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Old 01-19-2014, 05:00 PM
Location: Whidbey Island, WA
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I am thinking about getting a class C or B or Rialta but want a reliable platform and a trouble free (as much as possible) power train. Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-19-2014, 08:14 PM
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won't matter with a Class C since you really only have 2 choices for the most part Ford 6.8 or GM 8.1, with the Frod 6.8 V10 being more common. No real issues with either one. I would make sure the rest of the unit has no leaks rather than focus on drive train.
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Old 01-21-2014, 12:32 PM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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How many miles / yr and in what terrain / regions are you traveling?

Since you are looking at Rialta, it means you are considering 'used'. so... if there is only 1 person... I would consider the Dodge / Roadtrek the most reliable / trouble free (IMHO). There will be Ford and Chevy people that have their own views.

Fuel Economy is not much different across your choices.

Rialta is only suitable for highway cruising (FWD) and MUST have an aftermarket Tranny cooler ($100). or you will be frequently buying $5000 tranny R&R & emergency tows.

If you are looking at a ~$5000 Class C... I would get an older Dodge, before a newer Ford or Chevy
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Old 05-11-2014, 06:33 AM
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I agree with Stealth Rabbit , Look for a Dodge Roadtrek . We have one and enjoy it very much . It's a 2003 and we only put around 5000 km a summer on it ,only bought it used 3 years ago and the van has a total of 97,000 km .We figure it will last us another 10 years . In the next summer or 2 we plan on taking longer trips so maybe 10,000km a summer . It's small but we don't spend a lot of time inside, we enjoy the outdoors .

If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask .
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Old 05-12-2014, 10:43 PM
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My 19' Roadtrek is on a '93 Dodge 3500 chassis, the first year of the roller cam Magnum 5.2 (318 cu in) engine. With 150,000 miles on it, there's been no major repairs needed. Consumables have included new front brake rotors/pads, routine servicing of the fluids (note the 30,000 mile interval for the transmission, very important), a set of sparkplugs and ignition wires, a couple of serp belts w/idler pulleys, an alternator, and an A/C compressor with change-over to R134 and new receiver/dryer and expansion valve. The most major item was replacing a fuel pump in 2012, which required dropping the fuel tank to gain access. The in-line main fuel filter is in a very difficult location to reach, but it must be done periodically ... best on a hoist with someone guided by a scanner tool to "see" where their hands are working above the black water tank. I had to replace the Distributor Cap at 100,000 miles. Air filters are easy to replace, oil/filter changes are easy every 4,000 miles. The body is still tight, no leaks, and no rust except some surface rust on the exhaust system although it's still the original exhaust and working fine. Electric windows are working fine, and the central locking has performed without fail.

Roadtrek items: the only things so far have been the house battery isolation switch ... which I replaced with a higher amperage unit than stock ($125) and a couple deep discharge cycle house batteries as the original failed with years of use.

The accessories in the van are pretty much standard items found in the RV industry, such as the Dometic refrigerator and Suburban furnace. The refrigerator needs a new thermostat installed; have one on hand that cost me $67 and I need an hour or so to install it. I changed the interior lighting over to LED's, which are brighter than the incandescent bulbs and draw a small fraction of the power ... helpful on cold winter nights (I travel with this rig year 'round) when I'm boondocking to conserve electrical power to run the furnace through the night. The roof mount A/C is original and adequate for our climate when parked, and the on-board 2800w generator is more than adequate to power that and normal items in the Van when boondocking. I added a 1000 watt inverter to run electronics while parked off the house battery; have found it to be excessive for my needs, but it was an easy install under the left rear passenger seat.

Tire wear with Michelin LTX's is 50,000+ mile service life on them. Brake pads on the front run better than 40,000 miles. The van handles modest trailering loads (2,000 lbs) well. It's realistic to see 17 mpg cruising at 65 mph, although on the hill climbs (lots of rolling hills in my rocky mountain region) it's advisable to kick out the OD via the dash switch rather than wait for the vehicle to slow down. Then kick it back into OD for the flats and descents. The cruise control has functioned flawlessly for the miles so far. Transmission still shifts very smoothly. The engine starts at the 1st or 2nd cylinder to hit compression, even in very cold (sub-zero) weather. Has the original starter.

Overall, I've been very happy with my Roadtrek. It's adequate for two people and a few small dogs for road trips and boondocking. I use it extensively for business travels in the Rocky Mountain area and it is more than adequate for week long travels at a time. Comfortable and easy to drive, too. Tankage is sufficient for 5 days worth of cooking/showers when out on the road, 6 days can be close to maximums. 35 gallon fuel tank is adequate to allow one to shop for fuel through a week's travels, although for keeping track of my travels I tend to stop more frequently than required ... if for no other reason than to put a few dollar's worth of fuel onboard to document where I've been traveling.

Only issues that I have with the Dodge chassis: (1) I wish I could install more powerful lighting than the rectangular seal beams, (2) the wipers travel in areas where the rain isn't swept off the windshield, so the water crawls back up the windshield from the bottom as the blade travels to the side.

I've been told by me Roadtrek dealer that he has had similar good results with the Coachman series Class B's ... but I looked at their floorplans and didn't like the kitchen/cooking area set by the right hand side double doors. Can't say that I saw any better equipment or quality of installation in these, but he does say that the interior equipment is easier to work on than a Roadtrek. I'd also look at these if you're in the market for a Class B.

I did look at Rialta's. Big drawback for me was not having a Class 2 receiver hitch and the towing ability of the Dodge 1-ton van. From time to time, I tow a utility trailer for auctions, equipment buying, or a 2-horse BP trailer for livestock. As well, they didn't have the tankage/kitchen that met my needs for boondocking travels.

The big drawback to Class B's is the limited space. If I was not traveling so much and was primarily using the RV for recreational use and extended camping time at a site, the additional interior space and larger kitchen of a Class C would be more important. But Class C's can't park in a regular parking space in most parking lots or at the curbside parking on a street, and aren't as inconspicuous for boondocking as a Class B. With their bigger profiles and higher weight, they can't get the fuel economy of a Class B and are a handful driving around our area in the winds/gusts. If you do need the interior space, then there's a lot more Class C's around the Class B's to choose from ... a much bigger market which drives the prices of used Class C's lower than Class B's.

Last edited by sunsprit; 05-12-2014 at 11:10 PM..
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Old 05-25-2014, 08:10 AM
Location: Near Nashville TN
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We bought our 28' 1993 Ford Dutchman Class-C for a cross-country trip which we just got back from yesterday. It had 50,000 miles on it - the trip was 5,000 miles. Never one problem. But we did only get 10 MPG.
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Old 05-25-2014, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by =^..^= View Post
We bought our 28' 1993 Ford Dutchman Class-C for a cross-country trip which we just got back from yesterday. It had 50,000 miles on it - the trip was 5,000 miles. Never one problem. But we did only get 10 MPG.
Helpful to know:

1) Which engine in this rig?

2) What cruise speed did you try to maintain?

3) Where did you travel for the 5,000 mile trip?
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