Class B or Class C: Which Motorhome is Right for You?

If you’re wondering, “Is a Class B or Class C motorhome right for me?” you aren’t alone

Should I get a Class B or Class C motorhome? Whether you’re looking to buy your first RV or ready to move on to a new one, that’s the big question many RVers face when heading out to make that big purchase.

But how do you know which one is for you? 

Let’s start with Class Bs. 

Class B motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The Class B motorhomes and vanlife

Two factors are driving the growth in Class B motorhomes. The first is downsizing with more people wanting to get into something a little more maneuverable.

The Class B motorhome is also referred to as a campervan. They have become so popular that they have spawned a movement called vanlife. 

The second big factor is technology. Lithium-ion batteries, solar panels, and more now make it possible to connect with the world as you’re driving and, well, work from anywhere.

Class B+ motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Understanding the Class B motorhome

If you’re looking at a Class B, you’re talking about an RV that is built on a commercial van chassis. That includes the Mercedes Sprinter chassis, the Ford Transit chassis, or the Dodge ProMaster chassis.

So, it’s really the smallest of motorhomes. Yet, they still have sinks, stoves, refrigerators, holding tanks, toilets, house batteries, beds, sitting areas, and even entertainment features.

When it comes to engines, Class B motorhomes are either gas or diesel. A Class B generally get about 10-25 miles per gallon.

Class B motorhomes are designed in various lengths generally ranging from 18 to about 23 feet.

They also have different floor plans offering various combinations of sleeping arrangements whether traveling alone or with others. The different floor plans are a big attraction for many Class B owners.

Of course, you’ll wonder about storage and tank capacity in the smaller RVs and you’d be right if you suspect both are limited. However, what they lack in storage they make up for in compact agility because driving a Class B is like driving a minivan.

Class B+ motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

That means fitting into smaller campsites and easier maneuverability when getting into or out of or visiting a town. The versatility, in fact, is one of the primary reasons many prefer Class Bs.

Many of these smaller rigs come with lithium house batteries and solar panels to maximize and extend electrical output.

However, if you’re thinking Class Bs are less expensive because they’re smaller, you will be disappointed.  Delivering the luxury features of larger coaches compressed into smaller spaces creates engineering and construction challenges which translate to higher costs.  In addition to the engineering challenge many Class B motorhomes use more costly higher-end components like lithium batteries in their designs.

Class C motorhomes

One of the most popular segments in the motorhome industry is the Class C. First off, Class C motorhomes have an instantly recognizable silhouette. Here’s what a typical Class C motorhome looks like.

Class C motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The classic Class C motorhome cab is covered by an overhang or cab-over that in most models houses a bed. A short passageway leads into the body of the motorhome usually a step or two up from the driver’s compartment. They are built on a cutaway truck chassis.

But first, let’s clear something up.

You may have heard the term Class B+ motorhome. They are small motorhomes that do not have the front overhang. But a so-called B+ motorhome really IS a Class C motorhome. The industry just made up that B+ designation.

Here’s a picture of Class B+ motorhome.

Class B+ motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

But for the purpose of this article, I’m talking about the classic Class C motorhome with that distinctive cab overhang.

CLICK HERE to read an article on the Class B + motorhome

The cutaway truck chassis a Class C motorhome is built on is able to carry more weight and that gives RV manufacturers the freedom to add more bulk.

As expected, everything is a bit bigger with Class Cs: a separate dining area, larger stove and refrigerator, and larger storage tanks for water, waste, and propane. The bathroom is larger and usually with a shower stall separate from the toilet. There are usually one or two slide outs for extra width when parked.

When it comes to storage, Class Cs typically offer plenty of cupboards and hiding spaces inside and several storage compartments outside.

In fact, some of the modern Class C motorhomes are so large that they rival the Class A or bus-style motorhome in space and amenities. They range all the way up to 41 feet in length though most are between 25-30 feet.

Super C motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Super Class C motorhomes: When you need even more space

Yes, there is Class Cs that go beyond the 26-foot mark—some up to 45 feet. They’re the Super Class C motorhomes. They are built on a heavy-duty truck chassis and are able to tow huge loads.

The name pretty much says it all! Super C motorhomes are larger versions of traditional Class C motorhomes. More specifically, that extra space gives these unique RVs all the luxuries of a Class A Motorhome with additional safety features.

Here are some of the Super Class C motorhome advantages:

  • Wider wheel-base: This creates a safer and more enjoyable driving experience.
  • Tons of exterior storage: Most Super C RVs have exterior storage running the length of the body.
  • Tow and cargo carrying capacity: Super Cs have powerful engines; some can tow up to 25,000 pounds.
  • Easier to repair: Using traditional large-truck engines, there are a lot more service shops that can work on your engine. Unlike Class As, the engine is easily accessible from outside thr RV.
Super C motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

To be clear, Super C is really a made-up RV classification just like the B+ motorhome. Most of the Super Cs would be on the Ford F550 or the Freightmaster chassis. They have much more in common with Class A motorhomes than their smaller cousins including multiple slides.

Bottom line: It’s really big and yet somehow maintains the Class C classification. It’s pretty cool though.

So, Class B (or B+) or Class C (or Super C) motorhome?

Worth Pondering…

We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as unsolvable problems.

—John W. Gardner

April 2024 RV Manufacturer Recalls: 17 Recalls Involving 11 RV Manufactures

Is your RV on the list? A manufacturer recall can create a safety risk if not repaired.

Your recreational vehicle may be involved in a safety recall and may create a safety risk for you and your passengers. Safety defects must be repaired by a certified dealer at no cost to you. However, if left unrepaired, a potential safety defect in your vehicle could lead to injury or even death.

Thousands of RVs are affected by the latest RV recalls issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Before you head out for spring camping, check the latest roundup of NHTSA recalls to see if your RV is affected.

What is a recall?

It’s always important to keep up with the latest recalls, no matter how small the issue may appear to be. Each week, NHTSA publishes the latest information on recalls from minor to major defects. NHTSA releases its most recent list of recalls each Monday.

When a manufacturer or the NHTSA determines that a recreational vehicle or item of RV equipment creates an unreasonable risk to safety or fails to meet minimum safety standards, the manufacturer is required to fix that vehicle or equipment at no cost to the consumer.

Per strict NHTSA protocols, manufacturers will next notify its dealer partners of the recall notice. Each notice will include details of the affected vehicles as well as the appropriate remedy.

It should be noted that RV recalls are related to vehicle safety and not product quality. NHTSA has no interest in an air conditioner failing to cool or slide out failing to extend or retract—unless they can be directly attributed to product safety.

Information on previous safety recalls follow:

NHTSA announced 17 recall notices during April 2024. These recalls involved 11 recreational vehicle manufacturers—Forest River (4 recalls), Keystone (3 recalls), Winnebago (2 recalls), Cruiser (1 recall), Heartland (1 recall), Jayco (1 recall), Airstream (1 recalls), Tiffin (1 recall), ORV (1 recall), REV (1 recall), and Alliance (1 recall).

Leaf Verde RV Park, Buckeye, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River (Forest River) is recalling certain 2024 Aurora and Coachmen Catalina Travel Trailers. Improper routing may leave the distribution panel wire unprotected from the battery.

Dealers will reroute the distribution panel wire to the breaker side of the mini breaker, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed May 15, 2024. Owners may contact Forest River Customer Service at 1-574-825-4995. Forest River’s number for this recall is 203-1757.

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2024 Cardinal and Wildcat Fifth Wheels trailers. The operator may utilize the rear towing hitch without locking the turning point fifth wheel hitch into the “Conventional Transport” position.

Dealers will install a warning label to the hitch and rear wall of the vehicle, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed May 22, 2024. Owners may contact Forest River Customer Service at 1-574-296-7700. Forest River’s number for this recall is 15-1755.

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2021-2022 Forest River Cardinal, Wildcat, 2018-2019 Cedar Creek, 2021 Columbus, 2023 Continental Cargo, 2021-2024 Dynamax DX3, Dynamax Dynaquest XL, Dynamax Isata, Forest River IBEX, 2022-2024 Dynamax Europa, Forest River NOBO, 2022-2023 Forest River Sandstorm, Shockwave, Stealth, and 2021-2023 Dynamax Force trailers. The LED backlight circuit board in the cooktop range may fail, causing the board to overheat.

Dealers will disconnect and cut the circuit powering the LED backlights and terminate the wiring, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed by May 27, 2024. Owners may contact Suburban customer service at 1-574-247-9235 option 5; Cardinal & Wildcat customer service at 1-574-296-7700; Cedar Creek customer service at 1-260-593-4000; Columbus customer service at 1-574-821-1487; Continental Cargo customer service at 1-254-420-0171; Dynamax customer service at 1-574-264-6664; Ibex & Nobo customer service at 1-574-6421612; and Sandstorm & Shockwave customer service at 1-909-873-3777. Forest River’s number for this recall is 51-1760.

The Barnyard RV Park, Lexington, South Carolina © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2024 Coachmen Catalina BCAT154RDX and Forest River Aurora BART15RDX travel trailers. The panel that isolates the cooktop from the furnace was not properly sealed during manufacturing, which could result in an inverted cooktop flame.

Dealers will seal the furnace from the cooktop, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed May 29, 2024. Owners may contact Forest River Customer Service at 1-574-825-4995. Forest River’s number for this recall is 203-1766.

Keystone

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2021-2023 Montana, 2021-2022 Montana High Country, 2022-2024 Fuzion, 2021 Crossroads Cruiser, and 2024 Dutchmen Aspen Trail LOFT vehicles. The LED backlight circuit board in the cooktop range may fail, causing the board to overheat.

Dealers can remove the LED backlights or terminate the circuit for the red LED lights, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed May 17, 2024. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 24-452.

Keystone

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2024 Crossroads Sunset trail 20SS, 253RB, 258RD, 272BH, and 330SI travel trailers. A window roller shade may have been incorrectly installed near the stove, which can allow the shade to contact the burner.

Dealers will remove the roller shade and install the correct mini blind, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed May 23, 2024. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 24-454.

Sand Hollow State Park, Utah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Keystone

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2024 Keystone Retreat, Residence 40CLDL, Residence 401CLDL, Dutchmen Aspen Trail 421LOFT, and Crossroads Hampton 390PVL trailers. The equalizer may provide inadequate clearance, allowing the axle to contact the frame.

Dealers will replace the equalizer, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed May 31, 2024. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-8696-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 24-453.

Winnebago

Winnebago Towable (Winnebago) is recalling certain 2024 Access travel trailers. The electrical circuits for the GFCI outlets may have been wired incorrectly, which can cause the outlets to not be protected.

Dealers will rewire the GFCI circuitry by adding a GFCI outlet upstream of the outlets that need protection, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed May 13, 2024. Owners may contact Winnebago customer service at 1-574-825-5280 ext. 5220. Winnebago’s number for this recall is CAM0000036.

Winnebago

Winnebago Towable (Winnebago) is recalling certain 2022-2024 Voyage, Micro Minnie, Micro Minnie FLX, Hike 200 and Minnie travel trailers. The LED backlight circuit board in the cooktop range may fail, causing the board to overheat.

Dealers will replace the cooktop control panel, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed May 30, 2024. Owners may contact Winnebago customer service at 1-574-825-5280 ext. 5220. Winnebago’s number for this recall is CAM0000035. This recall supersedes NHTSA recall 24V-054.

Countryside RV Park, Dillon, Montana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Cruiser

Cruiser RV (Cruiser) is recalling certain 2023-2024 Avenir, Embrace, Shadow Cruiser, Radiance, Stryker, MPG, 2024 Twilight travel trailers, and 2024 Essence fifth wheels. The LED backlight circuit board in the cooktop range may fail, causing the board to overheat.

Dealers will disconnect and cut the circuit powering the LED backlights and terminate the wiring, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed May 17, 2024. Owners may contact Cruiser customer service at 1-574-206-7920.

Heartland

Heartland Recreational Vehicles, LLC (Heartland) is recalling certain 2023 Elk Ridge, Lithium, 2024 Eddie Bauer, Corterra, 2023-2024 Big Country, Big Horn, South Fork, Fuel, Gravity, Mallard, North Trail, Sundance, Milestone, Pioneer, Prowler, Torque, and Trail Runner fifth wheels and travel trailers. The LED backlight circuit board in the cooktop range may fail, causing the board to overheat.

Dealers will disconnect and cut the circuit powering the LED backlights and terminate the wiring, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed May 17, 2024. Owners may contact Heartland customer service at 1-877-262-8032.

Jayco

Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2020-2022 Entegra Esteem, Odyssey, and Jayco Greyhawk, Redhawk, and Greyhawk Prestige motorhomes. An inadequate connection between the power steering pressure line and the brake hydroboost unit may result in a sudden loss of power steering fluid.

Dealers will replace the power steering pressure line and the hydro boost jumper line, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed May 30, 2024. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-283-8267.

Monte Vista RV Resort, Mesa, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Airstream

Airstream, Inc. (Airstream) is recalling certain 2024 Pottery Barn travel trailers. The rear axle weight on the Federal Certification label is incorrect. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 110, “Tire Selection and Rims.”

Airstream will mail corrected labels to owners, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed June 4, 2024. Owners may contact Airstream customer service at 1-877-596-6505 or 1-937-596-6111 ext. 7401 or 7411.

Tiffin

Tiffin Motorhomes, Inc. (Tiffin) is recalling certain 2022-2024 Allergro Open Road, Allergro RED 360, 2024 Byway, and 2022 Phaeton motorhomes. The LED backlight circuit board in the cooktop range may fail, causing the board to overheat.

Dealers can remove the LED backlights or terminate the circuit for the red LED lights, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed by May 31, 2024. Owners may contact Tiffin customer service at 1-256-356-8661. Tiffin’s number for this recall is TIF-138.

ORV

Outdoors RV Manufacturing (ORV) is recalling certain 2022-2024 Titanium trailers. The LED backlight circuit board in the cooktop range may fail, causing the board to overheat.

Dealers will disconnect and cut the circuit powering the LED backlights and terminate the wiring, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed May 17, 2024. Owners may contact ORV customer service at 1-541-962-1866. ext. 222.

Settlers Point RV Resort, Washington, Utah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

REV

REV Recreation Group (REV) is recalling certain 2022-2024 Fleetwood Discovery and Holiday Rambler Endeavor motorhomes, equipped with Remco 50-54 Rebel 4.0 GPM water pumps. The water pump harness was designed with inadequate fuse protection.

Dealers will inspect and relocate the water pump circuit to a properly sized fuse as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed June 16, 2024. Owners may contact REV customer service at 1-800-509-3417. REV’s number for this recall is 240416REV.

Alliance

Alliance RV, LLC (Alliance) is recalling certain 2022 Paradigm 295MK, and Avenue 32RLS fifth wheels. The freshwater tank may be installed incorrectly, which can result in the tank detaching from the vehicle.

Dealers will remount the freshwater tank, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed June 17, 2024. Owners may contact Alliance customer service at 1-574-218-7165.

Please Note: This is the 62nd in a series of posts relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls

Worth Pondering…

It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn’t.

—Martin Van Buren

What is a Super C Motorhome?

There are different types and classes of RVs available to own, each with perks that are enjoyable and well worth having. But every RVer is different and we all have different priorities based on our lifestyles and styles of camping.

When it comes to motorized (vs towable) you can choose from Class A, B, or C, each of which has its pros and cons. But there’s another class of motorized RV on the market that might surprise you and today I explore it in depth. Welcome to the Super C motorhome.

Class A motorhome (diesel pusher) © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

What are the classes of motorhomes?

As I mentioned above, there are several different classes of motorhome. What are they?

Class A motorhomes are the big, box-like vehicles that look the most like a bus and it’s what we drive. The house or living area extends from bumper to bumper giving Class A motorhomes the largest amount of living space for their length which is one reason for their popularity.

Class A motorhomes are available in two basic categories: Gas and diesel, obviously based on the fuel they use. Due to their rugged durability and higher torque, diesel engines are used to power the largest Class A motorhomes. Those powerful engines and the additional carrying capacity they bring allow for larger rigs with lots more heavy gear stuffed into them. Hence the higher price for a diesel-powered RV.

The engine in a Class A motorhome can be located at the front or the rear of the RV but gas rigs typically have front-mounted engines and diesel engines are usually in the rear. This is where the term diesel pusher comes from as the engine pushes the RV from the back.

Class A motorhomes come in a variety of lengths but because larger diesel models are built on rugged heavy-duty chassis they can extend up to 45 feet in length. Most diesel rigs also benefit from the luxurious ride that air suspension brings.

These large Class A motorhomes are great for people like us who live half-time plus in our RV. They can offer lots of space for both living and storage as well as large fresh, grey, and black tanks to accommodate more people and/or and more time in the boondocks. Depending on the size and floorplan, Class A motorhomes can sleep anywhere from 2 to 8 people and larger models provide ample storage space in full pass-through basement compartments.

New Class A motorhomes can range in price from over $100,000 to $2,000,000 (that’s mostly for the highest-end bus conversions) depending on their size, quality, and amenities. So the cost can be a big deterrent to owning one. And because they can get quite large, another drawback is that they can be more difficult to maneuver and harder to park. Some state and national parks won’t have sites large enough to accommodate them.

As they get larger, it becomes even more important to tow a small vehicle for exploring. Driving a Class A motorhome into town or to a remote trailhead falls somewhere between cumbersome and impossible depending on where you’re traveling.

Class B motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Contrary to what may seem logical, motorhome types (A, B, and C) aren’t in size order with A being the largest and B being the smallest. If they’d consulted with me when they were crafting the naming scheme, I would have told them to put them in order!

Class B motorhomes are at the opposite end of the spectrum from Class A motorhomes being the smallest and most fuel-efficient motorhomes available. They drive and park like a van because they’re primarily built using van-based chassis: traditionally from Ford or Chevy but these days the more common choice is either the Mercedes Sprinter or Ram ProMaster. Their small size makes them easy to maneuver on city streets as well as in the boondocks making them versatile as both a home base at camp AND a vehicle to go out and explore in.

The drawback of a Class B motorhome is that they’re highly limited in terms of space and don’t usually accommodate more than one or two (very close, very tolerant) people and maybe a small child (or a small pet or two). There are people who full-time in them for which I give major props!

Class C motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Class C motorhomes are the middle child of the motorized RVing world and can vary significantly in size and length. They’ll accommodate more people and have more amenities and larger tanks than Class B motorhomes and are less expensive and easier to drive and park than most Class A motorhomes. They’re recognizable because of the large over-cab extension that often houses an additional bed for kids or guests.

One surprising note about Class C motorhomes—if you need additional sleeping accommodations, many of them provide more than even the largest Class A rigs! That’s probably because they’re often designed with the ability to be the perfect family hauler.

Super C motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

So what is a Super C motorhome?

With all of the options listed above there are still travelers whose needs and desires are different. They want a motorhome that’s larger than a typical Class C with more luxury and more space but they don’t want the style of a Class A motorhome. They’re looking for a heavier vehicle, a larger chassis, and maybe a more significant towing capacity. What’s a traveler to do with this conundrum?

That’s where a Super C motorhome is perfect! It takes the best attributes of a Class C—and super-sizes it all

The benefits of choosing a Super C motorhome

Super C motorhomes have numerous benefits for travelers with specific needs. Let’s take a closer look at some of the greatest perks of owning one.

Super C motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

More robust chassis in a Super C motorhome

The foundation of a Super C motorhome is a larger, heavier-duty chassis than a standard Class C—much more akin to the chassis used for a Class A. They can range from the more consumer-grade heavy-duty truck chassis from Ford (like the F550) up to full-on truck chassis from Freightliner and even Volvo. Everything about the chassis is more robust: chassis rails are larger and stiffer; axles are larger with greater carrying capacity; wheels and brakes (often air brakes) are bigger to support and stop the extra weight; and, of course, engines are bigger and more powerful!

More living space

The larger, heavier-duty chassis of a Super C enables the manufacturers to increase the size of the motorhome overall which means that it offers more living space, the ability to accommodate more travelers (for sleeping, dining, and riding), and loads of storage space for everything you want to bring along.

Super C motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Larger tank capacities on a Super C motorhome

More space in holding tanks is another advantage of the Super C motorhome. Larger models can have freshwater tanks that hold 100-150 gallons of fresh water and grey and black tanks that hold up to 75 gallons each. That makes the behemoth Super Cs ripe for some serious boondocking.

Lots of exterior storage

The number of storage compartments as well as the large size of those compartments allows you to bring a multitude of recreational items for the enjoyment of the entire family. These might include bikes, kayaks, paddleboards, surfboards, parasails, skis, and golf clubs.

Most RVers carry some basic tools for minor repairs and modifications on the road but the Super C motorhomes allow for the carrying of just about any set of tools a DIYer might want to have on hand.

The large, heavy chassis allows you to carry heavy loads and makes it a breeze to bring lots of toys along.

Super C motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Higher towing capacity

The bigger chassis and larger (usually diesel) engines of Super C motorhomes allow for larger hitch receivers and larger towing capacities.

A Super C motorhome might have a towing capacity between 10,000 and 20,000 pounds. For this reason, the Super C is a common choice for travelers who haul large trailers for car racing, for example.

Great stability on the road

The larger, heavier chassis and longer wheelbase mean that the Super C motorhome is more firmly planted while driving making it more secure on the road and less susceptible to buffeting by larger vehicles. This is an attractive feature for most drivers as tall, flat-sided vehicles tend to feel the wind from both nature and large passing vehicles in a dramatic way.

More comfortable ride

Just like Class A motorhomes, Super Cs often come with air-ride suspension. The large airbags that support the weight of the coach on the chassis help to soften the ride and make them comfortable options for long-range driving. Several Super C motorhome models go so far as to incorporate air-ride driver’s seats just like a long-haul commercial truck would. That extreme isolation from the bumps and vibration of everyday driving DEFINITELY makes for a super-comfortable ride.

Super C motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Super C motorhomes provide easier access for maintenance

Another benefit of the Super C motorhome is that the engine is located under the hood in the front of the vehicle which makes access for maintenance easier than that of a Class A gas or diesel pusher. Whether you’re doing your maintenance or taking it into a shop that access can come in handy.

Safety

Another benefit of the heavy engine under the hood is that it serves as protection and may provide a larger crumple zone in the event of a collision. Additionally, heavy vehicles like the Super C motorhomes tend to fare well in all but the most serious crashes due to their sheer size and weight.

The extra stability provided by the design of the Super C motorhome is another safety feature that is surely felt as one drives down the road in such a heavy, stable rig.

Super C motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The disadvantages of choosing a Super C motorhome

While the Super C motorhome provides many excellent benefits, I’d be remiss if I didn’t include in this overview some of the disadvantages as well.

Higher price point

One big disadvantage especially with larger or more luxurious models can be the cost. Super C motorhomes typically range in price from $150,000–$800,000 with most new models costing more than $400,000. As with any other class of motorhome, the make, model, and age of the RV (i.e. whether it’s new or used) are cost factors. But in general, Super C RVs come at a high price point.

Fuel economy

The advantages of the heavier, larger Super C come at another cost as well. The bigger, thirstier engines consume a fair amount of fuel. Most Super C owners report fewer than ten miles per gallon. Towing a heavy towed car or large trailer behind the RV only decreases the fuel efficiency further.

Super C motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Super C motorhomesc can be harder to drive/park

Bigger is not always better. Larger RVs (regardless of Class/Type) can be harder to drive and certainly make parking more challenging. Not only can it be difficult to navigate city or small-town streets but not all parking lots accommodate such large vehicles. And even when they have sufficient space, those lots can be difficult to get into with a very large rig.

The other prominent issue is campsite accommodation. Many campsites are not equipped to handle a Super C motorhome especially one hauling a long trailer. Most national park campgrounds are unable to accommodate such a large rig, for example, or the few large sites they do offer are often full.

So, while a Super C motorhome may cruise down the highway with little effort, turning, navigating small streets, parking, and backing can present unique challenges for the Super C motorhome owner.

Less living space than a comparable Class A

While having the engine up front under the hood offers advantages for ease of maintenance and safety, it does have a negative: that space is lost. So a 40-foot Super C will have less living space than a 40-foot Class A. While many Super C motorhomes will have driver and passenger seats that swivel around to offer seating in the front living area, the space consumed by the hood is still lost.

Super C motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Do you need a CDL to drive a Super C motorhome?

Based specifically on the class of RV, a CDL is not required to drive a Super C RV. However, the size and weight of the rig can be a factor depending on the state or province in which you’re licensed.

For those who are unfamiliar, a CDL or Commercial Driver’s License must be obtained by truckers and commercial bus drivers. The driver of a Super C motorhome does not need to obtain a license like this based on the fact that he or she is driving a Super C but there are states and Canadian provinces that do require a driver to obtain a non-commercial version of this type of license if your rig weighs over 26,000 pounds, if it can carry more than 16 passengers, or if it’s equipped with air brakes.

Many Super C motorhomes weigh at or near 26,000 pounds but if you’re opting for a mode of Super C that exceeds 26,000 pounds you’ll likely need an enhanced license to do so. Check with your state or provincial motor vehicle agency to be sure. In general, it’s the state where you’re licensed that matters most. If you’re legal to drive a certain vehicle in your home state, other states offer reciprocity by allowing you to drive there as well even if they have more stringent requirements for their residents to be licensed.

Is a Super C motorhome right for you?

Choosing the class of RV that’s right for you involves evaluating your needs and desires as a traveler as well as where you intend to travel and where you intend to camp. Other important considerations include cost, fuel efficiency, and whether you need to accommodate a certain number of passengers and/or to be able to haul a small or large load.

A Super C motorhome is a wonderful, high-end rig that is just right for a unique population of travelers but it’s not a rig for everyone. While these fantastic RVs hold a multitude of advantages for some travelers they may be cost-prohibitive and/or excessively large for RVers who are traveling to explore smaller campsites in state and national parks, cities, or small lakeside campgrounds.

Many manufacturers offer Super C models including (but not limited to): Dynamax (Isata, Europa, DX3 and others), Renegade RV (Renegade XL, Ikon, Valencia, and Verona), Jayco (Seneca), Nexus RV (Triumph SC, Wraith, and Ghost), and Thor (Omni and Magnitude).

Super C motorhomes have become popular enough that even Newmar has gotten in on the game offering two models—the Super Star and the Supreme Aire. So there are plenty of options available for you to choose from.

Super C motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Conclusion

While the focus of this post has been the Super C motorhome, there are so many choices out there. From the multitude of driveable Class A, B, and C rigs to the wide variety of towables, there’s a rig out there for almost everyone who wants to travel and camp.

And if a Super C doesn’t sound like it would be the right choice for you, how about a look at some small Class A motorhomes, instead?

Worth Pondering…

Life, with its rules, its obligations, and its freedoms, is like a sonnet: You’re given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself.

—Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time (1962)

The Class B +: Goldilocks of Motorhomes

Most RVers know there are Class A, Class B, and Class C motorhomes but did you also know there are Class B + motorhomes? It’s confusing, though. A Class B + is really a Class C motorhome.

Class B + is a made-up marketing term. But the term Class B + motorhome is so widely used now that people and RV salespeople commonly refer to them that way. Whether accurate or not the Class B+ motorhome is the choice for many who want something bigger than a B but smaller and less boxy than a C. 

Class B + motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Why choose a Class B + motorhome?

The short and simple answer for most people is because a Class B + motorhome has more space than the Class B but is a small enough motorhome to be easily maneuvered.

Class B motorhomes are also known as campervans. They consist of a van body. The RV stuff is built and formed inside the walls of the van. It can get pretty close quarters in a Class B van.

A Class B + motorhome (and the traditional Class C) is built on cutaway chassis. A cutaway chassis consists of the engine and cab and behind that just the rails and wheels without walls. That back portion of the cutaway chassis is what RV manufacturers build the motorhome part on. Think of the motorhome part as a box attached to rails and outriggers to that cutaway chassis.

The box is a bit bigger and has more living room than the B van.

Class B + motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

What is with the Class B + designation?

In short, a Class B + is an unofficial industry classification that refers to a Class C size (chassis/body) motorhome minus the cab overhang at the front that typically is used for sleeping in a Class C. For registration and insurance purposes, in fact, Class B+ motorhomes are considered a Class C.

People wanted something that doesn’t have that overhang so the industry came up with the name Class B +. In other words, it’s a marketing term. Totally made up!

A Class B Plus motorhome is built on the same cutaway chassis cabs used for Class C motorhomes typically from Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler, or Ford. The living space of the Class C motorhome or any class for that matter is built by a third-party RV manufacturer. As an example, Leisure Travel Vans builds on the Ford Transit and the Mercedes Sprinter chassis.

Class B + motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Advantages of a Class B +

Since the only real difference between a Class C and Class B + motorhome is the absence of the traditional overhang associated with Class Cs, a Class B + offers more space and amenities than Class B campervans.

Class B + benefits

With a Class B motorhome you don’t usually get a full bath. And if they have a shower, it’s most often a wet shower meaning the entire bathroom gets wet when you shower in it. Most Class B showers share space with the toilet and sink.

Most Class B + motorhome models, however, offer an enclosed dry shower separate from the toilet and sink which stay dry as you shower.

There’s another thing: Because the Class B + motorhome is smaller than a Class A they are easier to drive and park. You can pretty much take a B+ anywhere you can take a B. It can even fit in a parking spot at most big-box stores.

In fact, you can use a Class B + as a second vehicle, running errands, shopping, doing everything we would with the family car.

Class B + motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Important features to look for in a Class B+

Despite being a niche rig type, you’ll find quite a few Class B+ models on the market. How do you decide which Class B+ motorhome is best for you? Here are a few features to consider.

Off-grid capabilities

Class B+ manufacturers understand that their nimble rigs appeal to those wanting to travel off the beaten path so units are designed with a range of off-grid capabilities. Expect to find solar power systems, water filtration, cassette toilet options, and more, either standard or as optional upgrades. 

Class B + motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Platform

Do you want your rig to run on diesel or gasoline? What engine size do you want? Which van manufacturer do you prefer? These elements all relate to the Class B+ chassis which provides the platform on which the rig is built.

Class B+ motorhomes are primarily built on a Ford Transit, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, or Ford E-350-450 chassis and come with both diesel and gasoline engines. You can also find items like all-wheel drive and automotive handling features. There can be more than one platform available from the same Class B+ manufacturer. 

Style

Within the Class B+ motorhome category, you’ll find a range of exteriors to suit your taste. Some exteriors are stylized more like traditional motorhomes with graphic swirls and bright colors. Others use a single color for the exterior. 

Class B + motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Why are Class B Plus motorhomes so popular?

I think it’s because the big Class As are big and some of the smaller Class Bs are a little bit too small for first time owners. It’s like Goldilocks and the Three Bears…she found the exact right one. It’s not too big, not too small.

Worth Pondering…

Genius is the ability to reduce the complicated to the simple.

—C.W. Ceran

March 2024 RV Manufacturer Recalls: 14 Recalls Involving 8 RV Manufactures

A manufacturer recall can create a safety risk if not repaired

Your recreational vehicle may be involved in a safety recall, creating a safety risk for you or your passengers. Safety defects must be repaired by a certified dealer at no cost to you. However, if left unrepaired, a potential safety defect in your vehicle could lead to injury or even death.

What is a recall?

It’s always important to keep up with the latest recalls, no matter how small the issue may appear to be. Each week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) publishes the latest information on recalls from minor to major defects. NHTSA releases its most recent list of recalls each Monday.

When a manufacturer or the NHTSA determines that a recreational vehicle or item of RV equipment creates an unreasonable risk to safety or fails to meet minimum safety standards, the manufacturer is required to fix that vehicle or equipment at no cost to the consumer.

It should be noted that RV recalls are related to vehicle safety and not product quality. NHTSA has no interest in an air conditioner failing to cool or slide out failing to extend or retract—unless they can be directly attributed to product safety.

Information on previous safety recalls follow:

NHTSA announced 14 recall notices during March 2024. These recalls involved 8 recreational vehicle manufacturers—Jayco (5 recalls), Forest River (3 recalls), Winnebago (2 recalls), Keystone (I recall), Pleasant Valley (1 recall), Grand Design (1 recall), Airstream (1 recall), and Cruiser (1 recall).

River Sands RV Resort, Ehrenburg, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Jayco

Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2021-2025 Jayco Solstice LI, Swift, Terrain, Terrain LE, Entegra Coach Ethos LI, Expanse LI, Launch LE motorhomes. The battery relay contactors may become stuck in the closed position.

The remedy is currently under development. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed March 21, 2024. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-283-8267. Jayco’s number for this recall is 9903603.

Jayco

Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2024 Jayco Granite Ridge, Solstice, Entegra Coach Condor, Expanse, and Expanse LI motorhomes. An inadequate amount of rear axle lubricant may cause rear axle tail bearing damage and seizure, which can result in wheel lock-up or driveshaft separation.

Dealers will inspect the rear axle and replace the axle bearings or axle assembly as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed April 12, 2024. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-283-8267. Jayco’s number for this recall is Ford 24V-102.

Pueblo El Mirage RV Resort, El Mirage, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Jayco

Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2023-2025 Entegra Coach Anthem and Cornerstone motorhomes. The steering gear may have foreign material inside the gear that could build pressure within the system, resulting in a loss of power steering assist.

Dealers will remove and replace the steering gear, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed April 12, 2024. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-283-8267. Jayco’s number for this recall is Shyft Group 24V-052.

Jayco

Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2023-2024 Jayco Solstice, Solstice LI, Entegra Coach Expanse, and Expanse LI motorhomes built on Ford chassis. The rearview camera, or 360-degree view camera if equipped, may not display a rearview image when the vehicle is placed in reverse.

Ford or Lincoln dealers will replace the rearview camera, and update the software and wiring as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed April 19, 2024. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-283-8267. Jayco’s number for this recall is Ford 23V-598.

Sonoran Desert RV Park, Gila Bend, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Jayco

Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2023-2024 Entegra Ethos, Expanse, Jayco Solstice, and Swift vehicle. The liquid level remote fill gauge on the propane tank may leak when in the “Open” position.

Dealers will inspect and replace the bleed valve as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed April 26, 2024. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-283-8267. Jayco’s number for this recall is 9903604.

Forest River

(Forest River) is recalling certain 2024 IBEX and No Boundaries travel trailers. The recessed space heaters may have been installed too close to the ceiling.

Dealers will reinstall the heaters, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed April 1, 2024. Owners may contact Forest River Customer Service at 1-574-642-1612. Forest River’s number for this recall is 91-174.

Tucson/Lazydays KOA © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2023-2024 Coachmen Prism PRC24MB motorhomes. The Federal Information label may indicate the incorrect number of seat belts installed, resulting in an incorrect cargo carrying capacity.

Forest River will mail new labels, free of charge. Owner notification letters were mailed March 13, 2024. Owners may contact Forest River Customer Service at 1-574-825-8487. Forest River’s number for this recall is 215-1747.

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2023-2024 Dynamax Isata motorhomes. The nut on the backside of the main 12V disconnect may have been improperly tightened.

Dealers will tighten the nut, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed April 24, 2024. Owners may contact Forest River Customer Service at 1-574-264-3474. Forest River’s number for this recall is 55-1751.

Winnebago

Winnebago Industries, Inc. (Winnebago) is recalling certain 2023 Sunstar motorhomes. The tire information label incorrectly states the tire size and Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 110, “Tire Selection and Rims.”

\Winnebago will mail owners a corrected certification label, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed April 26, 2024. Owners may contact Winnebago customer service at 1-641-585-6939 or 1-800-537-1885.

de Anza RV Resort, Amado, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Winnebago

Winnebago Industries, Inc. (Winnebago) is recalling certain 2024 Solis motorhome. The lavatory may have an incorrect standard outlet installed when there should be a GFCI protected outlet.

Dealers will replace the outlet with a GFCI protected outlet, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed April 26, 2024. Owners may contact Winnebago customers service at 1-641-585-6939 or 1-800-537-1885. Winnebago’s number for this recall is 182.

Keystone

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2024 Hideout 175BH, 177RD, 178RB, 179RB, 181BH, and 2024 Springdale 1700FQ, 1760 FQ, 1800BH, 1810BH, 1860SS, 2010BH travel trailers. The propane cylinder holder may have an insufficient welds, allowing the propane cylinder to detach.

Dealers will replace the holder, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed April 7, 2024. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 24-451.

Campground USA, Apache Junction, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Pleasant Valley

Pleasant Valley Teardrop Trailers LLC (Pleasant Valley) is recalling certain 2023-2024 nuCamp TAB 400, Cirrus 620, and 820 trailers with the Lithium Upgrade. The incorrect battery disconnect switch may have been installed.

Dealers will replace the battery disconnect switch, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to mailed March 1, 2024. Owners may contact Pleasant Valley customer service at 1-330-852-4811- ext. 327.

Grand Design

Grand Design RV, LLC (Grand Design) is recalling certain 2024 Solitude and Momentum Fifth Wheel trailers. The U-bolts may have been improperly tightened, which can cause the axle to move out of position.

Dealers will replace the U-bolts, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed March 27, 2024. Owners may contact Grand Design customer service at 1-574-825-9679. Grand Design’s number for this recall is 910042.

Airstream

Airstream, Inc. (Airstream) is recalling certain 2023 Basecamp 16 & 16X travel trailers. The metric and imperial GAWR values were transposed. As such, these trailers fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 110, “Tire Selection and Rims.”

Airstream will mail corrected labels, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed May 14, 2024. Owners may contact Airstream customer service at 1-877-596-6505 or 1-937-596-6111 ext. 7401 or 7411.

Cruiser

Cruiser RV (Cruiser) is recalling certain 2023-2024 Avenir trailers. The Federal Certification labels are missing the tire size and correct PSI. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 120, “Wheels and Rims-Other Than Passenger Cars.”

Cruiser will mail new certification labels, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed May 15, 2024. Owners may contact Cruiser customer service at 1-574-562-3500.

Please Note: This is the 61st in a series of posts relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls

Worth Pondering…

It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn’t.

—Martin Van Buren

February 2024 RV Manufacturer Recalls: 18 Recalls Involving 6 RV Manufactures

A manufacturer recall can create a safety risk if not repaired

Your recreational vehicle may be involved in a safety recall and may create a safety risk for you or your passengers. Safety defects must be repaired by a certified dealer at no cost to you. However, if left unrepaired, a potential safety defect in your vehicle could lead to injury or even death.

What is a recall?

It’s always important to keep up with the latest recalls, no matter how small the issue may appear to be. Each week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) publishes the latest information on recalls from minor to major defects. NHTSA releases its most recent list of recalls each Monday.

When a manufacturer or the NHTSA determines that a recreational vehicle or item of RV equipment creates an unreasonable safety risk or fails to meet minimum safety standards, the manufacturer is required to fix that vehicle or equipment at no cost to the consumer.

It should be noted that RV recalls are related to vehicle safety and not product quality. NHTSA has no interest in an air conditioner failing to cool or slide out failing to extend or retract—unless they can be directly attributed to product safety.

Information on previous safety recalls follow:

NHTSA announced 18 recall notices during February 2024. These recalls involved 6 recreational vehicle manufacturers— Forest River (9 recalls), Winnebago (2 recalls), Tiffin (2 recalls), Jayco (2 recalls), Gulf Stream (1 recall), MCI (1 recall), and Foretravel (1 recall).

Campground USA, Apache Junction, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2020-2023 Coachmen Galleria, 2021-2023 Forest River Beyond, and 2021-2023 Coachmen Nova Class B motorhomes. The retractable awning may extend unintentionally during transit.

Dealers will install a wedge to support the internal components in the gearbox and replace the motor as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed March 5, 2024. Owners may contact Forest River Customer Service at 1-574-825-6319. Forest River’s number for this recall is 225-1723.

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2024 Coachmen Clipper and Viking Travel Trailers. The tail light bezel may not have been installed on the vehicle. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 108, “Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment.”

Dealers will install the tail light bezel, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed March 6, 2024. Owners may contact Forest River Customer Service at 1-269-467-4600. Forest River’s number for this recall is 120-1729.

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2023-2024 Prism Class C motorhomes. The furnace may overheat and cause a crack in the burn chamber, which can allow carbon monoxide to enter the cabin.

Dealers will install the correct cold air return, grill, and heating ducts as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed March 6, 2024. Owners may contact Forest River Customer Service at 1-574-825-8602. Forest River’s number for this recall is 215-1730.

Settlers Point RV Resort, Washington, Utah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2023-2024 Coachmen Prism Class C motorhomes. The furnace may overheat and cause a crack in the burn chamber, which can allow carbon monoxide to enter the cabin.

Dealers will install the correct cold air return grill as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed March 6, 2024. Owners may contact Forest River Customer Service at 1-574-825-8602. Forest River’s number for this recall is 215-1733.

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2023-2024 Salem and Wildwood fifth wheel travel trailers. The Federal Placard may have incorrect tire size information. As such, these trailers fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 120, “Wheels and Rims – Other Than Passenger Cars.”

Dealers will mail new federal placards, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed March 13, 2024. Owners may contact Forest River Customer Service at 1-574-534-3167. Forest River’s number for this recall is 69-1731.

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2024 Coachmen Catalina and Forest River Aurora travel trailers. The tire may contact the slide adjustment bolt and puncture the tire.

Dealers will replace the slide adjustment bolt and install a shackle kit, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed March 20, 2024. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-825-4995. Forest River’s number for this recall is 205-1735.

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2023-2024 Coachmen Concord motorhomes. The lower control arm bracket may fail and cause the axle to rotate or detach, resulting in a loss of vehicle control.

Dealers will replace the lower control arm mount, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed March 20, 2024. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-825-8602. Forest River’s number for this recall is 210-1734.

Padre Island National Seashore, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2019-2024 Georgetown and FR3 Class A motorhomes. The liquid petroleum gas (LPG) tank mounting brackets may break which can result in the LPG tank becoming dislodged and damaged.

Dealers will inspect and replace the brackets and welds as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed March 23, 2024. Owners may contact Forest River Customer Service at 1-574-206-7600. Forest River’s number for this recall is 68-1736.

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2015-2017 Sanibel SNF3550 and 2021-2023 Sanibel SNF3902WB fifth wheels. The hitch (pin box) may not be sufficient for the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and may fail.

Dealers will install a properly rated hitch, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed March 27, 2024. Owners may contact Forest River Customer Service at 1-574-862-1025. Forest River’s number for this recall is 49-1737.

Winnebago

Winnebago Towable (Winnebago) is recalling certain 2024 Access travel trailers. The breakaway switch and trailer brakes may not activate when needed due to an incorrectly wired breakaway switch.

Winnebago will rewire the breakaway switch, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed February 9, 2024. Owners may contact Winnebago customer service at 1-574-825-5280 ext. 5220. Winnebago’s number for this recall is CAM0000034.

Winnebago

Winnebago Towable (Winnebago) is recalling certain 2022-2023 Micro Minnie, Micro Minnie FLX, Hike 200, and Minnie travel trailers. The LED backlight circuit board in the cooktop range may fail, causing the board to overheat.

The remedy is currently under development. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed March 29, 2024. Owners may contact Winnebago customer service at 1-574-825-5280 ext. 5220. Winnebago’s number for this recall is CAM0000035.

Whispering Hills RV Park, Georgetown, Kentucky © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Tiffin

Tiffin Motorhomes, Inc. (Tiffin) is recalling certain 2023-2024 Convoy and GH-1 motorhomes. The bracket that secures the solar panel to the roof may crack and break, which can cause the solar panel to detach.

Dealers will replace the brackets, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed March 22, 2024. Owners may contact Tiffin customer service at 1-256-356-8661. Tiffin’s number for this recall is TIF-136.

Tiffin

Tiffin Motorhomes, Inc. (Tiffin) is recalling certain 2022-2024 Allegro Bay motorhomes. The standard house batteries may shift position during travel, which can cause the battery terminals to contact the steel hold-down bar.

Dealers will install a new battery hold-down bar and angle brackets, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed April 1, 2024. Owners may contact Tiffin customer service at 1-256-356-8661. Tiffin’s number for this recall is TIF-137.

Jayco

Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2023 Entegra Expanse, Expanse LI, Jayco Solstice, and Solstice LI motorhomes. The retractable awning may extend unintentionally during transit.

Dealers will install a wedge to support the internal components in the gearbox and replace the motor as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed February 29, 2024. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-283-8267. Jayco’s number for this recall is 9903601.

Jayco

Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2020-2023 Entegra Anthem, Aspire, Cornerstone, and Reatta XL motorhomes. The pedestal mounting plate on the driver’s seat may be improperly welded, causing the plate to separate and the seat assembly to loosen or detach. As such, these seat assemblies fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 207, “Seating Systems” and number 210, “Seat belt assembly anchorages.”

Dealers will inspect for a missing weld and replace the pedestal as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed March 1, 2024. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-283-8267. Jayco’s number for this recall is 9903602.

River Sands RV Resort, Ehrenburg, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Gulf Stream

Gulf Stream Coach, Inc. (Gulf Stream) is recalling certain 2024 Trail Boss 160FK trailers. The incorrect tire size and tire pressure are listed on the federal certification label. As such, these trailers fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 110, “Tire Selection and Rims” and 49 CFR Part 567, “Certification.”

Dealers will mail replacement federal certification labels to customers, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed March 1, 2024. Owners may contact Gulf Stream customer service at 1-800-289-8787. Gulf Stream’s number for this recall is 106FK/23

MCI

Motor Coach Industries (MCI) is recalling certain 2014-2018 D4000, 2013-2019 D4005, 2013-2023 D4500, 2013-2020 D4505, and 2021-2024 D45CRTLE coaches equipped with a Ricon wheelchair lift. The red beacon lighting on the Threshold Warning System (TWS) may not be bright enough. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 403, “Platform Lift Systems.”

MCI will work with Ricon to replace the TWS kits, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed March 29, 2024. Owners may contact MCI customer service at 1-800-241-2947.

Orange Groove RV Park, Bakersfield, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Foretravel

Foretravel, Inc. (Foretravel) is recalling certain 2023 Realm FS605 and Realm Presidential FS605P vehicles. The steering gear may have foreign material inside the gear that could build pressure within the system, resulting in a loss of power steering assist.

Foretravel will work with the chassis manufacturer, Shyft Group to replace the steering gears, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed April 03, 2024. Owners may contact Foretravel customer service at 1-800-955-6226.

Please Note: This is the 60th in a series of posts relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls

Worth Pondering…

It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn’t.

—Martin Van Buren

RVing through the Seasons: Tips and Considerations

Traveling in an RV is an unparalleled experience. There’s almost no bad time of year to travel.

Some consider RVing to be a seasonal activity. Many part-time RVers de-winterize their RV as things warm up in preparation for the summer vacation season. After a fun season of RVing, they winterize and store the RV again when the weather turns cooler.

But RVing can continue throughout the year. Each season has its beauty and unique draws. There are special things to see and do in each season that can only be experienced during that time of year. But along with those fun experiences also come some considerations to keep in mind. Various tips and tricks can enable you to get the most out of RVing through all the seasons.

Whether you are a full-timer or take your RV out on a part-time basis for fun adventures, I hope the information below helps you enjoy RVing throughout the year.

Spring wildflowers in Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Spring

Ah, springtime. When the warmer weather comes, the travel itch isn’t far behind.

Spring is an amazing time to hit the road in your RV. The bugs aren’t in full force yet. The days are warm and the evenings cool—which is perfect for campfires. The waterfalls are at their most powerful. And the campgrounds aren’t packed yet. 

Springtime is a time of growth and renewal with a lot of exciting things to see and experience. As many RVers leave their winter destinations or bring their RVs out of storage if not full-time, it’s an excellent time to do some inspection and care of your RV and continue to hit the road for more adventures.

Spring wildflowers in Mississippi © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Spring tips & tricks

Spring is a time to de-winterize your RV if applicable and check for any new leaks that have potentially formed over the winter. Even if not, it is an opportunity to do some spring cleaning inside and out and take time for routine or annual maintenance.

Watch out and be prepared for the severe weather that occurs in some areas in the spring. With winter thawing and springtime rains encountering mud or flooding is more common.

Mexican poppies © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Road trips & destinations for spring travel

View Mexican poppies and other wildflowers in southern California and Arizona, bluebonnets in central Texas, tulips in the Skagit Valley of northwestern Washington, and cherry blossoms in Washington, DC.

It was 1947 when the Cleveland Indians and New York Giants first decamped to Arizona for pre-season warm-ups in spring, kicking off a tradition that now brings 15 MLB teams to take up temporary residence in the Phoenix area.

After Washington, DC’s famed cherry blossoms have peaked, you can still get your flower fix with a trip to Virginia’s stunning Shenandoah National Park with its 850 species of wildflowers.

Prairie dogs, white-tailed and mule deer, pronghorn antelope, mountain goats, elk, and bighorn sheep roam free in South Dakota’s Custer State Park. Come spring, you may even cross paths with the newest additions to the park—baby wildlife.

>> Read more on RV travel in spring:

The Breakers, Newport, Rhode Island © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Summer

Summertime means summer travel, especially among the RV-loving set. These three bright, beautiful months offer some of the very best motorhome and travel trailer adventures possible.

Summer is all about hitting the road with your friends or family to explore somewhere new.

If you’re planning an RV getaway with family, summertime may be the best option. After all, the kids are on vacation and the warm weather gives you and your family more opportunities to have fun. How does a water-themed RV vacation sound? 

Taking an RV vacation during the summer months also gives you and your family a great chance to visit fun amusement parks during the journey. Also, if you plan well, you can prepare a travel route that also includes stops at concerts, music festivals, or sports events that the entire family can enjoy.

If you do plan to camp in your RV during the summer be prepared for crowded campgrounds and RV parks. Be sure to plan your trips early and make reservations before the campgrounds become full.

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Summer tips & tricks

It’s always a good idea to make certain preparations ahead of time including a basic itinerary, securing camping sites, and ensuring you’re up to date with your regular maintenance schedule.

Once you’ve got the maintenance out of the way, move on to your packing list. What do you need to bring aboard? Summer heat means fun activities like paddling, cycling, or hiking. Be sure to add whatever gear you need to make it happen to your packing list whether that means big equipment like a kayak or bicycle, or just your best pair of lightweight trail shoes and a wide-brimmed hat. And don’t forget the sunscreen.

A consideration for summer is that humidity can be very high during this season depending on where you recreate.

Don’t underestimate the power of a fan which helps to move the air around. This can make you feel cooler as can a cold drink. Keep the ice cubes stocked in your freezer or buy a countertop ice maker. A cool beverage can do wonders.

To maximize your outdoor shade space you can add an awning screen or room. This helps when you want to be outside at a time when the sun may be shining at an angle that your awning doesn’t block.

Kemah Boardwalk, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Road trips & destinations for summer travel

Take your family for a swim at a beach and play in the sand or get in a kayak or on a paddleboard.

Summers in Texas can be hot and humid but the cool waters of the Gulf of Mexico are inviting all year long. Galveston Island features 32 miles of beaches for those looking to relax in the sun. But the barrier island is also home to historic architecture, a vibrant art scene, excellent seafood restaurants, and fun, quirky shops.

Pigeon Forge is a family-friendly destination with something to offer visitors of all ages. Options include off-road trail rides, whitewater rafting, zip-lining, and go-karting. And when you’re ready to stretch your legs and take in some scenic views, head over to Great Smoky Mountain National Park where you’ll find hundreds of miles of hiking trails and endless roads to explore.

West Virginia is an underrated summer RV destination. The town of Fayetteville is a great place for RVers looking for outdoor adventures. One of the biggest attractions in the area is one of America’s newest national park, New River Gorge.

Banff and Jasper National Parks in Western Canada offer some of the most breathtaking scenery and impressive hiking in the world.

>> Read more on RV travel in summer:

Blue Ridge Parkway © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Fall

While summer is the peak season for most campers and RVers, fall might be a better time to hit the road. From mid-September through early November, temperatures are milder, humidity is lower, campgrounds and RV parks are less crowded, fall foliage is ablaze, and pesky bugs like mosquitos and black flies are not as prevalent.

Additionally, water temperatures are still warm and fishing conditions improve. The weeks after Labor Day (the unofficial end of summer) are an excellent time to travel in your RV. Also, Halloween presents some very attractive options during this season. 

For many RVers, autumn is considered the perfect season for RVing. During this well-loved season, the leaves change colors and fall to the ground as the air becomes crisper with cooler temperatures that are just right for traveling in an RV. It’s also typically less busy than the summer travel season allowing many to avoid crowds and long lines. If you’re looking for a great time to take your family on vacation, fall is definitely it!

Stowe Community Church, Vermont © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Fall tips & tricks

Fall can best be enjoyed by just making a few adjustments to maximize your enjoyment of RVing during cooler weather. Get out your cooler weather clothes as the season changes.

A couple chairs, a cozy blanket, and a campfire are all you need to sit outside for hours.

Some may say it’s not a campfire if it’s not a wood fire but a propane fire pit can be a game changer. A propane campfire can be turned on or off at a moment’s notice and campfire smoke is never a problem.

Slow cookers are useful for RVers year-round but are especially handy in cooler weather when we have the urge for warm soups and other hearty meals. After a full day of exploring the fall foliage come back to your campsite and an RV already smelling amazing from an almost ready slow-cooked meal.

Be sure to check ahead on any campgrounds you plan to stay in as fall progresses. Make sure they remain open and haven’t turned off the water if you are planning on needing that.

Whitehall, New York © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Road trips & destinations for fall travel

The northeast is an easy answer for where to RV in the fall with its vibrant fall leaves in all colors. Not only does the northeast do fall colors right but the covered bridges and maple syrup farms and products feel quintessentially fall.

Head to Acadia National Park in Maine but leave enough time to sufficiently explore Vermont and New Hampshire as well. Visit a sugar house such as Sugarbush Farm to try their maple syrup. Come back in the spring to see the full maple season production but the sugar house is open all year. Read exhibits and take a walking path through the woods. Here you will see how the trees are tapped and the sap lines are run.

Colorful falls are certainly not exclusive to the northeast. You could follow the colors south along the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Great Smoky Mountains for more fall colors.

Whereas the above mentioned areas showcase leaves of all colors, there is just something about the bright yellow aspen leaves of Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. You will be treated to a sea of gold as the hillsides are blanketed in golden leaves.

Wherever you travel, there are apple or pumpkin orchards, farms, and farmers markets with fall’s harvest bounty, corn mazes, and other fall festivities to be enjoyed.

>> Read more on RV travel in fall:

Winter camping © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Winter

Snowflakes falling, blanketing the landscape in white, puffy coats, warm hats, and hot chocolate all come to mind when thinking of winter. There is a reason for the term winter wonderland. Winter can be beautiful but in an RV it can often present the most challenges.

Winter tips & tricks

In winter, all things are made easier if you can avoid the extremes and have an RV that is at least somewhat capable of cold-weather camping.

If you camp in the cold, you’ll need to prepare for it. If you’re hooking up to city water, you’ll need a heated hose that plugs into an AC outlet at your campsite. A heated hose keeps water from freezing at the source while it’s flowing into your RV. 

Because hot air rises and cold air sinks, floors often feel extra chilly, especially in the morning. Fortunately, there are several ways to insulate under your feet such as interior rugs and runners, carpet tiles, and floor mats.

Your propane furnace is the most efficient way to heat the inside and underbelly of your RV. Another option is a portable electric space heater. Electric heaters can supplement your RV furnace if you’re plugged into AC power. They can conserve propane and lower your energy bill depending on the electric costs in your location. 

And many RVers escape the cold like a snowbird and have some fun in the sun.

Snowbirds head south for winter. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Road trips & destinations for winter travel

Winter favorites for RVers include Florida, Arizona, California, and Texas. Each snowbird destination has pros and cons. For example, during winter the Southeast enjoys a humid, warm tropical climate but in return for that shorts and sandals weather you will get to deal with humidity and fire ants. On the other hand, Western snowbirds will pay for sunny afternoons with prickly plants, wind storms, dust, and chilly nighttime temperatures.

Before choosing a destination, consider the type of climate and landscapes you enjoy as well as the environmental conditions you are most and least willing to tolerate.

>> Read more on RV travel in winter:

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

 General tips for all seasons

There are a couple of additional tips for RVing throughout the year that apply to all seasons and not already mentioned above.

A weather app that you can have access to on your phone is useful year-round to be aware of weather and be notified of storms and any severe weather. This can help you decide whether to travel to an area if it is time to leave or even immediately seek safe shelter.

Make sure that your RV and other vehicles are up to date on their maintenance and care ready for the season and safe traveling. You don’t want your home-on-wheels or mode of transportation to break down on the way or present safety issues to you or your family.

Check out the seasonal and regional food in the areas you travel. Each time of year brings in-season fruits and vegetables that are fresh and flavorful and special dishes and treats are often available to enjoy local and seasonal specialties.

Look for season-specific and themed festivals and events as you travel. This may help to determine which time of year to visit a place so that we are there in time to enjoy a certain experience.

Conclusion

I could go on and on about the benefits of RVing in each of the seasons, ways to maximize your RVing throughout the year, and list out wonderful places to visit. Hopefully, this post has given you some ideas for your RV trips or maybe made you want to see a part of the country in a season you hadn’t previously considered.

Worth Pondering…

Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.

—Henry David Thoreau, Walden

What is a Class B + Motorhome?

Class B + motorhome? Hmmm…

In general, when the various classes of motorhomes are discussed, Class A, B, and Cs are covered. But motorhomes are limited to Class A, B, and C rigs. Or are they?

We know that Class A motorhomes are the largest and most luxurious of the three classes of motorhomes (with diesel pushers sitting at the top of that class), Class B is the smallest (often referred to as a campervan), and Class C is the middle child usually distinguished by a bed or entertainment center/storage covering the entire area over the cab.

But you may have heard of a newer class of motorhomes notably the Class B +. But what exactly is a Class B + motorhome, how will you know one when you see one, and why might you want one?

In today’s post, I’m covering the ins and outs of the Class B + motorhome—what it is, how it differs from Class A, B, and C motorhomes, and what would it cost to buy one?

Class B+ motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

What is a Class B + motorhome?

From the perspective of federal regulations, a Class B + motorhome is technically a Class C motorhome. Let’s say that again for the sake of clarity.

A Class B + is technically not in a class of its own but is instead a type of Class C motorhome. All federal regulations that apply to Class C motorhomes apply to the Class B + category of motorhomes, too.

Now that I’ve dropped that little bombshell and absorbed that interesting information, let’s look at what makes a motorhome a Class B +.

As you might imagine, the term Class B + refers to a motorhome that sits somewhere between Class B and Class C. Like Class C, the B + is wider than Class B and is built on a truck chassis.

Unlike Class C motorhomes, the Class B Plus doesn’t have a bunk (or storage/entertainment area) stretching over the cab. And that obvious structural difference is pretty much how you can tell the difference between a Class B Plus motorhome and a Class C motorhome when you see one driving down the road.

Class B+ motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

What’s the difference between a Class B and Class B +?

As I’ve established, a Class B + is built on a truck chassis. A Class B motorhome on the other hand is built from a van. Often referred to as a camper van, Class Bs are essentially long, high-top vans made into motorhomes with all (or most of) the features of a larger rig but in a smaller package. The traditional Class B contains all of the features of a motorhome within the van body without any additional walls, floors, or roofs added in.

As a result, Class B motorhomes pack their bathrooms into tight spaces which is why most have a wet bath—that is, a shower, toilet, and tiny sink occupying one small space (and yes, they all get wet when the showers used, hence the term wet bath).

Class B motorhomes typically have smaller refrigerators, two-burner propane stovetops, and storage everywhere there’s a space for things to be stored. They usually don’t have the space for a dedicated dinette but they do often have front captain’s seats that swivel around to face the rear of the motorhome and small tables (sometimes one in the front and a second in the back) that can be placed in use or stored.

Class B + rigs can be laid out somewhat similarly but because they’re wider, longer, and taller, differences are afforded by the additional space. For example, a Class B + might have a little dinette, a larger refrigerator, a slide, and sleep 1-2 more people than a Class B motorhome could sleep. (All of this depends on where you obtain your information. More on that in a moment!)

One of the most appreciated features of a Class B + compared with a Class B is that a Class B + is often large enough to accommodate a dry bath, that is, a separate toilet and shower area (so you’re not showering all over the little sink and toilet as you would in a wet bath).

Class B + rigs also tend to offer more storage on both the interior and exterior of the motorhome and somewhat larger fresh, gray, and black holding tanks as well. In addition, the larger chassis affords the Class B + motorhome more towing capacity and a greater GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating).

When reviewing the differences between a Class B and B + it’s easy to see why the Class B + is technically classified as a member of the Class C family. The B + is quite clearly more like a Class C than a Class B.

Class B+ motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

How big are Class B+ motorhomes?

A typical Class B + motorhome is between 23 feet and 25 feet in length but they can be longer. They’re generally easy to park and maneuver through city streets or over terrain that may be a bit more remote.

There are versions of the Class B + that are able to accommodate a slide or two offering even more room to the interior living space. The larger the Class B + rig is, the larger the holding tanks tend to be and the more storage and sleeping capacity the rig affords.

Most Class B + motorhomes come with exterior storage large enough to accommodate such things as bicycles, kayaks (especially inflatable ones), and golf clubs. And, they’re typically designed to comfortably travel and sleep 2-4 people whereas Class C motorhomes are large enough to accommodate more.

With all of that said, if you do a little research online, you’ll find lots of conflicting information on Class B + rigs. Some articles say they’re built for no more than two people. Others say the larger units have slides and plenty of room to sleep four or more.

The truth is this: The Class B + evolved from requests from folks in the market for a Class C-sized rig who were asking for a Class C without the over-cab piece. So a Class C-sized motorhome with a cutaway truck chassis was designed and the term Class B + was born strictly as a marketing tool.

That’s right—it’s a made-up marketing term to indicate the design difference and to appeal to a particular audience. (Reminder: these so-called Class B Plus rigs are technically Class C motorhomes.)

So, it’s no wonder that the details of Class B + motorhomes vary depending on who’s reporting. A Class B + isn’t so much a specific entity as it is a marketing tool.

Features and amenities of a Class B + motorhome

Class B + rigs are often marketed as small luxury RVs with many of the amenities of a Class A rig, only smaller. Class B + motorhomes are indeed often high-end, small motorhomes for sure (and their prices tend to reflect this—more on that in the next section).

A Class B + motorhome has a permanent bed, most often a queen though some manufacturers have begun to offer Murphy beds which make for additional interior space during the day. Some are all-wheel-drive and many have features such as lighted awnings, roof-mounted solar panels and inverters, larger refrigerators than their Class B counterparts, entertainment centers with storage over the back of the cab area, dinette lounges, high-end galley (kitchen) amenities, and fairly spacious showers.

Many of the Class B + motorhomes offer European design with sleek exterior lines and relatively fine interior finishes.

Class B+ motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

How much does a Class B+ cost?

Many people look toward the Class B + as a nice midway between the smaller, van-like Class B and larger, more boxy Class C motorhomes with what they suspect will be lower cost compared with the Class Cs. Not so!

Class B + motorhomes are often priced quite high running anywhere from around $90,000 to upward of $300,000. It’s a big price range that’s largely dependent on the model, amenities, and manufacturer.

A Class B + motorhome may afford you a sweet ride and a relatively luxurious small motorhome but it won’t offer you a budget RV by any means and it won’t save you money over a Class C. Class C motorhomes are almost always less expensive than Class B + motorhome. 

How many people can a Class B+ sleep?

I touched on this earlier in the article but most Class B + motorhomes are designed to accommodate two adults and maybe a small child or two comfortably (in the converted dinette) though some manufacturers offer floor plans that can sleep three or four adults.

Class B+ motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Are Class B + motorhomes good for full-time living?

This is a tough question for someone who lives in a 38-foot diesel pusher. I prefer a fair amount of room for full-time living, working, and traveling (although I’d happily downsize if there was a 35-foot Class A diesel pusher floorplan we wanted).

Conclusion

Despite the fact that it’s sort of a fake class created as a marketing tool that belongs to the Class C family, a Class B + motorhome is a great traveling rig with just the right amenities for the right travelers. Larger and therefore roomier than a Class B and less boxy and top-heavy than a Class C, the Class B + offers plenty of comfort and ease of driving that delivers just the right balance for many RV owners and renters.

Worth Pondering…

Genius is the ability to reduce the complicated to the simple.

—C.W. Ceran

January 2024 RV Manufacturer Recalls: 12 Recalls Involving 7 RV Manufactures

A manufacturer recall can create a safety risk if not repaired

Your recreational vehicle may be involved in a safety recall, creating a safety risk for you or your passengers. A certified dealer must repair Safety defects at no cost to you. However, if left unrepaired, a potential safety defect in your vehicle could lead to injury or even death.

What is a recall?

It’s always important to keep up with the latest recalls, no matter how small the issue may appear to be. Each week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) publishes the latest information on recalls from minor to major defects. NHTSA releases its most recent list of recalls each Monday.

When a manufacturer or the NHTSA determines that a recreational vehicle or item of RV equipment creates an unreasonable safety risk or fails to meet minimum safety standards, the manufacturer is required to fix that vehicle or equipment at no cost to the consumer.

It should be noted that RV recalls are related to vehicle safety and not product quality. NHTSA has no interest in an air conditioner failing to cool or slide out failing to extend or retract—unless they can be directly attributed to product safety.

Information on previous safety recalls follow:

NHTSA announced 12 recall notices during January 2024. These recalls involved 7 recreational vehicle manufacturers— Forest River (5 recalls), Winnebago (2 recalls), Airstream (1 recall), Heartland (1 recall), Newmar (1 recall), Tiffin (1 recall), and Brinkley (1 recall).

Pichacho Peak State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2020 Cherokee travel trailers. The draw bar locking mechanism may break, which can cause the front end of the trailer to contact the road.

The remedy is currently under development. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed February 14, 2024. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-825-4995. Forest River’s number for this recall is 95-1705.

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2020-2024 Coachmen Galleria motorhomes. The battery boost wiring may become damaged, resulting in an electrical short circuit and causing a loss of power steering.

Dealers will relocate the wiring to a different lug, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed February 14, 2024. Owners may contact Forest River Customer Service at 1-574-825-6319. Forest River’s number for this recall is 225-1716.

Clinton/Knoxville North KOA, Tennessee © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2024 Shasta Oasis travel trailers. The side marker lights may not reflect light as intended, which can make it difficult for other drivers to see the trailer. As such, these trailers fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 108, “Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment.”

Dealers will replace the marker lights, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed February 28, 2024. Owners may contact Forest River Customer Service at 1-574-821-1311. Forest River’s number for this recall is 53-1724.

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2023-2024 No Boundaries (NOBO), RPOD, and IBEX trailers. The fasteners for the independent suspension may loosen, allowing the independent suspension to detach.

Dealers will inspect the fasteners and replace or secure them as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed February 28, 2024. Owners may contact Forest River Customer Service at 1-574-642-1612. Forest River’s number for this recall is 51-1727.

Padre Island National Seashore, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2024 Coachmen Nova Class B motorhomes. The liquid level remote fill gauge on the propane tank may leak when in the “Open” position.

Dealers will replace the bleed valve on the propane tank, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed March 4, 2024. Owners may contact Forest River Customer Service at 1-574-825-6225. Forest River’s number for this recall is 225-1696.

Winnebago

Winnebago Towable (Winnebago) is recalling certain 2021-2023 Micro Minnie FLX travel trailers. The spare tire carrier may fail when loaded with a certain off-road style tire.

Dealers will replace the spare tire carrier, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed January 19, 2024. Owners may contact Winnebago customer service at 1-574-825-5280 ext. 5220. Winnebago’s number for this recall is CAM0000033. This recall is an expansion of NHTSA recall 23V270

Gulf State Park, Alabama © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Winnebago

Winnebago Industries, Inc. (Winnebago) is recalling certain 2021-2023 Ekko motorhomes. The blind spot monitoring system may fail without warning to the driver.

Dealers will install a new blind spot monitoring system, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed February 16, 2024. Owners may contact Winnebago customer service at 1-641-585-6939 or 1-800-537-1885.

Airstream

Airstream, Inc. (Airstream) is recalling certain 2022-2023 Basecamp 20X travel trailers. The spare tire carrier bracket may experience metal fatigue and break, allowing the spare tire to detach from the trailer.

The remedy is still under development. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed February 17, 2024. Owners may contact Airstream customer service at 1-877-596-6505 or 1-937-596-6111 ext. 7401 or 7411.

Sundance 1 RV Resort, Casa Grande, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Heartland

Heartland Recreational Vehicles, LLC (Heartland) is recalling certain 2024 Corterra fifth wheels. The certification labels may have missing or incorrect tire size information. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 120, “Wheels and Rims-Other Than Passenger Cars.”

Heartland will send out replacement certification labels, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed March 15, 2024. Owners may contact Heartland customer service at 1-877-262-8032.

Newmar

Newmar Corporation (Newmar) is recalling certain 2022-2023 Dutch Star, Mountain Aire, London Aire, Essex, and 2016 London Aire motorhomes. The pedestal mounting plate may be improperly welded, causing the plate to separate and the seat assembly to loosen or detach. As such, these seat assemblies fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 207, Seating Systems,”, and number 210, “Seat belt assembly anchorages.”

Dealers will inspect for a missing weld, and replace the pedestal as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters were mailed January 31, 2024. Owners may contact Newmar customer service at 1-800-731-8300. Newmar’s number for this recall is 608 RSB.

Vista del Sol RV Resort, Bullhead City, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Tiffin

Tiffin Motorhomes, Inc. (Tiffin) is recalling certain 2022 Allegro Bus, Phaeton, Allegro Red 360, and Zephyr motorhomes. The pedestal mounting plate on the driver’s seat may be improperly welded, which can cause the plate to separate and the seat assembly to loosen or detach.

Dealers will inspect for a missing weld and replace the pedestal, as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed March 22, 2024. Owners may contact Tiffin customer service at 1-256-356-8661. Tiffin’s number for this recall is TIF-135.

Brinkley

Brinkley RV (Brinkley) is recalling certain 2024 Model Z recreational vehicles. The axle spindle weld may fail, resulting in the wheel assembly detaching from the axle.

Dealers will inspect and replace the axles as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed in January 2024. Owners may contact Brinkley customer service at 1-574-501-4280. Brinkley’s number for this recall is REC-2401.

Please Note: This is the 59th in a series of posts relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls

Worth Pondering…

It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn’t.

—Martin Van Buren

Gas or Diesel Motorhome: Which is Better?

Which is better, a gas or diesel motorhome? That’s one of the biggest questions RV buyers need to answer. It’s important to ask and answer before buying a motorhome.

“Should I get a gas or diesel motorhome?” It’s a question that will repeat itself through the ages as long as we have fuel.

Maybe electric or another option will be added to the comparison charts in the future. In other countries, propane is a cheaper fuel. It’s used in many hybrid cars although it is rarely used in the U.S. and Canada  For now, it’s gas versus diesel.

RVers love to argue about the best RV fuel. Gas versus diesel motorhomes is the topic of many campfire circles. But we can’t argue until we understand the features and benefits of each type.

Let’s take a look.

A gas-powered motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Gasoline powered motorhomes

Gasoline is the most used fuel.  It is easily combustible which allows for quick starts and fast acceleration.  It is also the leading contributor to pollution. According to AAA, nearly 1/5 of all emissions come from vehicles. Your engine determines which grade of gasoline you can use. You have regular (87), premium (91), and mid-grade (89).

A diesel-powered motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Diesel powered motorhomes

Diesel is more fuel efficient. In traveling, you can usually go about 20 percent farther on a gallon of fuel than gas-powered vehicles. This is one reason why you will see most truckers with diesel engines. It also produces less carbon dioxide. But, it still creates nitrous oxide which causes smog.

There are six things to consider. I’ll go through them one by one.

A gas-powered motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

1. The mechanical basics

For those who might not know the difference between diesel and gas engines, it’s worth spending a little time talking about the basics.

Without being overly technical, the first and perhaps most notable difference is the thermal efficiency of diesel engines which refers to the work that can be expected to be produced by the fuel put into the engine. As mentioned above, a diesel engine is about 20 percent more thermally efficient than a gas engine. That means a 20 percent increase in fuel economy.

Diesel engines also run at a much slower RPM (revolutions per minute) than gas engines. Slower RPM translates to less wear and tear and a longer life cycle for the engine.

Further, increased thermal efficiency also translates to more power and torque. A diesel engine’s high torque application is very beneficial for hauling heavy loads.

Gas engines, on the other hand, deliver a much higher volatility point but a lower flashpoint. A spark controls the combustion of a gas engine. Diesel engines do not use a spark but what’s called a compression combustion engine.

Essentially, a gasoline engine is a spark-fired combustion and a diesel engine utilizes compression.

Now that you have some background on the differences between gas and diesel engines, let’s look at the pros and cons of each about RVing.

A diesel-powered motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

2. Costs of gas vs diesel motorhomess

The first consideration for many people shopping for a new RV is the price. Simply put, does it fit your budget?

On the whole, diesel-powered motorhomes are much more expensive than gas-powered motorhomes. For that reason, first-time motorhome buyers often decide to go with a less expensive gas-powered RV rather than a diesel or luxury unit.

However there are various degrees of quality within each type. Depending on what you are looking for, the best gas motorhomes on the market stack up against some lower-quality diesel units.

However, well maintained diesel engines have a longer life than gasoline ones and can still perform reliably after extensive mileage. This means diesel-powered motorhomes tend to retain their value longer and have higher resale values than gas-powered units.

A gas-powered motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

3. Differences in mileage

As mentioned above, the second factor to take into consideration is the fuel economy. After all, fuel is expensive and adds up over time. Here are the main differences in mileage between gas-powered and diesel-powered rigs.

Gas-powered motorhomes:

  • Depending on chassis, gas motorhomes will have between 80-100 gallon tanks (Class A) and 20-30 gallon tanks (Class B)
  • Average of 6-10 mpg (Class A), 10-14+ mpg (Class B and Class C)
  • Widespread availability at all fuel stations
  • Less expensive than diesel
  • Gas has an odor when burned; the smell can fill the cabin
  • Gas has a shorter shelf life due to evaporation

Diesel-powered motorhomes:

  • Depending on the chassis will have between 80-150 gallon tanks
  • Average of 6-18 miles per gallon with Class Cs and A motorhomes getting less, Class Bs and B+ RVs getting more
  • More expensive than gas
  • Diesel is available at most but not all stations but maneuverability presents a problem for most diesel pushers (Class A motorhomes)
  • Diesel has better fuel efficiency meaning less frequent refills at the pump
  • Diesel burns cleaner than gas
A diesel-powered motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

4. Maintenance

Gas engines are easier to maintain and repair compared with their diesel counterparts. If you have a general knowledge of gas engines, you can probably do the bulk of the repairs and maintenance yourself.

A downside of a gas engine is that it runs at higher RPMs meaning it will always be working harder than a diesel engine. Running at higher RPMs allows for a smoother, quieter ride with faster acceleration but more frequent upkeep is required.

Diesel engines are considerably more expensive to maintain and require specialized training to service. Diesel engines run at a lower RPM meaning slower acceleration and lower top speeds but less strain on the engine and you can drive more miles between servicing.

A diesel-powered motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

5. Oil 

All engines require oil. Diesel-powered engines use a lot more oil than gas-powered engines but the oil only needs to be replaced once a year or every 12,000-15,000 miles (depending on the chassis). You’ll need to change the oil in a gas engine every six months or less.

In a gas engine, if you know how to change oil you can do it yourself. Diesel oil changes are more complicated, so you’ll probably have to take it to a professional mechanic to do the work.

A diesel-powered motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

6. Speed and towing ability of gas vs diesel RVs

Gas-powered engines typically have higher horsepower and less torque so you can accelerate and maintain higher speeds. However, having less torque adds more strain on the engine while towing and climbing inclines.

Diesel-powered engines are designed for higher torque at lower speeds but are not as fast as gas engines. More torque means slower acceleration speeds but greater towing power and ease in steep inclines.

As you can see, there are some pros and cons to both styles of engines but ultimately the decision for you boils down to personal preference and your budget.

Are you planning on carrying a toad? Do you frequent the Rockies and the Northwest Mountains? Having the power to climb hills with a load lends to diesel-powered engines.

Or are you planning on RVing without a toad and in relatively flatter areas such as Florida and Louisiana? In that case, a gas-powered engine would work well for you.

A gas-powered motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Gas or diesel: The bottom line

Simply put, the bottom line on gas or diesel comes down to your particular situation and preference.

YOU are the most important factor when it comes to the best RV fuel option. 

All the miles you drive, where you drive, how you manage your fuel usage, cost of ownership, how long you plan to keep your RV, resale value, and your RV maintenance habits affect you more in the long run. Hopefully, if you already own an RV, it meets your needs. 

We are RVers! We aren’t like everyone else already and neither does our fuel use have to be like everyone else’s. Whether we choose a motorhome that uses gasoline or one that uses diesel, the RV itself should match our travel needs. 

Every RVer’s bottom line is different. If you don’t plan to travel as many miles or aren’t concerned about resale value then a gas-powered RV might suffice for you.

Worth Pondering…

Get your motor runnin’
Head out on the highway
Lookin’ for adventure
And whatever comes our way
Yeah Darlin’ go make it happen
Take the world in a love embrace
Fire all of your guns at once
And explode into space.

Born To Be Free, words and music by Mars Bonfire