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Old 01-01-2015, 06:04 PM   #1
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What do you like and dislike about your Class A?

We posted earlier about the doors in a class A and the responses were great. So now want to expand a little.
We are full timers now in a 30 foot 5th wheel. We are getting ready to move up to a class A so are beginning lots of research on them. We are going to the Tampa RV Show this month.
We plan to travel to all 49 states and Canada over the next 10 years. So with this in mind, we believe a Diesel is the way to go. We do want to boon dock (still learning about what that is exactly-but know it will save us $$ and allow us to go to some cool places). We love to hike, beach comb, and visit historic locations and tour museums.
So we'd love to learn about the experiences of others who have been there and done that!
Feel free to talk about your toad...also starting to learn about them.
Thanks so much in advance for sharing!
Deb
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Old 01-04-2015, 07:29 PM   #2
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I'm no expert on answering your various questions, but well educated after gathering information over the years. In no particular order then...........

Diesels vs Gas Class A........cost of purchase aside, IF big mileage is an issue. I guess diesel is the way to go.......millions of truckers can't be wrong. However, today's gas engine for the Class A's (and nowadays almost all RV brands are powered with the Ford V10 Triton) will go great distances without trouble as long as you keep up with regular maintenance. Also, just about any given repair on a gas vs a diesel is significantly cheaper, there is a Ford dealership in just about every little town around the country, and the workings of the Ford part are not a mystery to a good mechanic, even though it's in an RV. There are instances when an RV with a diesel problem will have you miles from a reputable service center that can work on it. Diesel mechanics really don't like the fact that your motor may need servicing which is located under your bed or bathroom (layout to be determined) and you probably won't like them trekking through your entire unit to get to it with their coveralls, boots etc. Finally, RVers usually go to the bottom of the list for priority of service because the trucker (who's still working for a living) needs to have his rig ASAP for just in time delivery as opposed to your inconvenience of travelling for pleasure..........just sayin'

If you plan on boon-docking, a good generator can be found in both kinds of class A's. However, more class A gas motorhomes have the option of electric/propane fridges versus residential only which are found in almost all diesels. Class A gas offer more floorplans of a smaller rig for going to near beaches or hiking areas. More maneuverable.

Toads........manual or automatic transmission will be a big factor when it comes to 4 wheel down towing versus dolly towing. It's a personal matter for whoever will drive the toad, and how you bring it along. Also, what will you need/want it to do? If you're not planning on off-road adventures or lots of driving on the beach, or heaven forbid, driving in the snow.........do you need 4WD or AWD?

Just a few things that make you go hmmmmmmmmmm
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Old 01-04-2015, 09:11 PM   #3
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Thank you!!! Great food for thought!
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Old 01-06-2015, 06:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenandterry View Post
I'm no expert on answering your various questions, but well educated after gathering information over the years. In no particular order then...........

Diesels vs Gas Class A........cost of purchase aside, IF big mileage is an issue. I guess diesel is the way to go.......millions of truckers can't be wrong. However, today's gas engine for the Class A's (and nowadays almost all RV brands are powered with the Ford V10 Triton) will go great distances without trouble as long as you keep up with regular maintenance. Also, just about any given repair on a gas vs a diesel is significantly cheaper, there is a Ford dealership in just about every little town around the country, and the workings of the Ford part are not a mystery to a good mechanic, even though it's in an RV. There are instances when an RV with a diesel problem will have you miles from a reputable service center that can work on it. Diesel mechanics really don't like the fact that your motor may need servicing which is located under your bed or bathroom (layout to be determined) and you probably won't like them trekking through your entire unit to get to it with their coveralls, boots etc. Finally, RVers usually go to the bottom of the list for priority of service because the trucker (who's still working for a living) needs to have his rig ASAP for just in time delivery as opposed to your inconvenience of travelling for pleasure..........just sayin'

If you plan on boon-docking, a good generator can be found in both kinds of class A's. However, more class A gas motorhomes have the option of electric/propane fridges versus residential only which are found in almost all diesels. Class A gas offer more floorplans of a smaller rig for going to near beaches or hiking areas. More maneuverable.

Toads........manual or automatic transmission will be a big factor when it comes to 4 wheel down towing versus dolly towing. It's a personal matter for whoever will drive the toad, and how you bring it along. Also, what will you need/want it to do? If you're not planning on off-road adventures or lots of driving on the beach, or heaven forbid, driving in the snow.........do you need 4WD or AWD?

Just a few things that make you go hmmmmmmmmmm
I come from a diesel background (trucking) but I am really big on gas trucks and MH's. I really like what you said about there being a ford dealer in every city. I have talked to guys with DP's that have had work done at truck shops and had grease stains in carpet etc...I like and have owned diesels but for a lot of us it can be more trouble than it's worth.
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Old 01-07-2015, 07:00 PM   #5
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Being an owner of a DP Motorhome, I'd never go back to a gasser... Had one before my diesel.

The ride of a diesel is unsurpassed and the torque from a diesel really makes a HUGE difference when towing that toad up one of those mountain passes you will encounter on your 48 state trip... Granted, upkeep might be more BUT if you maintain your rig as it should be maintained that shouldn't be an issue..... An oil/filter change on my diesel runs about $400 BUT I only have to get it done every 12,000 - 15,000 miles..... My mpg runs between 10 - 13 mpg depending on various factors....

There isn't a gasser out there that can hold a candle to my diesel when climbing steep grades which is extremely important to me.... I don't want to be the guy that has traffic backed up for miles because I've slowed down to 30 mph..... Plus - I ABSOLUTELY love the engine brake when I'm coming down the other side....

I'm sure there are others that will agree and disagree with me and that's fine....


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Old 01-07-2015, 08:23 PM   #6
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First off I drive a 32 foot C and not an A but I'll ignore the diesel vs gas conversation but for the record I prefer the front engine diesels.

Things I like in my current rig that weren't on my last rig:

- The external wash out for the black tank
- built in water filter
- A hole in my counter top that goes to the trash can.
- The outside light next to the utility hookups
- A quiet generator
- 15K AC/Heat pump - Great for cool morning but the furnace is still a must for real cold
- Artic packs on the tanks and heated compartments
- DSI water heater for near instant hot water
- Insulated roof - the big win here is a quieter drive.
- cedar linings in the cabinets
- well thought out power outlet locations in the bedroom, at counter level, and in the bathroom.

Things I don't like

- The wrap around dinette. When you're sliding around to get in the middle it's really easy to knock your head. When you convert it to a bed the irregular seams from the cushions make it tough to get comfortable when sleeping without velcroing the cushions together and carting around a heavy sleeping mat to top off the cushions. We don't use the dinette for sleeping unless we're absolutely desperate.

- Large gas rigs are a pain at the gas pump even at truck stops because many gas pumps are made for smaller vehicles and boy do you get looks when your rig and toad take up two pumps to fill a big tank.

- Noisy gas engine when pulling through mountains and the inability to regain speed when it's lost. I can hold speed with the V10 but if I get caught by a slow vehicle I'm done. There is no accelerating on a grade.

- The electric and drain lines are in the same compartment. They're separated by an internal barrier but fluids go right around it and if there's a leak oh man is it fun to clean up.

- Having my bed in the slide. My head is right there in the slide and the slide doesn't have as much insulation as the rest of the rig has so I get cold during cold nights.

Things I wish I had

- Full electric rig. I've had a propane leak before so I'm a bit paranoid about carrying that high pressure tank around.

- Larger fridge. I don't want a residential fridge but a double door dual mode fridge would be nice. Yeah, I know, a dual mode fridge doesn't work with a full electric rig but these are wishes!

- Leveling Jacks even though I know they're a pain to maintain and you still have to get out to level safely at many sites.
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Old 01-08-2015, 11:40 PM   #7
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Thanks all for these great insights! Can't wait to go to the Florida RV show in Tampa next week....
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Old 01-09-2015, 12:30 AM   #8
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Not only the towing, but the braking system on a diesel is much better than any gasser. Air brakes and exhaust/engine brake can be a life saver.

Not knocking gassers, just making a point.
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Old 01-09-2015, 06:59 PM   #9
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We travel with 3 kids and a dog. This made the Class A a much quieter ride than being crammed into my truck while towing a 5er. Also, the fact that our kids can watch TV, play games, eat lunch, and use the bathroom all on the go was a big plus. Set up and parking is now a breeze as well. Just food for thought.
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Old 01-12-2015, 07:40 AM   #10
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Not only the towing, but the braking system on a diesel is much better than any gasser. Air brakes and exhaust/engine brake can be a life saver.

Not knocking gassers, just making a point.

Thanks! We're leaning towards a diesel and this helps!
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Old 01-12-2015, 07:42 AM   #11
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We travel with 3 kids and a dog. This made the Class A a much quieter ride than being crammed into my truck while towing a 5er. Also, the fact that our kids can watch TV, play games, eat lunch, and use the bathroom all on the go was a big plus. Set up and parking is now a breeze as well. Just food for thought.

These are reasons to "upgrade" - from our lite 5 th wheel, especially the easier set up and disconnect!
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:09 PM   #12
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With a name like "Harley" Bill...are you gonna be pulling or loading bikes... or a toad ...or both? Might make a difference in your choices.
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:31 PM   #13
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I think if your wanting the full package it's got to be a diesel. I think (newer) both class A's are good for the 100k-150k mileage range. I like the floor plans of the 5rs and I've always been a pickup man so it would be extra hard to convert to flat tow. Right now I'm looking at a F-450. This will give extra space for the puppies and children (plus 8ft box for my stuff). One of the better features to the diesel is basement storage. Good luck!
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Old 01-13-2015, 12:27 AM   #14
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The Ford V10 has the Tow Haul feature-I use that going up hill and down hill. The 30 valve engine has a great torque rating. It's slower going up hill but I'm not in a hurry. You can tap the brakes going down hill and get engine braking. Ford has a 7500 mile oil change interval. There are arguements for both engines. My wife's parents went cross country several times in a National gasser with no issues. I bought the gasser. There are a lot of gas units that have many of the amenities of a diesel.
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Old 01-13-2015, 02:18 AM   #15
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I went right from towing a FR - Rockwood with a Ram 1500 to a Berkshire. I love the torque of the DP, the fuel mileage, the maintenance intervals, the engine brake, the basement storage and the sturdiness of a Class A. Another plus IMO for the DP is the Allison 3000 transmission: it handles the power and the torque of the Cummins 360 with apparent ease. The engine/tranmission combined with the air brakes makes towing a breeze. The hydraulic leveling jacks makes set-up pretty much painless. I especially like the Berkshire's wet bay layout. About the only thing I wish I had is a power shore power cord reel.
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Old 01-13-2015, 06:55 AM   #16
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Wonder if we can change our name? Bill gave up his Harley to go full time! He said can't go both and he couldn't resolve bringing it along. Initially he wanted a Class A and bring it on a lift, no Toad. But I said we'll need a car for our grandson....so the bike went....I'm still in shock!
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Old 01-13-2015, 06:59 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Campin Cajun View Post
Not only the towing, but the braking system on a diesel is much better than any gasser. Air brakes and exhaust/engine brake can be a life saver.

Not knocking gassers, just making a point.
Thanks! This is a consideration!
Debbie
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:06 AM   #18
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I think if your wanting the full package it's got to be a diesel. I think (newer) both class A's are good for the 100k-150k mileage range. I like the floor plans of the 5rs and I've always been a pickup man so it would be extra hard to convert to flat tow. Right now I'm looking at a F-450. This will give extra space for the puppies and children (plus 8ft box for my stuff). One of the better features to the diesel is basement storage. Good luck!
There is so much to consider, but we're tired of trying to park the truck in small towns-or restaurants even! When we go to Walmart, we park as far as we can, no one is around us, only to have 2-3 cars slammed against us! The truck is like a magnet! One time a guy pulled next to me, I was alone,
So I said, "I parked out here so no one would park next to me." He said, me too!" Oh well...
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:09 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by edgewant View Post
I went right from towing a FR - Rockwood with a Ram 1500 to a Berkshire. I love the torque of the DP, the fuel mileage, the maintenance intervals, the engine brake, the basement storage and the sturdiness of a Class A. Another plus IMO for the DP is the Allison 3000 transmission: it handles the power and the torque of the Cummins 360 with apparent ease. The engine/tranmission combined with the air brakes makes towing a breeze. The hydraulic leveling jacks makes set-up pretty much painless. I especially like the Berkshire's wet bay layout. About the only thing I wish I had is a power shore power cord reel.

Good info! Thanks!
Debbie
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:12 AM   #20
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The Ford V10 has the Tow Haul feature-I use that going up hill and down hill. The 30 valve engine has a great torque rating. It's slower going up hill but I'm not in a hurry. You can tap the brakes going down hill and get engine braking. Ford has a 7500 mile oil change interval. There are arguements for both engines. My wife's parents went cross country several times in a National gasser with no issues. I bought the gasser. There are a lot of gas units that have many of the amenities of a diesel.

We do love the tow haul feature in our Ford truck. But we hate parking it when we visit little towns, restaurants, etc.
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