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RE: Fiberglass Roof

Bought our current RV. Fiberglass roof has cracks where it meets the sidewalls. Too sharp of a radius. Contacted Lazy Days a week after purchase, they were no help. Their 30 day warranty means nothing. Contacted the manufacturer, though it was only 3 years old at the time, they said they wouldn't cover it. But the year newer model, they have a TSB to fix it. Well, not really fix it. Cover the area with an extruded piece of aluminum, then seal it with a roll of Eternabond. Forest River dropped the ball on this one. So don't get too excited about a 1 piece fiberglass roof. In theory, they should last longer than vinyl or EPDM... but poor engineering can directly affect that! http://www.2manytoyz.com/328TS/roof/roof-crack.jpg width=150 Video of the issue with ours: CLICK HERE Already had some water damage to a cabinet. I've since sealed the area with RTV. When it cools off, I will fix the fiberglass area properly myself, building up and smoothing the affected areas. It's not complicated to repair, but it's also ridiculous that I have to on something so new. Even Ford still has a chassis warranty on this vehicle!OH MY!!! I never seen that before. I am not an authority on this, but it appears something much worse is occurring, a structural failure could be in the early stages. The house appears to be twisting excessively, first showing up in the fiberglass sheathing buckling at the connection between roof and walls. I would remove the trim that finishes the edges of the fiberglass sheathing on the walls, lift the fiberglass, and check the wall-to-roof fasteners there, assumed to be screws. The line worker that day might have missed some screws between wall and roof, may have used the wrong length screws, or might not have torqued them properly. It surely appears that you have "early stage disconnect" between roof and walls. Inspect it right away before it gets worse. If everything inspects well, I would still consider adding more screws. Also check the rear wall, another critical component in preventing the house from twisting. When rolling the fiberglass around the curved edge to the side again, it might provide an opportunity to lay it flat without distortion. Also use the right adhesive to adhere it to the curved surface which might prevent it from wrinkling again. I don't know the ideal adhesive, but a "Flex Seal" product comes to-mind. A double-sided "Eternabond" type product everyone mentions also seems appropriate. Just make sure the fiberglass and mating surfaces are clean. If the mating surface is wood, I would first brush one "generous coating" of exterior-grade polyurethane sealer (to soak deep into the wood) for the adhesive to grab better. During reassembly, you might have to trim the edge of the fiberglass to follow the finished trim-line. Excessive twisting of the house might also show up as stressed or deformed caulk in some of the seam work. Forest River has had more complaints of poor workmanship than other companies, especially in hidden places, and you fell victim to one. They are not all bad rigs, but the company does seem to make more bad apples than most other brands. It could simply be because they make so many units so defect numbers would naturally be higher. I feel for you. A young 2015 motor home should not have suspecting structural issues. I hope you find the true reason why the fiberglass deformed and resolve it quickly without too much pain and cost on your part. Please keep us updated.
ron.dittmer 09/20/19 08:18am Class C Motorhomes
RE: New to RVing

There is very little difference between the E450 and E350 after 2016 based on my research. They have identical engines, transmissions, cooling systems, transmission coolers, brakes, and axle ratios. My understanding is there are subtle differences in the frame thickness and rear axle width however this is more dependent on wheelbase and not E350 vs E450. There are also differences in rear spring pack rate and sway bar rate depending on wheelbase and final GVWR. Take this with a grain of salt as I can not confirm but this is my understanding after much research and discussion with Ford staff. You state you are looking for a rig in the 2014-2015 range and I am not as familiar with that era. I will say the 6 speed transmission (2016 and newer I believe) is amazing and worth considering.I agree with Pat.
ron.dittmer 09/19/19 08:07am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Chassis-E450 VS E350

Test drove a 2019 Winnebago Outlook 25J today on the E350 chassis. Drove like a dream. It has a 58% wheelbase to length ratio and is not Stiffly sprung. Couldn't believe the nice soft ride. I was so impressed that I bought it! This coach will be used for touring only and not long term living. Pick it up next Thur. Now I know the answer to my original post! I won't be towing either. Thanks for all the replys. Road DogCongratulations!
ron.dittmer 09/18/19 03:17pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: New to RVing

Hello all, I'm very new to this. I will be retiring at years end and, looking for used class "C" 4 to 5 years old. Will be doing a lot of boondocking. Would appreciate any info on good quality/reliable motorhomes. Don't want to go much longer than 24 to 25 feet in length. Kitchen and bath are the most important features. Thank-you.Hi Old Camper 1960, This is a very long "read" but I think you will find it of value. A Side Note Here My wife and I are in our early 60's. We most exclusively boondock to save money (RV parks are expensive), we love the convenience and ability to be spontaneous, and we highly value the wilderness experience at our destinations. Our rig, a 2007 Phoenix Cruiser 2350 works exceptionally well for us in our travel style. If you desire a large house with a roomy interior, then a Phoenix Cruiser might not appeal to you. But if you desire a rig that is easier to drive, park, and manage, then it would be worth checking Phoenix's offerings. They are nice rigs if you move around a lot like we do. We don't stay in one place for weeks at a time. Ron Dittmer ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ New, used, or well used, when shopping for a conventional class B+ or C, the most important consideration is how it is constructed. This post outlines construction methods which are most affordable and methods that cost more, but are built to hold up much better to the elements and also the punishment of the road. Some motor home manufactures offer different levels of quality through their various model lines. Instead of providing a list of brands to consider, it is best to identify what "Better" is. When shopping for a motor home, don't get distracted with "Eye Candy" and "Square Footage". You want to pay close attention to how the house is constructed. Water infiltration is the number one killer of motor homes, rotting them away long before anything is worn out. Once water gets inside, it is like termites. By the time you realize there is a problem, a lot of damage has already occurred. Also consider that mold & mildew can grow inside the walls which then you have a health hazard. My advise focuses on identifying a reliably well sealed motor home. #1 BEST (Very Expensive, Can Be 1.5 times the cost of Second Best) NO structural seam work. The brand Coach House is a fine example. It is seamless, made from a mold. The only places where water can leak is cutouts for windows, entry door, roof-top vents & a/c unit, storage compartments & maintenance access, all of which are in areas of very low stress. Because they have a seamless shell, these motor homes are not common and have a limited selection of sizes and floor plans. #2 SECOND BEST Common, Affordable, & comes in Many Sizes so this is my main focus I own an example of this type. My Rig Here manufactured by Phoenix USA. Made in sections, but assembled in a way that greatly reduces the threat of water damage. Here are the good things you want to look for. a) Structural Seams Away From Corners When a motor home is driven, the house bounces, resonates, shakes, and leans countless times, representing a endless series of earthquakes. Corner seams see greater stresses than seams located elsewhere. Corner seams are more easily split, especially when the caulk gets brittle with age & exposure to the sun. One extremely bad bump in the road can instantly breach a corner seam. Seams hold up much better when they are brought in from the corners in lesser stressed areas. b) A Seamless Over-The-Van Front Cap A huge bed above the van’s roof is the most vulnerable area of a motor home. No matter how well they are made, that long frontal over-hang resonates when the RV is driven making it common for seams to split there, most troublesome with age & exposure to the elements. HERE is an example, one of many water-damage threads I have read. Scroll down in that thread to see pictures of the real damage. The small front aerodynamic cap of a B+ design HERE eliminates the overhang which eliminates most of the resonation, along with the most vulnerable seam work. There are a few conventional “C” Designs (big over-van bed) where that area is seamless. If you absolutely must have that huge bed, then look for a seamless bucket-like design. The Itasca Navion Here is a fine example. Some manufactures as of late offer a partial bucket design with fewer seams located in less-stressed areas. Some manufacture models like the Minnie Winnie and the Nexus Phantom utilize a compromising partial bucket design, making it a better choice compared to a fully seamed cab-over bed. If you plan to accommodate more than 2 people, having that large extra cab-over bed will be extremely useful. c) A Crowned Roof Rain and snow melt runs off a crowned roof. A flat roof will sag over time, then water puddles around heavy roof-top items like the a/c unit. Water eventually finds it's way inside after gaskets & caulk have degraded from age, sun, and change in seasons. d) Rolled-Over-The-Edge seamless Fiberglass Roof Sheathing A single sheet of fiberglass as shown HERE that rolls over the right & left sides of the roof, down to the wall. The overlapping of fiberglass to the wall provides a good water seal and the fiberglass sheathing holds up better than roofs made of sheet rubber or thin plastic called TPO, which require more attention to keep your RV well protected. e) A Five Sided Rear Wall Cap A five sided back wall moves the seams around to the sides to areas of much less stress as seen HERE. The rear wall resembles a shallow rectangular cooking pan standing on it's side. Like the example, some rear wall sections are constructed with an integrated spare tire compartment and rear storage compartment. Not only are they convenience features, but that rear wall/cap offers a solid double-wall for exceptional strength which is more resistant to flexing the adjoining seam work. It helps in keeping the house together. Don't be fooled. There are a select few manufactures who add rear wall sectional styling pieces over an entry level rear corner seam design which gives the appearance of a 5-sided pan design. You can easily tell by noting the sections & seams between them and the flat back wall that remains exposed. Bigger Will Be Weaker The size & floor plan you select MUST FIRST meet your needs before this consideration. The bigger the house, the weaker the structure will be. Consider two cardboard boxes made from the exact same corrugated material. The smaller box would naturally be stronger. It will be more resistant to bending, twisting, and other types of flexing. So if you are on the fence between models, the smaller one will be your stronger choice. Potentially Troublesome Construction Entry level motor homes are made with seams in corners and finished off with trim, including the massive cab-over bed. Their roof is flat and finished with rubber or TPO. They are most affordable, and come in all sizes. HERE is one such example. If considering this construction type, keep in-mind they require more regular care with bi-annual inspections. Plan to use a caulking gun now and then. When buying a used one, consider that you really don't know how well the previous owner maintained it. Buying new or used, that construction method will be counting on you to be a good non-neglectful owner. There are also the rare exception of the Lazy Daze which has seam work in the corners, but the substructure and sealing method is of the highest quality that it holds up like a seamless body. It's excellent sectional construction methods are not commonly found in other brands. I am no expert on this, but I'd give it a #1.5 Almost Like Best A Caution Concerning Slide Outs Slide outs are most popular. Everybody loves the extra floor space they provide. There are so few motor homes made without at least one slide out. Unfortunately slide outs can introduce risk of water damage to the main floor around them. Good seals work when the rig is young, but can loose their ability to seal as well with age. When looking at used rigs with slide outs, closely examine the main floor around each one. If you can lift the carpet adjacent to the slide out and see the wood floor is a gray color, that is a sign that water gets inside. Also, completely open the slide out and step on the main floor adjacent to the slide out. If it feels soft, the plywood or chip board material underneath likely requires replacing. About The Chassis The most popular is the Ford E350 and E450 with the V10 engine. The Sprinter diesel is a popular alternative to the E350 in the smaller sizes. Also within this past year is the recent introduction of the Ford Transit. The GM 3500 & 4500 chassis are not popular but are a very good choice for the right application. Any of the chassis mentioned made since 1998 are real good, new or used. If you plan to tow a car or heavy trailer, be aware that the Sprinter & Transit will be least powered. People who tow with them naturally take it slower. If considering a current-day “small” class B+ or C motor home, here is a comparison between the two current main chassis contenders, the Sprinter with the V6 diesel engine and the Ford E350 with the V10 gasoline engine. Advantages Of The Mercedes Sprinter With Diesel Engine - Offers a 35%-50% improvement in fuel economy over the Ford-V10, when both are loaded and driven identically. - More ergonomic driver compartment with more leg room. - Comfort continues with a car-like feel & quiet ride. - A grander view out the windshield - Made by Mercedes which people are attracted to. Advantages Of The Ford E350 with V10 Engine - Given identical motor homes both brand and model, the Ford is around $24,000 MSRP cheaper - The Ford V10 engine has 50% more horse power and torque - The Ford E350 chassis handles 1430 pounds more weight. - The E350 is able to tow a heavier load. - The E350 rear axle is significantly wider which translates to better stability. - In most places traveled, gasoline costs less than diesel fuel - The Sprinter diesel has limited mechanical service shops around North America - The Sprinter diesel is typically outfitted with a propane generator. Propane is a critical fuel for RV operations, and generally needs to be rationed when dry camping. - This Next Point Is Debatable But Still Worth Noting....The V6 Sprinter diesel engine is not allowed to idle for extended periods. This limitation is detrimental when you need a/c but there are generator restrictions, you are low on propane, or you have a mechanical failure with the generator or roof a/c. The Ford offers a great backup system. The V10 can safely idle for hours on end, heating, cooling, and battery charging, all valuable if you have a baby, pets, or health/respiratory issues. You decide what your priorities are, and pick the appropriate chassis. There are some really sweet motor homes being built exclusively on the Sprinter chassis, such as the Winnebago Navion and View. A few manufactures like Phoenix USA offer their model 2350 and 2400 on both the Sprinter and Ford E-Series. You can even special order a Phoenix Cruiser E-Series 4x4. There is so much cool stuff offered in recent years on the Sprinter and most recently on the new Ford Transit. The Ford Transit Chassis This chassis has the potential to dominate the class B+ & C motor home market in the smaller sizes. According to Ford's website, the Transit DRW chassis is offered in the 156", and 178" wheel base, and is rated as high as 10,360 GVWR. Ford offers a motor home package specific for the RV industry. It's diesel engine compares to the Sprinter in power and fuel economy, but is more affordable and is easily serviced at Ford service centers, just like the E350 & E450. The cab has a much lower stance than the Sprinter making it much more friendly to get into and out from for people in their later years. It's more like a mini-van rather than a standard van. The Transit's lower cab also offers roomier over-head bunks that are easier to access. The Dodge Promaster 3500 Cut-Away Chassis This front wheel drive chassis is another recent entry in the RV industry. I am concerned over it's lack of load capability as reflected with single free-wheeling rear wheels. I have been reading posts written by new Promaster RV owners stating they are over-weight with just two people, some personal effects and food. They say they can't carry water and never a 3rd person. I would not be comfortable with such a limited load range in a B+ or C. This chassis does seem to be a good option in the "B" motor home market. The Chevy 3500 & 4500 Chassis Unfortunately this chassis is not more popular, primarily because GM sort-of gave up on competing with the Ford E350 & E450. It offers more interior comfort than the Ford, but not as much as the Sprinter. It's power & weight ratings are a little less than their Ford counter-parts making them a great chassis for all but the heaviest of class Cs. They are also a little better on fuel consumption. One thing to keep in-mind, if you are counting inches in storing your rig, the Chevy is a little longer than the Ford by a number of inches which was critical for us with our garage as seen HERE with our Ford 2007 E350 rig. That could be the reason why the Chevy has a little more interior driver/passenger leg room. The Ford E350 & E450 The majority of class B+ and C motor homes are built on one of these two chassis for a number of very good reasons. They have more power and load capability than the others. Ford approves outfitters to modify the chassis to increase or decrease the wheel base which supplies motor home companies a lot of design freedom. Ford has off-the-shelf components that work with the wheel base modification. So if you need a new drive shaft, fuel line, brake line, parking brake cable, wire harness, whatever, Ford has them available. Finally, the E350 and E450 chassis is competitively priced. Engine Power Ratings of Ford, MB-Sprinter, Chevy, and Dodge Ford E350 & E450 - 6.8L-V10, 305hp, 420ft Ford Transit Diesel - 3.2L-I5, 185hp, 350ft Mercedes Sprinter Diesel - 3.0L-V6, 188hp, 325ft Chevy 3500 & 4500 - 6.0L-V8, 323hp, 373ft Dodge Promaster - 3.6L-V6 (GVW only 9,300 pounds) Now to supply some data as to why I feel our Phoenix Cruiser stands above most other brands. These two videos drag on, but provide lots of data and also clarify critical things to look for when evaluating any brand. CLICK HERE on a comparison between a Phoenix Cruiser and an unknown brand. CLICK HERE for a slideshow on how a Phoenix Cruiser is built. I feel this slide show teaches so much, especially about hidden things to consider.
ron.dittmer 09/18/19 02:13pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Fiberglass Roof

Not just a single sheet of fiberglass, but you want a "fiberglass domed" roof. The "dome" allows water and snow melt to run off instead of puddling around the heavy a/c unit. For reference, here is our 2007 Phoenix Cruiser 2350 with it's "single-sheet fiberglass domed roof". https://live.staticflickr.com/6174/6173971120_990f0097fa_z.jpg width=640
ron.dittmer 09/18/19 09:04am Class C Motorhomes
RE: What do I need to start this?

So, I stopped by the RV, to see if I could get it moved. Turns out, the battery there was just about dead. So, I brought the battery home to check and charge. I also checked what fluids I could. The oil looked alright, but the coolant had a rainbow looking hue to it. And, I think she's out of gas. I'm expecting to need to flush the coolant. But, will it suffice to get her 40 miles home?A little oil slick in the coolant is not a problem getting the rig home. But coolant in the oil is a catastrophic failure. The engine oil would look like a cream or tan colored substance. Bring 5 gallons of fresh 87 octane gas, a charged battery and also jumper cables. With all fluids topped-off and jumper cables attached to your car while it's idling, with all accessories off in both vehicles, hope for the best when cranking-over. You may have to crank for quite some time before you get a response. But before you begin cranking like crazy, read next. Your fuel pump is located inside the fuel tank. Before cranking, first turn the ignition to the last click before cranking, wait 10 seconds, then remove the key from the ignition and repeat 10 times. What you are doing is energizing the fuel pump which pumps fuel for less than 10 seconds then stops. You want to pump the gas from the rear fuel tank to the engine before cranking like crazy. Following the process significantly reduces the amount of cranking. If you have someone with you, have them do it so you can lay near the fuel tank and listen for the hummm or buzzz sound of the fuel pump. If you never hear such a sound, your fuel pump might be disabled, either from a blown fuse or locked-up fuel pump. If all fuses are good, then the pump might need a good jolt to get started. Bring a 2 foot long 2x4 for slapping the bottom of the fuel tank. Rest one end of the 2x4 on the bottom of the tank, then pivot/slap the tank, preferably while someone else is energizing the fuel pump. It sounds crazy but it works. It could take 20 or more slaps before the fuel pump jolts enough to wake up. Don't dent the fuel tank. A 1990 tank might be made of steel. Once you get the engine running, don't turn it off until you get home because you might be disabled again, requiring lots more slapping.
ron.dittmer 09/17/19 08:47pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Chassis-E450 VS E350

Pick your horse for your course.So true. For us, our course is very consistent. We always travel with too much front-end capability. It is unnecessary to jar the front half of the rig so much. We sit right above it too, so we feel the worst of it. I really want to tame the front suspension (with lower-rated front coil springs) to match the actual load.
ron.dittmer 09/17/19 08:25am Class C Motorhomes
RE: What do I need to start this?

Where the rig sits today, is there any way you can get the chassis working well enough to drive it the 40 miles to get home? Drive there in your car with tools, fix things good enough to drive it home, then drive the rig home. Get a ride from Uber later to get your car. As far as not having a license plate, I buy vehicles all the time from private parties, most often across the USA. I carry the signed-over title and bill-of-sale. I have been pulled over by the police, never more than twice so far during any trip, give them the paperwork, they go into their squad car, come back, hand me my paperwork, and let me continue on my multi-state journey. With the title signed to you, and a bill of sale to include a statement concerning the situation as written by the seller, you should get home without a violation.
ron.dittmer 09/17/19 07:51am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Chassis-E450 VS E350

Ever drive an empty uhaul? Rides like **** with no weight in it. You need enough carrying capacity for all your junk, but don't want Overkill capacity.Well Stated!
ron.dittmer 09/16/19 10:06pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Chassis-E450 VS E350

I feel our 2007, E350, 11,500 GVWR chassis is okay in back and harsh up front because the front is too light for the Superduty E350 front coil springs. I bought lower rated front coil springs to closer match the actual load with consideration to trip weight including us two people in the front seats. I don't think I will get to the spring-swap project until next spring. This diagram of our rig visualizes the load distribution. Our rig here has the 158" Ford wheelbase. I think the condition would be greatly improved if it was built on the Ford 176" wheel base. Unfortunately the floor plan could not accommodate it. https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48533409317_0b01673426_z.jpg width=640
ron.dittmer 09/16/19 08:42pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Help with a value please! Looking to purchase...

Maybe last year in 2018, or this year in 2019, Ford discontinued the E350 chassis because of it's limited production. The E450 comes now in all 3 wheel bases. The Ford web site lists the E350 cutaway as a 2019 model. It also lists both the E350 and E450 stripped chassis. If they're eliminating the E350, it would seem to be in the 2020 model year.Interesting. I do see that now. I wonder if the motor home package is available only the E450. I can't recall where I read that the E350 was (or will be) discontinued. Thanks Drew for the correction!
ron.dittmer 09/16/19 09:12am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Help with a value please! Looking to purchase...

Regarding frame extensions and wheel base adjustments, Rick Jay covered it well. I am just getting into the nitty-gritty. The Ford E350 and E450 straight from Ford, have the same length frame from the rear axle to the rear of the frame. The difference is the gauge of the frame, the E350 frame is 0.228" thick, the E450 is 0.248" thick. RV manufactures almost always add frame extensions behind the rear axle. Frame extensions provide undercarriage space for waste tanks, outdoor storage, and other items, for example a generator. RV manufactures with their variety of floor plans, they often increase and have been known to decrease a stock wheel base. Stock wheel bases are 138", 158", and 176". Ford provides special components for wheel base modification. Components impacted from a wheel base adjustment are as follows. - length of drive shaft or additional drive shaft - exhaust pipe - fuel lines - brake lines - parking brake cable - wiring harness - the frame itself Some items are replaced while others are added in-line. Specifically about the frame itself, the original frame is cut, extra frame is welded in-line for an extended wheel base, then the impacted area is reinforced with additional steel plating. Wheel bases are adjusted to accommodate the requirements of the floor plan. One example is, you can't have a toilet too close over the rear axle, nor opposite the rear axle from the waste tank. The wheel base is also adjusted to better distribute the load of the house and contents to all 6 tires. Any modification to the frame (wheel base or rear extension) has to follow the modification spec Q-18 provided by Ford. If you search the web, you can find those specs. When shopping for a motor home, if you want an unmodified Ford chassis, then you want a stock Ford wheel base of 138", 158", or 176". The E350 was offered in all 3, the E450 in the longer 2. By chance, our 2007 E350 rig has a stock 158" wheel base. I have some comfort in knowing our Ford E350 has all standard components and uncut frame. Maybe last year in 2018, or this year in 2019, Ford discontinued the E350 chassis because of it's limited production. The E450 comes now in all 3 wheel bases.
ron.dittmer 09/16/19 08:30am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Help with a value please! Looking to purchase...

Also, check the generator. Is it propane or diesel? I would not want a propane, too valuable of a fuel for other essentials.
ron.dittmer 09/14/19 07:24pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Help with a value please! Looking to purchase...

There are times when paying significantly more than NADA is worth the price. An old like-new creme puff has greater "street" value than a newer beat-up rig that elements got the best of. So it's up to the buyer to decide what it's worth to him, knowing that when it comes to insurance coverage, the book value will nix the street value. Our 12 year, stored indoors, creme puff, is migrating into that category, so maybe I am a little bias.
ron.dittmer 09/14/19 08:47am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Clean Water Heater

I have never tried this, but has anyone considered the following method of filling the HWH with solution? Remove the aerator from the sink faucet closest to the HWH. Attach a hose with funnel to it. (garden hose adapters are available) Turn on only the hot water. Fill the hot water tank. Getting it to burp might require opening another faucet or pouring slowly with no sag in the hose. My experience with such things is "don't disturb anything unnecessarily" like the pressure relief valve. You may be replacing it because it leaks after being disturbed.
ron.dittmer 09/12/19 05:02am Class C Motorhomes
RE: What do I need to start this?

Loki, I did not read through the other replies. I was able to look at the first two pictures. I get the feeling that the house will end up being a chassis-up restoration. Years ago, one guy on this forum bought something in similar condition. He posted his restoration for nearly a year. It was one continuous stream of surprises for him. At one point the walls were just studs (all replaced studs), the roof 100% brand new wood and tarp'd, and the wood sub floor was removed. He did a lot of welding to the framing supporting the floor and restoring/cleaning/painting of iron work, appliances and such. Then he started building things back up, rewiring inside the walls and such. Then we never heard from him again. I always wondered what happened. He did have a long way to go. I assume he just gave up. His posts were very entertaining with detailed descriptions and included many pictures. It appeared there was nothing that did not need restoration of some kind. The structure of the house itself seemed to be 100% new material. Expect that if your plan is to make things right. If not, you may do a lot better by driving it over to your local junk yard for scrap value. If the chassis is perfect, strip off the entire house, build a solid deck, weld on a rear cab wall, and sell the vehicle as a flat bed hauler. I wish my reply could have offered encouragement.
ron.dittmer 09/09/19 11:25pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Life is full of compromise...

Hi Dave and Tammy, Significant-downsizing is always a major adjustment. You will compromise in every category from a physical perspective. But as you are hoping for, going small and more simplistic has all it's own advantages. Considering a 25 foot Sprinter-based rig is going quite small. The good news is that many small floor plans are offered. Your biggest compromise will be sleeping arrangements. If you must sleep together in a walk-around bed, then there are just a few available floor plans to choose from. They come in a rear slide-out or side slide-out Going a bit longer than a Sprinter can offer, say around 26 feet, I think you will find more choices, especially if sleeping separately, each in your own single bed. I am partial to the Phoenix Cruiser brand we have for the price/quality ratio, the rig we have HERE, owned since 2007. I am also fond of the capability/cost/maintenance ratio the E-series has which gets some criticisms over confinement and noise at high rpm. Be sure to compare all the pros to the cons between chassis choices and the unique benefits of each fuel type, gasoline and diesel. As you noticed, a Sprinter diesel typically is outfitted with a propane generator. Another Sprinter deficiency is idling for hours at a time has severe consequences. Then adding the cost of Sprinter maintenance and limited service centers. But the Sprinter is more tamed and comfortable. CLICK HERE to look at all the various Phoenix Cruiser floor plans, many less than 26 feet. Model 2351D offers a double bed in a slideout. I feel the over-all length of 24'-11" is a whole lot of "capable" motor home in as small of a package possible without sacrificing anything. Phoenix offers optional auto-levelers and much much more.
ron.dittmer 09/09/19 10:52am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Options for Replacement Mattresses?

Our 2007 rig HERE has a rear corner bed with a cut corner. We dealt with the original less-than-ideal mattress for 10 years. Last year we decided to replace it in affordable fashion. We paid $110 for a 6" thick Hometics mattress from Walmart-on-line. Once it arrived home, we removed the zippered cover and then the heavy fire barrier. We used an electric knife and cut the corner, then put the zippered cover back on and sewn it with the extra material in a way that was not intrusive. We later bought a matching mattress cover from the RV manufacture for an exceptional finish. Here are some pictures of the project. This is the original mattress that was being replaced after 10 years. It was never dense enough for me. When I sat up, I felt the plywood deck. https://live.staticflickr.com/1879/43833019184_a5177055ee_z.jpg width=640 Here is the 6" Hometics mattress from Walmart for $110 The zippered cover and fire barrier is removed. You can see the 1.5" memory foam on top of 4.5" of regular foam. https://live.staticflickr.com/920/43150599761_a07c0155a7_z.jpg width=640 https://live.staticflickr.com/1829/42432361514_1c1c6eeb2f_z.jpg width=640 This is the zippered Hometics cover. https://live.staticflickr.com/1821/28281377567_9c278e2927_z.jpg width=640 This is the heavy fire barrier that we did NOT reuse because the mattress was too heavy to handle in the motor home for putting on bedding and such. Our original mattress did not have a fire barrier either. https://live.staticflickr.com/1808/43150598791_b6fa1d7cc6_z.jpg width=640 These tools were used. https://live.staticflickr.com/1789/43150595041_962d2b3a5c_z.jpg width=640 After the cut. https://live.staticflickr.com/1801/42247612835_94ac9b90d6_z.jpg width=640 With the zippered cover, not adjusted (shown upside-down) https://live.staticflickr.com/1825/43151674991_e22aeae93a_z.jpg width=640 Back in the motor home with the zippered Phoenix Cruiser factory cover. https://live.staticflickr.com/838/43100926892_ffb0d5cd28_z.jpg width=640
ron.dittmer 09/04/19 01:33pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Louder TV??

headphones? especially the noise cancelling ones.That's what I was thinking, as long as you are watching TV by yourself.
ron.dittmer 09/04/19 12:17am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Need to buy replacement battery

Sam's Club has those type of batteries, and in an AGM deep cycle, at reasonable prices. https://www.samsclub.com/p/duracell-agm-deep-cycle-marine-and-rv-battery-group-size-31dtmagm/prod3590232 I'm not a battery expert at all. As I mentioned Sam's doesn't carry the 31 model you mentioned but they do carry this Model 34M at my store. Do you know if this could work as a replacement for me? I don't undertand the difference between "31" and "34M". https://www.samsclub.com/p/duracell-agm-deep-cycle-marine-and-rv-battery-group-size-sl34magm/prod3590225?xid=plp_product_1_3That is too bad you can't get the AGM version. I installed a pair of Sam's Club Duracell 6V AGM (wired in series) in our motor home and they have been great. They never need water and never need the battery terminals cleaned, and they hold a lot more energy then the lead-acid equivalent. I only need to charge them when needed, just like any other battery. I am "sold" on AGM technology, so worth the extra money to me.
ron.dittmer 09/04/19 12:14am Class C Motorhomes
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