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Old 06-19-2013, 04:24 PM   #1
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Are Class A dangerous?

We are planning to purchase an RV in the next 3 months. We have been looking at various models, talking to friends who RV, and reading blogs.

One article recommended against Class A calling them dangerous because 1) they are top heavy and tend to rollover, 2) the have no front end protection because motor is under it, 3) no air bags, 4) harder to drive especially when windy.

But we like the layout of Class A.

Can you help us out? Thanks for any suggestions.
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Old 06-19-2013, 04:27 PM   #2
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Any vehicle is only as safe as the driver.

Have driven Class A's for over 100k miles. You drive slower, give more space cushion, use engine braking on the downhills, and pull over and sleep when you are tired. And blow that air horn when things are in your way!
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Old 06-19-2013, 04:28 PM   #3
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Old 06-19-2013, 04:31 PM   #4
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Pure baloney.

I could provide details but it is not worth the typing.

Find something you like and get camping!
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Old 06-19-2013, 04:32 PM   #5
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I don't think they are more dangerous. A different driving experience yes but not dangerous. Any vehicle with a high ceiling will be more tipsy. Even some earlier SUVs were. Never seen one in an accident but you sit pretty high. You may just end up with a roof under your feet instead.
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Old 06-19-2013, 04:38 PM   #6
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Class A is a configuration, not a specific model or make. I would say there are some ClassAs out here that are dangerous , ones that are gas powered and have lighter chassis for the size of the box that it sits on....that's just for starters.Disregard what you have been told, it's false info. To generalize.
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Old 06-19-2013, 04:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SocioSam View Post
We are planning to purchase an RV in the next 3 months. We have been looking at various models, talking to friends who RV, and reading blogs.

One article recommended against Class A calling them dangerous because 1) they are top heavy and tend to rollover, 2) the have no front end protection because motor is under it, 3) no air bags, 4) harder to drive especially when windy.

But we like the layout of Class A.

Can you help us out? Thanks for any suggestions.
Well, I personally disagree with all that!

Most of the weight is down low, i.e. diesel engine, transmission, chassis, generator, etc.

As for front-end protection, I guess it depends on what you hit! You are sitting up so high that if you hit a normal-sized truck or car the main impact will be below you. Also, the seats are several feet back from the front windshield.

It's true that our older model does not have driver or passenger air bags. I'm not sure about late model coaches.

My MH is as easy to drive as my little Nissan Frontier pickup, and a LOT more comfortable! Of course, you have to get accustomed to the large size but that was not a problem for me, and I had never driven a large vehicle like that before! We took a trip out west last spring, traveling over 7000 miles through some really windy conditions, and I had no problems with stability!

I can only speak for myself and my motorhome. I realize the comfort and stability can vary widely depending on the model. Just do a LOT of research before you decide what to buy. It will definitely pay off in the end!

We pulled a 5er for 10 years before getting the Class A. We were very apprehensive about making the change, but now we love it!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 06-19-2013, 04:43 PM   #8
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Item 1) - maybe tip a bit more but not particularly prone to rolling over. A Ford F53 box truck is on the same chassis.

Item 2) - You're still behind a lot of things, including the radiator, the front leaf springs and quite a lot of the engine.

Item 3) - Not sure about current models. Our '02 has a steering wheel mounted air bag but I'm not sure about the passenger side.

Item 4) - Driving a Class A is different than a car and they take some time to get used to the differences.

We used to have a 26' Class C and hated the floor plan. Also, I disliked having to duck my head when moving from the house to the driver's seat. Also, many C's have a very long tail overhang behind the rear wheels which I think makes them trickier to drive when it's windy than an A. We're pleased with our current rig.
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Old 06-19-2013, 04:49 PM   #9
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Nonsense. Class A's including gassers are safe assuming you drive safely. I have owned class b, class c, and class a. Have felt safe in all of them. My preference is A's due to the storage and visibility.
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Old 06-19-2013, 04:50 PM   #10
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Way too general advice. I would much rather be in our coach that ways around 35000 lbs with air brakes than our 5th wheel which was 13000 lbs towed by a 5000 lb truck.
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Old 06-19-2013, 05:00 PM   #11
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Get any wheels rolling on the open road and you are no longer "safe". Safe in life would be living in a plastic bubble.

We have had our class A in some pretty good wind storms and came out fine. Just pull over and rest if it is too windy.

On a side note, there are plenty of TT and 5th wheels that tip over too.
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Old 06-19-2013, 05:01 PM   #12
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Go for the "A" if that's what you like - the same basic chassis style used in a bus or UPS/FedEx/Bread truck - just take it slow and easy, these do not have sports car performance/handling but with defensive driving they have manageable safety levels. Thinking ahead helps a lot.
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Old 06-19-2013, 05:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankdamp View Post
Item 1)

Item 3) - Not sure about current models. Our '02 has a steering wheel mounted air bag but I'm not sure about the passenger side.

.
Have you checked to see if you have an airbag prove out light. Most F53 chassis have the airbag steering wheel but no air bag in it. I even double checked the workshop manual and did not see any info on air bags. I even checked up to 2012 F53. The problem I see with air bags on an F53 chassis is if the timing is not correct, the air bag can kill you. Since there is only a frame provided by Ford, they have no idea on how to properly time the deployment base on the body that was installed. Believe it or not, the air bags are timed to deploy at a certain time based on the severity of the crash so your head hits the bag while it is deflating. If the timing is incorrect, your head could hit an inflating bag vs a deflating bag.
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Old 06-19-2013, 05:27 PM   #14
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In addition to what has been posted, been driving a class "A" since 1978. No accidents or problems. One needs to use their brain to ensure one knows they are not driving a car and should not drive a class "A" like a car. It is a truck and should be driven with that in mind. conservative driving habits and paying attention to what is around you will go far to making a safe RVing environment.

Much of our travels is with family and extended family. I would not do it if it was not safe.
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