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Old 11-07-2012, 06:02 PM   #1
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Figuring Out First Purchase

Recently we rented a 2013 Thor Citation 24SR Diesel for a 3-week vacation. DH camped a lot growing up and traveled Europe in a VW pop-up, so he didn't think I was crazy when I put it on the table of options for the long trip (me solo driving as he was staying home to work, flying in to meet us, then returning home) since it was small enough to drive, but big enough to be comfortable and eliminate the need to go in and out of hotels with bags, stroller and 20-month old much of the time.

Anyway, long story short - I love the experience, my kids (8 & 1) loved it and it was great, except the MH we rented - it had its issues and it's off my list for consideration.

I'm trying to figure out what models would work for us - DH has given me the green-light to look at and price our options so we can buy within the next six months. It's overwhelming with all the different options!

Basics that I want - a real bed, at least a queen, in the back....I don't want to have to make the bed up each night and put it all away in the morning; nor do I want to fold it up for the slide in the back. I also want an overcab bed since the kids need a place to sleep too if DH is with us! I'd totally give up cabinet storage if I could get a king in the back - do MH's like that exist?

I don't want to drive a beast, but also don't think a real "B" is big enough....maybe a B+ or small C....I think max length I'd like is 24' - the shorter the better and not too wide.

I really liked having the refrigerator and freezer - two doors - with a lot of space to keep things cold and/or frozen. I don't need an oven, but the combo microwave-convection was great.

What size generator is the minimum to consider?

What other things do I need to consider?

What models/brands would you recommend for a family with two kids, one still a toddler?
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Old 11-07-2012, 06:51 PM   #2
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To give you suggestions I need to ask a few questions myself. Are you looking new, or used? Is there a reason you haven't considered a class A. Are you looking for gas or diesel? There are lots of class A options that have bunks, and some that have drop down front beds. I would certainly recommend a Class A diesel. You get more useable room when parked, and easier to move around the coach when underway. If it is a rear engine unit, it will be much more quiet while underway because the engine is in the back.
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:32 PM   #3
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Suggestion -- go to the motorhome manuf. websites and look at the floorplans. You will be very limited keeping the length to 24'. No king size beds in short RVs.
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:14 AM   #4
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Ours is 24 feet. Typically at that length for what you describe means that it will be a rear corner bed rather than a walk around unless they have a slide out in the rear. Take a look at the forest river sun seeker 2250 as an example.

We are fine with the corner bed queen, but corner beds do mean greater difficulty with making the bed and crawling over your spouse if you need to get up in the middle of the night. Still, we are happy with what we have in our 2001 Fleetwood Jamboree on a Chevy chassis.

Gas rigs in this class will get 8-11 mpg regardless of model year if in the last 15 years. Sprinter chassis diesel will get 14-17 mpg. Most class c rigs are on the Ford E450 chassis.

If buying used, consider hiring a local mobile RV tech to inspect the rig for problems.

Fiberglass roof and Azdel (composite) sides have advantages for longevity.

Onan generators are preferred; 4000 watt will cover whatever you need for that size of rig, including AC.

If you intend to much in the way of dry camping, consider upgrading to true deep cycle batteries verses what are typically in the standard package.

Consider the "arctic package" or similar that includes black and grey water tank heaters.

I'm not a fan of rigs with slides that have the fridge, stove or both on the slide but that's personal preference. I just don't like the idea of heavy gas appliances moving back and forth on a slide and the possibility of higher leak potential. I'm confident at others on this site will challenge my thinking in this area.

If buying a rig with slides, take a look at what it is like inside when the slides are not extended. There will be occasions that you may not extend the slides. Is it still livable? My favorite story is a friend with a travel trailer that the circuit breakers are blocked by the slides. One had tripped and they had to move it manually just to get to the breaker panel (a big pain). Talk about poor design! It is rare to find a rig without slides these days. Many folks swear by them and the space they bring. They are in many cases a welcome addition for livability. Just be aware of the trade offs: added leak potential, complexity, And reduced cargo carrying capacity due to their weight.

You may find that you will want to tow a small car on some trips. Consider towing capacity if so. Our rig only tows up to 3,500 pounds, so we flat tow a 2003 Chevy tracker (about 2,700 pounds). Not all vehicles can be flat towed. Many rigs in this class will tow 5,000. On other trips, we bring along our bikes.

Watch for net cargo carrying capacity. Some rigs leave the factory near max weight, significantly limiting the weight of your gear, water, etc.

Expect over the next few years that there will finally be an upgrade in mpg for gas rigs. Ford is eventually phasing out their E series vans, replacing them with the transit chassis. Both will be sold side by side for awhile. Transit is already a common class C chassis in Europe and they will start adding competition for the Mercedes Sprinter chassis here in the US.
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:25 PM   #5
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Forest River is coming out with a 24 ft Solera with a full walk around bed as a slide that goes out the back. They call it a 24R. Only comes in a diesel and, it is only now being sold, so you would have to get new. I think itasca has a model just like it, though. So there might be some used ones out there.
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Old 11-09-2012, 05:55 PM   #6
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Hi Deb, which floor plan did you buy? We bought the Murphy bed, I was over ruled but there is just the two of us and we enjoy it. I was thinking that the walk around bed you mentioned would reduce the bath area.
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:03 PM   #7
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We have a Solera 24ES. It just has the corner bed. We put a topper on it and it is very comfortable. Not a problem for us. The 24R with the back slide and full bed has the bath more in the center, so still decent size, at least what I've seen in the pics. I haven't seen one in person.
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Old 11-11-2012, 07:33 AM   #8
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Hi
I was reading your information and found it real informative, I in the past 20 years have tried fifth-wheels,class a, last year I had a Georgetown 338s 2010, wich was ok but by far too expensive on gas those v10 are consuming too much making it unpleasant. I changed it for a Mercedes
Sprinter fleetwood jamboree 24l corner bed with one double slide. It's so economical easy to drive
I have already made over 9000 km with it. Very satisfied. Every Motorhome or fifth-wheel are cheaply made and its a constant toy to take care of. But the best for traveling.
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:23 PM   #9
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Good points.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderso View Post
Ours is 24 feet. Typically at that length for what you describe means that it will be a rear corner bed rather than a walk around unless they have a slide out in the rear. Take a look at the forest river sun seeker 2250 as an example.

We are fine with the corner bed queen, but corner beds do mean greater difficulty with making the bed and crawling over your spouse if you need to get up in the middle of the night. Still, we are happy with what we have in our 2001 Fleetwood Jamboree on a Chevy chassis.

Gas rigs in this class will get 8-11 mpg regardless of model year if in the last 15 years. Sprinter chassis diesel will get 14-17 mpg. Most class c rigs are on the Ford E450 chassis.

If buying used, consider hiring a local mobile RV tech to inspect the rig for problems.

Fiberglass roof and Azdel (composite) sides have advantages for longevity.

Onan generators are preferred; 4000 watt will cover whatever you need for that size of rig, including AC.

If you intend to much in the way of dry camping, consider upgrading to true deep cycle batteries verses what are typically in the standard package.

Consider the "arctic package" or similar that includes black and grey water tank heaters.

I'm not a fan of rigs with slides that have the fridge, stove or both on the slide but that's personal preference. I just don't like the idea of heavy gas appliances moving back and forth on a slide and the possibility of higher leak potential. I'm confident at others on this site will challenge my thinking in this area.

If buying a rig with slides, take a look at what it is like inside when the slides are not extended. There will be occasions that you may not extend the slides. Is it still livable? My favorite story is a friend with a travel trailer that the circuit breakers are blocked by the slides. One had tripped and they had to move it manually just to get to the breaker panel (a big pain). Talk about poor design! It is rare to find a rig without slides these days. Many folks swear by them and the space they bring. They are in many cases a welcome addition for livability. Just be aware of the trade offs: added leak potential, complexity, And reduced cargo carrying capacity due to their weight.

You may find that you will want to tow a small car on some trips. Consider towing capacity if so. Our rig only tows up to 3,500 pounds, so we flat tow a 2003 Chevy tracker (about 2,700 pounds). Not all vehicles can be flat towed. Many rigs in this class will tow 5,000. On other trips, we bring along our bikes.

Watch for net cargo carrying capacity. Some rigs leave the factory near max weight, significantly limiting the weight of your gear, water, etc.

Expect over the next few years that there will finally be an upgrade in mpg for gas rigs. Ford is eventually phasing out their E series vans, replacing them with the transit chassis. Both will be sold side by side for awhile. Transit is already a common class C chassis in Europe and they will start adding competition for the Mercedes Sprinter chassis here in the US.
Excellent write up, having previously Fleetwood Tioga with rubber roof, for me a fiberglass roof was a deciding factor.
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:42 PM   #10
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There are lots of ways to start your search...and these folks have provided some good info...without any idea of price point, I'd do the following:

- Read a lot of the threads on here to get a feel for used versus new, brands that are good and brands that have issues, etc

- Go to on line sites for outfits that sell a lot of different varieties of coaches, gas and diesels... mhsrv.com is one (not recommending buying there, but you'll see a lot of coach pictures, a lot of floor plans, and lots of price points.

- Find a large RV show in your area...best way to walk around and see what is out there.

Bottom line, take your time...it's a big expense (unless your a lotto winner) and you need to go in with eyes wide open.

Enjoy
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