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    North Georgia
  • Interests
    Touring and visiting classic planes, trains, and automobile museums.
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    With Pets

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  1. Welcome to the forum. Our 2017 Sunseeker GTS2800 was very close to your size. It averaged 7.5 MPG with our Ford Edge flat towed behind it. The best MPG I saw was in the low 10's the lowest was in the mid 6's. Since I always had the Edge with us I don't know what impact it had on our gas mileage. From what I've read a TOAD reduces your gas mileage around .5MPG.
  2. I didn't take it personal... I just see too many comments here on the FMCA forum that needs to be "clarified". So in this case the take away is that 20 to 30 years ago some Class B / C chassis either didn't have any OEM sound deadening installed or the coach builder removed it. I don't doubt those statements at all. However to make a blanket statement that implies all current Class B / C units are like that is not correct. It is ultimately the coach builder's responsibility to handle insulation and sound deadening for the entire unit. I suspect the biggest problem in both the Class B and C is the chassis weight limitation. Closely followed by the products price point. If the manufacture skimps on padding it saves weight...and money. When I get tired of it and add Lloyds carpets, or Dynamat, I'm the one losing rated cargo carrying capacity...and money. That works out pretty darn well for the manufacture.
  3. LOL, Really? A Class B or C cutaway chassis is a fully operable vehicle before the coach conversion. Zero insulation? That isn't the case with any Class C I've owned or even seen. Believe it or not they do have insulation and sound deadening, not always enough , but it is installed in the cab unit. No heat shields? Now that is a potential safety issue...show me some examples. Better yet show DOT and NHTSA, I'm sure they would be very interested. Just where are you getting your info? The best addition I've made to any Class C chassis, as far as sound deadening, is a full cab Lloyds carpet mat. They reduce sound, floor heat, and look a lot better than the rubber mats installed in most units. The Lloyds mat made a huge difference in the M-B Sprinter based unit we owned. See their website Here.
  4. See this thread for what I found while towing a 2016 Edge. There shouldn't be a lot of differences between a 16 and a 18 mechanically, your Ford dealer can tell you of any changes.
  5. "Cut Corners" not necessarily.... The next time you are at a RV dealer or show check out an Dynamax Isata 3 M-B Sprinter Class C. They are easily as nice as any Class B on the market....and we've looked at all of them. Now to get that level of fit and finish you pay around $20-30K more than for the exact same M-B chassis, with the same floor plan, as on a Sunseeker / Forester MBS just like we owned. The higher end fit and finish of a Dynamax is all you're buying along with a second year of warranty. I won't toss that much money in to any depreciating asset just for appearance. That's the same reason I usually drive Fords instead of Lincolns.... You've already spent way more...including my mods. My MSRP was just over $100K, with every option except the diesel, and I didn't pay nearly that amount. Here if you aren't getting at least 20-25% off MSRP you aren't trying... New Forest River Class C motor homes come standard with a one piece fiberglass roof. The only roof seams are at the front and rear caps. Those do require annual maintenance checks and may require re-caulking. But I can always go to one of the vendors in the FMCA magazine, like RVRoof.com, and have a spray on roof added on top of the existing roof that is warranted against leaks and requires zero maintenance. What should be and what is are often two very different things. M-B delivered a commercial cargo van that RoadTrek modified. The suspension on a Sprinter from the factory is designed as a compromise that needs to handle various load, and road, conditions. How much does you unit weigh when fully loaded? How close to the 11,030 pound GVWR are you? Knowing those two answers will help when considering any upgrades. Just upgrading the stock shocks can make a huge difference in comfort and handling. Adding a Hellwig rear sway bar is something most Sprinter based rigs can benefit from as well. The Hellwig provides so much improvement that Forest River now adds it on all their Sprinters our MBS was one of the first to have it standard. Sumo Springs are another very popular addition for Class C conversions. We've boon docked in the past...and I agree it is much more peaceful. Here in the southeast it isn't as readily available as out west...unless you consider BLM / COE type campgrounds to be boon docking...I don't. The TS has a 35 gallon fresh water tank, a 30 gallon grey tank, and a 30 gallon black tank so cold water isn't an issue. And we have a 9.8 gallon LP tank so if we want to boon dock it is "doable"... We're planning a trip to Alaska and looking at Eastern Canada as well... In the mean time we stay fairly active with the Forest River Owners Group (FROG) Rallies and non-group solo activities... We are "solar ready"... Our rig can standard with a Zamp interface but from what I've read that doesn't mean much. That is on my list to check out before Alaska... What are you doing?
  6. Thanks, we like it... Downsizing from a 33 foot big "C", with four slide outs, was a bit of a challenge but it works well for what we want. For the first time ever I have more CCC ( ~2,300 pounds) than cargo space! All of our concerns revolve around hot water, see my post HERE, but since we don't boondock it is an acceptable trade off...
  7. I agree, B+ was popular "sub-class" in the late 90's early 2000's then it pretty much disappeared. Now I'm seeing it more again... I see all RV marketing as a gimmick in a lot of ways. Go look at a higher end Class C and you'll find the same appliances that are in a low end model. I like to mention that to a sales person and watch them stutter. And a Ford E450 cutaway chassis, Chevy 4500, or a Sprinter cutaway, is the same commercial chassis no matter how much lipstick, like wood dash kits and ultra leather seats, that RV manufacturers put on it... We weren't impressed with the small Winnies either... They did feel a bit loose to say the least. But there are a load of RV suspension enhancements advertised, for every Class and chassis, so I suspect many manufacturers would rather sell on "bling" than substance. Those of us who do care end up doing suspension mods... The Ford diesel would have been a very hard sell, even if the numbers had made sense for me, as I don't like I-5s' either. I remember too many of them that just didn't work out very well... Interestingly enough the new 2018 F-150 diesel Ford just announced is a V-6...not the I-5. Hmm.... There you go buying that "bling"! Every time my wife looks at the interiors of a Airstream Class B she comments on it. I'm going to buy 5 gallons of polyurethane and dip my interior in it to give it that "bling"...
  8. The Sprinter 3500 and Transit 350HD are direct competitors and I've owned both... Here is my take on the issue: I used a proforma spreadsheet to compare the two engine options when purchasing our TS. I looked at the following items: Initial cost of the diesel engine over the base gas engine in the purchase price. In the case of our Transit it is about a $6K option for the diesel. Gasoline wins this round. Maintenance costs of the diesel versus the gasoline engine. I pay around $50 for a oil change on my Ford every 7,500 miles, or every six months. A Sprinter may be at 10K miles but how much is an oil change? I can't even buy the M-B spec oil necessary for what I pay for the complete service. Plus I don't have any diesel filters to purchase. Gasoline wins again. The MPG of the diesel versus gas. Our MBS, when it ran , didn't do bad at 16-17MPG. The Transit is getting mid 14's in comparison. Now add in the extra cost per gallon of diesel, and DEF, over gas. The fuel price per mile was very close...so close I would never see any payback worth discussing. Right now around here diesel is running around $2.99 a gallon, gas is $2.49. Diesel cost per mile at 17MPG divided in to $2.99 a gallon is 17.5 cents per mile. Gas cost per mile at 14.5MPG divided in to $2.49 a gallon is 17.1 cents per mile. And a gas engine doesn't need DEF. Even so this round is close enough I called it a tie... Collectively those three items told me it did not make financial $en$e to "upgrade" to the optional diesel when we ordered our TS. Power? I loose on torque... Here are the posted numbers: M-B Sprinter 3.0L V-6 Diesel: 188 HP and 325 ft-lbs of torque. Ford Transit 3.2L I-5 Diesel: 185 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque. Ford Transit 3.7L Gasoline: 275 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque. My 3.7L gas V-6 runs great and doesn't have any "power" issues..at least the way I drive. I've driven I-75 thru TN and KY both ways and the cruise held 62MPH just fine through the mountains. No, it isn't the Rockies...but it isn't flat either. I admit it did down shift in to fifth gear on some of the longer steep grades. Not bad considering that our TS weighed in right at 10,000 pounds when I had the RVSEF do a "four corner" weighing of our rig. That is a little bit less, about 500 pounds, than our Sprinter based Class C weighed on a CAT Scale. Diesel resale? Been their, done that... With a M-B Sprinter and Ford diesel trucks, and SUV's, back when we had big travel trailers. In my experience the resale value of a diesel is no better than a gas engine when you factor in the additional purchase price. Sure you get more trade in but you paid more to begin with...in my experience it was effectively a wash in every deal. As for the mileage not counting on a diesel it certainly does count around here! In most Class B's you aren't going to have an engine choice. Any Sprinter based unit, currently the majority of Class B's, will be a diesel. However in some Ford Transit based B's, like the Coachmen Crossfit, you can spec either engine. Same thing with most of the small Forest River Class C's like ours. That is the nice thing about the current RV market, everyone gets to choose what works best for them!
  9. Yes, that is correct... It is not a big deal as long as you carefully manage your hot water usage. And as I mentioned it has an outstanding recycle time in "Boost" mode. Since we aren't "campers", we use our TS to tour, we are normally stopped at a campground with showers available anyway. Might as well use those amenities I'm paying for! While the Truma Combi water heater side is lacking it is an excellent furnace. Very quiet, no fan roar, and it warms the coach very well. Even so I usually use an electric ceramic heater as I see no reason to burn my LP while I'm paying for electricity in a campground. No, that isn't an option in the Forest River Sunseeker / Forester family. The Truma brand is German and is designed for small Euro sized caravans. After five years of living in Europe I know that most Europeans are more tolerant of small sized appliances than most Americans. With RV downsizing in general I suspect the Truma Combi will start being more common in both Class B and Class C units as time goes by... Truma also make a on-demand water heater that is used in some Forest River Class A brands.
  10. Brett, See Page 53 of this months magazine for the official FMCA B-Plus description . The B+ description fits our motor home best but Forest River calls it a Class C. There is a third type of water heater being used in Class B's, and smaller Class C units, now. We have the Truma Combi which is a combined water heater and furnace. It is designed to save space and weight and it does do that... First the good: It is an excellent furnace. In fairness we have small 25 foot unit, with no slide outs, so there isn't a lot to heat... It is unbelievably programmable. Dual fuel sources (LP and 115VAC), what mix level of the fuel sources, fast tank recycle or Eco mode, On and Off Timer Programing for the furnace and water heater, temperature control for both, and more. It's very impressive for a RV system. It heats water fairly well and has an excellent tank recycle time, roughly 10-15 minutes, when using both gas and electric in "Boost" mode. Now the bad: 10 liters of hot water is all the tank holds...that is roughly 2.6 US gallons. When you have Truma Combi hot water management takes on a whole new meaning. For example do not run any hot water in the bathroom sink while the wife is in the shower. Adding a Oxygenics BodySpa shower kit helped on the shower side....
  11. Mark, Since my mini Class C is defined as a Class B+ by some manufactures I'll answer this one: Chassis Annual Maintenance: $150.00 That is a oil change before going in to storage in the fall and another after coming out in the spring. The services are performed at my local Ford dealer. Ford maintenance prices are a much better than the OMG! costs on the Sprinter based Class C we had... Insurance: ~$540 annually for full coverage thru Allstate. USAA still won't insure a motor home...and I will not ever use Progressive, their partner in crime. License Fees: $1.00 a year for plate renewal. We now get charged all the taxes up front in Georgia. The Georgia Title Ad Valorem Tax (TAVT) is 7% on a new vehicle. At least there is no longer an annual birthday "present" from DMV. Storage: $1,800 annually for covered storage, with 15Amp AC power. I could pay $1,200 annually for uncovered storage with no AC power but I like having a roof over my unit and being able to keep it plugged in whenever I want... That what you were looking for?
  12. Larry, 1. On our Edge there were multiple ground wires that run to the negative battery terminal. It wasn't just a quick remove and replace to install the disconnect with a single cable. 2. Surprisingly we did not have any serious memory loss. The Trip computer normally reset but the radio and GPS were usually fine. 3. Other "gotchas"? Well I'm not sure if it was directly related to towing but we had serious transmission issues with the Edge. It developed an issue where it would "clunk", loud and hard, if you were decelerating and then accelerated again. This was most noticeable when coasting up to a Red light then accelerating again, on the Green, without coming to a full stop. Our dealership did software reflashes, module replacements, and fluid changes trying to address the issue. All of the fixes lasted about a thousand miles or so then our "clunk" returned. Since it was running up on the 3/36 warranty we traded it in... We ran a 12VDC feed from the coach to the Edge to supply the power for the braking system and towing lights. That was a easy way to power everything. If you are going to do the battery disconnect I wouldn't bother with a charge line.
  13. Please send it to me for one of the 20 signatures....
  14. I don't think it is all about making members aware of the issues and upcoming votes. As you said there was plenty of info, on numerous sources, on the last vote. But making it easier to vote should see an improvement in the "turn out" rate. And I suspect implementing e-voting would also be more cost effective for the FMCA as well....
  15. I'm not too surprised. That is exactly why I suggested electronic voting. Members would receive an email with the proposal and an embedded link to vote. All they need to do is click on the link to respond and vote. No printing paper ballots, looking for envelopes, stamps, and all the "snail mail" issues. I suspect that e-voting would have seen a much better response rate, among the current membership, than the "snail mail" votes you mention. And those who wish to vote by "snail mail" could still do so with a paper ballot included in the magazine as it was in the last vote.
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