do a search on this topic, lots of info on this site
1. Bilstiens shocks for smoother ride
2. Anti sway bars by Roadmaster, etc which connect box to chassis better for stability.
3 Steering stabilizer which holds front wheels in straight line to help stabilize steering.
4. air bags only help more for towing and heavier loads in back
steering stabilizer would help most for your situation but all three work together and really do make a big improvement despite what others may say. cost about $3K for all.
5. then have it aligned because if you have it aligned first and then do the mods, it might throw alignment off .
i had the exact same problems with my first unit. once I did the research on this site and did these mods, it drove beautifully.
you will only be able to smooth the ride out so much. recommend a good set of bilsteins or other shocks first. air bags are to help when towing or more weight in rear but wont necessarily give smoother ride, same with helper springs. sway bar will help with leaning but wont smooth out ride. the truly smooth ride only comes from a full on air suspension like on the diesel class a's. thats different from air bags. its too expensive to put a true air suspension on a class c, although it can be done. some ambulances, vehicles for handicapped, etc have it. the ride in a diesel class a is a world of difference, but so is the price.
I have never gotten 9mpg. No matter what I do I get 6.8. Whether 75 mph or 60, dash air or no air, generator on or off no diff. Finally quit worryin about mpg and more about gettin there and enjoyin the trip. 2000 mi to disney payin ave 3.60 gal in march cost around 1100 and I budgeted for 4.00 a gallon. Lowest I paid was 3.20s highest 3.80s/Gallon
we have stayed at several KOAs and have never had an issue. We like that it has a franchise tag because they all seemed to have at least a certain basic set of similar amenities such as well stocked store, pool, playground for kids. Did anyone see the KOA CEO on the cbs tv show undercover boss last year? He has a management background from the las vegas casino industry and it seemed customer satisfaction was his main emphasis, so if you wrote corporate to complain, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if you got a response from KOA. They do have a reputation to protect.
i did the following and it made a world of difference:
for lean, add a roadmaster anti sway bar to the rear
for steering wander- new steering stabilizer and front end alignment
for bottoming out and rough ride- bilsteins shocks.
try and identify the problem: is it the box leaning? is it the front end wandering? is it rear sagging? etc. I suspect its the box leaning and would start with an anti sway bar which helps connect the box to the frame, but would recommend at least shocks, anti sway bar, and steering stabilizer. makes a world of difference on my forest river e450 32 ft, and i purchased it brand new.
Most diesel super cs like the jayco wont be much of a downsize
Thor just came out with a new super c but dont know much about it
Otherwise in a diesel c u go to a sprinter and give up space and cargo carrying capacity for slightly better gas mileage
I was about to go to a 32 ft breeze diesel class a but didnt like the sleeping capacity but it drove nice .
I like my class c gas because its easy to get worked on, can go anywhere even at 32 ft, and goes up grades with more acceleration than most diesels. Just big enough to hold 4 comfortably, just small enough to go anywhere. Forest river 3010 has lots of counter space. 2013s even have front seats that swivel- in a class c. But u give up ccc
do a search as there are lots of threads of class c vs a. there may even be one in the frequently asked question section of the class c or class a forum.
I like my class c because the overhead bunk for my family is very functional and adds extra interior storage, but the newer class As have bunks you can lower down over the drivers area when you reach your destination. I sleep up there and it is very comfortable. Plus you dont have to make it up every morning or convert it back into a couch or dinette each morning. It also gives the kids their own separate space.
Class C advantages: easier to maneuver, feels more like driving a regular van, so wife feels more comfortable driving and has taken the class c out on her own. smaller interior may be easier to heat/ cool, question of safety in a crash since class c has the van front end with airbags etc, whereas the clas a does not (this has not been supported by any research however, and you will get other opinions that a class a is safer than a class c), with the right suspension mods, my class c will cruise at 70-75 mph, ., several ways to get in and out of vehicle. if you go to a lot of smaller camprgrounds or class c is easier to maneuver in than a class a, class c is a little lower so dont have to worry as much about roof clearance,
class a advantages: bigger interior, more cargo carrying capacity, big window to look out of, can get gas class a up to 36-37 ft, whereas class c limit is about 32 ft,. may ride better due to larger wheels, heavier frame, although both are still leaf spring and unless you go to a super c you cant get air suspension on a class c; The big issues is the extra cargo carrying capacity. storage tanks are usually but not always larger on a class A over a class C so if you dry camp a lot that might be a consideration. some campground only allow class As. class A because of its extra carrying capacity can also carry more batteries, again if you dry camp a lot that might be important. because of extra cargo carrying capacity, can carry larger generator in class a
Disadvantages: higher up, you sit right over front axle so rides and feels different, may or may not have front door or side window you can open, and if it does, it is higher up to get into= I tried to get in the driver door of a class a and thought it was pretty hard. question of safety in front end crash although no studies have been done one way or another, but my personal opinion is to have the class c van type cage and air bags around me, ; may or may not be as aerodynamic as class c since higher up, although class c is still a rolling brick; some say class As are harder to get worked on outside of an rv shop but class Cs can get worked on at any place that works on vans, so for example you can have your oil in a class c changed at a walmart or a ford dealer whereas you probably cant in a class A. similary, parts are easier to get for a class c. Class A may have less sleeping capacity because it doesnt have the overhead bunk.
I test drove a small class a Diesel and really liked the air ride suspension but you usually have to buy a class A diesel to get it and that means $$$. Unless you purchase fairly used, $30,000 will be a tighter budget for a class A vs a class C but its a buyers market right now. For 30-34 ft in that price range you might get more for your money in a class c . Class As under 32 feet are less common but still available.
I found the most important thing in choosing an RV was floorplan, and for us it was counter space. Its amazing how quickly you run out of placed to set things, so we found that lots of counter space helped a lot. So Class A vs class C may come down more to floorplan that works for you
The generalization of class Cs being better for families because of the overhead bunk for sleeping isnt as true as it once may have been because many class As are now offering overhead and or bunkbeds.
This is just off the top of my head and there are a gazillion more things and threads on this site. these are just my opinions and others may vary, so look through this site starting with the class A nd C frequently asked question site. Good luck.
Theres lots of info on this site about fort wilderness as well, a couple of threads. I just got back and did a write up. You can spend the entire time at Fort Wilderness and never even get to the main parks, there's so much to do. WE came from central Il and took I 24 to chattanooga to 75S to the Florida Turnpike. Once you get past the hills of Tenn, its an easy drive, smooth roads. FOr a 35 ft rig, I recommend a premium site which will be easier to back into, since I dont think they have any pull through sites, and if they do, they are pretty rare. I dont have any info on the space center.
In general Lazy Days and Born Free and dynamax are higher end manufacturers. They would be mercedes
Again in general and my opinion only so as not to insult anyone Forest River and Winnebego and thor are the three larger manufacturers like GM FOrd and Chrysler. Each makes a entry level, mid level and higher end. For instance with Forest River, the sunseeker is a mid level model whereas the forester is their higher end, just like Ford makes Ford and Lincoln. Coachmen makes the entry level Leprechaun, mid level freelander, and I think they make a level above that but cant remember the name. They are all just different trim levels. I had a Four Winds before they were purchased by Thor, and a Forest River and feel the quality on the forest river was better but Four winds has changed since it was purchased by Thor. My four winds had a rubber roof, and did not have enclosed tanks, and had a 1000 gremlins when I first got it new, all of which were fixed under warranty without any fuss. Jayco is known for their interiors and their 2 year warranty. I'd call them a mid to higher end model. Loved their interiors. They also list their frame, rubber bumper stops between the frame and the box, and their rear Helper springs as selling points that others dont offer, but when I looked at Jayco in 2011, they had rubber roof instead of fiberglass, the tanks were not enclosed. Nexus is a buy direct from the manufacturer company and people on this site seemed happy with their service after the sale. Again, just in my opinion, I would list born free and lazy days as the higher end models. I think it is Born free that makes their boxes out of 1 piece fiberglass, sort of like a corvette body is one piece fiberglass, so the born free supposedly is quiter inside with less rattles and less leaks since there are no seams, but I have never even seen one, just heard of the reviews. Forest River and Jayco as mid level, and coachman/ FOur winds as entry level although again each manufacturer has their own high end model.
You can search the internet for the RV buyers guide. Its a little expensive but has a lot of good info on variouis manufacturers and what to look for in RV builds. I used this extensively when researching my first RV and it was worth the money. I have no financial interest in them.
There are other manufacturers out there. These are the ones that I researched when making both my purchases. Most class Cs are made on the same Ford E450 or Chevy frame depending on size. The most important thing to look for is a floor plan that works for you. For me it was counter space. You can never have enough.
Other things I looked for : fiberglass roof (rubbver roof leaves black streaks down the side when it rains and the water runs down) full body paint ( i just liked the looks), heated and enclosed black, grey tanks ( I thought it would protects agains road damage, and did end up needing the heated tanks when we got a snowstorm in late march just as we were about to leave for disney), a u dinette because it has more sspace when converted to a bed than a standard dinette, and the biggest tv I could find. I also wanted a real door on the bathroom because it was easier for the kids to use than a slide.
Finally, no matter what you get, I recommend upgrading with at least high quality shocks, a steering stabilizer, and an anti sway bar. It makes any class C handle 100% better, again in my opinion. Some say Chevy based class Cs dont need these improvements because of wieght distribution differences between chevy and ford, but I cant recommend those three improvements enough. After putting those on my class C, it handles like a big suburban, so much so that I was able to do 70-75mph for much of my trip to disney.
We just did 1150 miles to disney. 8hrs / 500 miles was fine. 12 hrs / 600+ miles was about max even with stops. We did it in 2 days but not sure id like to do more than three 10+ hrs/ day. Several 8 hr days would be reasonable
Flexibility. We were all set for our spring break vacation to Disney world. Had been arranging it for the last 6 months. Just as we are scheduled to leave, a snowstorm comes in. It is forecast to cut right across our path with 8-10 inches just at the EXACT time we are to leave. It couldnt be 12 hours earlier so they could clear the roads. It couldnt be 12 hours later so we could get out ahead. It had to be at the exact time we were to leave. Had we been flying, Im sure the flight would have been cancelled. Now I have never seen that much snow this late in March in this area. But because we were travelling by RV, off we went 12 hours earlier than scheduled and were able to drive 4 hours to get past the weather and then overnighted in a walmart parking lot at the suggestion of my kids who thought this was all just a big adventure and part of the trip.
Also we were scheduled to check out Friday because it was spring break and so busy they had no campsites for the weekend. Id been trying for 6 months to get an extra day but couldnt so were just going to check into a disney hotel for the last night, but luckily a site opened up the day we were to leave, so we were able to extend our stay. Again, if we had been flying, we would not have been able to extend our stay so easily.
We took 3 days to get down to disney about 1150 miles because we had to leave earlier than expected, so we drove 4 hrs the first day, 12 hrs the next, and 5 hrs the third. On the way back, we did it in 1 long day and one medium day but could have taken three days if we'd wanted to. Flexibility
Here is some information for those planning to go to Fort Wilderness at Disney. We just got back. Stayed at Fort Wilderness with the kids for a week for Spring Break. My kids are 10 and 12 and for that age group it was great. Lots to do on site: swimming, fishing, canoing, horseback riding, campfire marshmallow toasting, outdoor movies, sing alongs, trivia contests, archery (by appt), guided fishing (by appt) , tennis.
My kids really liked the Hoop Dee Doo review. The jokes were perfect for their age. Food was good, but it is pricy - 200-250 for 4 people depending on where you sit.You get unlimited fried chicken, ribs, mashed potatoes, corn, drinks, rolls and dessert, and the food was good.
We stayed in the 500 loop which was close to the lagoon and the dock where you could catch the boat to magic kingdom. The lagoon area also had the beach, store, hoop dee doo review, and a restaraunt.
The comfort stations with bathrooms showers and laundry were clean but there was only one per loop.
The entire campground has like 600 rv sites and 100 tent sites + cabins, and it was entirely sold out. I had been trying to get Mon through Fri for 6 months prior but could not get the Friday. We were supposed to check out Friday. When we checked in Mon, i asked and they still did not have any sites for Friday. When I called thursday, they had a non premium site open, so I took that for Friday even though we would have to move. Friday Morning, they called and said that a premium site had opened and we didnt have to move at all. hwever, the site was expensive. That last Friday cost $134.00
The sites are well landscaped and deep but narrow. There are almost no pull throughs that I saw. My RV is only 32 foot and it was a little challenging to get backed in. With the tall trees, only one of my satellite dishes would work. Our premium site was paved, with a picnic table and location near the dock area. It was quiet.
The campground is so big you need a golf cart or bikes to get around. WIth our kids coming back at 9pm from the parks, they weren't really happy about having to ride the bikes back to the campsite from where the bus stop or the boat dock. I recommend a golf cart. you can rent them but reserve one well in advance because they sell out.
There are three main areas in the camprground. The first is where you check in called the outpost depot. They have several drive through lanes sou you dont even have to get out of the rv to check in. There is also a lobby you can go in and a bus stop in this area at the entry to the park. The horse stalls are here too. This is on the exact opposite end of the park from the lagoon area where you catch the boat to magic kingdom. The lagoon area has the pioneer outpost, also has a store and the hoop dee doo review. In the middle is the Meadow outpost area with the pool area which also has the area to rent boats, fishing poles, etc. This area has the campfires at night, the outdoor movies, etc. There is also a snack bar and arcade in this area by the pool. So you can see how stretched out it is. There are even bus stops throughout the park and buses dedicated to run through the campsite only. You have to be careful because we left our bikes at the boat dock area when we went to magic kingdom, but when we cam back the bus dropped us off at the front entrance area on the exact opposite end of the camprgroudn, so we had to catch another bus to get back to the lagoon area to get our bikes and then ride the bikes back to the campsite. The lagoon also has a water show at night.
If you are going to a lot of parks, try and get a site up near the front by the bus stop which will make your trips easier. Otherwise it ends up you have to catch one or two buses to get back to the camprgound, then either another bus or bike or golf cart back to your site. It can literally take 3 transfers and an hour to get back from some of the parks. If you are going to do a lot of swimming, stay in the middle near the pool. You can request specific areas but I dont think they assign them until the week you check in or something like that.
Overall, it is great for kids. You could spend the entire vacation there and never go to the parks. But it is expensive, takes a while to get the layout so you know where you are going, and the sites are close together just like any other campsite. Recommend a golf cart if you have smaller children to get to the front to catch the bus or get to the dock to catch the boat to magic kingdom. If the only park you were going to were magic kingdom, it would be great. Check in and check out were very smooth. Restaraunt was expensive. Buffet for 4 was $120.00 We will definitely go back, but you just have to be prepared for sticker shock, just like anything else at Disney. We have stayed at a lot of the disney properties, and this was by far the best for the kids.
my 32 ft is just big enough to be roomy and just small enough to go anywhere. my first was a 26 ft and was just a tad too smallfor 4. i would not get the overhead cab window, which I had in my first. the only way to learn about them is to get out and use it and see how things work. Ive noticed that with each trip things get easier and less goes wrong as I understand more how things work.
It depends on your rving style. Like prior posts have said. For us the ride and handling were important so we upgraded shocks and added a steering stabilizer and anti sway bar. I also wanted tv for the kids so i have two satellites for two tvs. We very rarely dry camp so we almost never need batteries or exceed our tank capacities. The generator is what i depend on the most for power while driving.