Motorhomes Under $100K

Georgetown_280DS_ext

Kristopher Bunker
December 21, 2012
Filed under Motorhome Reviews, Top Stories

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Hunting and motorhoming go hand in hand. No, not that kind of hunting. We’re talking about motorhome owners constantly on the hunt as part of their lifestyle, searching for a beautiful destination, a pristine campground or the latest gadget to make life on the road easier. But what all motorhome owners (and everybody else, for that matter) are hunting for on a daily basis is a bargain. We’re always looking for lower RV park fees, less expensive fuel, reduced grocery bills and, perhaps most significantly, an affordable motorhome. 

To help with the latter, we’ve rounded up a handful of budget-friendly coaches with base MSRPs of less than $100,000. And although “budget-friendly” is sometimes just a fancy way of saying “cheap,” the motorhomes listed here offer the most bang for your buck without scrimping on quality and amenities.

Coachmen Freelander 19CB

Clearly designed with families in mind, the Coachmen Freelander offers three separate sleeping areas as part of its no-nonsense, straightforward floorplan. The compact 138-inch wheelbase makes the coach easy to drive — something especially helpful if you’re new to motorhomes or larger vehicles. The rear shower is surprisingly roomy, while the compact galley is equipped with the appliances you’ll need for a down-home comfort meal. The Freelander also includes some amenities you may not expect in its price range, namely a standard AC generator, backup camera and power awning.

Chassis: Ford E-350
Engine: 5.4-L V-8
Fuel cap: 40 gal
GVWR: 11,500 lbs
Ext length: 21′ 6″
Ext width: 8′ 3″
Wheelbase: 138″
Ext height: 10′ 10″
Freshwater cap: 50 gal
Black-/gray-water cap: 22 gal/28 gal
LP-gas cap: 10 gal
Base MSRP: $49,900

Coachmen RV, 800-353-7383, www.coachmenrv.com

Fleetwood Storm 28F

Fleetwood bills the Storm as a motorhome with the family friendliness of a Class C, but the space and storage capacity of a Class A. With the Storm featuring 110 cubic feet of interior storage space and 132 cubic feet of exterior storage space, we can certainly see why. Raised-panel cabinetry, crown molding and a spacious galley highlight the wide-open floorplan of the 28F, while the 44-by-82-inch dinette allows for the whole family to dine in comfort. The master bedroom features a queen bed and dual wardrobes as well as an LCD TV ($406). The Storm featured here also includes an above-cab hide-a-loft bed (capable of supporting up to 650 pounds) with a 26-inch TV ($2,940).

Chassis: Ford 
Engine: 6.8-L V-10
Fuel cap: 80 gal
GVWR: 18,000 lbs
Ext length: 28′ 8″
Ext width: 8′ 5″
Ext height with A/C: 12′
Wheelbase: 178″
Freshwater cap: 60 gal
Black-/gray-water cap: 35 gal/35 gal
LP-gas cap: 14 gal
Base MSRP: $87,189

Fleetwood RV, 800-322-8216, www.fleetwoodrv.com

Forest River Georgetown 335DS

Georgetown Class A motorhomes have been designed to include many amenities generally found in more expensive coaches, but at a price that’s easier on the wallet. Standards include solid-surface countertops, a fiberglass roof, a full-coach water-filtration system and a rear-vision backup camera. The 335DS shown here includes a comfortable, soft-touch L-shaped sofa in the living room, a fireplace, a 40-inch LCD TV and a hand-laid glass tile backsplash in the galley. Other livability conveniences include a one-piece fiberglass shower, a 30-inch entrance door and triple electric entry steps.

Chassis: Ford 
Engine: 6.8-L V-10
Fuel cap: 80 gal
GVWR: 20,500 lbs
Ext length: 34′ 11″
Ext width: 8′ 4″
Ext height with A/C: 12′ 1″
Wheelbase: 208″
Freshwater cap: 50 gal
Black-/gray-water cap: 41 gal/41 gal
LP-gas cap: 24 gal
Base MSRP: $97,775

Forest River, 574-533-5934, www.forestriverinc.com

Forest River Sunseeker 3010DS

The Sunseeker 3010DS is loaded with amenities not typically found in sub-$100,000 coaches. The large kitchen countertop with flip-up extension offers plenty of prep space, and the 32-inch 12-volt DC LED TV over the galley area offers easy viewing throughout the front of the motorhome. The optional 12.3-cubic-foot, four-door refrigerator ($2,793) can more than handle your campground meal plans, while the large 44-by-82-inch U-shaped dinette can comfortably accommodate a host of diners. A step up into the rear bedroom reveals a pillow-top mattress, dual wardrobes and a linen closet, in addition to a nightstand. There’s also a 32-inch 12-volt DC LED TV and DVD player available ($1,043) outside, should you decide to entertain under the stars. Other highlights include standard heated and enclosed storage tanks, a fiberglass roof and full-body paint. 

Chassis: Ford
Engine: 6.8-L V-10
Fuel cap: 55 gal
GVWR: 14,500 lbs
Ext length: 32′ 3″
Ext width: 8′ 4″
Ext height with A/C: 11′ 3″
Wheelbase: 220″
Freshwater cap: 44 gal
Black-/gray-water cap: 39 gal/39 gal
LP-gas cap: 10 gal
Base MSRP: $87,618

Forest River, 574-533-5934, www.forestriverinc.com

Itasca Cambria 27K

The 2013 Itasca Cambria 27K Class C is a touring coach the company claims features automotive handling for a smooth ride. Inside, such features as swiveling cab seats, an Ultraleather BenchMark  dinette slide, large galley, LED lighting and a rear wardrobe slide all lend a residential feel. A 26-inch LCD HDTV is located in the galley and is installed on a hinged bracket for maximum viewing throughout the motorhome. The bathroom features a curved wall for maximum use of space. A walk-around queen bed, dual nightstands, a large wardrobe slideout and a 22-inch TV make the master bedroom a comfortable, private retreat.

Chassis: Ford E-450
Engine: 6.8-L V-10 Triton 
Fuel cap: 55 gal
GVWR: 14,500 lbs
Ext length: 29′ 5″
Ext width: 7′ 11″
Ext height with A/C: 10′ 9″
Wheelbase: 200″
Freshwater cap: 40 gal
Black-/gray-water cap: 34 gal/31 gal
LP-gas cap: 18 gal
Base MSRP: $96,417

Itasca, 641-585-3535, www.goitasca.com

Lazy Daze 27 Rear Bath

Founded more than 57 years ago, Lazy Daze has always been an advocate of factory-direct sales in order to keep costs down. That policy has remained in place since day one, mainly because the same founding family continues to own and operate the manufacturer to this day. The 27 RB, like all Lazy Daze models, has a long list of standard features, including a steel reinforced structure, smooth aluminum sectioned and repairable exterior side walls, a fully insulated floor, side walls and roof, and full-body paint. Conveniences such as a porcelain toilet, LED interior lights, a 100-watt solar panel and a 4 kW AC generator help make the Lazy Daze a comfortable — and efficient — home on the road.

Chassis: Ford E-450
Engine: 6.8-L V-10
Fuel cap: 55 gal
GVWR: 14,500 lbs
Ext length: 27′
Ext width: 8′ 3″
Ext height with A/C: 10′ 1″
Wheelbase: 176″
Freshwater cap: 60 gal
Black-/gray-water cap: 24 gal/35 gal
LP-gas cap: 14 gal
Base MSRP: $88,750

Lazy Daze, 909-627-1103, www.lazydaze.com

Newmar Bay Star Sport 2702

For 2013, Newmar has updated its popular Bay Star Sport line to include more user-friendly features and amenities. Owners will still get Newmar’s classic sturdy construction, including a gelcoat fiberglass exterior and front and back caps, a Brite Tek roof and a one-piece windshield. Highlights for 2013 include mitered glazed cabinet doors, concealed cabinet hinges, improved decorative paneling in the living room and slideouts, and a heavier-duty windshield-washer system for improved visibility. The 2702 offers dual wardrobes, a chest of drawers and a 32-inch LCD TV in the master bedroom. A jackknife sofa and convertible dinette in the living area provide ideal seating for viewing the LCD TV above the cab.

Chassis: Ford
Engine: 6.8-L V-10
Fuel cap: 80 gal
GVWR: 18,000 lbs
Ext length: 27′ 10″
Ext width: 8′ 4.5″
Ext height with A/C: 12′ 4″
Wheelbase: 172″
Freshwater cap: 75 gal
Black-/gray-water cap: 40 gal/60 gal
LP-gas cap: 25 gal
Base MSRP: $94,808

Newmar, 800-731-8300, www.newmarcorp.com

NeXus RV Viper 29V

Eliminating the middleman is one way NeXus RV can offer its Viper 29V B-Plus cruiser as part of our sub-$100K roundup. Selling factory-direct allows NeXus to pass its savings on to the customer and to focus on higher-quality amenities and improved construction techniques. Nexus’ steel-framed side walls are claimed to be more than 70 percent sturdier than aluminum side walls, and its use of automotive-style window seals help eliminate water leaks. Galvanized steel storage compartments also offer an improvement over the more common plastic compartments. The 29V highlighted here also includes a deluxe exterior paint package ($6,999) and cherry cabinetry ($399). The 29V has a 5,000-pound rated hitch receiver for your dinghy-towing needs, and break-away mirrors and a heavy-duty entrance step add to the unit’s durability.

Chassis: Ford E-450
Engine: 6.8-L V-10
Fuel cap: 55 gal
GVWR: 14,500 lbs
Ext length: 30′ 5″
Ext width: 8′
Ext height with A/C: 10′ 4″
Wheelbase: 208″
Freshwater cap: 38 gal
Black-/gray-water cap: 28 gal/28 gal
LP-gas cap: 12 gal
Base MSRP: $79,999

Phoenix Cruiser 2910T

The triple-slide Cruiser 2910T Class C offers the kind of living space generally found in a Class A coach, but with the drivability of a van. The large master bedroom features a walk-around queen bed, dual wardrobes and a TV stand/desk. A sofa bed and a convertible dinette mean you can invite the extended family, and there’s plenty of overhead storage space to accommodate everyone’s gear. The factory-direct motorhome is loaded with appointments, including maple cabinetry, full-body paint, two TVs and a backup monitor.

Chassis: Ford E-450
Engine: 6.8-L V-10
Fuel cap: 55 gal
GVWR: 14,500 lbs
Ext length: 30′ 6″
Ext width: 7′ 8″
Ext height with A/C: 10′ 1″
Wheelbase: 218″
Freshwater cap: 46 gal
Black-/gray-water cap: 23 gal/35 gal
LP-gas cap: 10 gal
Base MSRP: $99,970

Phoenix Cruiser, 877-754-8535, www.phoenixusarv.com

Roadtrek Ranger RT

The Ranger RT motorhome has been designed with fuel efficiency at the forefront. The Ranger’s lower weight and smaller engine allow use of a lighter chassis, which not only helps fuel economy, but also makes the rig easy to drive. When you’re unplugged and off the grid, many of the appliances can be run via the 1,250-watt power inverter, while the included portable 120-volt AC generator can power the air conditioner/heat pump and water heater. The Ranger does not include a standard LP-gas system (an intentional design), but one is available as an option.

Chassis: Chevrolet Express 2500
Engine: 4.8-L V-8
Fuel cap: 31 gal
GVWR: 8,600 lbs
Ext length: 20′ 5″
Ext width: 7′ 0″
Ext height with A/C: 8′ 9″
Wheelbase: 155″
Freshwater cap: 15 gal
Black-/gray-water cap: 10/23 gal
LP-gas cap: 7 gal (optional)
Base MSRP: $72,800

Roadtrek Motorhomes, 888-762-3873, www.roadtrek.com

Thor Motor Coach A.C.E. 29.2

If the name A.C.E. evokes a hybrid of Class A and Class C motorhomes, that’s because they are just that: the familiar “drives like a C but lives like an A motorhome.” Thor Motor Coach accomplishes this feat by packing A.C.E motorhomes with scads of storage space, including a large rear “mega” storage compartment (all told, there is 122.6 cubic feet of storage on the exterior), a coat/broom closet with hanging hooks, a pullout pantry, linen closet and an electric pull-down overhead bunk in the cockpit. In supplying so many storage areas — along with the large living-area slide — the A.C.E. 29.2 feels wide open and uncluttered. The coach also features a queen bed with dual closets in the master bedroom and a “mud room” entry. A standard electric patio awning helps keep things cool at the campsite.

Chassis: Ford 
Engine: 6.8-L V-10
Fuel cap: 80 gal
GVWR: 16,000 lbs
Ext length: 29′ 7″
Ext width: 8′ 2.5″
Ext height with A/C: 11′ 11″
Wheelbase: 190″
Freshwater cap: 50 gal
Black-/gray-water cap: 25/44 gal
LP-gas cap: 20.75 gal
Base MSRP: $92,000-$97,000

A.C.E., 800-560-5658, www.acemotorhome.com 

Winnebago Vista 26HE

Designed for couples or small families, the 2013 Vista 26HE is a Class A that packs in plenty of standard features. Highlights include a front slideout room, Ultraleather swiveling cab seats, a 38-by-73-inch dinette, a full-featured galley and a walk-around queen bed in the master bedroom with a shirt closet/wardrobe on both sides of the bed. An Ultraleather lounge chair and power awning are also standard. The split bathroom is located amidships, with a shower across the hall. The one-piece fiberglass roof is backed by a 10-year warranty. 

Chassis: Ford 
Engine: 6.8-L V-10
Fuel cap: 80 gal
GVWR: 16,000 lbs
Ext length: 26′ 11″
Ext width: 8′ 5.5″
Ext height with A/C: 12′ 1″
Wheelbase: 158″
Freshwater cap: 60 gal
Black-/gray-water cap: 43/38 gal
LP-gas cap: 18 gal
Base MSRP: $69,999
(Special promotional pricing at participating dealers for a limited time.)

Winnebago, 641-585-3535, www.winnebagoind.com

Winnebago Minnie Winnie 31K 

So new, we don’t have all the details. Winnebago is reintroducing the classic Minnie Winnie for the 2014 model year. The coaches will be available in four floorplans. The 31K featured here offers a large U-shaped dinette, a fully appointed and spacious galley, a 32-inch LCD TV, a variety of sleeping options and a large amount of storage space — including a sizeable rear trunk. 

Chassis: Ford E-450 
Engine: 6.8-L V-10 
Fuel cap: 55 gal
GVWR: 14,500 lbs
Ext length: 32′ 6″
Ext width: 8′ 5.5″
Ext height with A/C: 10′ 8″
Wheelbase: 220″
Freshwater cap: 47 gal
Black-/gray-water cap: 30/30 gal
LP-gas cap: 18 gal
Base MSRP: $76,000

Winnebago, 641-585-3535, www.winnebagoind.com

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Comments

6 Responses to “Motorhomes Under $100K”

  1. Ronald L. Gjestson on January 15th, 2013 3:18 pm

    The motor home industry sure is coming up with some good plans for under $100,000.00 Good job out there.

    [Reply]

  2. Richard Errett on January 20th, 2013 9:47 am

    Just returned from the Tampa RV Super Show. I have two gripes about RV design. Many place a large cabinet right over the bathroom sink preventing one from getting their face over the sink. So, water gets splashed down the front of the vanity. Who ever designed this must never shave. Also, I like the Newmar Bay Star, but they designed the cargo doors to open from the bottom and stop right in front of your face, forcing you to get down on your knees to access the compartment. Then when you raise up you can hit your head on the door. Really! After all these years of trial and error we still see this kind of poor design. And now $100,000 is considered a budget model. What!

    [Reply]

  3. Joe Mueller on February 12th, 2013 1:51 pm

    Will someone please let me know where I can get consumers’ and professionals’ ratings of the various models?

    This article gives an overview of the features that I can get from the manufacturers’ website. But it doesn’t touch on the most important aspect: quality of manufacturing and/or users’ happiness or dissatisfaction with the models.

    Thank you for any help you can give me.

    [Reply]

    John Campbell Reply:

    With brand new models, that’s a tall order to fill. Until owners rack up some miles on these vehicles, reviews are going to be scant. If the floorplan works for you, great.

    Me, I’d rather buy used, and let the first owner eat that depreciation.

    [Reply]

  4. Joe on March 8th, 2013 1:07 pm

    Thanks very much, John. You’ve raised an excellent point. Almost all of the experienced RVers with whom I’ve spoken make the same recommendation: buy used and skip the depreciation. That’s what I’ll do.

    I have the RV Consumer’s Guide for motorhomes, and that book rates the various models for the previous years, but are you aware of any other sources of ratings? I’m hoping for more than one rating source.

    On the other hand, I may be over-analyzing this. I think I’m about ready to just inspect as intelligently and diligently as I can and just take the plunge.

    Thanks again, Joe.

    [Reply]

  5. Brian Wiethop MD on March 23rd, 2013 10:54 am

    Has had numerous electrical issues since purchasing the Winnegago 26HE. 5 trips to the Camping World dealership and two trips to the Ford dealer. still the truck battery dies in less than a week. Not a good experience so far.

    [Reply]

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