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Old 04-09-2019, 04:00 PM   #1
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Questions for Coachmen 21QB owners

Hello, all.

My wife and I are recently retired school teachers and are probably going to be picking up a Class C in late '19 or early '20. Our goal is to see more of North America, with emphasis on the national parks out west. (We live in FL, and have a 5th wheel in MI for a couple months of the summer.) We have really begun digging into what's out there and narrowing down our list of what's important to us.

We are avid runners and bikers (and we love to race in events all around the country), and also love to kayak (inflatable Sea Eagle Razorlites, so storage is not much of an issue), and these things must come with us.
  • We want to sleep in a queen bed as a minimum size.
  • We want to be able to sleep without having to use a slider to do so.
  • We want the vehicle to be short enough to maneuver around town, as we plan on no tow vehicle, at least not yet.
  • We prefer to keep the bikes in the interior storage (basement) when transporting. (Wheels come off and go back on quickly.)
  • We want a cab-over bunk as a 2nd sleeping option.
  • I prefer new for warranty purposes, but would consider used if the savings made sense.

I'd also like to say money is no object, but I'd be lying. It definitely has to be "reasonably" priced.

One unit that checks ALL of these boxes is the Coachmen 21QB. It's funny, because we've seen SO many units with SO many different arrangements, but they all had at least one item from that list that didn't work. We just keep coming back to this unit.

Would any current or former 21QB owners be able to give us your opinion(s) of this vehicle, with things that you liked and things to watch out for? Also, any other smallish Class C unit that we may have overlooked? Any and all information would be TRULY appreciated!

Thanks in advance for your assistance with our decision.

tim
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Old 04-14-2019, 04:47 PM   #2
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I've got a 2019 on the Chevy 4500 and love it. Drove the Ford version also but the Chevy drove so much better, was quieter and the cab area is roomier. Only thing I'm changing is getting a taller toilet. Love everything else and zero problems so far.
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Old 04-14-2019, 05:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSandman View Post
I've got a 2019 on the Chevy 4500 and love it. Drove the Ford version also but the Chevy drove so much better, was quieter and the cab area is roomier. Only thing I'm changing is getting a taller toilet. Love everything else and zero problems so far.
Awesome to hear! Are you travelling solo or with someone? We have talked to so many dealers and of course, they want to sell you a bigger unit and they really try to play up the shortcomings of the 21QB (only 24', corner bed, no ducted AC, etc.) but we really like the thought of a smaller unit for getting around, especially with no toad.

Please feel free to let me know ANYTHING you feel is relevant. Thanks, again, for letting me (us) know!
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Old 04-15-2019, 08:02 AM   #4
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Just the wife and I mainly. We use it alot locally, like a second car, going to Sam's Club or other shopping. Easy to get around in cities and easy to park. Day trips are really nice. We live in Michigan so lots of lakeshore driving. It just works really well for us. Wife didn't like travelling in a car but loves this.
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Old 04-15-2019, 02:01 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by SSandman View Post
Just the wife and I mainly. We use it alot locally, like a second car, going to Sam's Club or other shopping. Easy to get around in cities and easy to park. Day trips are really nice. We live in Michigan so lots of lakeshore driving. It just works really well for us. Wife didn't like travelling in a car but loves this.
Have you put enough miles on to get a feel for MPG, yet? I'm trying to figure out if there is really a difference between a "small" Class C and a larger one (up to 30'), since it has the exact same drivetrain.
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Old 04-15-2019, 05:49 PM   #6
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We have a 2018 21qb on the Ford E-350 chassis. Overall, we like it.

Since there are just the two of us, we installed a drawer system over the cab where there is normally a sleeping area. I also installed a 3.1 sound system in the overhead area.

The overhead a/c is loud.

We removed the gigantic dinette and put two rocker recliners there.

The basement area is huge, but I cannot speak to the ability to store bicycles in that area. I think you would be wise to take your bikes the next time you are looking to trial fit theem.

There's no power or lights in the basement. Not a problem for a DIYer.

We have seen fuel mileage worst 7.0 and best 9.3. We tow a Dodge Grand Caravan on a dolly.

We had several electrical problems that I attribute directly to quality control.

Leaving tomorrow for a 10 day trip to the SC coast.

Hope this helps.
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Old 04-15-2019, 06:11 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Glennabbott1 View Post
We have a 2018 21qb on the Ford E-350 chassis. Overall, we like it.

Since there are just the two of us, we installed a drawer system over the cab where there is normally a sleeping area. I also installed a 3.1 sound system in the overhead area.

The overhead a/c is loud.

We removed the gigantic dinette and put two rocker recliners there.

The basement area is huge, but I cannot speak to the ability to store bicycles in that area. I think you would be wise to take your bikes the next time you are looking to trial fit theem.

There's no power or lights in the basement. Not a problem for a DIYer.

We have seen fuel mileage worst 7.0 and best 9.3. We tow a Dodge Grand Caravan on a dolly.

We had several electrical problems that I attribute directly to quality control.

Leaving tomorrow for a 10 day trip to the SC coast.

Hope this helps.
Absolutely, it helps! Thanks, Glenn!!!

Already did that with my road bike. (I have built a fork lock into a small piece of wood, so it won't be sitting directly on the fork like this!) It will easily hold the two road bikes, side-by-side, and it might even accomodate the two hybrids, but those are far less expensive and more durable, so they can be outside on a rack with a decent cover on them.

The AC is a concern, simply because this is the only unit we are looking at that is NOT ducted. Hoping this is not a major issue, but it is something we are aware of.

Have a great trip. Let me know how it did!
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Old 04-16-2019, 11:05 AM   #8
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Also, make sure you get a spare tire and wheel when you purchase. Although used wheels aren't hard to find, the process of getting the wheel, tire, and having it mounted is a bit of a time burglar.
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Old 04-16-2019, 11:09 AM   #9
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Also, make sure you get a spare tire and wheel when you purchase. Although used wheels aren't hard to find, the process of getting the wheel, tire, and having it mounted is a bit of a time burglar.
Good to know. Thanks!
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Old 04-17-2019, 05:33 PM   #10
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We have a forester 2291s which is the same floor plan with better features, ie ducted ac, under mount spare, and a slide.
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Old 04-17-2019, 07:01 PM   #11
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We have a forester 2291s which is the same floor plan with better features, ie ducted ac, under mount spare, and a slide.
I noticed that one but the way they did the basement made it look like it might be tricky to get my bikes in there easily. I'm trying to find one locally to look at to see if it will work.

How do you like your unit? I'm assuming that it does what you were hoping it would. (?) Thanks for the info!
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Old 04-19-2019, 07:19 AM   #12
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Yes, the basement isnt as wide open. Storage broken into 3 areas instead of one. We like ours, wonder if the chevy would have handled better and got better mileage. 8 mpg seems to be our avg, we do tow a car now. Breaking camp all the time got old, so that is something to consider. V 10 has plenty of power to tow though.
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Old 04-19-2019, 07:49 AM   #13
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Yes, the basement isnt as wide open. Storage broken into 3 areas instead of one. We like ours, wonder if the chevy would have handled better and got better mileage. 8 mpg seems to be our avg, we do tow a car now. Breaking camp all the time got old, so that is something to consider. V 10 has plenty of power to tow though.
Yeah, we are wondering about the tow situation ourselves and that is one reason why we will overbuy on the towing capacity, just in case we decide that it's a necessity down the road. From everything I've read from users, towing doesn't impact the mpg nearly as badly with a class C as it does a regular vehicle, probably because the mileage is SO poor to begin with because of aerodynamics.

I almost certainly will be adding a self-leveling system of some type, simply because of needing to break camp frequently and the fact that things like this (leveling) will drive me absolutely batty, and that's NOT why I went on the trip in the first place!
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Old 04-19-2019, 09:03 AM   #14
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.5 mpg is the impact of towing. It does really hamper manuveuring, adds to stress level.
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