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Old 02-18-2014, 04:58 PM   #1
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Solara and Family of 4????

I am looking for an RV and my wife is insisting that we get a sprinter based RV. She doesn't like the idea of a class C fuel hog. We have had many different RV's over the last 18 years, but never a motorhome. We want small when driving and large when camping.

We are currently looking at the 24R but are concerned with the carrying capacity. With 2 adults, an 8 year old and 3 year old we are currently at about 515 lbs. With a full tank of water (do a lot of dry camping), that only leaves us with about 300 lbs for of all our gear and food. We would like to tow a small trailer that weighs 2,000lbs on occasion.

Are people buying these with families? It seams by reading on here that it's mostly just couples.

If you are a family that owns a sprinter based motorhome, how is it working out?

Are owners actually able to stay under the GVWR?
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:14 PM   #2
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I come up with a little over 400lbs left.

Remember UVW is the weight of the unit including full fuel and full LP.

If you tow a trailer, you're looking at 10% tongue weight which goes against GVWR.
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:32 PM   #3
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Even with 400 lbs, that's not enough to tow a trailer and have food and gear loaded in the coach. I wish the GVWR was about 1,000 more. Hopefully Ford will produce the Transit chassis with a diesel and a 14,000 GVWR in the next few months. I can honestly say that I am really bummed. These little Solara's look to be perfect on every other way.
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:59 PM   #4
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What makes it perfect though?

A 3.0L V6 diesel is not going to pull a 14,000lbs unit around. So there goes the great fuel economy even on a diesel transit van. If you need the capacity why not go to a 2500 Sunseeker/2501 Forester (for the same trim level). Those are built on a 14,500lbs chassis. Get 8-10 mpg. Yes, the Sprinter gets 14-16, but diesel costs more and you have to add DEF fluid as well. Not to mention the roughly $15,000 premium you pay to get that diesel in the first place. Or look at the Chevy. They claim it gets about a mile per gallon better than Ford.

Don't get me wrong, I love the Solera, but in my opinion fuel economy is that last thing you should be worried about in an RV. Unless you're doing a TON of driving...fuel costs are a small percentage over the overall ownership costs.
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:59 PM   #5
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According to the current Solara brochure, the 24S weighs in at 9,700 lbs. But we are looking at the 24R, which weighs 9,852. This leaves (11,030-9,852=) 1,178 lbs available for cargo. I guess I would need to leave all of the water empty and not bring any extra clothes. It just doesn't make any sense.

1,178 carrying capacity
Occupants = 515 lbs
Water @ 41*8.35 = 342 lbs

Remaining capacity for all food, drink, clothes etc, etc.

= 321 lbs
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:05 PM   #6
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2500 on a Chevy (about 24" longer with an extra slide)
14,200-11,500=2700 carrying capacity.
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:08 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by bclemens View Post
What makes it perfect though?

A 3.0L V6 diesel is not going to pull a 14,000lbs unit around. So there goes the great fuel economy even on a diesel transit van. If you need the capacity why not go to a 2500 Sunseeker/2501 Forester (for the same trim level). Those are built on a 14,500lbs chassis. Get 8-10 mpg. Yes, the Sprinter gets 14-16, but diesel costs more and you have to add DEF fluid as well. Not to mention the roughly $15,000 premium you pay to get that diesel in the first place. Or look at the Chevy. They claim it gets about a mile per gallon better than Ford.

Don't get me wrong, I love the Solera, but in my opinion fuel economy is that last thing you should be worried about in an RV. Unless you're doing a TON of driving...fuel costs are a small percentage over the overall ownership costs.

You are right, the Ford or Chevy Chassis looks like a better option. As far as why we like it? The Solara Is small enough to out in our driveway. We also like the resale value. I am hearing that Ford is doing away with the E series chassis next year. We might just have to wait to see what comes out. We have two vehicles that have Ford's Ecoboost motor in them. That motor would be great in a motorhome.
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:11 PM   #8
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Ford E-series is not going away next year. Currently they do not have a transit van that has a high enough GVWR for us to build on. Ford has confirmed that the E series will be around until the end of this decade.

I'm guessing we'll see the ecoboost in a transit before the end of the decade...but with Ford, I never hold my breath.
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:47 PM   #9
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My wife and I took our grand daughters age 10 and 13 on a trip last summer. Even towing a car on a dolly, we had no problems covering about 1500 miles in all type of terrain with our 24S.
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