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Old 05-13-2018, 11:58 AM   #1
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Road Comfort--Renegade Valencia/Verona

Hi,
My wife and I own a 2017 diesel pusher--33 feet overall. It's one of the smaller pushers on the market. It's towing capacity is 4500 lbs. We tow a 3,700 lbs. Wrangler (I had it weighed--rag top, no back seat). We have about 6,000 miles on the coach and have driven mostly in the four corners region. Just got back from a super windy, rough road trip around mostly New Mexico--visited Chaco Canyon and other back road locations. The rig has a Safety-T plus steering stabilizer, which helped a lot. Maybe I am just too much of a perfectionist, buy my prior rig, a 29' 5th wheel tied to a Chevy 2500HD Duramax was easier to drive. By that I mean it tracked better and required less driver input. With my current small diesel pusher, especially on windy days or rough roads, the intensity level of driving is pretty high. Also, if the road has undulations, it can feel like you are on a boat in choppy seas--quite a bit of slightly scary bouncing up front. On the plus side, our current Class A is almost devoid of engine noise, but the rattles in the coach, especially on rough roads are pretty loud. I think that the 19.5" tire size may contribute to a rougher ride--just a guess.

At this point in my life, mid-60s and working less, I am biased towards the likely safety of having an engine up front and roadability, i.e. precise steering, low noise, and as smooth a ride as reasonably possible. I am tired of feeling beat up and exhausted after 6 hours of driving on sometimes windy and often fairly chewed up roads. I don't want to spend 200k-250k on a Super C and have it be an expensive learning lesson. (Hope springs eternal)

On the plus side, I love the giant windshield on the Class A. On the negative side, servicing the engine requires removing the bedding and bed support.

I would great appreciate hearing your impressions about "roadability." My focus is on coaches such as the Verona and Valencia in the under $250k range.

Thanks!
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Old 05-13-2018, 05:07 PM   #2
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After 11 years fulltiming in a 5er (pulled with an 08 F450 or 12 F350) we switched a year ago to a Verona. There is no question pulling the 5ver is way less tiring than driving the Verona. Pulling the 5th wheel was just like driving a car using one hand. The Verona is a two handed job which will tire you out. We like the Verona for other reasons but no comparison on drivability. That’s my opinion....others may differ.
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Old 05-13-2018, 08:28 PM   #3
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Can't say how a fifth wheel handle but I can tell you that a Super C handles much better than a Diesel Pusher. Especially a 33 footer. The Freightliner M2 is head and shoulders better than a Pusher and the Class 8 Cascadia is even better yet.

The giant windshield is the only thing between you and anything you ever have the misfortune of colliding with.

That Giant window may or may not even be available 10 years from now and today probably costs 6 to 10 times what the M2 or Cascadia or Volvo windshield would cost.. Not to mention local availability.

Having owned several of each I can give you my opinion. Keep in mind that its my opinion.... I paid as much for our custom ordered Renegade Explorer as a brand new Dutch Star and don't have one single regret.

Hope this helps
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Old 05-13-2018, 09:06 PM   #4
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Our Verona is far more comfortable and less tiring than our F450 pulling a 40 foot Cyclone 5th wheel. Much easier to handle than our old Fleetwood Class A. A little Dynamat does wonders in the door. The mirrors will whistle when the wind is just hitting them from the right angle. My advice is go to a dealer and take one out on good run.
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Old 05-13-2018, 10:52 PM   #5
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dasadab, I made the move from DP to a M2 chassis super C and from my experience the super C is easier to drive, suffers way less push from passing semis and cross winds. Having also owned a 5W I would put the handling pretty much equivalent. Lots of folks don't set tire pressures correctly in super Cs or class As. Correct tire pressures make a huge difference in handling but even with that the super C is hands down easier to drive long distances than the A. You also get better HVAC in the cab.
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Old 05-14-2018, 05:34 AM   #6
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FWIW: Unlike the veronas, ours is a class 8 conversion. However, since this is a truck conversion forum, and these units are available previously owned at your price point, I figured I'd add my two cents.

The first time we took a test drive in a class 8 truck conversion we were sold. Our Renegade Classic, built on a Freightliner Coronado chassis, is the best driving, most comfortable vehicle, we own. I'd rather drive it than my new super duty (towing or not towing) or any of our other vehicles, unless I'm going to the mall. It is built to do one thing; go down the highway. I've driven it from the Key West, FL to Homer, AK and never wished I was driving something else.

Commercial trucks are built with ease of maintenance and durability in mind. There should be little to no need for service personnel to enter the living quarters to service the engine or drivetrain. The trucks are built to endure the rigors of hard, bordering on abusive, every day use. An RVer will most likely encounter more problems resulting from not using the truck than from using it.

Yes, there is some engine noise. However, I like the idea of that ton of iron, supported by two tree trunk sized frame members, capped off with a bumper it takes a fork lift to move, being between me and whatever unfortunate thing ends up in front of it. I've driven a couple of a-class rigs and felt like my feet would have to pitch in with all that fiberglass and aluminum to help in the same situation.

Of course it will tow just about anything you decide to hang on the back of it. Lastly, as others have stated, go for several test drives. When practical, insist on a trip down the highway. You will find more than enough power to merge. Also, you aren't pushed around by trucks, because you are driving a truck!
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Old 05-14-2018, 11:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by netjam View Post
After 11 years fulltiming in a 5er (pulled with an 08 F450 or 12 F350) we switched a year ago to a Verona. There is no question pulling the 5ver is way less tiring than driving the Verona. Pulling the 5th wheel was just like driving a car using one hand. The Verona is a two handed job which will tire you out. We like the Verona for other reasons but no comparison on drivability. That’s my opinion....others may differ.
I will second this. Pulling a 5th wheel is basically driving a pick up, and it was alot less taxing. I can drive the verona with one hand, BUT my speed has alot to do with that ( 65 or lower ). Once I get going any faster and the above 2 handed job is a must.

I have driven mine for 8 hrs. and can't really say it wore me out, my eyes were more tired from the night time drive

My .02... YMMV
Bruce
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Old 05-15-2018, 10:04 PM   #8
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Thanks for the excellent information. It is greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-20-2018, 07:16 AM   #9
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I will take driving the renegade over towing my fifth wheel any day. The big difference right away is you only stop when the driver wants to stop. Others can “ get a drink or use the bathroom” while the coach is moving. We have the 36vsb Verona having downsized from a 42 ft Winnebago. The new coach is not as nice at 65 but a pleasure compared to the winny on any other street/highway. When we had our 5th wheel I found it more stressful and tiring than an a or the super c.
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