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Old 08-07-2015, 11:21 AM   #1
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Newbie needs decision help/advice

Wise ones, please read my plans and weigh in.

My wife and I have two kids under age four, and three small dogs. We want an RV for the following uses:

Trips from SC to PA, around one week. With an RV we may make a longer actual vacation out of it.

Weekends at the beach in SC. One full week per year additionally.

Weekends in the mountains of western NC - Blue Rdge Pkwy, etc. Fly fishing, sight seeing. Possibly longer trips to mountains. Boon docking at Mt. Pisgah state park.

Home game tailgating.

We have a Silverado pickup about 5200 dry and a 14 Honda Odyssey about 4600 dry.

With the longer trips in mind, I want to go Class A. I will store it in a fully enclosed area. We could tow the pickup to the beach or PA ok, it is only a couple hundred pounds over recommended towing. We could take the Odyssey to the mountains on a dolly. I'd make sure it was completely empty and had 1/4 tank of gas.

We would like to stay around $100k MSRP expecting a sales price of $65k-75k. We like the Winnebago Brave 27B right now. It is priced right, looks cool, seems to have enough space, and we want something on the shorter end for mountain driving and to fit in smaller campgrounds.
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Old 08-07-2015, 11:42 AM   #2
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The particular RV is a very personal thing...for floor plan, fabric, colors, etc. Like, the Brave 27B is a very nice RV that is very retro on the outside and very modern and useful on the inside...but it would not work for us.

The one thing that is easy to discuss for all owners is max weight... There is an issue with towing the pick-up. The 27B is riding on a 16,000lb GVWR Ford F53 chassis with 23,000lb GCWR. While that would seem to give as much as 7,000lb tow capacity, the hitch is rated at 5,000lb.
Brave | Specifications | Winnebago RVs

Many, many gas powered RV's have the same limiting factor with the Class III receiver hitch rated at 5,000lb., but not all (some have a Class III plus = 8,500lb). Be sure to check the posted numbers because exceeding the max weights could cause driveline issues with overheating and wear, and can void the warranty.

Best luck
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Old 08-07-2015, 01:01 PM   #3
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The truck is 5200 lbs dry - does anyone see a problem with that? Can the rv's hitch be upgraded to pull more? I would not pull it in the mountains.
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Old 08-08-2015, 08:55 AM   #4
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New or used class A? I would lean toward a quality used diesel so you wouldn't have a weight issue. No matter what you choose, gas or diesel, as far as length goes, my experience has been that after awhile, and some experience behind the wheel, you'll wish you had gotten one with more space. It's a pretty short learning curve. We're 40' & tow a Saturn Vue, and there's not many places I won't go, or for that matter have already been in over 5 1/2yrs. of full timing. Don't be overly intimidated by length.
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Old 08-08-2015, 09:43 AM   #5
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Never a good idea to exceed ratings. Typically they have enough cushion in them so that you are still OK, but no guarantees, and you are gambling with your family's safety as well as the value of the truck. What if the hitch failed or broke away from the chassis? I really hate to see someone planning to be overloaded on Day One, because inevitably the actual weights will be more than the planning estimate. Often much more.

It may be possible to replace the hitch receiver, but sometimes the reason for the limitation is the coach chassis itself. The receiver may be attached to a light duty rearward extension to the chassis that simply isn't designed for heavier loads.
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Old 08-08-2015, 10:21 AM   #6
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We are very happy with our 2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT diesel pusher! It has a great chassis, exactly the floor play we wanted, air leveling, Cummins ISC350 engine, and many other nice features. You can probably find one around the $70 range.
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Old 08-09-2015, 09:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
Never a good idea to exceed ratings. Typically they have enough cushion in them so that you are still OK, but no guarantees, and you are gambling with your family's safety as well as the value of the truck. What if the hitch failed or broke away from the chassis? I really hate to see someone planning to be overloaded on Day One, because inevitably the actual weights will be more than the planning estimate. Often much more.

It may be possible to replace the hitch receiver, but sometimes the reason for the limitation is the coach chassis itself. The receiver may be attached to a light duty rearward extension to the chassis that simply isn't designed for heavier loads.
What Gary said X2! Towing overweight will result in shortening the reliability and longevity of the entire drivetrain, and make driving a chore instead of a vacation.
I had a cousin who did exactly this. He replaced the RV engine 1X, and transmission 2X in 6 years. He actually got mad at me for pointing out the cause of these expenses.
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Old 08-09-2015, 10:00 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
Never a good idea to exceed ratings. Typically they have enough cushion in them so that you are still OK, but no guarantees, and you are gambling with your family's safety as well as the value of the truck. What if the hitch failed or broke away from the chassis? I really hate to see someone planning to be overloaded on Day One, because inevitably the actual weights will be more than the planning estimate. Often much more.

It may be possible to replace the hitch receiver, but sometimes the reason for the limitation is the coach chassis itself. The receiver may be attached to a light duty rearward extension to the chassis that simply isn't designed for heavier loads.
The other side of the coin is if there ever IS a problem, say you accidentally rear end someone, even if he pulled right in front of you and slammed on the brakes . . . . .or pretty much ANY other type of accident, and it comes out that your were towing a vehicle that exceeded the tow vehicle's approved weight, all bets are off, better get out your checkbook!
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Old 08-09-2015, 10:20 PM   #9
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The advice on a DP is a good one if you want to haul the weight. Trying to work around the weight limit on a gas chassis can be difficult. You do mention cost though and operating costs for a DP can be higher than gas. You can get a spacious gas model. As someone mentioned, an RV choice is highly personal but weight you pull or what you want to pay are facts you will have to deal with.
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Old 08-09-2015, 11:39 PM   #10
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I am very new here and new to RV's and TTs. After seeing your budget I though I'd throw this out there. With a $100K budget would it make sense to buy yourself a very nice diesel truck like a Ram 2500/3500 CTD and nice 35' TT or 5er. More room, probably much more luxury and all could be had new for under your budget. Surely you need a new truck don't you?
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Old 08-10-2015, 12:07 AM   #11
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We love our DP, 36 to 40 is good, if your going to get a toy trailer then you might want to consider the 36 to allow for a longer trailer legally. 36 will have a tad smaller power plant so you will probably get a little better mileage. The ease of driving a bus on long trips is so comfortable, especially with the kids and the wife. Imagine them all lazing around reading, napping, gaming, snacking, using the bathroom, all while you are in comfort of your overstuffed captains chair. It is a way different experience than towing a big, heavy 5er or trailer while your wife and kids are stuck in a tight uncomfortable space for hours and hours... In a Motorhome the vacation starts when you leave the house, not the same with a truck and trailer. iN MY OPINION, and in our experience.
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Old 08-10-2015, 05:37 PM   #12
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TylerSC

Regardless of your final decision on which "A" class M.H. gas or diesel I would lean toward a diesel used rig mainly because of to weight capacity your going to need. There are some very good buys out there well under $100,000. Look for low mileage and by all means do you homework/research. Please be aware you will need towed vehicle auxiliary brake which is required for towed vehicles weighing more than 1500 pounds in most states in the U.S. I have a Workhorse w22 Holiday Rambler, Vacationer 36 ft. long and had a 33ft. Georgia Boy Cruisemaster. Believe it no not the longer wheelbase rigs drive really well. There is very little maintenance on gas models and a little more on the diesel. And if your Silverado is a two wheel drive model you can't tow it on a tow dolly unless you tow it backwards and I do not recommend doing that. Four wheel drive model certain year model Silverados are flat towable (all four wheels down) but several hundreds pounds heavier. Check Trailer Life magazines web site for more info. You mentioned you had building to store it, I highly recommend you check your overhead height clearance just to be safe.
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