My wife and I absolutely loved our 2018 Arctic Fox 27-5L fifth wheel, however we decided a while ago that our next rig would be a motorhome. I don’t think we realized how soon that dream would come to pass. We landed on a Renegade Verona 36VSB.
In the off-camping season at the end of 2022 I started to look around at the motorhome market, just to get a feel for what was out there. I had a few requirements in “rough” order of importance.
- Occupant and Cargo Carrying Capacity (OCCC / CCC)
- Build Quality
- Wife Acceptance Factor (WAF)
OCCC / CCC
I learned very early on in my research that many motorhomes on the market have VERY little CCC. CCC how much weight you can carry in the rig and includes people, water and gear. The challenge is that the CCC is not typically a published number as it unique to every RV. They are weighed as they come off the assembly line and the weight is subtracted from the GVWR of the chassis it is built on – producing a unique CCC for each rig. To find the rough CCC of a particular model you have to dig into the member forums and find someone who has posted their unique CCC. Also some of the RV youtubers call out the CCC as they do the walkthrough. The one I found to be most consistent in providing the CCC is Matt’s RV Reviews.
Why is CCC so important to me? On the Arctic Fox (link to my writeup) we used to own, I learned just how much more pleasant and less stressfully it is when you drive a rig that has more truck than is required. I went from a marginal setup to something that was overkill….and it meant I don’t have to even pay attention to that Semi that is passing me. 40mph winds….hmph, I didn’t even notice. It truly is game changing to have TOO MUCH TRUCK for the job.
That along with the fact we take a lot of stuff – toys, outdoor kitchens, spares for everything, etc etc. It all adds up.
We found a rig we really liked, checked all the boxes. It was based on an Ford F550 chassis and was even four wheel drive. My heart sank when the sticker said it had less than 800lbs of OCCC. Just having my wife and I plus a full tank of water would put this thing at max capacity. No food, no clothes, no dishes, etc etc etc.
All RV’s will have issues, I don’t care if it’s a $2,000,000 Prevost or a $20,000 travel trailer. However in either class if the RV manufacturer takes the time to do the work right and uses quality materials it can GREATLY decrease your rigs downtime. I did a whole article on it here.
While our camping style is slowly changing to longer trips in new areas, we still like to go up into the mountains on forest service roads, find a meadow and plop down for a long weekend. The bigger your rig gets, the less places you can fit into. There is always a compromise.
My dream would be a motorhome with all the capacity to take all our gear with CCC to spare and be under 30′ long. That rig doesn’t exist, and this is where we compromised considerably as this rig is 36′ 11″ long. So far I’ve gotten it into some pretty tight spots at it hasn’t limited us.
I did find a 35′ model that checked all the boxes, little tight on storage space but doable. Dug into it on the forums and it had some type of structural issue that caused sidewall cracks. Only on this one model from Renegade was this problem common. They also used to make a 34′ Verona – but it just didn’t have enough storage for us.
Wife Acceptance Factor (WAF)
Guys – DO NOT DISCOUNT WAF! See what happens when you do here. She needs to love it just as much as you do….
I think I researched everything on the market that might meet our needs. And that is a lot.
Class B’s: These are just too small for us and our toys.
Class C’s: Some of these came close. The Ford van chassis felt…sloppy when driving. The Mercedes Sprinter chassis got very close, but when we got up to a size that would work for us we had no OCCC left.
Class A’s: There are several diesel pushers on the market that could have met our needs. Serviceability was a large factor to me, do I really want a diesel mechanic opening up the floor in my bedroom to service the engine?
Class Super-C: Like class A, there is a lot of different chassis capabilities here. From light duty truck (think Ford F550 or Chevy 5500 series) all the way up to Volvo over the road semi chassis. The safety factor of having the engine out in front of you combined with capacities and the “coolness” led me down this road. I narrowed it down to 2 contenders.
- Freightliner S2RV
- Cummins 6.7L 360HP and 800 lb-ft torque
- 33,000 GVWR
- Freightliner M2 Business Class
- Cummins 8.9L 350HP and 1100 lb-ft torque
- 33,600 GVWR
The actual specs on these chassis vary based on how the RV Manufacturer option it from Freightliner. They are VERY similar chassis with the S2RV being setup specifically for RV Manufacturers and the M2 used in all kinds of lighter duty truck applications.
So I knew I wanted a Super-C and even had it narrowed down to a couple of potential chassis. This is where I had to dig into the owners groups and learn what people were complaining about and try to figure out who is making a quality rig in a price I could afford.
- Newmar Superstar – Most expensive, Luxury quality
- Renegade Valencia or Verona – Medium Price, high quality
- Dynamax Force, DX3 or Dynaquest – Medium Price, high quality
- Jayco Seneca / Entegra Accolade – Some issues that turned me off, Lower price
I narrowed it down to Renegade or Dynamax. Both had floorplans that could work for us. There were a couple of factors that drove the decision:
Renegade used a longer wheel base on the chassis. That means wider turning circle, but also means less tail end of the RV hanging behind the wheels. That translates to more clearance without dragging the tail….making access to some of my forest meadows more doable.
But more importantly, the community. Our first camper was a Casita travel trailer. Like Renegade, a small manufacturer of a high quality product. And the Casita community was 2nd to none. Getting involved in these communities can bring you untold amounts of knowledge about your camper and enable you to get the most out of it. The Renegade Facebook communities are full of top-notch people always ready to help a fellow Renegader. Although the crappy search feature on Facebook makes we wish there was an old school forum for Renegade.
Price for us was also a problem. These rigs are NOT cheap. From Dec 2022 through May 2023 I watched the used market, looked at a few rigs, talked to several owners and sellers. Over that time we locked in on the Verona 36VSB model. Prices were starting to come down from the insanity of 2020-2021 levels and we figured it was just a matter of time. The rig we ended up with had been on the market in Florida for a bit…when suddenly in June 2022 the sellers dropped the price 20%. We were talking to them within an hour and locked in the deal. It has more miles than most rigs this age, but has been immaculately taken care of and we are extremely happy.
Stay tuned for details on our new to us 2018 Renegade Verona 36VSB!