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Old 05-25-2015, 10:19 AM   #1
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It shouldn't be so hard to figure out

We've been trying to figure out just what RV we're going to get. We've looked at Class As, 5th wheels and Class Cs. We initially tossed out Class Cs until I started looking at the Super Cs which I now lump in with the Class As.

My DW likes the 5th wheels for two reasons.
  • You get more bang for your buck.
  • You can use the truck when not needing it to pull the 5er.
My issue with the 5th wheels are.
  • You can't get into many of the National parks due to the total over all combined length especially when trying to back into tight campground spots.
  • The truck needed to put the ones we like are way to big to be comfortable for daily driving.
  • You end up with a truck that's a lot bigger than one would normally need for daily use.
  • If your TV breaks down you're stuck until you can get help.
My DWs dislike for Class A DPs is the flat nose giving much less protection, which is somewhat my reason as well, and the whole thing does nothing when not traveling.

That brings us to the Super Cs. When I think Super C I'm only looking at a Diesel rig that's built on at least a Freightliner Business Class M2 chassis which leaves out the ones built on Ford F550 chassis.

So the pros and cons for a Super C are.

  • Easier to drive.
  • Tight 55 degree wheel just making it much easier to maneuver into tight spaces compared to a 5th wheel and a F450 or 3500.
  • I think the milage will be equal or better than a truck plus 5er and better than a typical DP.
  • If the Super C breaks down you still have the Toad to go get help.
  • Just about any truck stop can work on the drive train.
  • All in one so you cannot use the truck for daily use. (Big deal for the DW)
  • It has a little less space than a typical Class A of the same length.
So basically we're looking at a Pinnacle with a Ford F450 or Ram 3500 or a Seneca if we're talking Jayco. When it's all said and done the pricing between the two is close to the same plus or minus a few grand.

So right now we're basically checking out the Super C to see which one are in the running and then we'll make the Super C verses 5th wheel decision.

The two on the top of the list is the Jayco Seneca and the Dynamax Force. Both have basically the same floorpans with minor differences in furniture. They are so close that if you took off all of the brand markings it would be hard to tell them apart. The only huge downside to the Seneca that would move me to the Force is that you can't get it with a Residential Refrigerator and for us that's a BIG deal.

However the two year warrantee is a big plus for the Seneca. One thing I don't know is what the Freightliner chassis, Cummins and Allison warrantee are.

So we are debating the pros and cons trying to figure out which way to go. It should not be this hard.

John (N6BER), Joyce, Lucas (Golden Retriever mix) & Bella (Great Pyrenees)
Tustin, CA
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Old 05-25-2015, 10:56 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Timon View Post
WThe only huge downside to the Seneca that would move me to the Force is that you can't get it with a Residential Refrigerator and for us that's a BIG deal.
First you never know what JAYCO is going to offer in 2016 in the SENECA, at least I haven't seen thing on the 16's. The residential may be an option.

I think you need to look at how much time you will be in the unit. When we bought our SENECA in 08 it was being used for 3-4 week trips since DW was still teaching. Well after she retired those 3-4 week trips turned into 3-4 month trips. We were getting along fine in the Super "C" and actually started looking at a 2015. Long story short, after seeing the FLSA PINNACLE it was a very easy decision for us. Back to a FW, we had 2 in the 90's.

Just my 2 cents.....

PINNACLE 2015 38FLSA. aka: "Roam Sweet Home"
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Old 05-25-2015, 11:12 AM   #3
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My 2 cents for what its worth doesn't count for anything It will all boil down to what your DW wants
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Old 05-25-2015, 12:03 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by bedrck46 View Post
My 2 cents for what its worth doesn't count for anything It will all boil down to what your DW wants
Yep. Best to make sure she likes it.

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Old 05-25-2015, 12:20 PM   #5
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I have the 2016 changes sheet and there was nothing about an RR. You can see the first page below but you'll have to download to see all of it.

The basic floor plans haven't really changed but note they tossed in a 4K HDTV and Blu-Ray player and several other nice additions including bigger windows.

The floor plans is a little confusing since they used two different notations so here is the translation.

John (N6BER), Joyce, Lucas (Golden Retriever mix) & Bella (Great Pyrenees)
Tustin, CA
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Old 05-27-2015, 08:42 AM   #6
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I can add a couple more "pros" for the Seneca (or any motorhome) compared to a 5th wheel, especially if you ever travel with grandkids or senior citizens (I do both). The young ones can be belted in at the dinette and play or watch TV going down the road. When they need to use the "facilities", they are just feet away. That same logic regarding the bathroom applies equally to the older generation, of course except for the driver! Snacks and cold drinks are also easily accessible making a long day's drive a little more pleasant. A bit harder to manage these tasks when you are towing your "home away from home".

My 2014 Seneca came only with a large propane/electric refrigerator with icemaker, but I have never been able to fill it up yet! I did not want a RR since we dry camp regularly and are happy we don't have to run the genny every day for hours to recharge the battery bank or to take over for the refrigerator. I do have an 1,800 watt inverter for the TV and microwave when I do need to run those conveniences when off the "grid" and don't want to fire up the Onan.

I certainly agree you get more for your money living-space wise with a 5'r, and if I had a need for a diesel dually other than for recreation that is probably what I would have. But we love our Seneca (and loved the 2 Class C's before this one) and for us it was the best direction. Each to their own!
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Old 05-27-2015, 08:51 AM   #7
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SWMBO & I were looking at 20 foot TT's.

I bought a 23 footer. Based on floor-plan and amenities.

First, you two have to settle on whether your about-the-town vehicle will be the Tow or a dinghy.

Our tow is small enough to fill that role. An F450 gets tough to park at the C-Mart.
TT 2015 19RD "TheJayco"
TV 2003 F-350 "Montblanc" - Housebroken chore truck

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And proud of it!
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Old 05-27-2015, 08:38 PM   #8
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Owning a new Seneca, I thought I would offer my 2 cents. We have never owned a FW, but have owned 9 MH's. Everything from Class B+ to a diesel pusher A.

Re: FW, to me it comes down to how much time you are on the road vs parked. Since we do a lot of driving (put 44K on our last MH in 4 years) I have never considered a FW. You see a lot of them on the road, but I personally would not want to be pulling a large FW with a pickup, even if it's a dually. In fact, at our last rest stop a guy came over to me and asked how the Seneca handled. He said they had bought their first RV and it was a FW. He said he wasn't real comfortable pulling it had wished they and looked at something like the Seneca. I certainly don't mean to offend anyone, it's just a personal thing. I just wouldn't be comfortable pulling a large FW. Plus for us, we really like the convenience of motorhomes since we do a lot of driving.

Re: an A vs Super C, that was my dilemma this time around. Having previously had a Dynamax on the M2 chassis, as well as a diesel pusher, for me the decision came down to space vs safety. In the end I chose the Seneca for safety reasons. Since the cab is made to automotive specs, I believe the truck cab and chassis offer more protection in the event of an accident. I also feel that the M2 chassis handles appreciably better than most A's do. In fact at a campground our neighbor had a 32ft gas A (their first RV) and was explaining to me how it seemed like he really had to fight it to keep it going straight. Now some of that is due to the short wheel base, but I know from experience that the M2 chassis handles much better that our freightliner 38' DP did. I personally think the Super C's are the sweet spot for roominess vs drivability... And, I think Jayco further hits the sweet spot for price in that field.

As a side note, we passed a class A that had crashed on the side of I-69 in Indiana on May 25th. It had happened much earlier, but as we went by they had several slide-outs, the roof, walls, couches, and all sorts of belongings loaded onto two flat beds. All that was left of the A was the floor and chassis. From the looks of it whoever was in it was killed. There was nothing left above the floor-line. In a crash like that I doubt the cab of a M2 would have survived either...

As someone else said, our TS model has a very large fridge. I wouldn't want anything larger.
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Old 05-28-2015, 03:22 PM   #9
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Just as a follow-on... What made my final decision of Super C vs Class A was safety... And as I noted in my earlier post, we witnessed a class A that was obliterated from the floor up on this last Memorial day...

A front diesel might be only marginally better, but I'll take any margin I can get... At least you have something in front to absorb an impact and a steel cage around you... Plus a chassis that handles really good.

Here's an excerpt from an article re: MH safety...

- - - - -
KIRO Team 7 Investigators used a computer to analyze two federal databases filled with more than 5,000 RV accident, safety and mechanical deficiency reports. Summaries like:




made the Class A motor home stand out -- and not in a good way.
Class A's are defined by their flat-nose front, open seating and tremendous length.

JD Gallant has been called the Ralph Nader of motor homes. He has investigated countless fatal RV crashes and authors a top-selling RV consumer buying guide. He has strong opinions regarding the safety of the Class A.

“You need to realize that when you drive a Class A motor home, in case of an accident, you've increased greatly your risk of death, the driver and the passenger,” said Gallant.

He says the government should start mandating front-end crash tests and stronger rollover protections if we want people to stop dying in these massive machines.

"We know from accidents, Chris, what's happening. The industry isn't into studying Class A accidents. They just aren't into it. If they did, if RVIA (Recreation Vehicle Industry Association) would study Class A accidents, every Class A accident, put them up on the wall and study these Class A accidents, and say 'oh we've got to make improvement here.' They could do it. And they'd reduce the deaths by 80 to 90 percent,” said Gallant.
- - - - -

ref article: RV Crash Deaths Under Investigation | www.kirotv.com
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Old 05-28-2015, 04:06 PM   #10
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When momma's happy EVERYONE is happy...

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