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Old 10-25-2021, 09:16 AM   #1
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Newbie buying a used class C

We're looking for a used class C since we want something driveable but not too big. I have trouble backing up in a car, much less with a trailer on the back which is another reason for the class C.

My wife and I are both retired and want to travel some, maybe 3-5 months out of the year in 2-5 week increments. We've talked about it for years and are now both retired. We have a dog and don't want to board her or pawn her off on family.

I'm only comfortable spending $25-35K initially. If we take to the lifestyle, I could see us upgrading to something newer or even a class A. I don't know if the price point is reasonable or if I'm just going to end of with something that has problems I didn't detect and will sour us on the whole concept.

Part of me thinks this is a mistake waiting to happen, so I'd appreciate any feedback or advice, regardless of how harsh.
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Old 10-25-2021, 10:28 AM   #2
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We lived in Class A's for work, then spent a year with nothing.

Now we have a 2011 24' Class C that is just for recreation, such as you want to do. We found it for $30,000 with only 8,250 miles on it. It is also a mild hobby of mine, so I am consistently doing something to it.

Overall needed repairs have been very mild. The microwave went bad, bought a replacement at Lowe's. A small water leak at the water pump, etc...

The thing to remember about Class Cs, they are built to be sold cheap. Knowing this can help with expectations.
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Old 10-25-2021, 10:37 AM   #3
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And most of the class Cs have a warning sign right across the front hood:
FORD, which is an abbreviation for Fix Or Repair Daily!!!!!
OH OH!!??
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Old 10-25-2021, 10:44 AM   #4
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Cool Rent one first...

Before you plop down your hard earned money rent a Class C FIRST. You can then discover how comfortable you are actually driving it as well as just how comfortable/practical it will be for your planned usage. Keep in mind almost any used RV is bound to have maintenance/repair issue and you will need to be prepared to either do it yourself or write checks.

For the record we have owned our 24' C for 8+ years and while I do most off the maintenance knowing when to calling a pro has been essential. Try a rental for a couple of short trips and you will be much better prepared to shop. Look for a floor plan that will work best for you and keep researching for the things to be most concerned with {as in water damage of ANY kind} along with the features that you will most enjoy {a functional gallery, sleeping arrangements that work for you etc.}.

Lastly be aware that the used RV market is beyond insane right now with absurd prices being asked across the board. Speculation that there will be an easing of this sellers market in the next year or so might be worth considering.

As always... Opinions and YMMV. good luck!

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Old 10-25-2021, 10:47 AM   #5
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Hi rsobelman,

Boy oh boy, I surely understand your question and your position.

The old saying "You get what you pay for" holds some truth, yet not in every case. If buying a rig for two retired adults in that price range, nearly every rig you consider will be older that were always kept outdoors. The elements are very hard on the chassis and house, most especially slide-outs. Slide-outs do not age well, most especially when the rig is always outdoors in the elements.

You also implied "smaller, easy to drive and backup" which means the size you seek are more apt to be stored indoors, obviously a big advantage and selling point.

We bought our rig new back in 2007 (14 years ago) and keep it in our garage when not using it. CLICK HERE to see pictures of it today. Our rig today even has a hint of that like-new smell inside. We special ordered it without a slide-out for trouble-free long term ownership. Our plan is to own it until we are too old and dangerous to drive it. We are 63 years old this year so we still have many more years to go.

Like you seek, we appreciate our 2007 PHOENIX CRUISER 2350's scaled-down dimensions for it's ease of driving and maneuvering. Our particular model measures only 23'-8" long, 93 inches wide, and 9'-10" to the highest point, the top of the a/c unit. It is too long to fit in a single automobile parking spot, but is friendly outside of that.

We choose the model and floor plan with just the two of us in-mind. When shopping, we had three "no-compromise" requirements.
1) It must fit inside our garage.
2) It must have a main floor double bed accommodating two adults.
3) It must have a dinette.

Our rig offered many bonuses. It has everything the bigger rigs have, but in the smallest package possible. This includes decent fresh water and waste water capacities. Every feature is equivalent to a large class-C motorhome, from every kitchen appliance, to the bathroom, to the generator, two house batteries, and even a whole house inverter for 110V electricity all the time.

Our dinette converts into a single bed which we have utilized rarely for a guest and once when I fell ill during a trip.

Our rig happens to be built very well. Unlike many class-C's, the construction methods are above average with workmanship, engineering and design. It's a lot better where it matters most.....what you don't see or think about.

The video (slide show with narration) below was initially made for the 2007 model year, then updated in 2008. It covers lots of points you won't see practiced in the construction of other motorhomes. So when looking for an older rig, these construction practices become even more important to have.

For reference, I know someone who recently purchase a 2008 Phoenix Cruiser 2350 with no slide-out, less than 50,000 miles, stored indoors all it's life, for $28,000. They are very hard to find, most especially without a slide-out. You need to search nation-wide and get on an airplane ASAP or it will be bought out from under you.

Phoenix USA built one PC a week for many years. I think they increased production to two per week in more recent years. It's a small privately owned company that changed ownership three to four years ago.

If you prefer twin beds, check out model 2551 which was phased out just this year. Model 2350 was phased out with it so you won't find either on Phoenix's website today. Their one-foot longer siblings have been in much higher demand so they dropped the two shorter models.

PS: Captain Steve's reply above offers sound advice.
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Old 10-25-2021, 11:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NITEHAWK View Post
And most of the class Cs have a warning sign right across the front hood:
FORD, which is an abbreviation for Fix Or Repair Daily!!!!!
OH OH!!??
I assume you are kidding around.

The Ford E350 and E450 chassis, especially from 2004 to current-day, are considered extremely reliable. Many people like myself have invested in suspension upgrades for improved handling, but the chassis is most trustworthy.

I think the worst is the Mercedes Sprinter diesel with all it's systems that are extremely sensitive to the type of diesel fuel you buy. They also need to be driven more regularly to keep things from becoming troublesome.
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Old 10-25-2021, 11:59 AM   #7
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In reality, the point I was kidding about was the fact that almost anything can and will go bad or break down. It doesn't always have to be the drive train. The drive trains, be Ford, GM or Fiat, are built to way different standards and specs than the rest of the RV and its components supplied by different manufacturers.
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Old 10-25-2021, 06:30 PM   #8
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It you are a newbie to a motorhome and are not handy or care to be..

Rent some, spend alot of time looking, asking, make friends with one LOL

Seriously I spent from 2000 to present day traveling to offroad motorcycle events at a pace of 15-43 weekends a year,,
these events in early 200s had a few motorhomes and travel trailers and towhaulers..many vans,plain and custom.
I did the Custom Vans and a enclosed trailer from 1999 til 2011ish.. I got a small C or B+ custom converted unit, couple years back I got a low mile 29.5 foot C. as a lets make it my way but it had 90% of all my wants and desires..or atleast the bare layout..
During those years I hung, stayed with friends that had the crem de crem hi end to older barely made it to event... I heard the good, bad and ugly......

I am DIY guy, that can do it all from rebuild a motor to recharge the roof AC or replace roof.. not that I want to do that stuff....

SO MY POINT is find one that fits your needs by size etc, room for you on a rainy day and all your stuff.. IMO going from a 21 ft to a 29, was no issue, sure in town when I have to jocky around or with my trailer on. Regardless I like the extra room for stuff.. I like to have what I need.. I am not a go get use stuff once.. toss and then get something else,, move on, guy..

Good service records are important, I rather a unit that is consistently used and cared for than one that is low use and has been sitting more than being used...
In a 3 year period of owning a 137K miles used 21 footer, 20 year old and 29K miles 20 year old, 29 footer... I spend just about the same on mechanical stuff in maintaining and updates..

So go find some RV.s take some pics and make notes.. come back here ask some questions,, many good folks here from all walks of life, likes and dislike, happy campers and grumpy campers LOL
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Old 10-26-2021, 03:22 PM   #9
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If you are considering anything over 25 ft in length, seriously look at a small class A instead of a class C for such travel, modern class A's in the 26-28 ft range have a LOT more cargo carrying capacity and a LOT more functional interior space than most similar size class C's. This all comes down to being built on 16,000 - 20,500 GVWR chassis vs 12,500 - 14,500 GVWR chassis on the class C's
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Old 10-26-2021, 04:43 PM   #10
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We have owned both Class C's and A's and also started with the class C because of the reasons you expressed. We started out with a 1998 Born Free that was 23' in length and was an absolutely great coach. We decided we liked the camping experience enough that we wanted to take longer trips and with 3 pets 23' was a little cramped. We ended up just short of 33' and find the extra space perfect for our needs. You should be able to find a coach for the price you mention but you may have to be willing to entertain an older, well maintained coach, there are many out there, so good luck.
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Old 10-26-2021, 11:48 PM   #11
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Used class C

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsobelman View Post
We're looking for a used class C since we want something driveable but not too big. I have trouble backing up in a car, much less with a trailer on the back which is another reason for the class C.

My wife and I are both retired and want to travel some, maybe 3-5 months out of the year in 2-5 week increments. We've talked about it for years and are now both retired. We have a dog and don't want to board her or pawn her off on family.

I'm only comfortable spending $25-35K initially. If we take to the lifestyle, I could see us upgrading to something newer or even a class A. I don't know if the price point is reasonable or if I'm just going to end of with something that has problems I didn't detect and will sour us on the whole concept.

Part of me thinks this is a mistake waiting to happen, so I'd appreciate any feedback or advice, regardless of how harsh.
I guess it depends on where you live. On the West Coast new and used RV's tend to be more expensive. We found a 2016 Winnebago Minnie Winnie 22r with a transferrable warranty still good for 1.5 years. 25,000 miles for $51k
Replaced the tires which were slightly cracked with weather, had an alignment done. You could always have a professional inspection on any rig you consider.
The Minnie Winnie is very easy to drive and maneuver. In less than 6 months we have made 6 trips all close by to home in San Diego. So far so good. My spouse is happy with the choice so therefore I am too!
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Old 10-29-2021, 09:50 PM   #12
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As mentioned.....it would be VERY wise for you to rent one and try it out. You will learn a lot about your wants/needs/etc.


As far as cost goes.....be aware that used RVs are currently about 40% more expensive than pre-Covid. Nobody knows if/when prices might go down (or how much).


-Chris
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Old 10-30-2021, 10:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsobelman View Post
We're looking for a used class C since we want something driveable but not too big

I'm only comfortable spending $25-35K initially. If we take to the lifestyle, I could see us upgrading to something newer or even a class A. I don't know if the price point is reasonable . . .
I recently finished searching for a Class C and ended up buying a Class A.

Your budget is about as low as you can go. However, my budget was $30k and I ended up with a good Class A for $29K.

Currently, it's a seller's market with not a lot of inventory in your price range. For example, look at the current < $35k units on PPL (Class C) and PPL (Class A) -- not a whole lot.

That said, if you take your time, you should be able to find a good used Class C or A, but you'll probably end up getting new tires and other repairs as you'll probably be buying a very used RV.
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Old 10-30-2021, 11:47 PM   #14
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Suspension upgrades for Ford E-350?

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Originally Posted by Ron Dittmer View Post
I assume you are kidding around.

The Ford E350 and E450 chassis, especially from 2004 to current-day, are considered extremely reliable. Many people like myself have invested in suspension upgrades for improved handling, but the chassis is most trustworthy.

I think the worst is the Mercedes Sprinter diesel with all it's systems that are extremely sensitive to the type of diesel fuel you buy. They also need to be driven more regularly to keep things from becoming troublesome.
What type of suspension upgrades? (2016 Minnie Winnie 22R on Ford E-350 Superduty
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