From an evolution of the automobile standpoint:
1.0 First the Straight Axle. Simple, Durable, Good Load Carrying, HARD RIDE
1.1 The Swing Axle, Ford's Twin I-Beam(tm). Attempt to improve Ride while maintaining Durability and Load Carrying - Brought in the element of Bump Steer which is not desirable
2.0 Independent Front Suspension - Most cars from the '60s for many years and most current light trucks except Ford, some other chassis including some Class A. Easier Ride, smaller turning radius, harder to carry a light-to-heavy variable load
So in theory the GM Class C chassis has a ride advantage. The wheelbase is an inch longer than Ford and the BBC (Bumper to Back of Cab) is several inches longer. This makes the coach longer, but it expands occupant space in the cab. Some of this translates to quiet.
BUT SPRINTER is a modern design by a firm legendary for innovation and quality. They're in it for the Long Term. For them, Long Term is Decades. For GM, short term's probably a couple months and long term a couple years. Ford? Maybe a little longer and I won't speculate on Chrysler. They should put their name in Velcro.
SPRINTER has room, ride, economy, quiet, quality.
SPRINTER is the real deal if you can work within its length and capacity. If you're patient, I'm sure you can score a deal on one that fits your image of a floor plan and not too much more expensive than others. I can all but promise it won't be a Dealer Deal. You'll have to go to the time and effort of a private sale.
EDIT: Although I'm getting softer with age, TIRES get Harder. They stiffen, so tire age and use is going to affect ride. To what degree in an RV, I don't know. To one owner, it'll come on gradually and not be noticed till the tires are replaced. To somebody comparing old and new RVs, it might really stand out.
God Bless, jd
2003 Jayco Escapade 31A on 2002 Ford E450 V10 4R100
I'm pretty sure the 80 psi was too much, at least in the fronts. Probably 60-65 would have been adequate and safe, and much less jarring. That said, Fords seem to garner many more complaints than Chevys, even allowing for the larger percentage of RV's built on Fords. Cab comfort (heat, engine noise, and room) and driveability (wind response and tracking) seem to be the main issues.
Jim, "Honesty is the best policy, but insanity is a better defense."
'06 Tiger CX 'C Minus' on a Silverado 2500HD 4x4, 8.1 & Allison (aka 'Loafer's Glory') www.tigervehicles.com
I wish I had that freedom.
But when buying used, I kinda have to go with what is available.
If I were buying a new R.V. than I could definitely see trying out different models.
Boy, I'd hate to fly 1000 miles away to then discover the thing drove like a Fed Ex truck.
Actually the pattern became obvious while I was looking at used!.
I had a model in mind that I wanted based on how it looked outside and inside, much to my dismay every one I called on and went out to see all had the same problem which of course led me to believe that either that is the way they were made OR that is the end result after its driven for a few miles.
Needless to say I quit looking for them and moved on. I'd state which ones they were but then the forum members that have one will chime in how they love theirs! For 'ME' I have a real STRICT requirement about loud noise of any kind within the cab/coach and tight handling. Other RV'ers might be more tolerable than I am!
BTW: An empty 31 ft, I.E. both tanks empty, fuel tank empty, and fresh water tank empty.....makes for a jarring ride. The suspension is there to accommodate these being utilized. You could tape over my fuel tank gauge and I can tell you when its near 1/4 full by the way the MH rides.
"We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned,
so as to have the life that is waiting for us".
I have a 1995 E350 30' Class C and don't find the ride or noise objectionable at all. The rear duals are inflated to 80psi and the fronts are at 70psi. The only place I ever encountered objectionable noise was in Northern Minnesota where the road expansion joints looked and felt to be 3 inches wide and deep. For the most part Minnesota roads are nasty!
I have no dog in this fight, and what I know about vehicles is basically where to put the gas in.
I have test-driven several motorhomes, and the easiest to drive, and best ride in my opinion is the chevy. I liked how quiet it was, it seemed less bumpy and even though I'm not tall I appreciated the leg room.
The worst hands-down was the Ford class A. I felt like the thing wouldn't make it up a relatively low grade, and it sounded like it was shaking apart around us. It was the shortest test drive I've ever done.
The Ford class C I test drove was not as bad as the class A but definitely not as nice of a ride as the Chevy...somewhere in between.
Our diesel pusher drives and handles very well and is very quiet but is just too big for me.
We have owned fords and chevies. We owned a Ford conversion van for a very short period of time. We still have an older chevy conversion van that my husband will not part with, and I agree with him, it rides and drives WAY better than the much newer ford that we got rid of.
My husband has always been a chevy/GMC owner but he did get a really, really nice Ford pick up. It was a gorgeous harley davidson edition, nice leather everywhere, chrome, just beautiful. We liked everything about it but the ride.
I think if you've never owned a better riding/driving motorhome it won't make as much of a difference to you, but having ridden in a driven others, it is noticable.
My husband's cousin is a BMW salesman so we've always had a BMW. I told my husband with the falling economy we needed to go with a cheaper car so when we were ready to get a new one, I convinced him to get me a Chrysler. Boy was I sorry! Needless to say I took a bath on that one after a few months and got another BMW. But there was nothing wrong with the Chrysler and I'm sure millions of people out there are very happy with them.
If we do go with a Ford, I'm betting my hubby will have it down to the shop and we will have to do some tweaking with the shocks and suspension to improve the ride for him to be happy. I don't know enough to care, so I'd probably just complain about how bumpy the ride is once in a while, but still just be happy to be on my way for a camping trip!
Hope my very uneducated and unscientific opinion helped!
That is actually the best answer yet.
I want something that will do the job yet comfortable for my guests. Horsepower, water capacity, generator size means nothing if my guests can't even here me talking. Lol
2002 'The Rogue' by Mckenzie div of Monaco Coach
24' E450 chassis, V10, Class C, Single slide
The GM chassis used upper and lower control arms which reduces unsprung weight and has a lot better toe/camber control compared to the Ford. On anything but glass smooth highways, there is a big difference. A lot more useable space in the cab and much better steering were major pluses to me. The Ford V10 seemed to have a higher pitched sound signature than the GM V8 which seemed to make it quieter. As some have said, it also sounds further away as well.
Not too much difference in rear suspension behavior. I found I had to adjust my rear pressures with changing load to keep impact harshness back there at bay.
Be aware that the Gm chassis has lower weight ratings than the Ford so if you're looking at a larger Class C the Ford may be the only way to go.
On my small 23A I found I was very close to the front and rear axle weight ratings when fully loaded for a week of camping in the mountains. It was not uncommon for me to shift weight (extra water, tools, luggage) after weighing in to balance the load out.
As far as noise, some brands are quieter than others. I had an economy brand (Thor) that seemed louder then the Winnebago I test drove. A lot of that noise can be subdued somewhat. The white noise of the wind and road is a lot less annoying than rattling doors, appliances, and cabinets.
If I had kept mine, I would have done some undercoating and sound proofing to the rear wheel wells. It does make a noticeable difference.
To give you an idea, one our maiden voyage, I found that my kids could not hear the TV with the volume all the way up it was sooo loud in there. On our last trip several years later at half volume the kids could hear the TV just fine.
If I were you I would not hesitate to buy the Ford chassis. It is a dinosaur, yes, but it also proven as well. I put less then 20k on our GM Class C before we sold it so I can't tell you about the long-term reliability of it, and unfortunately the GM is so rare compared to the Ford you rarely hear about any issues with it.
I find it amazing that the Ford chassis outnumber Chevy by at least 3 to 1 but all you Ford drivers are silent when it is Ford vs Chevy. I don’t have a dog in this, or a bone in this debate what I do have is 30 years of fleet ownership of Ford and Chevy Vans.
With that said I will tell you for the last 12 years have not bought one Chevy. The reasons are way too long to list in a nut shell Ford is just built better and will outlast in many areas: drivetrain, door handles, locks, turn signal switches, tilt wheel, hinges, frame, seat tracks, and door panels, under hood plastics, electrical wiring, fuel pumps, axle’s bearings and leaf springs. I have the receipts to substantiate my opinion, and again this is my opinion. Yes our Chevy’s rode nice but they could not handle the loads we put on them. I bought them at first because they were always a few thousand dollars less than Ford. I guess you get what you pay for.
You turned the tires into rocks by overinflating them.
Inflation pressure for the E-350 cutaway at MAXIMUM RATED WEIGHT, with the OEM tire size, is 65 PSI front, 60 PSI rear.
Ford puts the same tire size on the E-450, which can carry at least another 3000 pounds on the rear axle. Inflation for MAXIMUM RATED WEIGHT in that case is 65 front, 80 rear.
If you had a C on a 11,000 GVWR Chevy chassis, and put 80 psi into all six tires, it would also have a harsh ride. The tires on this class of truck absorb the small hard bumps, the springs are meant to take care of the bigger ones, and even that is limited by high spring rates and short travel.
If you don't want a RV that feels like a truck, you might consider looking at ones built like motorcoaches, with air suspension. A whole different class, a whole different price range.