2008 Four Winds Funmover Review

2008 Four Winds Funmover Review

By Howard J Elmer, Aug. 18, 2008, Photography by Howard J Elmer
The Four Winds Funmover Class C is an RV with a purpose; one that actually skews the normal RV demographic. What I mean by that is that Funmover owners see themselves as motorcycle enthusiasts, prospectors, ATV riders, racers or just race fans – pretty much anything other than a typical RVer.  Of course, that raises the “why” question; the answer to which is found in the unit itself.   

Unlike the storage you find in most every RV, the Funmover is all about the storage with the rest of the RV built around it. In the case of the entry-level 31C I tested the rear garage offers a 96” by 113” shop and storage space that is large enough to carry two fine street motorcycles, a pair of ATVs, or a couple of go-carts. With these sorts of hobby vehicles stowed in the back the Funmover offers the means to move them to and from events or remote locations and be the base of operations while there; all in one enclosed unit; and that is what potential Funmover owners are looking for; a means to their ends.

Funmovers range in length from 31 to 40 feet and are built on a variety of chassis, but the unit I drove used the Ford E-450 frame with the Triton V10 gas engine and is the smallest of the models. The body of this RV is a typical Class C layout with a large overhead bunk, fold-out couch and a dinette that coverts to sleeping space – potentially for six people in all.

The truck cab itself is finished in the usual dull grey plastic interior, but is upgraded with cream-colored leather Captains chairs. The dash layout is simple and functional, but despite the look all the features that make travel easier are included; such as: a Sirius satellite radio with CD player (that also has speakers in the salon where you’ll find a basic 14” flat screen TV that pulls out and swivels), power windows, locks, and power mirrors that are also heated. The truck has cruise control as well as a towhaul feature on the four-speed automatic transmission. 

This last feature brings another Funmover advantage to the forefront. In addition to being a self-contained RV and toy carrier it can also tow up to 5,000 lb (the larger Funmovers can tow upwards of 20,000 lb). The hitch and electrical connections are standard – but you’ll have to add a separate trailer braking system for any trailer weighing over 1,000 lb. Again, a feature that appeals to the race set, and with the V10 engine you’ll have more than enough power to move everything.

The 31C doesn’t have slideouts and overall interior space is at a premium. But, here again the overall purpose of this unit comes across in its design. Funmover owners will be spending most of their time out doing whatever it is they enjoy with whatever it is that they hauled to their destination in the back. Priority of space allocation has gone to sleeping setups. These are well thought out with a 96x57-inch overhead bunk that has screened windows that will offer cross-ventilation and a huge (5-foot) front window. This bunk also has a privacy curtain. The foldout couch operates with a single lever to open and close and the dinette also folds down easily. The kitchen too is modest and limited in size. The key problem I’d have here is with the lack of counter space. However the 3-burner stove and the two small sinks all have covers, so in effect they could do double duty. Above the stove is an exhaust fan and a built-in microwave; but no oven. The black two-door fridge/freezer is located on the opposite wall letting you work the galley without having to walk. A narrow coat closet to the right of the stove seemed odd to me, I’d rather have it made over as a pantry. In fact a minimum of hanging space in the unit can be augmented by using the wall-mounted cabinets and the hanging space in the garage; which you’ll find on both walls.  This suggestion of mine also takes into account the almost complete lack of basement storage – the garage in this unit has to do more than just house vehicles.

The compact bath is an all-in-one setup with a solid door that uses its allocated space well. The shower stall has a skylight giving it an inside height of about 6’1” and a sturdy sliding glass door. There is a power roof vent and the medicine cabinet is a large mirrored double door design over the small sink.

This type of rig will often find itself parked in places without services, so the ability to boondock is important. To that end the Funmover has an Onan 4000 generator. Also, note that on the roof mounted AC is a monitor light that indicates when the house battery is accepting charge from the roof mounted solar panel, this too (in a pinch) can extend your stay. However with the single pane windows I saw in this unit I’d suggest it is good for three-seasons only, but just to make sure you get the most days out of it there is a furnace with vents in the bathroom and main salon and the holding tanks can be heated electrically. The rear of the unit though, namely the garage, is unheated. This is due to safety regulations that demand sleeping and garage space be kept separate and airtight. But, once at a destination and unloaded there is nothing stopping you from leaving the connecting door open and using that garage space whether it be during cold weather or during summer when the use of an optional pull-down screen will open the whole unit up for use and keep the bugs (but not the breeze) out. Other ventilation features are roof vents in the bathroom, over the bunk and in the garage ceiling.

The garage space itself is neat and attractive with a black rubberized floor and aluminum tiedown cleats that can be moved along a flush mounted track. Also fitted into the floor are a pair of flip-up motorcycle wheel chocks that are meant to brace any bike during transport.  The rear door is of the spring assisted roll-up variety and works smoothly while inside the use of lots of chrome checker plate makes the space attractive.

To get vehicles in and out of the Funmover the owner will use a ramp which is stored behind a fold-down panel just under the rear deck. This all-aluminum ramp slides out on a set of rollers and has to be lifted and hooked into an edge track for loading ; it’s wide enough to load ATVs and has a serrated design that makes it a no-slip surface (but it will slice you finger if you’re not careful!). The downside is the weight – you will need another person to wrestle it into position. The other cool feature in the garage is a fold-away ladder that when released from a wall bracket leads to a roof access hatch. With this unit’s popularity among racers and race fans this feature is a natural – frankly seeing the race from the roof of your own unit is often the best seat in the house.

Outside I particularly liked the fact that the entire dump system was above the frame of the RV (keeping it safe during rough road adventures). Also outside you’ll find a hose, good for showers or washing dirty toys; and to see them with a host of exterior lights that include a regular porch light, two large scare lights and twin lights for nighttime work at the rear of the unit.

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