Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Thinking About A Motor Home
RV Park Reviews Campground Discussion Forum > RV Park and Campground Discussions > General Chat
LouandBecky
We have been looking for a larger camper, but stumbled upon a Motorhome, excellent physical appearance, Itasca Suncruiser, 35', 1 large slide, with a Ford 460 and the Banks System, only 18,500 miles.soooo now we are really thinking MOTORHOME!! We have not done a lot of research, and I thought possibly some of you would have some actual experiences, or information about this specific model, or what you would suggest that we could get that might be right around this price range / size. Mainly the MPG that we should expect, realistically, on flat lands and in the mountains. If we can't afford to go anywhere, it might not be a good idea. Even tho we are thinking that the mpg that we get in the truck pulling a large camper, may not be a lot different than a motorhome. Any reply will be GREATLY appreciated!
Lou & Becky Lou
Texasrvers
I'm far from an expert on this, but I will share some of my thoughts and you can take them for whatever they are worth--not much.

I cannot advise you about the brand of motor home. However, my brother has an Itasca and likes it just fine. Of course a few things have gone wrong, but he hasn't had any major trouble. He bought his new. If you are buying used there is a whole other set of rules to go by as far as checking things out. Our first motor home was used. It had low mileage and had hardly been used. That was actually the problem. It looked great, but it had sat for 2 years without use, and several things did not work right because of that. So be careful if that is the case with the one you're considering.

Our thinking on motor home vs travel trailer or fifth wheel: Our motor home only gets 8-9 mpg with the Banks system. (We can see only a little mpg improvement with the system, but we think it was well worth the money because of the boost in power that it gives especially when entering a freeway.) We tow a Jeep that gets around 21 mpg. Our neighbor who tows a big 5er with a huge truck gets about 10 mpg when he is towing and a little better when not towing. We think it is a better deal to get a little less mpg with the motor home because once we unhook and drive the jeep to sight see we are back up 21 mpg. Our neighbor is still at 11-12 mpg when he sight sees in his truck.

That's just our experience. Good luck with whatever you buy. And above all have fun!
RLM
Iíve had two fifth wheels and two motor homes as well as borrowed a relativeís travel trailer for a long trip. I didnít care for the TT. They are generally designed for weekenders. Not much internal or external storage. There was a fair amount of sway on the road when passed by trucks and I could not get used to the movement when you walked around in it when set up. The largest of the 5W was 38 ft with plenty of storage in and out. No road sway. Pulled it with F-350 diesel and got 12-13 mpg flat land. Present rig is 40 ft diesel pusher motor home getting 8-9 mpg. I tow a 22 mpg Ford Ranger. You can throw stuff in the bed when you leave a campsite and not worry about messing up the carpet. Comes in handy for hauling stuff when Iím not on the road.

The pros and cons of either 5W or motor home are endless. Itís nice to push buttons to set up the motor home, go to the bathroom or make lunch meals while moving, nap, and to sit higher when driving. The air bags and air brakes if so equipped make riding and driving much easier and comfortable. On the other hand, a 5W is more maneuverable; you donít have to unhook to back up. It bends in the middle making turns in fewer radiuses. You get all living space between the two ends. It may seem a bigger task for the spouse to drive a motor home, but mine has operated both types without problems for years. Altho, when you get into the 35 ft range with toad attached you have to be careful where you go and on what size roads you use.

A gas-powered motor home will be about the same investment as a nice 5W and truck to pull it, but a diesel will cost much more. I agree with the comment about a pre-owned rig, either type, that hasnít been used much. Pay the money to get it inspected by a qualified technician before buying. I have had more maintenance issues with the motor homes than the 5Ws. But then, it is a combination of a house and vehicle. You might want to consider an affordable extended warranty. Mine has paid for itself a couple times over.

One way to ease the fuel bill is not to be driving in the rig so much. Add some days to the campground stay and use the tow vehicle for day trips.

We have really enjoyed the conveniences of a motor home, but our next rig will be a 5W. We have cut way back on the traveling from place to place part of RVing so are willing to forego push button conveniences. And Iím getting real bored with hooking and unhooking the towed vehicle everytime I need to back up. smile.gif

Good luck.
Cheryl
QUOTE
are willing to forego push button conveniences

Our 5th wheel has push button and/or switches for everything except the steps. I push a switch for the 3 slides, flip a switch for the jacks, both front and rear, nothing is manual. Well, the awning, but you can get those electric if desired.
RLM
QUOTE(Cheryl @ Sep 20 2007, 01:31 PM) *

QUOTE
are willing to forego push button conveniences

Our 5th wheel has push button and/or switches for everything except the steps. I push a switch for the 3 slides, flip a switch for the jacks, both front and rear, nothing is manual. Well, the awning, but you can get those electric if desired.


Cheryl> No push button for the steps or electric awning? What a cheap rig. laugh.gif

Do your jacks operate independantly of each other? As I stated in the first post, we will eventually replace the bus with a 5W. Our last one did have electric jacks, but they weren't independant of each other. Is that new technology?

One of the things I failed to mentioin was that the 5Ws usually have the rear living room with bay window. So much nicer than looking at the closet in my rig, huh?
RLM
Cheryl> PS: Refresh my memory. Aren't somewhere in Colorado? We were in Colorado Springs a couple weeks ago. Nice place, but respectfully we could have been back home in TX and gotten the 90+ temps. You people up there gotta do better if you want me to return in the summer next year. wink.gif
Cheryl Fuller
I am the Cheryl that lives in Colorado - the other one lives in the eastern part of the country. Yeah, it has been hot here, but it will be snowing a month from now, and I am definitely not ready for that!!!
Cheryl
RLM,

The steps take all of 3 seconds to open tongue.gif. I pull the handle and they come right out. As for the jacks, the front are separate from the rear if that is what you mean. If you meant do all 4 (left, right, front, and back) work independently, then no, at least not on ours. From what I have read, the electric awnings aren't worth the expense. People have stated that they fail to close when they should or they close with the slightest breeze. I'm just repeating what others have posted, I have no personal experience with them. I have the living room with the big bay window in the back. It is very nice. The bedroom is in the front and my 6'2" son has no problem standing up in it without banging his head.
RLM
QUOTE(Cheryl @ Sep 21 2007, 03:30 PM) *

RLM,

As for the jacks, the front are separate from the rear if that is what you mean. If you meant do all 4 (left, right, front, and back) work independently, then no, at least not on ours. From what I have read, the electric awnings aren't worth the expense. People have stated that they fail to close when they should or they close with the slightest breeze. I'm just repeating what others have posted, I have no personal experience with them. I have the living room with the big bay window in the back. It is very nice.


Cheryl> Prior to the motor home, we had a 38' 5W with rear living room and bay window. It was a nice set up especially if you backed in to a place that had a nice view of something other than other RVs. With reference to the jacks, I meant do the front one's operate independant of each other? I had adjustable electric front jacks, but they went down at the same time. Would have been nice to level independantly.

I have an electric awning and have had problems with it several times. Wind sensor sucks. Manufacturer, who everyone complains about, doesn't stand by the warranty too well. Even with auto retraction I'd pay the money again. It can be extended part way in case you're on a tight campsite. And there's been too many times where it needed to be retracted quickly when a storm came up. It ain't fun to do that manually at 3 am in your PJs. smile.gif
Cheryl
QUOTE
I have an electric awning and have had problems with it several times. Wind sensor sucks.

That's pretty much what I have read.
Bud in Florida
I have had a TT, a class C, a 5W and two class A's. Have a class A now. I do not think anyting beats a 5W for comfort once you get there. I loved ours-- had three slides and tons of room. Pulled it with a Dodge with a turbo diesel that hardly knew the 10,000 pound 5W was back there. Got about 10-12 mpg. Was nice once we got there to have the truck to run around in. Was much easier to tow and hook up than the TT. As a mater of fact, I hated the TT! Hard to pull, lots of sway , and a pain to set up.
Now nothing beats traveling in a motorhome! Riding down the road and being able to get food, take a nap or use the bathroom is great. My current unit gets about 9 mpg. So far we have not towed anything, but the guy I bought from towed a saturn and said he got about 8 mpg. I think you should decide how you are going to use your RV. If you want to go places and stay for a week or so, then go 5W. If you want to travel around a lot, I would suggest the motorhome. I have an Allegro Bay and am very happy with it. Good luck and enjoy
ddbradley952
QUOTE(LouandBecky @ Sep 16 2007, 02:07 PM) *

We have been looking for a larger camper, but stumbled upon a Motorhome, excellent physical appearance, Itasca Suncruiser, 35', 1 large slide, with a Ford 460 and the Banks System, only 18,500 miles.soooo now we are really thinking MOTORHOME!! We have not done a lot of research, and I thought possibly some of you would have some actual experiences, or information about this specific model, or what you would suggest that we could get that might be right around this price range / size. Mainly the MPG that we should expect, realistically, on flat lands and in the mountains. If we can't afford to go anywhere, it might not be a good idea. Even tho we are thinking that the mpg that we get in the truck pulling a large camper, may not be a lot different than a motorhome. Any reply will be GREATLY appreciated!
Lou & Becky Lou


Talk to a mechanic , in fact talk to a bunch of them if you disagree with my opinions herin.

Always, always, always, stick with Chevy products when given a choice. The 454 stacked up against the 460 will always outperform the the 460 in performance and reliability. Ford tried to make a V10 to compete head to head with the 454 and let me tell you, they are the biggest piece of junk ford ever produced yet. If the 454 isn't big enough, go to the 8.1liter workhorse chasis.

I will elaborate later about the difference in design characteristics if someone is interested. Let me know, I do not know how many people read this stuff.
Butch
Just one person's opinion, to which they are entitled !
LouandBecky
All of this input is really Great! My husband would be very interested in your opnion about the Chev vs Ford. Thank Everyone for all of the help. We have not decided yet, have been out of town a lot, but I really appreciate any and all responses I get. I feel like I am getting true opinions on this forum! Thanx!!!
wprigge
QUOTE(LouandBecky @ Oct 17 2007, 03:10 PM) *

All of this input is really Great! My husband would be very interested in your opnion about the Chev vs Ford. Thank Everyone for all of the help. We have not decided yet, have been out of town a lot, but I really appreciate any and all responses I get. I feel like I am getting true opinions on this forum! Thanx!!!


As far as I'm concerned, Chevy vs Ford is like religion, or like MacIntosh vs PC, it's fun to argue but they basically do the same. Some people swear "by" one and swear "a"t the other, it's an endless saga. You'll have to take your pick...
(I'm a Mac guy!)
Butch
Ford or Chevy, that is the question. Having been in the automobile, bus, and truck dealerships with both Ford & Chevy, each has their own little quirks. Worked longer in the Ford system, and have owned over forty vehicles during my driving career, now do not own a Ford product. Our motorhome has a workhorse chassis with an 8.1 liter Chevy engine, and must admit it does a pretty good job of getting over the road. To answer your question, get all the info possible about the chassis systems you can obtain. Talk to owners, mechanics, and the manufacturers, when your are informed, the decision can be easier.
gwbischoff
Yeah, don't go down the Ford vs. Chevy road.

My driveway contains a Chevy, a Saturn, a Ford and a Toyota. All of the food groups are represented.

Buy whatever works and makes sense for you.
Butch
Yeah, my driveway has two Hyundai Elantras, and a Chevy s-10 pickup. The motorhome has gone to winter storage.
Good grief !
gsbogart
QUOTE(ddbradley952 @ Sep 28 2007, 04:56 AM) *

QUOTE(LouandBecky @ Sep 16 2007, 02:07 PM) *

We have been looking for a larger camper, but stumbled upon a Motorhome, excellent physical appearance, Itasca Suncruiser, 35', 1 large slide, with a Ford 460 and the Banks System, only 18,500 miles.soooo now we are really thinking MOTORHOME!! We have not done a lot of research, and I thought possibly some of you would have some actual experiences, or information about this specific model, or what you would suggest that we could get that might be right around this price range / size. Mainly the MPG that we should expect, realistically, on flat lands and in the mountains. If we can't afford to go anywhere, it might not be a good idea. Even tho we are thinking that the mpg that we get in the truck pulling a large camper, may not be a lot different than a motorhome. Any reply will be GREATLY appreciated!
Lou & Becky Lou


Talk to a mechanic , in fact talk to a bunch of them if you disagree with my opinions herin.

Always, always, always, stick with Chevy products when given a choice. The 454 stacked up against the 460 will always outperform the the 460 in performance and reliability. Ford tried to make a V10 to compete head to head with the 454 and let me tell you, they are the biggest piece of junk ford ever produced yet. If the 454 isn't big enough, go to the 8.1liter workhorse chasis.

I will elaborate later about the difference in design characteristics if someone is interested. Let me know, I do not know how many people read this stuff.


DD

You sound like a died in the wool GM man.
Ever see the cartoon GM stands behind there products Waaaaaaaaaaaaay back. Nothing speaks louder than the facts. GM is the same company that tried to build a diesel out of a 350 block gas engine. General motors has had more issues than you can began to count with the P-30 chassis with the 454 manifold problems. At least they don't build motorhome chassis anymore, and the 454 ended up where it belonged on the junk pile. Know that Done that , Been there.
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.