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Old 07-09-2014, 01:29 PM   #1
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Which is less expensive to maintain? Class A or C?

We've had our 1999 Sea Breeze for 4 years now. We were lucky enough to inherit it from my grandparents so the cost of ownership is unusually low. However, we did get hit with a $2,500 bill when the parking brake seized up 3 years ago and the prospect of future big repair bills is worrisome.

In 3-4 years I'd like to replace it and one option may be a 6-cyl tow vehicle + lightweight travel trailer or hybrid. I'm also considering a class C. I'm considering the tow vehicle + trailer because then the tow vehicle would be a daily driver and I wouldn't have an extra drivetrain to maintain.

The class C option is a little bit more of a mystery to me. I'm wondering if smaller class C rigs are less expensive to maintain than class A rigs because they're basically a van. My grandparents also used to always have class C models before this last class A they got and there's a bit of childhood nostalgia for that style.

If the cost is the same what about ease of finding mechanics/shops that will work on class C vs class A. I live in a rural area and for some reason it's very hard to find someone willing to work on our '99 Sea Breeze. I may have found a reliable mechanic not too far from home but when the emergency brake failed it was hell trying to find someone who could work on it on the road.

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Old 07-09-2014, 01:35 PM   #2
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Hi and welcome to the forum.

I'm sure those with more direct experience will chime in soon, but from what I think I know.... The Class A will probably cause more difficulty finding shops to work on them because they are not nearly as accessible to work on as a Class C. I think most of the chassis workings are very similar... so long as we're just talking about a gasser and not bringing diesels into the discussion.

I'll be interested to read comments about a six cyl tow vehicle with a light weight TT. Sounds like a stretch to me but we'll see what others are doing.

Best of luck.


Rick, Nancy, Peanut & Lola our Westie Dogs & Bailey the Sheltie.

2007 Itasca Ellipse 40FD
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Old 07-09-2014, 01:55 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by RickO View Post
I think most of the chassis workings are very similar... so long as we're just talking about a gasser and not bringing diesels into the discussion.

I'll be interested to read comments about a six cyl tow vehicle with a light weight TT. Sounds like a stretch to me but we'll see what others are doing.

Best of luck.

Yes, the current rig is a gasser.

As for a six cyl tow vehicle and trailer I'm specifically thinking of a Honda Ridgeline which has a 5,000lb towing capacity and a very high tongue weight (seems to be disagreement online about whether it's 600 or 750lbs). Plus the dual cab seems spacious enough for two adults + two kids. The trailer would be ~4,000lbs fully loaded (looking for something between 2,500 and 3,000 dry weight). We're all OK with going smaller than our current 31' class A. My wife and I both have long-ish commutes to work so I'd rather not get anything bigger than that kind of truck just to tow a trailer a handfull of weekends in the summer while paying way too much for gas the whole rest of the year.
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Old 07-09-2014, 05:56 PM   #4
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I towed a small TT with my Ridgeline for 4 yesrs and 20,000 plus miles. It did just fine. We had a 17' Casita, which would be really tight for 2 kids. It was too tight for us, which is why we went to a class A. There are other light weight TTs that sleep more.

The Casita weighed in at 3300 # with a 300 # tongue weight. BTW, Ridgeline specs may have changed but our 2008 is rated 5000/500.
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Old 07-09-2014, 07:33 PM   #5
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Last year my expenses without depreciation for our 2006 Class A Diesel was $1.17 per mile. So far this year, the expenses are $1.37 per mile. I would expect by the end of the year, the expense per mile should go down some since the fixed cost like insurance will be spread over more miles than the current miles. We own the coach; therefore, I have had no finance payments.
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Old 07-09-2014, 08:22 PM   #6
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Class C will always be cheaper.

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