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LBrane

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Joined
Oct 21, 2021
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2
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PA ... for now
I am considering - seriously considering - taking a few years to see the country. Fly fishing will be an integral part of my travels. I will be living full time as a single on/off the road. My plan is to purchase a small Class C that can tow a jeep wrangler JKU. I am an experienced hiker/camper/general outdoorsman and have enough camping gear to outfit a scout troop - but I'm done with it. Here is my dilemma: the reviews. One article states the 5 best RV's are these (five). One article states the 5 worst RV's are these (five). Or 7, or 10 or whatever. The RV brands to avoid are these [ x,y,z]. I've never owned one, spent a fair amount of time as a guest in several - I have no clue of the brands. Rented one from RV America (I think) and my first experience driving one was ten years ago from Bakersfield to Sequoia NF through Kern Canyon in the dark in the middle of a nasty snowstorm - I was passing vehicles that couldn't make the climb in the snow. Anyway...
The reviews and recommendations: One model appears in the RV's to avoid, yet the same model appears in the "best" - top 5 - to purchase.
Based on my own desires and needs I was interested in the Thor small class C with '0' slides. I don't want a slide, I don't need a slide. Recent reviews tell me to 'run away' from Thor. Some say to 'run away' from the Minnie Winnie'. Others say the MW is a good purchase. I do not want a 'sprinter' type. The 'minnie winnie' is interesting - NO SLIDE - but if I must for the bed only I may consider it. I plan to go 'off grid' so to speak - not rely on 'campsite' with shore power etc. So a 4K generator or comparable is a must.
So my real question is: Where can I find reviews that are not slanted, and by someone who has no 'skin in the game' so to speak? Or is this an act of futility?
Thanks, Brain
 

SeilerBird

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Feb 25, 2012
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16,307
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St Cloud Florida USA
You don't need reviews to look at used RVs, those are all worthless. The condition they were in brand new has nothing to do with the way they have been treated since then. You need to do a lot of shopping and figure out what you want and then go find it. When you have found the RV that you are interested in buying you hire an RV inspector to check it out. You can't figure out what you want to buy by read reviews, you need to do some shopping.
 

donn

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Nov 8, 2009
Posts
4,927
ALL RVs have problems. Get that firmly into your brain. Class C MoHos often wont have capacity to tow anything. As for slides vs no slides, your going to find it nearly impossible to find one without. As for size? Remember size creates its own set of problems. Storage is chief among them. Realize you will not always be able to be outside. Rain happens to the most experienced of us. Consided where and how tour going to cook, take a hot shower, sleep in a comfortable bed, make that bed, toilet room, can you use it? How about laundry facilities? Taking a day every week or so to find a laundrymat is not my idea of fun..
Instead you might look at a 30 foot class A. At least you would have ample storage, and a chassis strong enough to tow your Jeep. For anything you choose comfort, actual livability, and storage space should be paramount. Small class Cs tend to be geared more to weekeld family outings.
 

X-Roughneck Strike 3

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Feb 15, 2021
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285
Location
Globe
We bought a used 2017 Aspect 30J, Triple Slide, in August 2019.

We have had one slide problem where the controller wire broke. $400 later was back in business. Other than that we have clocked 12,000 trouble free miles out of it.

I agree...If you are solo...forget the slides..More slide the more outside air inside and vice versa.

The Class C are all delivery van frame, stretched with a House on it, Lumbering Beasts that can't carry much Cargo (I only have 1700 LB carry capacity on my Class C...Dogs, Momma, Me, Etc.....). My 32'4" does pretty good on smooth roads.

I have Air Bags on the rear. I tow a 2013 4 Door Wrangler. V10 could care less if it is back there or not. We took it over Scenic Route 12 coming out of Bryce Canyon over to Arches....Sunrise Utah sure was pretty at 9000 ft.

I think the transmission got a extra gear that is paired to the V10 ford in 2016.

They are all cheaply made, but we love our Winnebago. It's Quality Cheap!

JD
 

SeilerBird

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Feb 25, 2012
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16,307
Location
St Cloud Florida USA
The biggest problem concerning buying an RV without slides will make it really difficult to resell when you find out it is much to small for your purpose.
 

JayArr

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Jun 13, 2020
Posts
786
Location
Mission British Columbia Canada
The reviews are all slanted and the RVs are all cheaply made.

I'll repeat that...

The reviews are all slanted and the RVs are all cheaply made.

No matter what you buy a bunch of stuff is going to break the first year on a brand new RV. If you're looking for some magic model that is well built and doesn't have any problems you may as well look for a leprechaun.

Here's what might work. Find something you like and then come and ask here if anyone has bought it and if they are happy with it. This is a much more specific question and likely to get you a much more specific response.
 

Larry N.

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May 26, 2010
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Westminster, Colorado
All good information above, but especially pay attention to what Tom said about shopping -- in person, not online. You can get a fair chunk of information online, but you need to go to a large dealer or an RV show and look at a variety of units of different makes and layouts, which will start to give a a feel for what these RVs really are.

And as donn says, be careful about both storage space and weight hauling capacity. You'll come up short on those in most class C units, whereas a small class A will be more amenable to full time living, especially if you're looking to store a lot of fishing gear, packs, etc. And your Wrangler will likely weigh something over 4,000 lbs so a rig that can tow 5000 lbs will be needed.

But as donn also said, check it out for actual living in, that is, how do you make the bed, is there ample pantry room and cooking counter space, do you fit well in the shower, is the toilet situated so that you're comfortable using it, where will you sit to use your computer, and where (if at all) will you sit to watch TV (and is it comfortable for more than a minute or two)????

Since you said "taking a few years to see the country" and "I will be living full time as a single on/off the road" you need to think seriously about how what seems ample for a weekend or even a week will get tedious, then intolerable as the years wear on.

And since you're planning to be boondocking, fresh water capacity and black and gray holding tank capacities MUST be considered, in addition to the generator, all of which will favor a small class A vs class C.

Granted that some single people DO full time in a class C (usually without a toad), it obviously is doable, but what must you compromise in order to do that?

In any case, get to one or more RV dealers and look over the units, sitting in each one for a little while imagining how you will live in it, both on sunny days and after a week of rain. Note, too, that a slide gives noticeably more room for living, especially in inclement weather, and slides are rarely a problem. In three different class A units, the only slide problems I've had are from ice and from melted/refrozen snow on the toppers.

Finally, as Tom says above, CONDITION, then FLOOR PLAN are much more important than brand.
 

LarsMac

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Nov 15, 2015
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1,693
Location
Colorado Plains
Buy used. Find one you like and have it inspected. Be patient.
Then make sure you have a repair fund for when stuff goes wrong.
I recommend buying a sub to Carfax and when you find one you like, run a report.

And remember the KISS Principle.
 

TheBar

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Jun 25, 2018
Posts
1,181
Location
MS
Going full time and off grid a Class A has bigger holding tanks and generally more storage.

But, if you plan on parking on a dirt river bank and maneuvering in tight spaces you need a really small Class C like a 24' or less. They make 4x4 Class Cs but they are pricy. It is cheaper to convert a used Class to 4x4.
 

NY_Dutch

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Nov 22, 2010
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7,148
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Where our wheels take us!
Don't rule out an otherwise good RV because it has a slide or two. They're not anywhere near as problematic as some no-slide folks would have you believe. Our now 21 year old Class A with a single "super slide" has had exactly one slide repair since it was new. That repair was the replacement of a rocker switch that was getting hard to operate, and the replacement cost $12. It took me about 10 minutes to swap it out. One thing we insisted on when we were looking for a new RV at the time, was that everything inside was fully accessible with the slide retracted. This coach met that requirement with just one seldom used 120-volt outlet hidden with the slide in. In sub-30 degree F weather, we sometimes leave the slide in to cut down on the volume to be heated, but in better weather, we really appreciate having the extra floor space.
 
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Larry N.

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May 26, 2010
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Westminster, Colorado
There is also the super C option. More space, more towing capacity.
True, but it's diesel, much more expensive (to buy and to maintain), much larger, built on a medium truck chassis, not a van chassis. A short, gas class A would probably serve the OP better, given the original post.
 

Isaac-1

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Dec 3, 2016
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5,267
Location
SW Louisiana
I am normally a big proponent of a small class A over just about any class C, however towing limitation may be an issue here, as all gas class A and many gas class C's have a 5,000 max towing capacity, and depending on how it is outfitted a Jeep JKU will be at or over that limit, a stock Sahara edition JKU weighs in around 4450 pounds before you add aftermarket bumpers, winches, lift kit, etc. Some class C's have 7,500 towing capacity, so if you get a class C be aware of its towing capacity. A Super C may be the best choice here, these are built on medium duty truck frames and most have a 10,000 pound towing capacity.

As to being against class C's for this sort of thing, they are all built very flimsy to keep the weight down as the heaviest chassis they are built on is a 14,500 GVWR E450 chassis with many being built on the 12,500 GVWR E350 instead. Compare this to sub 30 ft class A gas coaches which are built on 16,000 - 20,500 GVWR chassis.

For a visual comparison of structure in a gas class C vs a gas class A roof watch these 2 re-roofing videos.
This first one is I think 2nd in a series of 3-4 videos regarding the roof of this particular coach, if you have time and want to watch from the first video

Then compare that to older vintage gas class A (same model as my coach, just 6 years older) Note all the wood structure

Or this newer gas class A

 

IBTripping

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Sep 19, 2018
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1,492
Location
Virginia
Going full time and off grid a Class A has bigger holding tanks and generally more storage.

But, if you plan on parking on a dirt river bank and maneuvering in tight spaces you need a really small Class C like a 24' or less. They make 4x4 Class Cs but they are pricy. It is cheaper to convert a used Class to 4x4.
The OP plans to tow a jeep which would allow him to park RV in a safe spot and drive the Jeep to the fishing spot.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Feb 2, 2005
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At my Silver Springs FL home
Forget those "best" reviews - most of them are either "click bait" intended to get fees for internet views or just superficial views. And the complaint-type "don't ever buy" reviews are rarely balanced or supported by statistics.

Yes, it is a fact that RV quality is hit or miss. By some estimates 10-15% of the Rvs produced are "lemons", with multiple factory defects, sometimes severe even if well hidden. Becasue of that, there are many Oh My Gawd! stories online. Take them with a grain of salt. The good news is that buying used usually has already uncovered those and mostly got them fixed.

Find the size and type that suits your needs, but avoid the mistake of going too small or too lean on capability. You probably need more than you can imagine up front, especially if you want to bring gear for comfort & recreation. Too small is very limited in storage space, battery capacity (for off-grid camping at that fishing hole), water tanks, and just plain comfort when the day is over or the weather is crappy. Sometimes an extra foot here and there is worth a fortune. Especially in the toilet room & shower. :unsure:

There are small Class A coaches, some as little as 26 ft, that are very superior to a similar size Class C. Hard to find used, though.
 

Great Horned Owl

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Feb 10, 2012
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Lake County, Illinois
I thought I might throw a monkey wrench into the discussion. You said that you plan on doing a lot of fly fishing. That suggests that you will be doing a lot of driving on unpaved, back roads that might not be very well maintained. If so, a class C may not be your best choice.

You might want to consider a very small 5th wheel and a 4-wheel drive pickup. Take a look at Scamp 19' 5th Wheel

Joel
 
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