There are Class C's from about 18 feet for tiny ones up to almost 40 feet for Mega C's. They can range from beaters worth $2000, to diamonds worth a half million.
So, you need to say what your needs are and what you indend to use it for to get worthwhile opinions.
One of the most important things to think about is what are the most popular features. Few people buy the perfect unit for themselves on the first try, and trying to sell an oddball unit is incredibly difficult.
Mike and Carole
2007 Snowbird 9'6" Super Slide
2005 16.6 Double Eagle
2000 F350 7.3 SC 4X4
previously 8'10" Snowbird Camper
2006 Triple E Regency 27 foot SXL SOLD!
Most common/popular brands are Fleetwood and Winnebago, Lazy Daze is considered the best in housebox build quality, considerably more expensive.Most brands use the same Ford E-450 V-10 cutaway van chassis. Most brands use the same appliances, roof A/C units, furnaces, plumbing, awnings, etc. Many owners have brand loyalty, done much looking and comparison, Use the search engine to read hundreds of previous threads on what to buy and what to look for/avoid in used rigs. You will need to look at and compare various brands and models and try and decide on floor plan/length and features that you need or desire, whether to buy new or used, features, extended warranty, etc. Buying and maintaining motorhome is nothing like a car, you must do your homework to avoid expensive mistakes and disappointments.
We recently purchased our first Class C after owning a large 5th wheel. Short lists of everything were made: manufacturers, floor plans, must haves, don't wants, comprise areas, etc. Some advice I received early on was to look nationwide. Since we were attempting to thread the eye of a needle, we expanded our search area. As we looked, explored, and got information from this forum the short lists changed. The one item that never changed was Winnebago. It was at the top of our list, remained there, we purchased and are pleased. We live in East Texas and purchased in Phoenix Arizone. There are many excellent manufacturers available. Make your lists, investigate, be open minded, purchase and ENJOY, ENJOY, ENJOY!!!!! Good luck!!!
Mike LeBlanc, "The Digital Guy"
Professional Photographer, Retired Art Educator
Sour Lake, Texas
I think the new company, NEXUS is worth a look. They have very competitive pricing and you deal directly with the manufacturer. They will pretty much do what you want.
If you are going used, don't overlook Gulfstream - I frequently wish I had my 2001 Conquest Classic back. Another good brand is Jayco.
For us, the Sunseeker by Forest River had the right floor plan and features. As others have said, make your list of must haves etc. and go from there. We had the option of Chevy or Ford chassis and selected Chevy. (I'm not going to start a Ford vs. Chevy debate here. The point is: what is important to you?) We have been very pleased with Sunseeker. That is not to say it is better than everything else --just one I would suggest you look at.
there is a book/ dvd u can purchase that reviews the various manufacturers re quality build issues service etc. that was a good place to start for me. Its called the RV comparison guide by JR consumer resources. Lots of info on what to look for when buying, differences in builds, etc. I do not have any monetary connection to this company.
in general: (these are my opinions only based on research I did prior to buying my first RV, other opinions may vary and be just as correct...)
1. lazy days, dynamax higher end, higher priced. i think lazy days has an all fiberglass body so it limits how big a unit u can get. the advantage to a composite body is u dont have nearly as much interior noise from the rattles at the joints.
2. each manufacturer will have a base model and then an upper end model just like honda and acura are made by same company. for example, the four winds freedom elite may be four winds base model, then the chateau, then the chateau citation.
3. not to insult anyone's choice of manufacturer, but in my opinion only based on the research i did prior to purchase, again based on things like service after the sale, quality, other owners's reviews, etc:
a. coachman lower end entry model standard, but still has lots ovf very good features and very satisfied owners,. you see these in a lot of rental fleets. you can also get them upgraded with lots of features if u want.
b. four winds medium priced, medium quality depending on model. I had a four winds as my first rv.
c. jayco : lots of people like for the extra features such as nicer interior quality, standard inverter, standard rubber frame vibration isolators, standard hellwig helper springs.lots of folks say jaycos handle bettter off the showroom floor, but in my opinion, most class c's will need some after market help for handling, suspension, etc. some owners have reported issues with jayco service after the sale, others have not. i was suprised by jayco in that I thought their interior quality was excellent, but their exterior features such as rubber roof instead of fiberglass, no enclosure for the storage tanks, was a little lacking. opinions vary on rubber vs fiberglass roofs, but I did not like the black streaking that comes with rubber, so I wanted a fiberglass roof. The trade off is fiberglass might be noiser in a heavy rain.
d. forest river. my dealer said forest river had some quality issues for a while but over the last few years have gotten significantly better. i purchased a foreest river because it had some features that i wanted like a fiberglass roof, enclosed heated holding tanks, an exterior garbage can storage area, standard rear firestone ride rite air bags, for a little less than I could have bought a similary jayco but a little more than the four winds.
e. winnebego is often the standard simply because they have been around so long and have a good track record. price varies with features but will probably be in the forest river area.
f. there are several factory direct dealers such as nexus now but I have not seen any reviews on them .
g. Fleetwood used to be a big manufacturer byt Im not sure if they still make class Cs anymore or not. A lot of individual manufacturers went out of business during the downturn of 2008 or got bought up into larger manufacturers. Thor is one of the big ones and they own four winds and several others. So several different brand names may now be under the same company.
h. Check to see if the manufacturer is still in business because it has an effect on parts, warranty issues etc. Its not as easy as it seems to see if the manufacturer is still in business, as some make class C's only to order, and some dont make class Cs but make class A's or trailers, etc.
i. I agree with the above post that said a lot of class C
s use the same base frame, ford 450 platform, similar interiors etc. so a lot comes down to floorplan, quality of the interior materials, and serfvice after the sale. My forest river seemed to have better interior quality than the four winds or coachmen, but I think the jayco has some of the best interior quality, and I do not own one. Things like quality of the cabinets used, fabrics, quality of the leather, flooring etc.
j. the easiest way to compare side by side is either go to a large dealer lot like camping world, or Dick Gores RV world or go to an rv show. Again, I have no financial interest in either company.
k. Again these are just my opinions and lots of others will have just the opposite opinion. Research both on this site and on the web definitely helps. THe more u look, the more u will find and understand. Unfortunately the only real way to know what u want in an rv is to have lived in one and find out what works and what doesnt for your particular needs. for me, i wanted the fiberglass roof, the enclosed tanks, the straight galley floorplan even when the slides were in, which is why I upgraded to anew rv after having found out what worked with my first rv and what didnt. My first rv was great because it was small and maneuverable, but the rubber roof caused streaking. The tanks weren't enclosed. The driver and passenger seats only reclined so far. Those were issues for me, but it may not be for u. Only way to know is research and try.
* This post was
edited 04/02/12 08:27am by sjn7708 *
We rented a Four Winds and drove it to Colorado several years ago and that made us realize we would never buy one. It was awful! I don't mean to insult anyone who has one, just mentioning our experience. We ended up buying a Winnebago Outlook and the difference in quality between the two is night and day.
FINALLY got my RV! - proud new owner of 2009 Winnebago Outlook 30D Ford E450
Dogmom to Reilly (cancer survivor), Bianca (rescue golden), Helen the kitty and now little tiger Suzy (both rescues, too)
Doggie Grandma to one gorgeous golden puppy named Jameson