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Old 11-02-2014, 06:16 PM   #15
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I can not speak to how a class A handles but I have had experience with two Ford Class Cs. Both my 2003 Gulf Stream Independance 28 footer and my 2013 Coachmen 32 foot Freelander wander a lot. Granted my Freelander is only a 14500 lbs chassis.

I too will be getting a Safe-T-Plus installed next Spring for better handling but more importantly for the safety if I every get a blowout. Other than the handling (which I agree that Ford or Coachmen should have addressed in the first place) I am happy with the value of my coach.

Good luck in your search.

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Old 11-02-2014, 06:27 PM   #16
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Muncie 6 speed, you are absolutely correct, it is the coach builder that needs to be addressed and that is why I am doing so much research before I just go out wondering around. In the Nashville area there really are only a couple of dealers of size. Camping World that does not really have many units here locally, Cullum Maxy which has more than CW and Bankston wich has minimal units here in Nashville.

Cullum Maxy had some Hurricane units, Winnebago Vista and one Sunseeker and a line of Class C's Four Winds that are Thor. They also had the ACE line of Class A's Funny thing though, my wife and I walked around for about 30 minutes there and not one salesperson come up and talk to us.. which at this point was ok with me. We pretty much just walked in and looked around...

In our case Size does matter, we like the smaller state and national parks, I checked for example Mather Campground in the Grand Canyon, it looked like their max length was 30' unless you wanted to go to the Asphalt campground next door. There are several parks here in Tennessee that also have limits.. we think we may be able to stretch to 32' but that just might be a stretch. And, your right, 22.5" wheels are mostly on the units of 33' and up.

Keep the input coming!

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Old 11-02-2014, 06:49 PM   #17
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We have a 2014 Newmar Bay Star 3103. We picked it up new in August down in Fort Myers FL. The maiden voyage was the 1,150 mile drive home. Did it handle like my Honda Accord? Nope. But, it didn't wander all over the road. I hadn't driven a motorhome in over 30 years. But I didn't have any major problems adjusting to how it drove. Even passing 18 wheelers, and being passed by them, was not a problem. The first day I left Fort Myers, and stopped for the night in Hardyville, SC We are on a 20,500 lbs chassis, and were running with full water, propane, and gas. Now that being said, last weekend we were driving in 25 mph gusts, and it was not fun. I knew better than to expect a smooth ride. I kept the speed down and brought it on home. At times it was a hand full. There is an RV consumer group and they rate the motorhomes on many points. One of them is drivability. If you are considering getting a class A, I suggest you check them out.

Most of the class C coaches are very close to their max weight when they leave the factory. The coach is cheaper, but they also have handling issues, and sometimes weight issues.
Bill & Denise
2014 Bay Star 3103 - 5 Star Tune, CHF
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Old 11-02-2014, 07:23 PM   #18
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Bpoland, I just checked out the 3103 and it looks really nice.. and I appreciate your feedback on handling ..it does not surprise me with the wind comments I think it's the nature of the beast and even my TT would probably be a handful if I ran in to a similar situation. The new chassis on the 2015's on most F53 are 26,000/22,000 GVWR. I have read so many great things on the Newmar and one of the units I'd love to consider if I end up moving up to the A Class. Wind can be very scary My sister in law had to turn her coach over to an alternative driver when she encountered really bad winds while on her trip from Vegas to LA. Her Coach does have the larger 22.5" wheels.

I have not been able to really get that much info on the class C's other than the Sightseer/Forester brochure for 2014 which does show weights, and capacities and the ones I see on the brochure they have a NCC from 2000 to 2600lbs. I have not been able to find any of the units at dealers that have and "Weighed" information where I could take a photos of them.

The good thing is, were at the first of winter and that gives me a few months to get lots of information and look at different units. I'd love to go to the Tampa RV show in January but I don't think I can make it and we just got back from California where we missed the Pamona show by 2 days.. Go figure.
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Old 11-02-2014, 07:34 PM   #19
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Remember...your experience my differ from what others say. We all have our preferences. I am always amazed by the statement " I don't need a "pusher" cause I wont drive that many miles" If you want good handling and solid construction, you have to at least consider a diesel rig. A good used diesel ( properly maintained ) will cost less than a new gasser and out perform in all areas. I would rather drive a $60,000 used diesel that cost $280,000 new instead of a gasser of any age or price. My first motorhome was a new 30ft gasser $50,000. I put 35,000 mi on it. It was a "good" motorhome but I always wished I had bought a used diesel instead....now I have. Some lessons are expensive...
Full time since Nov 2012 RVM#41 Gary and Marian Hill 2001 Monaco Dynasty Jack 38' 370 hp ....If it ain't broke I can still fix it.
Like putting shoes on an octopuss, so are the days of our lives....
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Old 11-02-2014, 08:13 PM   #20
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adamfolger, thanks for the note... I probably need to clarify my statement on a Diesel by saying that my first 30' class A was a Monaco Dynasty diesel, we didn't have a very good experience with it and I'll leave it at that.. it just seemed from the get go folks could not get it right and I ran out of patience waiting to get it fixed... .so, we got rid of it.

We also had a diesel pick up truck at one point, it was really a nightmare with the transmission falling out of the truck in the middle of an intersection .. ( I don't blame the diesel on that by my wife does).

Our tiips over the last 2 years have been with in 50 to 100 miles and for the most of the time were happy camping with in 2-4 hours of our house and there are so many places to camp in just middle Tennessee and the surrounding states that is where most of our travels will be.

One thing you mentioned and others have mentioned is that diesels need to be maintained and run... I just don't think (with the exception of perhaps one or two trips) we will probably continue to stay local.

I did go and see a 33' Newmar lasts month while in California it was at Mike Thompsons and at 5 years old it looked like someone lived full time in it and forgot to clean.. it was a mess.. matter a fact, it was a 34' Nemar Vanetta.. my wife did not like the Smell inside along with the "Dirty Feel" it had... we passed.

Am I open to a Diesel, well again at 30 -32' I don't think I'd find one.. if I did I"m not sure I'd use it enough from the standpoint of a diesel. Would I like one... perhaps it has a load of positive aspects .. I guess I will keep my eye open, but again with in the size were looking at I think it's a be difficult to find one that will fit in our RV garage with out a major make over.
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Old 11-03-2014, 02:30 AM   #21
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I have a Tiffin on a F53 chassis with no complaints. With proper maintenance/replacement of bushings and shocks along with proper tire pressure, I have had no problems.
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Old 11-03-2014, 07:05 AM   #22
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Wife & I started our camping experiences in Middle TN during our working life. After retirement, we moved to AL's Gulf Coast. We certainly miss the wonderful COE campgrounds in TN.

You might check out the RV dealerships in Huntsville for your ideal motorhome.

We've owned a micro-mini Winnebago on a Toyota, two Allegros on Chevy, one Winnebago on a Workhorse & one Newmar on a Ford. Best one by far is Newmar on F53 chassis. Needed absolutely no mods to correct any handling issues because there were/are none.

FMCA Local Chapter Secretary - Bay Area TravelerS (BATS)
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2013 Newmar Canyon Star 3911, 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan - Braun Accessibility Modified Toad, Remco Lube Pump, 5 Star Tune, Progressive Industries EMS-HW50C, Coach Net Emergency Road Service, FMCA 378968
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Old 11-03-2014, 08:23 AM   #23
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Rear track bar makes a world of difference.
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Old 11-03-2014, 08:45 AM   #24
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Regardless of what brand you purchase IMO the most important thing is Floor Plan.

No matter how well the unit runs if the floor plan does not work you will not be enjoying your time while using it. No matter how much or how little you will be using it you are going to encounter days with inclement weather. Will the unit be comfortable when you are in forced confinement?

Once you have a floor plan (which included must have and really would like accessories) you can do an internet or dealer seach for the perfect unit.

All units new and used will likely have warts or issues that will have to be addressed. Not much different than the S&B. Seems like there is always something to do. Some folks have had many issues but for the most part the majority seem to be encountering few major issues.

IMO the higher the unit in the model line the better the materials used in it will be as well as possibly higher end stoves, fridges, etc. The workers on the assembly line make more than one model so likely the workmanship and QC/QA will be similar.

We really like the all electric, must haves are the stackable washer dryer, opted out of the dishwasher. Did not think we would like the fire place but it is growing on us, right now storage would have been good in place of it, but like the heating aspect for cool mornings.

You are getting lots of good information. Once you decide what you would like and find something that meets the expectations you will be able to ask the handling questions and for certain take it for a test drive prior to purchase.
Gordon and Janet
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Old 11-03-2014, 09:57 AM   #25
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Had a 2009 Thor Four Winds WindSport 33A (maybe 32). We liked the coach. F53 22k chassis. Added a Blue Ox trak bar to the rear. It really helped. I was going to add a front trak bar, but we sold it.

2013 FleetWood Expedition 38B
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Old 11-04-2014, 09:34 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by davidki View Post
I've been reading this site now everyday to gather information and try to decided if I want to go from our Jayco TT to a Motorhome and there seems to be a very strong leaning that on Class A's on the Ford F53 chassis there are some real unhappy campers (not to mention Slide Issues).

We are trying to stay in the 30 - 32' total length for a motorhome, we are reading about both Class A' and Class C gas units mainly. I am reading what we want is to get the longest wheelbase we can and watch the NCC once it is built. But, what I am reading is folks barely pulling out of the dealers driveway and having to deal with some real issues with steering and wandering! It seems far more Class A are having worse issues.

Why do the manufactures turn out such scary driving units? There seems to be fix's available and it should not have to be a buyers responsibility to deal with it.. I know if I were to go buy a $100,000 motorhime and the dealer told me I had to put in another $5,000 to fix the handling I would not sign the sale slip! What is with folks not finding these issues when they buy?

I'd love to find a 33' max Class A on a 22.5" tire frame that handles well are there any reliable Class A's that fit this? at over 30' it seems that the 19.5" wheels and frames are not handling well..

I'll deal with slides once I find a coach... it may come down to picking up one of the Class C sightseer from Forest River... they have introduced a Class C with an extended chassis, 220" wheel base and a 7500 lb tow capacity... and I don't seem to see the same steering issue with the Class C's

I'm open to an Open discussion... I"M not throwing an flames here just looking for a good discussion on what is out there and what is working...

Thanks in advance for any comments, suggestions and your units issues good or bad ...
We are on our 2nd Winnebago Adventurer in the length range you're looking for , and have had very few handling problems. Our 2001 Adventurer 32V was actually 32' 11" long on the Ford F53 chassis. It had a 208" wheelbase and 19.5" tires. The only thing we had to do to it was install an additional Rear sway bar. We drove it over 100,000 miles with no further additions, and no handling problems.

We now have a 2013 Adventurer 32H. It's actually 33' 3" long and on a F53 chassis with a 228" wheelbase. It has 22.5" tires. With just over 17,000 miles on it we haven't made any modifications to improve handling. It's easy to drive, and is well mannered. I don't see any modifications being necessary now or in the future.

One big thing to look for is the length of the wheelbase in comparison to the overall length of the coach. The rule of thumb is if the wheelbase is less than 50% of the over all length of the coach it's unstable and considered dangerous. When the wheelbase is approximately 54% of the overall length handling is considered good. When the wheelbase nears 58% of the overall length the handling is considered excellent

Our first Adventurer had a wheelbase just over 52% of the overall length and as I mentioned we only added a sway bar. Our new Adventurer has a wheelbase of just over 57% of the overall length and it doesn't need any improvements.
2013 Adventurer 32H
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Old 11-04-2014, 10:09 AM   #27
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davidki, in this size range you're right to focus on length and wheelbase, and the all-important ratio. Remember, the devil's in the details, and you're buying a company as well as a coach.

Example: 2014 Winnebago Vista 30T and 2014 Newmar BayStar 3103. Both exactly 371 inches overall. Both built on the F53 chassis. Winnebago chose to build the Vista on a chassis with a 190 inch wheelbase. Ratio ~ 51%. The coach will probably wander. Newmar chose to build their BayStar on a slightly heftier chassis with a 200 inch wheelbase. Ratio ~ 54%. The coach will probably be stable.

You can ponder the whys and wherefores, but the breakpoint is right around 53%, and when it's close to the balance point a very small shift makes a very big difference. Just depends on which way a company chooses to go when their own name is on the product.
John & Diane, Fulltimers. RVM103 NHSO
On the road since June '12 with Lincoln, the guard cat.
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Old 11-04-2014, 12:30 PM   #28
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My new ford chassis has a wonderful ride. Compared to previous models, it is as smooth as glass and has never been a handful even in high winds. The addition of the bilstien shocks I think has a lot to do with it. Standard I might add. Its been a long time since I have driven a diesel but I often wonder how much better it could be. I think a lot has to do with the quality of the build from the motorhome manufacturer. I have no rattles. The chassis goes down the road straight as an arrow.

2014 Fleetwood Bounder 35k
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chassis, class a, ford

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