Maybe your battery isolator solenioid fried. It is very common. This gizmo switches the alternator from charging the chassis battery to the coach battery. They look like this. Look around for it. You can replace it yourself.
If you want something more robust, get a solid state version that looks like these.
The round mechanical one in my first rig burned up after a few years, almost destroying some nearby chassis wiring. I replaced it with a solid state version which lasted well over 20 years. I sold the rig with it working well. You can see it in the lower right.
I should locate the one on my latest rig. If it's the round thingy, I should replace it with a blue thingy.
I get paranoid when I see 2005 and 2007 RVs with 20k or less miles. How easy is it for someone to change the mileage readout to read low miles?Many older rigs have very very low miles. You don't need to worry about odometer roll-back but rather how it was stored when not in-use.
Our 2007 has 17,000 miles. Stored cool in summer and warm in winter, it still smells new inside. and looks like new, inside, outside, and nice underneath. When exclusively kept outdoors, rigs take a beating. Parked outside but under-roof, RV covers or tarps, all help a lot.
Invest in a ScanGauge II. It will show what the best speed is to run at. I have had one on my motorhome for years. After finding out what works best. You may never use Cruise Control again.I just installed a Scanguage-II but yet to have gone on a trip to see what is learned.
Given the price per gallon of gas, I anticipate the $160 to purchase the SG-II could be recovered within the first 5000 miles.
I installed it on top of my backup camera monitor as seen here.
........I disagree.......The topic of discussion is the OP and his class-C Ford E350/E450 with gasoline V10.
Actually I would think there will be variances in given advise between an E350 and an E450 chassis because the gear ratio flavors in the differential....weight of rig....also whether towing or not, whether a B+ or C. Lots of variables with an E-series-V10 that influence how to achieve ideal fuel economy.
I agree with all above.
55mph +/- 5mph pending. Take advantage of a good tail wind by going 60mph. But a head wind try to maintain 55mph, but don't force a particular speed. Don't fight wind or inclines. Let the rig slow down some, but don't become a road hazzard either. I watch which way and how much tall grass far off the road is leaning. It's a good guage on wind speed and direction.
It helps to drive stocking footed to feel the pedal better to determine how far down you are pushing it.
Using cruise control is bad news for fuel economy because it will go full throttle up every over-pass, and then engine brake down the other side. I wished I could set the throttle to a window of variance to let the rig slow down some up hill and coast fast down hill.
j-d is right on.
Just adding that the front sway bar is the same size used on an E150...pretty useless on an E350 Super Duty that is always loaded with a house on it's back.
Studying your picture, it appears your rig is ratio'd just a bit worse than mine. I think you will be able to achieve success.
I was curious to see what a view straight into the side looked like.I too would like to see a straight-on picture like this one of my rig. Mine looks pretty extreme, but his looks like the rig could teader backward. I am sure it's the angle of the photo taken.
My rig here handles great after upgrades previously discussed. Wheel base is 158". Over-all length is 23'-8".
Still love the Toyota line. Love our 4 cylinder.... But many people like the V-6. Super reliable - a snap to drive.We bought THIS 1983 Toyota/Mirage carbureted 2.4L 4-cylinder brand new in the fall of 1983 for $12,225 and owned it for 24 years. It yielded a fraction over 20mpg, trip averaging. It had a 4 speed manual transmission, no a/c of either kind and no power steering. It had no bathroom, no stove or oven, no plumbing other than a windshield washer pump that ran water from a carry-on water jug. The gray water drained onto the street. The fridge was a built-in ice box that went through ice daily so I cut it out from the back side of the cabinet and we placed a nice ice chest behind the fridge door. I called our RVing "Hardshell Tenting".
We bought it when we became parents at age 25 and it served us well until knocking on age 50. The final straw was in 2006, driving through South Dakota in 117 degree heat. We drove with the windows up and wet towels on our heads. My wife with MS was on the edge of passing out.
I sold it in 2007 for $7600. We lost $4625 in 24 years. It was well loved by us and the kids, but we really did need to upgrade if we were going to continue with these types of vacations. Funny that my wife always says we should have kept it. I think she forgets easy :)
I'm a little nervious about what I have been reading in other posts here about leakage in the overhead area. Do they all leak at some point or is regular maintence sufficient to keep the bunk area dry? On any prospective RV I plan to check that area very carefully.And you should be concerned. Checking one for leaks is a good starting point. But what about thereafter?
I post this once in a while. It seems due and surely appropriate to your concerns, so here is a very long read for you.
When shopping for any conventional class-C, the most important consideration is how it is constructed. What methods are built to last, and what methods are built to be most affordable.
Some motor home manufactures offer different levels of quality through their various model lines. Instead of providing a list of brands to consider, it is best to identify what "Better" is.
When shopping for a motor home, don't get distracted with what I call "Eye Candy" and/or "Square Footage". You want to pay close attention to how the house is constructed. Water penetration is the number one killer of motor homes, rotting them away long before anything is worn out. Once water gets in, it is like termites. By the time you realize there is a problem, a lot of damage has already occurred. Mold can also form and then you have a health hazard. My advise focuses on identifying a Reliably Well Sealed motor home.
#1 BEST (Very Expensive, Can Be 1.75 to 2 times the cost of Second Best)
NO structural seam work. The brand Coach House is a fine example. It is seamless, made from a mold. The only places where water can leak is cutouts for windows, door, roof-top vents and a/c unit, all of which are in areas of very low stress. Because they have a seamless shell, these motor homes are limited in size.
#2 SECOND BEST
Common, Affordable, & comes in Many Sizes so this is my main focus
I own an example of this type. My Rig Here manufactured by Phoenix USA.
Made in sections, but assembled in a way that greatly reduces the threat of water. Here are the good things you want to look for.
a) Structural Seams Away From Corners
When a motor home is driven, the house bounces, resonates, shakes, and leans, many thousands of times. Corner seams see greater stresses than seams located elsewhere. Corner seams are more easily split, especially when the caulk gets brittle with age & exposure to the sun. One extremely bad bump in the road can instantly breach a corner seam. Seams hold up much better when they are brought in from the corners in lower stressed areas.
b) A Seamless Over-The-Van Front Cap
A huge bed above the van’s roof is the most vulnerable area of a motor home. No matter how well they are made, that long frontal over-hang resonates when the RV is driven. It is common for seams to split there, most troublesome with age & exposure to the elements. The small front aerodynamic cap of a B+ design eliminates the overhang which eliminates most of the resonation, along with most seam work.
There are a few conventional “C” Designs (big over-van bed) where that area is seamless. If you absolutely must have that huge bed, then look for a seamless bucket-like design. Born Free offers a seamless bucket design as seen in This Model. Winnebago's View Here is another fine example. Some manufactures as of late offer a partial bucket design with fewer seams located in less-stressed areas. The Nexus Phantom applies a partial bucket concept. If you plan to accommodate more than 2 people, that extra bed would be extremely important.
c) A Crowned Roof
Rain and snow melt runs off a crowned roof. A flat roof will sag over time, then water puddles around heavy roof-top items like the a/c unit. Water eventually finds it's way inside after the caulk has dried out from age & sun, as well as fatigue from the change in seasons.
d) Rolled-Over-The-Edge seamless Fiberglass Roof Sheathing
A single sheet of fiberglass that rolls over the right & left sides of the roof, down the wall a few inches. The fiberglass sheathing holds up better than roofs made of sheet rubber or thin plastic called TPO, which require more attention to keep your RV well protected.
e) A 5 Sided Rear Wall Cap
This 5 sided back wall moves the seams around to the sides to areas of much less stress.
Potentially Troublesome Construction
Entry level motor homes are made with seams in corners and finished off with trim, including the massive cab-over bed. Their roof is flat and finished with rubber or TPO. They are most affordable, and come in all sizes. HERE is one such example. If considering this construction type, keep in-mind they require more regular care with bi-annual inspections. Plan to use a caulking gun now and then. When buying a used one, consider that you really don't know how well the previous owner maintained it. Buying new or used, that construction method will be counting on you to be a good non-neglectful owner.
There are also rare exception like the Lazy Daze which has seam work in the corners, but the substructure and sealing method is of the highest quality that it holds up like a seamless body. It's excellent sectional construction methods are not commonly found in other brands. I am no expert on this, but I'd give it a #1.5 Almost Like Best
About The Chassis
The most popular is the Ford E-Series with the V10 engine. The Sprinter diesel is a popular alternative to the E350 in the smaller sizes. The GM chassis is not popular, but is a very good choice for the right application. Any of those three brands since 1998 are real good, new or used. If you plan to tow a car or heavy trailer, be aware that the Sprinter is the least powered chassis. People who tow with a Sprinter, take it slower.
If considering a recent “small” class B+/C motor home, here is a comparison between the two main contenders, the Sprinter with the V6 diesel engine and the Ford E350 with the V10 gasoline engine.
Advantages Of The Sprinter With Diesel Engine
- Offers a 35% improvement in fuel economy over the Ford-V10, when both are loaded and driven identically.
- More ergonomic driver compartment with more leg room.
- Comfort continues with a car-like feel & quiet ride.
- A grander view out the windshield
- Made by Mercedes which people are attracted to.
Advantages Of The Ford E350 with V10 Engine
- Given identical motor homes both brand and model, the Ford is around $13,000 MSRP cheaper
- The Ford V10 engine has 50% more horse power and torque
- The Ford E350 chassis handles 1430 pounds more weight.
- The E350 is able to tow a heavier load.
- The E350 rear axle is significantly wider which translates to better stability.
- In most places traveled, gasoline costs less than diesel fuel
- The Sprinter diesel has limited mechanical service shops around North America
- The Sprinter diesel is typically outfitted with a propane generator. Propane is a critical fuel for RV operations, and generally needs to be rationed when dry camping.
- This Next Point Is Debatable But Still Worth Noting....The V6 Sprinter diesel engine is not allowed to idle for extended periods. This limitation is detrimental when you need a/c but there are generator restrictions or you are dangerously low on propane, or you have a mechanical failure with the generator or roof a/c. The Ford V10 can safely idle for hours on end, heating, cooling, and battery charging, all valuable if you have a baby, pets, or health/respiratory issues.
You decide what your priorities are, and pick the appropriate chassis. There are some really sweet motor homes being built exclusively on the Sprinter chassis, such as the Winnebago Via, View and View Profile. Others like Phoenix USA build their model 2350 and 2400 on both the Sprinter and Ford E350. They will even build it on the heaviest duty E450 upon request for a nominal fee. People who request an E450 for a small motor home, tow heavier things like for example, a multi-horse trailer. You can even special order a E350 & E450 4x4.
There is so much cool stuff offered in recent years, and even more anticipated with the upcoming Ford T-Series chassis. The general public hopes it will become available for the RV industry. It is kind-of like a Sprinter in size and fuel economy, but hopeful to be much more affordable.
The Chevy GMC 3500/4500 Chassis
I do not understand why this chassis is not more popular. It offers more interior comfort than the Ford, but not as much as the Sprinter. It's power & weight ratings are a little less than their Ford counter-parts making them a great chassis for all but the heaviest of class Cs. They are also a little better on fuel consumption. One thing to keep in-mind, if you are counting inches to store your rig, the Chevy/GMC adds an additional 9" to the front bumper compared to the Ford. I learned that researching rigs that could fit in my 25'-0" deep garage. By default, the Ford gave me 9 more inches to work with. If you examine my motor home in my garage HERE, you will see an extra 9 inches in length might have been detrimental.
Engine Power Ratings of Ford, Sprinter, & GMC/Chevy
Ford - 6.8L-V10, 305hp, 420ft
Srinter Diesel - 3.0L-V6, 188hp, 325ft
GMC/Chevy - 6.0L-V8, 323hp, 373ft
travisc and CloudDriver,
Your stories and others shared is the reason why I consistently stress a seamless B+ cap or seamless cab-over bed design. I know this doesn't help you one bit, likely even irritating. I do appologize for that. I say it only for other readers stumbling through here.
This happening on a young 2008 Winnebago does seem out of the ordinary. I do hope your repair cost will be less than anticipated, the down-time short, and results satisfactory & long lasting.
A rear queen main floor bed in any rig under 25 feet in length is difficult to find. If you are fine with a rear corner bed instead of a rear walk-around bed, you'll have much more of a selection.
In your price range & length, with cab-over for grand kids, I'd put a shorter Coachman Freelander on your research list. They are entry level rigs which bring down the purchase price.
If you wanted a rig primarily for the two of you (no cabover bed), I would have suggested a Phoenix Cruiser as the ladies find them very easy to drive. The narrower body, lower roof and associated aerodynamics helps with that. My wife is fairly confident with our PC-2350 even when towing our Jeep Liberty. Our rig with an over-all length of 23'-8", has a small 2-person rear corner bed....surely not a queen size.
We figure one day we might have grand kids to consider. The dinette can sleep two little ones. When that later won't work, one can sleep on the floor.
Click Here for pictures of our rig.
Hi, What Chassis is it built on?If it's wandering, it's a Ford.In all fairness, The Ford E350/E450 get put into some extreme circumstances with wild overhangs, stretched frames etc.
The Sprinter is probably one of the steadiest chassis. But Mercedes won't allow mods to the wheel base and frame. If they did, maybe it would be all over the road too.
But to be clear, unmodified to unmodified with identical loading, Sprinter owners complain less about wandering than E350 owners do. But since the E350 chassis was improved in 2008, even those owners don't complain unless their rig is stretched and extended far beyond the rear wheels.
I would agree based on the shared pictures, the ratio of wheel base to rear overhang seems excessive. But I wouldn't give the rig a bad rap. I think you can resolve your problem without breaking the bank or selling the rig.
You on the right track having the right things added, but simply stopped short in what is needed to eliminate the wandering, or at least greatly reduce it to the point that you are satisfied.
I feel the following should be considered.
- a rear trac bar (highest priority)
- Koni-RV or Bilstein's heavy duty versions shocks all around
- front heavy duty stabilizer bar
About that wheel alignment you mentioned.....It MUST be done as if loaded on a trip with full fuel, full propane, full fresh water, and empty waste tanks. Even you personal belongings and non-perishable foods and such.
When I took ours in for a wheel alignment, I even placed exercise weights on the floor just behind the driver and passenger seat to consider people sitting in those positions. It all effects the wheel alignment.
Without weighing the rig, it's hard to say what tire pressure to consider. But based on the over-hang, I would think your 80psi in the rear tires is right-on. You might want to try 60psi in the fronts.
Well wishes. Keep us updated.
BTW: We had similar troubles with our 2007 E350 rig. I went all-out and did as I advise for you. All better since....handles dreamy.
I understand the definitition of A, B, B+, and C is all about what the RV manufacture starts with. What they end up with might not always make sense.
A starts with a stripped chassis
B starts with a cargo van
B+ and C starts with a cutaway chassis
B+ = aerodynamic cap
C = cabover bed
Most often, the B, B+, and C chassis marketed specifically for the RV industry will have nicer front grill work, power windows, door locks, stereo, a/c and other ammenities. They often get a heavy duty alternator to meet the demand of RVing. B+s and Cs get NO outside mirrors, NO back wall, and only a $2 cheap cafeteria driver seat along with other odd deletions. This because RV manufactures install their own. The missing back wall is a thick sheet of plastic that gets removed during RV assembly. The cutaway also comes with two different length antennas...a standard height and a short one that clears a cabover bed. The RV manufacture decides which to install. There are numerous other deviations that I didn't cover.
I could not find a picture of a motor home chassis, but here is one marketed for box truck applications with mirrors and seats. You get the idea.
I own a 2200 psi gasoline powered pressure washer but don't use it to wash cars, used mainly on decking, brick & concrete around the house.
I do use those pressure washers at the do-it-yourself car wash places. The spray "fan" is much wider than my home one, safe to use with common sense.
I have washed our motor homes on trips in truck sized versions. Sometimes bug build-up will stink. Other times dust and dirt build-up is excessive. Brushing up against the rig with a clean "T" shirt will get me thinking about it. Once we did an early spring trip with our first rig which started out with road salt spray. Those truck sized do-it-yourself wash bays are great for a quick no-fuss get-the-worst-off cleaning.
The strongest of pressure washers won't do as good of a job for flat surfaces like a soapy warm water brush, followed by a good rinsing. But they are great at cleaning crevices and other irregular surfaces like engines and such.
It depends upon what you mean by "sight-seeing".
Last October we traveled on the "Not Recommended for RVs" valley loop road in Monument Valley. Our 24 foot Class C did just fine on that topsy-turvy road with some carefull maneuvering. However, the friends traveling with us in their 24 foot Class C would not try it, so for them at that time at that place a towed vehicle would have been just the ticket.
We go off-road quite a bit with our Class C. "Hate to" are strong words .... but I guess they express my feeling about towing anything behind our RV. I do tow our 14 foot aluminum fishing boat at times - but not off-road, not into shopping centers, not into museum parking lots, not into trail head parking lots, not into Gold Rush ghost towns, and not through downtown San Francisco.
In general we like to have our home with us at all times when we're out and about on an RV trip, as that's what we bought it for. It sure is nice to always have a bed, a table, a refrigerator, a microwave, and - last but not least - a bathroom with us at al times!pnichols,
You and my brother think alike. Maybe one day we will too.
There are two schools of thought, and I cannot dispute the benefits you mention. A few less feet for us would feed the thought of going towless.
We drove that Monument Valley loop with our old motor home. It worked for us but our rig was just 17.5 feet long. It had no a/c and it was hot and very windy there. When we got out of the valley, the interior looked like some kid had fun with a can of red flat spray paint. The engine compartment was all red. At the next town I replaced the air filter. Needless to say I had a big clean-up job once back home.
The worst of the loop is getting down in there. It's a breeze after that first 1/10 or 1/20 of a mile.
.....there are some thresholds which make it difficult to park. Once you get past the 21-22 foot threshold, taking up one spot in a parking lot becomes impossible....Our rig is 23'-8" end to end and I agree. We are 2 feet too long for "acceptable" rear-end-stick-out for a typical automobile parking space. Parking our rig requires special planning.
Because we vacation mostly in the national park system, we tow and don't sweat it. With the 4x4, it provides additional opportunity to take the primitive road systems that some such parks have. It's real nice to get off the beaten path away from the crouds and see "other" beautiful sights and formations. In a few NPs, a 4x4 is surely benefitial, but surely not a requirement for places like Yellowstone & Yosemite.
If the national parks are new to you, there is so much you can do without a 4x4, but I feel getting around in a 30 foot rig will have you feeling you missed out. The shorter the rig, the easier special planning will work.