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 > Modify OR Access Easily Over cab Bed for the Older Camper

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navegator

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Posted: 01/18/21 06:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When I purchased the C it did not have a ladder, it was a demonstrator and I realized that the drivers seat was used by looky-loos to climb to the overhead bunk, the back was crooked in comparison to the copilots seat, I ended up taking it apart and straitening a number of parts and replacing the arm rest detent mechanism, best thing to do modify a wood ladder or have one made.

navegator

bobndot

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Posted: 01/18/21 07:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

See if Happijac will fabricate one for you.

https://happijac.com/bed-lifts.html

klutchdust

Orange, California

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Posted: 01/19/21 09:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pnichols wrote:

Gjac wrote:

I have been thinking about this issue my self. Most all the small class C’s have this corner bed and would not work well for two older people so one would have to sleep somewhere else. Has anyone tried reclining the front seat and using that to get down in the middle of the night? Can you step on the couch then to the reclined front seat to get up and down.?


Our 24 ft. Class C has a dinette that easily converts into a full bed in addition to a rear corner queen bed and a cabover queen bed. A couple could sleep one in the rear corner queen bed and one in the dinette full bed if neither on one wanted to use the cabover bed.


MY experience with dinette sleepers is they tend to be stiff and uncomfortable but that can be dealt with.I had a high end sleeper sofa from Itasca that we removed and sold because of that.

I personally have a topper in my new (to me)RV that is very comfortable ,but where would you store that if it wasn't on the bed.

pnichols

The Other California

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Posted: 01/19/21 11:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

klutchdust wrote:

pnichols wrote:

Gjac wrote:

I have been thinking about this issue my self. Most all the small class C’s have this corner bed and would not work well for two older people so one would have to sleep somewhere else. Has anyone tried reclining the front seat and using that to get down in the middle of the night? Can you step on the couch then to the reclined front seat to get up and down.?


Our 24 ft. Class C has a dinette that easily converts into a full bed in addition to a rear corner queen bed and a cabover queen bed. A couple could sleep one in the rear corner queen bed and one in the dinette full bed if neither on one wanted to use the cabover bed.


MY experience with dinette sleepers is they tend to be stiff and uncomfortable but that can be dealt with.I had a high end sleeper sofa from Itasca that we removed and sold because of that.

I personally have a topper in my new (to me)RV that is very comfortable ,but where would you store that if it wasn't on the bed.


I use a 3" foam topper on top of the built-in foam mattress in the overhead cab bed where I sleep. I can sleep in the overhead cab bed without the topper, if I have to, thanks to the nice stock 5-6" foam mattress that Winnebago built-in up there.

When we have a need for the full bed that the dinette makes into, I just borrow the extra 3" foam topper I normally have on the overhead cab bed and use it on this dinette full bed to provide added comfort for whoever sleeps there.

The above is another reason I like the classic Class C configuration with the large overhead cab bed area. Whether it's used for sleeping or not ... it's a great huge interior area that can be put to good use. It also helps shade the cab to keep sun's heat under control, plus there's less water, sleet, or snow blasting the windshield when having to drive in bad weather.

I would never own a so-called Class B+ just because of the more streamlined small overhead cab area. You gain a lot of versatility by having that large overhead cab area of a classic Class C available for whatever.


Phil, 2005 E450 Itasca Spirit 24V

Bordercollie

Garden Grove, CA, USA

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Posted: 01/20/21 02:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think the OP meant that they couldn't use any type of ladder safely. If their RV has a rear dinette that converts into a full bed, that might be sort of a solution. It is a pain to convert dinette to a bed, add covers and pillows, and convert it back in the morning. Consider buying a 27 foot motorhome with a rear queen bed or separate twin beds. With a bedroom slide, you can have access on both sides of RV queen bed for ease of egress and access during the night.

Gjac

Milford, CT

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Posted: 01/22/21 05:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pnichols wrote:

klutchdust wrote:

pnichols wrote:

Gjac wrote:

I have been thinking about this issue my self. Most all the small class C’s have this corner bed and would not work well for two older people so one would have to sleep somewhere else. Has anyone tried reclining the front seat and using that to get down in the middle of the night? Can you step on the couch then to the reclined front seat to get up and down.?


Our 24 ft. Class C has a dinette that easily converts into a full bed in addition to a rear corner queen bed and a cabover queen bed. A couple could sleep one in the rear corner queen bed and one in the dinette full bed if neither on one wanted to use the cabover bed.


MY experience with dinette sleepers is they tend to be stiff and uncomfortable but that can be dealt with.I had a high end sleeper sofa from Itasca that we removed and sold because of that.

I personally have a topper in my new (to me)RV that is very comfortable ,but where would you store that if it wasn't on the bed.


I use a 3" foam topper on top of the built-in foam mattress in the overhead cab bed where I sleep. I can sleep in the overhead cab bed without the topper, if I have to, thanks to the nice stock 5-6" foam mattress that Winnebago built-in up there.

When we have a need for the full bed that the dinette makes into, I just borrow the extra 3" foam topper I normally have on the overhead cab bed and use it on this dinette full bed to provide added comfort for whoever sleeps there.

The above is another reason I like the classic Class C configuration with the large overhead cab bed area. Whether it's used for sleeping or not ... it's a great huge interior area that can be put to good use. It also helps shade the cab to keep sun's heat under control, plus there's less water, sleet, or snow blasting the windshield when having to drive in bad weather.

I would never own a so-called Class B+ just because of the more streamlined small overhead cab area. You gain a lot of versatility by having that large overhead cab area of a classic Class C available for whatever.
Phil you make some good points. However are there any advantage to a lower profile B+ like the Phoenix or BT Cruiser as far as ride quality(lower CG) or better MPG (more aerodynamic)? Do you still tow a car in your 24 ft MH?

pnichols

The Other California

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Posted: 01/22/21 08:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When we were shopping for a new Class C in 2005 I reasoned that for the best overall handling and stability when underway, I should find one in which the chassis design margins were pushed minimally by the coach weight, the coach center of gravity, and the coach height.

To keep coach weight relatively low in relation to the chassis weight carrying design limits, I chose a 24 ft. Class C with no slides built on about the only overkill chassis available at the time - the cutaway Ford E450 van chassis. However, the Chevy 4500 cutaway van chassis may have been available then, too. The Ford E350 or Chevy 3500 chassis would have been "adequate" to carry around the weight of a 24 ft. coach, but I wanted a bit more than adequate. We can load our Class C in any way and as much as we want and I can't feel any difference in it's handling.

The E450 chassis also has a wide spacing of it's rear dual tire sets (wider than the E350, maybe wider than the Chevy 3500, and definitely wider than the Sprinter), so lateral (side-to-side) stability is maximized. This additional stability is not only beneficial for taking curves at speed, it is also beneficial to counter-act the force of crosswinds on the somewhat tall sidewalls of a classic Class C. Of course the stiff shocks on the E450 chassis - especially when combined with it's wide rear dual tire sets - also help to produce good lateral stability.

I chose a 24 ft. classic Class C to keep coach weight down as compared to a longer one. Of course all heavy items on it are down low, as is the case on most Class B and Class C motorhomes, so the center of gravity is relatively low ... which helps with lateral stability.

We wanted more interior storage and move-around room, so a narrower coach bodied Class B+ or Class C would have been too constrictive for us. Our coach is a "wide body" one at about 101 inches wide, so the interior feels "open" enough. It's exterior storage is also generous because it's a basement design in which the coach floor is a bit higher than the cab floor. What this provides is taller outside storage cabinets. We have 7 exterior storage cabinets, 2 of which run laterally across the coach width for long items like a shovel and fishing poles. These lateral storage compartments are possibe because the coach floor is a bit above the top of the chassis side frames, which is why there is a step up from the cab into the coach.

Naturally, a more streamlined and narrower and less tall coach configuration is going to reduce wind friction. But fuel mileage pales in comparison to A) the overall expense of owning a motorhome, and B) the overall pleasure payback from owning a motorhome - especially a small one in which you can go to a lot more intimate and more difficult to access exploration and camping places than in a larger one.

The only towing we do is our 14 foot aluminum fishing boat ... which is "nothing" for a small coach on a 400 series truck chassis.

P.S. Our major negative with the overkill chassis used to be the stiff ride in the rear of the coach. We fixed this through use of Koni Frequency Selective Damping ("FSD") shocks. These shocks adjust themselves to ("soft") low damping rates for the rapid crack and pothole stresses, and ("stiff") high damping rates for the slower stresses present on highway curves at speed and such things as entering raised parking lots at an angle, etc..

I apologize for the long explanation ... but there are a lot of subtle things going on when driving a loaded box down the road.

* This post was edited 02/05/21 12:57pm by pnichols *

Gjac

Milford, CT

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Posted: 01/24/21 11:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pnichols wrote:

When we were shopping for a new Class C in 2005 I reasoned that for the best overall handling and stability when underway, I should find one in which the chassis design margins were pushed minimally by the coach weight, the coach center of gravity, and the coach height.

To keep coach weight relatively low in relation to the chassis weight carrying design limits, I chose a 24 ft. Class C with no slides built on about the only overkill chassis available at the time - the cutaway Ford E450 van chassis. However, the Chevy 4500 cutaway van chassis may have been available then, too. The Ford E350 or Chevy 3500 chassis would have been "adequate" to carry around the weight of a 24 ft. coach, but I wanted a bit more than adequate. We can load our Class C in anyway and as much as we want and I can't feel any difference in it's handling.

The E450 chassis also has a wide spacing of it's rear dual tire sets (wider than the E350, maybe wider than the Chevy 3500, and definitely wider than the Sprinter), so lateral (side-to-side) stability is maximized. This additional stability is not only beneficial for taking curves at speed, it is also beneficial to counter-act the force of crosswinds on the somewhat tall sidewalls of a classic Class C. Of course the stiff shocks on the E450 chassis - especially when combined with it's wide rear dual tire sets - also help to produce good lateral stability.

I chose a 24 ft. classic Class C to keep coach weight down as compared to a longer one. Of course all heavy items on it are down low, as is the case on most Class B and Class C motorhomes, so the center of gravity is relatively low ... which helps with lateral stability.

We wanted more interior storage and move-around room, so a narrower coach bodied Class B+ or Class C would have been too constrictive for us. Our coach is a "wide body" one at about 101 inches wide, so the interior feels "open" enough. It's exterior storage is also generous because it's a basement design in which the coach floor is a bit higher than the cab floor. What this provides is taller outside storage cabinets. We have 7 exterior storage cabinets, 2 of which run laterally across the coach width for long items like a shovel and fishing poles. These lateral storage compartments are possibe because the coach floor is a bit above the top of the chassis side frames, which is why there is a step up from the cab into the coach.

Naturally, a more streamlined and narrower and less tall coach configuration is going to reduce wind friction. But fuel mileage pales in comparison to A) the overall expense of owning a motorhome, and B) the overall pleasure payback from owning a motorhome - especially a small one in which you can go to a lot more intimate and more difficult to access exploration and camping places than in a larger one.

The only towing we do is our 14 foot aluminum fishing boat ... which is "nothing" for a small coach on a 400 series truck chassis.

P.S. Our major negative with the overkill chassis used to be the stiff ride in the rear of the coach. We fixed this through use of Koni Frequency Selective Damping ("FSD") shocks. These shocks adjust themselves to ("soft") low damping rates for the rapid crack and pothole stresses, and ("stiff") high damping rates for the slower stresses present on highway curves at speed and such things as entering raised parking lots at an angle, etc..

I apologize for the long explanation ... but there are a lot of subtle things going on when driving a loaded box down the road.
No need to apologize Phil, you gave a good explanation, however when I look at the new specs between a 350 and 450 I can't see any difference, nor have I been able to find a new 22-24ft C on the 450 chassis. I guess the real question is knowing what you know now, if something were to happen to your 2005 Spirit and you had to buy a new MH what would you buy today?

pnichols

The Other California

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Posted: 01/25/21 12:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gjac wrote:

pnichols wrote:

When we were shopping for a new Class C in 2005 I reasoned that for the best overall handling and stability when underway, I should find one in which the chassis design margins were pushed minimally by the coach weight, the coach center of gravity, and the coach height.

To keep coach weight relatively low in relation to the chassis weight carrying design limits, I chose a 24 ft. Class C with no slides built on about the only overkill chassis available at the time - the cutaway Ford E450 van chassis. However, the Chevy 4500 cutaway van chassis may have been available then, too. The Ford E350 or Chevy 3500 chassis would have been "adequate" to carry around the weight of a 24 ft. coach, but I wanted a bit more than adequate. We can load our Class C in anyway and as much as we want and I can't feel any difference in it's handling.

The E450 chassis also has a wide spacing of it's rear dual tire sets (wider than the E350, maybe wider than the Chevy 3500, and definitely wider than the Sprinter), so lateral (side-to-side) stability is maximized. This additional stability is not only beneficial for taking curves at speed, it is also beneficial to counter-act the force of crosswinds on the somewhat tall sidewalls of a classic Class C. Of course the stiff shocks on the E450 chassis - especially when combined with it's wide rear dual tire sets - also help to produce good lateral stability.

I chose a 24 ft. classic Class C to keep coach weight down as compared to a longer one. Of course all heavy items on it are down low, as is the case on most Class B and Class C motorhomes, so the center of gravity is relatively low ... which helps with lateral stability.

We wanted more interior storage and move-around room, so a narrower coach bodied Class B+ or Class C would have been too constrictive for us. Our coach is a "wide body" one at about 101 inches wide, so the interior feels "open" enough. It's exterior storage is also generous because it's a basement design in which the coach floor is a bit higher than the cab floor. What this provides is taller outside storage cabinets. We have 7 exterior storage cabinets, 2 of which run laterally across the coach width for long items like a shovel and fishing poles. These lateral storage compartments are possibe because the coach floor is a bit above the top of the chassis side frames, which is why there is a step up from the cab into the coach.

Naturally, a more streamlined and narrower and less tall coach configuration is going to reduce wind friction. But fuel mileage pales in comparison to A) the overall expense of owning a motorhome, and B) the overall pleasure payback from owning a motorhome - especially a small one in which you can go to a lot more intimate and more difficult to access exploration and camping places than in a larger one.

The only towing we do is our 14 foot aluminum fishing boat ... which is "nothing" for a small coach on a 400 series truck chassis.

P.S. Our major negative with the overkill chassis used to be the stiff ride in the rear of the coach. We fixed this through use of Koni Frequency Selective Damping ("FSD") shocks. These shocks adjust themselves to ("soft") low damping rates for the rapid crack and pothole stresses, and ("stiff") high damping rates for the slower stresses present on highway curves at speed and such things as entering raised parking lots at an angle, etc..

I apologize for the long explanation ... but there are a lot of subtle things going on when driving a loaded box down the road.


No need to apologize Phil, you gave a good explanation, however when I look at the new specs between a 350 and 450 I can't see any difference, nor have I been able to find a new 22-24ft C on the 450 chassis. I guess the real question is knowing what you know now, if something were to happen to your 2005 Spirit and you had to buy a new MH what would you buy today?


I'd probably buy a generously optioned Lazy Daze 24' Front Dinette model, and here's the main reasons:

- No slide(s)
- Aluminum covered coach walls and roof
- E450 chassis
- Largest fresh water tank in a 24' Class C

Plus ... study this list carefully to see a whole host of superb standard and optional features: http://www.lazydaze.com/FEATURES.PDF

Dusty R

Charlotte Michigan 48813

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Posted: 01/25/21 12:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We had a 2021 Itasca 24' that was on an E-350. We now have a 2014 Itasca 27- on an E-450. Cann't tell much difference between the two in handling other than the length.

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