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 > Is there a Class C that can be driven into sketchy terrain?

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Tampa

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Posted: 12/05/21 07:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a truck camper right now. It’s time for a different RV.

I was looking at all sorts of ideas for an overland type RV but gave up on that.

All I really want to be able to do is drive on those awful roads that go into disbursed camping in places like the National forests and BLM land in Colorado.

BUT, I’m also looking for lots of tankage, propane, insulation heat/AC to be off grid for weeks at a time. It would also be great if it looked nice inside. Modern, clean look.

I’d also like it to fit into 2 standard size parking spots, end to end.

I don’t do a lot of campgrounds. More just winging it and going wherever.

Under $100K used?

Diesel or gas doesn’t matter. I thought it did but I realized it really doesn’t matter one way or another. I’m coming from a diesel/manual transmission. So I at least need a super reliable powertrain in automatic/gas.

Any ideas of things that come close to fitting?

MDKMDK

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Posted: 12/05/21 07:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Winnebago EKKO, but they're new, and pricey. Some more exotic units exist, but they're closer to truck campers. Earthroamer, for one. Very pricey, but they sometimes have used ones for sale.


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)

mockturtle

AZ

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Posted: 12/05/21 07:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My Tiger meets those criteria but it's not for sale. There are few used ones available but you might look on the Tiger forum here: https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/tigerowners/ Or you could order a new one here: https://www.tigervehicles.com/


2015 Tiger Bengal TX 4X4
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Lwiddis

Near Bishop, California

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Posted: 12/05/21 08:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Pre-scouting and careful driving could get a smaller C into many boondocking sites. Carry winch, shovel, traction pads etc.


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, WindyNation 300 watt solar-Lossigy 200 AMP Lithium battery. Prefer boondocking, USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, state camps. Bicyclist. 14 yr. Army -11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560) IOBC & IOAC grad


EMD360

Arvada, CO

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Posted: 12/05/21 08:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We used our 2003 Itasca Spirit off-road in AZ. Tried in CO but it was much rougher and too many camping even far from developed campgrounds. We had pretty high clearance and had 22 ft of RV to get around single lane mountain roads and across desert roads to the edge of wilderness areas. It was wonderful. But camping was much less popular in AZ than CO. A truck camper will get you further than most RV’s though there are 4wd retrofits.


2018 Minnie Winnie 25b New to us 3/2021
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2003 Itasca Spirit 22e 2009-2021

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Tampa

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Posted: 12/05/21 08:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

EMD360 wrote:

We used our 2003 Itasca Spirit off-road in AZ. Tried in CO but it was much rougher and too many camping even far from developed campgrounds. We had pretty high clearance and had 22 ft of RV to get around single lane mountain roads and across desert roads to the edge of wilderness areas. It was wonderful. But camping was much less popular in AZ than CO. A truck camper will get you further than most RV’s though there are 4wd retrofits.



There we go!


That’s more the spirit of the RV I’m looking for. Something like 25-30ft.

Do people ever successfully beef up the clearance a little on these?

I have a 2wd truck camper now and I got into everywhere this summer. Crested Butte (that was hard), Divide Colorado disbursed camping, some crazy 1 lane road up behind the mansions in Aspen, another crazy 1 lane road going down to the river in Buena Vista. It was fantastic. But my truck and camper are kind
of getting tired. They are also just not very nice inside (arctic Fox) and I want to be able to put a motorcycle cycle rack on the back for a small enduro to go to town on.

VA-Apraisr

glen allen, VA

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Posted: 12/05/21 01:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've gone up to WV in my 28' RV and crossed creeks, single-lane dirt roads BUT was not on super steep terrain/mountains or washed out roads. The rear overhang is the issue on very rough/steep roads and can "tail drag" which can lead to serious issues especially if you can't back up to clear it! The Tiger looks great although doesn't seem to offer much more useable space than a slide-in truck camper. If you can find a reasonable used RV ($40-50k) and have it converted into 4x4 (Quigley 4x4 or similar $20-$22k) then added larger tires/front winch/lights/solar/Lithium batteries (another $6-8k) you'd be in business. I've off-grid camped in mine for 16 years now and wouldn't trade it for the world. If it's worth doing, it's worth doing RIGHT!!! Good luck!

pnichols

The Other California

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Posted: 12/05/21 02:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We take our 24 ft. Itasca non-slide Class C slowly and carefully offroad at times.

- We bought it new and it was based on the E450 chassis instead of the E350 chassis that is most often used for small Class C motorhomes. We wanted the overkill ruggedness, reliability, inexpensive/convenient repair/maintenance, extra weight carrying margin, and solid handling of an underloaded Ford E450 chassis supporting the coach.

- I have stock E450 rims on it, but larger diameter tires on those rims in order to provide more ground clearance.

- The fully mounted spare tire is carried in the rear up between the frame members just like on pickup trucks (for a lower center of gravity and elimination of an up-high bouncing spare ... as when carried on/above the rear bumper), and I carry a 12 ton double extension (for higher lift) hydraulic jack for emergency changing of a tire anywhere on soft/unstable ground.

- We carry five 3-step homemade leveling blocks (plus additional wood pieces) along for leveling flexibility on sloped camping spots and for possible help in getting tires unstuck in soft spots. Wooden leveling blocks aren't as likely to break/split as much on rough/rocky surfaces as composite blocks.

- We did not want any slides so as to provide for maximum shear strength in the walls, more reliability protection from a slide that won't close, less overall weight, less chance of leaks in heavy rains when camped or traveling, help in keeping the overall center of gravity low, and for elimination of any stress damage from slides jiggling slightly when traveling.

- All kinds of tools and spare parts stay in the motorhome at all times so they're always there without having to load them special whenever we go on trips. These include such things as: A full size shovel, a pickaxe, a spare serpentine belt plus a special tool to help mount it, a crowbar, extra engine fluids, a tire puncture repair kit, tire inflation canisters, a full power compressor, Eternabond tape, a caulking gun and tubes of caulking, a remote inspection scope to look at plumbing and wiring in behind cabinets, spare plumbing piping and fixtures, spare bulbs, 12V and 120V extension cords, a high power 12V portable fan, a hand saw for large limbs, an axe, all kinds of flashlights, and the coach came with a built-in exterior roof access ladder to inspect for/repair any roof damage while on trips.

- In addition to the built-in 4000 watt generator powered from the main 55 gallon gas tank and the built-in coach battery charger, we also carry along a portable generator and a portable battery charger. We can charge and keep charged our coach and engine batteries five different non-solar ways.

- And last but by no means least: We carry along a Garmin Mini satellite rescue and text communication device (along with emergency rescue insurance) ... since many times we can be out of range of mobile phone cellular towers.

Our main offroad concerns are - no 4X4, and the width and the height of the coach structure at 101 inches wide and 11'6" tall. But what this non-slide size and non-4X4 package gives us is all the comforts of home way out in many U.S. boondock areas and at purchase and maintenance pricing that we can afford.

So far our most remote trip has been into the Oregon Outback 25 miles each way, during which we had to travel at around 7-10 MPH to keep the motorhome under control and free from damage.


Phil, 2005 E450 Itasca Spirit 24V

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Tampa

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Posted: 12/05/21 02:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

VA-Apraisr wrote:

I've gone up to WV in my 28' RV and crossed creeks, single-lane dirt roads BUT was not on super steep terrain/mountains or washed out roads. The rear overhang is the issue on very rough/steep roads and can "tail drag" which can lead to serious issues especially if you can't back up to clear it! The Tiger looks great although doesn't seem to offer much more useable space than a slide-in truck camper. If you can find a reasonable used RV ($40-50k) and have it converted into 4x4 (Quigley 4x4 or similar $20-$22k) then added larger tires/front winch/lights/solar/Lithium batteries (another $6-8k) you'd be in business. I've off-grid camped in mine for 16 years now and wouldn't trade it for the world. If it's worth doing, it's worth doing RIGHT!!! Good luck!



Wow, exactly what I’ve been looking for. I come from boats originally before RVs so I agree with doing it right.

The winches sounds like an especially good idea.

What brand RV did you modify to be much better than stock?

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Tampa

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Posted: 12/05/21 03:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow again!!!

Exactly what I’m looking to do.


Believe it or not, my truck camper dimensions are as large! More height and only 3” less width than your class C.

I found the “roads” in the Colorado rocky disbursed camping areas were barely passable. I had to carefully plan where to put my tires to keep the truck off the ground and off rocks. I did not, however, find I needed 4 wheel drive. It wasn’t slippery, it was huge gullies, ravines and holes in the road.

By the same token, I saw more than one standard, stock class C go blasting very deep into the camping in Divide, CO that I wouldn’t do with the truck camper out of fear of the load shifting. The hills were crazy and they drove right up/down.

I also feel like if you ever did get stuck with 2wd, winches are probably all you need. I could be wrong and I’m sure it’s a hot topic, but seems 2wd and winches would work great.

Your setup sounds ideal.

I want to carry a small enduro motorcycle to go into town with and get parts if needed. I carry that now, actually. But the garnish in reach is a good idea. Been meaning to get one. Good for medical emergencies especially.

Thanks for this post. Very encouraging.




pnichols wrote:

We take our 24 ft. Itasca non-slide Class C slowly and carefully offroad at times.

- We bought it new and it was based on the E450 chassis instead of the E350 chassis that is most often used for small Class C motorhomes. We wanted the overkill ruggedness, reliability, inexpensive/convenient repair/maintenance, extra weight carrying margin, and solid handling of an underloaded Ford E450 chassis supporting the coach.

- I have stock E450 rims on it, but larger diameter tires on those rims in order to provide more ground clearance.

- The fully mounted spare tire is carried in the rear up between the frame members just like on pickup trucks (for a lower center of gravity and elimination of an up-high bouncing spare ... as when carried on/above the rear bumper), and I carry a 12 ton double extension (for higher lift) hydraulic jack for emergency changing of a tire anywhere on soft/unstable ground.

- We carry five 3-step homemade leveling blocks (plus additional wood pieces) along for leveling flexibility on sloped camping spots and for possible help in getting tires unstuck in soft spots. Wooden leveling blocks aren't as likely to break/split as much on rough/rocky surfaces as composite blocks.

- We did not want any slides so as to provide for maximum shear strength in the walls, more reliability protection from a slide that won't close, less overall weight, less chance of leaks in heavy rains when camped or traveling, help in keeping the overall center of gravity low, and for elimination of any stress damage from slides jiggling slightly when traveling.

- All kinds of tools and spare parts stay in the motorhome at all times so they're always there without having to load them special whenever we go on trips. These include such things as: A full size shovel, a pickaxe, a spare serpentine belt plus a special tool to help mount it, a crowbar, extra engine fluids, a tire puncture repair kit, tire inflation canisters, a full power compressor, Eternabond tape, a caulking gun and tubes of caulking, a remote inspection scope to look at plumbing and wiring in behind cabinets, spare plumbing piping and fixtures, spare bulbs, 12V and 120V extension cords, a high power 12V portable fan, a hand saw for large limbs, an axe, all kinds of flashlights, and the coach came with a built-in exterior roof access ladder to inspect for/repair any roof damage while on trips.

- In addition to the built-in 4000 watt generator powered from the main 55 gallon gas tank and the built-in coach battery charger, we also carry along a portable generator and a portable battery charger. We can charge and keep charged our coach and engine batteries five different non-solar ways.

- And last but by no means least: We carry along a Garmin Mini satellite rescue and text communication device (along with emergency rescue insurance) ... since many times we can be out of range of mobile phone cellular towers.

Our main offroad concerns are - no 4X4, and the width and the height of the coach structure at 101 inches wide and 11'6" tall. But what this non-slide size and non-4X4 package gives us is all the comforts of home way out in many U.S. boondock areas and at purchase and maintenance pricing that we can afford.

So far our most remote trip has been into the Oregon Outback 25 miles each way, during which we had to travel at around 7-10 MPH to keep the motorhome under control and free from damage.


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