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Old 06-16-2013, 10:45 PM   #1
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Pros and Cons of Driver side door?

We are soon to move from a class C to a class A. We recently had an experience with our class C where the entry door mechanism broke making it impossible to gain entry through the coach door. We had to think what we would have done in a class A had we not been able to gain access through the front doors of the coach.

So we've been evaluated the importance of a driver's side door in shopping for a class A. Besides access, I like the idea of being able to use the door for fuel and other quick stops without having to track through the coach to/from the driver's seat. I feel like I would use it a lot.

Many Tiffin's have the side door, some Newmar's, but it seems more rare in other coaches, although it is an available option on some.

Would be interested to hear from folks on this, particularly those who maybe had some of the same concerns as us while moving from a C to an A.

Thanks much,

Mike
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Old 06-16-2013, 10:48 PM   #2
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I like having it but very rarely use it.
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Old 06-16-2013, 10:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1943D18 View Post
We are soon to move from a class C to a class A. We recently had an experience with our class C where the entry door mechanism broke making it impossible to gain entry through the coach door. We had to think what we would have done in a class A had we not been able to gain access through the front doors of the coach.

So we've been evaluated the importance of a driver's side door in shopping for a class A. Besides access, I like the idea of being able to use the door for fuel and other quick stops without having to track through the coach to/from the driver's seat. I feel like I would use it a lot.

Many Tiffin's have the side door, some Newmar's, but it seems more rare in other coaches, although it is an available option on some.

Would be interested to hear from folks on this, particularly those who maybe had some of the same concerns as us while moving from a C to an A.

Thanks much,

Mike
I don't have a drivers door and don't miss it. In fact it seems odd when I get in the toad after a couple days of driving.

Many bigger things to be concerned about I would think. Like to overall floor-plan of the coach.

Just my thoughts only...
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Old 06-16-2013, 11:19 PM   #4
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You gain valuable space without one and no issues of noise from a door that does not seal. I would not have an A with a driver door. When getting fuel I sit on my steps and put on paper booties and gloves. Climbing down a tall rv from a driver door would be a bit dangerous with paper on my shoes. Diesel stations are often very greasy and the booties show it;.
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Old 06-17-2013, 12:03 AM   #5
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We have a driver's door and use it often. Convenient for access to or from that side of the MH. (Hook-ups and compartments- My fuel door is only on the passenger side.)

Another advantage is an alternate exit if the main door is blocked or inoperative.. However the setup on my MH would not easily provide an alternate entrance if the main door had you locked out. The driver's door has a normally closed clamping latch at the top that does well at sealing the door and preventing air noise, but would prevent the door from opening from outside without damage... Of course that may be necessary....

I prefer having the driver's door..
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:10 AM   #6
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Our MH has a drivers door which I use often. We travel with dogs so it make egress a lot easier than fighting with the pack as the try to get out as soon as the main door opens when stopping for fuel or a refreshment stop.

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Old 06-17-2013, 09:31 AM   #7
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I would love to have a MH with a driver's side door! My main reason would be safety. If I were to roll the coach and it ends up laying on the passenger side then the driver's door would provide an escape without trying to get the windshield out. To each his own!
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:37 AM   #8
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A pro to a drivers side door is the exercise you would get using it. Seems it would build upper body strength as well as some leg strength. Force yourself to use it and in 6 weeks notice in your strength.
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:37 AM   #9
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I love mine, both my old Winnebago Adventurer had one and my current Tiffin.
It adds an alternate exit. I did need it once when the main door latch failed which is not an isolated problem with them. Not common but not uncommon.

I use it getting fuel. The thing I love most about it, is the electric window. Handiest thing at toll booths or if you have to have interaction with someone parking you etc....
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:21 AM   #10
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We have one on our old coach (98 Pace Arrow) and I hardly ever use it although I do use it once in a while. My biggest complaint is that ours makes quite a bit of wind noise so I'd rather not have it.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:58 AM   #11
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Ours has one and I like it but its kinda a pain I have a bad back and its hard to get in and out. "But" I would want one after seeing a MH on fire on the side of the inter-state with the gal trying to get out the drivers window even with the help of a passing motorist, he got her out but only after she suffered burns to her upper body. Wind noise not a problem on our I always have the window open (no Electric either)
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:11 AM   #12
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We have one on ours, and I have used it more often than I thought I would.

Yes, its nice to be able to hop out from the drivers side to take on fuel, or more recently, to jump out and punch in my access code to the storage lot where she sleeps. (The keypad is only 4.5 feet off the ground)

Using the driver door as an emergency exit seems to be a double edged sword. If you're driving and something happens and you need to escape, that's fine. If you're set up on-site and the captain chairs are turned to face towards the living area, then the seat back of the drivers chair is completely blocking the exit, right up against the driver door. It's extremely difficult to twist the chair, back into driving position, just to climb over it to escape.

The one thing I do like about the drivers door, is the opportunity to have pretty open access to the underside of the dash for wiring, and vacuuming, should the need arise. It's much easier to get under there, than trying to be a contortionist, or worse; having to remove the drivers seat all together.
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:30 AM   #13
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Have one - hate the damned thing. I have to use it to get out when the rig is docked in its storage location alongside the garage, but I put a step-ladder outside before I dock it.

My dislike of it stems from an incident at a CG on the first night of a planned two-week trip. I was getting out that side because of the two Labradors milling about at the house door. When I put my right foot down to the "stirrup" step, I missed it and started to fall out backwards. Since we were parked on a concrete pad, that seemed a tad dangerous, so I grabbed hold of the steering wheel and the aft edge of the door frame and pulled myself back up.

Luckily, we'd included the Tramadol pain medication that had been prescribed for our chocolate Lab and taking that calmed my back pain down for the time it took to get home. Lumbar spinal surgery followed shortly afterwards (displaced and extruded L4-L5 disk).

I would NOT have a driver's door on a front-engined rig unless there was an extendable ladder to get past the LH front wheel. At 70+. I'm not supple enough to use the regular type safely.
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:45 AM   #14
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our '97 Aire has the front door..and I really like it..the door does not leak air and I like the window being electric also...some don't like the middle entry because of the door but I like the middle entry and since the passenger seat is so much farther ahead I don't lack any space because of it..and of course the slanted front end makes for better wind flow so better milage..jeff
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