Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Class A Motorhomes: 5 figure 30 foot
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davelinde

Lake Nona, Florida

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Posted: 01/19/20 06:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A while back DW told me she wanted a Class C so I checked into that forum to get advice and learned loads about chassis options, engines, pros and cons etc.

We just got back from the Tampa RV show and went through the various C's and nothing seemed to strike our fancy. Our favorites were some of the options on a Sprinter chassis (I mostly liked a diesel)... but for what we intend to do there was not enough storage, they were set up with almost no carry capacity, and they were not really affordable. To set some context - we paid $70K for an HDT with a 40' toy hauler as our last rig. It was really a dream rig for what we did back then. We are OK to downsize now that we have no kids in the mix... but to pay a lot more and be scrimping on every pound of cargo seems wrong.

Our intention is to have a rig for extended stays (we've live in an RV for up to 6 months with kids) as well as long trips (we'd like to do a circuit of the continental US one day).

Now that a Class C seems out - are we off base to think we can get into a capable Class A in any 5 figure price range and maybe under 30'? We went through several shorter floor plans with a V10 gas engine and 2 slides and there were a few that seemed quite livable. The "show prices" on several rigs we liked were under $90K (a few a lot under).

I've never really looked seriously at a Class A before, in part because I hesitate to spend over 6 figures on a depreciating asset. However, if DW is behind this and I can get my homework done - this could be a plan.

All my previous RV have been diesel but I guess I could be OK with a V10 gas. The rigs we saw had 80 gallon tanks so even with gas fuel efficiency the range was ok. I'm OK driving anything but DW is hesitant. I got her to drive the 34' fifthwheel setup but she refused to attempt the hauler behind the HDT. I need her to be able to take turns driving and I do think that if she could do the 3/4 ton diesel towing she can step up to a motorhome? In fact, sitting in a few class A vs sitting under the doghouse of some class C made her think she might prefer the sight lines of the A vs a C?

Finally, I just cannot see us doing a 2 (or 4 or 6) month trip with an 800# cargo capacity. We can pack light.... but not that light. I have not yet checked all the numbers on the short A's with a V10 but I am assuming we are OK to tow a small car and carry a ton of stuff and go across the country?

What wisdom can this group offer? What questions should I be asking. What issues do I face with a less expensive and short A?


Dave Lindemulder
Tammy, Mark & Kirsten
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wildtoad

Blythewood, SC

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Posted: 01/19/20 07:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a 31 ft Newmar class A and tow a Jeep Wrangler 2DR hard top, Ford V10. Plenty of power. Newmar is very well built, plenty of storage both in and out. It’s a 2016 so going on 4 year in March. No problems with chassis stuff, some issues with house part, most resolved under warranty. We have PLENTY of carrying capacity. Buy a better brand, go used if needed, but don’t buy on price. You will regret it.


Tom Wilds
Blythewood, SC
2016 Newmar Baystar Sport 3004
2015 Jeep Wrangler 2dr HT

DFord

Near St Louis, MO

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Posted: 01/19/20 07:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I may be a little prejudice but try looking at the features of the Safari Trek 29rdb units - 2004 to 2008.
Here's a link to a couple withing 112 miles from Tampa. There are several of these high end but smaller class As that have a huge bathroom in the back, and sleep 4. The bed stores up at the ceiling during the day giving you the space of a much longer MH without the length. Lots of storage along with full body paint. Safari was purchased by Monaco about 2002 and production ended in 2008. Monaco is now part of the REV Group. Most Treks are on the Workhorse chassis with GM's 8.1 engine. Take a look, it won't hurt to compare them to what you saw at the show.

https://www.rvtrader.com/Safari-Trek-29r........C56123&zip=33601&radius=250&vrsn=results


Don Ford
2004 Safari Trek 31SBD (F53/V10 20,500GVW)
'09 HHR 2LT or '97 Aerostar MiniVan (Remco driveshaft disconnect) for Towed vehicles
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Lwiddis

Lone Pine, CA

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Posted: 01/19/20 08:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Get the A of your dreams that fits you and DW. Let the kids earn their own money. Your camping “record” indicates you two will use it and use it. Money well spent.


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, 300 watts solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL pole for flags. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, USF&WS, state & county camps. Bicyclist! 14 year Army vet - 11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560)


valhalla360

No paticular place.

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Posted: 01/19/20 10:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you are no longer tied into vacations...having her able to drive in a pinch is nice but does the need to trade off regularly become a deal killer?
- 2 week 3000mile trip typically means some long driving days where trading out driving duties is really nice.
- 6 month 5000 mile trip...no need to do more than 3hr in a day.

I do think having her learn to drive it is good so if something happens to you, she isn't trapped but you could do an occasional practice drive to get her used to it under easy conditions (say rural freeway with minimal traffic and not complications from mountains or lots of sharp corners). Good chance if she got used to the 5er, she will quickly pick up on driving the MH.


Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and 5er


craig7h

Branson MO area

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Posted: 01/20/20 04:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A few years back the DW and I decided we no longer needed the 35' 5th wheel with diesel dully. So we downsized to a 30' class a MH. There was nothing wrong with the MH the v10 did everything ask of it. After about 2.5 years we decided that we down sized a little two much. The Class A lacked great seating, lacked storage, lacked just over all move around room. All things the 5th wheel had.

We knew we where on the wrong side of the loan so a great used A was in our future. We need room for longer trips, move around room. We ended up with a great deal on a 37' diesel pusher. I have not even begun to fill the outside bins let alone the inside cabinets and we have move around room.

I guess what I am saying is do not downsize to much.


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way2roll

Wilmington NC

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Posted: 01/20/20 06:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Despite having owned a few Class A's in the past decade, this is the first time we are shopping for a rig to full time next year. And now more than ever I am learning that everything about RV's is a concession. It has all these features, but not this, it's on this chassis but lack 5 other features, This one has a ton of storage but there is no weight left to tow a car. this model checks most of the boxes but the quality is awful, etc etc. Despite digging and digging we are really struggling to find that perfect rig. Personally I don't think the perfect rig does exist unless you have VERY deep pockets.

Back on track, a few points. I have found that a class A is much easier to drive than a comparably sized Class C. The height, field of vision and different chassis all make for a better driving experience. And DP's drive even better than gas ones. There are LOADS of 30' Class A's out there for under $100k. Remember dealership prices are usually inflated about 20-30%. Never mind there are a bunch out there used that are a few years old that get you in a better depreciation space.

But - there's always a but. Small class A's are typically the most entry level of any line. I'll get flamed for this but I've walked through a LOT of them, I've owned 2 different ones, and every brand's short class A offering is cheap and low quality. The exception might be the Tiffin Allegro breeze which I think is the shortest DP out there. I have owned 2 30' Class A's and while great for short weekend trips, I wouldn't full time in them - hence why I am shopping. Most small Class A's are meant for weekenders and not full timing. I think you have to step into the 35' plus range to start getting raised rail chassis for storage, higher end components, heavier chassis for more CCC etc. But you can still get used, bigger, and better Class A's for less than a new, small entry level one.

All that said, it depends on your expectations. If you don't mind a budget RV and can full time in it then do what works for you.

I can tell you I don't think I'll ever buy new again. The depreciation and frustration working out the kinks is an awful experience. I'll buy a few years old, save my self the big depreciation hit and hopefully get one that most of the bugs are worked out. The market is saturated with fairly new, used units.

YMMV.


2020 F350 STX 6.7L Turbo Diesel
2020 FR Cedar Creek Silverback 29rw

davelinde

Lake Nona, Florida

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Posted: 01/20/20 08:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As always, thanks for the thoughtful replies and share experience on this. It gives me a few things to think about. To respond/clarify. Although we did buy both our FW new, we are leaning towards buying the MH used when the time comes. One reason for looking at the new rigs now is to get ideas about what might be out there used in a few years.

For having DW drive. I agree it's probably not a deal breaker in the scheme of things. As we did with the FW, I'd like her to know how to do it and what it is like for an emergency - but in all likelihood I'll do all the driving and we will not do any of the long days I did when I was younger.

Intuitively I know there must be trade-off between the entry level stuff and models listing 50%, 100% or 200% more. Which is part of why I'm asking here - beyond fit/finish I'm trying to get my head around what to compare. I'm also trying to figure out if we are really OK with doing extended trips in a 30' rig. There were a few floorplan that were non-starters, but several seemed more than adequate for the two of us - though none had the storage space of our FW...

Key wants on layout are a large bed with room to walk around 3 sides, two comfortable chairs for reading, two comfortable areas for using a computer, and a way to watch a TV without looking sideways from the seating.

For bells and whistles I'd like adaptive cruise control but can live with the old fashioned kind. I was only seeing the adaptive cc on a few 2020 Class C, and not even on all of them. I don't think I saw any Class A with that option, though I surely could have missed it.

theoldwizard1

SE MI

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Posted: 01/20/20 09:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There are Class C and there are Class C ! Anything built on a Sprinter or Transit chassis will be a LOT smaller than on built on a Ford E350/E450 chassis.

If I was shopping, I would wait another year for Ford's new 7.3L gasoline engine in combination with their new 10 speed transmission. I will become the standard engine and transmission in Ford based RVs, but probably not until 2021.

suprz

rhode island

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Posted: 01/20/20 09:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What about a Super C? Big diesel, plenty of storage, and towing capacity? Jayco Seneca comes to mind


Proud father of a US Marine


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