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Old 04-14-2021, 09:03 AM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2021
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Smile Downsizing from Class A to Class C

Let me first say, thanks in advance for any constructive input you may be able to share! My wife and I realized that as we have become more chronologically gifted (read; getting older) we were just not comfortable any more driving a 40DP. Plus over the last nine years we have done a lot of “freeway” RVing. Now we want to travel more of the backroads and see some of the out of the way beauty of this great land. Beyond the obvious, less storage... Any thoughts, hacks, organizing and/or tips for us? While we are a long way from being RV newbies...this is going to be something new. Safe travels to y’all!
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Old 04-14-2021, 12:26 PM   #2
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My wife and I are going in the opposite direction - we have been in a Forest River Solera 24 R (Winnebago sells a similar model known as the View or the Navion), built on the Mercedes chassis for a number of years, and we are awaiting our Winnebago Adventurer 29B to be delivered from the factory to our local dealer.

As with all things, there are pros and cons about each make and model of a Class C. Let me share some thoughts from our perspective:
  • Size pro: the single biggest pro for the MB chassis is that it fits just about anywhere. For the most part, it drives like a (large) van, and it is incredibly easy to maneuver, especially relative to what you're used to. Getting in and out of gas stations, small parks, etc., is just a breeze when driving an MB-based Class C.
  • Size con: with all of the above said, the chassis really limits the internal square footage and the carrying capacity. Because the units are small, you have to significantly downsize the amount of stuff you carry, and you have to be prepared to shrink your living space. This is the reason that we are moving up in size from C to A: we want the ability to both entertain a bit more and to bring more stuff.
  • Fuel pro: because the MB chassis is smaller and lighter, the engine required to move it is much smaller, and the fuel mileage is nothing short of amazing. We were often getting 15 - 16 mpg in favorable conditions, and even with a fuel tank that is only 24 gallons, our range was excellent. It also helps that diesel prices in the last couple of years have been lower than regular gas on average. This probably won't always be true, but it has helped.
  • Maintenance con: RV's break and they need serviced. Getting service for the MB chassis can be very challenging, particularly when you're on the road. We live near a major metro area (Seattle) and we are lucky enough to have a couple of MB service centers locally that specialize in Sprinter van service. But, once you get away from major metro areas, the number of resources available to service your MB rig in a time of crisis drops precipitously. Even things like metric system nuts / bolts and odd tire sizes can be tough to find / fix.

I'm sure you'll make the best decision for you and your spouse. I hope some of these learnings help you. Best of luck in the transition!
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2021 Winnebago Adventurer 29B
Snohomish, WA
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Old 04-14-2021, 12:44 PM   #3
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We went through a similar thought process last fall. Virtually all Class Cs with an aerodynamic design are built on Mercedes Sprinter chassis and that severely limits tankage and storage volume.

So after searching for a suitable Class Cs, we hit on very short Class As. Winnie used to make one, the Via, built on the Mercedes Sprinter chassis that solves the storage space and tankage problem nicely, but the most recent ones were built in 2017 I think and we wanted a newer one.

Thor now makes a very similar looking short Class A, their Axis or Vegas (same coach just branding) based on the Ford E350/450 chassis but it is a gasoline engine. We ended up buying the 24.1 version with twin aft beds and loads of storage as well as tankage. I can live with less fuel mileage (but at a cheaper price per gallon) for these features.

I have had it for a few months and am struggling with all of the modern electronics. I am not a Luddite but I prefer positive switches for awnings, slides, lights and the water pump over a touch screen display and control unit. Otherwise I like it very much.

David

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Old 04-14-2021, 01:43 PM   #4
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Hi 2Dannylee,
Just get what I have; a Minnie Winnie 22M on an E-450 frame. Huge water storage tanks, not too big, but still with a walk-around Queen and a generous ¾ bath. You can carry two tons of cargo, so you can collect all the rocks you want on the way (shades of The Long Trailer.) With the new Godzilla engine, you will have power to spare.
It is my belief that the classic Class C from Winnebago is both more reliable and less expensive to buy and service than the Mercedes counterparts. Classic tried-and-true components.
Thanks, Eagle5
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