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dicknellen

Fallon Nevada

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Joined: 09/28/2004

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Posted: 08/29/20 05:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a 24' class c and many times thought I would like to have a 32' class a again. Why do you want a 24' class c? My favorite motorhome was new 1990 Winnebago Superchief class A. Loved camping in it and enjoying the view thru the big front windshield. Many times I have wondered why I sold it and purchased a 5th wheel. Now I have a class c. If your staying with a gas class c you not going to see much MPG improvement. I also thought with the 24' class c I would not want a toad, went without one for awhile and didn't like not having one. Don't jump into downsizing. Dick

BFL13

Victoria, BC

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Posted: 08/29/20 06:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Got the C after years with the 5er. DW never got on to hitching and un-hitching , but drove the truck ok (except backing [emoticon] ) So now we have the C and still get it all done, but either one of us could do it all if need be (older now). Don't need a toad for where we go.

So I am not sure either why to go from an A to small (much smaller!) C that both could drive all same. OP must have good reason, who knows?


1. 1991 Oakland 28DB Class C
on Ford E350-460-7.5 Gas EFI
See Profile for House electronics set-up.
2. 1991 Bighorn 9.5ft Truck Camper on 2003 Chev 2500HD 6.0 Gas

Gjac

Milford, CT

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Posted: 08/29/20 09:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There are two main reasons why I wanted to down size. The first is two front end failures while taking a corner. The first was at 25 mpg getting on an interstate in Ohio. LH ball joint just collapsed. I took about a 2 weeks to get it fixed. It was still a harrowing experience for my wife. After it was fixed I assured her it was as good as new. The shop I used back home told me that the shop in Ohio put the wrong ball joints in so they replaced both sides. The following year in Montana while rounding a curve at 60 mpg the rh ball joint failed, dropped, blew the front tire and we almost flipped over. I had all I could do to hold on to the steering wheel and bring it to a stop. To make matters worse the sparks or hot rubber from the front end or hot tire pieces started a fire in the dry grass and came within 20 ft of the MH before some passer by's helped get it under control before the fire dept came. This was in a remote area of Mt. and we could not find a truck stop to work on a Class A MH. Not many truck stops want to work on Class A MHs anyways. The MH had to be towed 250 miles west to Great Falls Mt because that is the only place the insurance co. could find that would take it. The accident happed in July, we did not get the MH fixed until Nov.so we had to drive back in the snow. That really did it for my wife. Turns out the shop back home put in undersized ball joints twice. All P-30 chassis are not the same( another story). So when my wife thinks about all the mountainous windy roads we traveled out west and a front end failure occurred we would defiantly gone over the edge. So the two main reasons is two accidents one almost fatal the second when you need chassis work on a larger MH in a remote area in the summer time when many folks travel finding a truck stop to work on one can be very difficult. I would much prefer a 30-32 ft Class A with a straight front axle but my wife says 3 strikes and your out.

cbigham

orange , CA

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Joined: 01/06/2005

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Posted: 08/29/20 09:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

[image]

I have a 23u, about 24'10" as someone stated. Previous to thus I had a 40 ft diesel funmover. B4 that, 5th wheel toyhauler, diesel truck. I bought this 23u BECAUSE it had no slide outs, so no slide out issues. Been there, done that. I adjusted the caster to the max on alignment, added a heavy duty torsion bar to the rear. Really helped in the wind.

My model is on a e450 chassis, 2017. I wanted more truck in case I needed it. That said, I'm an avid dirt biker/dual sport rider. With this setup I carry a load on the hitch of less than 500 lbs with gas can for short trips, or tow a jeep and hang a bike off that for longer trips. I store a sea eagle kayak in the cargo bay along with spares, tools, tires, etc. Always travel with water full. Always. Never know if where I go has water. I get 8.4 to 9.6 without towing and 8.1 to 8.5 towing. Eh. Is what it is.

It's proven tough enough to take the occasional dirt roads, foul weather. The box structure is stronger without the slide out holes. It's very handy to drive. Another consideration for me is there are thousands of high mileage Thor basic 23u models out over 100k miles in the rental business getting abused. If the product can take that, it can take me. Fwiw I'd step up and get the 23u instead of the 22 model. Might not seem like much but that barrel chair makes a big difference on your back moving to chairs if stuck in during rain!

* This post was edited 08/29/20 10:11pm by cbigham *

pnichols

The Other California

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Posted: 08/30/20 04:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gjac wrote:

There are two main reasons why I wanted to down size. The first is two front end failures while taking a corner. The first was at 25 mpg getting on an interstate in Ohio. LH ball joint just collapsed. I took about a 2 weeks to get it fixed. It was still a harrowing experience for my wife. After it was fixed I assured her it was as good as new. The shop I used back home told me that the shop in Ohio put the wrong ball joints in so they replaced both sides. The following year in Montana while rounding a curve at 60 mpg the rh ball joint failed, dropped, blew the front tire and we almost flipped over. I had all I could do to hold on to the steering wheel and bring it to a stop. To make matters worse the sparks or hot rubber from the front end or hot tire pieces started a fire in the dry grass and came within 20 ft of the MH before some passer by's helped get it under control before the fire dept came. This was in a remote area of Mt. and we could not find a truck stop to work on a Class A MH. Not many truck stops want to work on Class A MHs anyways. The MH had to be towed 250 miles west to Great Falls Mt because that is the only place the insurance co. could find that would take it. The accident happed in July, we did not get the MH fixed until Nov.so we had to drive back in the snow. That really did it for my wife. Turns out the shop back home put in undersized ball joints twice. All P-30 chassis are not the same( another story). So when my wife thinks about all the mountainous windy roads we traveled out west and a front end failure occurred we would defiantly gone over the edge. So the two main reasons is two accidents one almost fatal the second when you need chassis work on a larger MH in a remote area in the summer time when many folks travel finding a truck stop to work on one can be very difficult. I would much prefer a 30-32 ft Class A with a straight front axle but my wife says 3 strikes and your out.


For onroad handling, stability, and ease of maintenance and repair I recommend a Class C as small as you can tolerate ... and look for it built on a Ford E450 chassis - NOT an E350 chassis. The additional ruggedness and general overall "chassis overkill" of an E450 for a small Class C - that will never be an overloaded chassis regardless of how much stuff you want to pack it with, including full tanks - makes for a great combination that you can trust to take better care of you.

Many folks could not tolerate this, but -> stay away from slides. They just add a level of complexity and structure compromise that is not needed for ultimate coach integrity and reliability mile after mile, season after season. For the maximum coach interior feeling in a slideless short Class C, make sure it's of the "widebody" design style - from 100 inches to 102 inches wide.

Our first new motorhome has been - right from the start - a great fully self-contained little rig that has taken us on trips up to 10 weeks long all over the U.S. and out into the middle of nowhere in the Western U.S. deserts for us to explore and camp (we're rockhounds). We can park it just about anywhere in parking lots and in public campgrounds with tent-size spots if required. It is rock solid stable on the open road on curves and in high cross-winds, but I did have installed Koni FSD (Frequency Selective Damping) shocks in the rear to soften the jolts from highway cracks - due to it's under-loaded E450 chassis.

Our Itasca (Winnebago built) E450 based, widebody, slideless, Class C has all of this in it's 24 foot length:

- Two queen beds (rear corner and cab overhead).
- One full size bed (dinette quickly converted if/when needed).
- Built-in privacy curtains for the rear bed and bathroom, cab overhead bed, and cab area.
- A built-in 4000 watt generator that is quiet enough to be tolerated inside and outside for hours.
- A 13,500 BTU air conditioner, fully ducted throughout the coach.
- A 101 inch wide coach design.
- Non-stock larger diameter tires for more off-highway clearance.
- One swivel/sliding lounge chair.
- Swept up rear coach wall design for a better departure angle on off-road ruts and uphill driveways.
- An 18 gallon propane tank (60-65 lbs. of propane when filled to ~80%).
- A 25,000 BTU furnace, fully ducted throughout the coach.
- 45 gallons of fresh water.
- 39 gallons of black water.
- 29 gallons of grey water (the black and grey tanks can be combined).
- Two 12V Group 31, 115 AH each, deep cycle AGM coach batteries with monitors in the coach and the cab.
- No low hanging coach outside components (all plumbing/electrical items are high up in locked outside cabinets).
- 7 outside steel lined cabinets, with two of them extending cross-wise under the coach floor for long items.
- A good performing propane/electric refrigerator for drycamping with no sun, if necessary.
- A dry bath with a good sized shower, including a double-pane skylight over the shower.
- A solid heavy duty exterior ladder for roof access anywhere, anytime.
- An automatic outside coach step that does not portrude lower than the coach wall when retracted.
- A 158 inch wheel base that even makes possible U-turns on most residential streets.

Here's us camped off a 4x4 road way out there in Death Valley:
[image]


Phil, 2005 E450 Itasca Spirit 24V

dicknellen

Fallon Nevada

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Joined: 09/28/2004

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Posted: 08/30/20 06:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gjac, those sound like good reasons to me. The picture of the Itasca Spirit is the same model 24v I have in Winnebago. If the DW is not happy with the RV you won't be using it much. I guess I should be glad I still don't have my 1990 Superchief on a P30 chassis. I do like the fact class C's have driver & passenger doors and air bags. One thing the most of the newer models that have the corner bed they have reduced the width of the bed to make the bathroom a little bigger, my is a short queen 60" wide I think 75" long. Dick

* This post was edited 08/30/20 06:09pm by dicknellen *

Atlee

Mechanicsville, VA

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Posted: 08/31/20 02:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I agree with every thing you've said, including about the slide. I do now have a 24' Class C, on the the E450 w/ 158" WB.

Unfortunately, I had to get a slide. A corner bed just wouldn't work for us, especially me. Back in the day when I could sleep 8-9 hours at a time, it would be doable. Now, I will 5 straight hours of sleep in the best of times. Usually, it's 4, and sometimes only 3.

I could not continually crawl out the corner of a corner bed all the time. I'm envious of not having a slide though.

pnichols wrote:

Gjac wrote:

There are two main reasons why I wanted to down size. The first is two front end failures while taking a corner. The first was at 25 mpg getting on an interstate in Ohio. LH ball joint just collapsed. I took about a 2 weeks to get it fixed. It was still a harrowing experience for my wife. After it was fixed I assured her it was as good as new. The shop I used back home told me that the shop in Ohio put the wrong ball joints in so they replaced both sides. The following year in Montana while rounding a curve at 60 mpg the rh ball joint failed, dropped, blew the front tire and we almost flipped over. I had all I could do to hold on to the steering wheel and bring it to a stop. To make matters worse the sparks or hot rubber from the front end or hot tire pieces started a fire in the dry grass and came within 20 ft of the MH before some passer by's helped get it under control before the fire dept came. This was in a remote area of Mt. and we could not find a truck stop to work on a Class A MH. Not many truck stops want to work on Class A MHs anyways. The MH had to be towed 250 miles west to Great Falls Mt because that is the only place the insurance co. could find that would take it. The accident happed in July, we did not get the MH fixed until Nov.so we had to drive back in the snow. That really did it for my wife. Turns out the shop back home put in undersized ball joints twice. All P-30 chassis are not the same( another story). So when my wife thinks about all the mountainous windy roads we traveled out west and a front end failure occurred we would defiantly gone over the edge. So the two main reasons is two accidents one almost fatal the second when you need chassis work on a larger MH in a remote area in the summer time when many folks travel finding a truck stop to work on one can be very difficult. I would much prefer a 30-32 ft Class A with a straight front axle but my wife says 3 strikes and your out.


For onroad handling, stability, and ease of maintenance and repair I recommend a Class C as small as you can tolerate ... and look for it built on a Ford E450 chassis - NOT an E350 chassis. The additional ruggedness and general overall "chassis overkill" of an E450 for a small Class C - that will never be an overloaded chassis regardless of how much stuff you want to pack it with, including full tanks - makes for a great combination that you can trust to take better care of you.

Many folks could not tolerate this, but -> stay away from slides. They just add a level of complexity and structure compromise that is not needed for ultimate coach integrity and reliability mile after mile, season after season. For the maximum coach interior feeling in a slideless short Class C, make sure it's of the "widebody" design style - from 100 inches to 102 inches wide.

Our first new motorhome has been - right from the start - a great fully self-contained little rig that has taken us on trips up to 10 weeks long all over the U.S. and out into the middle of nowhere in the Western U.S. deserts for us to explore and camp (we're rockhounds). We can park it just about anywhere in parking lots and in public campgrounds with tent-size spots if required. It is rock solid stable on the open road on curves and in high cross-winds, but I did have installed Koni FSD (Frequency Selective Damping) shocks in the rear to soften the jolts from highway cracks - due to it's under-loaded E450 chassis.

Our Itasca (Winnebago built) E450 based, widebody, slideless, Class C has all of this in it's 24 foot length:

- Two queen beds (rear corner and cab overhead).
- One full size bed (dinette quickly converted if/when needed).
- Built-in privacy curtains for the rear bed and bathroom, cab overhead bed, and cab area.
- A built-in 4000 watt generator that is quiet enough to be tolerated inside and outside for hours.
- A 13,500 BTU air conditioner, fully ducted throughout the coach.
- A 101 inch wide coach design.
- Non-stock larger diameter tires for more off-highway clearance.
- One swivel/sliding lounge chair.
- Swept up rear coach wall design for a better departure angle on off-road ruts and uphill driveways.
- An 18 gallon propane tank (60-65 lbs. of propane when filled to ~80%).
- A 25,000 BTU furnace, fully ducted throughout the coach.
- 45 gallons of fresh water.
- 39 gallons of black water.
- 29 gallons of grey water (the black and grey tanks can be combined).
- Two 12V Group 31, 115 AH each, deep cycle AGM coach batteries with monitors in the coach and the cab.
- No low hanging coach outside components (all plumbing/electrical items are high up in locked outside cabinets).
- 7 outside steel lined cabinets, with two of them extending cross-wise under the coach floor for long items.
- A good performing propane/electric refrigerator for drycamping with no sun, if necessary.
- A dry bath with a good sized shower, including a double-pane skylight over the shower.
- A solid heavy duty exterior ladder for roof access anywhere, anytime.
- An automatic outside coach step that does not portrude lower than the coach wall when retracted.
- A 158 inch wheel base that even makes possible U-turns on most residential streets.

Here's us camped off a 4x4 road way out there in Death Valley:
[image]



Erroll, Mary, Duffy the Dachshund (RIP)
2018 Jayco Redhawk 22J
2017 Jayco Jay Flight 23RB
2014 F150 Supercab 4x4 w/ 8' box, Ecoboost & HD Pkg

And Blue Ox WDH/Sway Control

Gjac

Milford, CT

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Posted: 08/31/20 04:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Very thoughtful information. The two questions I have is what is the difference between the 350 and 450 chassis. Is it just suspension, or is transmission, rear end, and frame upgraded also. I have a slide now in my class A, it has never given me any problem. When I worked in aerospace when ever large cut outs in the airframe were required for say a sliding door the surrounding structure was always beefed up to support the large cut out. I would assume that the eng's that design the house structure did the same. The down side was always weight. Do you guys know of side walls failing because of slides?

ron.dittmer

North-East Illinois

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Posted: 08/31/20 06:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi Gjac,

Our rig (SEEN HERE) measures 23'-8" end-to-end. We special ordered it new back in 2007 without a slide out. It is built on a 2007 Ford E350 chassis with 158" wheel base. When loaded up on trips and when empty, the tail is heavy and the front is light. I improved handling and ride by investing in the following extras.

- heavy duty front and rear stabilizer bars made by Roadmaster
- heavy duty RV shocks made by Bilstein
- heavy duty front steering stabilizer made by Safe-T-Plus
- rear trac bar made by Henderson
- changed the front coil springs to a lower-rated pair (to soften the ride up front)
- had a wheel alignment done

Today the new 2021 E350 and E450 is a much better chassis with a new engine that offers even more power, also a transmission with more gears. The chassis also has improved fuel economy and is more load-capable. The differences between the new E350 and E450 are very minor for 2021 compared to years ago because of today's limited production. Back in the day, the E350 cut-away utilized the E150, E250, E350 van parts bin. But since the van was discontinued (replaced with the Transit) the E350 cut-away has more commonality with the E450 cut-away to keep unique parts to a minimum. You would have to compare the specs of each to understand every difference today. I personally would consider the E450 but budget for spring adjustments so the chassis closer matches your actual load. If you don't do that, your rig will shake and rattle so mush worse than it needs to.

There are two basic class C rigs in the shorter lengths.
- rear corner main double or queen size bed
- no main floor bed, you sleep in the cab-over bed

Regarding which class C (and B+) are better, consider the following.

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 is a fine example. If your requirements are to have a large class-C with a massive over-van bed, the best example I seen was this Fleetwood Tioga model offered around 2008-2009. It is unfortunate all class-Cs don't practice seamless cab-over area construction for it would greatly improve the class-C industry.

Increasing in popularity by many manufactures is a shallow bucket design with fewer seams located in less-stressed areas. The Nexus Triumph is one such example. This shallow bucket design is a reasonable compromise.

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. Some manufactures add rear wall sectional styling which gives the appearance of a 5-sided pan design. Though not as desirable, they are still an improvement because all the holes for lighting and such are not in the structural wall where water could otherwise get inside the house. You can easily tell by noting the sections & seams between them and the flat back wall that remains exposed. CLICK HERE to see an example.

f) Walls Are Either Resting On The Floor Or Bolted Against It
Common sense would say the walls should rest on the floor, but some manufactures actually bolt the walls into the side of the floor framing. This means the weight of the roof and walls (and everything hanging on them) rests on mounting bolts. How well will that method hold up when being driven for so many thousands of miles? Checking for this is very difficult. It takes a trained eye for sure. CLICK HERE for an example of it done right with the walls resting on the floor.

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 properly as they 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, and this year Ford replaces that 6.8L-V10 with a larger, more powerful 7.3L-V8. The Ford Transit diesel and the Mercedes Sprinter diesel are popular alternatives to the E350 in the smaller sizes. 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 Transit and Sprinter will be least powered. People who tow with them naturally take it slower. I am not sure a Transit can tow anything significant. That needs further research.

If considering a recent “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.

The Ford Transit Chassis
This chassis is increasing in popularity in the smallest 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 lower stance than the Sprinter making it much more friendly to get into and out from for people in their later years. Entering and exiting is 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, and with the changes in recent years to the engine and transmission, the good reasons increase. 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 (7.3L-V8 starting in 2020)
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 undisclosed brand. I think it is a Nexus. There is a lot of nit-picking but is notable when adding it all up. It is also educational on what makes a better motor home...of coarse at a higher price too.

CLICK HERE for a slideshow on how a Phoenix Cruiser is built. I feel this slide show teaches so much, especially about hidden things that unsuspecting buyers would never think about.

* This post was edited 08/31/20 07:08am by ron.dittmer *


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


BFL13

Victoria, BC

Senior Member

Joined: 02/15/2006

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Posted: 08/31/20 07:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

IMO "going shorter" has major issues for standard of living when you are used to longer. You can feel really cooped up in the shorter rig. Clever floor plans can help with that, but can't change it.

We had a thread here a while back on the pros and cons of 24s vs 28s that would be worth reviewing before pulling the trigger on a 24.

EG, I like to be up early, make coffee, and use the bathroom while DW likes to sleep in. A door is way better than a curtain! What if one person likes to read a book while the other likes to watch TV? Doors are better than curtains! Ours has twin beds in the back which is good for having to get up in the night without disturbing the other as was mentioned above. [emoticon]

I don't agree that slides are bad. The more living space you can have the better, no matter whether a 24 or a 28. Slides are common in RVs for years now and they are not a mechanical/electrical nightmare. If they act up, it is usually an easy fix like a new in/out switch.

Ours has swivel chairs opposite the table instead of a long sofa-bed. You can swivel and look out the windows on that side, but on a sofa, you can't do that. Also there is lots of floor space behind the two chairs for where all the many shoes and sandals go. Can't do that with the sofa option. So where would all those shoes and sandals go? You can swivel to watch TV, but on a sofa you have to find a way to sprawl out with a cushion behind you--not comfy IMO.

I get being gun-shy from that experience with the long A, but length had nothing to do with it. You get the same fix result for that by going to a longer C as by going to a shorter C. 28 is still shorter than 32. Of course DW is the one that will decide that.

Do spend time in a 24 and in a 28 and really think about how it would feel after a while depending on your lifestyles. Perhaps a 24 would work. Not for us. YMMV

* This post was edited 08/31/20 07:38am by BFL13 *

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