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Old 05-17-2016, 12:48 PM   #1
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Question overwhelmed by options

My husband and I were pretty set that we wanted a Class C, and I was overwhelmed by the options since each make/model seems to have 10 variations for each year! Now we're finding out that some Class A will suit our needs (and we were told they're much easier to maneuver, see while driving, live in, etc), so that swings the options doors wide open again. We have a list of features we want, but the issue is finding the RV that fits the description. With a purchase of this size I'm so afraid of buyer's remorse and getting the wrong one! Do you know which RVs would work for us? The interior design and age really doesn't matter to us since we want to re-paint/upholster/floor anyway, so we're really just looking at layout and reliability! We do want to upgrade the battery system and solar power to accommodate for boondocking, so I'm not sure if a newer model would be better for these upgrades or not


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Mandatory features:
  • We want to pay in full or have at least 50% in cash, so preferably less than $50k (but I would be willing to look at/consider high priced ones if there's nothing that suits our needs in this price range!)
  • Over-cab bed: I know class C has this, but some Class A have a drop down bed in the front. Needs to be at least a double bed so we can sleep 2 people
  • Rear bedroom: We want to remove the bed and turn this space into a workroom/office. Many of the RVs we've seen so far use the space under the bed for bigger storage underneath, so something with a flat floor here would be best, though I suppose I could still make the space work if it wasn't flat
  • Slide outs: Since we plan on living in it full time, the extra space would be really useful. However, we want things to still be accessible if the slide outs are in. Some we saw close off portions of the RV when the slide outs are in, and we DON'T want this.
  • Dry bath
  • Needs to be able to tow our prius (about 3000 lbs)

Preferred features:
  • Couch (doesn't need to be big, I would just like to have one for long-term living)
  • Smaller dinette or table/chairs instead of booth (I've seen some huge ones and it just takes up a lot of space. There's only two of us that need to sit at it)
  • Small desk: A couple RVs we looked at had a small desk space in the bedroom. I can always build one if there isn't one built in, but it would be a lot more convenient to have one already there!
  • I know there's no such thing as good gas mileage in an RV, but since we've been spoiled by our prius's mileage, something on the higher mpg would be preferable
  • counter space: I'd like to have at least a little counter space. Many I saw had zero counter area. I can make do if necessary, but it'd be nice if it was there to begin with.

Would be nice, but not at all necessary
  • Pop up TV: I've seen a couple where the TV lives inside a small counter space and pops up out of it for use. We rarely use the TV (just occasionally for games), so this would be nice to have it out of the way when we're not using it!
  • Shower outside of the bathroom: I initially thought this was weird, but I agree with my husband that with the skylight above it, it diffuses the light and really brightens up the space.


I know this post got pretty long, but if you stuck around to the end and could point us in the right direction, that would be exceptionally helpful!
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Old 05-17-2016, 03:02 PM   #2
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Good luck with your search.....that's half the fun for me at least.

With wanting to have the over cab bed you're going to limit yourself quite a bit. If you consider remodeling the office to include a drop down bed you would open the field quite a bit. The toy haulers might work as well.

You didn't say where you are going to boondock but I've had no problem going hunting off road in our class C. I wouldn't take some of the big Class A's where I've been.

Here's a class A and more importantly a website that seems to have quality used coach's.

1999 Holiday Rambler Endeavor 37WDM Priced at $ 32500
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Old 05-17-2016, 05:36 PM   #3
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May I suggest that before you focus on your needs list that you first get to know the major manufacturers and learn about how they construct and assemble their motorhomes. Learn about the quality tiers that exist and which manufacturers fall into which tier. Then decide what your cutoff is in terms of acceptable manufacturers. This will focus your search to a smaller group of choices. As just one example of this consider the issue of a rubber roof vs fiberglass roof.

Also settle on a maximum length early based on where you want to camp, drive and store your coach.
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Old 05-17-2016, 05:53 PM   #4
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What ever you do, Class A, B or C, gas or diesel, drive it on a highway. That's what motor homes are for.

This forum is full of posts about rough handling front engine, class A MHs.
There are significantly less posts about Class A rear engine and class C, MH handling issues.

When I was shopping for a used MH, I test drove an gas powered A, diesel powered B and a gas powered C.

The diesel B and gas C were easy to drive. The A was a huge disappointment. I bought the C for the room inside.
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Old 05-18-2016, 12:26 AM   #5
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Where do to intend to live in it year around? Will any of that be in a northern climate? If so, some RVs aren't really intended to be used year around in some climates. Best year around multi climate would be (if in a C with cab overhead bunk)

Born Free (true gelcoat)
Lazy Daze (aircraft aluminum sides)
Bigfoot (extensive insulation)

Many A's are more geared to year around living in varied climates. Several now have drop down beds. Some older Trek or safari models had drop down beds.
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Old 05-18-2016, 09:01 AM   #6
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Sounds to me you need something in the 40' range wit enough slides to already have the office desk in place either in the rear(some A's had an office space off the bed area) or the front where one coach area has the office space. This could be just a bit more of a hit to the budget but for full timing it gives everything plus extra storage and comfort.

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Old 05-19-2016, 03:31 PM   #7
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now that i'm in my 50's i can't sleep on the cheap mattress the cabovers always have. if you go with a thicker mattress it is harder to get into and out of the cabover. cabovers are for children imho especially if talking full time. if you can handle it wonderful. how about getting a unit a with slide out bunk beds and ripping out the bunks? i visualize it as a very cramped computer area with the slide closed but you arrange the floor and computer furniture to have some more work space when the slide is out. again it isn't going to be as huge as using the whole bedroom as a office but you won't be sleeping over the cab.
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Old 05-20-2016, 01:29 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by wanderso View Post
Where do to intend to live in it year around? Will any of that be in a northern climate? If so, some RVs aren't really intended to be used year around in some climates. Best year around multi climate would be (if in a C with cab overhead bunk)

We're currently in Oregon and like it here, but I do want to explore the country I live in. My husband is a sound designer and musician, so we'll likely go where his job takes him. I imagine we'll be experiencing many climates, so I appreciate those suggestions!
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Old 05-20-2016, 01:32 AM   #9
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When I was shopping for a used MH, I test drove an gas powered A, diesel powered B and a gas powered C.

The diesel B and gas C were easy to drive. The A was a huge disappointment. I bought the C for the room inside.
Maybe it was just the dealer trying to upsell, but he told us the A drives much better and is steadier when parked (you don't feel the other person moving around as much) so it'd be more suitable for full timing. I appreciate knowing your experience on your test drive!
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Old 05-20-2016, 06:19 AM   #10
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Your Prius may actually weigh more than 3K lbs. Plus, you'll need to plop it on a 500 lb dolly. It can't be flat towed. Working and full timing normally requires hauling around lots of extra gear, which can be a weight penalty. Some larger Class C's can be weight challenged. You need to realistically review your load situation and compare that to CCC or OCCC of the MH you're looking at.
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Old 05-20-2016, 11:34 AM   #11
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Your Prius may actually weigh more than 3K lbs. Plus, you'll need to plop it on a 500 lb dolly. It can't be flat towed. Working and full timing normally requires hauling around lots of extra gear, which can be a weight penalty. Some larger Class C's can be weight challenged. You need to realistically review your load situation and compare that to CCC or OCCC of the MH you're looking at.
3000 was the weight that came up when I looked up my car's year. The RVs we've looked at (so far) are capable of towing up to 5000 pounds so i figured we'd be fine even with a Dolly's weight. I'm not sure how to factor the weight of everything we'd be bringing on board. We currently live in a 1 bedroom apartment and would be getting rid of most of our stuff (although im aure itll change, i honestly cant see myself using all the storage conoartments!) so I can't imagine it being too much, but I definitely feel like I need a more accurate way of figuring that out.what is CCC and OCCC?
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Old 05-20-2016, 12:22 PM   #12
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CCC and OCCC are essentially cargo carrying capacity. The RV industry has changed the definition in recent years. A site search wouldn't hurt. It's basically the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) minus empty weight (but includes fuel) and everything else you load, including water, people, propane, etc. The exact math varies, depending on model year. BTW, a MH may have a 5K hitch, but the chassis can't handle that much load.
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