Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Quest for Quality Small RV
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 > Quest for Quality Small RV

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hpdrver

Mansfield, Texas

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Joined: 05/17/2007

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Posted: 01/22/21 09:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have been rving for 40 years and have always had small Rv’s under 30 ft. Some have been class A and some have been class C. Our first class A was a 1983 27 ft. Pace Arrow. When Tiffin came out with the Breeze in 2010 we were excited to get a diesel pusher under 30’.

After 5 years of great travels and few problems, we felt the Navistar engine may be a problem going forward so it was time to trade. In 2017 the Breeze 28 was no longer offered and no Tiffin Class A was under 30’ ,so we bought a 25’ Winnebago Via on the Mercedes chassis.

The Via was great for 3 years with no problems but the corner bed was a challenge and Mercedes had just come out with a new chassis so we wanted to go back to a Tiffin product. But again ,Tiffin offered no Class A under 30’ so we traded for a 2020 Wayfarer 25 RW which we bought in March. Unfortunately, we took one camping trip in it and decided that the floor plan and the limited OCCC would not work for us so a search for another RV began.

Once again, finding a quality small class A was fruitless. In July ,we looked at a Used Coach House class C and decided this coach would work. We contacted Coach House at their factory and they stated that they were now building their coaches on the new Ford E450 chassis with the new engine and safety features. In July We then drove our Wayfarer to Florida and traded it in for a new 272 Coach House to be built. The 272 model was only 14 inches longer than the Wayfarer but offered a better Floorplan, greater storage, 2200 lbs. of OCCC, one piece fiberglass shell and greater towing capacity. In our opinion, Coach House is the best built Class C available.

Now the bad news, yes we lost money and the Coach House was more expensive but the saddest item was our coach would not be ready for pickup until February 2021,a 7 month wait. Although initially disappointed, we feel ecstatic now because the wait time is almost over for our coach, and the current wait time for a new coach is now 16 months.

From our research our opinion is the only really quality builders on the E450 chassis are Phoenix Cruiser and Coach House. I would hope Tiffin, Entegra or Winnebago will start building a small high quality class C or B+ on the new E450 chassis . Even though a high quality coach will be more expensive, we believe there is a market for a well built motorhome.


Texas Two Step
2021 Coach House 272XLFR
2020 JL Jeep Wrangler

MDKMDK

Lockdown Gulag

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Joined: 10/15/2008

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Posted: 01/22/21 10:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If they ever become legal in Canada, I'd probably eventually downsize to a Coach House Arriva. The floor plan is reasonable for a class B van conversion, and it has a dry bath, both of which are important to us.

* This post was edited 01/22/21 11:47am by MDKMDK *


Mike. Comments are anecdotal or personal opinions, and worth what you paid for them.
2018 (2017 Sprinter Cab Chassis) Navion24V + 2016 Wrangler JKU (sold @ ????)
2016 Sunstar 26HE, V10, 3V, 6 Speed (sold @ 4600 miles)
2002 Roadtrek C190P (sold @ 315,000kms)

klutchdust

Orange, California

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Posted: 01/22/21 12:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow, really nice rig, perfect size also. I had a2009 Itasca Cambrai and enjoyed it, things changed and went into something else. This would be my choice if I went back into a drivable. For now my Toyhauler is doing the job. Good luck with that rig.

theoldwizard1

SE MI

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Posted: 01/22/21 05:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Most of the smaller motorhomes are now built on the Transit or Sprinter platform. Neither are as "robust" as the E450.

pnichols

The Other California

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Joined: 04/26/2005

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Posted: 01/22/21 09:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Of course the word "Small" in your OP title is very important relative to what you found!

A somewhat more tough shopping challenge may be to find the best quality full size Class C. By "full size" I don't mean length. I'm referring more to height, slideless width, and coach tank capacity..

By pure luck years ago we located a new 101 inch wide, 11'6" tall, 24 ft. classic Class C that so far has turned out to be fairly reliable, roomy, and with tank capacities that permit decent drycamping. We are able to take it carefully offroad and be real comfortable in it when we get there because of it's dimensions and facilities.

But outside the above requirements and benefits, Coach House is a superb choice ... especially since the Platinum model is based on that great E450 chassis - which is chassis overkill in small motorhome models.


Phil, 2005 E450 Itasca Spirit 24V

Dusty R

Charlotte Michigan 48813

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Posted: 01/23/21 07:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We bought a new Itasca Spirit 24V in '01, traded it for another new Itasca in '15.

ron.dittmer

North-East Illinois

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Posted: 01/23/21 10:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I really like the idea of a small motor home being built on an over-capable E450 chassis, but for reasons most people would not consider.

We would all agree the E450 chassis is designed to manage a much larger motor home than a tiny 22 footer like a (Phoenix Cruiser 2100) with a short 138" wheel base. The suspension is so very stiff on such a rig that it must be terribly rough on the house and contents, and also the occupants.

But.......

For a little extra money, you can take such an over-capable rig to a truck suspension shop to remove the appropriate quantity of rear leaf springs, and replace the front coils springs to softer ones (Like I Did With My Rig Here). The end result is that you have over-rated brakes along with other over-rated safety and durability benefits like a thicker main frame that will take longer to degrade from rust. I imagine the thicker E450 frame would also decrease potential body flexing (if any).

I understand that the difference in fuel economy between the E350 and E450 in past years is no longer applicable. The rear differential gear ratio is the same used in both for a few years now because the additional gears in the latest transmission compensates appropriately.

* This post was edited 01/23/21 10:58am by ron.dittmer *


2007 Phoenix Cruiser model 2350, with 2006 Jeep Liberty in-tow

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