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Old 04-23-2015, 07:58 AM   #1
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Class A or C

Here it goes. I'm new and want an RV to tak my wife and three sons 7,6, and 4 around the nation post military. I have driven lots of vehicles but am first time RV man. I have tons of questions. First are Class A's a bit much for a novice? Start there for now. Looking forward to this. Let me know if this is the right forum. Thanks
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Old 04-23-2015, 08:30 AM   #2
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Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined us!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 04-23-2015, 08:30 AM   #3
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I have only owned Class A's but have travelled in Class C's. Class C's may be a little cheaper to purchase, but in my opinion, a Class A is the way to go. There is absolutely no comparison when it comes to visability for your passengers while driving, the Class A wins hands down. I think that this alone would be a selling point with your young children while you are on the road. If you are looking for the ultimate in ride, reduced engine noise levels and performance in the higher elevations in the Western US, consider a Class A diesel pusher. By the way, thank you for your service!
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Old 04-23-2015, 08:37 AM   #4
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I owned a Class C for ~12 years and then upgraded to a Class A.

The Class C was on a Ford Chassis, so from a mechanical view point is was just like owning a big gas truck. The Class C did not have any elaborate electrical systems, basically all the lighting was 12 volts and had 120 to all the outlets. No inverter, solar, energy management system.

The Class A is a 2002 Windsor. It is on a heavy chassis with Cummins 350 ISC engine, air brakes, Allison transmission. Overall it's not to hard to maintain, Oil changes are similar to gas coach. Has fuel filters, spin on type so not hard to change. Lubing the chassis takes time, I have numerous zerk fittings (+30 total) on the rear drive axle and front axle brakes along with zerks on steering component, not hard just takes time and have to make sure your get them all. Overall the maintenance isn't harder just takes more time. I have 100K miles on the coach and my brakes are still in good shape, probably have another 50K before considering changing.

I think the big issue with the Class A's is if you are having problems. Trouble shooting the systems is usually complicated but with the IRV2 forums you can usually get good advice and help.

My electrical system involves a battery bank, inverter which provides both the 12 volt and 120 volts. The inverter can provide 120 volt power when not hooked to shore power and not running generator, which is a nice feature. I also have 320 watt solar charging power on roof for boon docking. If needed a 7500 watt generator which can be set up to automatically start if batteries are depleted.

Now that I have owned a Class A it don't see myself ever going back to a Class C. Lots more room and amenities that make it more comfortable.
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Old 04-23-2015, 08:43 AM   #5
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LOL
I have owned both, first a Class C, then Class A, then Class C and now back to Class A. I find A's to be larger and roomier better visability and most definitely more useable space. A Class C has a lot of wasted space up front in the drivers area if the seats wont swivel to make use of them for the coach. I personally would not buy another class C. If you want mobility a Class C has advantages, hence we bought the last class C to take to Alaska without a towed vehicle.
Good luck making your decision. Do lots of shopping with the wife and listen to her opinions. Buy the wrong thing and guaranteed you will hear about it for a LONG time! LOL
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Old 04-23-2015, 08:45 AM   #6
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Thank you for the good word. I appreciate it. Every time I look at the class A I just think it would be better due to family size. Any recommendations for a good older starter model? Thank you.
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Old 04-23-2015, 08:47 AM   #7
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Yes. My wife will definitely have input. You speak wise words. Thanks again.
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Old 04-23-2015, 09:04 AM   #8
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I cant offer you any suggestions for models. Class A's are big but there are many advantages and not to much trouble for a novice. I always dreamed of hitting the road and not camping per see in a tent so often, and/or staying over night in a hotel afterwards. Finally saved enough money and went searching between a class c and class a. Both are comfortable and very nice. Its to each individual's desires. Drive one of each. And see what fits you. I loved the class C but my son didn't and just didn't like the styles. He felt to cramped in or maybe he knew I wanted a class A. So on his word it was a class A. I haven't regretted the choice. Just haven't been to many places yet because he is still in school until the end of May. Weekend trips don't count! I say check out all the brands and buying locally. Take your time on your choice and you wont regret it. Safe traveling. No more of that "p" outside anymore for us boys, but it sure was good to do that. Those times are gone, I don't have to stop anymore for that either. Lol.
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Old 04-23-2015, 09:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by realmccoy196 View Post
Thank you for the good word. I appreciate it. Every time I look at the class A I just think it would be better due to family size. Any recommendations for a good older starter model? Thank you.
lol, wow that opens up a pandoras box! When it comes to Class A's you are going to be looking at Gas models, almost all the manufacturers offer entry models. I personally don't have an issue with entry models and have just bought another one myself, a Thor ACE model 29.3. Over the years I have seen many a higher class models, problem is when it comes to the coach itself not the chassis you are looking at pretty much the same components as the entry model, fridge stove ac. I would rather pay them less and make any mods I would like myself.

Don't fall into the thought that this is like buying a car because it is not. Rv manufactuers are not held to a standard like a car, they are rushed through production with little attention to detail. When you purchase I recommend pulling off covers and crawling into and peering into every space you can find. They are notorius for leaving water fittings loose, wires bare screws loose etc. Do yourself a favor and go over the coach with a fine tooth comb when you get one. No sense taking little stuff back to the dealer to fix as you will do without your coach and there is no guarantee they will fix it right.

PS: I enjoy fixing this stuff and knowing that it is right, if you like to tinker you will also enjoy it. Sometimes it is frustrating at what you find but not as frustrating as if you didn't find it and it causes an issue
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Old 04-23-2015, 11:31 AM   #10
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I will put my 2 cents in and say class A. I have 3 kids 1,5,and 8 and can relate to your situation. I can't tell you what model but I will suggest a bunk model. In our last class A DW and I just had the kids sleep on the couch and dinette as well as a pack-an-play. We just purchased a National surf side 34E bunk model, after looking at other bunk models this one fit our needs the best. The main reason we did not get any of the other bunk models is because of a lack of a door to the 'master' most just has a 'paper/screen' type divider and did not work for us. Bunks make a world of difference, the kids get there own area and there stuff is more confined. Good luck on your search and walk through as many as you can.
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Old 04-23-2015, 12:11 PM   #11
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first off enjoy your search be it class C or Class A. As far as novice and class A is concerned. We took the jump and started with a class A 36ft gas. Not a problem with driving that size RV. There is a period of getting comfortable with what's under your rear but believe everyone is apprehensive when they first drive something new to them. We took a bunch of weekend trips at first. We just got a new to us 2010 DP in Jan. and it was the same but just took a 2 week trip from Indiana through the Smokies to Ft. Bragg for hubby's job and bout quarter way there he was relaxed and happy with the DP. Have to agree with the advice the others have given. Think Class A would be best for family of 5.

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Old 04-23-2015, 12:26 PM   #12
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We first dipped our toes into RVing with a Class C. For what it is worth, we found the C to be more difficult to share the trip with the kids. Our C had the driver and passenger sitting lower than the "house" part of the rig. This meant that the kids sitting at the table could not see out the front which made the trip almost as much fun as just being on a bus. That one item alone was what spurred us to get an A.

To find what brands may work for you, you first need to set a budget. How much do you want to spend to purchase the unit and to maintain it? An A will probably get worse mileage than a C and a diesel will cost more in maintenance and fuel but will last longer and more than likely have a greater resale value when you are done using it or looking to upgrade.

Lots of decisions and looking can be fun but arduous.
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Old 04-23-2015, 12:43 PM   #13
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I almost bought a C class, it drove well had rented a few and I was afraid of the A's cause of their size. Never drove an A and a C seemed manageable so I mentally eliminated A's from my options to explore. I went to the lot and spent 1-2 hours in the C that I was interested in and tried to visualize spending more time in it. It was a rainy day and the dark clouds helped me feel trapped in the small area. Went and looked at the A's and the 3 slides gave it a very ope feel. Took a test drive and it actually felt easier and safer to drive so I overcame that fear very quickly. That opened my mind to the Class A's and the search began. I found the perfect floor plan for us and never looked back. More space makes a big big difference for me with traveling with pets etc. With your size of a family an A class will make your life happier. So make sure you test drive one before you rule them out.
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Old 04-23-2015, 03:48 PM   #14
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One thing, and I think is a major one, is safety. Think about driver and passenger air bags, that are federally mandated for cars...Class C's have them, class A do not.

This illegal texting/cellphone usage while operating a motor vehicle is way out of hand. You see all the time. Looks like erratic/drunk drivers.

The increase in head on collisions and or sideswipes in opposite directions are on the rise, just look at the news or read the papers. The double yellow line between you and the texting drivers are just that, a line.

The roads are not as safe as they were even 10 years ago, not by a long shot with these distracted drivers.

I prefer airbags and a crumple zone, that have been tested to save lives and minimize injuries in these type of increasing numerous collisions, than a few more feet of living room.

Another is emergency exits. I know all RV comes with an emergency exit, usually a glass window that can be pushed out. But supposed the RV catches fire, and your entry door is blocked by fire, like the Class A fire last week in Florida. The occupants had to get squeeze through the emergency exit. Not an easy feat if you are a person of size, out of shape, and or carrying an unconscious person or animal.

The Class C has 2 more emergency exits, the passenger and driver door, and is a heck of a lot easier to escape, than climbing through a window...

Best of luck in your choice






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Here it goes. I'm new and want an RV to tak my wife and three sons 7,6, and 4 around the nation post military. I have driven lots of vehicles but am first time RV man. I have tons of questions. First are Class A's a bit much for a novice? Start there for now. Looking forward to this. Let me know if this is the right forum. Thanks
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