We have been looking @ RV's since last July. Started looking @ B class. Just a little too small for our use. Then small class C. Rare, either brand new or too old. Now we are considering a class B+. Noticed a used Four Winds Siesta 21 B+, which seems like it would be perfect. There doesn't seem to be a lot out there. This will be our first RV, I'm a little nervous because I haven't seen a lot of them out there. Do you own one or know someone who does? Would you go that route again, if you were only going to use it for long weekend travel? Do Four Winds hold value comparatively?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
* This post was
edited 10/23/11 02:39pm by green2rvn *
We bought our 1st RV in 2008 after not being a camping/RV family ever. We have never regretted the decision. In 2011 we bought our 2nd RV. The primary reason for buying our second one is that we didn't get everything right on our first purchase. We learned what we wanted / needed over the course of using the first RV for 3 years. We got enough wrong to decide that it didn't make sense to keep paying off the first unit. We sold it and straightened course.
Our first RV was a Roadtrek 210. The Class B was good for us for some of our uses - long road trips with young kids, parking at weekend long soccer tournaments/dance competitions, etc. However, I think we were a little optimistic about dealing with the lack of available space in the Class B. Yes, all 4 of us could sleep in it. Yes, we could shower and use the toilet. But we learned that we really couldn't do it comfortably. Having a wet bath (seated toilet shower) was something that we grew tired of very, very quickly. Most of the Class B units "convert" from day mode to night mode and we found that conversion process after a long day of travel to be a pain and something that grew old very quickly.
We love our current RV. It is a 22' Class C and answers all of the faults of our Class B buying decision. It has a much more permanent night mode sleeping arrangement. It has a full size walk-in shower. And it is still small enough that we can drive it to all the same places and events that we took our Class B. In fact, there is only 6" difference in length between the two.
For us to help you more, we really need to know your thoughts on how you'd use an RV. What are your priorities? What are your must haves? What are your "would be nice" items?
You have one very basic decision to make and that is the mechanical system. You need to decide between a Mercedes diesel-based Sprinter RV or a Ford/Chevy based gas RV. That is a huge choice and in my opinion should be one of the first decisions you make. For me personally, nothing else would sway or overrule my drive train decision.
Thanks Jeff, it sounds like what you have gone through the past three years is the what we have mentally put ourself through the last four months without buying one yet.
Four months ago we saw our first class b motorhome, we were hooked and obsessed on the thought of getting an rv ever since. When we saw the class b our thought was, wow, this would be great. We could go visit and attend shows of our oldest daughter. We are getting way to old for these late night 100 mile drives. We could go visit the other daughter's family and transport grandkids more comfortably for that 500+ mile round trip.
I told my husband 20+ years ago that tenting and being dependant on the weather, was not how I wanted to spend precious vacation time. We live in Washington, Ihave learned to plan a vacation so that you will be happy and comfortable, no matter what the weather.
So we have spent many years passing on invites for camping with friends.
I have lived in Washington most my life and have seen less of the mountains here than I have in Montana, Wyoming and Colorado as most my vacations as a kid and adult have been visiting relatives. We would like to start exploring Washington on the weekends. We just recently became empty nesters and have two dogs, and would love to pick up and go, without making those arrangements. I guess you could say an rv is our solution to our mid-life crisis.
1. Visiting kids and grandkids on the weekends.
2. Being able to pick up and go with the dogs.
3. An extra room for visiting relatives.
4. Taking long weekends to see those places off the beaten track.
5. Accepting those invites to yearly camping trips.
6. Fishing trips for my husband with his buddy
7. Ocean get aways for myself and my girlfriends.
And that is how this how this has evolved to more confusion. We want a rig that we comfortable driving around town. Going to the store or anywhere in town. However, about two weeks into the class B shopping it hit me, we likely would not be happy if we had a bathroom in the aisle. Then gradually realizing, if we take the dogs, one 90 lb. and one 20 lb. would we be comfortable in a class B? Starting at a Roadtrek 170, then a Roadtrek Agile (has a bathroom you can sit in) Then on to the Roadtrek 210 or the Pleasure-way Excel. Then we saw a MVP 19rb.(19.5' class C) We loved it. Then we saw the 19 foot Four Wind. Loved it. I am a nervous driver and passenger, that is what I loved about the Roadtrek 170 was it was small. I did drive the MVP 19rb and it was pretty comfortable. (But we did not drive it on the highway) 19' 6" and on a Ford chassis V10. The Four Winds 19'6" comes on a Ford Chassis V8. More recently, I have been looking at a Four Winds Siesta 21BC Ford Chassis V8 or V10. (I have seen ads on that very same vehicle listing both and I know it comes with both)also like the Winnebago View, Sprinter on a Dodge Chassis. My husband is not thrilled with a Dodge Chassis, we both love the mileage on a diesel and that they seem to really hold their value. But both on this forum and by even salesman, I've heard the ride isn't so good.
I guess I could say what is important to us in the rig.
1. Ease of drive.
2. Decent mileage. (Don't want it to cost 500.00 to visit the kids)
3. Seperate sleeping arrangements, for trips with his friends or mine.
4. Fully self contained.
5. Something that holds it's value a bit better, knowing that we will eventually, like yourself, find other features more important.
And yes recently I have been thinking, one with a bed would be nice. Then I scare myself that if I keep going up in size, will we use it as often?
I can't even begin to tell you the obsessive research that has been done over the past four months, online, dvd's and books. But you can't read "street smarts". I think the info you have given me, and the info I read on this site this weekend has had much more value.
Thanks again, your thoughts and experience have been more valuable than info that has been purchased.
We spent 6 yrs looking at what small RV would suit our need for a rolling doghouse and touring rig like you want. We were excited about Class Bs, but they were just too impractical to stay in – not a motel room substitute. Looked at small TTs like Casita, but did not really want to tow anything. Truck campers looked promising, but for the same money and much greater convenience of an open cab-coach connection, a small C or B+ (ours is the Trail Lite 213) is the sweet spot. The Four Winds and Tahoe 19 footer Cs you are looking at are really nice options and we’d have likely chosen one if they had them in ’05. (Note you have a wet bath in the FW and separate shower in the MVP – an issue you raised on Bs).
All the needs you list are well met by these 19ft C rigs. I would caution on your intent to drive a wide, tall, often noisy, non-nimble, 10-12 mpg city mileage motorhome around town on a regular basis. Maybe don’t plan beyond once a month to exercise it and take dogs for a ride (and exercise the genset). That cabover bed will also reduce visibility ‘round town. Don't misunderstand, as toadless rigs go, you have found the most urban friendly for touring in cities and parking lots on the road, but they are not so easy that you would often opt to drive them over a small car.
A recent post you may find useful if you need an RV shed, if you want a top end standard - Triple E Regenct GT - by which to compare to the B+ or C rig you are considering (note the Triple E heated tanks mean you can hit the mountains year round), and if you'd like a LONG thread loaded with small C info: the 'B+ Motorhomes' thread which influenced our selection for an RV.
We have a smaller RV that we bought used so that we could sell again if we made a terrible mistake. We have the cab over bed though and don't mind crawling up into it. So far we love it and we have used it about town when the grandkids came to visit and once to go to work when one of the cars was in the shop.
We calculate that it would cost us $500 in gas round trip to visit the grandchildren in Denver from Phoenix though. We can fly cheaper. But we pick up and go on the weekends and have seen a lot more of our beautiful state since we bought it. It is difficult to find a short B+ with a rear walk around bed. Others are on the same quest so read their threads too!
Jeff, your rig is very sweet and would be exactly what I want, if I was in a place that I could justify buying new and that much money. Or could find a used one on the west coast.
My husband really liked the Tahoe with the slide out. I really liked the FW 19g, because it had the chair. I just felt I would get more use out of that chair than the separate shower. And both of them are new to the market, which means taking a heavy hit on depreciation once we roll off the lot. I can only find 18-19 ft built in the last year, or 20 years old.
Don't plan on using the rv as a main vehicle, but do like to know I will be comfortable when I am in that situation.
You mention running the generator once a month? Is that like airconditioners where they do need to ran throughout the year?
I have been reading the other forums, would be embarrassed to tell you the hours I spent reading them last weekend. They have made me much more informed, made me laugh, afraid but most of all even more excited to get my own rv.
Are Four Winds known to be very reliable? It seems from what I have read that Chinook, Born Free and Itasca seem to be that step up in quality?
Could probably afford a Tahoe new, but trying to out weigh what we lose in deprecation to what we might be putting into a used rig.
Burlmart, nice cover my husbands a carpenter so he's thinking one of those zip up covers.
Jeff, I like the BF as well. They have a smaller 20 ft model that green2rv might like.
Green2rv, you have a solid grasp of the economics and potential RV upgrading. The more you imagine yourself actually living and travelling in various rigs, the more likely your first choice will suffice your needs and no repurchase is needed – this impacts what price/newness level of rig you select today. It worked that way for us.
I think FW makes popular RVs with a good quality/price balance. About the chair, you can order a swivel passenger seat for the Tahoe just like Jeff’s BF!
I lurked on RV.net for a few years before being convinced from the B+ Motorhomes thread that the TL 213 was about what we needed, then I started posting after we bought it in ’05.
You really need to exercise the genset monthly for ½ hr or so under a load (AC or space heater).