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Old 12-12-2016, 02:22 PM   #1
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Model: Vegas 24.1
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Upgrade from Vegas to Larger Class A?

We are looking at possibly upgrading from a 2016 Vegas 24.1 to a 30' to 32' class A such as an ACE, Hurricane or Windsport, maybe even an Alante.

Question 1
My initial concern is towing capacity. The Vegas is on e450 chassis and actually drives better with my 4500 to 6000 lb open racecar trailer behind it. I am not certain but I think the 188" wheelbase and small overhang helps overall stability. Towing is much better than my Suburban. How do the bigger class A units tow near weight limit? The Vegas is also extremely nimble in traffic and tight spots. I keep unit in my side yard after adding 30 amp outlet.
Question 2
The bigger class A units all have more additional systems, levelers and other systems that require a degree of attention. How much extra work will the bigger unit involve? The Vegas was barely used when bought and other than occasional bath, is not much different than my Suburban.
Question 3
After reading and hearing about Quality issues throughout industry, is buying a brand new unit that risky? I do fix and maintain most things myself.

We bought the Vegas to primarily tow racecar to track to allow me to cool off between rounds and eliminate hotels during multi day races. We have also taken 3trips to WDW, a long trip to NC and a 3 day trip to GA towing racecar. We find we want to travel more after using it. Being able to take dogs with us everywhere is also a major plus.

Is bigger unit going to give us enough benefit to justify expense? Is the extra room and complexity worth the extra overhead in weight, possibly 50% more than Vegas which means it may require a pad at house.
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Old 12-12-2016, 03:07 PM   #2
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Hi,Muggs. I have a long history of towing race car trailers with motorhomes. Started with a couple of class C and graduated to a Monaco diesel pusher, and had both open and enclosed trailers.Now have a Vegas and aluminum open trailer - no race car any more, but still tow hot rods....

I agree with you- you can't beat a motorhome at the race track . Other really nice thing is an enclosed trailer - protects and stores the race car, and you can carry all the gear and spares with the car. Only reason I point this out is : if you ever want to graduate to an enclosed trailer it will really effect your decision to upgrade.

Also agree with you that the Vegas 24.1 is an excellent tow vehicle - have been impressed myself. I agree wheelbase and overhang are big factors. My class Cs had same power, but longer rear overhang, and were nowhere near as good. When I went to an enclosed trailer, they were downright dangerous in crosswinds. With an enclosed trailer, I was close to 8000 pounds. Reason I went to a diesel pusher - you can't beat that for towing !! I would recommend looking at a used diesel rather than a used gas if you are upgrading to a heavier trailer.

As far as added systems - I don't think that is a big factor. Issues I have had are much the same on all motorhomes I have had. My experience is you will have a lot of work with ANY new motorhome working out the bugs and personalizing it. That said, my Vegas - one of the first made ( early 2015 ) - has been the worst motorhome I have ever had , but it is finally coming around. I do understand they have improved the later ones. Probably the best course of action is buying a lightly used one from a meticulous owner who fixes everything before you get it ..., but used could also go the other way ...:eek

Good luck with the decision. As you go bigger with a gas motorhome, you will be getting the same motor with more weight, so you are probably going backwards for your race usage. In a diesel, watch engine size- some of the cheaper, smaller diesels don't have much towing capacity. In the Vegas you have a pretty good unit - but nothing beats an enclosed trailer and diesel pusher !
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Old 12-12-2016, 03:25 PM   #3
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Exactly a year ago we were going thru the same debate at our house. We had owned a Vegas 24.1 for two years, putting 24,000 miles on it including a four month, 14,000 mile trip to Alaska and back. Although we loved the Vegas, we thought we might move up to the 29-30', F-53 chassis to get a little more room. We went to the Tampa RV show with a check in our pocket to trade in the Vegas and purchase a new 29-30 footer. After going to multiple dealers in the Tampa area before the show and two days at the Tampa show, we bought a new Axis.
After looking at every RV from every manufacturer in the 27- 32' range, we did not find anything that we liked and met our needs more than the Axis. While the larger RVs did proved more room, not one seemed to give us any more real useable room. We we balanced that against the real increase in size and handling as well as the additional "systems" that I would need to maintain, we decided to stay with the smaller E-450 chassis. My wife really did not like the extra step up into the F-53 and I don't think she would ever have driven it. We spend two and a half months in our Axis this summer traveling to Colorado and Utah and not once did we say "I wish we had bought a bigger one." We like to drycamp and boondock in National Parks and Forests and I would have had difficulty shoehorning in a larger unit to some of the sites we were in.
Why did we trade in our 2 year old Vegas (with many improvements and fixes)? Because the 2016 Axis was on an E450 rather than an E350 chassis, it had the 6 spd rather than 5 spd transmission, the new, improved double bathroom doors and the light interior - which we like a lot more than the dark. And I bought the new one for about 1/4 of the price after trade in - zeroing out 24,000 miles.
Go to an RV show and really look at and drive the F-53 chassis RVs. I am not saying that for you they may not be the best. However, after over 50 years of owning large boats and small RVs, I am a firm believer in "the smallest that meets your needs is the best for you". Everyone always wants a "bigger boat". Many of my friends bought that one last big boat and ended up never really using it because it was too big for them to comfortably handle - especially as they got older. For me, I decided the F-53 might be that last "too big" step. We have not regretted it yet.
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Old 12-12-2016, 07:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan Fowler
That said, my Vegas - one of the first made ( early 2015 ) - has been the worst motorhome I have ever had
Actually yours would be the 2nd model year for Axis/Vegas units: We picked up our 24.1 in Feb 2014--they were introduced in the fall of 2013 as Thor's new thing.
https://thormotorcoach.com/blog/moto...ing-road-trip/
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Old 12-12-2016, 07:36 PM   #5
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Muggs, Take the time to really look at and test drive the unit at highway speeds. I bought a new Hurricane 27K and it tows my 22ft boat just fine, but it is miserable to drive towing or not by the time you take in poor handling and the noise at highway speeds pretty much eliminates the need for a radio unless you like it loud.
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Old 12-12-2016, 07:51 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
Actually yours would be the 2nd model year for Axis/Vegas units: We picked up our 24.1 in Feb 2014--they were introduced in the fall of 2013 as Thor's new thing.
https://thormotorcoach.com/blog/moto...ing-road-trip/
I too had a 2014 model and I documented many of the quality control issues that I had with the coach. I found the 2016 Axis much better in that regard. We have thoroughly enjoyed both coaches - although sometimes frustrated with all the little things. I have to remind myself that they cost me less than $70K each and if I put in a few thousand more to upgrade it, I still come out ahead. Just purchased a Progressive Dynamics 4655 to replace my WFCO charger. I could have had Thor replace the one I have under warranty, but I decided that for $200 I would buy a good one, replace it myself and save the hassle and the probability that I would just have to replace it again later.
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Old 12-12-2016, 08:48 PM   #7
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We had a year 2000 33' class A. It was way more to drive then out current 26' class C. wondered all over the road. wind had a huge impact. Heavy so harder on the engine. Infact my class C (e450) towing a 7,000lb boat is much easier then the A towing nothing.

There are a few things I miss about the A. First the front windshield. It was like you were open to the road and all the scenery. in the C its like a van. Not near the same impact when seeing mother natures wonders. I also miss the storage. The full basement was awesome.

One of the biggest reasons I went with a C vs even a vega is it is easier to get the chassis serviced. We had a workhorse chassis and it was near impossible to find someone to work on it when we blew a front wheel bearing. Called lots of truck places and they said we don't work on RV's. Called Car dealers and they wouldn't work on RV's. Maybe not a problem for routine maintenance but when you are broke down you want the most options.

If we were to go larger it would be a super C or toter home but never again a A
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Old 12-12-2016, 08:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
Actually yours would be the 2nd model year for Axis/Vegas units: We picked up our 24.1 in Feb 2014--they were introduced in the fall of 2013 as Thor's new thing.
https://thormotorcoach.com/blog/moto...ing-road-trip/
Hi,Jamie-mine was built in early 2014 - I think March. While model year says 2015 - one of the early ones - and had ALL of the early quality issues!! Have you also noticed that there are a lot less people complaining about their Axis/Vegas issues- Thor really must be making a difference !! But don't you miss our group of early owners redesigning our units!

I am also amazed at how many I am seeing on the road/ in the campgrounds now ! We are no longer unique!
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Old 12-12-2016, 09:28 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by gentilebrian View Post
We had a year 2000 33' class A. It was way more to drive then out current 26' class C. wondered all over the road. wind had a huge impact. Heavy so harder on the engine. Infact my class C (e450) towing a 7,000lb boat is much easier then the A towing nothing.

There are a few things I miss about the A. First the front windshield. It was like you were open to the road and all the scenery. in the C its like a van. Not near the same impact when seeing mother natures wonders. I also miss the storage. The full basement was awesome.

One of the biggest reasons I went with a C vs even a vega is it is easier to get the chassis serviced. We had a workhorse chassis and it was near impossible to find someone to work on it when we blew a front wheel bearing. Called lots of truck places and they said we don't work on RV's. Called Car dealers and they wouldn't work on RV's. Maybe not a problem for routine maintenance but when you are broke down you want the most options.

If we were to go larger it would be a super C or toter home but never again a A
I have found that regular Ford dealers and and shops that work on light trucks are happy to work on the E350/450 chassis. The Axis even fits in most Jiffy Lube type places to get your oil changed. I had about 2" on each side of the mirrors at a Jiffy Lube in Colorado last summer, but it fit. Made the wife really nervous. As long as you tell the Ford dealers that you want them to work on the chassis only, in three years, I have never had a problem. And at 25', the Axis is shorter than your Class C - and it has a huge front windshield.
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Old 12-12-2016, 10:42 PM   #10
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Different strokes .....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muggs View Post

...... Is bigger unit going to give us enough benefit to justify expense? ......
There is a long video of a young couple, with a large dog, who are full timers in a Class A and looking to downsize to a Class B.

Apparently, they are looking to spend money to upgrade to a much smaller motorhome for full timing, with gains coming in ways other than extra space. It just shows that for some people "bigger" is not necessarily the best solution regardless of cost.

Justifying added cost for space would seem to depend so much on buyer preferences. Some may pay more to get less.
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Old 12-12-2016, 11:49 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Oneilkeys View Post
I have found that regular Ford dealers and and shops that work on light trucks are happy to work on the E350/450 chassis. The Axis even fits in most Jiffy Lube type places to get your oil changed. I had about 2" on each side of the mirrors at a Jiffy Lube in Colorado last summer, but it fit. Made the wife really nervous. As long as you tell the Ford dealers that you want them to work on the chassis only, in three years, I have never had a problem. And at 25', the Axis is shorter than your Class C - and it has a huge front windshield.
Woops. I meant ACE not vega. the 450 chassis are easier to get serviced.
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Old 12-12-2016, 11:56 PM   #12
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Muggs, we have a Windsport 29M which is on the F 53 chassis and pull a 21' boat weighing about 5500 lbs with trailer no problem. I can tell a little difference when first accelerating but once we get going I have to look at the camera to tell it's there. I've done the front and rear CHF which made a huge difference in handling. At some point I plan on installing a front receiver hitch to make launching easier, I had one on our 28' Sportscoach and it worked great.
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Old 12-13-2016, 01:02 AM   #13
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Muggs, you asked about if the bigger unit would give you enough benefit to justify the expense. Of course, only you can answer a question like that. Folks on a different forum with more big rigs might deride our more compact RVs.

We, too, went shopping for a replacement coach, two years ago about now. We had a 33' Class A gasser, and wanted something smaller, but not TOO small. Didn't want a diesel, but needed capacity to tow our small car. The ride and power of a big diesel pusher is appealing to me, but I don't want the maintenance and repair issues and expense one in our price range would likely have. We found this model at the Tampa show in January, and haven't seen anything we like better since.

Our Vegas 25.2 is just right for the way we travel. Enough storage, inside and out, and our required walk around queen bed. Wouldn't be enough for some folks. I like that the slide is relatively light, and there is no mechanical step. Had issues with those things in the last coach.

About a new vs. used coach, do you buy new cars or used? The theory about having all the bugs worked out by the first owner may or may not work for you. I wouldn't count on that theory. We had warranty work done by dealers we didn't buy from, and now that the warranty period is past, our service options are much broader. It really helps to be a little handy and able to tackle some repairs and modifications yourself.
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Old 12-13-2016, 01:13 AM   #14
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I guess I should have mentioned we downsized from a Tuscany to ou Windsport. When we moved we no longer had storage and had to find something smaller. We're happy with our choice since our new coach has a large feel without being large. Find a floor plan you like and can live with and get it!
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Old 12-13-2016, 04:22 PM   #15
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Thanks for all the comments. After the initial excitement, wife and I are in no rush to upgrade. Since the Vegas is used 2 or 3 times a month for racecar towing it gets exercised a lot.
I asked wife to name 3 biggest irritants. In final analysis, bigger portion can be accomodated in current unit.
We need to change habits and carry what will actually need/use a trip. Keeping 14 rolls of paper towels and 12 rolls of toilet paper in the internal storage may be a bit much. Is especially poignant when there is still bottled water in fridge from day we brought home back in June. We need to stop stuffing unit full. I would guess many a new RVer has seen this.
Vvalue question is me thinking out loud, in reality best value is what gets job done comfortably withoUT added work.
We will drive an F-53 based unit soon. If we do go bigger, it will be after serious consideration.
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Old 12-13-2016, 04:42 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Muggs View Post
...
We need to change habits and carry what will actually need/use a trip. Keeping 14 rolls of paper towels and 12 rolls of toilet paper in the internal storage may be a bit much. Is especially poignant when there is still bottled water in fridge from day we brought home back in June. We need to stop stuffing unit full. I would guess many a new RVer has seen this.
That is not limited to new RVer's. We have been at this for years and, as an example, my wife carries 4 sets of glass bowls. One set for soup, one for chili and the other for salads. I made the mistake one time of joking around and asking what she was going to do if we had beef stew. It took two days to convince her that stew and chili can be eaten out of the same bowls.
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Old 12-13-2016, 06:43 PM   #17
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That is not limited to new RVer's. We have been at this for years and, as an example, my wife carries 4 sets of glass bowls. One set for soup, one for chili and the other for salads. I made the mistake one time of joking around and asking what she was going to do if we had beef stew. It took two days to convince her that stew and chili can be eaten out of the same bowls.
Boy I'm glad my wife isn't reading this she would be bowl shopping. Having a smaller RV it took us several trips to figure out what we need and have cut out a lot but we are supplied with enough stuff to be out 2-3 months at a time. The only area we could cut (DW could cut) is on the amount of cloths she takes. After 43 years I don't think that will change and fortunately we have enough room.
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Old 12-13-2016, 07:20 PM   #18
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Interesting discussion on all the "stuff" needed: We were very surprised that the new Axis fit everything we pulled out of our 31ft 5th wheel except for the 5th wheel specific stuff (which we didn't even try to fit) and one lounger.

The 5er had that huge "basement" with all kinds of room..we thought for sure that we'd have to eliminate some stuff.
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