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Kansas Big Dog

Class C motor homes

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Greg Hartman
8 minutes ago, C.J.L. said:

Not to hijack, but for the guys that do live or spend a good deal of time living out of their home on wheels what is the cost of living comparison between a brick and mortar home you have paid off and a home on wheels you have paid off per month?  

 

It's just like living in a regular house in that you can spend a ton to own fancy things, go to fancy places to eat, constantly see and do at a high level.  Or you can live very, very cheaply.  Or anything in between.  It's pretty much up to you.

 

BTW, I agree with Don.  On ANY motorhome, new or old, Class C or Class A, stuff (major and minor) will be constantly breaking.  It's just like living on a boat.  If you are handy, costs can be kept down; if you are not then you will be frequently paying to get stuff fixed.

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marsingbob

I have had two different 5th wheels pulled by a dodge diesel, several travel trailers and now have a 29 foot Bigfoot class C motor home. Here are my thoughts.

    First, any motor home is a heavy load.  Mine is 14000lbs on the road, and a Class A is heavier by a lot.  As a rule of thumb, in considering mileage, double it if comparing to a car.  At 80,000 miles, treat it as a car with 160,000 miles, maybe more.  There are many low mileage motor homes for sale.  Wait for one.

    Second, mileage is a factor but not a major one if you run the actual number on how many miles you will drive.  It is a rare motor home that sees 15,000 miles a year.  Currently diesel is 20 to 25% higher than gas.  My motor home, with a Ford V10, gets a consistent 8 mpg.  My Dodge diesel, pulling a 9000 lb 5th wheel, got 10 mpg.  Many people stretch the truth on mileage.  If they once got 11.6 on a slow flat trip with a tailwind, they say "I get 12mpg".  Almost all class C's will have a Ford V10.  Mine is a 2001 and has adequate power to pull a 3800 lb Jeep Wrangler in the mountains.  However if you can try to get a 2003 or later.

   Maintenance is a big issue.  All motor homes will be very expensive for any major repairs.  Many shops work on a Class C, because it is just a commercial Ford Van.  Fewer work on a Class A.  A local auto supply store will have almost all commonly used drive line parts in stock or available within a day.  Try getting motor mounts, a water pump or an alternator for a diesel Class A in your local auto supply shop, and chances will not be good.  I am not certain about engine maintenance.  I have a farm and many farmers drive diesel pickups.  They can run into very expensive repairs.  The def delete is not the answer--it really does not make much difference.  The engine is a complicated and sophisticated design to reduce emissions and produce lots of power. The same is true of gas engines, but the cost of a rebuild or even a valve job is definitely much higher on a diesel.  The same is true of a component more  likely to fail--the transmission.  A major expense now is electronic parts.  Later diesels have as many or more than gas engines.  Whatever you do, do not buy a Ford 6.0 diesel.

   If you are buying any kind of motor home that is 10 or 15 years old, stick to a high quality brand.  The components are better, the construction is better and they last better.  I would not classify Fleetwood as a high quality brand and they were made in the town I used to live in, and know people who built them.  

    Many motor homes with an "arctic" or "cold weather" package will freeze when the temperature goes below 20 degrees.  Simple things cause problem.  The drain valves freeze, pipes that are not really well insulated and heated freeze, the water and sewer tanks freeze, the hot water tank freezes.  All of these things may or may not be ok at 20 degrees if you are parked and living in the motor home, but are not heated and protected adequately when you drive in cold weather for a day or two.

   Look at a 28 to 30 foot class C.  Most 25 footers are build on the short wheelbase Ford van and handle no better that the 29 footers because of it.  No class C is a vehicle for bad roads.  Improved gravel is ok, but they all have low ground clearance and a lot of overhang.

 

 

 

 

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Kansas Big Dog
2 hours ago, marsingbob said:

I have had two different 5th wheels pulled by a dodge diesel, several travel trailers and now have a 29 foot Bigfoot class C motor home. Here are my thoughts.

    First, any motor home is a heavy load.  Mine is 14000lbs on the road, and a Class A is heavier by a lot.  As a rule of thumb, in considering mileage, double it if comparing to a car.  At 80,000 miles, treat it as a car with 160,000 miles, maybe more.  There are many low mileage motor homes for sale.  Wait for one.

    Second, mileage is a factor but not a major one if you run the actual number on how many miles you will drive.  It is a rare motor home that sees 15,000 miles a year.  Currently diesel is 20 to 25% higher than gas.  My motor home, with a Ford V10, gets a consistent 8 mpg.  My Dodge diesel, pulling a 9000 lb 5th wheel, got 10 mpg.  Many people stretch the truth on mileage.  If they once got 11.6 on a slow flat trip with a tailwind, they say "I get 12mpg".  Almost all class C's will have a Ford V10.  Mine is a 2001 and has adequate power to pull a 3800 lb Jeep Wrangler in the mountains.  However if you can try to get a 2003 or later.

   Maintenance is a big issue.  All motor homes will be very expensive for any major repairs.  Many shops work on a Class C, because it is just a commercial Ford Van.  Fewer work on a Class A.  A local auto supply store will have almost all commonly used drive line parts in stock or available within a day.  Try getting motor mounts, a water pump or an alternator for a diesel Class A in your local auto supply shop, and chances will not be good.  I am not certain about engine maintenance.  I have a farm and many farmers drive diesel pickups.  They can run into very expensive repairs.  The def delete is not the answer--it really does not make much difference.  The engine is a complicated and sophisticated design to reduce emissions and produce lots of power. The same is true of gas engines, but the cost of a rebuild or even a valve job is definitely much higher on a diesel.  The same is true of a component more  likely to fail--the transmission.  A major expense now is electronic parts.  Later diesels have as many or more than gas engines.  Whatever you do, do not buy a Ford 6.0 diesel.

   If you are buying any kind of motor home that is 10 or 15 years old, stick to a high quality brand.  The components are better, the construction is better and they last better.  I would not classify Fleetwood as a high quality brand and they were made in the town I used to live in, and know people who built them.  

    Many motor homes with an "arctic" or "cold weather" package will freeze when the temperature goes below 20 degrees.  Simple things cause problem.  The drain valves freeze, pipes that are not really well insulated and heated freeze, the water and sewer tanks freeze, the hot water tank freezes.  All of these things may or may not be ok at 20 degrees if you are parked and living in the motor home, but are not heated and protected adequately when you drive in cold weather for a day or two.

   Look at a 28 to 30 foot class C.  Most 25 footers are build on the short wheelbase Ford van and handle no better that the 29 footers because of it.  No class C is a vehicle for bad roads.  Improved gravel is ok, but they all have low ground clearance and a lot of overhang.

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks so much for the info, very good. Why do you suggest trying to get one 2003 or newer? And what would you consider the higher quality brands?

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settem

If I was in your shoes, and I am a little jealous 🤔

I would be looking for a fifth wheel toy hauler. 

Pull it with a diesel truck and put the little trail rig in the back. 

After you set up camp and unload the trail rig you have room to  stretch out and live. 

Buy a fifth wheel car trailer and set up your own living qtrs or browse the want ads and find a used factory built unit. Some of these rigs rival any RV. 

 

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bobman
23 minutes ago, settem said:

If I was in your shoes, and I am a little jealous 🤔

I would be looking for a fifth wheel toy hauler. 

Pull it with a diesel truck and put the little trail rig in the back. 

After you set up camp and unload the trail rig you have room to  stretch out and live. 

Buy a fifth wheel car trailer and set up your own living qtrs or browse the want ads and find a used factory built unit. Some of these rigs rival any RV. 

 

 

Thats exactly what I’m planning to do

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bobman
1 hour ago, Kansas Big Dog said:

 

Thanks so much for the info, very good. Why do you suggest trying to get one 2003 or newer? And what would you consider the higher quality brands?

 

2003 and later have better heads previous model spit plugs because the aluminum heads don’t have enough threads, after 2005 ford used two piece plugs which caused another problem because carbon would build up on them and they break off when you try and change them

 

theres newer one piece plugs available to prevent that issue do some research the 2004 and 2005 -newer are good engines if you deal with the two piece plug issue

 

have a ford mechanic change them there a special tool for fishing out the plug ends if they break

 

its a good engine overall

 

2005 and newer will have the torque shift 5 speed trans which would be a worthwhile consideration IMO

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Brad Eden

Cool Topic. We have a small used RV in our future. Not to live in but to do some travel. I want something as small and maneuverable as I can get and one I can drive to and fro once we reach a destination. We rented a fully equipped smallish RV for a trip to FL many years back with the two kids. It was fun and I liked being able to back into and maneuver in tight spots especially at the few campgrounds we stayed at. Watching the poor souls try to position huge RV's and even worse bohemoth 5th wheel homes on wheels was both frightening and painful. I can hardly back up a utility trailer.

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terrym

Not to sidetrack but I wonder what is the point where it makes more $$ sense to rent motels over purchasing and maintaining an RV? I’m also thinking of buying one 16-21 ft for max one week trips but mostly 3 day weekends ( 2 people and 2 dogs) I don’t want to upgrade to a 3/4 ton to tow. 

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UplandHntr

It will never ever ever ever be less expensive to own a motor home or rv. It has nothing to do with money.

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bobman

Big plus is location flexibility 

 

bird populations are hard to pin down months in advance and with a RV you can just move a 100 miles

 

hotel reservations need to be made well ahead of time in popular locations that can lock you in to a birdless area

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bobman
55 minutes ago, terrym said:

Not to sidetrack but I wonder what is the point where it makes more $$ sense to rent motels over purchasing and maintaining an RV? I’m also thinking of buying one 16-21 ft for max one week trips but mostly 3 day weekends ( 2 people and 2 dogs) I don’t want to upgrade to a 3/4 ton to tow. 

 

You want a 25 foot minimum 

 

fuel economy is balanced somewhat by not by not having to get hotel rooms or eat in restaurants

I don’t spend anymore in total than I did when I stayed in hotels

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terrym
4 minutes ago, bobman said:

 

You want a 25 foot minimum 

How would a 5.7 Hemi handle that size? It has a 10,000 lb rating, not that a trailer that size would hit 10,000 lbs?

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bobman

Easily

 

tongue weight and payload is what you need to pay attention to and most 25 ft trailers are easy to pull

 

get a weight distributing hitch and at that size it will be a non issue

 

 

get on this forum and do a lot of reading

 


http://www.rv.net/forum/

 

 

 

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terrym

Thanks !

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Curt

KBD,

Just a FWIW factoid.  I'm fairly tall at 6'4" and there is no way I could comfortably drive a C Class motorhome any distance.  They just don't build the drivers seat area large enough to accommodate tall people.  Have no idea how tall you might be but if you're over 6' you might want to try driving one if you haven't already to check out the leg room.

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