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Old 05-10-2016, 08:39 PM   #1
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Driving Off Paved Roads

I'm interested in people's experiences or opinions about driving off paved roads with a Class C. We have a 2008 Winnie View - it's 24 ft. We like to do some occasional boondocking in western CO and eastern UT which requires getting off paved roads, at least for a short distance. I figure with dualies in the back that much weight, we're certainly not going to get stuck but I wonder about the jarring of washboards/rocks/etc.

Aside from throwing things around inside cabinets, what else should I be concerned about. I'm guessing just going slow enough can get me most anywhere.

Any experiences like this?
Thanks,
John
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Old 05-10-2016, 09:34 PM   #2
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Washboard gravel and dirt roads can be destructive to the RV. They just aren't made to handle that kind of stress. I'd make sure you have a spare tire and the tools to change it. I've driven 15 passenger vans over thousands of miles of unpaved roads in WY, CO, etc. We'd have to change a tire about once every 2 weeks or so. Also, make sure your TVs and microwave is well anchored, The vibration of the suspension on washboard can really make them 'walk.'
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Old 05-10-2016, 09:50 PM   #3
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Slow down and you will be fine, if you are uncomfortable so is the RV. Also slowing down will lessen the the dust and dirt. As far as getting stuck, duels are there to catty weight not to keep from getting stuck. Just use your head if it's Sandy or muddy. There are literally 100's of RVs on beaches and in the desert and national forests everyday.

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Old 05-11-2016, 01:51 PM   #4
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Id try to stay in a path where you can see tire tracks from a previous vehicle. and agree drive slow and during the day.
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Old 05-11-2016, 02:35 PM   #5
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Batten down everything inside and in storage compartments. Go slow, slow, slow... Watch for clearances all around, including overhead branches and such.
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Old 05-11-2016, 03:32 PM   #6
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I drive on unpaved roads every time I go. I live on an unpaved road. Just take it easy. Don't get in a hurry. Follow the wheeltracks most commonly right down the middle of the road. Get over got he right on hills.
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Old 05-11-2016, 03:51 PM   #7
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We desert camped for years with our Camper/Class C as did all our friends who went out dirt biking with us, in their RV's. Most of the spots we stayed included about a 4 to 6 mile stint on unpaved power line roads. The most important thing is to take it slow, and keep the swaying to a minimum. Like said the dual wheels won't really help you to keep from getting stuck, they just stabilize the rear weight. So don't go off into any sandy areas or areas where the road appears to have been washed out and others have left ruts from getting stuck. In over 20 years of doing that we never had a breakdown or flat tire due to driving on unpaved roads, just take your time. These are roads I would never take my Class A on but I always felt safe in the Camper or Class C.
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Old 05-11-2016, 04:17 PM   #8
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The biggest danger is bottoming out and tearing off the sewer connections. We have seen a few motor homes that had protective pieces of metal (skid plates) welded under the sewer pipes and connections.
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Old 05-12-2016, 01:50 PM   #9
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Thanks to everyone for good advice and feedback. The boondocks spots we have in mind are only a few hundred yards off paved road, I'll feel a bit more confident now driving slowly into them.

Thanks,
John
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:42 AM   #10
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I just did a lot of off-pavement driving over the last few weeks in my new-to-me 05 Itasca Cambria (Ford). It did great. I was actually really pleased at the few rattles and noises which were my biggest concern going in. The problem for me is the long rear overhang. I managed to crack the fiberglass on both rear corners which I'm not proud of but lesson learned. I will be adding some skid plates/casters or some kind of framing under the rear end and maybe raising my coach 3 or so inches. BTW I drive a tractor trailer for a living and have been offroading for years, but the 6' or more behind the rear wheels of many motorhomes will touch the ground with only a slight dip, so that's where I recommend going slow and at an angle.

We were just where you are. We found some great boondock and FS camps far off the beaten path on 550 and 50 in the Million Dollar Hwy and Black Canyon areas. PM me for details if you like. There are some real gems in that area that you can get to with a little patience.

Oh, almost forgot. To avoid dust in your coach (and it does like to seep in every crack no matter how tight you think your rig is) you can always offset it with positive cabin pressure, that is, turn the AC on medium or high. It works really well. I've been doing this in vans for years. You won't keep all the dust out but you will minimize it.

Have fun and be careful!
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