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RE: Opinions on diesel vs. gasoline

I do not let our Class C motorhome's V10 rev past around 4000 RPM on grades. I just stay in the right hand lane, or on two lanes roads pull off periodically so others can pass. This works best on the multiple-lane highways/freeways/Interstates that have a lot of big rig traffic. With my V10 revving no higher than around 4000 RPM, max, on grades, I usually find our motorhome moseying comfortably up grades right along with the big rigs. This makes for low stress, lower V10 noise, lower engine wear, and best-as-possible V10 gas mileage on grades. You’re more patient than I! ?? I’m accustomed to towing our 5th wheel (20K) with our diesel pickup, and passing the semi’s and most often maintaining the speed limit, or my chosen 65 mph. I even considered the diesel conversion for ours, but couldn’t justify, as we’re not using the “c” nearly enough! memtb I "can" pass semi's and most often maintain the speed limit if a want to ... by using higher RPM's to tap more of the V10's horsepower. ;)
pnichols 08/26/21 02:06pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: How best to improve a primitive RV site to rent it out?

Methinks that any experienced/dedicated 'boondocker' will love those sites UNIMPROVED. Yep! Never mind "leasing" or "renting" out your sites. Advertise them as isolated remote, beautiful, serene, quiet, safe and secure, primitive boondocking campsites that must be reserved ahead of time for, say, 3-night minimum stays. RV folks that don't need or care for the "hookup camping culture" would love access to campsites like this! If you could set up some kind of convenient reservation system for the sites, they should be full just about every day - maybe even in the winter. Higher than "normal campsite pricing" would probably work just fine. Campers with RV satellite systems could of course have online access when using the sites.
pnichols 08/26/21 01:03am Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Opinions on diesel vs. gasoline

I do not let our Class C motorhome's V10 rev past around 4000 RPM on grades. I just stay in the right hand lane, or on two lanes roads pull off periodically so others can pass. This works best on the multiple-lane highways/freeways/Interstates that have a lot of big rig traffic. With my V10 revving no higher than around 4000 RPM, max, on grades, I usually find our motorhome moseying comfortably up grades right along with the big rigs. This makes for low stress, lower V10 noise, lower engine wear, and best-as-possible V10 gas mileage on grades.
pnichols 08/25/21 12:20pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Leave propane on while driving?

LOL. This again? I'm 65 years old. I have never seen an explosion in a gas station caused by an RV refrigerator pilot flame. How many have ACTUALLY seen the this happen? Cell phones too? Modern RV fridges don't have a pilot flame. Which in truth is less dangerous than the DSI. But I agree with you. Been camping for 40 years, and have never seen, or heard of a fridge starting a fire at the pump. However, RV propane refrigerators do have an open flame when running - whether or not a pilot flame or an electric igniter started their open flame. Our refrigerator is on the side of the coach, and close to, where the gas fill is on our motorhome. So just in case the refrig might be running with it's open flame when we gas up, I temporarily stop the refrigerator from running at all by using the procedure I described earlier in which I temporarily turn off the coach's entire 12V power while gassing up. Luck never lasts forever ... it just can go on long enough such that one might think that it's never going to run out.
pnichols 08/21/21 10:59am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Leave propane on while driving?

That’s a good idea! I am not sure if the refer would start again without manually pressing the button. It may go to default off. I guess I could try and see what happens. But when you do reset the fridge it would probably light right away. After gassing up and switching the coach's 12V power back on, I quickly check the light on the refrigerator to make sure it has come back on. So far after 15 years, the refrigerator has always come back on whenever the 12 volts to it is available. These two things take 10 seconds - as I enter the driver's seat from within the coach - instead of entering through the cab door by the driver's cab seat. The 12V switch is right by the coach entrance door step, and the refrigerator is 5 feet from the coach entrance door step. What I have done a couple of times in years past before I got the gassing-up-12V-switching routine down ... is after gassing up enter the driver's seat through the cab door by the driver's cab and hence forgetting to turn the 12V coach power back on ... not good for keeping the food cold! Now I have a voltmeter mounted right on the dash that shows the voltage of the coach's 12V system ... so I can see right away before starting out whether or not I have switched the coach's 12V power back on.
pnichols 08/20/21 11:25pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Leave propane on while driving?

AFAIK ... don't modern motorhome propane water heaters and propane refrigerators (and propane furnaces) require constant 12V DC power ... to light and keep lit their flames? I assume so ... that's why before gassing up I merely turn off my coach's 12V power. I just switch the 12V power back on before leaving the gas pump.
pnichols 08/20/21 07:05pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Chevy V8 vs Ford V 10

More cylinders means more pollution and more pumping losses and so poorer fuel economy for two similar displacement gas engines. There is a website carcomplaints.com that I have found very useful in the past. It provides information by model year and engine type so one can see if a particular engine had reliability issues and whether this was fixed by the manufacturer. With my own Chevy SUV and its 3.6L V-6 engine there was a design flaw that resulted in inadequate lubrication of the timing chain and very expensive repairs. This affected this engine from its inception until 2012. Chevy supposedly fixed the problem in 2010 but this is not evident in the numbers of customers reporting repair issues with the engine. Overall, gas engine reliability increased tremendously when the oil refineries stopped putting tetraethyl lead in gasoline to reduce pre-ignition problems. Now it is a matter of air pumps and fuel injectors and alternators and AC and seals failing or electronics and transmission problems. I'm not sure that more cylinders means more pollution. Not counting engine conversion efficiency differences, it's probably the case that more displacement means more pollution.
pnichols 08/20/21 06:56pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Opinions on diesel vs. gasoline

My first choice for a Class B is the gas engine and for a Class C built on a 4500 Class chassis. The Mercedes diesel engine is very reliable but it is only available with the Sprinter 3500 chassis so the OCCC is less than half that of a E-450 chassis. Huge difference betwween a GVWR of 11,030 lbs as with the Mercedes Sprinter 3500 and a GVWR of 12,500 and 14.500 with the Ford E-450 chassis. With our 2021 Navion 24D the OCCc is only 886 lbs which includes the weight of my wife and I and our e-bikes on a rack attached to the hitch receiver, clothing, cookware, food, and gear, leaving an allowance of less than 140 lbs for fresh water, grey water, and and black waste. With only 15 gallons of fresh water and empty gray and black holding tank, we are at 100% of the OCCC of the motorhome. Where the diesel engine can help is with added range from getting more miles per gallon but the Sprinter chassis have a small gas tank as this platform is designed for use as a commercial van and not for motorhomes. Yep, you nailed it!! IMHO, the Ford E450 and Chevy 4500 designs are much better suited for Class C motorhome use. They are the truck series above the Mercedes chassis, of course.
pnichols 08/20/21 06:50pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Possible return to RV life

Hi Folks, there’s a we might be getting another B+ or C. Since I’ve been out of the loop since 2012, I don’t have all my RV resources anymore. We will be looking for a smaller (up to 25’) one with hopefully 1 slide out, rear bed preferred, but we have to be flexible in the used market. Lower mileage is a plus. What are the ‘newer’ websites where we might start looking? Thanks everyone!! Charles - Look for a used Winnie Minnie 22M or Spirit 22M model (both are built by Winnebago)! They come on the Ford E350 chassis for great stability and overall handling in a small Class C. Their tanks are large for a small Class C, and they have one slide for a walk-around bed: https://www.winnebago.com/models/product/motorhomes/class-c/minnie-winnie?floorplans=true
pnichols 08/19/21 04:20pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Winnebago outlook

I’m looking at a 2010 Winnebago outlook. 2 slides 29 ft 40 k miles Does anyone know if thy have a fiberglass roof and quality of the outlook MH Im not new to Motorhomes I just sold my Diesel pusher and want to down size. Regarding heat from a 2010 Outlook's V10 engine - if the 2010 E450 Ford chassis is similar to my 2005 E450 Ford chassis: 1. On our 2005 Winnebago Itasca Spirit Class C, "someone" (Ford or Winnebago) had installed metal heat shields underneath between the exhaust pipes and the cab floor to block heat from radiating upwards onto the cab floor above. 2. The Ford air conditioning system has a setting that directs it's air flow downwards onto the driver and passenger cab floors to keep them cool. The setting of the controls is not labeled clearly as to how to do this, so I had to discover it by trial and error a few years into owning our Class C. We do not experience hot cab floors, and engine noise is also a non-issue with us because I keep engine RPM below 4000 as much as possible on grades. When cruising down the road at 59-62 MPH, we can't hear the V10. Remember, though, the OP is comparing it to a DP. Engine noise may be a non-issue if you're used to it, but might be a big issue versus a DP. Plus, if you're cruising at 59-62mph, I can only assume you're on US highways and not Interstates. Moving at a with the flow of traffic on an Interstate will make engine noise more audible. Various coach internal noises here and there are usually louder than any engine noise, and those noises would would still be there with a DP. We even try to as much as possible travel 59-62 MPH on the Interstates ... we just get behind a big rig in the right lane (probably a heavy loaded one) that's trying to stay in their RPM-versus-gearing sweet spot of around 62 MPH. These RV travel speeds in the right lane make for less stress and result in decent fuel mileage ... and don't bother drivers in the faster lanes.
pnichols 08/16/21 12:57pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Winnebago outlook

I’m looking at a 2010 Winnebago outlook. 2 slides 29 ft 40 k miles Does anyone know if thy have a fiberglass roof and quality of the outlook MH Im not new to Motorhomes I just sold my Diesel pusher and want to down size. Regarding heat from a 2010 Outlook's V10 engine - if the 2010 E450 Ford chassis is similar to my 2005 E450 Ford chassis: 1. On our 2005 Winnebago Itasca Spirit Class C, "someone" (Ford or Winnebago) had installed metal heat shields underneath between the exhaust pipes and the cab floor to block heat from radiating upwards onto the cab floor above. 2. The Ford air conditioning system has a setting that directs it's air flow downwards onto the driver and passenger cab floors to keep them cool. The setting of the controls is not labeled clearly as to how to do this, so I had to discover it by trial and error a few years into owning our Class C. We do not experience hot cab floors, and engine noise is also a non-issue with us because I keep engine RPM below 4000 as much as possible on grades. When cruising down the road at 59-62 MPH, we can't hear the V10.
pnichols 08/15/21 01:55pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Opinions on diesel vs. gasoline

Size versus chassis type does matter ... our V10 24 ft. Class C on it's overkill E450 drives very well: 1. Cab does not heat up due to built-in heat shields and floor air conditioning. 2. Pulls our 12-13K lb. total weight just fine due to it's high differential ratio, and we pass plenty of crawling diesels in the mountains. 3. Has big brake swept areas. 4. Has a large diameter driveshaft for no vibration. 5. Has a strong frame to prevent frame twisting on rough roads. 6. Has good side-to-side stability due to a wide rear dually stance versus it's height, plus it's heavy suspension. 7. Cruising engine speed is at a reasonable ~ 2200 RPM, so we can't hear or feel the V10 and I can control downshifting via my gas foot and it's convenient tow-haul mode button. No way would I want a heavy diesel engine in our small and nimble motorhome that can be repaired/serviced just about anywhere, anytime ... affordably.
pnichols 08/12/21 10:54am Class C Motorhomes
RE: We've had 8 years and 68,000 trouble free miles...

Eight years ago tomorrow we bought our 2012 Nexus Phantom 23P. We found it at La Mesa RV in Tucson used with just 6,205 miles. I had been in negotiations with Nexus to have them build me this very unit but when I found it used for nearly $20,000 less and without two trips to Elkhart it was a done deal. Here is a recent pic: https://i.imgur.com/ailMibel.jpg Over those 8 years we have gone coast to coast {from Tucson to Maine and just about everywhere in-between} for a total of 37 states visited. As noted those 68,000 miles have been trouble free, never a breakdown {if you don't count a blown tire}. A few of our adventures include: Dodging tornados when crossing Tornado Alley twice, camping in snow with temps down in the teens several times, got caught in a major sandstorm on our way to Borrego Springs, evaded serious forrest fires more times than I care to remember. We have seen nearly every National Park west of the Mississippi and several to the east. We spend several weeks in the southern Rockies every summer and never tire of just turning the key and hitting the road. What has always worked for us is quality of the coach providing comfort and safety in virtually any environment. Add to that the convenience of a 24' Class C that fits literally anywhere, that makes grocery getting or just good ole fashion sightseeing a pleasure and we have the ultimate RV. It lacks nothing we need and provides everything that we do. As I have noted before if you are over 6' tall or the first number when you get on the scale is larger than "1" you will probably not be all that comfortable in a 24' Class C... We are neither. :B With forums such as this constantly filled with posts of unhappy campers I am pleased to share our totally positive experience. We keep finding ways to have even more fun and adventure with each passing year. When I started riding motorcycles after a 39 year layoff we quickly embraced a small mc trailer to enhance the motorhome dynamic. If you want the ultimate National Park experience see them from the back of a motorcycle... there is nothing that can compare. We now can {and do} use our coach for an extra bedroom and bath when we have guests as our new home has room for all of our toys on site {no more monthly nut to the storage yard} with the HOA telling me when and for how long, as in not very, we can have the coach out front for loading, cleaning or just general maintenance. Have I had to fix/repair stuff, of course I have as "Stuff happens" but they have been few and far between. Replaced the original Domestic toilet after 6 years, recently replaced the original water heater and 35K BTU furnace needed a new control board several years ago. We are on our second awning fabric but living in Arizona is tough on anything exposed to the sun. I replaced the original shocks at 33,000 miles with Heavy duty Bilstein's and other than adding air bags when I started towing a single axle 10' cargo trailer {due to the added tongue weight} I have done nothing to the suspension. The coach has always been two finger steering in anything up to 35 mph winds and passing trucks are never an issue. Bottom line... if there is a happier owner out there I would love to meet and share a few tales. :C DC ... I'm 1/2 happier because I'm around 6'2" but am still able to totally enjoy our 24 ft. Itasca (Winnebago) Class C and it's shower. However, I'm 1/2 sadder because my furnace is only a 25K Btu one instead of that fantastic 35K Btu one like is in your 24 ft. Class C! ;) P.S. Right now we're camped in the beautiful OR Silver Falls state park and plan on visiting one of it's 10 waterfalls tommorrow morning. Our phone Internet access signal strength and speeds are so high here that - if we had the Verizon data to spare - we could stream movies way out here in air conditioned comfort in the trees using my phone as a hotspot. What a great 24 ft. Class C life this is.
pnichols 08/01/21 07:02pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Boondocking Water Question

Our Itasca (Winnebago) came stock with a turn off valve right in the shower head handle that can be operated with your thumb on the hand you're holding it with. I assume too much I guess ... (why) don't all RV's come this way? :h
pnichols 07/28/21 04:54pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: East Side of Sierra options

I'm almost afraid to suggest this (because of negative bias in 4X4 forums) but just thinking about it ... perhaps a road like that one in the photo to Leavitt Lake is a perfect example of where duallies in the rear of an RV would be an advantage. Duallies would force the RV's rear track to not be down into those road ruts - but remain kindof up onto the sides of the ruts so that rocks in the center section of the road could not easily damage such things as lower shock/spring mounts and rear differentials. Of course in the front the driver would have to carefully steer back and forth a bit so as to keep the front tires up onto the sides of road tire ruts as much as possible instead of down in them. We have done the above several times on rough roads in our small Class C. Our main concern is side brush and/or overhead tree limbs damaging our 101 inch wide and 11'6'' tall coach structure. The name of the game is to GO SLOW.
pnichols 07/28/21 04:39pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: boondockerswelcome

This photo is of us boondock camping. It was also drycamping because we didn't have any hookups out there. If there had been hookups there we would have used them, but we would have still been camping in the boondocks: https://i.imgur.com/ZqGMBlBl.jpg
pnichols 07/27/21 10:50am Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: boondockerswelcome

Do you have electric hookups and is it boondocking??? Just curious.If you have electric hook up, it's Not boondocking. Hmmm .... isn't "boondocking" camping out in the boondocks? IAW, it's about the location where you're campng .... not about how your getting your power and water and septic. As an extreme example just to make clear the real definition of it being about location - suppose a ranch owner installs a septic tank, a solar powered well, and a 3000 watt solar array way out in the middle of nowhere on their ranch and then spends a day here and there chilling out back there in an RV. In that location they are "boondock" camping in an RV, but with full hookups for the RV. ;)
pnichols 07/25/21 12:02am Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Considering move from class A to C

We've never tried eating off the flip-out from the galley counter-top by spinning the barrel chair and then sliding it forward so as to be closer to the flip-out. That might be a neat thing to try ... but it seems that the flip-out might be a bit too high for easy reach when sitting in the barrel chair eating. :h
pnichols 07/05/21 06:46pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Considering move from class A to C

Ron, from your photos above it looks like the captain's chair also slides forward and backward? (as well as swiveling) If so, note that whoever is using the captain's chair in your RV can also face it at the right hand dinette seat, slide the captain's chair all the way forward to be as close to the dinette seat as possible, and then raise up their legs to rest their feet on the dinette cushion. We do this all the time with our very comfortable stock barrel chair. This is also a good way, from a barrel chair or captain's chair, to watch a small portable TV screen (or computer monitor screen) that is sitting on the dinette table.
pnichols 07/05/21 12:52pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Considering move from class A to C

We keep the floor cool in our Ford chassis Class C by setting the dash air conditioning so that some cool air exits down at the floor. This a simple solution using the Ford dash controls right there in the cab. (Our cab floor never got real hot anyway, maybe because Winnebago or Ford mounted heat shields underneath between the exhaust pipes and the cab floor.) Using the cab controls keeps any floor heat nicely at bay in any case. However, our cab controls are not "labeled clearly" as to how to do this - I had to discover this on my own: Turn the air flow control to the "MIX" position and turn the air temperature control into the blue air conditioning range. Set the fan speed high - on setting 3 or 4. Doing the above causes nice cool air to flow over us into the cab from the windshield defrost vents, and ... nice cool air to blast down at the floor by our feet! Control how cool this feels by how far into the blue range you turn the air temperature control knob.
pnichols 07/05/21 10:30am Class C Motorhomes
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