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Old 02-19-2015, 11:44 PM   #1
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Looking at Freedom Elite 22E to get back to RVing

Hi,

My wife and I had been RVing and sailing for decades until some minor strokes sidelined me. Now I am feeling better and we're looking to get back into RVing with a smaller RV, perhaps a Class C.

We had been looking for something around 22' to 24' in a used one and saw the Freedom Elite 22E on the Camping World Web site. The only thing we know about it is that it appears to be produced for Camping World and that the price looks good compared to older, used Class C's of comparable size. The advantage of a new RV warranty would seem obvious. About the only requirement we have is that we will need to tow a car.

When I found this forum, I thought this would be a good place to get information from Thor owners about the Thor Freedom Elite 22E. Can any of you give me information about the quality of this unit? We would greatly appreciate any and all input.

Thanks, in advance.

Dick
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Old 02-28-2015, 03:52 AM   #2
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Hi, yes the Freedom Elite is a "private brand" for Camping World. I'm sure the bones are the same as the Four Winds and Chateau 22E as they probably are on the same build line. With the Freedom Elite floor plans, options and colors are very limited. When I looked at them a year ago the only choice was which of only 3 plans. I would pull the features/ specs off of the Thor 22E model and then compare it to what literature Camping World has on the Freedom. Not sure if they skimped in areas to get the price down or if Camping World guaranteed a large number of units to get the lower price. On the Thor website you can go to literature and select download only and see specs of archived past year models.
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Old 02-28-2015, 10:55 AM   #3
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I have not seen a lot of people towing a vehicle with shorter wheelbase motorhomes such as the 22E. Not saying it can't be done, but I think it will be a bit more sensitive to the characteristics of the vehicle you are towing.

I'd go for as small and as light if a tow vehicle as I could.

Hopefully someone that tows with the smaller Class C's can provide some info.

Even with my 30ft coach, I struggled with the tow vehicle, and ended up finding a 2002 Pontiac GrandAm in incredible condition. It weighs 3,000lbs, and I am comfortable with that. I was originally going to tow my 4,200lb Taurus, but I had some concern about towing so much weight.

I wanted to keep the tow weight as low as practical - even though my rig can tow up to 5,000lbs. I don't think I would want to tow 5,000lbs with my coach.

When I visited the Four Winds plant awhile back, they were producing Four Winds and Chateau branded coaches interchangeably. The tour guide left me with the impression that the coaches were the same, just branded for different markets/dealers.

As far as Freedom Elite I cannot say as I did not personally see any of them at the plant. But I'd guess this is also a branding situation, as I do believe Freedom Elite coaches are exclusive to Camping World.

While not definitive, I have seen my 28Z in the Freedom Elite brand, and I could not really tell much difference from my Four Winds badged rig.
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Old 02-28-2015, 01:48 PM   #4
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Thanks for the responses. They give us some things to think about. One thing that we have run into is that if we do get back into RVing and travel as much as we actually want to, the smaller size we were first considering might not be as optimal as we thought. Even just 2 of us living for a month, in a very small class C, could get a bit tight quickly.

But, luckily, we're not in a hurry just yet.

Thanks again.

Dick
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Old 02-28-2015, 01:54 PM   #5
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If you are looking to keep it as short as possible and still be livable with a couple of people in it then I would strongly consider a unit with at least one slide (like the 24C instead of the 22E--they are essentially the same floorplan but when that slide is out there is more room to walk about).
Yeah slides do complicate things (more moving parts = more to go wrong) but as far as adding livable area they can't be beat.
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Old 02-28-2015, 06:38 PM   #6
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All Thor Four Winds and Chateau Class C motor homes now are rated to tow up to 8000 lbs if built after October 2014. Not sure if the Freedom Elite is the same. When I was looking for a tow vehicle I too was looking for the lowest weight and most practical vehicle so I decided on Honda CRV. Sadly Honda put a CVT transmission in the 2015 models so they can no longer be towed four down. I think the Fiat 500 with manual transmission is the lightest and easiest to tow. No fuses to pull or shifting gears before hooking up.
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Old 02-28-2015, 09:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RMS31W
All Thor Four Winds and Chateau Class C motor homes now are rated to tow up to 8000 lbs if built after October 2014.
That is not entirely factual. It is true that Thor installs an 8,000 lb hitch but the unit may not be able to tow all 8,000 lbs.
Using my Axis as an example (which if manufactured after October last year would also have the 8,000 lb hitch): My GCWR is 18,500 lbs. When I took it to the scales it weighed in at 11,500 lbs that means I can only tow 7,000 lbs not 8,000. (Allowable tow weight = GCWR - current weight from a scale.)
When doing these calculations you also have to take into account the tongue weight of whatever you're towing. To do that you subtract the current weight from GVWR. Thus in my case whatever I'm towing cannot have a tongue weight more than 1,000 lbs (my GVWR is 12,500 lbs).
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Old 03-01-2015, 03:28 AM   #8
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I was talking about flat towing, when flat towing a car there is almost no tongue weight because the vehicle is supporting itself on all 4 wheels.
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Old 03-01-2015, 03:46 AM   #9
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Even when flat towing the total combined weight cannot exceed GCWR.
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Old 03-01-2015, 09:39 AM   #10
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If you are looking to up-scale, you might want to consider a 28Z or 29G. The two units are almost identical except that the 29G has a bedroom slide. Otherwise they are the same 29'-11" length and floorplan.

Also, they are the shortest/lightest Class Cs on the E450 chassis made by Thor I believe.

We like ours as it is large enough for us to spend a week or two on the road, yet small enough to get into many state parks - at least in Michigan.

So for us, the 28Z is "right-sized".
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Old 03-01-2015, 09:55 AM   #11
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Also, when determining tow ratings, I believe Ford has a disclaimer in their typical literature that tow ratings assume flat terrain and moderate temperatures. So if you are in hills or hot weather, you may have to reduce the tow rating accordingly.

I have seen such disclaimer before in their consumer-fleet... whether or not their commercial fleet has the same disclaimer or not I have not checked. Perhaps they figure anyone buying commercial vehicles would know enough how to determine tow weight.

That sucks about the CR-V going to CVT. And that also means you cannot even dolly tow unless you do it with the 2WD CR-V.

The CR-V is one of the most popular tow vehicles - perhaps #2, behind the Jeep Wrangler, so I think Honda is potentially going to lose out on a few sales because of that.

The CR-V was always our backup plan if our Pontiac ever bites the dust... I guess we'll have to ensure we get an older one if that happens.

I had a CVT in our last car (2009 Maxima) but got rid of it for a 2014 Taurus which could be flat-towed. But then, the Pontiac became available (it's a long story), and we are towing it rather than the Taurus.

But, I never felt the CVT helped the gas mileage any. Performance maybe, but not mileage. Of course this is just a single example of my experience, so it might differ for others.
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Old 03-02-2015, 05:47 PM   #12
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I'd go for the 29Z. It has double the outside storage space 46.7 vs 98.3 cubic feet. Guess it's because of the north/ south bed configuration.
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Old 03-02-2015, 08:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RMS31W View Post
I'd go for the 29Z. It has double the outside storage space 46.7 vs 98.3 cubic feet. Guess it's because of the north/ south bed configuration.
Did you mean to say 28Z rather than 29Z?

The 28Z has 98 cu ft of storage and the 29G has 46 cu it. The bed turned sideways results in the loss of a large part of the "mega storage" compartment on the 28Z.

But in the 29G, the bedroom has the closet wall that the 28Z does not. So I suppose what is lost in outside storage in the 29G is made up by the insid storage wall in the bedroom.

Essentially they are the same floor plan other than the orientation of the bed with it's slide out.
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Old 03-03-2015, 01:50 PM   #14
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yes, 28Z
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Old 03-03-2015, 09:25 PM   #15
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dgantz

We bought a Thor 22E last summer and flat tow a 2012 terrain. I must say that we are very disappointed in the towing side. Using the camper by itself is great and we seem to have no problems. But while towing we encounter a sway or tail wag from time to time. We have invested in beefing up the suspension with hd sway bars, tiger trk and steering stabilizer. All of this has helped but hasn't completely gotten rid of it. Hine sight says go to a larger wheel base, longer rv and a Chevy chassis. And my wife says the corner bed gets old fast. You can view the history of this unit on this forum.
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Old 08-17-2016, 03:05 PM   #16
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Towing with a Freedom Elite 22E

I flat tow a 2015 Jeep two door with my 2015 Freedom Elite 22E with absolutely no problems at all. Just returned from a 4000 mile trip out west in heavy winds, no sway or steering issues. Also do not have beefed up steering additions. I installed a Blue Ox base plate and use a Blue Ox tow bar, a Patriot Brake System and a Blue Ox tail, stop and directional signal harness. I also ran a wire from the house battery to the back of the RV and installed a 4 wire receiver. Wired a stand alone accessory plug inside the Jeep and wired it to a 4 wire receiver I installed on the Jeep bumper. Then fabricated a two wire cable from the RV to the Jeep and run the Patriot brake off the house battery which is always being charged from the alternator or the 110 converter. It all works great and no drain on the Jeep battery!!
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Old 08-17-2016, 07:02 PM   #17
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here is a link to freedom elite and four winds owners discussing their class c motorhome. might find some interesting stuff. i don't think you will find an unhappy owner in the bunch

Four Winds and Freedom Elite

patrick
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