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Old 03-08-2013, 12:03 PM   #1
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Sofa beds

I am on disability for a bad back. I am trying to decide which 24' class C to buy. I like the ones with rear kitchens but am concerned about the comfort of the sofa beds. I had a conversion van with a very comfortable sofabed but the ones I have seen on older Class C's have looked pretty flimsy. Any suggestions or should I just go for the corner bed?
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Old 03-08-2013, 10:47 PM   #2
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We have the corner bed and mid kitchen. The nice thing about that is that the bed is already set up at all times. The drawback is that seating will be limited to a dinette and a barrel chair as ours is. Making the bed can also be a bit of a pain. Some newer rigs with a slide out have a couch & table combo where the dinette is in ours. A couch is a welcome addition.

In our case, due to the age of rig that fit our price range and the wet reality of the pacific northwest, I didn't want slide outs and added leak risks. If you do choose a rig with slide outs, be sure to see it with them closed so that you get a sense of how it is like to be in when the slide(s) are not extended. We have friends with a travel trailer for example that the circuit breakers are behind the slide wall when it is not extended. And guess what - they had a situation where their slide would not extend that was traced to the breaker. . How dumb is that!

If we didn't have kids and the need for 3 separate sleeping areas (Traveling alone as a couple), I would strongly consider the rear kitchen if sticking to 24 foot. I kept with 24 because we wanted to have the option to store at our house (24 foot rig will just fit) if we choose to.

On the other side, one of my favorite layouts if you can find and afford one and are sticking to a 24 foot length is a LazyDaze Class C with the rear twin/king bed. This gives a nice seating area and ample bed. The gotcha for us is we needed 3 sleeping areas (girl and boy kids + 2 adults) These rigs are built like a tank and will survive a nuclear holocaust. . I've seen ones that are older than our Jamboree and have aged better.

http://www.lazydaze.com/flrplans.htm

Many folks will suggest that you go for a longer rig. 2 feet more for example will give you options for couch and bed combos as well as a couple of walk-around bed options. It is a valid point.

We like that our 24 footer is within inches of the same length as a dodge dually pickup. This opens up a lot more parking and camping options in our area than longer lengths and has allowed us to have ample cargo carrying capacity and tow a 2003 Chevy tracker when we want to.
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Old 03-09-2013, 07:54 AM   #3
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Thanks wanderso, I am aware of the lazydaze 24 ft, I love them but people who have them hold on to them. I can't afford a new one but will certainly look for one. I am solo with will be traveling and occasionally working as a vendor at shows and conventions. I like the Fleetwood Tioga and Jamboree and have to have the barrel chair. I believe the sofabed on my old conversion van was made by flexsteel, so I will look for that if I go that route. I hadn't thought about the slide out possible leaks. That is why I like these forums. Great info.
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Old 03-09-2013, 12:53 PM   #4
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Thanks. For us, our Jamboree (Tioga is essentially the same) was the best compromise of meeting our needs. Look for the 24D model. We found a 2001 with 18k miles in great shape. Model specs: http://fleetwoodrv.com/frvlibrary/do...2001_jar_b.pdf. Winnebago has models with a similar layout for the era.

The Ralleye is the entry model. The standard Jamboree and Tioga have added cabinets in the bathroom, shower surround and fancier exterior trim.

Areas to watch for leaks: rigs of this vintage have a rubber roof membrane. Many folks prefer metal or fiberglass but they can readily leak as well. The leak prone areas on class c are over the cab/sleeping area, and in the rear bath area near the skylight and roof vent. Check the TV antenna and fridge as well. (TV antenna has a simple o-ring that wears out, allowing water to enter along the crankshaft). Ours had a leak at the skylight I found on inspection and required the dealer to remove the skylight as well as all of the dicor self leveling caulk in that area, re-seat it and re-apply. In our case there were no structural compromises as a result of the leak and it is no longer an issue. I did use it as a price reduction point regardless. The prior owner had attempted a cheesy repair with gobs of stuff that did not work. If you get a chance to see a rig in the rain, do so. We found a surprising number with leaks and sidewall delamination problems on several rigs that caused me to decide to walk away. Sadly, so many people park their RVs outdoors and do not inspect them for leaks during the off season. We have friends with a 5th wheel they bought new in 2001, camped twice and parked it for 10 years. Leaks came in and dry rotted the entire floor in the back kitchen area - taking a $30,000 rig (new) that was sold for $2,500.

Not having a slide out allows for more net cargo carrying capacity (how much gear and people you can carry). The hitch on some rigs (ours) is limited to 3,500 pounds, which does impact the size of towable if you choose to pull a dinghy. Many newer rigs have 5,000 pound tow hitches but you still need to keep an eye on the max "gross combined weight rating (GCWR). Just because it has a 5,000 pound capacity hitch does not mean that your rig can tow without being overweight.

Tip: if it does not have a built-in microwave installed, there is electric already run for it under the overhead cabinet floor in the cabinet nearest to the door. That was our first easy upgrade. I also used that cabinet door to add more storage to the left of the stove (wasted space).

These rigs have the generator directly behind the drivers door and fresh water is under the dinette. Some other competitors place these under the rear corner bed and behind the axle. This impacts handling characteristics by placing a lot of weight behind the rear axle. Our plumbing is also PEX style rather than the grey plastic stuff found in older rigs (brittle). This makes for easier fixes should you ever need to repair.

I've been tempted to change the rear bed into an L-Shaped dinette like what was available on Winnebagos of the vintage and is an option on the current 24 foot Jamboree DSL. This would give added seating area for when we camp with friends. The drawback is a less comfortable bed (foam instead of innerspring mattress). A portion of the under bed area is wasted space - another place where you can add a cabinet door and increase inside storage, install a small hidden safe, etc.

For us, having this class C has really opened up options for us that we would not otherwise have due to a family member with medical issues.

Hope this is helpful.
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84 Mazda B2000 'w canopy,
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Old 03-12-2013, 01:07 PM   #5
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Thanks I believe the 24D floorplan is right up my alley and I will be looking for it or similar. I hope I can find the Chevy/GMC chassis. If not I will go for Ford and get the suspension beefed up if necessary. Thanks again.
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