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Old 11-23-2016, 09:56 AM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: Pennsylvania
Posts: 37
THOR #5913
E450 Four Winds to a class A

Opinions with experience requested!

We bought a Four Winds 31p in the spring as newbies to see if we would like RVing. We love it and with two kids it is the perfect time in our lives to be doing it!

Here's the dilemma. We paid $30k for a 2006 with 12,500 miles on her. In great shape - Everything works except it has the original spare which is probably dry rotted. No big deal.

Here is the question. Would we get more fun out of having a roughly same size class A? In other words, I don't want to switch just to switch because I think they are better looking. I only want to spend the money if we would ENJOY the experience more.

Things I don't like about my C
No levelers (rocks quite a bit when kids roll in bed). PIA to level and it never is truly level.
Only 1 slide
Only one house battery
Lost space by not being able to turn driving chairs around
Limited power - we tow a toad
Limited storage space

Things I don't like about an A
Mechanic says they are a pain to work on
I own my C
Cost
EVERYTHING seems more expensive - bigger tires etc.

I don't want to switch unless I will enjoy the experience more.

How much money will I lose on my C?

How much money do I have spend to get a working,reliable A?

Anyone already made the switch want to weigh in?
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Old 11-23-2016, 10:38 AM   #2
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Axis 24.1
State: Michigan
Posts: 9,247
THOR #1150
Quote:
Originally Posted by KandT
Limited power - we tow a toad
Unless you go all the way up to a Diesel pusher you are going to get the same Ford V-10 and a similar transmission. Sure the GVWR and GCWR will be higher and the rear-end will be taller (and the V-10 will have 3 valves instead of 2...about 50hp). Just don't expect Earth shattering more power.

Most gas class A's are run on Ford's F-53 chassis and powered by the Triton V-10 (Ford does put the higher performance one in the F-53; our Axis only has the 2V version).

Quote:
How much money do I have spend to get a working,reliable A?
How much ya got? (LOL sorry couldn't resist).

A's start at a reasonable $70k ish (the Axis/Vegas line which isn't much more than your C) and just go. Have you searched any of the websites? Are you looking used again or do you want a new one (a new one does tread a bit against your "working, reliable" desires a bit LOL).
Just browsing RV trader (keeping it to Thor units since that is where we are):
  • 2017 ACE $90k (F-53)
  • 2017 Miramar $130k (F-53)
  • 2017 Axis $86k (E-450)
  • 2017 Challenger $130k (F-53)
  • 2017 Venetian $250k (Diesel Pusher)
  • 2017 Palazzo $166k (Diesel Pusher)
  • 2017 Tuscany $295k (Diesel Pusher)
(Obviously those are all new prices) You can see the variety in pricing.

Your question also implies that you'll have to spend extra $$ to get it working and reliable after the initial purchase. Other than supplies that really isn't the case: You'll spend the first year getting the warranty items covered which are supposed to cost $0--assuming here that you buy new. If you buy slightly used the previous owner likely would have taken care of this (or got tired of the hassle and sold it! LOL).

If you are asking about mods to make it comfortable/livable/etc. no one can answer that question for you as we all make our own modifications to suit our usage/taste/etc. Some mods also cost $0 and are simple, others are more (like you mentioned levelers: You can spend thousands adding auto levelers--assuming the unit didn't come with them--or spend hundreds and simply add scissor jacks--heck you could spend hundreds now to your class C and add scissor jacks to it).
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Old 11-23-2016, 10:54 AM   #3
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Brand: Still Looking
State: Alabama
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THOR #4919
I don't mean this to be derogatory, but it sounds like you are looking for someone to convince you that you need a Class A.

What you need can only be defined by you. But as with all other such questions, often found on this forum. Follow the advice that is readily available here.

Make sure that you drive and even test camp whatever you think you would like. If that means renting the unit, so be it. And then follow the advice about purchasing and checking out the unit, if you decide to go that route.

If there is nothing seriously wrong with your Class C, then most of the items you listed, could probably be relatively easily updated or modified. It depends on how much money you are willing to part with.
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Old 11-23-2016, 11:01 AM   #4
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Model: 2013 31L
State: Florida
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THOR #908
I can only comment based on my research, not a class A owner....
but it seems to me that you have found that your particular one just isn't fitting. Good lesson, Nothing wrong with that.

I agree with what JamieGeek said about getting the same sort of thing unless you go big. What I saw with the class A's that I looked at, and mind you these were smaller "entry level" roughly equivalent in price range to my C, was that they had roughly the same limitations. The captains chairs may have rotated giving a larger living room, but something else would be as small or smaller.

I didn't find many that would fit my family... they seemed to be more suited to couple living. The C we landed in still "fits" us. My only complaints really are the size of the tanks and I do wish that it had more towing capacity. I wish I could have afforded the super C version of the same floor plan.

Anyway, my point is this.... don't discount a C for the sake of an A. If you find an A that fits, hey maybe that's even better, but maybe a different C would be a good fit instead.

Based on what I have seen, if I could perhaps over generalize, I think a class C is often a better niche for a family that's not full time. It's just a puzzle to get the right one.
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Old 11-23-2016, 12:28 PM   #5
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Model: hurricane 32n
State: Florida
Posts: 784
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I bought a 30 foot class C used, did not have levelers, no power awning and the bedroom was cramped to say the least. Had the front end with everything possible done to make the drive comfortable. No problems with the unit,as I also got the jack knife sofa out and replaced with theater seating, great upgrade for sure. Oh and I had one slide, dinette..sofa. I found my current class A 32N Hurricane on F53 only 3000 miles, love everything about it, more room, king bed and power awning, levelers, bigger tires,closets and a shower that is great. No more handling issues when the big trucks go by, sit much higher and the viability is great. Just my 2 cents, I should have gotten the A first but was a little apprehensive because of the driving part, but this unit is great..........Happy Trails
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Old 11-23-2016, 02:31 PM   #6
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Four Winds 28Z
State: California
Posts: 25
THOR #1798
I love my Thor Class C Four Winds 28Z. I did put the Big Foot auto levelers on it for the reasons you mentioned. I tow a 4 door Jeep Wrangler with no issues. I constantly modify things here or there to make it more enjoyable. You can change most of the things you mentioned for a lot less than buying a new Class A but if your heart wants Class A then go for it.
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Old 11-23-2016, 04:44 PM   #7
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Four Winds 23U
State: Illinois
Posts: 478
THOR #992
We love our C also, it works for how we travel and perfect for the DW AND I. A,B,C,C+, Fivers, Trailers, Pop Ups and tents, it all boils down to what fits your camping style and what you can afford. We stay out 4 to 8 weeks and usually not anyone place for more then 3 nights, at this stage in life we are seeing all we can see of this beautiful country. If we tire of that and decide to stay at places for an extended period of time we would go to a bigger C or an A but for now we are set. Happy Travels and I'm sure you'll find what fits your needs.
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Old 11-23-2016, 04:53 PM   #8
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Model: Freedom Elite 28H
State: California
Posts: 105
THOR #3559
Class A or Class C is largely a personal decision, like most things in life! We have owned several RVs over the last 35+ years and prefer a Class C. Tires for one thing are less expensive for Class C vehicles and you will replace tires every 5-6 years, regardless of use because of the weight causing them to crack. We also like the "shorter" profile for parking and storage in our RV port. The over cab bed/storage is also a plus for us. Like many other things in life, it is all preference to your lifestyle. We spend most of our time outdoors so that is also a consideration. Floorplan was Mrs. Homer's main consideration while Mr. Homer was concerned about storage and the mechanical end of things.
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Old 11-23-2016, 06:16 PM   #9
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State: South Dakota
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THOR #3916
I concur with Jimmie, If the current one is ok size wise (and payed for) and you can get into and out of the rv sites you want to visit that is a big plus,

The lack of levelers can be addressed by a visit to HWH in Moscow, Iowa..(nice ppl and they have dry camp hookups on site)They build the system so know how to install..
As for lack of enough batteries,the choice is adding batteries or going to a larger battery... normally not a real big deal & add a good full sine inverter/converter also a hard wired surge protector.
The issue of slides cuts both ways..a slide is simply a big hole in the wall so you lose some structural rigidity & support. and with any slideout that has utilities/plumbing the lines and hoses must flex when the slides are extended/retracted...
But trying to "up" the carrying /towing capacities of your current coach is not for the faint of heart and normally does not give much improvement for costs involved.
I would suggest that you rent a "full meal deal" class A, 34' or so with all the whistles and bells.. then you can compare apples to apples so to speak.. the floorplan is what you need to know as for what will work and what is unnecessary "bling".

All in all it is up to you as to what will do the job vs what you are willing to spend..

Happy Trails
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Old 11-23-2016, 07:04 PM   #10
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THOR #2121
December 2016 of MotorHome Magazine compared two motorhomes from same manufacturer that are as close as they come except one being a Class A and the other a Class C. They are of same size and floorplans are almost identical. The main difference is one is a Class A on Ford F53 and the other a Class C on Ford E-450 chassis.

Online I can only find MotorHome reviews through last month. The mostly objective comparison is interesting to read and informative as well. The article may shed some insight about differences between A and C in general.
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Old 11-23-2016, 10:35 PM   #11
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: Pennsylvania
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THOR #5913
Thank you all - I read every post closely.

Quite frankly it made me lean back toward keeping my C. They both have there advantages and their disadvantages. My mechanic who works on both said to stick with the "C". And he said my 2006 was in quite good shape. Not perfect but she has lots of miles and years left in her beforehand he could see anything going wrong.

I think I will keep this lady until my kids get older. I will still be drooling on the new fancy ones but my bank account will enjoy my paid for old one!!
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Old 11-23-2016, 10:41 PM   #12
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: ACE 29.3 (2016)
State: Montana
Posts: 511
THOR #4032
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chance View Post
December 2016 of MotorHome Magazine compared two motorhomes from same manufacturer that are as close as they come except one being a Class A and the other a Class C. They are of same size and floorplans are almost identical. The main difference is one is a Class A on Ford F53 and the other a Class C on Ford E-450 chassis.

Online I can only find MotorHome reviews through last month. The mostly objective comparison is interesting to read and informative as well. The article may shed some insight about differences between A and C in general.
I too read the above mentioned comparison of two motorhomes that had the same floor plan. They mentioned there was more living space in the Class A because the seats turned around, but said the Class C was much easier to drive. We had a 2015 Class C Coachmen Leprechaun with a corner bed and no slides for a few months and it became clear we made a mistake buying it. We traded it back in after a couple thousand miles (and losing at least $8,000) for a 2016 Thor Ace 29.3. With proper tire pressure (a must) we found the Ace easier to drive on the highway, but we did lose gas mileage. But we now have the room we wanted and a true queen bed we can sleep on without having the walls touching us on three sides. In short, we are much happier with our Ace than we were with the Class C.
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