Advice for buying class C

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by csaran, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. csaran

    csaran New Member

    My wife and I are planning on buying a 28’ to 30”Class C motor home and towing a vehicle behind it. It will probably have 1 or 2 slides. Some of this is new to me and I have a few questions that I was hoping someone could help answer for me.

    1. Gas or Diesel? Which is preferred, especially if you are towing a car?
    2. What size engine would I need for towing purposes?
    3. What kinds of cars or SUV’s are best to be towed by a motor home? I’m looking for something on the small end but it would still have to fit 4 people.
    4. What kind of mileage can I expect?
    5. Any other advice would be appreciated!
  2. akjimny

    akjimny Senior Member

    Re: Advice for buying class C

    Hi Craig and welcome to the RVUSA Forum. I'll take a stab at answering your questions and some of the other forum members will chip in with their advice too. So here goes:

    1. Gas or Diesel? Gas engines cost less up front; diesels generally have better longevity. Gasoline costs less than diesel fuel; diesels generally get better fuel mileage. Which is preferred for towing? Either will do as ling as you don't exceed the motorhome's tow rating.

    2. What size engine? As much as you can afford to but and feed. More is always better, especially when towing or traveling in the mountains.

    3. What kind of toad? Pretty much anything that can be flat towed, as in not needing a tow dolly. Jeep Wranglers are good if you plan on going off road at your destination, otherwise pretty much any small four door sedan. Just be sure to check the owner's manual to be sure it can be towed with all four wheels on the ground.

    4. What kind of mileage can you expect? Worse than you'd hope for. I have a V10 ford gas engine and can get up to 8 MPG if I take it easy. Diesels will generally get better mileage, but see Answer #1.

    5. Other advice? Buy your RV and get out there and enjoy it. I love every day I spend in ours, only wish I could be out there more. Good luck and post back to let us know how you do. :) :) :)
  3. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    Re: Advice for buying class C

    1) In class C's gas engines are by far the majority. As to towing, I have no idea why it would make any significant difference. If the engine will move the RV it will tow any vehicle that is within the the towing weight limits of the RV. Be sure not to exceed the GCWR.

    2) The engine it has will do fine. Very few RVs have a choice of engine size. Typically the come with the largest engine that the van chassis it is built on has available. More is better? That just depends upon how well you enjoy buying fuel.

    3) I suggest that you visit the Motorhome Magazine website and check their towing guides and also verify if your choice can be towed by checking on the website of REMCO. Before you start to shop, you need to know what RV you will use and check it's weight limits. Every chassis has a max. towing weight and a max. combined weight. (GCWR) In addition the hitch receiver on the RV will have a weight limit that is the max. that can be safely towed. On most class C RVs that limit is either 3500# or in some cases 5000#. It is dangerous to try to tow any vehicle that exceeds any of those limits. We tow a Honda CR-V which can be towed with no modification at all, in automatic transmission. Many of the Saturns are that way also. Most 4WD vehicles can also be towed if the transfer case has a neutral position, but many weigh far too much to tow with most class C RV.

    4) I agree that in the area of 8 mpg is probably typical.

    5) Research and understand all of the weight limits of the RVs that you are considering before you buy one. They have limits for total or gross weight, weight on each axle, towing weight and even one for cargo capacity. It is very important that you know and understand those weights for the safety of all who will travel in your RV.
  4. thomasamski

    thomasamski Member

    Re: Advice for buying class C

    We purchased a used 27-foot Coachmen Freelander last year with only 14K miles. We've put more than 20K miles on it since, and are currently in Alaska with it. I drive it at 55 mpg and manage to squeeze between 10 and 11 mpg. I change the oil every 3,000 miles, myself, and maintain all the essentials like the fridge, air, etc. Don't go over 30 feet if it's only the two of you. Anything larger is overkill. I don't pull a car. I find it easier and cheaper to rent one if needed. Other than that ... welcome to the world of RV camping.

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