovered how helpful the folks are around here. We're generally glad to help...but sometimes we have a funny way of showing it! LOL :)
Since this is your first RV, I would first recommend that you not rush into anything yet and stay as far away from RV salespeople as possible. Visit RV shows and you can go to dealerships, just don't chat much with the sales staff. Most have never camped period, and even those who have, most have not done so in an RV of any type. They have one goal in mind and that is to sell you something. Keep asking your questions here, you'll get much better info. :)
I understand your idea to "buy one RV and not have to buy another later", but I might suggest you rethink that idea. Since you are not yet retired, I would mean that your current vacation time is limited, which generally means shorter trips. If that's the case, MPG is really not going to be a major concern in comparison to the other costs of ownership. I might even suggest you look at some of the smaller C's that are out there as you'll gain all sorts of room, larger storage tanks, not much of a hit on MPG without any additional cost...in fact they might be cheaper than a B or B+. They're probably easier to sell, should you decide you want something smaller or larger once you do retire.
I would like to know why you put fuel economy so high up the priority list? When you start figuring out the total cost of ownership, for most of us, fuel expenses are pretty far down the list.
Anyway, keep up with the research. We bought our first RV back in the summer of 2004, and we still have it: A 36' gas class A. It took over 2 years of research (most of it right here on these forums) for us to realize that the small hybrid TT behind our Odyssey wasn't what we needed. Neither was a larger TT towed behind a full-size van. Neither was a 31' Class C. Ultimately, we realized what fit our needs best was the motorhome we still have. We've yet to find one we like better. Floor plan trumps EVERYTHING.
As to the cost of the tolls, I found this on another popular RV Forum: "The last time I went north on 95 the tolls from Baltimore to Ct was $120 towing a car. The GW bridge was $32."
My uncle also estimated they paid about $100 last time they made the trip in the their (gas) class A pulling a toad.
The tolls have been raised considerably in the last 2-3 years, so if you haven't made the trip recently, you're in for a bit of a shock.
I take the 84-81-77-26-95 route. What I save on tolls EASILY pays for the extra gas needed and the trip is much less stressful. Route 95 north of Richmond is not a relaxing drive.
Since the OP has a Class C motorhome, there's no point in avoiding the Baltimore tunnels. I go through them with my 32' Class C almost once a year. It's only an issue for RVs with removable tanks.
I don't believe this is correct. Here is the link to Maryland Transportation Authority Propane Regulations.
I have read posts from folks who have driven through the Maryland tunnels (some numerous times) in their RV's and have not been stopped. You are one such example. I have also read posts from those who have been stopped and forced to exit before the tunnel, often being dumped into the less "tourist-y parts of the city". :)
And every post I've read in which the poster called the number 410-537-1374 (Maryland Transportation Authority Police) was told very emphatically that RV's with propane on board are NOT allowed in the tunnels.
My guess is that if you have a propane tank larger than 10 pounds, they will assume you HAVE more than 10 pounds, and they are within their rights to stop you. (Heck...they may even blast you with a drone, now! LOL)
We always take the westerly route. No tolls and only about 2 miles longer than the eastern route. An interesting thing I noticed, though, in reading many posts is that the MTAP always recommends the route with the toll on it! :) Go WEST!
The reasoning for this is you are typically working in a tight place under the hood. Lots of electrically conductive items abound near the battery. If you are using a wrench on the POSITIVE on the battery and your wrench CONTACTS any grounded metal you WILL have a major short. Causing a dangerous arc which could lead to explosion of the battery!
I was thinking the same thing, and then realized that this is one very good reason for locating the fuse on the negative cable. Should there be a short of any type, even at the positive battery terminal, a fuse in the negative supply cable will offer protection.
All of mine are on the positive side, but I could see where a "fail-safe" fuse on the negative lead would have merit.
I think ours is made by "Emerson", but they're probably all pretty much the same.
Can you give us any additional information about what it is doing?
Last summer, ours stopped putting out ice. I opened it up to check it out. As it turns out, the water return tube from the bottom of the water reservoir was blocked with dog hair/a bit of paper/dust/stuff/?. Apparently, after about 4 years of usage, enough "stuff" had fallen into the reservoir to block the line. (In hindsight, I often put the cold cooler water into the ice maker...sort of recycling. I think this also tends to put some "extra stuff" into the water as well (labels off bottles, for instance).) Anyway, I disconnected the tubes, blew them out with compressed air, put it together and all is well.
They are pretty simple machines, so if you're handy at all, I'd take it apart to take a look.