In the fall of 2013, we decided to give RV'ing a try and looked for a Class C motorhome. Originally I saw a few Four Winds 28A's on the market and from YouTube videos, and I really liked the layout and size. We went to a few dealerships to look at 28As, and ran across a 28Z - which is about the same size coach but with a slide out. My wife fell in love with the coach, so we bought it. We are now the proud owners of a "new to us" 2011 Four Winds Z28 Class C Motorhome.
The vehicle had been owned by a doctor, and looked brand new, and only had 5,800 miles on it. I'm thinking the good Dr. really did not have time to use it, and probably took it to Florida once or twice, and that was it.
While there is really nothing wrong with it (OK, there are a few minor issues), we plan on using it as our project vehicle, and plan on adding few "creature comforts"; such as LED interior lighting, GPS, TPMS, and a few other "necessities".
You can view the project list here: Projects
I wanted to do this initial walkthrough so that a before and after comparison could be made. So, after 4 months under the snowbank, the weather has improved enough to uncover the RV so that we could finally begin to use it.
Although this coach is known as a 28Z, the actual length is 29ft-10 1/2in. so it is longer than it's model name suggests. The GVWR of the vehicle is 14,500lbs, a towing capacity of 5,000lbs, and a CGVR of 20,000lbs - according to the Four Winds brochure.
However, for the 2011 model year, Ford indicates this vehicle actually has a CGVR of 22,500lbs. This means that the actual towing capacity is 8,000lbs, not 5,500lbs. Regardless, the actual towing capacity is restricted by the 5,000lb capacity hitch.
I am usually conservative about towing ratings anyway, so I do not plan on increasing the hitch capacity. Rather, I like the idea of having an extra 2,500lb "buffer" in tow capability as we will eventually do some towing through the mountains.
We chose a Class C over a Class A as it seems to me that having a conventional cab, the Class C motorhome is easier to drive, and at least has airbags, so there is an increased safety factor. As well, I can take my motorhome to my local Ford Dealer for service, whereas you cannot always do that with a Class A motorhome - even if it has a Ford chassis. Finally, parts for a Class C is likely easier to obtain 10 years later - items such as Windshields, and so on.
And I liked the 30ft size of this motorhome. Not many Class A motorhomes are that small (although a few are). True, there is likely more storage in the "basement" of Class A motorhomes, but we have a huge storage area in the rear of our coach (Four Winds calls it "MegaStorage").
And since Class A motorhomes tend to be taller (which is one reason for more basement storage), the increased height likely affects the driveability somewhat. And being lower to the ground means a lot fewer steps to climb to get into the coach.
One downside to a Class C is the cab area is not very useful when you are at the campsite, but we are beginning to see more and more Class C's with swivel seating so you can use the cab area when parked.
At any rate, this coach should meet our needs for at least a few years... and who knows - we might one day go to a Class A coach.
Unfortunately, there were a few minor defects when we purchased the coach; there was a small crack in the dinette table, the linoleum flooring is lifting up in a few spots, and so on. All minor to be sure, and those are some of the first items I will fix.
More serious are the tires that have dry rot, even though they were only 3yr old and had less than 6,000 miles on them. But as it turned out, I found that there was a tire recall on the very tires on my coach, so we will be getting them replaced at no cost to us.
As well, there are a few quirky things that have been changed since the manufacture of our coach that I want to update. For example, the dash stereo in our coach is powered by the engine battery. In 2013, the stereo was changed so that it is powered by the house batteries. This prevents a dead engine start battery should you listen to the stereo too long when at the campsite, which I think is a worthy upgrade.
Other likely additions and improvements are options that were originally available but not installed, such as a generator transfer switch, and perhaps upgrade of the water heater to gas/electric. However, I am not wanting to just sit home and upgrade the coach - but rather I want to use it. So upgrades might just have to wait until they can be "fit in" whenever possible. Still, if we are sitting in a RV park in Florida for three months next winter - I might just break out the project list.