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Old 10-28-2015, 01:21 PM   #15
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FWIW I also know people who do not want to sit in the front of the bus with all that glass. There are personal choices with both types that defy logic. We are on our second C, looking at an A, and not sure where it will end up.

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Old 10-28-2015, 03:34 PM   #16
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We've owned both a Class C and our current Class A. Our C was built on a Chevy chassis and our A is built on a Workhorse with a Chevy engine. I never measured either one but just guessing I would say they both had about the same distance in front from the front bumper to the front seats. But our Class A has a much more stout frame and engine in front of the seats than the Class C did. Though I hope to never have an accident and run into someone, especially in a head to head type accident, I'd be willing to bet our Class A would win that battle over the Class C. I admit that different Class A's and Class C's may provide different results. But I do think that we are safer in our Class A than we were in our Class C.

Steve & Nancy
2005 Itasca Sunrise 33', W20 Chassis, Ultrapower, Henderson Trac Bar
2012 Chevy Captiva Sport AWD, ReadyBrute Elite Tow Bar, Blue Ox Base Plate, Protect-A-Tow
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Old 10-28-2015, 05:12 PM   #17
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Recently retired myself, and a year ago had similar questions in our minds. We had previously rented class C's, and looked and DROVE both to finalize what we want. Daughter moving to CO confirmed our direction, as we know we'll be making numerous cross country trips. Bought a DP, and was absolutely the best decision as we've driven thousands of miles now and it's working perfect for us. My wife even drives it.

Since you reference also traveling a lot, I would highly recommend a diesel. The air ride, engine braking on hills, heavier & smoother, fuel/mileage range, and quieter ride make for a very comfortable drive. They say to buy your ultimate coach initially, to avoid having to upgrade later. I took that recommendation, and am glad I did. Everytime we come down a long grade under engine braking and complete control, I am soo thankful I spent the extra bucks for the class A, and a diesel.

After a thousand miles, I doubt you'd feel that it was intimidating at all. Take your time looking, drive a number of different types. Get the coach with the right floorplan that works for you.

If you are going to snowbird it, and not drive much, then save some bucks and get a gas A.
DaveB, Raleigh, NC
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Old 11-04-2015, 03:18 PM   #18
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I had the same question going through my head for a few years and most have addressed the issues I stumbled upon in this thread except:

Because of the fundamental differences between an A and a C, the support of the 2 different types of vehicles is going to be very different too. The depth of custom engineering in an A is way more than a C or a C+. So getting stuff fixed or serviced is going to take a whole lot more planning for an A. For one thing, the dealer option usually disappears with an A especially if it a top end chassis/coach build. Whereas even the largest C+ is on a Ford or Chevy Truck chassis and is essentially the same as your average Texas commuter. And the systems are going to be middle of the road RV spec that can be handled by any RV/Trailer shop if you don't want to DIY.

The second issue I had was the length of the vehicle with a toad or a trailer, An A can pull anything you throw at it but the combination of an A spec 35' minimum coach length and a possible 20' trailer makes truck stops mandatory. That then requires (in my book anyway) major fuel capacity to avoid having to wrestle with the commercial traffic 3 times a day on a cross country trip.

Eventually I settled for the smallest C+ I could find at 28' with the largest towing capacity and ended up with a Born Free on the diesel F550 C&C giving me 20K towing capacity of which I use about half.

This is not for everyone and I would really like to have a 35' model but that would put me in the Commercial lanes. With only 68 gallons of gas, that's twice a day when hauling across country. With this rig I can usually use the end diesel pumps at most regular gas stations.
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Old 11-05-2015, 09:48 AM   #19
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Floor plans are usually the deciding factor. We loved our Class C (and so do the neighbors who purchased it from us) and went through many of the pros and cons listed here when making our decision to move to a Class A. I liked the front doors and the airbags in the Class C, but I liked the increased visibility, height, and livability of the Class A. Having the floor plan that best suited our needs settled the issue. In both cases we purchased a gently used coach on which we had independent inspections done. One purchase was from an individual and one was from a dealer and we were pleased with both experiences.
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Old 11-05-2015, 12:00 PM   #20
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First MH was a nice quality, small C. With a growing family we step up to a large A, and gained over 15' in length, and 1 living room slide. The slide gains nearly 38 sqft, (which may be more sq ft gain than two slides on a C). Our A is a DP, and everything is solid. We love the view out of the front window. We are commonly backed up to a tree line with an unobstructed view out of the front. We are parked tight with our neighbors. So front view is key for 5 months of our use.
I find driving the DP easier due to zero blinds spot side mirrors. My C had blind spots, (but it had the older style ford mirrors). The mirrors on my A are excellent. Just my opinion, I think more drivers seem to give way to my 41ft DP than my 25' C when it comes to entering the freeway and lane changes.
As far as safety, I'm rolling at nearly 30,000lbs vs at about 12,500lbs in my C. My C had a short wheel base, and was much more comfortable at 55-60mph, than 65mph. The DP is rock solid and less fatiging. Our E450 had the dinette behind the driver's seat, limiting seat travel & recline.
Looking back, I wish I initially considered a used 33-35' no-slide A dp, just for the fact that there are some great buys out there on very solid built Cummins/Allison RV's. We paid more for our used C, and had less space, less comfort, and less quality. Still very happy to upgrade to the 41 with the growing family.
Our C was well insulated in the cabin. The Ford cab was an icebox! We use our rig all 12 months, with winter temps down in the teens (F), some nights cooler. The Newmar A is overall better insulated, even with the large front window.

and the Cummins sounds better!!!
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Old 11-05-2015, 12:11 PM   #21
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Both can be nice and will work for your situation depending upon what it is.

If you are looking for small camping then the C is for you. If you are looking for space and amenities perhaps an A would be a better choice.

Sort of like looking at a 800 sq ft house and a 1600 sq ft house. Both will work but which fits your projected needs the most and which do you want?
Gordon and Janet
Tour 42QD/inTech Stacker
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Old 11-05-2015, 01:21 PM   #22
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1) Find a floorplan that fits you both
2) Test drove both and A and C that most closely matches "your" floorplan
3) Then choose for yourself which motorhome best suits you.

I have owned 2 class A's and one class C. The C drove beautifully, the first A was a nightmare to drive (older model) and my current is wonderful. different vehicles, different driving experience. test drive for more than 2 miles!
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Old 11-05-2015, 10:12 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Capt Steve View Post
You might want to Google "motorhome Accidents", I found 47 pages documenting every manner of disaster. Puffery? Seriously?? Please feel free to dispute that vicious pack of facts I posted.
This was a really fascinating exercise, thanks for suggesting it. Have you actually done it? First off, "motorhome accidents" actually has 680,000 hits. "Crop circles" has 7 million, so number of search results is hardly vicious facts. Anyway, I read through and cataloged every hit for the first 30 results. After that, it was primarily mostly repeats of the first 30, and mostly law firms looking for accident victims.

In that set of 30 results, there were 15 different accidents described. In all of those accidents, 12 of them had no major injuries to the motorhome driver or passenger. Two report included fatalities to Class A drivers, and one report included many fatalaties to a fifth wheel. But even still, 15 accidents are "anecdotes", not "data".

Another interesting fact, there was only ONE accident reported with a Class C. Apparantly Class C units don't get into accidents. That or these accidents somehow don't make the web search results.

The closest I could find to an actual rigorous analysis was a 2009 forum post, where the writer examined motorhome safety in general. Sadly, he didn't break out his conclusions by type of RV. His net conclusions was that motorhome travel overall has less than a third the fatality rate of driving in general.
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Old 11-06-2015, 06:13 AM   #24
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I really appreciate all the feedback. Our next stop in the spring is a test drive. We've rented s class C in the past so we're going to rent a class A and give it a try. Thsnks to all and safe travels!😀
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Old 11-12-2015, 02:32 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by nothermark View Post
FWIW I also know people who do not want to sit in the front of the bus with all that glass. There are personal choices with both types that defy logic. We are on our second C, looking at an A, and not sure where it will end up.
Wife and I own a Itasca Sunstar, 27N and DO NOT like "all that glass" AND just have never gotten used to not having driver and passenger doors. This is our 3rd MH, the first two were class C's. We are going to downsize to a 24' C or perhaps a B.
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Old 11-13-2015, 07:50 AM   #26
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Another issue that I have when looking at a C vs. A is the question of where to keep it. Its much easier to handle and house a C unless one has estate size property. Of course this is also an intrinsic issue of buying the minimum rather than the maximum. I have noticed however that the general engineering on an equivalent size A vs. C is superior. For example A series almost always had ducted AC whereas C types are only just introducing it; Class As usually have the Generator mounted up front (pushers) where their vibration is distant from the master whereas C's have them mounted midships where every one can get the buzz.
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Old 11-21-2015, 08:44 PM   #27
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I tow a boat. Launching and retrieving it usually involves many trips in and out the drivers' door. Doing this with a class A would be really annoying. Then there's fuel stops, maneuvering into a campsite, etc. I would go with a C just for a drivers' door.
2005 Chevy CC Dually D/A, 2003 Fleetwood 11X truck camper, 1997 Larson 206SEI boat
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Old 11-21-2015, 09:18 PM   #28
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Ebuss - In general the keys to getting the benefits of a class A vs class C are getting the class A with air suspension and the motor in the back. Air suspension in a motorhome is usually a much more comfortable smooth ride. Like night and day. A few high end class C's have air ride. And having the motor way in the back makes for a much quieter driving experience.

Another big benefit of a class is is usually way more basement storage.

B Bob
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class a, class c

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