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Old 05-27-2020, 06:02 AM   #1
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Few questions from the future RV-er

I am a truck driver, planning to retire in about two, or three years. I know I'll miss my driving, so I am thinking about buying an RV, preferably class B, or small class C type. However I don't know nothing about makers of those things, what reputation they have, why similar looking van could cost twice more then its competitor, or why class C van, bigger and better equipped then class B, cost much less then smaller vehicle.

I was looking at Jayco Redhawk SE 22A, which I like a lot - from what I see on YouTube - specially the price, but I read some bad reviews about the quality of it. I'd rather have something smaller, more nimble, like Sportsmobile vans, but they cost 50% more. Other class B vans can cost twice, or 3 times more than Jayco. Why?

Which company makes best quality RVs, and best features for the money? Is it better to pay extra for a Mercedes Sprinter, or Ford Transit would be sufficient? How about the RAM van? Is the FWD any good idea for an RV? Or maybe 4WD is a must? What about a diesel or gas dilemma? Any opinion would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-27-2020, 06:37 AM   #2
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Having owned many RVs my advice is go to a large rv show like Tampa. Many opinions out here because they all will have some issues. Figure our where you want to spend your time and get a rig that has the layout you love and will fit into the areas you want to go. Spend a lot of time just reading blogs but remember the 95% that are happy with what they have will not say anything. The complaints are coming from the 5%. As we got older we settled on a jayco class c because we needed 2 ac units and wanted the flat floor from front to back. Figure out your got to haves and the list of rigs that fit your needs will get smaller. Good luck in your education and selection. It’s a great way to see the country.

Enjoy the journey
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Old 05-27-2020, 06:58 AM   #3
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Trapper's advice is spot on. There are way too many opinions on what others like and don't like. Shop around, try every seat, feature, accessory. Stand in the shower, sit on the commode, watch TV from the different seating positions. You will quickly develop your likes and dislikes list. Build on that until you find the exact make / model you want.
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Old 05-27-2020, 07:23 AM   #4
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Great advice above.

I'll add that you should rent or borrow at least one unit before you purchase. If you've never RV'd before, you'll learn a lot over a weekend about what you are and are not willing to deal with. Before we bought our travel trailer, we borrowed my in-laws small Class C, and even though we weren't in the market for a C at that time, we learned a lot in just one weekend about what we really wanted in our trailer.
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Old 05-27-2020, 08:52 AM   #5
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If you've run a sleeper you already have a small flavor of RV living. I agree with all the advice above so I'll try to add a couple things.

If you are intending on clearing the decks, selling the home, and going full time you will have one set of needs. If you are going to look up from the TV and think damn I want to hit the road for a couple weeks, that's a different set.

Don't worry too much about the manufacturer. There are fans and detractors for every brand. Floor plans will make a bigger difference.

A constant in the industry is cost versus weight. a 2x4 is cheap but heavy. Titanium is light but expensive. Options are spread between extremes.

You can build something light and cheap that won't last. You can build something light and expensive that will last longer.

Like home, appliances come in many different grades.

A couple other general thoughts. Towing a 5th wheel or TT means one engine to maintain. A class B or C means any sightseeing will involve bringing the home with you or towing a small car behind. I know towing something probably isn't a concern, you're use to it.

I'm guessing you are thinking you will want to cover miles every day. Quick set up and tear down will probably make you happier.

Diesels are more expensive initially and cost more to maintain, but will last and last. Plus, you'll have the soul satisfying rumble heading down the interstates.

Finally, are you travelling solo or with someone. Their comfort might determine how many trips you make. Or their lack of comfort may mean more solo trips, you know that situation better than anyone else.
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Old 05-27-2020, 09:38 AM   #6
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Thanks a lot for your advice. I am not planning to go full time RVing and probably I'll spend several months a year in Europe, so I need something smaller and nimbler.

I am now pulling 53-foot trailer, but when traveling for fun I'd rather have a smaller vehicle. Why? For almost 40 years I was driving near the nicest places in the USA and never could go in and enjoy them, because of the size and "commercial vehicle" restrictions. I'd love to be able to go everywhere, park everywhere, quickly setting up everything and when I am tired of traveling, come back to my home.

Small living area isn't problematic for me, truck sleeper is much smaller then class B van. However I am not sure how my wife will feel about it. Renting a Rv for a week or so will answer that.
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Old 05-27-2020, 08:22 PM   #7
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Trapper and Camper Bob are correct. No one can tell you what works for YOU. First, figure out HOW and WHAT you want to do when traveling. Will it be sitting in campsites, relaxing? Or, will it be touring around, seeing the sights? Figure that out first...

Then, go to as many RV shows as you can and sit in and compare floorplans and layouts and what's included in each rig. Then, once you think you have it figured out, go rent something similar for a long weekend, before pulling the trigger. That's what we did.

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Why? For almost 40 years I was driving near the nicest places in the USA and never could go in and enjoy them, because of the size and "commercial vehicle" restrictions. I'd love to be able to go everywhere, park everywhere, quickly setting up everything and when I am tired of traveling, come back to my home.
We almost went for the SE 22A, but after renting a similar rig with the corner bed, we wanted a bit larger bed with better access.

This is why we settled on the Redhawk 24B. We wanted to play tourist and travel around, and I wanted a short rig, so I could get in and out easy. We rarely stay more than two days at any campsite. And, I wanted a Ford chassis/V10 engine not the MB sprinter V6.

What sold me on the 24B was the full wall slide. Once we finally pulled into the campground, and that slide went out, we have plenty of space for the two of us and poochie.
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Old 05-28-2020, 02:07 AM   #8
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Two things we looked at were usability while traveling and weight capacity. Some units are not very functional while closed up and if you need to stop at a rest area you can not use portions of them unless you extend a slide. Weight capacity is a concern on some units decide what you want to bring and calculate the weight required. Bikes, chairs, grills, kayaks dogs ect can burn up ccc pretty quickly be sure you have the ability to take want you need and want.
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Old 05-28-2020, 08:48 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by RVermont View Post
Two things we looked at were usability while traveling and weight capacity. Some units are not very functional while closed up and if you need to stop at a rest area you can not use portions of them unless you extend a slide. Weight capacity is a concern on some units decide what you want to bring and calculate the weight required. Bikes, chairs, grills, kayaks dogs ect can burn up ccc pretty quickly be sure you have the ability to take want you need and want.
Not being able to access virtually all of the "living functions" (bathroom, kitchen, fridge, sleeping quarters, etc) under-way without deploying a slide was a deal-breaker for us on both the rigs we bought. I knew we would have multi-day journeys where we would just climb in the back and get a night of sleep and be on the road again early in the morning, so we wanted to be able to use our rig without having to set up anything or deploy a slide. In use, we have done this many times with great success, and it makes things SUPER convenient.

Really good point on the weight considerations. Many Class Cs don't have much CCC left over. We get around a lot of that by pulling a toad. I put bikes, pop-ups, extra coolers, etc in the Jeep. My rig's GCWR supports 7500 lb towing capacity without touching the CCC on the rig itself (toad has no tongue weight). So we keep basic kit in the rig itself, but extra stuff goes in/on the Jeep.
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Old 05-28-2020, 09:26 AM   #10
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Two books that help me make a decision were "Motorhome Comparison Guide" and Travel Trailer & Fifth Wheel Comparison Guide". These are both by Randall Eaton and are updated about each year. These give you a history of the various companies, their build reputation, customer feedback on their different models, repair history and other important factors you should know before buying a RV. It will be an eye opener.

Feedback here is fine but these give you facts instead of "feelings".
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Old 05-28-2020, 01:38 PM   #11
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Really good point on the weight considerations. Many Class Cs don't have much CCC left over. We get around a lot of that by pulling a toad. I put bikes, pop-ups, extra coolers, etc in the Jeep. My rig's GCWR supports 7500 lb towing capacity without touching the CCC on the rig itself (toad has no tongue weight). So we keep basic kit in the rig itself, but extra stuff goes in/on the Jeep.
Might not be the case on the short Class C, like mine, and what the OP is thinking. I took my rig over the scales on our last trip, expecting the worst, and we went out fully loaded for the test.

Turns out, we were like 12,700 on a max 14,500 GVRW, so wifey is trying to figure out how much more useless crap she can load...
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