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Old 01-16-2009, 02:19 PM   #1
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So, we have not been able to sell our Alpine and think we want to try to trade for a smaller Class C that we can let our kids and grandkids use. Has anyone ever owned own a Class C that could advise us what to look for.
Thanks
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Old 01-16-2009, 03:38 PM   #2
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If I were going to trade to a Class C I would not hesitate to look at the Born Free products.
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Old 01-16-2009, 04:39 PM   #3
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I've also been impressed with the Born Free products with the relative few that have come through our shop.
From an owner's standpoint, of which I am not, at least not a motor home, I think it would be very tough to beat a Winnebago product. The dealer support and availability to get repairs done, either on the road, or at home is head and shoulders above any other manufacturer that I have worked with.
It is a virtual guarantee that you will have problems, especially in the initial stages of new coach ownership and the dealer body and support from the manufacturer will have as much impact on your enjoyment of the coach as anything else.
I work with manufacturers on a daily basis and can tell you that the level of service provided has been impacted severely during these trying economic times. Winnebago, at least from a dealer/service center standpoint has remained consistent and unwaivering thru it all.
That's my two cents and good luck in your search!!
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Old 01-16-2009, 05:10 PM   #4
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I also would not hesitate to look at winni. They have been around a long time and have weathere many a storm. However, you didn't say how many you needed to sleep. Sleeping requirements are a prime factor to determine layout. You can get some very nice units between 24 and 31 feet and roominess will largely depend on sleeping requirements. I would also seriously consider Itasca then Coachman.


http://www.winnebagoind.com/pr...ccess/floorplans.php
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Old 01-16-2009, 05:17 PM   #5
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We had two Lazy Daze class C motorhomes before we got the Alpine Coach, and were very happy with them. If we were to downsize, I would buy another one without even looking at any others. They are well designed and quality built motorhomes. Handling is excellent, probably on a par with the Alpine.

But it is definitely a step down from the Alpine coach in creature comforts. My 36' Alpine gets better fuel mileage (~9 mpg) towing a CR-V than the 26' gas coach ever got without towing (~8 mpg).

I can't really vouch for their factory service. (They are sold factory direct, so no dealer service is involved.) In 7 years I only needed it once, for a very minor electrical problem that was caused by our cat. But to be fair it is a much simpler coach than the Alpine.
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Old 01-16-2009, 07:12 PM   #6
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I am looking for a coach that will sleep a young family. Our kids all have grade school kids and are into camping in National Parks. They will never know what they are missing by not having an Alpine. But we may use it some and do not want a cheap unit.
I just do not think they need more than a solid Class C that the wives could drive if needed. We use to rent Jayco's years ago with the bed over the cab, dining table that made into a bed and a twins at the rear. I assume they still have that configuration.
I was hoping some Alpine owners would have expierence with Class C's. I would respect their advise for sure.

Thanks to all.
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Old 01-16-2009, 08:25 PM   #7
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We had a 2005 Fleetwood Tioga 31 M motorhome before our Alpine. we drove it from Washington state to Nova Scotia, Texas, back to Washington, to Alaska, and back, and back to Texas again before returning to Washington. Had it 18 months and put 28,000 miles on it. We had some break-in problems, but nearly as many as with the Alpine, and it never left us or needed any major work. it had a sliding queen bed in the rear, and a sliding dining area. Ours had the entertainment center over the cab, but came with a bed as an option. We liked it a lot and could have slept 6 with the adults in the rear queen and kids in dinette and over cab.

We added a Banks PowerPack system to the Ford V-10 and beefed up the rear hitch and frame so we could tow our 4500 lb 4Runner, and it did fine, especially once we add the Banks system. It really needed that to get the power to tow well, plus it added about 1/2 mpg to the coach.

If we were doing as you are, we would not have any issues buying this motorhome again. it is spacious, has a very good floor layout, easy to drive, and easy to maintain.

Like the others, it got about 1/2 mpg less than our Alpine towing. But it was burning regular unleaded gas instead of diesel. At 6000 miles per year, even at 7.5 mpg on gas vs 8 mpg on diesel, The class C would still be $350 cheaper to drive with unleaded gas at $2/gallon and diesel at $2.60/gallon now.

To me one of the biggest disadvantages of a class C gas is having to find a gas station that's easy to fill the coach with a toad vs. going into Flying J's or other truck stops to fill the diesel, where it's easy to maneuver, and 2) having to fill the class C twice a day on a trip vs once every other day on the diesel. Additionally, there are just more oil changes, albeit cheaper, than the once a year diesel.

Also, the tanks are not nearly as big and the leveling is a big deal unless you add jacks, and give up some space.

But if these issues are not big deals to you, and you are more of an occasional camper and something you want the kids and grandkids to use, then a Class C is not a bad option. We think that's what we will probably go to again in five to seven years or so when we're no longer in need of the big Coach.

I studied the various coaches a lot and agree Born Free and Lazy Days make very nice coaches, and probably hold together a little better. But if you want a lot of storage areas, and a couple slides for room, and want want a lot of sleeping capacity you probably want a bigger class C. Our Fleetwood Tioga did the job well for what we wanted, at a good price point. I would only shore up the MDF cabinets by taking the screws out and replacing with bolts and nuts where I could, on the hinges and handles, and I would add a Banks system, whether it's a Ford V-10 or a Workhorse chassis.
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Old 01-18-2009, 02:20 PM   #8
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You didn't provide any information about your travel situatioon . . . how many people, your travel style (roamer or long term), etc. Guessing all of those things makes recommendations a crapshoot.

IF:
You plan to drive a lot;
You like being able to get in and out of a normal parking lot;
You can live with 2 double beds and a twin;
You don't mind paying 40% more to get a quality chassis with great fuel economy . . .
look at a Winnebago View or its Itasca sister.

Our '08 24H came with all the options, and was discounted enough that we added all the "big boy" toys (tire monitoring, auto satellite, auto-hydraulic leveling) and still walked out well under MSRP.

It was purchased as our "commuter" RV - for taking long tours. It is an adunct to, not a replacement for, our '05 Vectra 36RD - which will continue to be our short range and / or long stay rig.
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Old 01-19-2009, 06:02 AM   #9
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Like Jim A, we have owned two Class C Lazy Daze motor homes, a 26' and a 30'. For us, if we were to downsize, it would be back to Lazy Daze. Even though they don't have slideouts, the plans are so well arranged that I think the Class C's with slideouts do not have as much comfort as the Lazy Daze's. I especially like the 26' with the twin sofa arrangement with the dining table making a bed, and a bed overhead. The rear bath is really spacious for a Class C. This would be my choice.

We, too, looked at Born Free's, but I didn't like the plans as well. Also, they seemed to have a "closed in" feeling that we never experienced in the Lazy Daze. The windows of the LD are so much bigger (one of the nice features of the Alpine, by the way). We got the same mileage as the others have mentioned.

We are not "dwelling" on regrets, but I can tell you for sure that we wish we still had our last Lazy Daze. We made a terrible mistake buying the Alpine. The quality we expected just wasn't there. Yes, some of our problems were components and also a "learning curve," but way too much was manufacture related. It just shouldn't have been on this priced motor home.

Of course, the big problem would be needing to sell the Alpine first, which you have not been able to do, as you couldn't "trade" for a Lazy Daze unless you found one on a dealer lot or found an owner wanting to trade. When we decided to get out of our Alpine, our first choice would have been to sell it outright and buy a Lazy Daze. Just from looking at the internet posts, I quickly decided that was not going to be an option. We then called Guaranty, thinking we would either sell thru them or wholesale it if need be. Unknown to us, WRV was closing; consequently, Guaranty wasn't interested. We decided trading for the Allegro Bus would be the way to get out; and considering everything, we still think that was the best choice for us. I hope you have good success in your endeavor.

Beverly and Buddy
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:55 PM   #10
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Having had a class C, we're not ready to go back at this point, but we realize for some it may be a better fit. And having had a lot of common problems with our'06, we seem to have most of those problems behind us and are doing well with it.

I find it interesting that a local Country Coach motorcoach dealer who's going out of business appears to have sold few of his used motorhome inventory, except for the one used Alpine he had on his lot. It didn't stay (for whatever reason) on the lot more than a few weeks. I've also noticed a number of new members to the forum who've bought used Alpines.

So, I don't think the Alpine market is dead, and there appear to be people buying them and seeing them for all the good things many of us see in them. We have looked, and we're not ready to trade; it just took a little patience in the first year or so to get de-bugged, especially with the HWH and the radiator issues. As has been said before, there's a lot of common systems on these coaches that are no different from other coaches.

Everybody has things they like and don't like about their coaches. I find it interesting there's so many loyal Alpine owners who seem to like their coaches no matter what non-owners say about them.
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Old 01-31-2009, 05:51 AM   #11
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we really like our seneca with three slides. if we had the bed up front (we have the entertainment system) it would be able to sleep quite a few. bedroom-2, dinette-2, sofa sleeper-2 and bed on top-2. if you really needed another spot you could sleep another on the recliner .

we looked at A's and C's before we bought. most of the C's weren't a floor plan that we liked. all of the A's were nice but, we didn't want a unit that size (most of them we liked were 40'). so, we always came back to the seneca super C.

we did some mods for handling purposes but, it is the right one for us.
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:17 AM   #12
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desertraven

Yes, Winnebago is a great choice, good price and above average quality and been around since 1958, and financially secure even now.
You mentioned class C, so of course the Winnebago View diesel is the top of the line if you can afford it; they came out April 19, 2005 with the 2006 model.
Then from about 3-17-07, they released the 2008 model with a few refinements and new body style(mostly the cab in front).
About $45-75K, early one with basic equipment and high miles to a brand new one.
I know because I buy a new one each year, my only extravagance in life(sure), for my summer exploration/appraisal job.
And am helping family sell their 2006 View now, which is here at my place.
We like the small class C coaches, they are funner to get around in, save you a bundle in fuel, and we're outside the coach sightseeing most of the time anyway--we don't need to haul around a 20 ton apartment on our VACATION!
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:25 AM   #13
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Hi, Norm
Didn't your 08 24H come with factory tire monitoring? Mine did, or at least a warning light as part of the computering system on the dash, if, as I recall, if a tire got too low.
You probably wanted a more exact system, and the other things you added were pricey, but great upgrades.
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:53 AM   #14
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To Cedar 41 and others about Alpine coaches:
Buddy & Beverly are right, and this is the bottom line about the Alpine:

Factory direct "custom" coaches CAN be a huge problem if you need service, because of limited repair places
Alpine coaches are pretty nice, but are overpriced when you consider the above and that their quality control(some are put together right, some are not) is not excellent

That's why, in many of these type discussions, the name Winnebago comes up.
Not a perfect outfit, or maybe even the best, but what we are talking about here is VALUE.
I think a lot of us just want an above average built coach, for a fair price, that when we find imperfections in it, we can get it fixed, without it becoming a huge problem.

OK, call me practical, to the point of being boring, but it's just my overriding sense of, well, "common sense".

I don't want a "custom" coach. Or custom anything-- I learned that when I was a kid. I found that "custom" meant more money, more problems. To try and be "different", and feel like you're someone special. If you want to pay a bundle extra for that , buying something from a guy(Rene's Custom Mufflers) and even a small corporation(Alpine Custom Coaches), then go for it.
But I'm pretty focused when I travel. I want to have fun, in something reliable that I have a reasonable sense of as being well made.

And hey, I think I'm important--I bought a new Winnebago! Just like 50,000 other ordinary, practical people out there.

Wasn't this supposed to be a "quick reply"? I think it's time for my morning walk. At 7 miles today, I promise that will burn off my coffee and I won't bore you again like this.
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