I really appreciate your thoughts and experiences. My fear was in making a switch and later regretting it. I just put my "C" on craigslist, when it moves we'll be a cash buyer for a used class A. I've checked with a few dealers about a trade-in, they seem to rely heavily on NADA for pricing RVs. We may go that route if we find the right unit and can work out an agreeable deal. I'm leaning towards a DP, though I think a less expensive gasser would be fine for us for the next 5 years, I suspect in 2 years I'll be looking to sell my gasser just to scratch the diesel itch. Thanks.
We have the 38' Mountain Aire gasser you describe. The engine is much quieter in this than in our previous Pace Arrow with the 454 Vortec. Everything about this is quality with the lower expenses of a gas engine. I still look at mine as new even though it is now 9 years old. Theh full body paint and inside storage keep it looking like new all the time.
2003 Newmar Mountain Aire, Workhorse W22, 2008 Saturn Vue, Falcon 5250, & US Gear Unified Tow Brake
I upgraded from a coachman 31 foot C to a 38 ft Monaco diplomat. All the reasons why are cited in the above comments. Size, Space, towing, comfort ride, carrying capacity, storage, quiet while driving. If you are capable of maintenance you'll keep the expenses down. I have 50k miles on the Diplomat now and the only problems I had were maintenance items. I bought used and have put 32k miles on it in 5 years. A lot to learn and the more sophisticated the Coach, the more you need to seek help or learn about your particular coach. There are plenty of experts on the various RV forums. The big differences are the engine, chassis and control systems, as most of the appliances are the same across most campers. If you have the propensity to drive overnight, the A sleeps fewer while driving than the C, and the A requires either the generator or the furnace to keep warm or cool while driving if the weather is cold/hot. Read all you can identify the floor plan you want and plan on keeping it awhile. You can always remodel, floor plans haven't changed much in years. Last but not least, like all campers/coaches they are not an investment, it will depreciate. So, if you have the ich, scatch it. You only live once.
We went from a 31 ft class C to a 36 ft DP. We really liked the class C, but the class A, even without air suspension, rides much better than the C, has much more storage, has more usable interior space and is considerably more quiet when driving. Maintenance is somewhat higher but we feel it is worth it. We pull the same toad with both, a 2005 Jeep Wrangler. The c (2006) had the Ford V10; the A has a 340 Hp Cummings diesel. The diesel definitely pulls the toad through the mountains much easier. Mileage is better with the diesel, but with the added cost of diesel fuel, I really never have calculated which is really cheaper on fuel. Hope this helps.
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edited 04/23/12 09:36am by Raymon *
For us we like Class C because of the overhead bed. They are lower to the ground and most often easier to drive. Of course, we have children too.... So we don't want to move to a class A. Plus our C is a smaller C, and we get 22ish miles per gallon which I'm very happy about.
4 whopping cylinders on Toyota RV's. Talk about great getting good MPG. Also I have a very light foot on the pedal. I followed some MPG advice on Livingpress.com and I now get 22 MPG! Not bad for a home on wheels.
We rented for the last four years. We rented everything from very nice 31' class C, then a gas A, then a Seneca Super C and finally a 40' DP and a few others in between. We tried to be open minded when comparing everything that we had rented but it all came down to a unanimous decision with our family. The DP was the only way to go. Seems like a big rig to jump in with for the first time but we agree with what some others said, get the one you want first. Now mind you, the DP we rented was not in our purchase budget but we did shop around and find one that suited us perfectly at a price we could afford. We have only had it about 9 months and have only taken it out 6 times but I gotta tell you, we are SO glad we made the decision we did.
We currently have 5 more trips planned in it for the rest of the year. Most of them long weekend trips with one bigger trip mixed in. We feel like that is enough use that it wasn't a waste of money. Plus we use it for fun party stuff like tailgating and spending the day at the softball fields with our daughter's team.
I would say do it if you can. You certainly won't regret it!
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edited 04/23/12 06:59pm by LongWeekends *
Just me, my wife, our 11 year old daughter and our two big, hairy Goldens.
2004 Coachmen Cross Country
370DS - 300HP - 2 Slides
We have had a class c and fifth wheels and now a DP. I didn't even look at gassers and went straight to the DP's. I drove heavy trucks for a living so it was no stretch for me to do that. My suggestion to you is to try out both gas and diesel units. Take them for a good long drive and then I think you will have your answer. Good luck.
2000 H.R. Imperial 38wds rr8r roadmaster, isc 350 cummins
2007 Chevy Trailblazer, Blue ox towbar
Ready Brake with breakaway.