Each motor home handles differently because the size, shape, and weight distribution of the house and it's contents varies with each brand and model. We all have our own story and experience. Some of us say we have no issues, some say it took a lot of upgrades, and some of us are in between.
For us with our smaller rig, we did a lot to get it right, and boy is it right. It handles like a tight SUV. No more "drunken sailer" like it was when brand new. Also handles wind gusts, passing trucks, and uneven road surfaces extremely well. No more steering compensation. Just hold the wheel steady and the rig stays in a straight line....even while towing. I often drive with a one-handed light grip and a cup of coffee or snack in the other hand. Before the upgrades, it was a two-handed tight grip drive that wore me out. Now it's a pleasure to see the country instead of being in a trance looking at white dashed lines.
This is what we had done to our 2007 E350 chassis, two months and one trip after purchasing the motor home new.
- added a heavy duty rear Roadmaster stabilizer bar
- replaced the front stock stabilizer bar with a heavy duty Roadmaster bar
- added a Hendersen rear trac bar
- replaced the four stock shocks with Koni-RV shocks adjusted to the stiffest setting
- replaced the stock steering damper with a heavy duty Safe-T-Plus
- had a good wheel alignment done which required offset camber bushings to get it set right
We spent a lot having a specialty shop take care of it at $3900 total, but it was a brand new rig so the extra 5% investment was well spent. We do keep our rigs multiple decades which helps justify the cost.
We learned so much from our first motor home which also had handling problems. One mistake we didn't want to make with our second rig was to wait 12 years to make the improvements.
You can do most of these upgrades yourself on your driveway without a lift if you are a good shade tree mechanic.
And like others have said, the right tire pressure makes a difference too. But again, each rig is different pending weight distribution. You'll have to experiment with that and see how it goes. Just be sure not to underinflate as your fuel economy takes a hit and most critical, you run a risk of a blow-out.
When the salesman kept telling us that the Coachmen we were test- driving wouldn't shake, rattle, squeak or creak so much once we had it loaded with water, gas, personal effects, etc., we decided it was not the quality we wanted.Actually there is a lot of truth to what that salesman was saying. Motor home noises quiet down when loaded to near chassis capacity. That assuming you have your dishes stored properly, and the rig is fairly well built in the first place.
Still I vote for the Winnie as well.
I notice many new Class C's are going to a full fiberglass nose on the cabover. What are the thoughts on these types of build?Absolutely A "Winner".
B+ cap designs offer much less vibration, excellent aerodynamics, and improved handling characteristics. All are nice advantages and well suited for two people. But if we needed extra space to accomodate more people, I wouldn't give a seamless "C" a second thought.
Understand that we keep our rigs multiple decades so I have long term longevity in-mind. But most people switch rigs much more frequently. Buying a new seamed "C" is not of concern if you are selling it before it starts leaking.
I cannot recommend buying an old used seamed "C" because it is simply a big gamble. Some people bought old used seamed "C" and claim no issues. They gambled and won. Not to say the leaks won't start anytime soon.
Other points worth noting: Avoid other seamwork in corners. It is much better to have a crowned roof with roof-to-wall seamwork rolled over the edge on to the wall, and rear wall seamwork located away from corners around to the sides.
Example of rolled-over roof-to-wall seamwork. Don't let the paintwork mislead you.
Example of rear wall seamwork brought around to the sides.
Finally, the shorter/narrower/lower the rig, the stronger the house will be. A small box made of the same cardboard as a huge cardboard box will be substantially stronger. Same rules apply with motor homes.
Maybe I'm being too careful (don't want ANY lingering gas smells in the rig) when I dribble-fill up. I'll have to give "6 gallons" a try.
Thanks for the heads up!I wonder if fuel filling differs from one motor home to another. Our house is narrower than most. I would assume that influences the height of the filler door given more rubber filler tube to deal with. Excess length makes the filler door higher???? If so, maybe I get more fuel in the tank. Just guessing here.
...NO ENGINE ELECTRONICSmobjack68,
I really, Really, REALLY don't want to be a crtic on your decision. You have your reasons and so I say "Well Wishes".
As soon as I started reading that your new purchase is a 1985 model year, I immediately said to myself..."I sure hope it isn't carbureted". This is why.
I owned a 1983 carbureted Toyota chassis for 24 years bought new in 1983, and sold in 2007. One thing I learned about the carburetor. It just can't hold up to the ethanol added into all fuel today. There was a rubbery/synthetic diaphragm that needed replacing every few years because it would loose it's elasticity. That along with the naturally poor drivability until warmed up, lesser fuel economy, and less power. Once that engine went to multi-port fuel injection, they became more fuel efficient and offered more power, 15% more power in the case with our Toyota. Same engine, different fuel delivery system.
Multi-port fuel injection was a hard sell for me in the day, but after my first fuel injected automobile, I was sold on it.
Vehicles get better all the time. Today there are no distributors. Spark plugs last 100,000 miles. This means the engine runs "Optimally" for a very very long time.
When shopping for an older motor home, I say, get one as "least old" as possible to benefit from better chassis techology which translates into more power with less fuel, more reliable and if you care...less poluting. I won't get into the other benefits.
To others reading this....
If getting a Ford chassis, get the V10 with 4 wheel disk brakes, offered some time after 1998.
If getting the Chevy/GM, it seems the current chassis (like the Express) is a good place to start. That was introduced in 1996.
But newer yet is better yet. Changes made in brakes, transmission, and engine got better and better. A 2009 is the first year of the best Ford E350/E450.
....Fill it until the gas pump shuts OFF ... then dribble 5 more gallons into it.
Time after time after time our E450's 55 gallon tank has taken 5 more gallons after the pump tries to shut off. Of course filling up this way takes some patience on the part of any passengers you have waiting inside the motorhome! This method also gives you 45-55 more miles of cruising range - which is especially important when traveling in the West or boondocking with a lot of air conditioner usage. ;)Yep! Same here with our rig. Actually I can get 6 more gallons with a slow fill after initial click-off.
Good advise for extended boonkocking and/or remote area travels.....and when gas is sold cheaper. ;)
If MPG is a big concern, there are Sprinter diesels which can get upwards of 18 MPG. However, if given the choice between a Sprinter versus a Ford E-450 of the same floor plan, I'd go for the Ford, as the $15k difference in chassis would buy about 40,000 miles worth of gasoline. You make a good point about the difference in purchase price. But there is also the higher price for diesel fuel and higher chassis maintenance cost which further closes in on the financial mpg benefit. And the 18mpg figure you mentioned is not for a class B+/C, but rather a class B. Comparing identical rigs, getting a 33% improvement in fuel economy with the Sprinter, at the higher purchase price, higher fuel costs, and higher maintenance costs, the payback date drifts farther out then many people realize. Then adding that many people don't drive enough miles to reap the benefits. We travel far, but such trips are at best once a year. Our E350 has 17,000 miles in 6 years. It would take a lifetime for us to recoupe such costs. People who travel great distances all the time would recoupe those costs quickly. The more you drive a Sprinter in the shortest amount of time, the benefit starts to reveal itself nicely.
Like you mentioned, I think the industry & consumers are looking forward to some good competition in the smaller diesel RV market which could make the financial benefit a no-brainer better value.
There are other benefits to a Sprinter diesel of which is off-topic.
2007 E350 with gasoline 6.8L-V10
- trip average over 4000 miles
- all kinds of driving conditions
- rig weighs 9200 pounds empty
- aerodynamic shape
- always towing the 4300 pound Jeep Libery pictured
- normal cruising speed is 5mph over posted speed limits for towing
Trip Average 9.2mpg
A shorter trip without towing averaged 10.2mpg
If you want a twin bed design, Phoenix USA offers 3 differnet twin bed models at various lengths. Model 2552 is most popular. I like the dinette without a slideout, but if you prefer a couch or dinette in the slideout they are most poular.
As far as quality & customer service goes, It's dang good. We bought our model 2350 six years ago and we love it. Admittedly bed access is a bit of a challenge, but at 23'-8" end-to-end, we got it all in a small package. CLICK HERE to see it.
If you have a conventional battery charger, I would charge each house battery independantly, monitoring each charge along the way. It could be that one battery is bad affecting the charge of both batteries. If one battery proves to be good, then hook up the house on the good one alone and use it to check your electrical systems. One good battery should start a generator with no trouble along with everything else as many motor homes have only one house battery.
If determined one or both batteries are bad and your house wiring is good, then be sure to replace "BOTH" batteries. Don't replace just the bad one.
As far as which battery is a good one to buy, that is a huge topic with a pile of opinions. I replaced ours with large EverStart MAXX brand RV batteries from Walmart. I figured if we have battery trouble, there is always a Walmart near by to exercise any kind of warranty. Four years so far and the Walmart MAXX are holding up beautifully. I really like the design of the tops as they vent active boiling acid nicely with no mess yet. They are bigger than our original batteries yet still fit in the battery tray. They have more reserve power which we appreciate.
I wonder if she really owned this Telstar.
If my wife was a Super-Fan, she'd have to own this thing. Pink with the old fashion clear plastic material covers for the princess in your life. I love the two old style cell phones. It would all have to stay unmodified to maintain it's nostalgia.
More Data Here
Examiner Article Here
Dennis, I'm not sure the manual covers it. If they do, not well. I tried to look up fluid type/amount and found nothing.Mine is a 2004. I will check the owner's manual and see if there is any information in there about this. Thanks.Ford has each model year owners manuals on line HERE.starting in 1996. Look up the info there and/or download the manual in PDF format to your computer.
Our 2007 E350 chassis has the conventional parking brake setup like a car. It seems to be effective though I have never parked on a steep slope with the transmission in neutral to find out how well. :)
Fixing it right is a real nightmare by me. By the time you have enough bad material removed, you'll have something that looks like this. Rebuilding it will take a variety of skills & tools, and determination. This is why I emphasis a B+ if you can live without a over-cab bed. Or go seamless like a View or Born Free.
Our 2007 E350-V10 consumes less than 1 quart (more like 1/2 to 3/4) in 5000 miles using full synthetic Mobile One 5W-20 motor oil.
But this can vary quite a lot from one vehicle to the other. One quart every 2500 miles is not bad, especially if your rig is on the heavy side and you are towing. The harder the engine works, the more oil will be consumed.
If I remember right, the V10 takes around 6.5 quarts. If you are down 1.5 quarts, you are 1/2 quart too low. But you still have 5 quarts in the engine. I think that is still a safe margin that you surely don't want to practice on a regular basis.
We have the emergency start switch as well, but I understand the thin guage wiring & solenoid cannot handle the amperage for a real "Jump Start". You need to hold the switch for a long time in hopes the dead battery is taking the charge properly.
Just in case the dead battery doesn't hold a charge, I carry extra long jumper cables that reach from the chassis battery to the house batteries. So far I've used them only to help other campers.
Just put a thin film of anti-seize on BOTH sides of the steel wheel. It'll prevent any galvanic corrosion, and will allow you to actually change the tire if you get a flat on the side of the road. Sometimes hub-centric wheels can really get themselves stuck on the hub.Great advice!
I do the same on both sides of brake rotors on all vehicle brake work. Alloy wheels separate easily from the rotors, and the rotors separate easily from the hubs.
Also, rust swells creating uneven surfaces, then whobbling. New brakes can pulsate because of rusty hubs & rotor mating surfaces. Remove all rust before reassembly.
The way I see it, there are but a few reasons why a Super-C should be considered over a standard C.
- You need the length, storage, towing, & weight capability of a diesel pusher class-A, but must have the extra sleeping accomodations for more people
- You have a passion for diesel trucks and enjoy the driving & ownership experience of them.
If neither apply, then stick with the standard gasoline cut-away van-style C, most popular the E450 with V10 engine. In the long run, the cheaper one with be going standard.
Personally I could never imagine owning a Super C. The large rental box trucks I have driven were all a very bad experience, and Super Cs are based off the same chassis. If I needed to go bigger, a DP would be my focus.
Now you can hardly hear the pump inside the coach. If your pump doesn't have rubber feet use a computer mouse pad under the pump feet.Agreed.
Before the pump and accumulator work, the noise was horrible. Heaven forbid someone flushed the toilet at night.
After the accumulator and related work, the pump turns on much less often and when it does, it's a quiet hummm, running longer to fill up the accumulator tank, ready to meet the next request. No more rapid fire moaning & groaning.
Our 2 gallon tank size seems ideal. I wonder if the little accumulator offers enough of a benefit.
I didn't want to invest in the expensive stainless tank that Camping World offers because beforehand I wasn't convinced of the benefits. Now that I have it, I wished I spent the money on it for the mounting features it offers, both the tank itself, and the mount for the pump on top. That further isolates vibration. The footprint in my storage compartment would have been smaller too.
Here is the stainless Camping World tank. I have found them on-line as cheap as $115. My tank next to it was $30-$40 at Home Depot.
http://www.go2marine.com/docs/2/1/0/1/210156F-p.jpg width=250http://i1219.photobucket.com/albums/dd435/Bigfoot_Wayne/Camper/Misc%20camper%20Stuff/2galexpansiontank.jpg width=250