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Author Topic: Buying a Class C Questions?  (Read 5462 times)

mtnbikes

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Buying a Class C Questions?
« on: August 18, 2015, 09:32:01 AM »
Hi Everyone,
My wife and I have been researching Class C’s for the past two years. Up to this point we had a TT and are now ready to purchase a Class C for next season. We have three children ages 9, 7, and 2.5. We have it narrowed down to the Winnebago Minnie Winnie 25B. We were considering the Jayco Greyhawk 29 MV, but not sure we need that big of a coach and worry about the quality. We are weekend travelers and take 2 longer trips during the summer.  We really like the coach because of the floor plan, simplicity of use, and quality build. My questions are:
1. Any advice on this specific coach (25B) from personal experience would be welcomed.
2. Would you suggest another quality manufacturer we should consider?
3. When would be a good time to purchase this coach to get the best pricing…keep in mind we may have to special order?

Thank you!
   

SeilerBird

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Re: Buying a Class C Questions?
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2015, 09:48:48 AM »
I don't have any answers to your specific questions. I do have a question for you. Why so small? A 25 foot class C is small enough now but after a few years when your kids grow it will be really tiny. I realize it will probably be bigger than your TT, but class Cs are very small since so much room is taken up by the engine. They also have very limited room to store your stuff and very small holding tanks which will become a larger issue as the kids grow. And why new? You get so much more for your money in a used RV and you won't take the huge depreciation hit.
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mtnbikes

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Re: Buying a Class C Questions?
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2015, 09:59:55 AM »
Hi SeilerBird,
We feel like the 25B would suite our current and future needs until it is just my wife and I. Again, I like the simplicity of the unit and I can park it in my driveway during camping season. However, I do agree with your logic and question if we should get a larger unit. This is really the only floor plan I like in the Winnebago line up. This is where I'm still on the fence about the Jayco Greyhawk 29MV. I'm also not opposed to buying used...I actually prefer this. It will depend on if the right coach comes along at the right time.

Professor54313

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Re: Buying a Class C Questions?
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2015, 10:08:46 AM »
I would suggest you look at Coachman Class C's
Much better quality IMHO than a Jayco
If you want to see the differences in quality, go to Elkart , Ind for two days and visit
all the manufacturing plants for tours. Its worth it

Suggestion
Get airbags on the rear axle.
That way you can control imbalances (weight) and steering control is 100% better
Bilstein shocks not needed IMHO

mtnbikes

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Re: Buying a Class C Questions?
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2015, 10:17:49 AM »
Hi Proessor54313,
I have owned two Forest River products in the past and was not too impressed with the build quality...maybe it has improved? We have looked at their floor plans, however, they do not appeal to use as far as the layout goes. My concern with Jayco is they offer a lot for the cost of a coach, but I'm afraid they compromise with subpar materials and systems...ie. Lippert leveling system.

blw2

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Re: Buying a Class C Questions?
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2015, 10:32:55 AM »
I have never owned that floorplan, but I'll give general comments from someone with 3 kids close in age.... mine are 10, 7, and 4

We've had our coach a little over a year now, mostly weekend trips, have so far taken one 2 week journey, but that is a huge exception for us.  i can see some one week trips in our future, at most yearly.

I think the 25B will get crowded fast on a rainy day, or in the hot summer when we're inside to watch a movie in the AC

All three of mine are in the overhead bunk, heads to the front.  probably ok like this for a year or a little less, although my oldest is just now starting to say he doesn't want to be up there with his sisters any more.... so the move to the sofa might be sooner.

My son can sleep on the sofa without folding it out for a while more.... mine is 60in x 80in sleeping area, the winnie has 40in x 67in, so you'll be folding it out soon.... so it'll be in the way for any early risers

I like the option of the dinette sofa in place of a sofa though, that would be nice at dinner time

The TV location in the winnie, I find to be in the way of anyone up there, and when you fold it out for the dinette to view, the folks in the bunk can't see it.

Compared to mine, that floor plan has no counter space at all.  to me that would be a huge problem.

We like our walk around bed, and that was on our must have list..... well DW's... I'm ok as long as I'm on the outside  ;D
I see this though as as something I could live with for short trips

The large rear storage in the 25B is nice

The 29MV is very similar to mine.  the bed is flipped to the other side, but they are very close.  Looks like the Jayco has a larger grey tank, which is very good indeed.  This is my limitation in capacities.

I do see the appeal of something smaller than I have, but at this stage, we are still happy with our choice.  Our coach is heavy.  It's big.  i can't tow much with it.  But it fits our family well.

I think the best thing to do is take your family to the dealer and sit in each for a while.... and a few others too..... Pretend it's storming outside ....You'll know which one is right!

Good luck
« Last Edit: August 18, 2015, 10:35:31 AM by blw2 »
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

blw2

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Re: Buying a Class C Questions?
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2015, 10:37:56 AM »
oh, one more comment.... my DW has it in mind that we'll keep this coach through to retirement.

Me... I don't think it'll last that long.  They're not built that well anyway.
and I think we'll want and need entirely different things then ..... so i have no problem buying something that fits us now, then buying something different later.
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

mtnbikes

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Re: Buying a Class C Questions?
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2015, 11:13:56 AM »
Thanks blw2. Very good information...you touched on some of the issues I do have with the size of the coach. You're right about build quality in these class c's. I don't care what manufacturer it is there will always be issues. It's funny you mention sitting in a bunch of them. We have been doing this so much lately and a lot in the last two years. At least we have it narrowed down...now to make the final decision. 

BoomerD

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Re: Buying a Class C Questions?
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2015, 12:31:12 PM »
I'll throw in yet another voice to suggest a bigger coach. That 25'er will be crowded if you have kids with you and you're stuck inside. (been there...done that) Having a bigger coach with a dedicated bed for the adults is a VERY GOOD thing. Those dinettes, fold-out couches, and over-head bunks are fine for the kids...but the adults are the ones who do the driving...and the work. IMO, they NEED a decent place to lay down and stretch out when they sleep. (plus, if you have small kids, it's a nice place, out of the way, for them to take naps during the day)
Personally, I wouldn't even consider a Class C shorter than 29'...and 31 isn't too big. (and have you given a Class A the consideration it deserves? You get a bit more "usable" space...and a ton more outside storage for gear.)
Current coach: 2004 Winnebago Sightseer 30B, P32 chassis, Workhorse.

mtnbikes

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Re: Buying a Class C Questions?
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2015, 03:29:19 PM »
Thanks for the advice BoomerD. It helps to hear first hand experience from others. I have thought of a class A, but I would rather leave that for when the wife and I are retired.

scottydl

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Re: Buying a Class C Questions?
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2015, 07:07:02 PM »
I grew up camping with my grandparents in their Class C, and was SURE that was what I wanted when my young(er) family started RV'ing about 8 years ago.  Thanks largely to this forum AND checking out several coaches in person (internet descriptions and photos can only tell you a certain amount), we bought a 35' Class A and loved every minute of it.  We had two little boys (ages 6 and 3) at the time. 

The open space of the Class A was unbeatable, and the only reason we outgrew such a large motorhome was for lack of beds... and 5 years later, we had added another boy to the mix.  ;)  We took a few years off from camping, to finish paying off all our debt and saving up cash for the next purchase.  I knew I wanted something with bunk beds and a separate bedroom for myself and the wife, which led me to a large TT + tow vehicle.  You can see in my signature the combination of Suburban + TT that we have now, and I couldn't be happier this time either!  My boys are now 14, 10, and almost 6.  I certainly would not want to be crammed into a small Class C for any extended length of time with them.

So I guess what I'm saying is... don't completely discount any particular style of RV.  And don't lock yourself into a certain year/make/model yet.  Get out there and look at as many units as possible, with the whole family if possible.  It's a big, expensive decision and a lot of research and consideration should go into it.  Enjoy the hunt, and you'll find the right unit for your family before long.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2015, 10:28:12 PM by scottydl »
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

mtnbikes

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Re: Buying a Class C Questions?
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2015, 07:59:26 PM »
Great post scottydl! The funny thing is we have tried a few different campers over the years. We started with a tent, then a pop up, and two different TT. I sold our last TT and my truck last March, so we have not camped since. We too decided to take some time off to decide what we really want in a MH and to allow our youngest to mature a little more. I think we are trying to balance the simplicity of the smaller MH against the larger MH.

scottydl

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Re: Buying a Class C Questions?
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2015, 10:34:29 PM »
Storage can be an issue with larger units, but man they make the camping experience so much more enjoyable (in my experience).  We have been lucky that we have always had on-site storage at home.  The previous owner of our house already had a 65' extra gravel driveway in place when we bought.  I had a 2nd garage built at the end of that drive, and had the builder include a 30-amp RV power outlet on the exterior.  The only thing I can't do here at home is dump the tanks.  ;)
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

mtnbikes

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Re: Buying a Class C Questions?
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2015, 11:02:16 PM »
I think storage is a psychological issue for me too. I have always parked my RV's in the driveway in front of the third stall...longest one about 30'. If I had a setup like yours then I definitely would get a bigger coach. In my current situation I would have to store a larger coach at a facility, which can be costly over time.

scottydl

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Re: Buying a Class C Questions?
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2015, 08:03:53 AM »
If you have a 3rd garage, then you probably have room.  ;)  What's the total length of usable driveway you have in front of that area?  I didn't know if you meant a 30' driveway, or your longest RV was 30'.

I wouldn't want to store my RV anywhere else either... maybe there's a private property option somewhere, where a farmer or someone with land will let you park your RV at their place for less than a storage facility.  People advertise just about everything on Craigslist these days.  ;)  Even you could put a Wanted ad up, "Need someplace to park my RV."
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

mtnbikes

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Re: Buying a Class C Questions?
« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2015, 08:25:09 AM »
Hey scottydl,

Longest TT was 30'...which I stored in driveway all year. Total length of driveway is about 60'. I use craigslist all the time...thats how I sold my last TT, but like you said I hate storing it off site. Thanks for the great info and ideas!

scottydl

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Re: Buying a Class C Questions?
« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2015, 10:09:33 AM »
Total length of driveway is about 60'.

Sounds like you are good to go with just about anything stored at home then... I mean, even my 35-foot Class A was only 5 feet longer than your longest TT.  Something that size wouldn't take up much more room than what you had.

Depending on your current tow vehicle situation, I really concluded that larger TT's offer the most options for families that need a combination of beds and space.  You probably considered that already, but just throwing that hat in the ring again.  I really consider myself a motorhome guy, but I think the 32' bunkhouse TT we found will serve us well for many years until the kids get older and lose interest in camping with boring ol' Mom and Dad.  Plus I'm interested in getting the towing experience overall.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

blw2

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Re: Buying a Class C Questions?
« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2015, 10:37:33 AM »
.......Depending on your current tow vehicle situation, I really concluded that larger TT's offer the most options for families that need a combination of beds and space. ......

that's true that TT offer a wide variety of layouts and options....
but your 1st statement is a mouthful.....
if you start talking 3 or more kids the Tow Vehicle options really dwindle fast for these large TT's
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

mtnbikes

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Re: Buying a Class C Questions?
« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2015, 06:34:07 PM »
I did go look at some Forest River products today...the Forester in particular. Did find a really good floor plan with more space in the 2651s model. My only concern is quality. Any thought on this would be appreciated.

BoomerD

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Re: Buying a Class C Questions?
« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2015, 06:37:05 PM »
I did go look at some Forest River products today...the Forester in particular. Did find a really good floor plan with more space in the 2651s model. My only concern is quality. Any thought on this would be appreciated.

I haven't looked at the Forest River products in about 10  years...but the last time I did, I was very underwhelmed with the apparent build quality...so much so that I haven't looked at another one since. Now, I realize that may have just been the TT models we looked at...and their product quality MIGHT have improved over the years, so I'm hoping a more current owner can chime in.
Current coach: 2004 Winnebago Sightseer 30B, P32 chassis, Workhorse.

scottydl

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Re: Buying a Class C Questions?
« Reply #20 on: August 20, 2015, 03:53:09 AM »
I'm a new Forest River owner and have no particular complaint about build quality.  That's such a subjective term anyway, it really depends on what you plan to use the RV for.  My weekend/vacation use of the trailer will go just fine without solid oak cabinets and granite countertops, for instance. ;)
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Buying a Class C Questions?
« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2015, 07:02:11 AM »
Quote
My weekend/vacation use of the trailer will go just fine without solid oak cabinets and granite countertops, for instance.

Just to nitpick a bit... Solid wood cabinets are superior construction to the pressboard MDF type and will give many years of trouble-free use in any RV. Granite countertops aren't "better" than corian or laminate - just more in style at the moment.  Likewise a 40" tv isn't better than a 26" - just bigger. If you don't need bigger, it has no extra value. "Better" is things like a more robust suspension that can easily carry the weight without bending or bouncing the contents all over, or multiple outlet circuits instead of jamming everything onto one.  In my mind, anyway, there is a clear distinction between better construction and nicer amenities.

But I will readily agree that occasional weekend use may not justify the cost or "better".
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

scottydl

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Re: Buying a Class C Questions?
« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2015, 08:06:17 AM »
But I will readily agree that occasional weekend use may not justify the cost or "better".

That's what I was getting at.  ;)
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

mtnbikes

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Re: Buying a Class C Questions?
« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2015, 08:10:15 AM »
A quick update. After our visit to the Forest River dealership yesterday my wife and I have decided the Winnebago product is the right MH for us. The Minnie Winnie 25B floor plan affords us exactly what we want in quality, efficiency, and simplistic design. We are a close knight family and really prefer to be outside on our adventures. All we need is a place to sleep, our own bathroom, and the ability to cook. I think the tipping point occurred yesterday at the Forest River dealer when one of the Sunseeker models we looked at had a visible leak coming from one of the front vents that caused the whole bed over cab to be soaked with water. That is why it is good to go look at units after a heavy rain. 


blw2

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Re: Buying a Class C Questions?
« Reply #24 on: August 20, 2015, 10:40:07 AM »
good that you made a decision.  No doubt its the right one.

I'll bet though that a vent leak was likely just from somebody not closing the vent properly.  At any rate, it's very likely the exact same vent that winnebago uses.... these are all just 3rd party components after all.

My read on the brand situation, in this price point anyway
that they are all very close.
Some are a bit better in some areas, and others in different places.

I found the coachman felt a little cheaper to me as compared to the Thor that we ended up with....
silly little things such as
the outside storage bays were rotomolded plastic of some sort in the Thor which felt more durable to me than the painted sheet metal in the coachman
and the Thor had some sort of flimsy little fender lining and rubber flaps to create some sort of fender like enclosure around the rear tires, where the coachman was just open.  Just seemed a bit better, although in reality not really much difference.

Overall, I felt the winnebago products might be a smidge better than most others at the same price point and type of class c, in my opinion
so you're likely making a good choice.
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

BoomerD

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Re: Buying a Class C Questions?
« Reply #25 on: August 20, 2015, 11:32:21 AM »
One thing I'll recommend...and I'm surprised that none of us has said it yet...Have you considered renting some motorhomes for a few days or a week...just to "try them on" to see how the size will work for you? You might not get the exact model you've been looking at...nor the exact floor plan, but you'll get a good idea how well the size works for you.
Current coach: 2004 Winnebago Sightseer 30B, P32 chassis, Workhorse.

mtnbikes

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Re: Buying a Class C Questions?
« Reply #26 on: August 20, 2015, 01:02:13 PM »
Good idea BoomerD...we have thought of this, however, this would not be our first RV. We started with a tent, then a pop-up, a 23' TT, and finally a 28' TT which I sold last March. I feel confident in our decision based on prior experience and knowing what we like and don't like. Also, we have been researching Class C MH's for the past two years. We just need to make a decision to buy and wait for the right opportunity. The plan is to have one by next March/April to start the new camping season. 

BoomerD

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Re: Buying a Class C Questions?
« Reply #27 on: August 20, 2015, 01:13:38 PM »
OK...just a suggestion.

Around here, the big "end of the year" sales are about to begin. You MIGHT be able to find a screaming deal on "the coach of your dreams" if you look at some of the big sales.
Current coach: 2004 Winnebago Sightseer 30B, P32 chassis, Workhorse.