New Member
Wife and I are in our early forties with a 5 year old and 2 1/2 year old. Both of us tented in our younger days and would like to get away with the kids now.
We are looking at a mid 80 class C motorhome and would like some feedback from anyone with advice.

Pricewise we seem to be looking anywhere from an 82 to an 87 model with on average 60,000 miles. How do the engines hold up on these things and also what about all the appliances now over 15 years old, (fridge, a/c, water heater etc).

How important/necessary do you find the following;

1. Roof Air
2. Cab Air
3. Generator
4. Cruise
5. Oven (most come with microwave).

Also in our budget we seem to be looking at a 24'. Do most find that is enough or for another $1,000 or so should we look at a 26-28'.

Any feedback is appreciated. And any comments on something I might have missed as well.



New Member


So many of these things are personal but I will give you MY opinion of what I would prefer.

I live in the Rocky mountains so I would avoid the small block engine versions of any of these motorhomes. That would be a 350 Chevy, a 351 Ford or a 360 Dodge. They are all underpowered for mountain use especially if you intend to tow a car. I would also steer away from the Dodge. Chrysler has discontinued production of big block engines making parts more difficult to obtain. If it is an especially good deal maybe, if not I would keep looking. 1986 is a turning point year for the 454 Chevy. Pre 1986 Chevies had a bad history relative to camshafts. 1986 and up are better. A 454 Chevy and a 460 Ford are about equal in towing capability. The Chevy seems to get sightly better fuel economy. Both engines if properly maintained will give service beyond 100K miles. I have a 1988 32' motorhome with the Chevy chassis. It has 90K miles on the odometer, still runs strong and uses less than 1qt/1500miles of oil. Based on its current strong performance I suspect that another 30-40 miles is easily attainable. If it were me I would look for a 1986 or 1987 with the Chevy chassis and 454 motor.

I think a 24' is adequate as a starter. As the kids grow you may decide that bigger is better but 24' should do for now.

I also have a 1970 slide in camper. The refrigerators, water heaters and ac all still work in both units. No major repairs to any. I think the appliances are VERY reliable.

I would stick roof air, cab air and cruise on the must list. Cruise can be added for $150 or less later. I could live without the oven. If you travel in VERY hot country and/or camp where there is no electrical service I would add the generator to the must list as well. Many motorhomes get very hot in the interior when traveling. The engine heat flowing back under the motorhome makes them very hot. A rood air AND a generator to run it while you drive may be necessary to keep the motorhome and YOU cool.

To summerize, I would by a 24' on a Chevy with all the ammenities that you mention except possibly the oven.