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Old 04-06-2012, 07:28 PM   #1
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Would we be happy with a Class C?

Our family of five (mom, dad, 4yr old, 3yr old, &1yr old) are going on an adventure. Complete newbies to rving as in never done it. Been looking at some older class c's (95 & up to early 00's) as well as other options to haul our family from OR to FL. Any recommendations? I'm looking for a solid beginners RV. Want a happy husband, happy kids makes a happy mom!!!
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Old 04-06-2012, 08:38 PM   #2
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Our first motorhome was a 1999 class C with no slides bought in 2004. After a week camping in the rain in the small space, we decided to upgrade, three months later we traded it in on 2003 class A with two slides. Slides were a must for us, didn't matter if it was a class C or A, never any regrets. The extra space the slide gives made a huge difference.
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Old 04-06-2012, 09:15 PM   #3
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we just got home from our first trip in our new to us 1994 coachman class C. it was great, we put on 1000 miles. I love the class C because it has the bunk above the front seats, a couch, a table and a bed in the back. we have my wife and I, 2 girls (8 & 12) and a son (15) and they all slept very comforatbly. the van style chassis handled nicely, and I was suprised how easy it was to see around it and move it down the highway. We bought it from a private individual that had maintained it and kept great care of it. There are a lot of good used RVs out there, like anything else there is probably a lot of junk. call and talk to the owners, and go take a look at them. I've camped in all kinds of things over the years, and I've traveled in all kinds of vehicles. I think the family traveled easiest in the MH...it sure was nice to not have to look for a bathroom every couple hours.
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Old 04-06-2012, 09:38 PM   #4
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A class C would be fine MAKE SURE to GET a SLIDE. It makes a huge differance even though its only a couple of feet added to the floor space. Get ready to LEARN a LOT about all the systems in a HOUSE on wheels. You are doing the right thing starting here asking questions. I would offer some advice make sure you can park it at home check city codes. Also make sure you can get it onto your property to park(ask me how I know this one).
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Old 04-07-2012, 05:55 PM   #5
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Well we scouted our first private party class C a 98 Fleetwood Tioga 29' with 103K. I liked the layout and seemed to be the perfect size for our family. My husband took it around the block and felt comfortable with driving it much like most said like driving a really big van. It was the lower end of the price range at 10K we had around 15k to spend. But thinking it might need tire and oil change. Has been regularly used and maintained. I was looking for no slides because one less thing to worry about leaking and wanted ease when parked in a parking lot or rest area to have access to whatever I needed. I liked having a master walk around queen in back looked like a standard queen size or could fit one. Noticed some wrinkling in the wall up near the front bunk left-hand side and mold in the window sill same side. The wall was dry and no water under mattress that I could tell. The owner said it was like that when he bought it and that his RV inspector said it was probably a result of damage when they replaced the overcab due to branches puncturing it (reason no window). Otherwise couldn't find any other spots of concern when checked over. So we'll see the price seems good and hard to find that year and model in our area or others for that matter.
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Old 04-07-2012, 06:05 PM   #6
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Well, some families of five would be happy in a tent. We started out backpacking, then tent, popup, Class C, Class A, and now a fifth wheel. We did a lot of camping in the C with three kids at one point. It did not have a slideout.

I recommend you cruise used C's at dealerships with the entire family, and visualize how you'd all fit comfortably. Sit in them for as many minutes as you can to see how you'd live in one. Keep in mind you'll probably spend a lot of daylight outside, and an add on screenroom helps with livability. I'd also recommend you find one with a slide and a separate back bedroom for you. Kids love the cabover bed, and older folks would rather not climb LOL.
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:23 PM   #7
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Welcome. We are a family of 4 also from Oregon. Have a 2001 25 foot class C with 18,000 miles and love it. Found it at a reputable dealer for (consignment) a little more than your top budget figure. No slides in our case for the same reasons you mention and in rainy Oregon. We opted for the corner bed mainly because we wanted to keep the length under 26 feet for easy parking and such. I agree that the Walk around bed is nicer. Bring your bikes on trips for more fun in camp. Based on your kids, you may have times that you use the RV for trips to town. In our case, we got a dolly off of Craigslist to tow our car to camp for greater options on rainy camping days that are a reality in Oregon. For long distance trips, we just drive the RV and rent a cheap car when we get there.

Be ready to dicker on price. We were able to get ours for our budget and lots less than the dealer had posted.

You will find many days that you will go camping in Oregon that you wouldn't do in the past due to weather.
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:42 PM   #8
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The #1 complaint from my customers was from the wife. There is only a small amount of foot space on the passenger side. The passenger can only sit with their feet close together.
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Old 04-07-2012, 09:13 PM   #9
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Oh and if you have a chance to view one in the rain, that's good to do as well. We found several that looked great but had leaks that the rain revealed. Being water tight is very important, especially where we live. We have family that had a 5th wheel parked for 10 years in Beaverton at a storage lot. Bought brand new and only used a few times. Leaks started, rotted the floor and other areas. In the end, a $25k trailer was sold for $2,800 10 years later due to the damage. Some that are stored under cover may be hiding a leak. Lots of other posts here on keeping the roof, vents, skylights etc in good shape.

If you can afford it, consider renting storage such as a pole building. Be vigilant about protecting your rig, keep an eye on it during the wet months just like you do with a home. Mine is away from my home (storage) but i still stop by at least every other week. Easy and only a moment to do.

Finally, if you find a private party deal, if possible, make sure they aren't just selling it from an auction or for a friend and don't have any of the history of the rig. We found a lot of them that fell into this category that turned out to be "leakers" when we saw them in the rain. Our dealer included a 90 day warranty on the deal. On our first camp out, we noticed the fridge wouldn't light consistently and the hot water heater was pulsing. The dealer took care of it at no cost.

Best wishes.
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Old 04-07-2012, 09:31 PM   #10
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If you haven't purchased it yet, look into finding someone who can inspect it for you. If you can locate a reputable mobile RV repair person I believe the investment you make will be worth while. No point in investing $10K if it is only worth $7K.

Good luck
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Old 04-07-2012, 09:48 PM   #11
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Out first unit was a 31ft class c with a super slide. I called it a two bedroom model. I would not consider a unit without a slide. Two would be better. The extra room is priceless. And none of my slides has given me any trouble. I installed levelers on my unit as well. Got tired of sleeping on my head. Anyway, the journey is more important than where you lay your head.
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Old 04-07-2012, 09:51 PM   #12
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There are hundreds of 'correct' answers to your question. There are so many options available in RVs that it's hard to decide. I'll tell you how we chose our RV, maybe it will be helpful. We have two children and have always enjoyed camping. We started by renting a class A each time we went on vacation. The company we rented from had different styles and makes of RVs so we tried a different one each time. Doing it this way allowed us to spend time living in the RV and learning what we liked and didn't like about each style and layout. The one option that surprised us was the slide. We didn't think it would make that much difference but it really does. Storage inside and out and access to that storage is also a big item. Most RVs that we rented had storage under the dinning room seats but they didn't all have easy access to the storage area. Some you had to lift the seat cushions to get to the storage area and others had doors with slide out trays which was more convenient. We also found out we didn't like the basement storage that comes out with the slide because the storage area is smaller that way, although I now have to crawl under the slide while parked to access those two storage compartments. Lot of trade-offs that you can't always think about until you spent a good deal of time in a RV.
One of the earlier suggestions was to go to a dealer and look which would give you more units to look at in one place and compare. Is there a RV show near you in the next month or so?

Best of luck with your search. You'll start building great memories on the very first trip!
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Old 04-08-2012, 09:03 AM   #13
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you might rent a 29-32ft Class C to see if you guys fit / can live in it - they typically are being rented without slides... honestly renting motorhomes makes financially more sense than owning them (unless you use them all the time).

Most people pick the wrong model the very first time - rent, then buy once you know what'll work for your family.

With older Class C's > 29ft beware the CCC (cross carrying weight) - look for the yellow sticker in the chassis that tells you how much the MH can carry, 1250 pounds minimum.
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:26 AM   #14
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Good point. There is a good local RV rental place in Wilsonville Oregon. They offer the option to timeshare your RV as well if you buy it from them. http://www.portlandrvrentals.com/
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