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6ofus

bartlett,il 60103

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Posted: 06/11/18 01:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello all

I am new to this forum and happy to be here. I am specifically new to a Class C Motorhome forum.

A little about me and my family. My DH, four kids and I started tent camping 12 years ago and quickly moved to a pop up camper. Long story short, we are tired of the pop up. Better yet, it exhausts us. I never thought I would say that as we love the camper, we’re just exhausted with it. I’m sure many of you may understand. So we started researching travel trailers but never got serious enough to buy one until this year.

We did a lot of research and have been to a few RV shows to figure out what we like and don’t like. There’s one problem…..our tow vehicle. We currently have a 2009 Suburban, 119k miles and can tow 8,000 lbs. so we know we eventually need to upgrade the tow vehicle. It’s hard finding a tow vehicle to comfortably fit 6 people and a dog. The kids are older and we really want to make some long, memorable trips before they don’t want to or can’t be with us anymore. I also don't want my tow vehicle to be my main driving vehicle.

For the heck of it I looked up sales on used Class C's and to my surprise, we can afford one! The price of a TT and a new tow vehicle can even exceed the price of a used Class C. So now, I’m back at researching. I’ve found most of my questions answered here on this forum but do have a few more.

- We like the bunkhouse models but feel we may regret it as the kids eventually will not be traveling with us. Anyone have a BH with a smaller family and if so, do you regret buying so big?

- And the opposite...Do you have a large family but a smaller Class C and if so, tell me about it.

- I do understand that gas mileage has many factors i.e. speed, payload, driving conditions, etc. so please keep that in mind when I ask…..Is there a major difference in what you spend in gas between a 28ft as opposed to a 31ft?

- Generators….is there one particular model we should stay away from? I specifically ask because there may be times when the dog will be in the motorhome and if we lose power, I need a backup. I have read the opinions on people leaving their pets alone so please don’t beat me up on this one [emoticon] 95% of the time our dog will be with us.

- Storage….I have googled RV storage places in my area and cannot find anything on pricing. Are there reasonable prices out there?

Thanks for reading and letting me share my thoughts with like minded people lol

j-d

Sunny Florida USA

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Posted: 06/11/18 02:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

First, Welcome! You sound like it'll be fun having you around.

We're a senior couple in a 31 without slides.

Most larger C's are on Ford chassis and average best MPG is around 8. Chevy does a little better but uncommon in 30+ feet.

Storage in our suburban area is about $100/month.

An on board generator will likely be an Onan 4KY series. Any Genny will be trouble if you don't exercise it by running under load monthly. Onan has the best parts and service availability.

More and more people are getting into RVing, but it's still a guess whether bunkhouse will continue to be harder to re-sell.

We're in Class C for just what you found. If you don't have need or want a serious truck, a C is the least expensive way into the RV arena.


If God's Your Co-Pilot Move Over, jd
2003 Jayco Escapade 31A on 2002 Ford E450 V10 4R100 218" WB

klutchdust

Orange, California

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Posted: 06/11/18 02:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Welcome. You can gain a lot of knowledge and information by reading the posts on this forum. I own a Class C 30ft. I have documented every gallon of fuel for every mile for the last 30K miles. It averages out to 8.5 MPG. That includes uphill,downhill, towing my Jeep 4 down or pulling a 16foot enclosed trailer loaded with racing parts.
Most come with an Onan generator that feeds off the main fuel tank, they tend to be noisy under the dinette but that's the way it goes. I use a small inverter type when just needing to charge batteries overnight .
Mine only sleeps 4,my overhead bunk is instead an entertainment center, some call it a B+.
Purchase what fits your needs at the present time. So many used units to choose from. I purchased pre-owned and haven't regretted it .

DrewE

Vermont

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Posted: 06/11/18 02:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I personally would skip the bunkhouse and look for something that has reasonable sleeping accommodations for your family, which shouldn't be too hard. Yes, it would involve converting a dinette and/or sofa to a bed each night (and back in the morning), but compared to a pop-up that's fairly straightforward. Bunks take up a good bit of space and weight and tend to be rather cramped and short often. A cabover that can sleep a couple of children is not hard to find. The cabover bed on my motorhome is actually a bit larger than the bed in the back.

Particularly with children, it often works well to bring a (cheap) tent along and if the weather and campground are amenable have some of them sleep in it (and presumably be responsible for setting up and taking down the tent). This doesn't need to be a top of the line tent by any means; a $50 or less dome tent should work okay for this sort of use, though it may not last as well as a better tent.

There is next to no difference in gasoline usage between a 28ft and 31ft class C. You could reasonably expect somewhere around 8 mpg, give or take 1 mpg or so, for most class C's (built on the Ford E series or equivalent Chevy chassis--the Chevy ones I gather tend to do slightly better on average).

Most gas class C's will probably have the Onan 4KY generator (which has had a few different model names over the years--basically it's the 4 kW Onan generator). This is a reliable generator if its taken care of and gets use reasonably regularly. It generally won't come on automatically in the event of a power failure, at least without some additional auto-start gizmo. A motorhome does not heat up in the summer sun or cool down in the winter anywhere near as quickly as a Suburban or passenger car; there's some actual insulation in the walls and ceilings.

My motorhome storage consists of parking it next to my garage. I charge myself a very reasonable rate.





Artum Snowbird

Campbell River, B.C., Canada

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Posted: 06/11/18 04:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The big thing to watch for with a larger C and a large family and gear is the carrying capacity of the unit. If it has a Ford V10 engine, there are some with multiple slides that can only carry 1500 pounds or so. Also, you have to consider the use of seatbelts, and whether you are happy having four kids with only lap belts and no headrests strapped into a relatively small dinette.

I think you should stay with a towing vehicle, and look at trailers with accommodation for the kids and pet. There is bound to be times when someone has to be somewhere, and you will want to have the ability to take a vehicle while everyone else stays behind.


Mike and Carole
2012 Winnebago Impulse Silver 26QP
2005 16.6 Double Eagle
2018 Jeep Wrangler JK
previously Snowbird Campers

Juzaxadar

NC

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Posted: 06/12/18 06:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a 31' class C (with a front-driver-side slide), Ford V10 (7-8mpg), and no tow. We travel with 2 adults, 3 kids - two of them teens. The dinette, cabover, and couch does the trick for the kids. It's plenty of room. It is sometimes inconvenient to not have a tow vehicle, but there are ubers, taxies, rentals, etc. Most of our trip planning can work around the need for a car.

My experience has been just this one RV, and I bought it used. If I had one thing to say is that you should be absolutely picky to the extreme when buying used. People will hide the leaks, breaks, and flaws so you have to ask the right questions and make them prove everything works. I didn't know enough to really determine if everything worked so I paid a local RV dealer $200 to check it out for me. They said it was all functional and when I bought it and got home some things did not work (the water system for one). If you have a knowledgeable friend, bring them with you. If you pick something up that needs a lot of work either you have to pay or fix it yourself. No matter what (even buying new), prepare to be a handyman, capable of sealing, de-winterizing, etc.

The maintenance is the most important part. Without it whatever you buy will fall apart under you. While spending a lot of time fixing/paying for the issues on mine I have become serious about maintenance because I can see that is what caused the problems to begin with.

The good thing about Class C is that they're the right size, and being a truck chassis you can do some chassis maintenance yourself if so inclined. The brakes, filters, and oil are just like a car.


2000 Minnie 31C V10


D.E.Bishop

Eagle Rock, CA

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Posted: 06/12/18 07:09am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm not currently a Class C owner but we did research them pretty well when we bought the Winnie. We have had two rigs and while the Winnie is great and we bought it with the DGKs in mind they are at a time where while they want to travel with us, they are too busy with becoming adults and doing a pretty good job at it I might add.

So for several reasons we find ourselves with a rig we could easily full time in, it is just too much to deal with now.

We did carry a inexpensive dome ten at time and the kids did sleep in it under certain circumstances, like an extra friend coming along.

We expect that in two years the grandson will be almost 19 years old, he will be studying a lot and dating more and more. College is diffidently in his future so he will probably living close to us for awhile. He is also soon to become an Eagle Scout and camps a lot with his troop and their combined special troops(Philmont, National Jamboree). He may on rare occasions go with us but I think more with friends.

The DGD is engaged and will be moving to Oregon in a little over a year. She and her huband will both be going to school and working so we don't expect to be camping with them very often. She has 12 more years of college, veterinary school and internship.

So that leaves us with a rig that is really too big for the two of us. We knew that going in and have been looking at smaller since we bought the Winnie two and a half years ago.

I would plan on buying a 30 foot or so size rig now with the full expectation of buying another rig when the kids are out of the house. We well know the value of camping with your kids and with the grandkids and hopefully for you, the grand kids will like going with you and the larger rig will see a lot more family use before you buy a "just for two" rig.

Keep us informed on what you buy and how the family adapts to motorization. Don't be too concerned about the seat belt thing, the couch in a 31 footer will have them as well as the dinette and headrests are really an non issue. Maintenance is very important because these thing are expensive to repair, however, if your husband is handy, all the appliances(except the genny) are the same as in your S&B.

Good luck and straight and gentle roads.


"I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to go". R. L. Stevenson

David Bishop
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 32V
95 Suzuki Sidekick 4X4
Stowmaster 5000


PghBob

Pittsburgh PA

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Posted: 06/12/18 08:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Think of how you will use the RV most of the time. There are always a few times when you wished for something else, but for the money you pay for a rig, your most of the time experiences are what count.

You will need to balance floorplan, room, and weight capacities. Newer Ford E450 chassis maximum load (GVWR) is 14500 pounds. From this, the weight of the RV "house" and all of its appliances, generators, slides, and gizmos are subtracted to give you the Occupant and Cargo Carrying Capacity (OCCC), i.e., the amount of stuff (food, clothes, water, games, tools) and people you can carry. In general, the longer the Class C, the less OCCC you have. Options like slides and automatic levelers reduce the OCCC you have. If buying new, look for the label on the inside of the RV that provides the OCCC. Don't count on the sales rep to provide accurate info on this. Remember, in a Class C it is not how much room you have, but how much weight you can carry.

Good Luck and Best Wishes on your search.

6ofus

bartlett,il 60103

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Posted: 06/12/18 10:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank you all so much for all the great input! A travel trailer is definitely not for us. My 16 year old son is over 6 feet and still growing. Like I said, there are not many options at all for a family of 6, plus a dog, to drive comfortably in. We are okay with renting a vehicle or other means of transportation for sightseeing.

What I haven’t looked into too much is the OCCC and the points that have been made really do help. I spent a lot of time on the payloads for TT’s and obviously need to spend more time researching weights for the Class C’s. There are a few other floor plans that we did like and I”ll have to research them. Like D.E. Bishop said, I don’t want a unit that is too big for us in the long run.

I will also pay close attention to the generator’s use. This is important to us.

I’m also really envious of being able to park your unit next to your own garage. There are too many codes in my town.

Until then, we will be using our pop up to the fullest this year. (I did mention this is becoming exhausting). Let’s pray I don’t hang someone by their toenails during the setup process. [emoticon]

Juzaxadar

NC

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Posted: 06/12/18 01:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It sounds like you're having fun either way, and that's the beautiful thing about camping. Despite all the fixing I've had to do, the trips around the country are truly priceless and I know it will instill some wanderlust or at least self-confidence in my kids.

For all the fixes I've done, I really appreciate the reliability of my E450 chassis because at the end of the day driving safely and getting there is the most important.

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