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RE: Coaches with Chevrolet engines

Larger Class Cs have moved exclusively to the Ford chassis. Since higher-end C's tend to larger, you won't find much on the Chevy. Coachmen offers one Premier floorplan on the 260DS floorplan only. All other plans are exclusive to the Ford. The Forester Classic is available only with the 2501TS and 2861DS plans on the Chevy. Other fancier makers are Ford only across the board, like Entegra and Coachhouse. The Jayco Grayhawk Prestige is Ford only as well. FWIW - My sister has a 2020 Forester on the Ford E450 chassis. It handles great, tracks well regardless of conditions, is quiet, and the floor doesn't get hot. They must be using the upgraded doghouse now (previously this only went into passenger vans) and the exhaust manifolds have heat shields I haven't seen before. Probably used formerly only on the Ambulance package. Anyways... miles ahead of the 2015 I drove last.... Bryan ... for what it's worth ... our 2005 Itasca Class C on the E450 chassis also has heat shields underneath between the exhaust pipes and the underside of the cab floor areas. However, I have no idea if they were installed by Ford or Winnebago. In any case, routing the A/C air flow to the floor in hot weather should control any hot floor situation. Doing this A/C air flow routing via the cab dash controls is NOT obvious. It took a few years before we discovered how to do it, but it's not needed much in our case due to the heat shields.
pnichols 07/13/20 06:02pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Coaches with Chevrolet engines

Hi guys, I’m looking at high end Class C’s. I know that Forest River class C’s offer the Chevy platform. Are there others? You might want to check out this discussion thread too: https://www.irv2.com/forums/f87/ford-e450-vs-chevy-4500-a-496643.html#post5346425
pnichols 07/13/20 01:56pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: I'm buying one (surprise)

I am not a trailer/camper/motorhome person, but with COVID going on, you can't even rent one of these things nowadays. So, when I came across one for sale today, I spoke to the seller and put down a deposit. It's a 2005 Itasca Spirit 24V, 26k miles, one owner. I know the tires are shot, but otherwise seller says everything works (but couldn't get generator to start, couldn't get water to flow, as it hasn't been used in a couple of years. I'm trying to find a local RV place to look at it on Monday, and I have a list of things to check from friends who own RVs. Anything else I can do to make sure I'm not making a big mistake here? I haven't even driven it, mainly going off the vibe on the seller, a retired doctor who used it for trips with his family. Any suggestions would be welcome. The engine and mechanicals are familiar to me as I had a F250 with the same V10 engine and I think transmission as well. It's the other things I know little about. We bought a 2005 Itasca Spirit 24V new in early 2006, built on the optional E450 chassis. It has served as very well in over 76K miles traveling all over the U.S. both on hard surface roads and on dirt/gravel roads out in the boonies ... sometimes on hookups and sometimes drycamping living off it's generous tank capacities. It is somewhat unique and so far in my research it can't be matched any more - including not by Winnebago. Here's some highlights on it: - The only appliances that have failed were the Parallax converter after about 6 months of use, the water pump some years later, and the toilet water valve some years later. All other systems are original and still working fine. - The one piece fiberglass, crowned roof (the warranty was for 10 years) is hard to find in a Class C. - The cab outside steps are aluminum instead of fiberglass. - Since it's a basement design (coach floor slightly higher than the cab floor), the outside storage cabinets are tall enough to actually be useful. There are seven(7) of them, not including the generator compartment. Note that two(2) of these storage cabinets go across the frame laterally for great storage of long items. - Ours was built with the optional Winter Package ... so it had two coach batteries, grey and black tank heaters (the fresh water tank is inside the coach), and maybe thicker insulation in the walls (not sure on that). - The heated, fully adjustable power cab mirrors are great. - Both queen mattresses are original on ours and still make for very comfortable for sleeping. The cabover bed queen and rear queen mattresses are thicker than on most other Class C motorhomes that we have seen. - The sewage and electric services are in an enclosed cabinet to keep out the dirt, and all components are up high at frame height with no low-hanging pipes or valves to get hung up on curbs or damaged on rutted roads. - The galley double sink area comes with a built-in foldout extension for more countertop space. - The galley faucet has a built-in water filtration system inside the sink cabinet. - The roof vent over the shower is double-pane. - The entire areas under each dinette seat are available for storage (no furnace or water heater in them). - The lounge chair swivels and slides back and forth so as to be able to face and get close enough to one dinette seat to provide a foot rest for the person using the lounge chair. - The coach battery(ies) are right under the coach step, can be reached from inside if the outside weather is bad, and provide good outside air ventilation around the batteries. - The coach outside wall bottoms back of the duals slope in a straight line upwards to the rear bumper starting right at the rear duals ... to provide a decent departure angle for driveways, parking lots, and roadway dips. - The outside entertainment system came with it's own roof radio antenna, a detachable shelf for a small outside TV, and external 120V AC and 12V DC outlets. - The outside entertainment system and cab radio/CD player have remote controls. The cab radio and CD players have surround speakers placed throughout the coach. - And last but not least ... that great "Good Old American Iron" Ford V10 engine and other chassis components are ultra reliable, and affordable to maintain and repair if needed anywhere in the U.S.. Here's a link to the 05 Itasca Spirit models' brochure: http://www.winnebagoind.com/resources/brochure/2005/05-Spirit-bro.pdf
pnichols 07/12/20 04:38pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: 3 valve v-10 vs. new 7.3?

Anyone driven both in the same configuration? Is the new engine worth it? Doesn't seem like a real huge difference on paper. What's the real world verdict? I'm guessing that the new V8 probably is a lower RPM engine, in that it produces it's highest crankshaft torque in a lower RPM range than the V10 does. From reading about the V10 for years in the forums, many truck/RV V10 owners seem to not either understand, or care for, the higher RPMs required to tap it's torque and power. America was "raised on" the rumbling noise and thumping power of gas V8 truck engines. The V10 is a different kind of truck engine. For me personally, I prefer horsepower at high RPMs over horsepower at low RPMs ... so our V10 powered motorhome is a hoot for me to drive.
pnichols 07/06/20 08:24pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Has anyone added an extra water tank to RV roof

I went to a deserted island for 8 days (no houses/roads) and carried an extra supply of water using 1-gallon jugs of water at $.60/each at Walmart. I just put 15 in the rear storage compartment and 15 up over the front cab bedroom. Extra long filler spout and added to fresh water tank as needed. Worked like a charm and no added expense to try and rig-up a special tank system. John ... I'm curious. It sounds like you may have went to an island in your Class C. If so ... how'd you get it there ... a causeway, a ferry, a heavy-lift helicopter, etc? ;) We have camped on an island, but got there using a causeway and we drycamped there in a campground with some other campers there - but very few. It is one of my favorite places to camp.
pnichols 07/05/20 10:39pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Has anyone added an extra water tank to RV roof

Hi, everyone I’m new to this website and was hoping to get your advice. I have a 25’ Class C four winds RV with a e450. Because I do lots of boondocking and have issues finding water, I wanted to add a 48 gallon water tank to my roof. I realize there’s some negatives and I’m curious what you thought or have experienced. I do not tow anything, I do realize it will add an extra 400lbs to my RV and center of gravity will possibly be effected. I plan to spread the load over several roof supports . https://www.valleyvet.com/group_images/34785_B.jpg The tank is Clear plastic allows you to see the water level easily. Tank measures 64 1/2" L x 18" W x 12" deep. Any feedback ? , has anyone tried this. That's too much weight up there on the roof. Also, the sun will make and keep the water pretty warm. The place to have fresh extra water capacity added is in tanks mounted down underneath the coach floor on each side between the longitudinal chassis frame members and the drive shaft. I once read of a Class C owner who carried an extra 150 gallons of water this way. Of course with water stored this way ... during winter camping it could be exposed to freezing in extreme cold temperatures, and would need to be pumped up to where you needed it. The above is really the right way to add fresh water capacity in large amounts. Of course, small plastic tanks can instead be tucked away and plumbed inside the coach so as to be in, or behind, or below, regular storage cabinets - as most motorhomes have some wasted space areas.
pnichols 07/04/20 10:50am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Small Class C with out tow car

"One concern I do have with us taking our small Class C around to visit places is having to leave it parked too much off-level for long periods with it's absorption refrigerator turned on. " Anytime we park the coach with the frig on I always check to see just how level we are. If it is even close to not being level enough I just turn it off. If you leave the door closed and don't let the coach heat up too much by opening a vent/windows or even running the fan the interior temp of the frig will change very little if any. You just have to remember to turn it back on when you return. Between my bride and I we manage to remember to turn it off and back on every time we refuel so this ritual is not a problem. :C I've never turned off the frig when parked during RV trips - but once when parked at a picnic site the RV was tipped bad enough such that the frig appeared to have stopped on it's own - because the interior temp went up into the high 50's. That was a highly unusual out-of-level way to park that we've never had to do since. I probably should turn the frig off if a parking situation like that ever arises again. I turn off all propane appliances whenever we gas up by turning off the coach's master 12V system switch by the coach entrance door. On the cab dash I have a voltmeter mounted that shows the voltage level of the coach's 12V system. Very rarely after gassing up I've forgot to turn the coach's master 12V system switch back on ... meaning we were driving with the refrigerator not cooling until I was able to pull off and turn the master 12V system switch back on. The voltmeter warned me by showing zero volts on the coach's 12V system. I also use the voltmeter on the dash to tell me if the coach's 12V batteries are getting properly charged by the alternator when going down the road ... which has saved my bacon a couple times by telling me that the inter-connect solenoid between the engine battery and coach batteries was no longer working. When the alternator is properly charging the coach batteries, of course the voltmeter on the cab dash indicates voltages in the high thirteens or fourteens.
pnichols 06/30/20 10:14am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Small Class C with out tow car

We have a 23 foot Class C and use it for touristing around regularly. We're down to five to ten minutes to get it road-ready if we're not connected to services, the full ten if we're hooked up. Even when we have full services, I don't tie into water or sewer when we pull in; just electricity. This makes it easier to leave and come back. If we need to top up fresh water or drain the waste tanks, I'll hook up to do that, and then put all the hookups back. We have a preflight checklist, which helps. When we get to town/places we're visiting, I have to pay attention to parking, but I've never not been able to find a safe/unobtrusive place to park. That's exactly how we camp at "hookup" sites in our 24 foot Class C. We even only rarely have the awning deployed. One concern I do have with us taking our small Class C around to visit places is having to leave it parked too much off-level for long periods with it's absorption refrigerator turned on.
pnichols 06/29/20 07:46pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Air Conditioning how many do not use it.

Pretty sure the OP ghosted this thread after P. 1. Maybe P.1. was an example of "throwing something against the wall to see if it sticks". ;)
pnichols 06/29/20 07:34pm General RVing Issues
RE: Why 30 amp and not 50 amp

I wish we could still get those old convection furnaces, no noise, no battery use.??? Very much available for self install. https://www.ecomfort.com/heating/williams-direct-vent-furnaces.html? Combine with a Mini-split A/C for efficiency and you should be very comfortable. Note that with some of those furnaces in the link above it's stated that they won't operate at very high altitudes. What's the deal with that?
pnichols 06/29/20 07:28pm General RVing Issues
RE: Why 30 amp and not 50 amp

Why not build all RV’s with 50 amp service ? With AC, microwaves, electronic water heaters plus numerous other electrical appliances we take with us it seems to make More sense to have 50 amp I'm wonder if it doesn't, at least somewhat, have to do with History. There were once campers that had no electric at all and had things like Propane Gas Lanterns build into the camper. Then they had 15 amp campers. (I once had a camper that had no AC and only had a 15 amp plug.) Then there was 30. Now they have 50. Times change and it takes awhile for the infrastructure to catch up. FWIW, our first 1969 Class C RV had both 12V lights and propane lights in it. It also had a vented, pilot-light-lit propane furnace with no circulation fan - but it worked well to heat the interior without draining the battery while it did it. And ... it's absorption refrigerator worked fine. Boy ... for the good old days of RV designs.
pnichols 06/28/20 11:11pm General RVing Issues
RE: slide vs no slide

31 years, 3 RVs (first 2 no slide, current 1 two slides); I will never go back to a no-slide RV. The "walk around" room that a slide provides is something I will never consider giving up, it really is that significant. I do agree that the RV must be usable with the slide in; ours blocks only the dresser drawers below the closet, nothing else; the RV is fully usable with the slides in or out. Although I hear alot of people who "worry" about kitchen connections in slides, I have seldom if ever read reports of actual problems with them. Ours does indeed house the kitchen sink, stove, microwave and dinette (not the fridge), and we have not had a single issue with water lines, drain lines, gas lines, or electrical lines. Since it is now 16 years old, I assume that it would have had issues with those lines by now if it was prone to them. The slide mechanism itself (HWH Hydraulic, both slides and jacks) has also been trouble free, although it does have a way to manually retract them. Also, whether to go with slides or not could depend upon if one wants the maximum flexibility to be able to reliably travel about anywhere in their RV time after time, regardless of short-term roominess when camped. For instance, I'm glad we don't have to rely on a slide in our Class C deploying and retracting OK after, for whatever interest-driven reasons, traveling on roads like this: https://i.imgur.com/SQGAMJyl.jpg
pnichols 06/26/20 01:03pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Air Conditioning how many do not use it.

Just as one last tidbit related to this discussion: Buying and maintaining an RV is (relatively) expensive, so we bought and now maintain a small Class C motorhome that for our money does not limit us, other than not being all-wheel drive. All of it works and we use all of it's capability to be comfortable anywhere - in at least the U.S. - as required and expected. We don't plan our destinations based on the capabilities, or lack thereof, inherent in our RV. It's the other way around - the RV must keep us comfortable - wherever we go for whatever reasons not related to the RV. We pushed our little motorhome to the limit in a long trip through the Southern U.S. in July-August and it's A/C made it comfortable. We had no choice on doing it in the worst possible choice of months, but the RV was flexible enough to handle it.
pnichols 06/26/20 12:25pm General RVing Issues
RE: slide vs no slide

A slide or no-slide depends on if you view an RV as a mobile motel room or a mobile backpack. We view our small Class C as the latter ... hence it does not have a slide. This provides for maximum coach wall strength year after year and overall coach reliability year after year ... on or off smooth roads and close to civilization or not. We actually got a great deal when we bought our short but heavily optioned Class C due to what I think was this reason -> the dealer had it on their lot for over a year and probably couldn't sell it because it didn't have any slides! It's large enough inside for the DW to have a lounge chair, me to have a dinette or cab seat, and our dog-person to play short-range fetch in.
pnichols 06/23/20 02:26pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Small Class C with out tow car

Also, flexibility to travel in a Class C without towing depends upon the WIDTH of it ... in addition to it's length. We don't tow with our 24 foot Class C ... but it's "widebody" coach style (~101 inches wide) can sometimes make for white knuckle driving and parking. However we are turtle-type RV travelers in that we like our home with us at all times, so we do take it along with us off-highway out in the boondocks on rough roads where some folks might want to use only a vehicle that they tow along. ;)
pnichols 06/23/20 11:59am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Air Conditioning how many do not use it.

Whether we use our A/C or not depends upon these factors: 1. Are we going to camp in the U.S. Deep South during March through Novermber? 2. Are we going to camp in the Western U.S. low deserts during April through October? 3. Are we going to camp in the Western U.S. high deserts during May through September? We want an RV that is ready for U.S. hookup or no-hookup camping anywhere, anytime, and at any altitude. Our A/C and generator systems are priceless so as to be able to have this kind of flexibility ... as we as much as possible don't like to have to plan our U.S. RV camping locations and trips around our equipment (other than not having an all-wheel drive RV). In other countries it might be required to have a full-on expedition type RV for this kind of flexibility ... but for the lower-48 U.S. we only require a small motorhome on an E450 chassis, with higher than stock ground clearance, and riding on M&S LRE tires.
pnichols 06/23/20 11:49am General RVing Issues
RE: ScanGauge vs UltraGauge

I would never own a motorhome or truck without a Scan Gauge. I've had mine for 11 years, bought it for my 5.4L V-8 F-150 when I was towing a 22' TT. When I bought the Class C I just reprogrammed it for the 6.8L V-10 and have not looked back. The install was all of about 4 minutes, two small pieces of velcro and a wire tie for the excess coil behind the dash. It just does not get much simpler than that. For the record I always run with average and real time mpg's displayed along with transmission fluid {X Gauge function} and coolant temp. The first trip I took with the SC I got 10 percent better mileage just by watching the displays and playing the game of trying to keep my real time mileage higher than the average. I figure I got my $139 back in about 6 months just on fuel savings. :C D.C. - I just watch the good old (analog??, teehee) Ford dash guage for engine temperature - and of course it's never moved since I've owned our E450 Class C. What kind of engine and transmission temperatures have you seen when climbing grades and pulling your trailer in hot summer temperatures? P.S. #1 The 5R110 transmission on our 2005 E450 mysteriously failed at around 60K miles ... and I wonder if it was because of it running too hot at times through the years when going up grades with the transmissioon NOT in Tow Haul mode ... hence maybe excessive clutch slippage and the consequent generated heat inside the tranny. P.S. #2 Now I keep Tow Haul mode engaged almost all of the time to maybe help reduce clutch slippage heat on grades.
pnichols 06/19/20 01:19pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: It's official

Global Expedition UVX-Max on Frieghtliner Chassis. Doing only a quick WEB search - if your UVX-Max is what I think it is - congrats on a spectacular go-anywhere, go-anytime, for-any-length-of-time, true expedition vehicle that's well beyond being only an "RV"!!!! :C :C By the way ... where do you plan on traveling with it? It's of course way beyond overkill for anywhere within the U.S..
pnichols 06/19/20 12:59pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: What's with Ford and TFL?

We we all know Ford is 'First On Race Day' so no need to test them anyways. :) Hmmm ... I wonder what "G" "M" "C" (really) stands for on the front of my 1995 EC Z71 4X4? :B Get a Mechanic Coming ;) Not yet so far ... but I've only owned it for 23 years. :B
pnichols 06/17/20 07:51pm Tow Vehicles
RE: gps which one is best,second best

My phone even holds Aerial Imagery, Quad Sheet, Topo, Digital Atlas, and Open Street maps of most of North America ... and I can update these as often as I need, and any/all of these map types can be overlaid on top of each other if desired. These map databases use the internal GPS capability - so no cell tower access is required. You miss his point about traffic jams in real time. Right you are! It would be extremely rare to encounter traffic jams in places where there isn't any cellular system service.
pnichols 06/17/20 03:28pm Technology Corner
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