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Old 12-01-2006, 06:34 AM   #1
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Hi All! I'm soon to be switching from a truck/ travel trailer combo to a Class C and thought I'd come check out the Motorhomes section of iRV2.
We started out renting a motorhome in 2000 then bought a travel trailer in 2001 at a camping show. Next week, we will be the owners of a 2006 Itasca Spirit 31T.
I'm sure that there will be a lot of similaries but, what are some of the difference I am going to find? I'm actually a little nervous about this!
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Old 12-01-2006, 06:34 AM   #2
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Hi All! I'm soon to be switching from a truck/ travel trailer combo to a Class C and thought I'd come check out the Motorhomes section of iRV2.
We started out renting a motorhome in 2000 then bought a travel trailer in 2001 at a camping show. Next week, we will be the owners of a 2006 Itasca Spirit 31T.
I'm sure that there will be a lot of similaries but, what are some of the difference I am going to find? I'm actually a little nervous about this!
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Old 12-01-2006, 07:31 AM   #3
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We rented, too, before buying. The rental 30' Class C was quite different than our 36'DP. Both were different than the TTs that I grew up with. Here are my thoughts:
1. Tires are one of the most critical items on a MH. You should get your Itasca weighed (all 4 corners is best but a CAT truck scale axle weight will at least help), compare the weights to the tire manufacturer's load ranges and tire pressures and act accordingly. A friend of mine had a Class C which, from the factory, had tires with too small a load range for the weight he was carrying. He constantly had blowouts. Assuming that your tires are properly sized, you need a good tire gauge and should keep your tires inflated to the correct pressure for the weight, as recommended by the tire maker, at all times.
2. MHs have maintenance schedules based on time as well as miles. Some people assume that since they don't drive many miles, there is little maintenance to do. You should read your manuals carefully, extract the maintenance information and keep calendar of what needs done when. You will be surprised (I was) about how quickly that maintenance rolls around. It is better to do it and avoid potential breakdowns. While you are unlikely to have some of the things that I do (replacement of the power steering fluid, for example), there will probably be a number of surprises about the maintenance that need done.
3. Driving is different. Since you have both rental and TT experince, yours may be an easy transition. Ours wasn't. It might be a good idea to take your new MH to an empty mall lot early on a weekend morning and practice driving it close to the lines (simulating tight construction zones), turning, backing and stopping. That should help your comfort level.
4. Consider a nearby campground to your house for a shakedown trip and be prepared to head to a camping store to fill in missing items. Since you've already had a TT, you won't find much different and hopefully you have kept some or most of the hookup items that you are familiar with. A shakedown trip is always a good idea with any new RV, however.
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Old 12-01-2006, 05:14 PM   #4
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Larger class C's need to be closely watched for weight. The Ford E450 chassis is rated for 14,050# GVWR. We had a Minnie Winnie DL, 31A (no slide) with HWH levelers. Loaded for a trip, 14/ tank of fresh water, dry waaste tanks and full fuel, me and the copilot, we tipped the scales at 13,950#. Right on the front axle limits and about 100# under on the rear axle.

The other issue is with the E450 chassis loaded this heavily, it did not handle very well and we had to add air springs, Bilstein shocks and IPD USA anti-roll bars. Then it drove fine.

If I was going back to a smaller motorhome, I'd get a smaller class A rather than a larger class C. Or step up to the Super C on the Kodiak chassis.

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Old 12-05-2006, 08:28 AM   #5
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Welcome!
You will probably find that your past driving experience with a TT will stand you in good sted as it should have made you aware of positioning in the lanes and longer stopping. The only things I would guess you need concern yourself with as different is the turning of corners - there is a lot of overhang behind the rear wheels and backing into spots is different. You will probably enjoy all of the other differences and have fun.
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