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Old 07-14-2013, 08:52 PM   #1
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Class C Reliabilty

I am new to this forum so hopefully this has not been answered already. My wife and I are considering buying a Class C motorhome instead of a travel trailer. I keep hearing from numerous friends and family members that we should reconsider because motorhomes constantly break down and need mechanical work. We love the conveniences of a motorhome and prefer it over a travel trailer, though we are not anti-travel trailer. We would like to know what experience anyone on this forum might have with this subject. Any information would be appreciated.
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Old 07-14-2013, 08:58 PM   #2
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Most class C's are on a Ford econoline chassis with a V10. They are very reliable. There is always maintenance to a motorhome but I would have to imagine it is similar to a travel trailer. As long as it is a good quality motorhome coach builder, I could not see any issues.
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:00 PM   #3
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As with anything, the more complex it is, the more opportunities for break-downs and the maintenance required.

A class C could be as reliable as any other kind of RV depending on how it is equipped and whether or not the chassis is overloaded. Do your research and buy on the design and mechanicals and you should be alright.
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:12 PM   #4
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Sounds like your friends are jealous that you're moving into the motorhome world!

Of my three motorhomes, my original Class C was the MOST reliable!
Tom and Katharine
'07 Winnebago Tour 40TD, 400hp Cummins
'17 Winnebago View 24V, '02 R-Vision B+
RVing for 20 years & 200,000+ miles
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Old 07-14-2013, 11:27 PM   #5
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We own a 2000 Fleetwood Jamboree, 24ft, no push outs and its on the 350 frame with the Ford V10. We bought it from the original owners 3 1/2 yrs ago with 39k miles on it. It now has 57k miles and we just finished our 3rd trip from Colorado to NY and back. Have also been to AZ, CA, UT, and to Yellowstone WY on separate trips. We've not had any troubles at all. I believe a well manufactured rig, with proper maintenance is the key to any road vehicle. We love it.
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Old 07-14-2013, 11:38 PM   #6
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We did the bumper pull thing for about 6 years, enjoyed it. We now have 31 ft Chateau with one big slide out. We have two college daughters and two English Golden Retrievers, throw in a niece and a boyfriend or two and we have a pretty full house. But half the fun in the trip is getting there. They play games, watch movies, stretch out, eat and that bathroom is right there. So far we really enjoy ours and maintenance cost is pretty reasonable. We pull a 2005 Jeep Wrangler soft top which you don't really know the thing is back there.
2019 Thor Quantum LF 31 (2005 Jeep Wrangler)
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:42 AM   #7
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The people that you hear talking that way either don't actually have an RV or have one that that do not do the required maintenance on. You have to remember that what you have is a house on a truck. It will require all the maintenance of both. Both need annual maintenance with no regard for how little they are used. So, if you get any RV, plan on doing the maintenance and inspecting all parts of it regularly if you want it to be dependable.

My coach is forty years old. I schedule and complete excursions regularly. This year we have put over six thousand miles on it and it did require a twenty dollar repair over a thousand miles from home.

A lifelong waterman and his bride going dry places for as long as the fuel money lasts.
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:28 AM   #8
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As has been mentioned, a C is really a trailer on a truck. They are usually very reliable if maintained.
You see a lot of older C's still on the road. They are easily serviced and generally affordable.
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:58 PM   #9
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Don't take this re your friends/family those type of people that scratch their heads when they look under the hood of a car? if so, anything with an engine would seem complicated.....but the reality is a Class C is no less reliable than any other truck. Ford V10 is great over all. The coach part varies depending on manufacturer, but preventative maintenance is key. If you are the type of folks that take would take an RV to the dealership and give them your wallet anytime you hear a squeak, rattle, or find a loose hinge, then I doubt there's a Motorhome out there for you. But if you get educated, and do what work you can do yourself (like caulking), then you can have a lot of fun for not a lot of money. If 90yr old ppl can do it, you can too!

Our little 1977 Class C needed nothing major ever in its lifetime. It's still going strong and looks just like the day it was new.
36ft Damon Intruder Class A - 37ft National Sea Breeze LX Class A
-Past RVs: 19ft Sportsman, 24ft Jayco, 30ft Coachmen Mirada. We had some good times.
"Im a car've been warned" lol
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Old 07-17-2013, 10:04 PM   #10
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My Class C is on a Mercedes chassis and I've had no problems at all with ANYTHING since getting it new in May 2012. It's a 2012 Itasca (another brand made by Winnebago) Navion iQ. I'm very impressed with the quality and workmanship they put into it. I feel very lucky because I knew nothing about motor homes, 5th weeks, TTs, etc. since I had not done any research I wouldn't recommend doing the same as I. The more you know the better chance you have of making a good decision and getting a rig that's reliable, not a money pit and has everything you want.
Sandi plus Abby (shih-poo) and Bindi (maltipoo)
2012 Itasca Navion iQ 24G
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:48 AM   #11
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Any motor in an RV is subject to breakdowns, but then so is the motor in a truck towing a trailer.

Any appliance in any type of RV, or running gear, or anything else attached just may break down, as may a towing vehicle.

One thing is for sure, IMHO, if you own a boat, plane, or RV, chances are you may have to pour some money into it at some point in time.

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Old 07-18-2013, 08:16 PM   #12
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The other point most people don't think of is the engineering / design aspect of the drivetrain.

I've run across some pretty 'unconventional' advice from dealer staff over the years. Amongst the 'hall of shame' winners was a' truck expert' who told me, not suggested, told me, that if I was going to haul a trailer I had to order a 4x4 not 2WD "because everybody KNOWS a4x4 is much stronger, and a "professional MASTER salesman" (there's amateur & professional salesmen? Who knew?) who tried to tell me that I didn't need to special order a truck because he 'custom' ordered trucks so they'd always have a couple in stock. He then proceeded to show me the 'special' 1/2 ton 4x4's he'd ordered with "3/4 ton motors & transmissions" for trailering.

Yeah, ok.

But my point is when you get a Class C m/h you can be SURE that both the chassis & m/h manufacturers have checked, and likely double-checked, that the drivetrain is up to the task of getting the whole rig down the highway AND back home to the best of their ability.
Ted 'n' Laurie, plus Jackson (aka Deputy Dog, the Parson Russell Terrier 'fur kid') and, Rylie (who crossed the Rainbow Bridge June 14, 2012).
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Old 07-18-2013, 08:24 PM   #13
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Motorhomes have more systems than a typical TT.
They've got generators and associated distribution.
Swithching for electrical.
Multiple batteries and chargers.
And all of that isn't considering the additional "truck" that you just bought.

Both the Ford V10 and Sprinter diesel chassis are very well proven.
You will have some issues, even with a new one.
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:17 AM   #14
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Basically going to repeat what everyone has already said... new depends on the builder and used depends on the PI(previous idiot) or PO if you're lucky and if they kept u. Mine was owned by someone in the middle. Ours wasn't bad but all the small stuff was neglected. The major things for us is the rear seal on the trans with only 26k (serves me right for buying a Chevy) and a roof leak I missed. I'd still call our reliable just needs some finishing touches.
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