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 > Life is full of compromise...

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davelinde

Lake Nona, Florida

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Posted: 08/27/19 05:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've been reading a bit here and also made a post in the general area to see who I might chat up in the forums to get ideas. But as I ponder and google and skim I think my curiosity comes down to wondering what kind of compromises come with a class C solution vs my prior rigs. As I noted in the other post, our RV history has mapped our lives, next plan is to use an RV for an extended time travelling the US as empty-nesters.

So here are the compromises I see...

Range... our first rig had a 300 mile range and that is frankly annoying - so I over-compensated and the next rig (HDT getting 9 with 200 gallons of diesel) could do 1800 -- what can I expect in a C with a small 4 down tow behind?

Storage space - our first rig quickly put on (literally) a ton of stuff and approached over weight ratings quickly. Our second rig had storage to spare for tools and toys. I can live with less of both but would like to have compressed air, basic repair tools, a pair of bicycles, golf clubs, maybe a smoker... at least a nice grill - will I make GVWR?

Living space - we've always been able to sleep 6 to 8 comfortably but without the kids (friends... cousins etc) along now we only need to do 2 - but can we do 4 (or 6) in a pinch?

Amenities - our first rig was basic and for our second we added the genset, big tanks, 3 TV's, sound system, ice maker, second fridge, screen porch... For a smaller rig I can give all of that up I think actually - but in the last decade I think RV have new amenities I may covet? What is the must have bling?

Setup - both our rigs were labor intensive to site and setup. We are done with leveling manually... I'm thinking all class C will anchor and level with a push button? Plug in electric and decide about water/sewer later? We are assuming a 4 down tow behind for ease of local transport and ease to connect/disconnect the vehicle. I think if we can do that we don't miss the towable setup?

Comfort/ease of travel. With the 5er and 3/4 ton it was work to drive and nothing in the cab. When we had the HDT our cab had space to stand up, a coffee maker, fridge and was as easy to drive as set the cruise, engage the jake brake and let her go. While my wife refused to drive it, I found the HDT a joy. With a C I guess we have fridge and coffee close. DW says she will drive it. But do the new rigs have cruise with following distance and lane assist? Will a C get pushed around the rode like my pickup? I'm guessing I'll never get the ride and handling I had in the HDT?

Drivetrains... I see the Chevy/Ford chassis discussions here and I guess there is some religion behind that? I've had bad luck with Fords, I've never paid the premium to get a Chevy, I still have my first Dodge/Cummins and I've loved both my diesels (the Cummins and the VED12). What are the drivetrain choices we all love here?

and finally... cost. My 04 Dodge cost me 35K and I still have it - it was a bargain. I don't remember what our Jayco 5er cost (it was in the teens) but I do remember we were able to sell it at 3 years old for only a few grand less than we paid. The Volvo HDT was a splurge at another 35K and we did not sell it for anything near that later. Same with the toy hauler - it was closer to 40K and did NOT hold value. We have flexibility to spend what makes sense so I wonder what price points I should expect for an RV I'll enjoy for 3 to 5 years and what I can expect in maintenance and retained value when we sell it.


Dave Lindemulder
Tammy, Mark & Kirsten
04 Dodge 2500 4x4 SLT QC/SB HO-CTD/48RE
01 Volvo VNL660 singled VED12
09 Heartland Cyclone 3210


wanderingaimlessly

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Posted: 08/27/19 06:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For two people a class C will be comfortable if chosen to suit your travel style.

Biggest thing you may take issue with is likely to be tank sizes. If you carried 75-100 gallons of fresh and could haul out similar amounts in grey, you will generally find "C's" lacking. Most will be around 50 gal fresh, maybe up or down 10 from there, and likewise on the grey. Black is often in the 30's

Range/fuel, most newer units with Ford E-450 have 55 gallon tanks, so figure 400 miles if you are gentle, some may say a little more, some less.

If you want a washer/dryer I know the Coachmen Leprechaun311 offers that, not sure on others.

Others on here will know the generally accepted ratio but with some longer c's the rear overhang is extremely long, others seem to stretch the wheelbase more.

Happy hunting.

* This post was edited 08/27/19 06:10pm by wanderingaimlessly *

Lwiddis

Bishop, CA

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Posted: 08/27/19 06:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes, rear overhang is a big issue.


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2019 Chevy Silverado LTZ Z71, 300 watts solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL flagpole for flags. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, USF&WS, state & county camps. Bicyclist! 14 year Army vet - 11B40 then 11A - old MOS 1542 & 1560.


MDKMDK

Canada

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Posted: 08/27/19 06:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

davelinde wrote:

I've been reading a bit here and also made a post in the general area to see who I might chat up in the forums to get ideas. But as I ponder and google and skim I think my curiosity comes down to wondering what kind of compromises come with a class C solution vs my prior rigs. As I noted in the other post, our RV history has mapped our lives, next plan is to use an RV for an extended time travelling the US as empty-nesters.

So here are the compromises I see...

Range... our first rig had a 300 mile range and that is frankly annoying - so I over-compensated and the next rig (HDT getting 9 with 200 gallons of diesel) could do 1800 -- what can I expect in a C with a small 4 down tow behind?

A lot depends on how long a C you want. If a shorter 27' long diesel powered unit would work for you, then Winnebago View/Navion would work. I have one and like it. Most Ford based Cs have a V10 and a 55 gallon gas tank. The Winnebago on the Sprinter has a 26 gallon diesel fuel tank. There's a reason for that, and it's basic fuel economy. They'll both cover roughly the same distance with those fuel specs. I can get 15mpg without towing, or I can tow my 4500lb Wrangler behind my Navion and lose about 2mpg at just under 13mpg.

davelinde wrote:

Storage space - our first rig quickly put on (literally) a ton of stuff and approached over weight ratings quickly. Our second rig had storage to spare for tools and toys. I can live with less of both but would like to have compressed air, basic repair tools, a pair of bicycles, golf clubs, maybe a smoker... at least a nice grill - will I make GVWR?
The Ford based units win this one, in almost every case. The Ford E350/E450 chassis is just more robust than the Sprinter 3500 cab chassis.

davelinde wrote:

Living space - we've always been able to sleep 6 to 8 comfortably but without the kids (friends... cousins etc) along now we only need to do 2 - but can we do 4 (or 6) in a pinch?

Again, comes down to how long a unit you want. The Sprinter based units are big enough for 2 (to maybe 4) people, although 2 is the ideal population, imo. The longer Ford chassis units win this one, too.

davelinde wrote:

Amenities - our first rig was basic and for our second we added the genset, big tanks, 3 TV's, sound system, ice maker, second fridge, screen porch... For a smaller rig I can give all of that up I think actually - but in the last decade I think RV have new amenities I may covet? What is the must have bling?

This will vary with how much you want to spend. We thought our Navion came pretty well equipped for 2 people, 2 TVs, factory solar panels, factory inverter. Have a look at all the makes/models and see what's standard and what's optional. Probably some surprises for you, as some of these units are very comfortably equipped.

davelinde wrote:

Setup - both our rigs were labor intensive to site and setup. We are done with leveling manually... I'm thinking all class C will anchor and level with a push button? Plug in electric and decide about water/sewer later? We are assuming a 4 down tow behind for ease of local transport and ease to connect/disconnect the vehicle. I think if we can do that we don't miss the towable setup?
Our Sprinter based Navion has stabilizer landing gears at the rear, but due in part to the GVWR, it didn't come with hydraulic levelers. Some do, Tiffin and Isata I believe come with or have auto-levelers as an option. Many more Ford based units come with electric/hydraulic stabilizers standard or as options.

davelinde wrote:

Comfort/ease of travel. With the 5er and 3/4 ton it was work to drive and nothing in the cab. When we had the HDT our cab had space to stand up, a coffee maker, fridge and was as easy to drive as set the cruise, engage the jake brake and let her go. While my wife refused to drive it, I found the HDT a joy. With a C I guess we have fridge and coffee close. DW says she will drive it. But do the new rigs have cruise with following distance and lane assist? Will a C get pushed around the rode like my pickup? I'm guessing I'll never get the ride and handling I had in the HDT?

The new Winnebago View/Navion has cranked up the MSRP, by utilizing all the gadgets the Mercedes-Benz chassis has to offer. Our 2018 Navion is built on an entry level equipped cab chassis, with only a couple of the Sprinter's available electronic options to improve the driveability. The new 2020 models will have it all, including the ones you mentioned. In spite of that difference, our Navion is a pleasure to drive, park, and maneuver. I can't speak to the Ford chassis based units, but I had a 27' class A Sunstar on the F53 chassis that was less pleasurable to manage than our Sprinter based unit. You'll have to drive them both to decide, because it's a subjective personal preference, for the most part.

davelinde wrote:

... I see the Chevy/Ford chassis discussions here and I guess there is some religion behind that? I've had bad luck with Fords, I've never paid the premium to get a Chevy, I still have my first Dodge/Cummins and I've loved both my diesels (the Cummins and the VED12). What are the drivetrain choices we all love here?
The 2 main chassis options are the market share leading Ford E350/E450, or the up and coming Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 3500, with a few Ford Transit options here and there, but it's not really mainstream yet.

davelinde wrote:

and finally... cost. My 04 Dodge cost me 35K and I still have it - it was a bargain. I don't remember what our Jayco 5er cost (it was in the teens) but I do remember we were able to sell it at 3 years old for only a few grand less than we paid. The Volvo HDT was a splurge at another 35K and we did not sell it for anything near that later. Same with the toy hauler - it was closer to 40K and did NOT hold value. We have flexibility to spend what makes sense so I wonder what price points I should expect for an RV I'll enjoy for 3 to 5 years and what I can expect in maintenance and retained value when we sell it.
This one's largely up to you. The Sprinter is a diesel, and like most diesels, will cost more for basic maintenance, and a lot more for major stuff, unless you're a DIY diesel guy. The Ford V10 w/6 speed transmission is a solid engine and drive train. Overall maintenance will be cheaper than the MB choice, but there are so many variables that, that is arguable. If you'e a DIY person on your current diesel, maybe you can save money if you went with a MB chassis. There are probably non-DIY Ford owners out there that are paying more for their maintenance, I don't know, but I'd have to say probably. The MB Sprinter based units will cost you more up front, than most of the Ford based units. Ford wins the MSRP battle.

Hope this helps.
Disclaimer (as if it isn't obvious) - I'm now a bonified MB Sprinter person, after owning both a Chevy based Roadtrek for 10 years, and a Ford based Sunstar for less than a year. The Roadtrek was a workhorse and we drove it everywhere for fun and travel, and it rarely let us down. The Sunstar was disappointing for several reasons, the main ones being the fuel economy, the handling was dodgy, the engine noise was excessive whenever you applied the power, and the doghouse was a pita. We really like our Navion, as it does everything we want and more.


Mike.
2018 (2017 Sprinter Cab Chassis) Navion24V + 2016 JKU (sold @ ????)
2016 Sunstar 26HE, V10, 3V, 6 Speed (sold @ 4600 miles)
2002 Roadtrek C190P (sold @ 315,000kms)

PartyOf Five

Wheaton, IL

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Posted: 08/27/19 11:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

x2 Benz - I would seriously look at how much you can do without, and all the features the MB chassis offers vs. the well-worn domestics. Smaller will be easier as cities get bigger, and as we all age...


Da Moose - 2001 Dutchman 31' on E450

suprz

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Posted: 08/28/19 03:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One word, one letter... Super C! Older jayco on a Chevy Kodiak chassis. All the room, all the amenities, all the power and fuel economy. Or a newer one on the freightliner chassis


Proud father of a US Marine


DutchmenSport

Indiana

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Posted: 08/28/19 05:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think you can adapt to anything if you are accepting of changes. There are a LOT of people who thoroughly enjoy their "C's". In the end, it all boils down to your willingness to adapt to the limitations (or) the amenities that are different from your current or previous RV's. It's all up to you. Nothing says you have to stick with this change the rest of your life either. Give it a try, see if it works for you. Adapt and be flexible. After all, isn't that a great part of what this RVing is all about?

mleekamp

Washington, IL

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Posted: 08/28/19 07:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Compromise is the name of the game. We just switched from our fav setup---a truck and travel trailer to a Class C (see sig).

Couple things I'll add to what has been said, from my point of view:

1. We now have 2 dogs, and the truck was crowded with mom, dad, kid 1, kid 2, dog 1, dog 2. With the C, they are in a kennel, and sit above me in the overhang for "safety", not roaming around rig.

2. Generator. Yes, I could have put a small genny in the bed of my truck and run a cable to the TT when we stopped at roadside attractions (wall drug, largest ball of twine, you get the idea). But with the C and it's built in generator, the ENTIRE camper is cooled while driving, AND at a stop along the road to our destination (1 hour, 15 mins, whatever), the dogs are cooled.

3. Leveling. I, too grew tired of manually leveling (boards, lynx, whatever). The C we have came with the brackets from the factory, but not the leveling system installed. For just the cost of the system, I got free installation at the Michigan factory for Big Foot levelers. Now, we have hydraulic leveling at the push of a button (or 2...our system levels front to back. sometimes I need side/side and that's pushing a few more buttons.)

Those 3 points are the main reasons we went Class C. Point 2 is the biggie ... the genset.

The bottom line to your points: We compromised on "losing" the bunks in our TT to have a genset. However, I love the ease of just "going". I put the towbar to the C, main wire and safety cables, done. My girls are getting bigger and 1 will be off to college soon. We gained a lot and lost some. Some day, i can see the "cheaper" alternative to a small TT / truck vs. the C, when it's just the wife & I.

Find a good used C. We have the Ford V10 chassis and love it. Tons of power. I'd have no problem with a Chevy chassis either. Not sure why Dodge stopped RV chassis years ago.

We love our C, and it took some getting used to. But at the campsite, all is the same. Good times, good book, away from it all.


2019 Jayco Redhawk 29XK Class C, Ford V10 E450 chassis
2000 Jeep Wrangler for a Dinghy w/ Invisibrake & Curt Tow Bar

Powertour

Nevada

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Posted: 08/28/19 08:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ahhhh.... decisions decisions. There are pros & cons to every option. We just switched to a C. I've owned multiple tag trailers & 1 5ver. My wife at various times (in a previous life) owned a big tag trailer & a Class C. It all boils down to what you want or think you may want to try at this point in your life. Nobody can tell you what you will like or not like but since you're soliciting inputs on others' experiences here ya go.....

The decision that drove us to a C now is kind of as follows:

- We have 2 dogs & traveling in a truck with them any appreciable distance is a PITA

- Many of our adventures take us 4-6hrs away from home & once or twice a yr, much farther than that. Sitting in the cab of a truck for that long had became a lot less fun than it used to be.

- Getting camp setup (unhooking/leveling etc) after a long drive in the cab of a truck & then the tear down/hookup to leave.... I'm tired of it.

- All owned RVs in our life were about a 50/50mix of genset equipped or not. Having a genset is a hard requirement for me so I had a portable generator ride with us on the trailers that didn't have a genset. Stopping on the road, boondocking, & keeping pets comfy in hot weather while stopped shopping/dining etc was/is requirement. Obviously portable setups can be made to work but are a PITA compared to having an on-board one.

- Class C vs A. Found a lot more choices of pre-owned late-ish model units in C form vs As. Also, I kind of wanted something a little less big in hopes of being able to get by 'free camping' when we want or need to do so. Having a small to med size C (with no slideouts) vs an A helps our odds at slipping under the radar / being more palatable while camped...errr 'parked' at non-campground places.

- Ford Chassis with the V10 has a proven history of working. Plenty of power in our 26' C. Fuel economy is relative. For us, when we ran the #s doing a cost comparison, the added cost of a diesel (higher up-front MSRP, higher per-Gal cost of the fuel, & added cost of maintenance), combined with the amt of projected miles we'll travel over the lifespan we'll likely have it = it didn't make $s & sense to go that route.

I do miss the space one has in trailers but we've learned to be more minimalist & efficient in how we travel. For us the pros of a motorhome at this point in our life outweigh the cons by a fair bit.

Hope you enjoy whatever setup you go with next!


*-Note: I have no ill-will towards the Merc diesel platform, I think they're super nice in many regards.


2015 Itasca 25b Ford E350 V10

DutchmenSport

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Posted: 08/28/19 08:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mleekamp wrote:

...

1. We now have 2 dogs, and the truck was crowded with mom, dad, kid 1, kid 2, dog 1, dog 2. With the C, they are in a kennel, and sit above me in the overhang for "safety", not roaming around rig. ...


You made me laugh on that one! That must be quite a site! Mom, kid 1, kid 2, dog 1, dog 2 all in a kennel in the over-head! . ... um 1 kennel up there or 5 of them? [emoticon]

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