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RE: Thinking about buying a class c

I am going to disagree with coolmom a little bit and lay out the decision process in my opinion: #1 floor plan. This is one thing you cannot change after purchase. Basically all RV manufacturers are making the same floor plans with subtle differences, so pick floor plan first regardless of brand. Corner bed/walk around bed, slides/no slides, cabover/no cabover, basement, etc. #2 chassis. Now that you have chosen your floor plan, you pick chassis brand and wheelbase. Its important here to throw any brand loyalty you may have out the window and focus on your specific needs in this specific situation. I am a hardcore lifetime Chevy guy, but have a Ford based class C I bought brand new in 2019, my third RV (after two Chevy based rigs over 25 years.) I am not endorsing Ford over Chevy here (even though it works fantastic for us) just using it as an example to show its important to disregard any chassis brand loyalty here and focus on the facts to find the best fit for your specific situation at this moment. #3 Model - once you have your floor plan and chassis brand you should shop model. Since every manufacturer has the same floor plans, and you are past that now, you are now looking at details. Interior layout, cabinets vs drawers, carpet vs vinyl, LED vs incandescent, tank sizes, porcelain vs plastic toilet, etc. Always remember that there are a zillion RV manufacturers making a zillion RV models, someone somewhere is making the exact RV you are looking for. Don't rush or sign anything and with patience you and your perfect RV will meet soon.
PatJ 09/27/20 09:32pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Vintage RV upgrades

Congrats on the 150 miles and hope you have many more to go! Does the fridge's pilot flame run all the time, but the fridge does not cool? Do you see any sign of yellow-ish powder residue in the area of the fridge coils under the outside fridge access door? A friend of mine once had a fridge die in a small 1977 trailer, that's the only one I'm aware of personally that had an ammonia fridge die of my many friends with older rigs. That friend had a good flame, but no cooling (after 24 hrs) and yellow flaky/powered residue under the tubes in the outside compartment. I hope you don't have that issue, because the fix is a new fridge. Good luck. As for the exhaust leak, I don't know anything about Dodge, but for Chevy an exhaust leak between the manifold and the down pipe was very very common. So common that as a hobby owner of multiple 73-87 pickups I've actually memorized the Fel-Pro part numbers for the "doughnut" to fix it 60985 or 8194. I think that part number is good for something like 1930-1990. It is so common that they make common kits to address the issue and it is a common wear item. I assume Dodge is the same as this common Chevy issue (but I don't know the Dodge part numbers.) For Chevy you would also visit the "help" section of the store and pick up a set of exhaust studs and brass nuts for $5 to complete the job. Again, I don't know about dodge but assume it's similar. I love older rigs and smile when I hear of people putting the effort in to keep the on the road. I wish you luck and let me know if there is anything I can do to be helpful. Good luck.
PatJ 09/14/20 11:01pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Class C Specifications

It would be nice to hear from an expert on this subject matter. Sorry Ron, but like it or not, YOU are the expert on E350 & E450 chassis on this forum, in my opinion anyway. I agree with all that say the yellow sticker wins. I purchased a brand new from-a-dealer class C in April 2019. It was my third RV over 25 years so I wasn't born yesterday and I shopped and researched hard. It was shocking how much the GVWR/GCWR varied between brands for very similar rigs of similar floor plans and identical lengths as per the yellow sticker. What I learned was there are many subtle options for the Ford chassis C to be aware of that all affect GVWR and GCWR. If you are going to drop $70k-100K on a new rig, take the time to learn the differences and pay attention to the yellow sticker as one of many things to consider when you are comparing models. Just my opinion. To contribute to the weight conversation; my 2019 Freedom Elite 23H which is the same as a Thor 23U is: GVWR 12,500 GAWR F 4600 GAWR R 8500 GCWR 18,600 In July 2019 I went through a weigh station mid-1-week-trip. At the point of the weigh in fresh water tank was full and both waste tanks were about 1/4. Everything was loaded, and my wife and one child and I were in the rig, as well as two coolers, all of our bikes, a grille, a 5 gal propane cyl, groceries, two dogs, >3/4 propane, >3/4 fuel, etc. Nothing towed. Weights: 3560 F 7800 R 11,520 Total Fully loaded I am still 1000 pounds short of GVWR, and similar on each axle. Also, I very often tow a double axle "car hauler" 7K GVWR trailer (2k# empty) with a Polaris RZR and two quads on it (4k# loaded.) My Thor has a GCWR of 18,600 and a hitch rating of 8k#. The RV tows the trailer fantastic with zero issues with about 650# on the hitch.
PatJ 09/11/20 09:33pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Ford 7.3 v8

I am not brand loyal, I currently have a 2019 V10 class C I love. For years my daily driver was a 4.6 Crown Vic which was probably the best car I've ever owned. For the last 10 years my daily driver is a 5.3 Tahoe which has been fantastic, and one of my many Chevy LS. Again, not brand loyal. I remember when Ford came out with the "modular" V8/V10 their ads basically said how only a stupid cave man would stoop as low as to drive something as crappy as a prehistoric push rod engine. As I recall the ads compared the LS to the WWII jeep or a lawn mower due to the pushrods, while their modular had the super high-tech OHC (and in Lincoln, DOHC.) Here we are in 2020 and as I understand it the Ford 7.3 is a single cam pushrod motor. I'm sure its great. But its kind of funny. I can see why people are saying Ford copied the LS. The LS is an amazing engine I don't blame Ford for trying to duplicate its power/weight/cost ratio as well as its long life.
PatJ 09/06/20 09:19pm Tow Vehicles
RE: 1978 Chevy Itasca for $4800

Let me clarify on the tires, learn to read the DOT date code on the tires (google it.) Tire manufacturers put the week the tire was manufactured on the tire in a code. If the tire is more than 7ish years old the tire is trash (opinions vary but most manufacturers say 7 is end of life.) I replace my tires every 5. This person says new tires but is probably basing that on tread life which is totally irrelevant. My 5 year old tires usually have very good tread left when I trash them. 10 year old tires I wouldn't drive it around the block.
PatJ 09/01/20 07:41pm General RVing Issues
RE: 1978 Chevy Itasca for $4800

As someone that has owned a couple older RV's including a 1984 Chevy C very similar to what's pictured (we put tens of thousands of miles and many nights camping into it and loved it, it was a great rig) here are my thoughts: -Everything about the chassis is fixable, parts and knowledge are out there common and available. If it starts, runs, and drives (shifts through the gears;) the chassis probably doesn't need anything super expensive. I would plan/budget for full service including belts/hoses/filters/fluids/anything else suspect. Post says it was recently done but I would do it myself/have it done with anything used. -If it has ever leaked in its life (and that's very likely) then there is almost certainly wood rot and compromised structure on the house portion. There really isn't a lot super-expensive about repairing this but it is a TON of work to repair! Be realistic about your carpentry abilities as well as your tools/work area. This is a lot of work. Many rotten rigs have repairs started but never finished. If you are a skilled carpenter with a big fully-equipped shop with 12' doors, have at it! -RV's are high maintenance, even new ones. Older ones are A LOT of maintenance. This is not a big deal for some, but is a deal breaker for others. Be realistic. If you are set up for it, you can get a nice rig and save a ton of money. -If the tires are old as far as date of manufacturer (I bet they are) then you need new tires before you even get it home. ~$1200 right off the top. Visible tread depth is irrelevant if they are 20 year old tires. Old tires can fail catastrophically without warning, possibly causing an accident. If they are 16.5 rims (likely) be aware its very possible no one in town will have the tires in stock, they will be special order. Options are to order (be sure to get 7 so you have a spare) or switch wheels to 16". -$4800 is way too much in my opinion unless it is rock solid, runs good, never leaked, with 1 year old 16" tires. No one will loan on that rig, so cash talks. I love old RV's, so I hope you pull it off and good luck!
PatJ 09/01/20 07:36pm General RVing Issues
RE: 24 ft ClassC MH downsides

what is the difference between the 350 and 450 chassis. Is it just suspension, or is transmission, rear end, and frame upgraded also. Newer than 2016 there is little difference between 350 and 450. Once Ford stopped making the E series van as a standalone vehicle, much was consolidated. They essentially threw all the HD parts on all E series to eliminate options and simplify build sheets among upfitters. As of 2019, drivetrain is absolutely identical; engine, transmission, axle ratio, etc. Brakes are identical all around. Cooling system is identical. 450 rear axle is a different PN and slightly different measurements (to accommodate different springs) but ratio is the same (4.56 for all.) Both have hydroboost. Both have the 6 speed. The biggest difference in my research: Frame thickness and dimensions, springs, and sway bar specs are dependent on WB and GVWR for both the 350 and 450. As the 450 has higher GVWR for longer floor plans it is generally thicker frame/springs/sway bar in 2016+.
PatJ 09/01/20 06:59pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Vintage RV upgrades

I have great memories with my previous class C which was a 1984 Chevy, very similar. I also had 16.5 wires which I replaced three times in the years I had it. The last time they were harder to find but were still available by order, glad you got all 7. You were smart to go to the 8.75, that's what we did too. I've never heard of them not fitting a class C. I agree with replacing the convertor, I did a progressive dynamics PD 9260 because the convertor was stand-alone then (not part of the fuse panel like today.) It was a good upgrade. Also add hard-wire CO and propane leak detectors. Keep up on all the maintenance like you said, belts, hoses, filters, fluids and it should be good to go. Keep an eye out for house leaks. With proper care and maintenance there's no reason it can't be as reliable as anything out there. The rig was built during 55 mph speed limit so regardless how much power you have you may run out of gearing much above 60, which is fine as you will get much better mileage at 55 then faster anyway. I would pass on the headers, the engine compartment is cramped and hot already and headers would make it much worse for not much if any gain. That smog-era engine's heads and cam are not going to flow enough to take advantage of headers and may actually make performance worse. I'd focus on maintaining what you have and keeping stock if possible. IF your manifolds are cracked get some new from LMC truck or something. You shouldn't have cat convertors but if you do I'd consider removing those. I don't think you will be able to run the fridge long through an inverter especially with one house battery. When I am on the inverter the fridge itself draws 55 amps at 12v if I leave the fridge in auto. Compressor fridge will be less but I'm not sure how much less. We put many miles in our old 84 all over the country and have many great memories from that time. We've upgrade since and yeah its nice to have 2x or 3x the horsepower from a new rig, but once your parked they are all still pretty similar. You might have to go outside to light your water heater instead of pushing a button, but I'm sure you can handle that :) I'm excited for you. Good luck.
PatJ 08/29/20 09:54am Class C Motorhomes
RE: 24 ft ClassC MH downsides

I think most models with the corner bed has the large storage container. The outside storage was very important to us which was one of the reasons we went with that floor plan, but I think every manufacturer has that plan. We also went with a no-slide plan for several reasons, one is the slides really cut into outside storage. We went with a Thor 23h (24'10" by tape measure) and one reason was because it has the largest outside storage we could find. It holds the mounted spare tire/jack/lug wrench, all the chairs and tables, a Yeti 45 and 35, 20" kids bike, cornhole boards, portable fire pit, Coleman Road Trip, full-size 5 gal propane cyl, two milk crates full of sewer hoses and fittings, 120v 2 gal air compressor, and all the spare tool bags all at once. And I'm sure I'm missing some things. With this length you should have no issues with overloading. We are 2200 below GVWR when fully loaded for a trip, and the front axle is closer to the limit than the back.
PatJ 08/29/20 09:38am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Change gear ratio on 454 class C

I've got 98 coachman class C 454 with 4:11 rears. I want to improve mileage by going to 3:23 gears. Will this work? Thanks I think you would probably end up with worse mileage in the end if you did that, in additional to terrible performance and short transmission life. Don't do it, especially if you have overdrive. I'd switch to 4.56 if anything. Improve the mileage with a good solid tune up new filters and ignition wear items. I admit I don't know a lot about 98 454 in the van chassis, is it TBI? If so make sure you have good coolant temp sensors and it is showing it is warmed up correctly as per the computer. With TBI everything is based on coolant temp. Make sure you have 195 tstat. Make sure no vac leaks. Make sure fuel pressure is to spec. If you need to do anything with fuel or ignition make sure to use OEM GM parts not cheap ebay stuff.
PatJ 08/27/20 11:10pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Compressor, inflation chuck, and pressure gauge info needed

I have a small 120V Senco which was about $150 at Home Depot. I think all the small less-expensive 1-2 gallon 120v compressors like mine are going to be similar regardless of brand or where you buy them. That is what I recommend you get, and even that is going to be pretty slow (a few minutes at least taking one tire from 60 to 80, and several minutes filling one from flat.) 12v compressors will take much much longer than even a cheap 120v. I have the harbor freight clone of the of the viair 400 which was about $80. It works for what it is but it is but would probably take 30 minutes to get a tire to 80 psi. Perhaps the brand name Viair is better but your right about the cost, which is why I went 120v.
PatJ 08/23/20 08:01pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: A/C Condenser Evaporative Cooling Assist

I like the idea and would love anything that would make RV AC more effective or efficient, and wish you the best of luck overcoming the issues with using water to assist the condenser in an RV. In the meantime, it seems to me the effort is best spent just using a much larger condenser and much larger condenser fan for increased efficiency. Of course then we would need a variable speed condenser fan and compressor to keep the pressures in check, maybe an electronic TXV, and a computer to run the whole thing. This is starting to sound like a modern mini-split!. Most current RV roof air conditioners use 1960s/1970s window banger technology. They could make a rooftop RV air conditioner with a very superior performance and efficiency to what's available now, but it would be $4500 instead of $800. You and I may buy one for that, but unfortunately we are the minority RV buyer at the moment.
PatJ 08/23/20 07:45pm Tech Issues
RE: 1977 Dodge Sportsman

Look at the date of manufacturer, the last 2 digits of the DOT code on tire (probably only on one side of tire.) If less than 7ish years old they may work in a pinch. But if older or damaged in any way I'd not use them
PatJ 08/16/20 01:10pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: 1977 Dodge Sportsman

Cave is probably Caveman, a brand from back in the day. By far your biggest concern now needs to be tires. Yes if you have the time and money you should do all the fluids, all the belts, and all the hoses, filters, etc. But if you lose a hose you are just stranded by the side of the road. But if you lose a tire at the wrong time you could easily cause a serious accident. You mention your tires are on 16.5 wheels. I've had three RV's and the first two were 16.5". They were common back in the day but is now extremely difficult to find. There is one common-name brand making them (Firestone Transforce) and lots of no-name Chinese companies making them. If you have a blowout on the road (likely with old tires regardless of how they look) it is highly likely you will not be able to find a replacement on the road, even if you are near a big city. You may need to order a replacement and wait days. I strongly encourage you to replace all tires more than 7-10 years old (by manufacturer date) including the spare before you take your trip, regardless of appearance of tires. Another possibility is replace your wheels with junkyard take-offs (from any of the big-three automakers will work) in 16" size which is much more common, wheels will cost but tires will be cheaper. I love older RVs and have no doubt you will get her on the road and make many great memories. Good luck and have fun!
PatJ 08/16/20 09:18am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Yellowstone and 30ft Motorhomes

Agree with 626, we went through Yellowstone on Memorial Day in a 25 foot and had zero issues, and if we were 5 feet longer I don't think it would have changed a thing. Same trip we spent several days camped next to a young family in a rental 32" with two kids and two very large dogs. They had zero RV experience and were running Yellowstone and the Tetons, they reported zero issues as well. We did the south loop out of Jackson. As part of this same trip we ran through SLC and spent a few days with friends in Eagle Mt, UT. The highway through SLC on Memorial Day 2020 was by far the worst condition interstate highway I've ever driven. It was unbelievable, I would have preferred a rural gravel road. I agree with 626 there too, SLC is way worse than anything you will experience in Yellowstone.
PatJ 08/13/20 10:57pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: AC problem from hell: Now compressor is turning off.

Doug do you know if these RV compressors have internal thermal overloads like small residential? Maybe your new condenser fan is not moving the air the old one did and you are going out on thermal. They auto-reset but it would take a long time to come back on once it went off (an hour?) not like a regular "cycle." Also only mentioning this because I've seen it before by a skilled installer (not on an RV) but is the new condenser fan motor turning the right direction?
PatJ 07/30/20 01:16pm Tech Issues
RE: 1987 Mallard sprint 20 ft

My two prior RVs were both small block carbureted Chevy 350s. Countless good memories over 25 years before purchasing my current rig. They do not have much power but fortunately they usually have good gearing (4.10 or 4.56.) It will almost certainly have the TH400 trans which is a strong reliable 3 speed. That will keep you at about 55 to 60 mph max, but it will probably do 55 very well if it is in good shape and well tuned up. Even if the dash air worked you probably wouldn't use it because it would take about 15% of your available horsepower to run that old A12 compressor. Set up a generator on the bumper so you can run roof air going down the road, that's what we did. Any old RV is a commitment, heck any RV is a commitment, but old ones in particular. But they can be very affordable and there is no reason they can not be just as reliable as anything else if they are in good condition and well cared for. It comes down to your skill set, your work area/shop/tools, and the condition of your specific unit. Best of luck!
PatJ 07/27/20 06:14pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Cold in West Yellowstone...

Were there 10 days ago. At that time west gate and north loop were closed. I'm glad it is finally open. We origionally had reservations at west yellowstone for memorial day weekend. We stayed in Jackson which was good, but it is 3 hours each way from Jackson to the south loop. We did the drive daily for 3 days. The Tetons are amazing but they get old afer day 2. Weather was similar as you describe. We used the heat strip every day never used propane. Was a great trip.
PatJ 06/08/20 09:01pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Corona Camping

We are generally weekenders but did a long-planned trip to Yellowstone/Tetons 5/21-5/29. Originally planned to stay in West Yellowstone MT, but with the west gate still closed we moved to Jackson, WY at the "last minute." We stayed at several places over the 8 nights. All were private as the public/NFS/NPS campgrounds are still closed. As always, we chat with our neighbors when we arrive. One of the couples we met and chatted with most often was in a rental class C with 7yo twin girls. They were having a blast and the girls loved playing with our 8yo. We met them in Jackson WY and they were from Denver. We met another young family from Chicago, and another from north LA county. Everyone we met was out and about because they were sick of COVID and wanted to get their kids out of the house. My wife and I are both medical - working at local hospitals. One couple we met on this trip were teachers. One couple was drug reps. Everyone was sick of COVID containment and were getting their kids wiggles out, including us. I've had best luck looking at campgrounds Facebook for current status as to if they are open or not. Many of the smaller private campgrounds do not update their websites often but Facebook is usually current. It seems many/most KOA are still open and they are easy to search and reserve online. My vote is proceed with your trip you'll love it!! Edit: since you are basically a beginner, I would suggest you look at KOA campgrounds as they are generally open in the states you are looking at while the public CG are generally still closed. KOA also generally have hookups, stores, experienced staff, clean bathrooms with showers, etc.
PatJ 05/30/20 10:14pm Beginning RVing
RE: Should I carry a spare tire?

Personally I carry a spare tire, on a wheel, mounted and inflated, and I also carry the USA made jack/wrench/breaker bar to replace it in an emergency. My 2019 rig did not come with a space, jack or wrench. It was expensive to add and it sucked to spend the money on that. In my opinion it was required so there was no debate. I'm maybe $1k into an OEM Ford wheel, a tire to match the others, a USA valve stem, mount/blanace, a bottle jack, a 36" breaker bar, and a USA made 6 pt socket. I am 16". In a real emergency I feel like I could change a tire and get us back on the road. If it weren't a real eemergency or I was in cell phone range, I would call a service truck and let them wrestle the tire in. But in a punch I feel like I could do it, and I sleep better because of that. Either way, no one is going to tell me they are out of stock because I have it. It is $1300, suck it up and do it. What did your rig cost? Just do it. That is my opinion.
PatJ 05/21/20 10:56pm Tech Issues
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