If those rigs don't pan out for you, consider adding a Phoenix Cruiser 2100 and a Starflyte. Starflytes are abundant, but the PC-2100 is much better equipped. As with all rigs, cost goes down with age.
We have a swivel passenger seat as shown in this picture. To be honest, the only time we use it is when we have guests when more seats are needed. Otherwise it stays forward with rare exception.
FYI: Our front seats don't have door-side armrests. If the passenger seat had one, it might be harder to swivel.
A couple years back I looked into adding fobs to my 2007 E350. It turned out there was no receiver, but worse yet that one could not be added because the rig was not wired to accept the receiver. So no fobs for me.
The power door locks are still nice to have. I open my door with the key, then press the button to open my wife's door before I step inside.
You really can't go by "Brand" because there are different model lines within the same brand.
I put this together a while back, seemingly a good time to re-post once again.
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, representing a series of extended continuous earthquakes. 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 gaskets & caulk have degraded from age, sun, and 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
There is an anual huge massive mega super-d-looper RV show held every year sometime during the winter in Tampa. I advise you go there and research your heart out. While there, check out the Phoenix Cruiser line of motor homes. It seems a very popular switch from people wanting a little bigger than their B offers. Phoenix Cruisers are B+s offered in many different lengths and floor plans, just enough bigger to meet your bigger need without feeling like you bought a barge.
We bought ours new in 2007, model 2350 that measures 23'-8" over-all length. You can view ours HERE. I endorse the product and the company that backs it up.
CLICK HERE to get to their website.
Actually there are a select few manufactures that make conventional class Cs without the leaking seam work. They have no seam work at all. Born Free and Winnebago Navion have seamless frontals. I have seen a particular Tioga that offered a huge seamless cab-over bed. Apparently it must be expensive and/or difficult to make or everyone would be making them that way.
All B+ aerodynamic caps are seamless.
I cannot recommend buying a conventional class C with a history of significant water damage. Given there is a structural sag, the rig is pretty much junk. If the OP got the rig for a thousand or so and was very eager to reconstruct the RV properly, if he fails, he lost little money and lots of time.
I discovered a Coachman class C I really like; no leaks yet; but the seam design is a leak waiting to happen. The selling dealer does not dispute my analysis, and said cabover seam leaks were a frequent problem with Coachman C's they get in trade. I can't consider trading until I identify a way to take the probability of cabover leaks away. I've been RV'ing almost 50 years and simply can't watch for em' and fix em' myself any more.The large overhang of that bed will work into trouble as rough-road miles rack up. If I couldn't deal with that (which I can't) I would stay away from that type of cab-over design. One leak later on that rig and that great deal won't be great any longer.
I love how the guy is in a polo shirt and jeans while the chick is in a skimpy bathing suit! I guess advertising doesn't change, LOL.Yep, it's a comical promotion. He's ready for golf and she's ready for what I don't know in that slender one piece bathing suit and white sneakers. With the dog at her side, maybe she was going to jog around in that thing. If she were sun bathing, you'd think she'd be in a bikini. :) That was the sales brochure given me. LOL
When we had 2 kids 4 and 9, a 21QB would have been TRUE LUXURY.
We bought THIS RIG in 1983 when our first was born and sold the rig 24 years later in 2007 when our second/last child was 18 years old. We all slept inside it all the time. The boys still talk about our vacations in that tiny 17.5 foot long rig, all great memories. When I had the rig up on ebay, the boys were terribly upset. "DAD! You Can't Sell Our Camper". They stopped traveling with us a few years earlier...go figure.
Like you say, good mobility is a real blessing. Our rig today is 23'-8" long, only 93" wide, and 9'-10" to the tippy top of the a/c unit. It too is quite mobile, very easy to drive and maneuver. And because it's just my wife and me now, it's TRUE LUXURY. :)
I am glad to read your 21QB is working so well for you. Just be sure to do annual inspections on the exterior seamwork. And watch for water penetration through the marker lights. I hope Coachman is good about sealing them. For some reason those lights are trouble for so many people of many different motor home brands.
We have one for use inside our RV shower. If it is too tall, with a little research it looks like it could be cut on a table saw to your wife's optimal height. Just make sure there is no metal rod inside the hinges.
We bought ours at Bed Bath & Beyond for $10.
The 'dual function' spaces (dinettes that convert to bed) generally do neither well. AND, it's a ton of work every day.I agree it is a "Ton" of work messing with twice daily. With our first rig, the dinette conversion bed was a back breaker. But with our rig today, the dinette is comfortable to sleep on. I know only because I got sick one trip and isolated myself from my wife at night as not to give her what I had. Still I would hate to setup every evening & tear down every morning. That gets very old real quick. In our first rig, we kept the dinette setup as a bed all the time. We never ate at a table. The whole thing was rediculous. Now we have a double bed and dinette together...and also an easy chair. It's so much better and with an overall length of just 23'-8".
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8532/8462452913_d6c8595a5c_z.jpg width=370http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8518/8462453675_5d79315fcc_z.jpg width=370
I like to store our rig indoors over winter with a full gas tank and full LP tank just in case the rig is outside but we need the rig warm inside. Or in emergency we need power for the main house. Like most of you, our rig is a 4000 watt portable power station with 40 gallons of replenishable fuel.
But there is no technical reason why LP tanks need to be full or even empty during winter.
Phoenix Cruisers have swivel passenger seats and roughly a 2" height variation between the cab floor and house floor. There is lots of extra clearence if your motor home floor is a lot higher.
I would call the Phoenix Cruiser factory and ask who supplies their passenger swivel seat bases. The factory buys the seat bases from one supplier and actual seats from another. The mounting is generic with maybe 2 possible mounting stem centers. Measure your seat stem-to-stem, front to back and side to side, and have that data handy when calling that supplier. I am sure they will sell you a swivel seat base direct. If not, the Phoenix factory just might ship one to you.
Here is the Phoenix Cruiser website. Get the phone number here. CLICK HERE
Here is our front passenger seat swivelled. I wish I had a better picture handy. I do need to mention that neither front seat has an armrest on the door side. The seat might not swivel with an armrest there unless the door was open.
TPMS data varies from sensor to sensor. This based on experience with my 2003 Corvette with TPMS. The sensors are there for general monitoring and notification of a significant drop in pressure. Not for pound-by-pound accuracy. When I want true equal tire pressure, I trust a good tire gauge.
I agree with bob_nestor.
We slept on a dinette conversion bed for 24 years. In 2007 when it came time for a new motor home, we swore we'd never sleep on anything but a dedicated main floor bed for two. Our garage mandated something shorter than 25 feet. We found THIS RIG which measures 23'-8" end-to-end, and are now in year 7 with it. We are two very happy campers. We really like our dinette without the slideout SEEN HERE. But so many more PC owners love the slideout. Go figure.
C, has a van front end and Super-C has a medium duty truck front end and chassis. Is that generally correct? Along with what you mentioned about length?You got it right!
Super Cs are more truck-like, not van-like. Not nearly as domesticated with ride, noise, and climbing in and out from. For some people, those are bad points. But for others, that is part of the attraction. Super Cs are often more capable in load carrying and towing, so there are other benefits too. But lately some Super Cs are at their load limit too, so watch for that. Nexus offers a Super C that I heard was close to the chassis load-limit.
BTW, You are very welcome.
Stranger, don't let those replies bother you. FWIW, I am right with you on this one.
C or Super C, given that you are coming from a 5th wheel, you might find a Super C more attractive with all the extra storage and longer length. On the otherhand, if you want increased mobility, you naturally need to be thinking shorter.
My thoughts in general are this.
LESS THAN 31 feet, go C
GREATER THAN than 31 feet, go Super C
Some dealers and manufactures who sell direct, take in trades. Our manufacture HERE takes in trades all the time. They so happen to make great rigs from 21 to 31 feet long, and they deliver to your doorstep and drive away with your trade. You don't even have to leave home anymore, except to attend an RV show.