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Old 03-02-2011, 07:29 AM   #1
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Ok heres the deal.... i feel like we keep running in circles trying to figure out wich way to upgrade our current camping style. Background: My hubby and I (and our Bull mastiff Nala) have been traveling on a 6 week annual mountain bike trip for the past 5 years in a sportmobile converted van. We also take 5-6 week long trips through out the year for small local camping getaways. We have truly loved the flexibility and mobility of this type of camping but are ready to have a bathroom and more space. We have contenplated everything..... towable travel trailer, fifth wheel (which would require a new truck) class c, class a..... The class a and fifth wheel set up seem to be the best option. We still want ease of driving, mobility and still get the camping feel. Our major questions seem to be common but any help or personal advise would be greatly appreciated.....

Diesel or gas? ( we will mainly be east coast traveler with an suv toad)
Length? looking at under 35' for sure but not sure if we should try and stick to 30'
Chevy or Ford gas engine?
Defiantly used price range $35,000 or under
What brands to defiantly stay away from?
How are the RVision trail lite class a?
Safari Trek?
Thank you sooo much for any advise or direction in making our decision

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Old 03-02-2011, 09:19 AM   #2
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This is our perspective. We bought the rig in our signature last July. We're very happy with it so far. It seems to be well made and the floor plane (two slides) works well for the two of us and our two Labs. It fits almost into your budget - we paid $37K and had to put new tires on it immediately and have the slide toppers replaced after a couple of months. It was very well looked after by the original owners from whom we bought it and had less than 12,000 miles and about 60 hours on the generator.

At the time we were looking, the Workhorse brake recall was still not fully resolved and so we chose not to look at WH rigs. I personally wouldn't look at one with the GM transmission either because of the AutoPark system, but other people seem to be comfortable with it.

We were initially quite keen on the Trek. I joined the Trek newsgroup and did a lot of research. We finally decided that the drop-down electrically-powered main bed was too much hassle.

The negatives with the Ford are mainly to do with ride and handling. It rides like the 11-ton truck that it is underneath, but we've decided to live with it. Steering is a bit vague until you get used to it. The biggest problem is figuring out how my wife can drive it. She's not very tall and there doesn't seem to be a seat and steering column adjustment range that makes it compatible. Still working on that!

For comparison, our first rig was a 1985 26' Class C, which we came to hate with a passion.

Frank Damp -Anacortes, WA,(DW- Eileen)
ex-pat Brits (1968) and ex-RVers.
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:49 PM   #3
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With your budget your going to be limited probably not a diesel, do you need a truck if so that could eat up a least half your budget for used and all plus some for new for what style Rv you like do your homework and make a list of pros and cons including who going to drive.
2007 Fleetwood Revolution LE 40V
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Old 03-02-2011, 09:40 PM   #4
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You can find lots of previous discussions on gas vs diesel and RV length. Ford vs Chevy is pretty much a personal religious question and you won't get any useful feedback on that, so just pick one.

As has been said, your budget is definitely in gas territory unless you go for an old diesel. That is not out of the question, but an old rig takes a lot of maintenance and time, so its not for everyone.

I'd be looking at some of the mid-upper range brands/models and choose one old enough to fit my budget. Then look for a well-maintained one.
Gary Brinck
Former owner of 2004 American Tradition
Home is in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
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Old 03-03-2011, 09:44 AM   #5
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Since its two adults with a big pooch, I'd recommend a 32 to 34 foot Class A gasser with a living room slider. (The Fleetwood Bounders have a lot of bang for the buck.) You'll get about 8 mpg. Being budget-minded, I'd look for a vehicle approaching 8 to 10 years old as, at least in my area, that's when the depreciation puts them in the price range of a car.

As I see it, the two big issues with 5th wheels are 1.) if you enjoy sightseeing at your destination, you are always driving the big 1 ton truck around and getting nearly the same poor gas mileage with it as when you are towing and 2.) if your truck breaks down while pulling the trailer, you have two pieces of equipment that need a tow, and you are stuck there on the side of the road until help arrives. If you add a fuel efficient towed vehicle to a Class A, you have the option of using an economical vehicle for sightseeing and you have the ability to leave a disabled RV on the side of the road and head for help, get to a hotel for the night, etc.

As said above, these days the Ford vs. Chevy and manufacturer vs. manufacturer issues are practically moot. Pick an RV that has been maintained regularly and well cared for.

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Old 03-03-2011, 10:08 AM   #6
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We have a gas classA, I can enter the rig easily. I have one heck of a time getting into my buddy's heavy duty pickup. I would not do that on a daily basis. No fiver for me.

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Old 03-03-2011, 05:44 PM   #7
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Consider a Class B van, or possibly a smaller Class C. The used market has some good prices out there right now. Smaller rigs are more maneuverable, especially 25' or less.
'07 Winnebago Journey 34H - CAT C7, Koni's, MCU's, SS Bell Crank, Safe-T-Plus
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Old 03-05-2011, 09:03 PM   #8
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Thanks and a few more ?????

thank you sooo much for the prompt replies!!! it really helps! we went to look at a few today and wow what a difference from what the pictures are to what the actual units look like! We definitely decided that 30 ft and under is for us.... of course we love the bigger RV room but they are just a little too big for our life style right now.... We are really interested in a 30 ft Georgie Boy with 2 slides 2001 31,000 miles gas engine... only 2 owners and seems to be a good deal ( under low NADA listing). 1 a/c unit rubber roof with minor repair... all maintenance records available... maybe a few comments on the fact that its a 454on a Chevy workhorse instead of an 8.1???? Owner states he gets 10 mpg and pulled a jeep Cherokee and will include the tow bar..... Thanks again for all the great info it really helps to hear from the experts!!!!
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Old 03-05-2011, 09:17 PM   #9
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My 454 has 80,000 miles, so that one is baby. 10 mpg towing heavy Jeep, OK!!!! Don't worry so much about mpg just have fun.
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Old 03-06-2011, 09:56 AM   #10
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We have a 32' 2006 Georgie Boy Pursuit with two slides and have been very happy with it. They seem to have made the right decisions where it counts, even though the coach is built to a price. Examples; jacks are powered both ways, three stage converter, long wheel base, standard brand appliances, enough room in the shower, comfortable king size bed, etc., etc.
I strongly doubt anyone gets 10 MPG on a gas class A. We average about 7.5 MPG with spates of 8-9 when we have a tailwind (we got the same on a '96 Flair 22 ft. class A). The frontal area is really what governs mileage and essentially all MH's are the same there. We actually get notably better mileage on the flat areas of the Colorado mountains (above 6,000 ft) than in Texas.
Best of luck with whatever your choice is,
Ernie n Tara

Remember! Life is not a rehearsal!
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Old 03-06-2011, 10:27 AM   #11
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If you're lookng for a bathroom, skip the class B's. If week long trips will be the norm, 30 ft w/wo slides will be just fine. 30 ft is a great size for state parks, and gas station manuvers. Used units with no slides are less expensive. I have a long standing rule- the fewer holes in the unit, the fewer places it can leak. You can find many great deals on used gas models well within the price range you are looking for.
Tom Wilds
Blythewood SC
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Old 03-06-2011, 03:32 PM   #12
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I too doubt anyone gets 10 mpg in a gas coach pulling a Jeep Grand Cherokee. It should get more like 7-8 mpg when pulling. But don't let that be a deal breaker. Sounds like you found a nice coach.
'07 Winnebago Journey 34H - CAT C7, Koni's, MCU's, SS Bell Crank, Safe-T-Plus
'07 HHR Toad, SMI AFO, Blue OX
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:52 AM   #13
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Thanks again for all the input.. go figure we changed out minds again.... We have a deposit down on a 2003 national seabreeze with 39,000 miles on it. the coach is in great interior shape with new wood floors through out and 2 good size slides. We actually were able to drive the 01 Georgie Boy Suite and the 03 national and what a difference. I was really hung up on being under 30 ft but once I drove the national which is 31 ft I was sold. It handled much better on the road and the braking power was noticeable stronger. For what we have read national is a much better brand and really like the overall condition of the coach and that fact that is was 2 years newer.
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Old 03-09-2011, 11:10 AM   #14
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I have a 99 dsdp, and it has 4 6 volt deep cycle batteries, but when i try to charge all four with a regular batter charger, I can only charge 2 at a time,, but when plug into shore power all four charge, and when running down the highway all four charge and when i run the generator. all four charge. Need help please!! thanks
Not sure that I posted this in the right place!!

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