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Old 08-15-2012, 03:03 PM   #1
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Drivability of class A vs. C

I wanted to get some opinions from those of you with experience driving both class A and class C RV's. I currently have a used class A (2003 national RV Sea Breeze 8311 LX) that drives fairly well, esp after putting on steer safe, but will still get on some roads with deep ruts that cause problems. Also seems to be a bit noisy, esp when going up hill or increasing speed and engine revs. Am planning on keeping this rig for another 3-4 years, then will probably get a new rig to last the remaining 10-15 years I plan to travel. Don't think I can convince the wife to full-time, but will probably do some 1-2 mos trips per year, not enough mileage to really make a DP feasible. (although used DP not out of the question, but I am really thinking of a new rig that I can learn inside and out and make sure is properly cared for). I am already starting my research, and I have seen some pretty neat class C's (winnebago aspect and itasca cambria 30C's, and the nexus viper, all with 3 slides) that would seem to have enough room for our needs. It would seem to me that class C's would be less noisy, as engine up front, and may have less wind noise against windshield. It would also seem that front tires would track correctly in road grooves if present, and require less correction. Are these correct assumptions? Any other pro's/cons? Any and all opinions appreciated.
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Old 08-15-2012, 03:20 PM   #2
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My father had a class C. Ive had two class A's, one gas the other DP. The DP is by far the best and most stable of the bunch and also quieter. Not knowing your cash flow, I would highly recommend a newer used unit. The bugs have already been worked out (all new ones have them) and the previous owner has already eaten the deprciation for you. It's a buyers market right now. You can get a nice used DP for half or less the cost of a new class C.
Just my humble opinion...
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Old 08-15-2012, 03:52 PM   #3
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I had a new 06 Winne Aspect 26' for 6 years, traded in last year for this 05 DP. No comparison. The Aspect on a 450 chassis and V10 gasser rode like it was on concrete tires, engined roared, wind noise was OK, wind and road wiggle was acceptable, storage was bad, living area with slide was nice. I like to boon-dock so water tanks were a bit on the small side. Power in the mountains pulling my Wrangler was good. Had some issues but not more or less then any other rig.
My new (to me) rig rides like a Cadillac, has lots of power, storage, water capacity (2x). Driving is only slightly different as you have to learn that the steering wheels are just behind you, not out front, and this rig is 8 feet longer so corners are a bit more watchful. But costs are higher so if that is an issue. . .
Bottom line is that I wanted something bigger and easier and nicer to drive - got it. We do not use the entertainment center or need 'nice' house stuff/fluff so I went with a lower end used DP. Saving on a used model I had the money to add after market goodies.
I do miss out on some camp grounds though as many Forest Service and Park Service CG's are not big rig friendly so there are trade offs, each has there niche.
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Old 08-15-2012, 06:45 PM   #4
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I can only give info on gas powered units. I had one mini C which drove better than most pickups and one full size C and two A's. The C was a Coachman 31KS with the E450 V-10. The first A was a Tiffin 37DB and the current A, pictured below, is a Vista 26P. Once I got the air pressure on the front tires adjusted, the handling,ride and mpg's beat was far better than either one of the A'. The maneuverability and view on the A's is far better than I expected and is much better than any C and I could turn in a a circle and u-turns Tiffin that the Class c would not even come close. The big issue for us was the increased storage and room on the class C. I've got far better storage on the Vista 26P than I had on the 31 foot C.
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:37 PM   #5
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I have a 2009 Winnebago Chalet 31' Class C Gasser and a 2009 Safari Cheetah 40' Class A DP.

No comparison the class beats the C hands down for ride, comfort, handling, etc...

I can easily put in 14 hours behind the wheel of the Class A, after 6 hours behind the wheel of the Class C I am beat and sore.
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by La.Paul View Post
I wanted to get some opinions from those of you with experience driving both class A and class C RV's. I currently have a used class A (2003 national RV Sea Breeze 8311 LX) that drives fairly well, esp after putting on steer safe, but will still get on some roads with deep ruts that cause problems. Also seems to be a bit noisy, esp when going up hill or increasing speed and engine revs. Am planning on keeping this rig for another 3-4 years, then will probably get a new rig to last the remaining 10-15 years I plan to travel. Don't think I can convince the wife to full-time, but will probably do some 1-2 mos trips per year, not enough mileage to really make a DP feasible. (although used DP not out of the question, but I am really thinking of a new rig that I can learn inside and out and make sure is properly cared for). I am already starting my research, and I have seen some pretty neat class C's (winnebago aspect and itasca cambria 30C's, and the nexus viper, all with 3 slides) that would seem to have enough room for our needs. It would seem to me that class C's would be less noisy, as engine up front, and may have less wind noise against windshield. It would also seem that front tires would track correctly in road grooves if present, and require less correction. Are these correct assumptions? Any other pro's/cons? Any and all opinions appreciated.
With our '99 F53 chassis, we had to put on a front trac-bar to take care of those darn ruts in the pavement. Put on a rear trac-bar the following year to take care of the "tail wagging the dog" rear suspension. The problem with the ruts are they are a tad wider than the motor home front tires. this means that the front tires are always trying to climb the edges of the ruts. So fix your suspension and keep the class A.
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:55 PM   #7
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Drove a C for 5 years, it was a '92 so really can't compare to a new one. We have a '99 National A now and love it. Would never go to a C again no matter how nice it was. Our C was noisey and hot up front and overall much harder to live it. This was a Ford 460.

Our Ford V10 on the F53 is much better. A 5 Star Tune will eliminate the downshifting when cresting hills. The "Cheap Handling Fix" will elimimate a lot of handling issues making it a pleasure to drive.
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Old 08-15-2012, 08:42 PM   #8
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I drove a super C for a couple of years before I traded for a DP. The C drove ok up to about 55mph, then it would get a little squirrely. Wind noise was an issue, but engine noise wasn't any more offensive than a pickup truck. Now the DP drives great. No wandering, trucks don't bother it, but heavy duty cross winds can make it interesting.
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Old 08-15-2012, 08:54 PM   #9
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Have you looked at a "Super C" ? Their weight carrying capacity, cost and drive train options are very similar to a front engine (diesel or gas) class A. They drive like a big pick up, handling issues are not as pronounced as the class A's .
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Old 08-15-2012, 08:59 PM   #10
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We have a 2005 Winnebago Aspect 26A. Had some handling issues but added a Steer Safe and 90% of the road wobble is gone.
We love this motorhome. However it's the only one we've owned, having come from a TT. It's easy to drive, handles like a van, goes anywhere a car can go (mostly), and is very comfortable for the two of us.
The storage is horrible though. On the plus side we have learned to take only what we need and live with it. Our TT had lots of storage by comparison but we took way more stuff on trips that we never used.
We've even gotten used to the corner bed , which is a deal breaker for many. (new ones have real beds)
Gas mileage ~10mpg@60mph, not bad all things considered.
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Old 09-15-2012, 05:37 PM   #11
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Well, I broke down and added a front and rear trac bar, and for good measure added an auxiliary rear sway bar. Already have a steer safe. Haven't had time yet to test it all out, but going on a trip this weekend on a road with fairly significant ruts, am anxious to see how it all works. I have previously checked axle weights and weight distribution is good, tire pressure will be 85 lbs which is what specs call for. The steer safe really helped, but am trying to get as close to "hands free" steering as possible on this 32ft 2003 sea breeze, as I plan some longer trips next summer. Thanks for all the input. I did test drive a 30ft aspect class c over labor day weekend, not sure it was much different than my class A, seemed to require frequent correction at 60 mph.
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Old 09-15-2012, 05:47 PM   #12
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I've had several Class A's and a Class C ( Winnebago Rialta) and they all have had issues with road ruts. The Rialta was probably worse due to the front and rear wheels not being inline. If you are looking for a quieter ride then you will need to look for a rear engine unit which will be a DP or a very rare gas pusher.
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