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Shopping For Older Class A?

Yesterday I got into the middle of a conversation with a couple of future Class A motorhome owners. They are both looking for something in the late 1990’s, gas, good condition and reasonably priced. They understand that with a fifteen year old RV there can be some issues but both these guys are pretty handy.

Not all 1998’s are created equal

If we look back to the mid 1990’s two major things are happening to motorhomes. First RV’s begin to get slides. Slides give you a lot more room but they also kick up the weight a few hunderd pounds. At about the same time the motorhome boxes changed from being 8′ to 8 1/2 feet wide. Meanwhile the chassis manufacturers response to all this is nothing. Finally in mid 1998 both Ford and GM both upgrade their part of a motorized RV to carry the coaches the RV manufacturers have been producing for  years.

 Would you prefer a 98 coach on a 97 chassis or a 98 coach on a 99 chassis?

In Ford’s case, 1997 and older class A chassis all came with a 460 V8 engine and 16.5″ wheels. Among the other changes, the new chassis features the new EFI V10, 20% bigger 19.5″ wheels and a much wider chassis.
While GM’s 97 and prior chassis already  has the 19.5″ wheels they trade in their old carburated 454 for their newer, more efficient 8.1 liter power source and once again a much wider stance.
You can imagine the difference in handling when you move the wheels out so that they are actually under the coach sidewall compared to in there “somewhere”.
In Ford’s case the change in the width of the frame and the bigger rubber makes a huge difference.
The point of all this is that not all 1998 motorhomes on Ford and GM frames are created equal. I recomend that if you are looking for an RV in this vintage, get the improved chassis.

 

 

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