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Old 06-20-2013, 05:39 AM   #29
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I have driven these highways for many years an have never seen a class a MH turned over but I have seen many travel trailers and fifth wheel trailers turned over and when they go they take the truck thats pulling them with it. Its a sad thing to see every thing they had with them all over the highway.

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Old 06-20-2013, 05:46 AM   #30
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Yes they are dangerous. The reason they are so dangerous is because they are habit forming. I'm sure I'm safer in my motorhome with the heavy steel beams than in my toad with unibody (which really means no frame)

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Old 06-20-2013, 06:30 AM   #31
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Yeah, I wouldn't leave the house if I were you. It's a dangerous world out there! Maybe think about getting one of those bubbles to wear so nothing bad happens in your home.

Really?! Find a floor plan you like A,B, or C and go enjoy. Life is too short!!
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Old 06-20-2013, 06:47 AM   #32
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I have seen two Class A's involved in accidents. One ran off the interstate and down an embankment. A lot of damage but it was still sitting on its wheels. Another drove off the road into a deep ditch. I couldn't believe it was still sitting upright as it was at about a 45 degree angle, but still it didn't tump over.

As others have stated, there is a LOT of weight down low on a Class A, particularly a DP.
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Old 06-20-2013, 07:08 AM   #33
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Watching TV is dangerous, you can get fat. I marathoned for 25 years, and that was dangerous. Most training was on public roads. Boating is dangerous. I own a convertible and that is dangerous. I may stay home today, too many risks.
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Old 06-20-2013, 07:32 AM   #34
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Don't forget that most DPs have a big old generator sitting right upfront bolted to the frame rails where a gas motor would be (actually ahead of it), so that would provide a bit of protection there too. I'm less concerned about my safety than I am about some bonehead invading my braking zone and ruining my vacation.
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Old 06-20-2013, 07:43 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Mr_D View Post
Check the accident reports and look for RV's, you won't find many.
The first time I read that ... I made a read error, so the comment I won't make died on re-read.

There are many things you can do to offset the so called dangers.

Top heavy.. Well yes, so is a class C. So is a Ford SUV (Any ford SUV) Like the Lincoln Naavigators or the ford Explode...er, explorer. But with the proper suspension you can do wonders and a good STRONG sway bar offsets a lot of that "Top heavyness" of a class A.. What's more they are not as top heavy as many semi trucks.

You have no front end protection.. Same as a cab-over semi in fact.. Or many vans on the road today. True fact: I worked as a police dispatcher for 25 years. for 11 of those years we had access (direct access) to over 150 traffic cameras.. I'd watch cars tailgating each other.. How to tell if you are tailgating.

Find a mark (IE: shadow of a bridge) and when the car in front of you passes into the shadow start counting,,,, One thousand one, One thousand two.

Most cars I saw on the freeway did not get past One thousand one, Some did not make it all the way through the first 'One thousand"

If you hit the shadow before you finish two, you are tailgating.

With a motor home add one thousand three and perhaps even one thousand four. If it's raining or otherwise slippery add a couple more thousands.

Harder to drive epically when windy.... Again this is a suspension issue

Good sway bar (Controlls side to side rocking, like fans at a rock concert)

Pan-hard/Track Bars (two names, same bar) controls "Tail wag" (like a dog's tail wagging side to side).

And steering stablizers, which try to keep you going straight ahead and I almost NEVER notice wind when I'm driving this house. I often notice it in a smaller ride (Mini-van, SUV or car).

Good shocks help too. But yes, in very high winds, you do need to use a bit more care.

Here is another way to think of it.. I'm driving a ride with a base sticker price of 100,000. (rounded).. Mr, Numm skull is driving a 1,000 dollar beater.. Which is more dangerous? (Who has less to loose.. Right, Mr, Skull)
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Old 06-20-2013, 08:03 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Maritimer View Post
First let me say that I drive a Class A, love it, and intend to keep driving one so don't shoot me for expressing my opinion! But suggesting that Class a motor homes are "safe" if you are a good driver is no different than suggesting a motorcycle is safe if you're careful and drive defensively. I believe the OP is asking about the safeness of the design.
Somehow motor home manufacturers are able to get away with building vehicles without airbags, virtually zero front, side or rear end crash protection and gas coaches that come off the assembly line already at their maximum GVWR. On top of that they then hang a 50 pound TV over your head!
Can they be driven safely? Of course. Are they designed and constructed with even a smidgen of concern about safety? Not a chance.
I agree 100% with Maritimer. I also drive a class A and I bring my family with me but I think it's naive to think they are 'safer' than cars. In an accident with a smaller vehicle, you'll probably be fine just because of the heavier weight but in an accident with an equaly heavy vehicle, a solid object or roll over, a class A offers virtually no protection.

I don't know about all of them but most class As do not have any metal roll cage or supporting pilars that are built to withstand an accident (The A pillars in our 03 Tiffin Phaeton are fiberglass and wood only). They will not support the motor home in a rollover and they will not provide any absorption or protection under impact or rollover.

If you want to see for yourself, just browse at Copart USA - The Source for Online Car Auctions - Home Page and look at the crashed or burned motor homes. The only thing that survives is the frame. (here are the damaged ones (if the link works) http://www.copart.com/c2/onSaleResults.html?execution=e2s1&listType=DETAILE D_SEARCH_ON_SALE_NOW&_eventId=detailSearch&onSale= true&showImage=true&filterBaseLabel=Recreational+V ehicle+%28RV%29+All&searchType=detailedSearch&crit eriaType=detailedSearch&returnPage=search&freshReq uired=true&oSearchByType=Y&vehicleType=R&startYear =1994&endYear=2014&make=&titleGroupCode=J&location =facility&stateFacility=*&zipPostalCode=&mileageRa nge=99999)
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Old 06-20-2013, 08:19 AM   #37
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OK, let's not go to a ball game, might get hit by a home-run...let's not cross the street on foot,, might get hit by a crazed driver...let's not ever cross a bridge, cause one collapsed in Minnesota a couple of years ago. Some folks are afraid of their own shadow and write articles about it. If everyone was like the writer of the "unsafe" article we would not have the Christopher Columbus's of the world, there would be no airplanes, no thought of space travel. We own a class A and love the freedom it gives us. It's not a sports car, doesn't handle like one, I give plenty of cushion when driving, drive a 63MPH in the slow lane and if the semi's can make it, so can I. Love what you do and don't sweat the small stuff. Now I climb off the soapbox!
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Old 06-20-2013, 08:19 AM   #38
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I don't think the Class "A" is Dangerous......It's some of the people that think they can pilot them. Especially when it comes to the Air Brake System.
Some units are built cheaper than others. My unit handles down the road as good as the MCI highway coach I had.
As far as Safety............It all comes down to the operator. Knowledge and Experience.
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Old 06-20-2013, 08:56 AM   #39
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Thanks everyone! We are going to give Class A another look.
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:04 AM   #40
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Sounds like a bunch of bs to me. I feel a lot safer driving my Mh than I do driving a passenger car or light duty truck. Just drive defensivly and use your brain. Don't get in a hurry and leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle ahead. My tag axel is a great addition and I wouldn't be without it. Period!!
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:18 AM   #41
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Roll over. I am convinced if I have a blow out on the front that is going to put me in a ditch and I will roll over. This thread has relieved me a lot from that issue, after reading about the experiences of other posters talk about seeing units go in deep ditches and down steep sides without rolling. I own a 1998 Chevrolet tracker. When I bought my new 2006 silverado diesel pickup collision insurance for my tracker cost more. When I asked my insurance agent why he checked and the tracker is considered more dangerous because of roll over issues. Just because something is smaller does not make it safer

Air Bags. I believe an earlier poster had the right idea. I am not sure where you could mount air bags that would do any good for the passenger for sure and probably for the driver.

No front end protection is a problem. If you hit a car or pickup probably going to be more of a problem for them than you. If you hit a semi or bus is going to hurt. You do have a big diesel generator down where a car engine would be but it is not going to make much difference if you hit something big. I read the post by the person about stopping distances. I wish I could follow his guidelines. The reality is that in any kind of traffic around cities if I try to follow his guidelines I would never get around the city. Cars would pass me and cut in too soon I would hit my brakes to get the 4 seconds and more cars would pass and I would hit my brakes and more cars would pass until I was stopped on the highway and expllaining to some officer why I was parked on the highway. I slow down when I cannot have a decent interval and trust to those huge air brakes on the Class A to stop me.

Wind can be a problem you have to be more careful in high wind conditions. Normally wind does not bother the coach that much. On one of my first big trips I was on I-40 in New Mexico in the middle of a thunderstorm I only had about twenty miles to go to get to my RV park. I was travelling beside a big mountain on the right with a small valley ahead of me and then another mountain. When I got out of the shelter of the first mountain the wind being funneled through that valley hit the side of the camper and pushed me half way into the other lane. I did not expect that to happen and was not prepared for it. Now I drive more prepared and have never had a problem since.

I drove a 3/4 ton diesel pickup with a 10,000 pound 5th wheel behind it. I was never comfortable driving that. Even though the 5th wheel had its own bakes when i got to the bottom of some steep grades the brakes chattered a bit when I was stopping. The Class A with a jake brake has no problems with steep grades. I just energize the Jake brake and let it slow me down. When I went to yosemite the mountain from the campground was very steep and long just continuous switch backs. I just took my time and let the motor home idle down it. When I came to a pull off area I pulled off and let traffic pass by me. I never had one moment of worry. That was not the case with the 5th wheel on a lot less steep or long grades.

Driving the Class A was a lot easier than I though it would be I have a 38foot Tiffin Allegro Bus. There is a learning process on how to make turns. To get into the narrow road leading to my house I actually drive to the point my front cap is even with the far side ditch of the road. I cut sharp and then I can turn my MH with the SUV behind it into the road without hitting the trees at the entrance. Backing into a spot at an RV park is the same way. It is a lot easier to get the MH into a space than it was the 5th wheel.

If you had doubts just go to the nearest RV park and ask some of the owners of RV's that you see there what there opinion is. Most of the people I have met have been very sociable and will tell you what they like or do not like about their units. They can also tell you some of the practical things that you would not think about for instance. I have a remote controlled spot light on my unit. I thought that was cute when I bought the motor home but could not imagine a practical use for it. Now when I pull into a campground at night and cannot see the signs telling me which campsite is which, I can shine the spotlight on them and read them. I would be lost without it. There are other things of a similar nature that would be nice to know before you buy.
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:37 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by SocioSam View Post
Thanks everyone! We are going to give Class A another look.

If you like it, get it and don't look any further, and have fun

Motor Homing since 92, camping since the early 50's


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