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Old 06-09-2014, 03:33 PM   #1
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Structural Integrity of Class A

I found a site that claimed up to 50% of Class A's are structurally unsound and will not sustain a collision at 20mph without serious damage to the coach and occupants. I find this hard to believe. Is this true?
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Old 06-09-2014, 03:43 PM   #2
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I found a site that claimed up to 50% of Class A's are structurally unsound and will not sustain a collision at 20mph without serious damage to the coach and occupants. I find this hard to believe. Is this true?
Resist,

If you want meaningful responses, you should probably post a link to the site you found so responders can also read it. I'd find it hard to believe as well, although the fiberglass cap on many Class A's is rather fragile and might well sustain some significant damage at 20mph. Without reading what the article has to say, I wouldn't think that would impact the driver and passenger with "serious damage" if they were wearing seat belts.
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Old 06-09-2014, 03:47 PM   #3
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I would bet structurally, they are as "sound" as possible. Some class A RV have a cage that says it offers more protection. Survivability, in a severe frontal crash would be iffy. You sit forward of the front tires so the crumple zone/crush area will be greatly reduced. Having said that, I will still be driving ours down the road as long as I am able.
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Old 06-09-2014, 03:57 PM   #4
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Yep, sitting above or ahead of the front axle pretty much makes your legs part of the crumble zone . Advantage to the C's and Super C's.

But, look how much better off you are than a motorcyclist.
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Old 06-09-2014, 04:05 PM   #5
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I know WBGO drops their units on the roof (I think) from about 10-20 feet to check for shell integrity. When we did the factory tour they begin with a film showing the degree of care that they use, the steel box that surrounds the front of the coach and the drop test. All walls are also built out of tube steel and all attachments are backed up by a metal plate in the wall.

I heard that a guy who works on or near the Alaskan highway has seen many units, (mostly TT's) that had cabinets and fridges on the floor after a trip along that highway. I think the road is better than it used to be.

Most accidents are caused by driver error(s). Driving to fast for conditions, recklessly, etc. We all know that stuff. WE on the other hand may be a target for those STUPID drivers. My brother had a head-on with a pick-up in the FL panhandle on I-10. The other driver was driving to fast for rainy conditions and hydroplaned from the other lane. Both survived with little body harm but both vehicles were totaled. Thank God for air bags.

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Old 06-09-2014, 04:15 PM   #6
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I found a site that claimed up to 50% of Class A's are structurally unsound and will not sustain a collision at 20mph without serious damage to the coach and occupants. I find this hard to believe. Is this true?
Actually I don't find this hard to believe at all. Although I doubt that a simple 20 mph crash would typically cause a great deal of personal injury, I can only imagine the damage that my 40DP would experience in such a collision and it isn't pretty.

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Old 06-09-2014, 04:18 PM   #7
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Yep, sitting above or ahead of the front axle pretty much makes your legs part of the crumble zone . Advantage to the C's and Super C's.



But, look how much better off you are than a motorcyclist.

My up-front 10K gen set and associated frame will stop enough iron to matter.
And a car is too low to matter.
And, for whatever matter, I am not worried.


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Old 06-09-2014, 04:51 PM   #8
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I think RV's are so large and heavy they tend to push through most collisions and loose energy slowly. I think in an automotive style frontal collision with a rapid transfer of energy into fixed object they would do really poorly at 20MPH. I would expect in a traffic intersection they would perform quite differently. I watch out for walls!
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Old 06-09-2014, 05:01 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=TeJay;2088229]I know WBGO drops their units on the roof (I think) from about 10-20 feet to check for shell integrity. When we did the factory tour they begin with a film showing the degree of care that they use, the steel box that surrounds the front of the coach and the drop test. All walls are also built out of tube steel and all attachments are backed up by a metal plate in the wall.

The walls are mostly built out of tube aluminum. Many have a steel structure around the front cap. Only coaches built on a semi monocoque chassis have side walls and roofs frames with steel tubing.


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Old 06-09-2014, 05:10 PM   #10
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If you want meaningful responses, you should probably post a link to the site you found so responders can also read it.
Class A Motorhomes - RV Consumer Group
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Old 06-09-2014, 06:25 PM   #11
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Well, my Class A rear ended another car and then a pick-up truck at about 50 mph after a brake failure. Sustained $50k in damages. Totaled the other car & truck, of course. I got a bump on my shin and my wife was uninjured. Things broke and cabinet doors opened, but no "missiles" came flying through the air, we were not crushed by furniture, and the vehicle frame protected us as rather well. Having a 35, 000+ lb advantage over the other vehicles was a big factor. So was our height advantage - only our feet were near the crush zone. Now, if we had hit a bridge at that speed, the story would surely be a lot different.

The boys and girls over at RV Consumer Group are text book experts and, in my opinion, really don't know much about RVs, or how they perform or what happens in accidents. They are right to cite the general lack of safety features, but their conclusions seem "over the top" to me.
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Old 06-09-2014, 07:55 PM   #12
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The fact that class A's don't have any front bumpers behind the front shell tells me all I need to know...
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Old 06-09-2014, 08:03 PM   #13
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Most cars would sustaine serious damage at 20 miles per hour let alone a Class A!Atleast monetarily. Has anyone been to a Paint and Body shop lately?
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Old 06-09-2014, 09:03 PM   #14
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Here is a picture of my identical motorhome (even the same color) that was involved in a front end crash. I don't know what they hit or anything about it but if you look, the front wheel is still intact. Not sure if anyone was injured but it obviously took one hell of a hit. The Panther is on the S-series Roadmaster chassis with welded steel frame around the house. The rest of the body appears to be in good shape.
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