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WakeGirl

First boating trip with the Class C

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WakeGirl

So, a few of you may know that earlier this year we bought a new-to-us 28' Class C RV. This is our first RV, we've had truck/camper combos up until now. Our intention with it is to use it year-round, being that we looked for & found one with a fully heated basement. We've taken it up to the mountain for a few weekends of snow skiing & a few other trips this spring, but this was our first with the Malibu. We had to do some work to the frame & hitch to make it work with the weight of the boat - our welder beefed up & boxed out the hitch, & we had him install airbags as well. The trip went as well as we could have possibly hoped. The RV pulled the boat solidly (albeit slowly, we need some power mods now :)), & my expert driver/husband had no problems with maneuvering & backing. He says that visibility with the boat is much better than it was with the camper & truck. Prior to all of this, we weighed the boat/trailer, did all of the math & figured that we might be over our 20k lb total capacity by a little. But even at 5800 lbs (yes, the VLX & trailer weighs that much), we pulled in to weigh the entire setup & still came up at 19,340 lbs total. A whole 700+ lbs to spare. We're pretty stoked.

Just had to share. We had a fantastic & much needed weekend on the lake. Beautiful weather, not much wind & none of the drama that seemed to plague us everywhere we went last year. I hope that it's a good omen for things to come, & I hope that all of you got the same good time this weekend.

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WakeGirl
Damn that sounds like fun! Good on ya!

These are the kind of things that the kids will remember and talk about their entire lives.

I hope it's a great experience for ya this summer. We'll live vicariously through your experience. A class-c was the plan this summer before the promo boat thing so keep us up to date. Rockon.gif

That's exactly what I'm talking about. We've already done a trip to Six Flags in it, & the kids are still saying that that was the best birthday present ever. We're having a great time with it so far, although we're still learning the whole RV thang. :)

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MalibuTime
Damn that sounds like fun! Good on ya!

These are the kind of things that the kids will remember and talk about their entire lives.

I hope it's a great experience for ya this summer. We'll live vicariously through your experience. A class-c was the plan this summer before the promo boat thing so keep us up to date. Rockon.gif

That's exactly what I'm talking about. We've already done a trip to Six Flags in it, & the kids are still saying that that was the best birthday present ever. We're having a great time with it so far, although we're still learning the whole RV thang. :)

That's great! Lots of fun, I grew up going lots of places in a camper. Many good memories as a kid. My parents have a class C and speaking of needing more power, added a Banks Power Pack, the only thing is he wished is that he put it on sooner!

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SacRiverRat

Tracie,

What type of RV did you guys pick up & what engine is in it? I've been seriously looking at Class-C's since that is the only type of RV that would begin to support our 7 heads ;) Even then, we'd probably make a few sleep in tents, but would need the bed space in a pinch.

Any advice in your shopping?

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Malibudude
Damn that sounds like fun! Good on ya!

These are the kind of things that the kids will remember and talk about their entire lives.

I hope it's a great experience for ya this summer. We'll live vicariously through your experience. A class-c was the plan this summer before the promo boat thing so keep us up to date. Rockon.gif

That's exactly what I'm talking about. We've already done a trip to Six Flags in it, & the kids are still saying that that was the best birthday present ever. We're having a great time with it so far, although we're still learning the whole RV thang. :)

Now I get the discount tickets..... :) So make another trip they are good for the rest of '08.

Tracie,

What type of RV did you guys pick up & what engine is in it? I've been seriously looking at Class-C's since that is the only type of RV that would begin to support our 7 heads ;) Even then, we'd probably make a few sleep in tents, but would need the bed space in a pinch.

Any advice in your shopping?

It's a Jayco w/ the V-10. Definitely get a 27+ footer with a queen bed in the back and front, anything smaller will short change the rear and rarely comes w/ the separate toilet and shower. With those separate you also get a privacy door to keep the monkey's out...lol Some of the brands you can get either a GM or Ford chassis w the 6.0L or the 6.8L respectively. Some of the older models on GM chassis came w/ the 8.1L, while I've not driven one of those I've heard it's the best engine to have besides the trusty 460. The brands we felt, when we looked, were Jayco and Fleetwood. The GM frame, workhorse, only comes in a 1-ton frame while the Ford frame comes in the F-350 or F-450. The problem w/ the Class C's is the weight capacity left over for towing. Any Class virtually will need the rear end of the frame reinforced to tow anything requiring a class C.

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WakeGirl

Haha, I learned a lot when researching this. We started looking late last summer, but really not very seriously until after the first of the year. We kept an eye on the local lots, but truthfully there are issues with that & I'll get into that later. We ended up with a Jayco Designer 28' that we bought from a private party, after deciding early on that the coaches in the 27'-29' range were about perfect in size. We wanted one with the full size couch on 1 side (some just have a chair) with a full queen in the back (some have a clipped bed). Both the couch & table break down into beds, & with the sleeping area over the cab you have places for a lot of people. Your kids are still fairly small, so in a pinch you could get everyone on a bed if you were just passing through somewhere. It's got everything - onboard generator, dual batteries, A/C, solar panels, transferable extended warranty....I'd be happy to send you pics if you want. The full heated basement is something that most of them don't have, & it makes it to where we don't have to winterize even in our climate & gives us a ton of storage. And it makes it easier to use in the winter up at the mountain.

Chassis....make sure you go with an E450 & this is JMO, but I'd stay with the V10 (can't remember, but either '98 or '99 is the first year for that motor in the Ford van - prior to that it was the 460). There are some great power mods for that motor & it's very quiet & smooth. You'll find that the E450 is a little harder to find in the older coaches, especially pre-2000 - not sure why. I know that you're a Chevy guy, but they just don't have the overall capacity that the Ford does. Even at that, you'll need to plan on doing some work to make it right. Ford puts a total limit of 20k lbs on the E450 frame - that's the trailer, coach, cargo....everything. As I said above, we came in at 19,340 so we still have a little room & I think that you'll be in the same ballpark with your boat. The hitch that comes with these coaches is usually inadequate, but where you really need to focus is on the extensions from the van frame back. Usually they do a pretty crappy job with that & that was the case with ours, so our welder really beefed up the connection points between the frame & "house", boxed out the hitch & installed airbags. I would think that all of this would be the minimum needed done to tow what we tow. We're also talking about adding a steering stabilizer & beefier sway bar. It needs the steering stabilizer for sure, even without towing it can wander a little under specific conditions. We looked at the possibility of having to use a weight distribution hitch or possibly a Trailer Toad, but honestly with the air bags & beefed up hitch I think that it only drops it about an inch total & it drove so well that I just don't see the reason to go those routes. Also if you go with a coach much longer than 27-29', you'll run into more issues with this in terms of both overall capacity (because the coach will be heavier) & tongue weight (because of the longer overhang). So be careful about that.

Design....as I said, ours has the full couch on the side across from the table. You'll want a coach that has that design, & it was something that we held out for. It makes it so that we don't have to break the table down for one of the boys, they each have their own spot & we don't have to listen to "will you stop touching me!" all night. :lol: The bed in the rear also has no clip on it, that's another thing to watch out for because you'll see that in the shorter coaches. Bathroom....it's hard to describe, but as you walk into the bedroom at the rear, the shower is on 1 side & the sink & vanity is on the other. Each side has a door, & those doors close to make 1 whole room. I love that. You'll see some coaches with the entertainment unit over the cab instead of a bed - obviously that won't work for you, but what I was surprised at was how many we looked at like that. A good thing is to look for one without a front window up there. It's not a deal breaker for me, but it's a source of cold for the person that sleeps next to it & they also tend to pick up leaks over time. Also, we went with a coach without any slides for a variety of reasons. The same coach with a slide would have been $6-7k more, there's the durability issue for the long run, it adds weight (subtracting from the overall capacity) & for us as a whole it didn't make sense. If you spend a lot of time in the coach, then yes it makes sense. But being that all you gain from that is living space, it made no sense for how we typically use something like this.

RV lots....be prepared to take showers after leaving those places. The RV industry is changing, but there are still a fair number of oily people selling RVs. They tend to be incredibly overpriced on the lots. For example, there is a shop that has 2 locations here. We had stopped by one of their lots to look back in January, & it turned out that they had one on the other lot that we might be interested in. The salesman called over to talk with a guy on the other lot, & they dropped the price from $54k to $37k without us even looking at it on a phone call. That should tell you something right there. The other thing that we saw were a lot of coaches that were used 10k-15k miles per year (the above example was a 2004 with 60k miles on it). Watch out for those, they're typically rental returns & when you start looking through them the amount of wear will show.

Pricing....it will vary a lot with the economy, time of year, & regional differences, but if you do your homework you'll be fine. We found that 5+ year old coaches with the amenities that we wanted were from the high 20's (beat, high mileage) & up. The coach that we ended up with only had 19k miles on it even though it is a 2000 & is in fantastic shape, & we paid $30k even for it. We looked at the new ones on & off, but in the end we couldn't stomach either the price or the depreciation hit that you take just for driving it off the lot. Don't get impatient. Decide what you can afford & what you want, & hold out for that like we did. It absolutely will come your way.

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ilovetrains

just out of curiousity - did you consider a "super C"? I don't know much about them, but I understand those are built for towing.

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WakeGirl

We looked briefly at them, but they are waaaaaaay out of our price range. Even used.

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68Slalom

Tracie and Joe, Congrats on the new house Thumbup.gif We don't really do that much camping to justify an RV, but this thread sure gives me the itch for one :)

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stewart
So, a few of you may know that earlier this year we bought a new-to-us 28' Class C RV. This is our first RV, we've had truck/camper combos up until now. Our intention with it is to use it year-round, being that we looked for & found one with a fully heated basement. We've taken it up to the mountain for a few weekends of snow skiing & a few other trips this spring, but this was our first with the Malibu.

Just had to share. We had a fantastic & much needed weekend on the lake. Beautiful weather, not much wind & none of the drama that seemed to plague us everywhere we went last year. I hope that it's a good omen for things to come, & I hope that all of you got the same good time this weekend.

Awesome! Thumbup.gif

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WakeGirl

Honestly I'm not sure that we would have done it if we couldn't use it year round. But the luxury of coming off of the slopes after a morning of snowboard runs & having your own space to kick back in, & then be able to put the gear back on & go back up recharged & reenergized....I can't put into words how nice that is. And this weekend....it was so nice to be able to pull up & anchor the boat & go relax off of the water for a while. It can get stressful being on the boat all day long, at least when it's a busy lake with a lot of idiots out there. It was sooooo great.

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UWSkier

RV towing a Wakesetter on a mountain pass. Enough to make motorists nuts. I picture the scene from Dumb and Dumber with the two guys on the minibike up in the mountains near Aspen. :)

They're a fun way to travel but they should only be allowed on the roads after 11 PM on high-traffic holiday weekends. :)

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WakeGirl
RV towing a Wakesetter on a mountain pass. Enough to make motorists nuts. I picture the scene from Dumb and Dumber with the two guys on the minibike up in the mountains near Aspen. :)

They're a fun way to travel but they should only be allowed on the roads after 11 PM on high-traffic holiday weekends. :)

Yeah, I'm fully aware of the situation. This was a relatively short trip at just over an hour each way, but there is one section of road that was a really good test (we've used that section to test all of our tow rigs over the years). We were down to barely 30 mph at the worst, it wasn't as bad as I expected but bad enough. We intentionally used this as a shakedown, because we hadn't towed the boat with the RV prior to this & didn't realistically know what to expect. We didn't want to take it on the long trip to Shasta, some of those grades are not just steep but loooooooong. Power mods are coming, & I think that other motorists will thank us. At least there isn't much danger of Slider getting another ticket in the Shasta curves. :lol:

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ilovetrains
We looked briefly at them, but they are waaaaaaay out of our price range. Even used.

OK - just wondered if there was a reason. I have seen several in the 30-40K range, but they may not have been what you were looking for, and probably were not local. This may be our route in 2-3 years as the kids get a little older. I would love to have something that can pull the boat to the lake, or the Jeep to the mountains.

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Malibudude
RV towing a Wakesetter on a mountain pass. Enough to make motorists nuts. I picture the scene from Dumb and Dumber with the two guys on the minibike up in the mountains near Aspen. :)

They're a fun way to travel but they should only be allowed on the roads after 11 PM on high-traffic holiday weekends. :)

Yeah, I'm fully aware of the situation. This was a relatively short trip at just over an hour each way, but there is one section of road that was a really good test (we've used that section to test all of our tow rigs over the years). We were down to barely 30 mph at the worst, it wasn't as bad as I expected but bad enough. We intentionally used this as a shakedown, because we hadn't towed the boat with the RV prior to this & didn't realistically know what to expect. We didn't want to take it on the long trip to Shasta, some of those grades are not just steep but loooooooong. Power mods are coming, & I think that other motorists will thank us. At least there isn't much danger of Slider getting another ticket in the Shasta curves. :lol:

ROFL.gif Oh that's it you're jinxed now...lol

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68Slalom
RV towing a Wakesetter on a mountain pass. Enough to make motorists nuts. I picture the scene from Dumb and Dumber with the two guys on the minibike up in the mountains near Aspen. :)

They're a fun way to travel but they should only be allowed on the roads after 11 PM on high-traffic holiday weekends. :)

Yeah, I'm fully aware of the situation. This was a relatively short trip at just over an hour each way, but there is one section of road that was a really good test (we've used that section to test all of our tow rigs over the years). We were down to barely 30 mph at the worst, it wasn't as bad as I expected but bad enough. We intentionally used this as a shakedown, because we hadn't towed the boat with the RV prior to this & didn't realistically know what to expect. We didn't want to take it on the long trip to Shasta, some of those grades are not just steep but loooooooong. Power mods are coming, & I think that other motorists will thank us. At least there isn't much danger of Slider getting another ticket in the Shasta curves. :lol:

ROFL.gif Oh that's it you're jinxed now...lol

LOL, now the worry about a ticket for going to slow :)

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LS-One

Slider needs some of these in white to complete the RV experience. Thumbup.gifpost-23-1213645536_thumb.jpg

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WakeGirl
RV towing a Wakesetter on a mountain pass. Enough to make motorists nuts. I picture the scene from Dumb and Dumber with the two guys on the minibike up in the mountains near Aspen. :)

They're a fun way to travel but they should only be allowed on the roads after 11 PM on high-traffic holiday weekends. :)

Yeah, I'm fully aware of the situation. This was a relatively short trip at just over an hour each way, but there is one section of road that was a really good test (we've used that section to test all of our tow rigs over the years). We were down to barely 30 mph at the worst, it wasn't as bad as I expected but bad enough. We intentionally used this as a shakedown, because we hadn't towed the boat with the RV prior to this & didn't realistically know what to expect. We didn't want to take it on the long trip to Shasta, some of those grades are not just steep but loooooooong. Power mods are coming, & I think that other motorists will thank us. At least there isn't much danger of Slider getting another ticket in the Shasta curves. :lol:

ROFL.gif Oh that's it you're jinxed now...lol

LOL, now the worry about a ticket for going to slow :)

I can't egg him too much about it, he's already shaking his fist at every vehicle that passes us. :lol:

Power mods are coming, & I think that other motorists will thank us.

Here you go...

Banks 05-06 6.8L V-10 Class C

Banks 97-04 6.8L V-10 Class C

We've looked at the Banks system, but we have a really good custom exhaust guy that's done all of our vehicles & I think that we're going to start by doing full exhaust (headers, high flow cats - everything). Then we may just go big & supercharge the thing. Rockon.gif

Slider needs some of these in white to complete the RV experience. Thumbup.gifpost-23-1213645536_thumb.jpg

Now that's awesome. I may have to pick some up for his birthday. :lol:

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pennery

I would like to see a pic of your new RV pulling the boat... Did you take any yet?

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kb3

Just tell Joe to keep that V-10 wound up. I used to pull our fifth wheel with a 99 V-10. As long as you kept the RPM's up, it would pull like no tomorrow. It loved the 4500-5000 range....sang nice too at those revs. I was probably pushing 23,000 lb combined load and only slowed down for the real extreme climbs.....45 MPH over the Grapevine on I-5.

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WakeGirl
I would like to see a pic of your new RV pulling the boat... Did you take any yet?

Sorry, no. I didn't take a single picture all weekend, I'm such a bad parent.

Just tell Joe to keep that V-10 wound up. I used to pull our fifth wheel with a 99 V-10. As long as you kept the RPM's up, it would pull like no tomorrow. It loved the 4500-5000 range....sang nice too at those revs. I was probably pushing 23,000 lb combined load and only slowed down for the real extreme climbs.....45 MPH over the Grapevine on I-5.

Definitely! When we were young & dumb, we destroyed a tranny on a Dakota that we had by lugging it while towing. Even though we had grown up around gearheads neither of us had grown up with automatics, & we both had no clue. But after a good lecture from the transmission shop, we've been okay since. And yeah, that V10 will sing. :lol: Our exhaust guy said that we may not need a tranny cooler, so when he does the exhaust he's going to install a tranny temp gauge so that we can watch it.

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SacRiverRat

Tracie,

Thanks for all the great information. We're still in the very early shopping phase, though I'd like to have one before my next sabbatical, which means maybe by end of next year.

I have realized that I may have to buy one of those ford things, though Shannon (always one to sell me up) leans towards the workhorse chassis.. I'll definitely have to pay more attention to the total vehicle weight etc.. I had never considered that, so thank you for pointing it out.

Appreciate all the insight - thanks! Yes.gif

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UWSkier

I read this thread and all I hear is Cousin Eddie. :)

Eddie: "Oh, that uh, that there's an RV. Yeah, yeah, I borrowed it off a buddy of mine. He took my house, I took the RV. It's a good looking vehicle, ain't it?"

Clark: "Yeah, it looks so nice parked in the driveway."

Eddie: "Yeah, it sure does. But, don't you go falling in love with it now, because, we're taking it with us when we leave here next month."

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spaznoook
Tracie,

Thanks for all the great information. We're still in the very early shopping phase, though I'd like to have one before my next sabbatical, which means maybe by end of next year.

I have realized that I may have to buy one of those ford things, though Shannon (always one to sell me up) leans towards the workhorse chassis.. I'll definitely have to pay more attention to the total vehicle weight etc.. I had never considered that, so thank you for pointing it out.

Appreciate all the insight - thanks! Yes.gif

I have a very special feeling for the ford van snout, and an equally special face to go along with it when Troy mentions it.... I figure 18 more months of that face and I'll have him sold on the Kodiak chassis. ;) If there's one thing I know how to do, it's sell Troy up. Besides, if he wants to stick me in a box with 5 kids for unheard of stretches of time (including his 2 months of sabatical), then he can at least get me what I want. Whistling.gifTongue.gif

I have never heard of the heated basement thing though, Tracie. That would be awesome in the snow! Now next time, take some pictures! :)

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