We will purchase a motor home in 2005. I've been looking at the tioga 23e and the jamboree 23e. What are the differences. Any manufacturers I should stay away from. Any recommended dealers in California? New or used? If used, what questions should I be asking?
Ask the same questions you would if you were buying a car but, you will probally get the same answer from most salespeople. They will tell you what THEY think you want to hear. Ck for water leaks (rain) Do all appliances work? Ck plumbing, heating sewage and fresh water holding tanks. Crawl underneath for oil leaks, transmission leaks, antifreeze leaks. Check tires for weather cracking (generally good for 5, 6 yrs regardless of tread depth. Ck all wheels for any kind of leakage, brake fluid, greese, oil. Test drive and watch for any shimmy, sway, transmission shift, engine skip. Check it over the same as you would if you were buying a home. You are it just has wheels. Not familiar with either the Tioga or Jamboree. Some will tell you to stay away from Fleetwood products but, I have never seen where they give any more problems than others. No I don't own one. All MFG. can send out lemons just do your homework. Go to RV shows, visit campgrounds and talk to owners and keep asking question here. Lots of rver's here with tons of great info and willing to share.
I have an 01 Four Winds 23 foot model with slideout, so I am familiar with the floorplan (although not the specifics of the Tioga or Jamboree). We've traveled twice between the East Coast and Alaska in ours, and many side trips in between, with 2-3 kids.
Advantages of this floorplan is that it is quite open--you are using just about the entire volume for living during the day, or sleeping at night. Other smaller class C's with walled-off sleeping areas seem far more cramped in comparison. The vehicle's size is small enough that, if you have a median or something to hang the motorhome's rear end over, you can back this into a single parking space. The slideout adds considerable volume and spaciousness when parked, but the slideout walls can make it seem a little cramped with the slideout retracted, and the slideout mechanism takes up valuable outside storage space.
Another advantage of these designs is that they typically have close to 3000 lbs of excess weight carrying capacity, so you can load them up and travel with full tanks without overloading the chassis (some larger units, particularly 29-31 foot class C's, are close to the limit while empty, let alone loaded down).
Disadvantages of this floorplan are twofold. The first is the scarcity of outside storage space. We ended up putting a Remora pod (www.letsgoaero.com) on the back of ours to help with this. Figure you've got to find place for firewood, a grill, fishing rods and gear, lawn chairs, toys for the kids, leveling blocks, wheel chocks, etc.
The second disadvantage is the flipside of the open design, in that, except for the cab over sleeper, you have to reconfigure things to sleep. If you're going to be sleeping more than 2 people, consider a good air mattress (in ours, the foldout bed in the couch is rather uncomfortable, and runs the entire width of the floor; and the dinette makes for a rather short bunk).
To really make this floorplan work, you need to be able to use the cab over as the primary bunk. When we bought ours, the bunk headroom in the Four Winds was considerably more than the other brands we looked at.
Another problem is endemic to all class C's--namely limited outside visibility. You have somewhat obscured visibility out of the two front seats, due to the cab over hanging over your head(s), and visibility for passengers in the rear is poor--they can see out one side, but not well out the front.
All class C's get lousy gas mileage. Depending on your speed, don't expect much over 9 MPG, we typically see 7.5 to 8.5. A 23 footer gets about the same mileage as a 29 footer.
From checking the Fleetwood website, the tankage on the two you are looking at seems adequate. Unfortunately, manufacturers tend to design these smaller units for the budget-minded buyer, so they'll cut some annoying corners. Check out the AC/DC electrical power distribution system, and see how many house batteries it has (one is not enough if you intend to stay in one place more than a night).
If there is any possible way you can rent a motorhome similar to the one you are thinking of buying for a weekend or so before making the purchase, I would highly recommend doing so.
I am also looking for a small RV about 22 to 24 foot.
I loved the layout of the VW Rialta and then found out VW gives poor service and several states refused to pass the Rialta in emissions.
So now I am looking at the BT Cruiser.
Can anyone advise me on the purchase of a new BT Cruiser.
Is there a tax break on that vehicle?
The bed is a couch in the center. Is that a problem?
Its a Ford V10 engine & Gulfstream body.
Any comments would be well appreciated.
I don't have any personal experience with the BT Cruiser, but looking at their web site I have the following comments/questions:
1) Is there any kind of table? All I see in the diagram is two couches along the sides. A table surface to eat and work on is really nice to have.
2) Its ultimate utility hinges on what you plan to do with it. I think it looks like a really awesome vehicle for social day trips (taking a bunch of friends and tailgating at a football game, etc.), but wonder about the sleeping arrangements for overnight travel. Do you really want all occupants sleeping next to each other in one wall-to-wall bed when both sofas are jack-knifed? (Many unrelated hetero guys tend to get "a little hinky" about sleeping on what amounts to the same bed as another man, for example!) Also, it will take a while to set up and break down the sofas into beds. Would probably be fine for one person, but more onerous the more people you add.
3) Don't buy the "you can use it as a daily driver" line in their marketing materials. It is still 8 feet wide, 20-plus feet long, over 10 feet tall, and gas a voracious appetite for gasoline. You'll have a tough time fitting it in most single parking spaces, rear visibility is terrible for backing, and you can't take it through drive-through lanes at restaurants/banks, nor into most parking garages. Except for the lack of a cabover bunk, it's still a full-sized class C motorhome.
As far as buying one, remember that RVs have ridiculous markups, and dealers usually will come considerably off list price. 20 percent or more is not uncommon.
Thanks for the advice.
My family is spread all over and now that I am retired I
would like to travel around, see the country and the family
in a leisurely way.
The model I have been looking at has a dinette booth that may
convert to a bed and a couch(jackknife bed)across from it.
I will most likely be alone with my dog and maybe a grandchild
along at times.
I'm afraid of a used RV. The conversion vans are nice but too narrow and too small for a trip more than a week.
Any other RVs that I should consider?
The BT Cruisers can be bought for around $47,000 new.
I'm in the same boat as viciw above. We like the fleetwood 23Es but also have found the Winnebago 24F has a similar floorplan is only 7 inches longer and has much more exterior storage. I prefer the Fleetwood decor and appearance but the Winnebago is probably more practical. Anybody have any thoughts on how these two coaches stack up against each other? I've found that I can get them for about the same price.
Ever consider a Class B ? I have a 1995 Dodge Roadtrek 190 Versitale that is 19 feet long 98 inches high and has two tables. We keep the rear table down in bed form and it is a full size bed. It has everything the full size Class A and C's have. I have a microwave, 3 way fridg, 2 burner stove, tv, commode, shower, AC, furnace, fantastic ceiling fan, exaust fan, awning, trailer package, 16 inch tires, front seats swivel so you can eat at the front table, it has 2 rear seats that turn into beds. You can sleep 4 if need be. The only thing I don't have is a generator but never needed one yet. Someday I plan on trading mine in on e newer chevy that has the generator and the 6.0 engine.
The best part is I can park anywhere a car can. Last trip to Lancaster, Hershey and Gettysburg PA I got 17 miles per gallon. You can also use it as a second vehicle but I don't. I really like it for day trips or long trips. I wouldn't want to try it for full time rving but you can't beat it for shorter trips. I especailly like the 17 miles per gallon. Good luck on whatever you buy.
Thanks for the reply.
I ended up buying an experienced 99 Dutchmen Express.
Its in excellent shape. I had it thoughly checked out and got a 2 year warranty.
So I hope I will have good experiences as a 1st time RVer.
I'm glad now I didn't go into a new one and payments until I decide
on this life style.
Thanks for the reply. The 24ft. Dutchmen Express I purchased is in mint condition.
The model is 22RK. Its so wonderful. Did I tell you I have a 2 year
warranty on all the drive train, computer & electronic controls.
I bought it at a great GMC dealer not a RV dealer.
They balanced the tires, replaced the Ujoints and the center support bearing because I thought it shimmed too much.
Its now smoothe driving and like new inside and out.
Good luck on the Winnebago. What model?
Now I have to find a good place to stay in the Keys.
I stayed in Fiesta Key, which was great but $$$$.