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[RC] Class C Motor Homes - Paul Sidio

I have a 2000 model 31 foot Class C  with the Ford V-10 gas engine.. It is on the Ford F-450 chassis. Some RV's come on the F-350 chassis, but a dealer told me that the 450 would do better towing a trailer. There are Class C RVs with Chevy chassis, but we didn't like them as much.  We pull a  steel two horse trailer with it. So far it has been great. Gas usage is a little over 8 mpg average. BUT I keep it at 60-62 MPH on the Interstate. Any faster and it drops down close to  7 mpg.  It pulls the hills as well  as a pickup  does.
I hunted for a used vehicle with the hydralic leveling jacks option. It is super nice to be able to pull into an uneven camp site (typical for endurance rides) and jiggle the joystick around and drop all four legs down until we get level. It takes about 60-90  seconds to get it done. It costs between $5,000 -$7,000 to add this to  an older unit, so we hunted for one with it as original equipment.
The other option we added were rear auxilury air suspension bags. We got the kind with their own compresser. What this does is add or subtract firmness to the rear suspension which helps while towing a trailer. It makes it so much better when you pass a semi truck on a two lane road, and in cross winds. It cuts the sway a lot. It costs $700-$1000 to add this on.
In my mind, the main advantage a Class C has over a class A is the drivers and passenger door situation. In a Class C, you can easily get out to check horses, tires, how far you are from backing into that tree behind you, etc etc. In a Class A, you have to get out on the passenger side, in the middle of the unit. That is not nearly as handy. My wife was also concerned about safety. Our Class C came with drivers and passenger airbags. Most if not all the Class A units we looked at had no airbags.
One thing we did look for was how the frame extention was put on. I had some experienced RV people look at it, and they said our vehicle was solidly built.  Right behind the rear wheels is where they extend the frame for longer RV's . Some are built tougher than others. An experienced RV mechanic can tell you what to look for. The only thing was that the standard equipment hitch on this model was only 3500 pounds, so we replaced it with a 7500 pound hitch. Another thing to look for is how far the rear overhang is. When you go through a dip, the rear end can drag on the ground. Our unit has skid plates for going through dips. It takes a little getting used to when you hear metal scraping on the pavement when you pull into  a steep driveway. Not all Ford F-450's have the same wheelbase. The longer the better.
One of the past advantages with diesels was the supposedly slightly better fuel economy. Now we are seeing gas sell for 50 cents a gallon cheaper than diesel, so it costs more to travel with a diesel rig.
We bought our  used 2000 model Four Winds Chateau with 15,000 miles for $30,000 from an individual.  You can get mid 90's rigs with under 50,000 miles for around $15-$20,000.
We considered shorter units, but my wife wanted a walk around queen sized rear bed. This way a person can get up in the middle of the night to check horses without having to climb over the other person in the bed getting in and out.  She also wanted to be able to sit on the toilet without having one elbow in the sink and the other in the tub. I only agreed in the interest of keeping my crew comfortable:)
Hope this helps answer some questions about using an RV for endurance rides.
Paul N. Sidio
Spokane Missouri