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Topic: Questions on Fun Mover 35C F750

Posted By: Halitosis on 11/14/10 12:17pm

Greetings all:

First, I am looking around at the Fun Mover 35C on the Ford F750 Super-Duty chassis with the Caterpillar Diesel Engine. Moderators, please berate me publicly with appropriate insults if this is posted in the wrong area... but I don't know how to classify this thing. (Is it a toy hauler? Is it a Super-C? Is it a meatloaf? I'm not sure...)


I come from many many different RV's... (truck-bed, tent trailer, camper shell, Class C (which was our first RV mistake), and finally a WW toy hauler trailer.

I'm looking at rotating out again... moving from a WW toy hauler trailer to an actual toy hauler motor home. (I've seem them called "toterhomes").

Now... I've read some of the nightmare stories on some of these... but
I firmly believe that if everyone read just the DEFAULT posts on the internet to judge their RV, most people wouldn't purchase anything in the first place.

Most folks post up on the forums when there is an issue... rarely do you see the posts from people who log on and say, "It's been 20,000 miles! We've had no problems! Buy two of them!"

I also firmly believe that there is a difference between "car/home" normal wear and tear/maintenance, and "RV" (which is a combo of car/home) normal wear/tear/maintenance.

For example, my WW toy hauler has had issues (TV cabinet shelf buckling under the weight, etc etc)... but it has also withstood some of the most punishing abuse you could imagine. (The TV shelf, for example, came apart during a period of time when we accidentally went down a jeep trail, thinking it was a continuation of a forest service road... ).

It's been used to haul our toys, trees, firewood, the contents of our home (used in the stead of a U-Haul trailer), trips back and forth from Home depot (with the staff thinking we're crazy)...

If I were in the market again for a toy hauler TRAILER, I would be looking at a WW unit.

But... as I age, i'm looking less and less to "rough it", and more and more to just "enjoy it". (You can see the pattern through my RV purchases through the years).

I'm looking for any input from folks that have these motorhomes and have cruised around in them for a bit.


1) How has the unit held up? What have you been using it for? How has it handled any driving on "questionable" roads? (So you can actually take it to where you want to play with your toys?)

2) How has the Caterpillar engine held up? Normal maintenance? How about the transmission? Any problems with it? Average MPG?

3) Handling? How does it behave when being passed by a semi-truck? how does it behave with cross-winds?

3) Have you done additional towing with it?

4) I'm a minimalist by nature when it comes to stuff like this... the less bells/whistles you have, the less you have to break... but is there a particular feature/option that you regret not having?

5) Durability? (Which is a different item than #1..). (This would be stuff like, "the leather on the couch seems to wear out really quickly").

6) Road noise when travelling? Can two people have a conversation in the back when the unit is travelling down the road? Or is the road noise so much that you can't hear yourself think?

7) Lift-gate in the back: troubles? how has that held up?

8) cargo area/garage mounting points? Beefy enough hook mounting to hold down some motorcycles securely? Enough mounting points? (I know of one story where the points pulled out of the floor, but i'm not sure what type of "Fun Mover" it was... I suspect it was the lighter chassis model...)



To help bring some clarity to this post:

1) As I have learned on the InterWebs... "Fun Mover" is like saying "tissue". You could be referring to any number of things. (I've seen the majority of the "nightmare" posts seem to surround the 21' or 31' units... which are on a smaller truck chassis, and therefore are built much lighter and therefore with cheesier components). I'm looking for input from people that actually have the Fun Mover with the Caterpillar engine on a F750 ford chassis.

2) I've pretty much narrowed it down to this particular model. It seems to be the best fit/combo of the toyhauler/motor home combo out there... for anyone that feels compelled to offer up the "Have you thought about using a Binford 9000 unit and just tow a trailer behind for your toys?"... thank you in advance, but no. With everything we do, we'll give up the living accommodations if we can get an integrated cargo area/garage.



Many thanks in advance... I'm looking forward to making this an informative thread that hopefully will help out others as well...



Jay


2004 Thor Fun Mover 39C
2007 WW FS2500 Superlite
2002 Ford Excursion, 7.3 PSD --> Converted to WVO!
2003 Dodge 3500 5.9 Cummins --> Converted to WVO!
2002 Human Son
1974 Human Wife
1996 Honda XR600
1998 Honda XR100

Posting and You


Posted By: Lawdog78 on 11/14/10 06:45pm

Wow that is the longest question ever J/k with you man, free bump for hopefully someone who can answer your questions. I sure wish I had a 35C! Dealer near here has been sitting on one for a while and I can't help but always look at it and drool a bit

http://www.campingworldofdothan.com/class-c-toyhauler/2005/thor-fun-mover/144089


Posted By: carringb on 11/15/10 12:10am

BTW - which transmission does this unit have? Ford offered a pretty broad array of transmission options.


Bryan

2000 Ford E350 DRW Wagon, V10 - 385,000 miles
2014 CreekSide 31KQBS (QuadSlide bunkhouse)



Posted By: carringb on 11/15/10 12:09am

As far as the chassis goes....

I love it. I drive a couple F650s during the week, and they are hands down much more drivable than our GM or International trucks in the same weight range. The pickup-like cab is also nice.

Ours don't have the CAT. They have the Cummins. But noise form the engine is not bad at all, again beating out our other makes. The F650 is my truck of choice for long distance drives (however, around town the GMs shorter hood can be nice sometimes.

I have looked at the FunMovers. I think you will be disappointed if you are expecting higher quality in the coach-side of things, compared to the smaller Fun Movers. From what I could see, construction was identical regardless of size coach. That said, I never considered built quality to be inferior to other Class Cs like Winnebago.


Posted By: Halitosis on 11/15/10 08:48am

carringb wrote:

BTW - which transmission does this unit have? Ford offered a pretty broad array of transmission options.


I haven't narrowed it down to one unit yet... I only think that i've narrowed it down to this particular series.

I am interested in the F750 Chassis FIRST, and the diesel engine second. We haul a TON of stuff, and for this RV purchase, I simply want a unit that I don't have to spend (any) time thinking about weight.

(8000# of cargo AFTER I fill with full water and fuel? Yes, please).

It seems like once you whittle away the "other" Fun movers, (the ones that aren't the 35C, the ones that are on the lighter GM "Kodiak" chassis, etc etc), the units that remain have the Allison push-button transmission.

Interesting comment on the build quality. I had ASSUMED that since there was a heavier chassis involved, that the manufactuer would at least say, 'Hey! We've got some weight to play with! Let's use screws instead of wood glue!'

Jay


Posted By: carringb on 11/15/10 10:48am

Halitosis wrote:

carringb wrote:

BTW - which transmission does this unit have? Ford offered a pretty broad array of transmission options.


Interesting comment on the build quality. I had ASSUMED that since there was a heavier chassis involved, that the manufactuer would at least say, 'Hey! We've got some weight to play with! Let's use screws instead of wood glue!'

Jay


I think build quality rarely has weight considerations. I think is all comes down to number of labor hours, and glue and staples is simply faster.

Even on high end Class A coaches, they use really nice materials, but workmanship is still pretty poor it seems, once you get past upscale decor.


The platform has a 5 speed and 6 speed Allison auto. For highway travels, I'd recommend the 6 speed because the double overdrive will allow a higher top speed. The 5-speed pretty much tops out at 70. The AutoShift manual 6-speed is a nice unit too.

BTW - the Cummins is also a good motor, so I wouldn't rule one of those out. For 2011, you can't even get the CAT, only the Cummins or the V10.


Posted By: allnight on 11/15/10 03:16pm

Right, my 39C has over 33K GVWR, with nearly 5500 of it being CCC.


2004 Four Winds Fun Mover 39C (39' including 14' toy hauler garage)
Cat 3126E 300hp Allison MD3066P
Pics of the FunMover


Posted By: allnight on 11/15/10 01:58pm

As you can see in my sig, I have a 39C, that I picked up in June 2010.

I'm loving the unit. The F750 has a Cat 3126E with an Allison 6-speed auto (I think it's a MD3566, but might be a MD3066P, don't remember now).

We took it on an 11000 mile journey right after buying it (chassic AC had a problem that we fixed, and had valve lash adjustment done, as dealer said they are supposed to be done at 10k and while this had 24k on it, I didn't have confidence it had ever been done).

We didn't travel on a lot of bad roads, but there were some off-roads we took looking for destinations...still used to my F350w/TC on the back and going anywhere. It handled all the roads just fine, and actually has a better ride the than the F350. (The RV has leaf springs all the way around, the pickup has leave springs and air bags on the back.)

No problems with engine or tranny at all, very powerful. That valve adj I had done when we bought it was the best $350 I've ever spent...a nut that holds some rocker arm assembly on the number 1 cylinder was loose and had vibrated its way all the way to the top of the bolt...any moment and it would have come off and ruined the engine...the tech said I was the luckiest SOB he'd seen in a long time, and the whoever had been in there previously was an idiot. I think this shows that the valves had been adjusted, but it saved me from buying a new engine!

I've been getting between 7.5 and 8.0 mpg, based on calculating fuel and mileage.

Handling while on the road is great...passing a semi...well, this is big enough that they have to deal with the wind from me I've never noticed any crosswinds even though I know they've been there.

I haven't done additional towing, however the previous owner installed a brake controller and did tow with it...I think it was a trailer though rather than a toad.

As for missing features: I"m nervous about the tanks freezing up in Idaho over the holidays, so adding heat blankets to the tanks; the only radio inside is the cab radio, and there are no speakers in the MH part. The chassis radio's rear channel is in the garage...so it needs lots of tunage adjustment. When I asked my wife what was missing, she listed two things: an oven and a larger bathroom.

As far as durability, the only issue has been that the awning was rather flimsy...it couldn't push this little sapling out of the way. The new one promises to be much stronger. There was a problem with the slideout, however the dealer replaced a control solenoid before delivery, which seems to have resolved that. The flooring and all the other surfaces seem to be holding up fine. The way the dinette table attaches to the wall is a little flimsy, I've been looking for replacement options.

Road noise is significant in the cab, such that the driver can't hear what's going on in the MH part, but people in the cab can talk to each other without issue. In MH while driving, my wife was able to read to the kids (one up over the cab, one on the sofa while she sat in the dinette) while I was driving.

Lift gate has been fine, however if it is lifting more than a few hundred pounds you'll want the generator running; it really uses a lot of power. I had a bandsaw, drill press, planer and jointer all on it at the same time, and it drained the battery before lifting it all the way (with me and my help, it was probably a thousand pounds).

The Coretex track seems to be very sturdy. I've tied down my FJR1300 to it a few times without any visible flexing or bending (its still straight afterwards). I purchased some extra clips for the track, and heavier duty ones. I'm not really happy with it though; the system is way too picky about having dirt in the track...it makes it hard to install/remove the clips. It's nice and small, which is the best part, but I think something easier to use would be better.

I've currently got a bunch of power tools tied down in the "garage" as I needed them out of the house's garage to do a project, and the MH is working great for that I've got a fully outfitted woodworking shop, and all of the fixed base tools are tied down neatly in the garage, with room to spare. After taking the unit back to the storage lot (about 7 miles away), nothing has shifted or had any problems; the MH did it's job fine.

Feel free to PM me if you want to ask more questions without making everyone else's eyes hurt...you and I both seem to be rather verbose

Mike


Posted By: Travel_n_Man on 11/15/10 02:24pm

Thor Motor Coach has a Class A Toy Hauler called Outlaw now, Does anyone know how it compares to the Fun Mover? I love the idea of loading up my coach for the weekend using that big ramp. Here's what they have for the specs on Outlaw, what is different on a Fun Mover?

Outlaw:
Thor Motor Coach - Outlaw SURV


Thanks


Posted By: carringb on 11/15/10 02:59pm

The Outlaw is not on the same weight class as the FunMover F750. The FunMover will have much more capacity, and the stability of a larger chassis. The Outlaw is on the equivalent of an F550 chassis.


Posted By: cbigham on 03/10/11 11:47am

Closing in on almost 70k on my 39c.
Maybe can shed some light for you if still interested. We use ours to carry a Harley FXDX, a Polaris RZR, my dirt bike and some miscellaneous stuff inc. a kayak at the same time, towing a 4 door Wrangler. The chassis is great, slow but great. When I was shopping for this type of RV I looked at the Senecas and others with the GMC 5500 chassis. I test drove one in Vegas and saw my wife bouncing as the slide flexed while she was sitting in the couch! OUch!. Too flimsy. We went with the 750 based RV.

Known problems/issues:
-Unit really should have been rhino lined or linex'd in back. We had a leak where rain would enter and pool near the liftgate just past the seal for the rolldown door. Water got into the wood flooring and will be an expensive fix.
-Unit comes with one house battery. You will want to add more.
-Slide rattles hard to fix.
-our passenger side wall needed bolts added to hold it firmer to the chassis. I've heard other manufacturers have this issue so it is not Funmover specific.
-Bathroom small but usable.


Over all we beat the******out of ours but it still does what it was designed for. It's not as comfy as a class a but doesn't need to be. It's easy enough to load and take out for a couple of days or a month.


Posted By: Halitosis on 03/10/11 11:50am

This is great... thanks for keeping this alive.

We've really started hitting the Interwebs looking for the right Fun Mover for us for this season.

(Side Note: Shameless plug: I own www.biofuelstechnologies.com, and have full plans on converting the Cat engine to run on waste vegetable oil... should be a fun project...)


Posted By: vwlovr on 03/20/11 11:12am

good luck with your search. i would agree with others in that i would not expect a better build quality because it's on a larger chassis. sadly they are built like crap, like just about every other RV on the market. if you want quality, i would look for a custom toterhome like rig built on a volvo or international cab. the build quality on those is definitely a step up.

i have a 2001 35c with the cummins motor on an F650. i would not rule out the f650 if you find one. i have heard mixed reviews of the cat motor from both the internet and first hand from f650/f750 owners and i've heard nothing but good things about that cummins motor. met two people in my travels who have put over 300k and 500k on that motor/chassis in service vehicles.

that said the f750's with air brakes are nice, we almost bought the 39c and i did like it. we are nearly at our weight limit of 26k lbs in our f650, but we full time in it and have a -lot- of stuff with us. still, i got my rig for 50k two years ago which is a pretty decent deal compared to the asking price of some of the newer rigs. so if money is a consideration then definitely look for an f650 as well.

i don't know how the newer ones are but one downside is that it definitely has a truck like ride. pretty harsh and unforgiving. i even replaced my front shocks and it didn't help much. on bumpy roads i have to run the air ride seats at max pressure to keep from going into a crazy pogo. i'm thinking of modding the seats with adjustable shocks from a mountain bike. i find the cab to be pretty loud as well, but i dunno maybe the cat is quieter.

the only real mechanical problem i have is the trans on mine is a sassy b***h. i have the older allison 5 speed on the tree instead of the push-button and if i leave it in D and go up any hills it will get stuck in a gear until i pull over and restart the rig. if i just downshift to 4th it never happens, so i don't use D unless i'm cruising on the freeway. also my ecu has some weird bug in it as well and every now and then when i take off it thinks i'm going like 2x the speed i'm going then the speed limiter kicks in when i get to like 45mph and the speedo is reading 90mph. with this i have to restart the rig and then it works fine. very annoying and no one has a clue as what the problem is.

overall though it's a good rig. the older ones like mine with the OEM chrome bumper have great clearance and approach angles. they can definitely handle rough roads better than some low riding class A.


Posted By: Halitosis on 10/12/11 11:58am

Well... here I am resurrecting this thread...

Finally made the plunge and got ourselves a 2004 39C Fun Mover.

Picked it up in Phoenix, AZ and drove it back to our home in Moscow, ID.... did the "shake down" cruise right there.

It has what I was looking for... F750, Cat C7 (3126E) engine.

Crawled all over it for several hours and identified a few items that needed some tweaks, but nothing too major.

Jay


Posted By: allnight on 10/12/11 06:30pm

Congratulations!!!

Looks like you got the same unit I have I'd be interested in getting together sometime, to compare the units...see how they're each holding up, etc. Christmas time would be convenient for me, as I drive my family up to Couer D'Alene every year to see the in-laws.

I'd really like to see pics of the unit!

Mike


Posted By: Halitosis on 10/17/11 01:51pm

Sorry for the late reply...

I would be happy to meet with you and compare units. I'll apologize in advance for having more questions for you than you do for me. From my perspective, I'm still learning about the units "personality". I'll PM you my contact details...

We've put about 1600 miles on it so far... and so far I'm in agreement with much of what has been posted from others. Solid engine. Solid ride.

Fuel Mileage: If I keep the tachometer at around 2100-2200 rpm, I get about 8mpg.

Anyone have any details about "how much weight you've put in the garage area and how much the handling was affected?"

I just took delivery of a Kelderman air-suspension for the back axle. Putting that in here in the next few days...

... and I've been pouring over the details on the engine and designing the fuel paths to convert it to run on WVO. Should be fun.


Jay


Posted By: funmover on 10/19/11 11:09pm

Had 2005 39c with 750 Ford with C7 cat buy 2006 or later with air bags on rear. Otherwise it's like driving a haul, pretty rough. Noise is loud in cab but not bad
. C7 is a good engine with plenty of power. One battery is not good, water is limited for dry camping, bathroom is small. Allison 4000 was good but with this size unit it really needed engine break. Levelers on this unit would also have been nice. Lift gate works well but keep it oiled because if it hangs up it can be a mess... Know this from experience. Quality of unit is okay, item not a top of the line unit. Thor is pretty much middle of the road. Garage was nice and would hold two full size quads with ease. Heard that after I sold it the the floor had separated from the chassis??? I would recommend 2006 or later.


Posted By: Halitosis on 10/21/11 11:23am

Not sure where to post this... whether to start a new thread, or to continue this one.

Spent yesterday on the Fun Mover...

Installed (or rather, I ASSISTED in the installation of) the Kelderman air-ride suspension in the back. Took 7 hours to install... but it's done.

I drove the rig 70 miles back home from the installation place (alone), and I've noticed right off the bat that the general "sound" is lowered, and that there are hardly any more rattles. Not sure if it's my mind playing tricks on me or not... I'll have to have my wife with me so we can check it out more.

It's definitely SMOOTHER... we only installed the back axle stuff, and you can feel the difference when you drive. (When you go across a "bump" in the road and you normally get the BUMP---BUMP as it hits the front and the back tires? Well.. now it's BUMP---tick...)

Also yesterday I worked on the battery and electrical system. The house battery was shot, so I got a source for hybrid deep cycle batteries used in a prototype electric car. (Designed for QUICK charge, DEEP cycle and HIGH OUTPUT). The program was scrapped, so there were 6 extra batteries lying around.

HEAVY. Each battery weighs about 70 pounds, and they are a touch narrower and longer than a standard car battery.

I was able to grind out and re-weld the battery tray to accomodate 2 batteries, and then fabricated a bracket and welded it to the INSIDE frame on the other side of the basement storage for an additional four... (that's total of 6). Again, the batteries are narrow (about 7" wide) and long, so they fit in that spot perfectly.

However... we can't get the shore power to charge up anything... the generator does, but when we plug it in, shore power doesn't.

I checked out the converter under the stove in the kitchen, and I've verified 13+ volts at the leads when the shore power is plugged in, and 13+ volts when the generator is running...

... and at the batteries I've verified 13+ volts coming into the battery cables when the generator is running, but not when the shore power is plugged in.

Does anyone know if the 2004 Fun Mover was originally designed with an auto-transfer switch for this? Or are the batteries only designed to be charged up with the generator? (Which seems silly... but stranger things have happened).

I don't see anything mentioned on the converter about a 12V charging system... and before I tear into it more, I wanted to ask if anyone knew whether it was even SUPPOSED to work this way, or whether this is one area where they decided to shave a few pennies off.

Jay


Posted By: vwlovr on 10/21/11 11:55am

yeah that is weird. is there a 12v line from the generator feeding the batteries or is the incoming line from the converter the same one you measured 13Vs from when running the generator?

afaik, auto transfer switches only switch the incoming AC power. my 2001 had no trasfer switch just a plug in the cord storage to connect to the generator. i removed that and installed my own auto transfer switch. if you have no plug to plug in your cable then you probably have an auto transfer switch somewhere.

the converter should charge the batteries no matter what A/C power is coming in, however if you're going to full time or doing lots of boondocking i'd ditch it as they suck for charging and get a proper inverter/charger. i too fabbed my own battery bay using the original chassis batter brackets. i moved one of them further down the frame and make a platform between them. i took the old sheet metal tray that sat in those brackets and made that a case to hold my xantrax inverter charger. it looks something like this...



not sure if yours has an inverter, mine did not, which i thought was retarded.


Posted By: Halitosis on 10/21/11 12:09pm

I haven't seen any plug or any port to "plug or unplug" the generator for power... so I assume there is a transfer switch somewhere, I just have to find it.

What you have would be a nice setup... an inverter is an obvious change to make to the RV, especially with 6 batteries worth of capacity.

On your inverter, it basically has multiple "inputs" for power, and distributes accordingly? So generator and A/C plug into it, and then you just wire the "out puts" to RV converter unit and such?

Jay


Posted By: allnight on 10/21/11 12:14pm

Halitosis-this should move to a new thread.

However, in the mean time

Yes, the shore power should charge the batteries. The converter is in the box that the 12v fuses are on...I pulled mine out a few weeks ago after both shore power and genny stopped charging the house batteries.

In my case, it turned out that one of the two auto-resetting circuit breakers under the fridge went bad (probably stuck due to over-current; I did something stupid, and no it wasn't accidental welding).

I just used a continuity tester to check both relays, and found the one that didn't work. The bad one was one closes to the front of the fridge:



The auto-xfer-switch is also under the fridge, just to the right of this pic. (Front of the RV is to the left in this pic.)


Posted By: Halitosis on 10/21/11 12:17pm

Thank you for this! Now I've got my work cut out for me...


Jay


Posted By: vwlovr on 10/21/11 12:28pm

Halitosis wrote:

On your inverter, it basically has multiple "inputs" for power, and distributes accordingly? So generator and A/C plug into it, and then you just wire the "out puts" to RV converter unit and such?

Jay


no it only has one AC input, i have an auto transfer switch outside of that switches between shore/gen power.

iirc, it has one AC input and two outputs, one is just a pass thru for incoming power that goes back to the house AC breaker panel, the other is the inverted power which i fed to a new breaker box where all my inverted breakers live. so when i'm not on shore or gen power, only the inverted lines are getting power and like the fridge and A/C get no power.

also if you're on 30amps, consider moving to a 50amp set up while you're doing this. i wish i had.


Posted By: Don McL on 10/21/11 12:33pm

battery compartment really isn't a good place to mount an inverter, there is a risk of explosion because of gassing.

close is good but never in the same compartment.


Posted By: vwlovr on 10/21/11 12:39pm

Don McL wrote:

battery compartment really isn't a good place to mount an inverter, there is a risk of explosion because of gassing.

close is good but never in the same compartment.


true, but that is not a closed bay. it's just a shelf hanging from the frame with a door in front of it. it is completely open to the environment. been going strong 3 years and hasn't exploded yet


Posted By: allnight on 10/21/11 01:22pm

"Hasn't exploded yet" is what PG&E said in the Bay Area up until 2009 when the pipe blew up and wiped 9 houses off the side of the hill. The pipe had been there since the 1940's. Oops.

On the other hand...having essentially no floor under it prolly helps a lot...even a slight breeze would diffuse the hydrogen and oxygen gases to a much lower level than needed for a problem.

While I sound like I'm telling you this is dangerous, I actually would probably do it myself, if I wasn't worried about water getting on the electronics...that's my main reason for not wanting an inverter or charge controller mounted like that.


Posted By: vwlovr on 10/21/11 01:34pm

yeah, there is ventilation on top (above the frame rails), to the right and through the bottom. plus it's rare that the batteries are really low and get an intense charge so i'm not really worried about heavy off-gassing.

as for water on the inverter i actually have a cover that goes over it, it was the original chassis batter cover. i drilled a bunch of large holes on the side of it for heat ventilation...

you can see a pic of it here...


allnight, we should meet up next time i'm in the bay area. we stay there often, we used to have a house in La Honda and all of my wife's family lives there. we usually stay at this crappy mobile park in RWC when we're in town.


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