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Class C Motorhomes

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Anybody here have one? I'm looking to get a used one and have some questions...

1. Best place for insurance and how much per year?

2. Best place for loans. So far B of A is 14%

3. Any red flags to look for when buying used?

4. Lessons learned/what would you do different if you could do it again?

I'm looking to spend about $7,500. I'm not interrested in new or more expensive RV's, and I don't want a trailer/toyhauler.

Thanks Guys!

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Sorry guys...just realized there is an RV section! Can someone move this over there for me?

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I have a Class A RV ('05 Winnebago Sightseer 29R). A good, rather small, Class A. Able to go down some pretty gnarly dirt roads since it has a great power/weight ratio (8.1L Vortec (~425hp) and only 14,000 lbs, dry and empty). It has independent front suspension so it drives like a huge SUV (as opposed to the live axle, rut finding types).

I have Progressive Insurance. I don't know the premiums but I can ask the Wife/CFO. I know they had the best prices though.

Before you get set on a Class C, look at Class A's. They tend to be roomier, better view of the road, less cramped driving compartment and much better in seeing behind you (mirrors don't have to stick out past the 'box').

I bought new, used some of that California real estate money I walked out of Cali with back in '04. But I was shopping for new/used A's and C's.

Generally RV's have low miles so engine wear isn't a big thing. Although C's tend to be underpowered therefore over-stressed motors (small blocks). A's tend to be big blocks and diesels. Since the typical RV sits around more than it's used look for that kind of wear, like old cracking rubber, bad seals, etc.

Smell the auto-trans fluid, see if it smells like burnt caramel. Big trucks can fry auto-tranny's! Especially C's since they tend to have SUV or big pick-up tranny's (A's tend to have Allisons or tranny's for big step-vans or semi's).

Make sure to test/check-out the charging system and condition of the deep cycles. You'll probably change out all the batteries but the condition of the existing ones may foretell other problems, like the charging system.

Look at the grey and black tanks, valves, etc. Look for functionality (valves), calcium and other residues. look for calcium build-up in all the faucets, look for leaks. Have the seller put water in it and check the pump, etc, leaks, etc.

Stand in it and smell! Lots of older RV's have rust and mold!

Inspect the undercarriage, or ask how they used it...i.e, off-roading, parks only. Who had it? Young off-roaders (when I sell mine, it probably will be worn-out) or retiree's (it's probably nice!).

Check out the alignment and tire wear for other suspension problems. Definitely test drive it. Find a big parking lot, also go down a dirt road. CHECK THE BRAKES!!! (and brake fluid). Also signs of overheating, condition of the radiator and that little hole on the bottom of the water pump, tell-tale sign of cooling problems if there is residue under that hole!

This is a great time to buy an RV! All those yahoos that over-spent there credit cards are hurtin' now.

If you got any more specific questions PM me. I grew up with RV's and trailers, know them pretty damn well.

Expect to sink some money in them over time. RV's, like houses, tend to be money pits from time-to-time. But in the long run, imho, it was one of the best purchases I ever made. We have soooo much fun RV'ing. We pull either my sled trailer with all the toys (2 4-wheelers, 2 bikes) for off-road trips...or I pull my little Tacoma w/ 2 bikes in it. We don't do hotels any more! It also serves as a cool extra bedroom when friends stay over, or when the power is out in the house (oh yeah, check out the generator if it has one. Most people neglect it!).

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Oh yeah, also look into tax breaks. Here in Utah we have to pay property tax on the RV, but we also get a tax break too since it's considered a living quarter (I don't know the exact specifics, but I can ask the Wife/CFO).

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Basicly what DrThumper said. Weve got a class C and it's been a great motor home. We do have it for sale at the moment, shoot me a P.M. if interested.

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Damn Dr! Great post. Thanks for all the info. With the older motorhomes, is the Chevy or Ford better and why?

MXVET - Any pictures or other details on your C?

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The front bunk windows on class c are famous for water leaks so look for that. If your looking at a fibreglass body look for delamination around the windows and where the panels join together, delam is expensive to fix. I think you can get more coach for your money with a class A, but thats your choice.

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Ford has that Triton V-10, my Dad's 30ft Class A has it, but my 8.1L Vortec can kick it's ass (I love drag racing my RV...). I heard they are (or already) came out with a bigger, better V-10. I'll stick with my 8.1, easy to find parts for (used in Silverado's etc).

My Winnebago is a Workhorse Chassis, originally they were GM's but now Workhorse is independent. The Ford's still have that non-forgiving, rut-finding front suspension, the Workhorse (P-32) has the independent front end.

Since your looking at "C's", I think they mostly are independent front ends anyways.

I just want to encourage you to at least look at an "A" or 2, you may like the roomy cockpit, overhead TV and ease of getting in and out of the Captain's chair. Also the better views.

One plus for a "C" though, you can exit the vehicle thru the driver's door, I have to go to the coach door to get out.

Oh yeah, also a "A" is considered, legally, a house and needs warrant for a cop to enter. A "C" the cop can inspect the drivers quarters on whim, although they cannot enter the back (like a limo). Just in case your swigging a beer on a long drive....

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My wife says no-go on the "A" and I think they're too big for our storage along the side of out house. Not sure our budget permits the price of an "A" either.

I thought it was okay to drink in a motorhome on the road (if you're not driving)...anyone know the law for California?

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My wife says no-go on the "A" and I think they're too big for our storage along the side of out house. Not sure our budget permits the price of an "A" either.

I thought it was okay to drink in a motorhome on the road (if you're not driving)...anyone know the law for California?

In an "A", in every seat but the driver's. In a "C" you gotta be in the back.

Double check your storage ability. The "Box" on any given "A" may be the same size as a "C". Both will be approx 12-13 foot high (depending on A/C, vents, etc). A 27-29' "A" is smaller than a common 30' "C". And that "C" is going to have mirrors way out there.

Any choice you make, your gonna love RV'ing! Hope to see you out on the road someday!:)

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I started with a used Class A (Chevy 454), had it for maybe 8 years. Sold it and got a used class C (1999 Jamboree 29' with slide-out and the Ford V10 engine).

The Chevy (at a similar age) was leaking oil whereas the Triton is clean and dry.

Trannies, power steering and brakes are all critical as are water leaks, systems (refrigerator, furnace, hot water heater, water pump, toilet, holding tanks, etc.). Generator too.

General advice - figure out how many beds you need (or want) and go from there. The Class A's are nicer for touring (driving through a national park and getting a view out the window) but the C's can sleep more adults comfortably.

Get the newest, lowest mileage unit in your budget range. With the older ones you'll find it gets hard to find parts! Even for things like steering mechanisms! Or if you find them they are pricey!

We're very happy with the Jamboree 29' with slide-out. It's "home" when I'm out dirt bike riding in the desert.

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Anybody here have one? I'm looking to get a used one and have some questions...

1. Best place for insurance and how much per year?

2. Best place for loans. So far B of A is 14%

3. Any red flags to look for when buying used?

4. Lessons learned/what would you do different if you could do it again?

I'm looking to spend about $7,500. I'm not interrested in new or more expensive RV's, and I don't want a trailer/toyhauler.

Thanks Guys!

First off, let me welcome you to the Trucks/Trailers section of TT!:thumbsup:

I'd keep shopping on that loan....14% is a bit brutal, IMHO.

If you're shopping Class C, the first question to ask is "Does this unit have a full frame that extends all the way to the rear bumper"? If not, keep walking. Some units had long overhangs, which the coach mfgr supported with a lighter frame, which is lame, but more importantly, unsuitable for towing (I assume you're going to want to take the bikes with).

One thing to look at closely is for evidence of scrapeage on frames/tanks-this is a sign that it was driven off-road, and may have more critical damage than you are able to notice on a visual inspection (diamond'ed frame for example).

Here's a good checklist that covers just about anything coach related on an RV- http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?p=4764693#post4764693

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Another thing to consider is storage capacities. Class A's usually have bigger fresh/grey/black water holding tanks. Just another thing to look at.

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Open all the cupboards and look for water leaks at the area where the wall meets the ceiling. It'll tell you if the roof ever leaked.

My experience has been this: I like the class A. But my wife won't drive one. She does drive our class C. She said she couldn't get comfortable in the driver's seat of the class A and felt like she was driving a bus. I like the class A, because of all the water storage they have. They're great for 'standing alone'. Usually, the Class A is taller than the class C. The tires are bigger too and I'm guessing more expensive on the A.

Most National Forest Campgrounds have a length limit, usually around 30'. Good to know if you're planning on doing any camping there.

I have a V-10. My Dad has a 460 V-8. Both Ford engines. The 460 is a bigger engine and has more guts than the V-10.

I drove a 30' class A with a V-10 in it and it shifted constantly. That would have to be hard on a tranny.

To hit the $7500 mark, I'm guessing you'll need to go back to the early 90s. If that's the case, you might have trouble finding anything on a Chevy chassis. Chevy built a limited number of shorter rigs back then, but once you get to a certain length, you might only be able to find Ford chassis. I've been in both and I like both. We wanted a rear bedroom and needed the length for it, so we have a Ford (31').

From what I've seen, there are alot of nice rigs from the 90s and they're far from being worn out. Too bad you're not in PA. Dad's '93 Four Winds is for sale for just a bit more than you're wanting to spend. There's been alot of good advice given so far. Good luck...jkm

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Hey there!

We've had both, and we preferred the "A's" since it had more room for the girls to play. Made a HUGE difference on a hot day in the desert, when all they can do is sit at camp. The "C", like someone said before, leaked like a sieve from the upper bunk, no matter how many times we tried to seal it. We could also tow more with the "A", my hub had read somewhere that "C's" are split frames (truck front end, box RV back) where the "A's" are one frame. Both were 27 feet, but the "A" felt much bigger. Although, I did like how the cockpit was sunk down, kinda separated from the kids and noise. But road vision sucked. I drove once, and refused to do it again. And the rattling and shaking of a MH got to me after a while. i had grown up RV'ing, but you don't notice stuff like that as a kid.

Another thing to think about, is most "C's" have a dually rear end, and cost more in tires, toll fees, etc. When we bought both of our MH's, we learned a hard lesson on not making sure the tires were good. He was more concerned about how it ran, with him being a mechanic. He didn't even notice the tires were sun rotted. Oops.

BTW, we're selling my KX, if your interested for the wifey. I'm on the WR full time now.

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Thanks for all the advice guys/gals! We are still looking, and finding out what floorplans we like the most. I think the "C's" are the way to go for us. We don't need the towing capacity of an "A" and the "A's" are a little too big to store at our house. I think we can get a nicer "C" for our buget as well. We have a lot more to look at and probably won't make a decision for a couple more months. It's nice to have help...thanks!

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my hub had read somewhere that "C's" are split frames (truck front end, box RV back) where the "A's" are one frame.

The C is a full frame, but a two piece body. The front half is an van chassis cutaway cab, with the coach builder's body built onto that, while an A's body is built completely by the coach mfgr.

Both frames are built by the chassis mfgr as complete units....the only drawback is that on a C, that the rearmost section of the frame (behind the rear spring mounts) may be an add-on by the coach mfgr to fit their body.

A "C" unit uses the same frames as a cube van.

Another thing to think about, is most "C's" have a dually rear end, and cost more in tires, toll fees, etc. When we bought both of our MH's, we learned a hard lesson on not making sure the tires were good. He was more concerned about how it ran, with him being a mechanic. He didn't even notice the tires were sun rotted. Oops.

Every "A" unit I've seen a dually.

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Got one!

'90 Class c party model 26' with 15k miles! Perfect condition and can't wait to get out there and use it! It's been covered since new, so the paint and roof are perfect, tires are good, headers/exhaust, K&N, CD player, electric Jacks...ready for the desert!

Now the wife needs a bike!

:doh::snore::lol:

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Got one!

'90 Class c party model 26' with 15k miles! Perfect condition and can't wait to get out there and use it! It's been covered since new, so the paint and roof are perfect, tires are good, headers/exhaust, K&N, CD player, electric Jacks...ready for the desert!

Now the wife needs a bike!

:snore::lol::banana:

I have jacks on mine .. :doh: Big plus. We need some pics of the new ride...

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