Open Roads Forum

Print  |  Close

Topic: Class C boondocking

Posted By: sawyerloggingon on 08/02/15 11:27am

Hi, I have been reading this forum quite a while now for good info but now I have a specific question. I have enjoyed my slide in camper for twenty years now and enjoyed where I can camp with it on my 4X4 PU but now we are retired and want to spend more time RVing and have more room so a class C upgrade may fill our needs. I realize it won't go the places the PU with camper can but just where can it go? How is the traction for rather steep loose dirt roads? What about posi traction, do any class C have that feature. Thanks for any input and suggestions.


Posted By: Tiger4x4RV on 08/02/15 12:28pm

If boondocking where you went in your TC is your top issue, evaluate the C by its height and width, the power of its engine, the number of tires on the ground. Will the unit you are considering actually fit into those spots? If you want a long unit, will the rear end drag?

My Tiger is a small C built on a 4x4 Chevy chassis. It goes just about anywhere that my driving skills can take it. It fits into spots where a taller and wider TC cannot go. It is probably smaller than you want, but Tiger does build some slightly larger units.
http://www.tigervehicles.com/

Most of my trips use 2WD and high clearance far more than they use the 4WD features. 4WD is usually for getting OUT of the difficult places, not for getting there in the first place. The truck has a limited-slip differential, which helps when more traction is needed.

If larger living quarters are most important to you, you might get a C which can tow a smaller 4WD vehicle to be used for exploring.

Happy trails!


2006 Tiger CX 4x4, 8.1 L gas V-8, Allison 6-speed



Posted By: tatest on 08/02/15 12:42pm

Non-slip differentials are available for the rear axles used by G3500 Chevy and E-350/E-450 chassis. 4x4 conversions are available for the E-series.

Traction will be less an issue than clearances on steep dirt roads, particularly exit angles and hanging up at center with long wheelbase models. C's typically have very long rear overhangs for load balanced to the axle capacities, and have clearance problems even on pavement. Mine likes to hang up going in and out of slightly sloped commercial driveways. But people do take these on dirt roads, where they know the road, and when they know their limits.

There have been C's specially built for the way you've used your truck and camper. Most are on conventional cab rather than van cutaway chassis, and many were made using 4x4 models and might be amenable to chassis lifts. In current production, look at C's from Tiger Adventure Vehicles. From about 10-15 years ago, there was an Xcursion line from Xplorer, a descendant of Frank Industries, one of the motorized RV pioneering companies. I think someone else has since gone into the business as Xplorer Motorhomes custom building a variety of models that will go where no conventional C motorhome can go.


Tom Test
Itasca Spirit 29B



Posted By: Quick trip on 08/02/15 12:50pm

Be sure to check out the "Phoenix Cruisers" you can get 4X4 for any thing they build!
On their website look at the 4X4 build list.
Good Luck & Drive Safe!






Posted By: pconroy328 on 08/02/15 01:25pm

Traction was OK, clearly we're not in a Jeep. But like others have said, it's clearance that's an issue. My black/grey values all hang lower and more exposed than I'm comfortable with/

If you high center your Jeep, you bust out your Hi Lift and get going. I have no idea how'd I'd move a motorhome off.

A few weeks ago we drove up a pretty tame, by 4WD or truck standards, road to a boondocking site. The road was wet and I found myself powering thru sections must faster than I would or should have just because I was scared of getting stuck.

Then there's the whole issue of trying to turn a Class C around on a narrow shelf road.


Posted By: pauldub on 08/02/15 01:42pm

A class C has a much higher percentage of weight on it's drive axle than most 2 wheel drive vehicles which gives it a lot of traction. I suspect that traction would be the least of your obstacles with a typical 24' or larger class C.


Posted By: jaycocreek on 08/02/15 03:16pm

I have owned a number of pickup campers and class c motorhomes and chose a small class c this time. The reason, more room and I still have the ground clearance and ability to get into tight spots. A typical Chevy HD pickup is 19ft long bumper to bumper without overhang from a camper. My C is 21.6 which is like a 9.5+ camper on the back of a pickup but with alot more room in side.

99.9% of my camping is boondocking off road and this little C does great at it. Put on a hitch haul for extras like gen gas and a small quiet Honda, and go or hookup to your atv trailer and load whatever.

My last C was a 24ft Beaver, just a tad long for the hard to get places and did drag bottom once in a while in hard to go get places, the smaller C doesn't do that.

[image]

Great for hunting and fishing.

[image]


'94 Ford DRW/460
Lance 9.6
Yamaha Rhino in tow
Elk hunt'n Idaho


Posted By: Holiday27 on 08/02/15 06:51pm

We love dry camping in the mountains. Do it a few times a year. We haven't had any issues. Ours is pretty low but the weight gives it pretty good traction. Nothing crazy but we have a lot of miles of dirt roads on our RV! Washboard sucks...

I'm assuming you are from Washington based on sig. If so you could do a 4wd conversion at Quad van in Portland, Or., if needed. They are awesome! They did nice work on my RV (Upgraded 2wd Front end).


2002 27PBS Holiday Rambler (Aluminum sided/roof) Love it!

Previous RV's
'94 Jamboree 22ft. (This beast had a 460 with tons of power)
'95 VW Eurovan camper (5 cyl. dog) Pulled a 3 rail fine though.
Tent">
Borrowed folks '84 VW Westfalia (water cooled)



Posted By: garyhaupt on 08/02/15 07:18pm

">][image]


I can offer some insights...and I will! Having had two C's...one with one without, for getting up those nasty loose crudy tracks, a 4x4 does that. With only rear drivers, the rears will spin out and there you are. Even with limited slip differential, once you loose the rears, you are kinda done. The ablility of the 4x4 then to drag your sorry a** up and over, make it.

A person can buy a 4x4 kit from UjointOffroad http://www.ujointoffroad.com/
that can be installed. Know a guy that did that and he is some happy. You can always get it lifted..although you`ll need to find a 4x4 shop to do that. There are no kits for a Ford E 350.

There is a good sounding shop in Utah too..or, because you are Washington, take it up to Kamloops Light truck..they did mine. With the CDN loonie so low, it won`t be such a big bite.

Those that recommend their particular brand of 4x4 RV....all great names as long as you have deep pockets. I always suggest to folks...if you don`t have those particular resources or perhaps want a bit more room...buy the C of your choice and have it converted. The bottom line will be a whole lot less money for a whole lot more truck.

And pick an RV that has the plumbing up inside..not dangling down so you can grind it off on a passing rock. It`s also hard to deal with the angle of departure. Mine is all plated underneath, so I can drag it over crud and scratch the plate, not mess up the tanks and so on.



">][image]



Gary Haupt


I have a Blog..about stuff, some of which is RV'ing.

http://mrgwh.blogspot.ca/


Posted By: BobandShaz on 08/03/15 09:00am

Look at Jayco. They had a factory built 4x4 on the E450

Bob


Bob and Sharon

2006 Winnebago Sightseer 29R Ford F53. Roadmaster Eagle 8000. 2001 Ford F150 7700 4x4. Still shopping for toad brakes. FMCA F286179



Posted By: pnichols on 08/03/15 09:52am

For a 2WD Class C that you want to take off-pavement, look for/do things like this:

- Get as short a one as you can possible camp with ... 24 feet max.

- Get as short a wheelbase chassis as possible ... 158 inches max between the front and rear axles.

- Whatever you get, put taller size (bigger diameter) tires on it. Every added inch of tire diameter gives you one-half inch more ground clearance at every point on the chassis. This is a better way to get ground clearance than a lift, because the tire diameter method continues to keep the overall center of gravity of the vehicle as low a possible while at the same time providing higher clearance for all chassis components.

- Look for a coach outer wall profile behind each rear wheel dual set that sweeps up straight starting immediately at the wheels. Some coach walls go straight back a little ways behind the rear wheels before they angle up to the back wall of the coach ... this is not the best profile to minimize off-pavement damage to coach walls.

- Look for sewer/tank components that are mounted up high at frame level and, if possible ... enclosed within a metal cabinet structure.

- Look for a built-in generator installation such that the bottom of the generator cannot be seen hanging down below the coach wall. The generator should be mounted right up at frame height ... not hanging lower.

- If possible in a short length, get the Chevy 4500 or Ford E450 chassis under the motorhome so you can crawl along slowly better with more torque on tap and less transmission slippage due to the better pulling rear differential gear ratio used in these two heavier duty chassis.

- Get as narrow a coach body exterior width as possible .... 96 inches max.

- Get as low a roof height as possible .... commensurate with the minimum stand-up height you need inside the the coach.

- Do not get a model with slides. Slides add too much additional weight and weeken the overall coach wall structure for off-pavement use.

- Get a limited slip or posi-traction rear differential if possible.

- Use the angular-traverse method to the maximum extent possible whenever crossing depressions or going over humps when off-pavement.

A short and narrow Class C on a heavy duty chassis with it's heavy items (propane tank, fresh/grey/black water tanks, built-in generator, coach batteries) mounted down low approximately at frame height like they are ... has the potential for better overall rough road stability than slide-in truck campers where all or most of the weight associated with camping is above base frame height.

Keep us posted with what you come with!

* This post was edited 08/03/15 07:17pm by pnichols *


Phil, 2005 E450 Itasca Spirit 24V


Posted By: Tiger4x4RV on 08/03/15 10:43am

X2 what pnichols said except...196 inches??? You'd need an OVERSIZE LOAD pilot truck for that!


Posted By: jaycocreek on 08/03/15 10:55am

Quote:

I realize it won't go the places the PU with camper can but just where can it go?


You just might be surprised.I really can't think of any place I have been with any of my pickup campers (all on 4X4's) I couldn't go with my currant Class C or even the 24' I had but I don't "hard Core 4X4" with a heavy camper on because things get broke with all the twisting and bending involved.

Those that have not owned pickup campers don'r realize how top heavy they are and the jacks stick out and hit things..Without the jacks mounted is much better,in my opinion..I loaded with suicide jacks on a couple.

The larger Class C you go will limit your abilities even going in and out of little camps because they will drag the rear.Been there done that on Class C's/travel trailers and pickup campers.

Think short and ground clearance and you will probably go where you went before.I chose the class C I have because it will get into places I couldn't get into with my 26ft trailer and even the smaller trailers because of total length...


Posted By: pnichols on 08/03/15 11:43am

Tiger4x4RV wrote:

X2 what pnichols said except...196 inches??? You'd need an OVERSIZE LOAD pilot truck for that!


Nope.

The common "widebody" Class C has a coach exterior width of 101 to 102 inches.

Our Class C and camping style meets every criteria I show on my list except for not having a limited slip/posi-traction rear differential .... and except for having a widebody coach of 101.5 inches exterior width .... which means:

1) We most weeve between or steer around brush, trees, and rock cliffs (if possible) lining the roadway when off-pavement.

2) Two of us are quite comfortable when boondocking in our non-slide but widebody Class C ... if we can possibly snake our way through to where we want to camp.

Many common non-widebody Class C designs fall into the 93 to 96 inch coach exterior width category.

P.S. Why should truck campers have all the fun? [emoticon]

* This post was edited 08/03/15 07:19pm by pnichols *


Posted By: sawyerloggingon on 08/03/15 12:18pm

Thanks everybody, lots of good info to digest. This is a big decision and I don't take it lightly. I'm just a poor old retired logger and can't afford a major financial mistake at this point in life. Personally I am fine with the rigging we have but my wife is needing more creature comforts so it's a balancing act, get where I want to get and keep her happy too. Aint life grand.


Posted By: jaycocreek on 08/03/15 12:21pm

Quote:

Why should truck campers have all the fun?


Exactly!

I was looking for, either or truck camper/class c and decided class c because of interior room.Having owned several of both in the past,it was a hard decision untill the wife got involved.[emoticon]

So my criteria was a camper to get into anywhere we go hunting/fishing and just messing around and the first unit we looked at met them all plus had all service records.

This one is two inches narrower than a Lance 850(94") letting me get into places any pickup camper camper can and with the much roomier interior.I use my Honda 2k most of the time instead of the noisier Onan 4k unless we plan on using the air..It's always nice to have an onboard gen set for those times you think you won't need one and don't bring one.

Good luck to the opp and his choice in a class c..After a pickup camper,I'm sure he will be a happy camper.


Posted By: Butch50 on 08/03/15 02:02pm

pnichols wrote:

For a 2WD Class C that you want to take off-pavement, look for/do things like this:

- Get as short a one as you can possible camp with ... 24 feet max.

- Get as short a wheelbase chassis as possible ... 158 inches max between the front and rear axles.

- Whatever you get, put taller size (bigger diameter) tires on it. Every added inch of tire diameter gives you one-half inch more ground clearance at every point on the chassis. This is a better way to get ground clearance than a lift, because the tire diameter method continues to keep the overall center of gravity of the vehicle as low a possible while at the same time providing higher clearance for all chassis components.

- Look for a coach outer wall profile behind each rear wheel dual set that sweeps up straight starting immediately at the wheels. Some coach walls go straight back a little ways behind the rear wheels before they angle up to the back wall of the coach ... this is not the best profile to minimize off-pavement damage to coach walls.

- Look for sewer/tank components that are mounted up high at frame level and, if possible ... enclosed within a metal cabinet structure.

- Look for a built-in generator installation such that the bottom of the generator cannot be seen hanging down below the coach wall. The generator should be mounted right up at frame height ... not hanging lower.

- If possible in a short length, get the Chevy 4500 or Ford E450 chassis under the motorhome so you can crawl along slowly better with more torque on tap and less transmission slippage due to the better pulling rear differential gear ratio used in these two heavier duty chassis.

- Get as narrow a coach body exterior width as possible .... 196 inches max.

- Get as low a roof height as possible .... commensurate with the minimum stand-up height you need inside the the coach.

- Do not get a model with slides. Slides add too much additional weight and weeken the overall coach wall structure for off-pavement use.

- Get a limited slip or posi-traction rear differential if possible.

- Use the angular-traverse method to the maximum extent possible whenever crossing depressions or going over humps when off-pavement.

A short and narrow Class C on a heavy duty chassis with it's heavy items (propane tank, fresh/grey/black water tanks, built-in generator, coach batteries) mounted down low approximately at frame height like they are ... has the potential for better overall rough road stability than slide-in truck campers where all or most of the weight associated with camping is above base frame height.

Keep us posted with what you come with!


I still don't understand what you are saying here, you are saying 193 to 196 exterior WIDTHcategory, I have never seen any RV over the 102" exterior width. The 193 to 196 inch exterior WIDTH would equal a unit that was 16.08 feet or more and like was stated above you would need a wide load permit to drive that anywhere.

I think you might mean that they fall into a 93 to 96 inch width exterior which is 7' 9" to 8' width.


Butch

I try to always leave doubt to my ignorance rather than prove it

2017 Ram 3500 Mega DRW
2018 Grand Design 303RLS


Posted By: DrewE on 08/03/15 02:07pm

pnichols wrote:

Tiger4x4RV wrote:

X2 what pnichols said except...196 inches??? You'd need an OVERSIZE LOAD pilot truck for that!


Nope.

The common "widebody" Class C has a coach exterior width of 101 to 102 inches.

.......

Many common non-widebody Class C designs fall into the 193 to 196 inch coach exterior width category.

P.S. Why should truck campers have all the fun? [emoticon]


I'm with Tiger here...I believe you actually mean 93 to 96 inches, not 193 to 196 inches. [emoticon]






Posted By: ron.dittmer on 08/03/15 02:50pm

sawyerloggingon,

I think you would be surprised how capable a smaller compact class B+ with Duel Rear Wheel (DRW) is on very primitive dirt and gravel roads. The only issue would be the amount of "rear over-hang", potential for dragging the tail on the road when approaching or getting off steep grades. A 4x4 would be wise to have in deep mud and soft sand, but if those extremes are more than planned, then a DRW will serve you nicely. Just try to pick a scaled down rig to get you through over-growth and such.

Our now eight year old rig HERE is 23'-8" long, 9'-10" to the tippy top of the a/c unit, and only 93" wide, yet it offers everything practical the bigger rigs have. You might want to check out the new ones HERE to see if new or used (with or without the optional slide out) appeals to you. They have been made for over 11 years now so you have flexibility with regards to price.

If you want the rig to have a lower profile yet to clear branches better, consider replacing the roof-top a/c unit with a pop-up sunroof, and manage with chassis a/c alone. That is a viable option for an older rig with a broken a/c unit.


2007 Phoenix Cruiser model 2350, with 2006 Jeep Liberty in-tow



Posted By: jaycocreek on 08/03/15 02:52pm

Quote:

I'm just a poor old retired logger and can't afford a major financial mistake at this point in life.


Retired logger here also. Spent most of my life living and working out of some sort of camper in the hills for work. Saves on gas or drive time with more time to relax.


Posted By: mlts22 on 08/03/15 03:50pm

If off-roading it with a 4x4 package, I wonder about the Rickson Wheels DRW to SRW conversion, which replaces two wheels with one 19.5" that can handle the same weight. It might be an idea.

I wish more people made those here in the US. There are at least three (four counting Sportsmobile) upfitters (Quigley, U Joint Offroad, and Quadvan), so I'm actually surprised that some RV company isn't making 4x4 "C"s at a decent price point here in the US.

This isn't rocket science. The price difference for the upfit to 4x4 is about the same as going to a Sprinter chassis, and from there it is almost identical the upfitting needed. I'm amazed that only Phoenix Cruiser offers 4x4 as an option, when this would come in handy for virtually any person with a class "C".


Posted By: sawyerloggingon on 08/03/15 04:46pm

ron.dittmer wrote:

sawyerloggingon,

I think you would be surprised how capable a smaller compact class B+ with Duel Rear Wheel (DRW) is on very primitive dirt and gravel roads. The only issue would be the amount of "rear over-hang", potential for dragging the tail on the road when approaching or getting off steep grades. A 4x4 would be wise to have in deep mud and soft sand, but if those extremes are more than planned, then a DRW will serve you nicely. Just try to pick a scaled down rig to get you through over-growth and such.

Our now eight year old rig ***Link Removed*** is 23'-8" long, 9'-10" to the tippy top of the a/c unit, and only 93" wide, yet it offers everything practical the bigger rigs have. You might want to check out the new ones ***Link Removed*** to see if new or used (with or without the optional slide out) appeals to you. They have been made for over 11 years now so you have flexibility with regards to price.

If you want the rig to have a lower profile yet to clear branches better, consider replacing the roof-top a/c unit with a pop-up sunroof, and manage with chassis a/c alone. That is a viable option for an older rig with a broken a/c unit.


Very nice rig in your pics. I have looked at those and am impressed with the quality of that brand in particular and the B+ in general. In my OP I was linking them in with class C in my mind as far as traction goes but the smaller profile is definitely a plus.


Posted By: OLYLEN on 08/03/15 05:49pm

Think about the service rigs for the logging operation. I have put many an RV just about anywhere there is a spur road. The turning around can be a problem but there is always a landing somewhere. Look at Elk season and the rigs you see in the woods. I would not drive blind into a new spur but if I had been there before no problem. As to traction the 450 has a good amount of weight on the drivers and can get most places. If your talking rutted out single tracks then you better get a BIG 4x4 built RV like the Unimog(SP) built on a big unit with winch's and you need a ladder to get in the house area. From OLY and know a lot of the area you might be camping in.

LEN


Posted By: pnichols on 08/03/15 07:30pm

Sorry guys about the exterior coach width typos in my two earlier posts ... guess I hadn't had enough coffee before I posted! My corrections in the two earlier posts now show in red.

Our widebody width in a 24 foot Class C has been my only concern to date in taking it off-pavement. However, as of yet it has never been an issue - just a "worry" for me.

For what it's worth, I spend some time over in the Boondocking and TC forums. In viewing the many posted photos over there showing various TC rigs in camping spots, I see very few places where it looks like my Class C couldn't have gotten to. Of course the photos usually don't show what difficulty they may have had GETTING INTO some of those places!

P.S. I consider rigs like Ron Dittmer's an excellent starting point for an affordable off-pavement Class C if it had a limited slip differential, was on the E450 chassis, and was 4X4 ... if it also meets the other criteria on my earlier list.

* This post was edited 08/03/15 07:37pm by pnichols *


Posted By: EMD360 on 08/04/15 12:56pm

Our Class C can't handle 4 x 4 roads in Colorado--they are worse that backroads in Arizona. So it depends on where you camp. We have taken the RV on some great boondocking trips though with nobody else around us. Used 4 x 4 RV's are difficult to find. I look for them all the time and have seem only a handful--most older and more miles than ours. We like to camp as close as possible to a wildlife preserve and hike there where bicycles, guns, horses, ATV's etc. are not allowed. But now that we have grandkids we often use parks with electrical hookups for their comfort. If your wife's needs are changing how many creature comforts are needed? If a bed in the back is what you need, you probably won't be in back country much, but if a fold old or upper bunk bed is good enough, you can find something smaller that will be more versitile.


We're hooked!
2003 Itasca Spirit 22e



Posted By: Gjac on 08/04/15 02:32pm

I would not rule out a short(24-28 Ft) Class A as a good compromise next camper for your wife. Generally they have better suspension systems,higher GC and more capacities like FW, and larger grey and black tanks over a Class C. If you get one with full basement storage rather than the little cut out doors you will have more storage also. And lastly they are easier to get in and out of the front cab area especially if you have bad knees and even the real short ones come with a queen size bed. I dry camp 95% of the time and the things I find as being most important are water,storage,living space,ground clearance and traction in that order. Twice in 10 years I wished I had 4 wheel drive, every thing else is a compromise.


Posted By: RobertRyan on 08/04/15 02:56pm

Tiger4x4RV wrote:

If boondocking where you went in your TC is your top issue, evaluate the C by its height and width, the power of its engine, the number of tires on the ground. Will the unit you are considering actually fit into those spots? If you want a long unit, will the rear end drag?

My Tiger is a small C built on a 4x4 Chevy chassis. It goes just about anywhere that my driving skills can take it. It fits into spots where a taller and wider TC cannot go. It is probably smaller than you want, but Tiger does build some slightly larger units.
http://www.tigervehicles.com/

Most of my trips use 2WD and high clearance far more than they use the 4WD features. 4WD is usually for getting OUT of the difficult places, not for getting there in the first place. The truck has a limited-slip differential, which helps when more traction is needed.

If larger living quarters are most important to you, you might get a C which can tow a smaller 4WD vehicle to be used for exploring.

Happy trails!

A lot of people here, can get to quite a few places without using 4WD. The rear overhang you get in U.S. Class C's does not exist here, so much easier to get around.Ground clearance is also larger as a lot go Off Road here unlike a many in NA
[image]


Posted By: ron.dittmer on 08/04/15 03:10pm

Gjac wrote:

I would not rule out a short(24-28 Ft) Class A as a good compromise next camper for your wife. Generally they have better suspension systems,higher GC and more capacities like FW, and larger grey and black tanks over a Class C. If you get one with full basement storage rather than the little cut out doors you will have more storage also. And lastly they are easier to get in and out of the front cab area especially if you have bad knees and even the real short ones come with a queen size bed. I dry camp 95% of the time and the things I find as being most important are water,storage,living space,ground clearance and traction in that order. Twice in 10 years I wished I had 4 wheel drive, every thing else is a compromise.
I cannot argue with Gjac.....all very good points.


Posted By: mlts22 on 08/04/15 03:22pm

Do short 24 foot class "A"s exist new on the Ford chassis? Gjac is definitely onto something because a class "A" has a lot more usable room than a "C" of the same size, especially if the "A" has decent basement storage.


Posted By: ron.dittmer on 08/04/15 04:19pm

Lately it seems the stripped Sprinter chassis like the WB-Via is the only realy shorty class-A. I have not seen E350/E450 stripped chassis utilized for class A's, but I have not researched that either. I have not seen but a few conventional class A's less than 30 feet.

The Tiffin Allegro Breeze 28BR is a very short diesel pusher with capacities galore, unfortunately lacking a clothes closet. That model measures only 29'-7" end-to-end. It offers so much in that short length. CLICK HERE is see the Breeze on Tiffin's website.

To get a clothes closet you have to go with the 32BR adding 3.5 feet, not worth it to me, defeating the purpose of going short in the first place. It seems there are other means of getting around the lack of a closet.

* This post was last edited 08/05/15 08:15am by ron.dittmer *


Posted By: Gjac on 08/05/15 07:14am

GBM made a 24 or 25 ft model that I looked at before I bought mine which was longer than what I wanted 33 ft. It is hard to find newer ones with more than 40 gals of FW. Older Fleetwood Bounders,Flairs had 100 gal tanks. I looked at a New short Daybreak with full basement storage, a large pass tru in the rear under the bed like a Mirada and it had a 100 gals of FW. These shorter lighter A's with high CCC ratings will have much better GC because of the suspension. I like some of the older Monaco's also.


Posted By: mlts22 on 08/05/15 12:09pm

The shortest I've seen on the E-350 chassis is the Thor Axis/Vegas, but that is 26-28 long... and with how parking spaces are, 25 feet is the utmost limit, so anything longer than that, might as well just go 31 feet and enjoy the added room available.


Posted By: ron.dittmer on 08/05/15 12:25pm

mlts22 wrote:

The shortest I've seen on the E-350 chassis is the Thor Axis/Vegas, but that is 26-28 long... and with how parking spaces are, 25 feet is the utmost limit, so anything longer than that, might as well just go 31 feet and enjoy the added room available.
Our rig is 23'-8" end-to-end and it will not fit in a regular parking space unless we are fortunate enough to find a space we could back into and let the rear over-hang grass or other. And since we tow most often, it is rarely applicable. Still we appreciate the shorter rig for a larger selection of campsites in national parks and such. We can almost always fit both the motor home and Jeep onto the same camp site. I don't recall ever separating the two. The short standard Ford 158" wheel base on the mo-ho also helps with hair-pin turns on mountain and canyon roads. My point is, bigger is better unless you spend a lot of your travels in national parks, monuments, etc. where "bigger" can limit you.


Posted By: RobertRyan on 08/05/15 01:25pm

ron.dittmer wrote:

Lately it seems the stripped Sprinter chassis like the WB-Via is the only realy shorty class-A. I have not seen E350/E450 stripped chassis utilized for class A's, but I have not researched that either. I have not seen but a few conventional class A's less than 30 feet.

The Tiffin Allegro Breeze 28BR is a very short diesel pusher with capacities galore, unfortunately lacking a clothes closet. That model measures only 29'-7" end-to-end. It offers so much in that short length. CLICK HERE is see the Breeze on Tiffin's website.

To get a clothes closet you have to go with the 32BR adding 3.5 feet, not worth it to me, defeating the purpose of going short in the first place. It seems there are other means of getting around the lack of a closet.

Correct, the Winnebago and Itasca Class A's are the only one built on the Sprinter


Posted By: fortytwo on 08/05/15 08:14pm

The Axis, Vegas, Ace, are built on the Ford 350 chassis. Many compromises, including access for maintainability. 26 foot Class A's on the F53 chassis exist, but are pretty tall for taking into tight trails. Be prepared for plenty of scratches. For a go anywhere C look at EarthRoamer. Sendy, but designed for off road use.


Wes
"A beach house isn't just real estate. It's a state of mind." Pole Sitter in Douglas Adams MOSTLY HARMLESS


Posted By: chloe's ranch on 08/06/15 03:03pm

I agree with many of the replies so far. We recently did what Gary Haut suggested: getting a four wheel drive conversion done on a used short class C. Lots cheaper than a new 4x4 rv, and finding a used 4x4 that you like is almost impossible. Find a good used short class C that you and your wife like (comfortable floor plan.) Preferably on the E 450 chassis. Then get it converted to four wheel drive. We also had a camper on our four wheel drive truck for a few years, but then bought our used C to gain more room and creature comforts, but of course the C couldn't go where our truck and camper could--primarily because of ground clearance issues. The conversion we had done involves a 4 inch lift, and then we changed over to 235-85-16inch all terrain tires which added another 1 inch of lift. That extra 5 inches of ground clearance really makes a difference on some of the rougher Forest Service roads. We recently were out boondocking at a beautiful spot for 4 days in the middle of Plumas National Forest. We were literally miles away from the next campers. Would not have driven in there without the conversion. Hope you find something you like and can afford, as it really is a great way to go "camping. "


Posted By: Snowman9000 on 08/06/15 04:04pm

These lifted C's, how do they handle on the highway? It seems almost risky from that standpoint.


2014 Sunseeker 2300 Class C (Chevy 4500)



Posted By: chloe's ranch on 08/06/15 05:06pm

Ours seems to drive pretty stable on the highway, partly because the added weight of the conversion is down low(the transfer case and front drive shaft). I'm sure it wouldn't win a race in a slalom course though. We drive ours conservatively, especially on two lane mountain highways. Obviously this change is best suited for those of us that love getting off the main highways and into those out of the way boondocking spots on Forest Service or BLM land. (Although we plan to use the 4wd in the winter to do some overnight rv parking at one of our local ski areas that we like.)


Posted By: pnichols on 08/07/15 09:48am

Snowman9000 wrote:

These lifted C's, how do they handle on the highway? It seems almost risky from that standpoint.


That's a very good point!

Generally, I'm against lifting of an off-road vehicle any more than is absolutely necessary to gain room for suspension movement.

A body lift raises a whole bunch of the vehicle that has nothing to do with making room for suspension movement, which of course has the negative affect of raising the vehicle's center of gravity (which is not desired on side-sloping off-roads and in highway curves) ... plus raising a cross-wind sail (the coach walls) a lot higher when going down the road.

Fitting as large as possible diameter tires - that will still clear the stock fender wells - is the best way to gain clearance for all low hanging chassis components, while at the same time keeping the center of gravity as low as possible.

If one must lift a Class C to add 4X4 capability, then start with the E450 chassis because it's rear track is wider than that of the E350 (it's rear differential ratio also is lower - for better off-road slow travel/crawling) ... which gives it more lateral stability to deal with the vehicle's higher profile.


Print  |  Close