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Old 07-06-2014, 08:08 AM   #1
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Newbies considering Class C

My wife & I are now convinced that we will be in the market for a Class C of around 31' in the near future. We have never owned an RV before but we are ready to embark on the journey.

We would be happy for any advice or tips that anybody may have.

We came to the conclusion based upon a few points. 1. The need for a walk around bed as we tend to need to use the facilities at least once per night and the thought of having to get someone to move was not acceptable, plus we both have arthritis in our knees. 2. Also a Class C would be very familiar to us both as far as driving goes, and my wife would be comfortable driving this and not a Class A. Annual maintenance costs presumably would be lower and serviceability she be easier with a Ford engine. 3. Think it would be more practical as we would regularly use it for short 3 day trips and 1 or 2 long trips per year.

Would love to hear ideas, as we have a bit of time till we make our purchase.
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Old 07-06-2014, 08:40 AM   #2
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We have a class A now but our last MH was a 31' C. You are smart to get a bed you can walk around. Not just to be able to easily get up at night but the ones that are against a wall are difficult to make up.

Look at a bunch of floor plans. One thing we did not like about ours was it didn't have two comfortable places for us to both watch the TV. One of us ended up sitting at the dinette. Our A has a table and chairs instead of the booth. We like that much better but you do lose the storage underneath the seats.

Ours had a bunk over the cab. Nice for guests but if it is just the two of you some models have an entertainment system up there that leave more space in the galley.

A slide out (or two) is almost a must IMHO. Our C had a large one. It makes it much more livable. Our A has three and I would like four but for now we are sticking with it.

The Ford V10 is powerful and the maintenance is less than our diesel. The fuel economy was terrible. About 6 to 7 MPG I figured pulling a small trailer for our motorcycles.

On huge difference between a C and an A is driving comfort for me. I'm a big guy and in the C my right leg was always stuck against the "dog house" engine cover in the cab.

That's about all I can think of now so happy shopping!
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Old 07-06-2014, 11:59 AM   #3
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HD4Mark nailed it.If you can't live with the floorplan, nothing else matters. We were in a hurry and bought a Class C with no slides and no automatic levelers, The twin beds helped with having more room, but with two dogs and a growing teenager it was just too small. We bought a new one last fall, and the floorplan we have now makes a world of difference, as do the levelers.

Good luck with your choice.

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Old 07-06-2014, 05:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HereWeGo1 View Post
My wife & I are now convinced that we will be in the market for a Class C of around 31' in the near future. We have never owned an RV before but we are ready to embark on the journey.

We would be happy for any advice or tips that anybody may have.

We came to the conclusion based upon a few points. 1. The need for a walk around bed as we tend to need to use the facilities at least once per night and the thought of having to get someone to move was not acceptable, plus we both have arthritis in our knees. 2. Also a Class C would be very familiar to us both as far as driving goes, and my wife would be comfortable driving this and not a Class A. Annual maintenance costs presumably would be lower and serviceability she be easier with a Ford engine. 3. Think it would be more practical as we would regularly use it for short 3 day trips and 1 or 2 long trips per year.

Would love to hear ideas, as we have a bit of time till we make our purchase.
Howdy and welcome to the forum! There are lots of great Class C's out there, so take your time and do lots of walk-thrus. Try everything out...the sofa, the dinette, the bathroom/shower. Imagine yourselves living in the RV for days or weeks at a time. Does it feel comfortable and roomy enough? Does the layout work for you? Does the kitchen area seem to have enough work space? How's the storage?

Each of us has certain things we look for that are important to us. (For instance, I don't want any motorhome with plumbing, electrical or LP lines in a moving slide. I also don't want the dinette across from the bathroom. I'm picky. ) If you will have a toad (a tow vehicle), make sure the RV you purchase has enough towing/hitch capacity to handle it.

Many posters will tell you that you don't want a Class C, or you don't want a gasoline engine, etc. There are plenty of great C's and plenty of great gassers. As far as maintenance costs, there is probably little to no difference in maintenance for a Class C versus Class A gasser. (The diesels in each class will be a bit more to maintain.) You know your budget and your comfort level, and "the one" is out there. Good luck and have fun finding it.
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Old 07-06-2014, 06:05 PM   #5
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My advise... Nail down your floor plan(s) first. There are a lot of similarities between brands. Then go look at the floor plans you like the best in person and shop the different brands. Then lastly once you know what you want, get the best deal you can. For me that means buying slightly used. We picked up our 2011 Sunseeker 3170DS in 2011 USED by only 14 months or so. Paid less for it than most the SUV's (Suburbans) my neighbors have in their driveways.
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Old 07-06-2014, 08:05 PM   #6
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Rent different Class C's to see which features you want before you decide to purchase. Some things that sound good in your mind don't work out in real life while other things that you thought you would never want are really nice to have.
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Old 07-06-2014, 08:14 PM   #7
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The biggest short fall (IMHO) of a C is outside storage. Inside storage is what you see in any MH. Outside storage is WAY less in a C. For your trips of a few days and a couple longer trips it may not be a problem. Have fun.
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:20 AM   #8
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All the above is nice, but make sure you can live w/ the OCCC of the rig. The bigger the Class 'C', and the more luxuries it has, the heavier it will be.

I came close to buying a rig with 1600 pounds of OCCC. That's not a lot of capacity for a larger Class 'C', especially once you start to factor in axle weights and what not. It WAS much nicer inside than the rig I currently have. Is it worth worrying about how much you're loading it though? We didn't think so.

You will find that whatever you choose will likely be a compromise of sorts. Its the nature of the beast.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:28 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by t55watson View Post
The biggest short fall (IMHO) of a C is outside storage. Inside storage is what you see in any MH. Outside storage is WAY less in a C. For your trips of a few days and a couple longer trips it may not be a problem. Have fun.
+1 I forgot to mention the outside (basement) storage compartments. Our C had ones so small we could not even get a decent size cooler in any of them. We ended up putting one in the shower while we were in motion. I see now they have changed the design so the compartments are more like class As.
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Old 07-07-2014, 11:22 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by HereWeGo1 View Post
My wife & I are now convinced that we will be in the market for a Class C of around 31' in the near future. We have never owned an RV before but we are ready to embark on the journey.

We would be happy for any advice or tips that anybody may have.

We came to the conclusion based upon a few points. 1. The need for a walk around bed as we tend to need to use the facilities at least once per night and the thought of having to get someone to move was not acceptable, plus we both have arthritis in our knees. 2. Also a Class C would be very familiar to us both as far as driving goes, and my wife would be comfortable driving this and not a Class A. Annual maintenance costs presumably would be lower and serviceability she be easier with a Ford engine. 3. Think it would be more practical as we would regularly use it for short 3 day trips and 1 or 2 long trips per year.

Would love to hear ideas, as we have a bit of time till we make our purchase.
You all sound exactly like us! We have only had a tent trailer in the past so I think that we will start with a Class C about 30-33 feet. Please keep posting if you find something out there and I will do the same. There are so many choices!
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Old 07-07-2014, 02:13 PM   #11
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I'd also suggest you rent first. You might not like driving a 31' or so motor home.
The main thing (other than signs of leaks on an older unit) is the floorplan. My wife also wanted a walk around bed and that will most likely put you into something about 27'or so and up. The only exception I know of to that, is the Nexus 25P, at just under 25', with a full wall slide, and a walk around bed.
As for storage my 2014 Itasca has plenty of out side storage spaces, but the access doors are fairly small. About 3 weeks ago I bought an older 2001 Itasca Class C basement model, the same floor plan as my newer unit, but the many storage compartments on that one are huge, with large Class A bus type doors.
Best of luck with whatever you decide to do.
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Old 07-07-2014, 02:32 PM   #12
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I agree with the "rent one first" crowd above. As Steven and Steph said so well "Some things that sound good in your mind don't work out in real life while other things that you thought you would never want are really nice to have." And it may not be until you get out for the weekend and realize you need to run to Wal-Mart for that all important s'mores ingredients and ask yourself, how do we get there? Or how do we store the . . . ? Experience is a great teacher, and it will help reduce the ‘buyer’s remorse’ when you go to sign on the dotted line for a new to you rig.
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Old 07-07-2014, 05:22 PM   #13
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Follow up ?????

We are grateful for the constructive comments from your own experiences on this journey.

A few follow up ???? for you knowledgeable travelers.

If we are going to compare Class C & Class A, would you feel that in the range of the 28 to 32 feet range in both would be suitable? As we believe that this length would allow us to easily go into most varieties of campgrounds and parks without difficulties and also my wife would be more comfortable driving that size as opposed to something bigger?

How old a unit is too old to consider for purchase even if it is in good condition with low mileage, taking into account it may have every option that you may want?

Would you travel interstate to purchase if the motorhome you desired was there and the deal was just right? And if so, are there any hidden pitfalls that we need to know about bringing the unit across state lines?

I'm sure we will have many more questions in the future and we truly are taking into account all that you are saying.
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:23 PM   #14
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I suggest you find a dealer and test drive class C and A units in the 31' range. I know Itasca has their 32 1/2' Spirit class C and their slightly shorter, 31'2" Sunstar class A, with identical floor plans. The A is significantly higher priced.I'm sure other companies have similar models.
Since you've never owned an RV before it would probably be worth your while to test drive one first, before going any further.
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