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Old 04-14-2020, 04:08 PM   #1
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2018 sunstar 27pe

My wife and I are considering a 2018 sunstar 27pe with 21XXX miles on it. Anyone who has this model could you give us some insight likes/dislikes, mpg, driving experience, does it need anti sway front/rear, steering stabilizer. Last but not least would you buy this rig again if you had to do it all over again with what you know about the sunstar line.

Thanks
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Old 04-15-2020, 01:54 PM   #2
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I have encountered numerous folks with the 27PE that are happy. Most, maybe all, have had to make modifications to improve stability. This has included upgraded anti-sway bars, a rear trac bar, a Safe-T-Plus steering stabilizer, and Sumo Springs. One way to tell what to expect in the way of handling, is to calculate the wheelbase to body length ratio. Avoid any gas motorhome with a ratio of 50% or less. Expect to make modifications to any gas motorhome with a ratio of between 51% and 55%. 55% or higher and you are probably good to go. The unit you are looking at is a little over 51%. We own a 2018 Vista YE which is a little over 52%. We have upgraded the front and rear anti-sway bars and installed a Safe-T-Plus. After 10k miles with these mods, I would say that it now drives pretty well. I am thinking about a rear trac bar but its nothing urgent. Overall, we are very happy with our Vista which is the twin sister to the Sunstar. It has been mostly trouble free and we have had it through every condition except snow. As far as mpg, we get about 7mpg pulling a car behind us. If mpg is a real issue for you, you probably shouldn't be considering a Class A.
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Old 04-16-2020, 09:26 AM   #3
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Thanks for the information it is greatly appreciated. We are starting on our quest to determine which motorhome we want. So many choices. This has been very informative thanks. The MPG was just out of curiosity. Everyone would love to have as high as possible. Since this would be our first motorhome we are trying not to make newbie mistakes. The wife wants as short as possible. She drove a 40 footer one time and did ok but did not have a warm fuzzy about driving it. So we will probably look for one 25 to 32 feet long. A usable floorplan if we want to be gone for a month or two. Washer/dryer is not important. Also checking out short diesels.

Oh one other question does your bed have the split mattres? I am 5'8 and wondering if that split would be a pain to get used to.

Again many thanks
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Old 04-16-2020, 11:03 AM   #4
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You may want to take a look at the 29VE. My wife and I went through the same process you are going through for our first Class A. We looked at both the 27PE and 29VE and we felt that for the extra 2 feet, getting a couch as well as a bed that did not split/fold was worth the tradeoff.
As far as handling mods, I am not sure what the length ratio is (somewhere less than 55% though), and we did get handling mods (steering stabilizer, front track bar, and stiffer sway bars) a are happy we did those mods, although I am not sure we needed all of them.
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Old 04-16-2020, 03:18 PM   #5
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Thanks for the insight we will check it out. Nothing is set in stone until after this pandemic is under control.
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Old 04-16-2020, 04:45 PM   #6
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As TMac99 says...We needed a suitable floor plan for extended winter stays (Snowbirds)..Extremely happy with the Winnie 29ve especially after front and back sway bar modifications..
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Old 04-16-2020, 05:33 PM   #7
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So much depends on what we each do with the RV. One thing that we finally set as a priority was a comfortable place to set and the dinettes are NOT it! So decide how much you want comfort and look for seating if you plan to spend much time in the RV. We definitely want a full time bed that can be ready for use without hassle as there are just too many times when one of us decides we feel like stretching out and that is part of our plan. We want to do what we feel at the time, not wait and make up the bed at any specific time.
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Old 04-16-2020, 11:42 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Paulie G View Post
Thanks for the insight we will check it out. Nothing is set in stone until after this pandemic is under control.
Actually, now might be the time to strike a good deal...

Let’s face it, most of these rigs could use some enhanced stabilizers. We rented enough to learn that when we bought our first “second home” for business, that was the FIRST thing we did. These rigs handle poorly, well, the Ford F53’s do out of the gate, can’t speak for others. I suppose more expensive diesel pushers might not have that issue.

Steering stabilizers, front and rear anti-sway bars and automatic adjustable (Koni) shocks were installed by me the same weekend I drove it home.

Expect that, at the least, and you’ll be much more happy.

As for MPG...as Morich has said on this forum, “not so good for a car, but great for a house” (still the best line BTW). We get 7.2 MPG, if that helps. Last we rented a 2016 THOR 30.8 and we only got 4.5 MPG.

Then, you’ll want to change out the mattress, and shower head. Both abominable IMHO.
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Old 04-17-2020, 07:42 AM   #9
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I would not settle for a split mattress on a Class A. It is too big an investment to be dealing with a funky mattress. I suggest you stick with units that can still be used with the slides in. You should be able to sleep, use the bathroom and cook with the slides in. You will want this if overnighting in a parking lot or if severe weather requires you to put the slide outs in. If your wallet can withstand it, I also recommend driving some of the DPs. There is a lot to like there and many manufacturers are now producing shorter versions. The thing about owning a shorter unit is not so much the driving, you get used to that. It is more about the availability of campsites. The shorter the unit the larger the selection of available campsites.
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Old 04-17-2020, 08:08 AM   #10
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If this helps with your mileage question. We recently wrapped up a nearly 3 year trip with just over 31K miles. We tow a Mini Cooper Roadster 4-down and have a 2008 chassis Vista 32k.(2010 build). We've got a 5-speed trans V10 with the 5-Star tune and averaged 6.69 mpg over that time running at or near 64-65 much of the time.
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Old 04-17-2020, 11:23 AM   #11
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The 27pe is one of my favorite floor plans, in that it has a couch and dinette directly across from each other, and an angled kitchen counter. In a small kitchen, this gives a bit more counter space. The couch/ dinette relationship is perfect for having guests, playing games, etc. I agree with others that the dinette is uncomfortable. Iíve removed it in my last 2 RVís and replaced with a comfortable reclining couch.

I also like the slides on the driver side. Having one on the passenger side will sometimes take away from walking space in a campsite.

What I donít like about this floor plan is the bed isnít useable unless the slide is out. Weather, staying in a parking lot for the night, or limited space sometimes requires camping without using the slides.

Being your first RV, pay attention to windows as well. We always go with large, full sliding windows for great airflow. Large windows that only pop out at the bottom 2Ē, or small sliding sections at the bottom of a large window are just big heaters. Pay attention when going on a dealers lot as they will always turn on the AC when you go inside. Turn it off and open all the windows! Not an issue if you live in a cold climate or always have hookups, but dry camping will get HOT with poor airflow.

I went with an INTENT 26m for our current RV. Very similar layout, just a bit shorter, with a fully usable layout with the slides in.
For handling.... I agree with the other replies. The wheelbase ratio and weight distribution are key.

The Ford F53 chassis is generic and will need tweaking.
Safety Steer, thicker sway bars, rear track bar, a professional alignment are all necessary on a low ratio coach.

I had my front beam bent to adjust the camber, shims for caster and toe adjusted IN to prevent wandering. What was once a complete white knuckled NIGHTMARE to drive is now as it should have been off the lot.


Good luck!

-Robb
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Old 04-17-2020, 08:14 PM   #12
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27PE

We really like our 18 Sunstar. The floor plan was what sold us. It is open and you donít have that closed in feeling. I have done quite a few mods to mine. Just two weeks ago I added a girard gswh2 tankless water heater. Sumo springs, steering stabilizer, and the cheap handling fix really helped the drivability of the motor home. We lime the fact that there is both a dinette and sofa with the t.v. across from the sofa. I donít think you will be disappointed with this model. Just about every trip out someone stops by to ask about the motor home.
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Old 04-18-2020, 12:12 AM   #13
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Unless you have a storage issue for a 32' rig, I recommend considering the Vista 32YE (55% ratio). The king size bed is pretty awesome. The closet space is great. And the split bathroom is our preference with a shower that's not huge, but big enough IMO. The bathroom has a good amount of counter space, which the misses loves. The kitchen counter has good space for working on food too, something my wife is picky about. Bonus is the 4 door fridge, lots of food space.

For handling, it does need some work. I read about other owners that start off with the least expensive modifications first, like stiffer shocks. I don't think that's needed. Some try Sumo springs, I don't recommend that either. And steering stabilizers, not needed IMO. My approach was to first get a good alignment, which the factory doesn't do after putting the body on the chassis. Then I installed Roadmaster HD anti-sway bars on the front and back, which is the most expensive option to improve handling, about $2K. I found those two modifications totally transformed the handling characterics of my rig. I didn't have to use stiffer Sumos or shocks, which in my opinion make for a more harsh ride, which I didn't want. As a result, the wind doesn't push the rig around as much. What surprised me was how well the rig tracked, compared to before. I didn't expect such an improvement in tracking from anti-sway bars. I've been quite happy with the handling since, hence I feel no need to add anything more. We flat tow a Honda CRV and it's been good.
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Old 04-22-2020, 06:38 PM   #14
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We love ours. The king-size bed is awesome- we installed The Froli System and love the factory mattress. It is actually more comfortable than our extremely expensive Sleep Number bed in our house. As others have mentioned, you will definitely want to install a rear Trac-Bar and steering stabilizer to solve the handling issues. Trac-Bar solves the tail-wagging-the-dog issue from semi-trucks passing you and steering stabilizer helps with cross-winds. We absolutely love the layout. Rarely use the forward drop-down bed but it is very nice. It handled the mountains out West with no problem. Tow-Haul is a great feature in the mountains. The only problem we had was poor factory sealing around the bathroom skylight.
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Old 04-22-2020, 07:21 PM   #15
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Sunstar 27pe

We have the sun star 27N and have loved it. All i did was the cheap handling fix and it needs nothing else. You can drive it with one hand on the wheel and there is no problem with trucks passing etc. Gas milage if you keep it at 55 is on average about 9. Quality has been very good and other then a couple of factory recalls no issues. Love the 3 slides and the storage it has.
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Old 04-22-2020, 08:33 PM   #16
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For handling, it does need some work.
Then I installed Roadmaster HD anti-sway bars on the front and back, which is the most expensive option to improve handling, about $2K.
You could have saved a bunch of money by trying the "Cheap Handling Fix" first. It worked wonders for our Sightseer 29R. The only other addition that made a difference was a $400 rear track bar. I installed it myself.
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Old 04-22-2020, 10:05 PM   #17
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I know this wasn't directed at me, but I did the same. I started with the full CHF, which was better, but the front end suffered from jerkiness, as many others have experience.
I made extended front links, but kept them in the CHF position, which helped the jerkiness, but lost some of the effectiveness of the CHF.
I put on big fat heavy duty sway bars front and rear, but kept the longer links up front. HUGE difference. Also added a rear track bar (factory front track bar) around the same time.
So, if you love the CHF, chances are that you'll really love it with fat sway bars.


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You could have saved a bunch of money by trying the "Cheap Handling Fix" first. It worked wonders for our Sightseer 29R. The only other addition that made a difference was a $400 rear track bar. I installed it myself.
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Old 04-23-2020, 08:32 AM   #18
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So, if you love the CHF, chances are that you'll really love it with fat sway bars.
I used the Hellwig adjustable end links to fine tune the CHF on our rig.
I then took the longer front links and used them for the CHF on the rear.
What made the most difference was putting in sway bar bushings in the rear. They were gone. Not "bad" or "shot" or "worn", simply not there. At all.
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Old 04-23-2020, 11:14 AM   #19
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What made the most difference was putting in sway bar bushings in the rear. They were gone. Not "bad" or "shot" or "worn", simply not there. At all.
Mine were melted, I couldn't believe it. Melted like someone put a torch to them melted. The poly replacements are solid! Newer RV's they went away from the rubber bushings.
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Old 04-23-2020, 11:19 AM   #20
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I know this wasn't directed at me, but I did the same. I started with the full CHF, which was better, but the front end suffered from jerkiness, as many others have experience.
I made extended front links, but kept them in the CHF position, which helped the jerkiness, but lost some of the effectiveness of the CHF.
I put on big fat heavy duty sway bars front and rear, but kept the longer links up front. HUGE difference. Also added a rear track bar (factory front track bar) around the same time.
So, if you love the CHF, chances are that you'll really love it with fat sway bars.
I will always choose adding the roadmaster sway bar on the rear over a rear CHF because the sway bar is installed in addition to the existing factory sway bar. There is no way the CHF can come close to the stiffness provided by the addition of a second sway bar.
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