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Old 02-18-2018, 02:55 PM   #1
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Class A gas entry vs mid vs high end on road safety

Hi,

What are folks thoughts on this subject?

My coach is a 2005 entry level one, how would it compare to a newer one?

Thanks,
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Old 02-18-2018, 03:14 PM   #2
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Class C's & Class B's have safety air bags, but I haven't heard of them in any Class A's, but I could be wrong.
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Old 02-18-2018, 03:18 PM   #3
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Interesting question...

Gas compared to gas, probably not much different. It's possible your newer one could have way more issues than your already dialed in unit.

Surely the decor would be different, but I think all in all, it would be an apples to apples comparison with the high end gassers having a few more amenties

Moving to diesel, everything about the chassis is different (and more complex) but they sure do ride nice.

But I'm curious about your title, particularity the words road safety. I'm not sure what you are asking there. Regardless, I personally think all rv's are dangerous in a crash. The cabs are usually reinforced, but from what I can tell, the body behind the cab explodes, rip apart, cabinets fly, refrigerators comes loose and move about the cabin.

With diesels, I know a steer tire blowout can be quickly catastrophic. Lets just say this, stay buckled up! All those folks who get up to go make a sandwich while their better halves drive are taking a real chance
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Old 02-18-2018, 03:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GREGORYJ View Post
Class C's & Class B's have safety air bags, but I haven't heard of them in any Class A's, but I could be wrong.
Hi,

I removed my mention of air bags as may have caused some confusion in my question. I am trying to figure out the safety between different level models.
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Old 02-18-2018, 03:22 PM   #5
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Interesting question...

Gas compared to gas, probably not much different. It's possible your newer one could have way more issues than your already dialed in unit.

Surely the decor would be different, but I think all in all, it would be an apples to apples comparison with the high end gassers having a few more amenties

Moving to diesel, everything about the chassis is different (and more complex) but they sure do ride nice.

But I'm curious about your title, particularity the words road safety. I'm not sure what you are asking there. Regardless, I personally think all rv's are dangerous in a crash. The cabs are usually reinforced, but from what I can tell, the body behind the cab explodes, rip apart, cabinets fly, refrigerators comes loose and move about the cabin.

With diesels, I know a steer tire blowout can be quickly catastrophic. Lets just say this, stay buckled up! All those folks who get up to go make a sandwich while their better halves drive are taking a real chance

Hi,

Thanks for the reply.

I am wondering in the event of an accident and general road safety. I know the differences in fit and finish but not
while driving.

I suppose my question is a mid or high gas model safer to drive than a low end one?
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Old 02-18-2018, 03:34 PM   #6
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Doubt you'd find any crash data which would identify models which might do better in a collision. That being said, I think a coach shod with 22.5 tires vs 19's is safer by design as the handling is improved. Have always felt diesels might be a bit more prone to an engine fire, especially in the event of a rear tire blowout, but this may be total fantasy on my part. Our W22 Workhorse is reliable, reasonably quiet and easy to drive.

The best way to ensure safety on the road is to be the best driver you can be. Look ahead, allow reasonable distance from traffic in front of you, be aware of what is behind you and beside you. Use your mirrors. And maintain reasonable speed. Always surprised by the number of rigs I see doing 70+. The most important thing to me is the "nut" behind the wheel.
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Old 02-18-2018, 03:38 PM   #7
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Doubt you'd find any crash data which would identify models which might do better in a collision. That being said, I think a coach shod with 22.5 tires vs 19's is safer by design as the handling is improved. Have always felt diesels might be a bit more prone to an engine fire, especially in the event of a rear tire blowout, but this may be total fantasy on my part. Our W22 Workhorse is reliable, reasonably quiet and easy to drive.

The best way to ensure safety on the road is to be the best driver you can be. Look ahead, allow reasonable distance from traffic in front of you, be aware of what is behind you and beside you. Use your mirrors. And maintain reasonable speed. Always surprised by the number of rigs I see doing 70+. The most important thing to me is the "nut" behind the wheel.

I hear you on the nut behind the wheel comment. I drive 75-80 in my 4 runner but 55-60 in my MH.
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Old 02-18-2018, 04:35 PM   #8
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Just saw a video on MH crashes. Almost everyone, either gas or diesel that had damage in the front also probably had a fatality. There's not much in front of us to protect us.
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Old 02-18-2018, 05:13 PM   #9
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Not sure about safety but technology has improved a lot since 2005. I know many of the newer Class A Diesel have systems that warn you if you are weaving or if a vehicle cuts into your lane close in front of you. Was looking at Tiffin and they have a system called Mobil Eye. I think you can purchase this system from Mobil Eye and have it installed in any couch regardless of age.
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Old 02-18-2018, 05:32 PM   #10
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in my opinion, I feel nothing in the house portion is safe. Even though the couches have seat belts, they don't help if the entire couch is ejected from the side, or crushed, or bombarded but everything in the house coming loose and flying all over the place.

I specifically did not buy another class A at this time because I couldn't imagine strapping a baby seat to a couch.

From a frontal impact standpoint, being in something like a ShowHauler would make me feel better... (a front engine diesel cab with a nose)
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Old 02-18-2018, 05:52 PM   #11
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My thoughts on the low vs mid vs high end gas RVs. from a safety and driving perspective is that on the mid vs high end you might find a heavier chassis that has more margin on the load. If looking at new it could be a difference of the F53 with the 16K chassis vs an F53 with the 26K chassis. The 26K would have the 22.5 tires and probably a longer wheel base for a given length of RV. I base this on the thought that manufacturers want to keep the cost down and would have more room to put the more costly heavy chassis on a high end rig that will bring a higher price. But the basic frame, engine and transmission areas are the same from the 16K to 26K chassis.

The weight rating might affect how it handles and responds in critical situations but not how the house part responds in a crash.

Then you have how the manufacturer builds the box up front. Within one manufacturers line it probably does not vary much but from manufacturer to manufacturer it can.

These are just my thoughts and has no real scientific backing to support it. Some anecdotal evidence from looking at a lot of RVs at shows.

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Old 02-19-2018, 12:49 AM   #12
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I have no direct experience with major motorhome accidents, thankfully, however based upon the reports and photos posted on forums like this one, it seems most class A accidents with fatalities involve horrific crashes. Such has head on impact into a concrete overpass support column, or rear ending a stationary 18 wheeler at highway speed. Though things may be different when one looks at very old class A coaches, built in the 1990's or earlier. I recall one set of photos, and related news accounts of a head on accident between 2 class A coaches in the pacific northwest, one coach was a recent model (I think) gasoline coach, and the other was a 1980's vintage coach. As I recall the older coach crossed the center line, and hit head on at highway speed in a 50 or 55 mph zone. No fatalities at the scene, I don't know about later, the remarkable thing about the photos though was that the modern (3-5 year old) coach was still mostly intact, though obviously totaled from an insurance perspective where the 30+ year old coach went to pieces.

p.s. keep in mind a lot of this is simple physics, if a 23,000 pound gas class A hits a 4,000 pound small SUV the impact will be roughly 5 times harder in the SUV, though crush zones, air bags, etc. may lesson the felt impact in the SUV to a degree.
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Old 02-19-2018, 01:28 PM   #13
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Thanks all for posting, I do appreciate it.
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Old 02-19-2018, 02:31 PM   #14
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I spent many years involved in aviation safety including accident investigation followed by one year driving a city transit bus and five years driving every kind of school bus including rear engine CNG pushers. Then I started driving and comparing motorhomes to the buses. The school buses are much better designed for safety in all respects except one. That of course is the lack of seat belts for the passengers. I know why they don't and why they still don't. It's $afety spelled with a dollar sign.

Things to consider. As previously pointed out anything or anybody riding behind the steel reinforced driver's compartment is unlikely to survive a tip over much less a roll over. Unsophisticated consumers will pay the big bucks for bling like marble floors, tile backsplashes and granite countertops. They don't stop to think of the cost of adding all that weight to the load the tires, wheels, brakes, axles, engine, transmission and frame must safely carry. The hidden costs are losses in safety and reliability of components that are stressed to their design limits before the owners start loading up their stuff.

Consider structural integrity. Would you prefer steel structural members like they used to use in your sidewalls and roof or the aluminum they use today? Would you prefer a full wall slideout with no bracing the length of the slide or two smaller slides without the big yawning hole in the side of your coach? Would you be willing to forgoe the rear bath and washer and dryer to prevent exceeding your GRAWR or would you rather add a tag axle and added expense of two more tires, wheels and brakes for a marginal improvement?

Most crashes are going to crunch the front of the coach. Where is your entry door? Will it open? Most tip overs in this country end up with the entry door laying on the ground. You ain't going out that one unless maybe it's a mid entry door. It might be laying on the ground but it probably got ripped off with the rest of the coach. How are you going to get out? The exit window on the roadside? It's going to be 8 feet up in the air. Are you tall enough to reach it, operate it and pull yourself and others out? I'm not.

Assume your coach is intact enough that you can and must go out a rear emergency exit window. Unless you have a rear window (like my DP has) your only usable exit is still 8 feet above the part you're standing on. Even if your coach is upright on all wheels it's a long way to the ground out a side emergency exit window. I have rigged a marine docking line into an escape rope with hand and foot loops firmly anchored to the floor where I can put the running end out either of my two bedroom exit windows. My primary rear emergency exit window is the one out the back where my DW and I can easily get out the much larger window, slide on to the seat of the motorcycle, step on to the bike carrier and then to the ground. Almost easy peasy.

I hope I haven't bored anyone. I'm sure some of you may disagree with me. As you can tell I am passionate about this stuff. I have been to way too many memorial services and funerals of friends and squadron mates killed in preventable accidents. Enough is enough.
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