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Old 10-26-2015, 08:17 AM   #1
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Class A vs. Class C

My wife and I are recently retired and are starting to think about livivg our dream of RVing around the US. We've just began to look at RV's, and are not sure about a class C vs. class A. The class A seems intimidating when I look at it, but many have told me they handle and ride better. So I thought I would ask you, the owners, what your experience has been. Apologize if this has been covered before. Appreciate any advise/experience you could share.
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Old 10-26-2015, 08:32 AM   #2
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Are you going to be full timing in the RV? What is your budget? How much traveling do you expect to do per month (miles) ? These questions help to define what would be best for you. If you want to know what most full timers drive......it would be class A. Class A has most cargo capacity to carry all your stuff with you.
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Old 10-26-2015, 08:41 AM   #3
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There are pros/cons for both. Take some time to really look at both types and see what is going to fit 'your' needs. Even take some time to rent a MH to get a better idea of what they have to offer. We have owned 3 Class C MH's and 2 Class A's. While the Class C MH's were nice, I would not be willing to go back to a Class C. Look at the floor plans, how much storage there is, what is the carrying cap and towing cap. All of these need to be taken into account.
Good luck on your search!
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Old 10-26-2015, 08:56 AM   #4
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We shopped and rented quite a bit before landing on a gas class A, after starting our search for a class C. My #1 recommendation is to drive as many motorhomes as you can get away with, for as long as you're allowed.

Two things popped out after a while: ride quality and house quality. But it comes at a $$ cost.

Literally every class C we looked at, even quite nice ones, still felt like a camper on the inside. The nicer A's, including the Newmar we chose, felt like a well-appointed apartment. Huge difference. Indeed, when we are on vacation, we aren't "camping", we're at the vacation house.

Then, there is driving it. The Bay Star sits up on 22.5 inch tires, and it's pretty heavy, so it feels so much more solid on the road. Doesn't get pushed around by trucks. And I found the cab overhead on C's made me feel like I was driving in a tunnel the whole time :(

Downside is cost of course. We could have bought a pair of Coachmen Freelanders for what we paid Newmar.

There are budget Class A's that sort of split the difference. FR3, ACE, Storm, etc. Some of the goodies from more expensive A's, and not as big a price jump.
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Old 10-26-2015, 08:57 AM   #5
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When asked by my customers, I always recommended the class A. The C does give you a feeling of being in a smaller vehicle. It does heat and cool the cab area better. I like the class A for the safety factor.You are sitting much higher off the ground. You can see over the cars in front of you. You can see the car that is six cars ahead and slams on the brakes. In case of a crash the car (since there are many more cars on the road, we hope it will be a car.) will go under you and not through you. Before I retired in 2008, I had a customer come in and he was looking at new class A's. I asked why he was looking at them when his was almost new and he liked it so well. He said he was driving up I-575 and and came to a curve in the road. It was raining very hard. Two cars were coming toward him on the other side of the xpressway. They hit a water puddle and hydroplaned. They came across the xpressway One hit the left side of the coach, spun it around part way and the other went down the right side of the coach. The class A was totaled. Both car drivers were carried away by ambulance. He was unscratched. In fifteen years and thousands of customers, we had only one customer hurt in a class A. He had minor injuries. He was tailgating a 18 wheeler and the truck locked down the brakes and he could not stop in time.
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Old 10-27-2015, 12:32 AM   #6
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Rent a decent class A for a week then rent a class C and you'll go running back to the class A.
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Old 10-27-2015, 12:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ebuss View Post
My wife and I are recently retired and are starting to think about livivg our dream of RVing around the US. We've just began to look at RV's, and are not sure about a class C vs. class A. The class A seems intimidating when I look at it, but many have told me they handle and ride better. So I thought I would ask you, the owners, what your experience has been. Apologize if this has been covered before. Appreciate any advise/experience you could share.
That's what I thought too, so we bought a new '97 Type C. It was OK but we traded it for a new '98 35' Type A and haven't looked back.
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Old 10-27-2015, 06:19 AM   #8
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Try to drive both.
I refused to admit a class a was that much better when I had my class c which I loved.
I sat in an ACE at a CW and that was all it took. We still laugh when telling stories about our old c. Not in a bad way, but completely different.
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Old 10-27-2015, 10:09 AM   #9
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I would really encourage you to think how you will use the RV? Class C usually front 2 seats are wasted for living arrangement and space, only for driving. I have never felt intimidated driving the A mainly because you sit higher and easier to see things. Handling characteristic in most A's will be better than C, except higher end Super C's. If you need towing capability, a Super C may be better option, but not always. How you use may dictate one over the other, but generally speaking I would think long term you would be happier with an A. Good luck.
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Old 10-27-2015, 01:11 PM   #10
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Wink Safety, something to think about

If safety is a big concern and for some it is not, then go with a C. Not much between you and disaster in the front end of a Class A other than windshield which will not be your friend in a collision.

C's have not only the engine and chassis frame up front they also come with airbags.... most A's do not{keep in mind you can not even buy a car without air bags and there are a number of very good reasons for that}. Roll an A onto the passenger side (or end up against an obstruction on that side), and you better hope there is no fire and that you have the ability to exit via emergency escape window which is often located at the rear of the coach.

Both A's and C's have there +/-'s but when it comes to overall safety it is no contest, the C wins hands down.

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Old 10-27-2015, 01:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Steve View Post
If safety is a big concern and for some it is not, then go with a C.
...

Both A's and C's have there +/-'s but when it comes to overall safety it is no contest, the C wins hands down.
I wish there were some actual data to determine how much this actually applies in real life. Does the NHSA track MH accidents and outcomes?

I so rarely read about actual accidents. The ones I have read about in Class A's, the occupants were not even hospitalized. Often the rig is damaged or totaled, and much carnage done to whatever they hit, but I have yet to hear about many occupants killed or hospitalized from MH accidents.

So far, I've concluded the "C's are safer" bit is puffery. Still, I wish there were actual data so we could know conclusively.
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Old 10-27-2015, 02:00 PM   #12
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We have had truck/camper combos for the last 45 years and travelled extensively with them. A few months ago we got our first class A. Travelling back in it from CA to OR my wife out of the blue said "look how much you can see out of this". I hadn't noticed but after she mentioned it the difference between it and the truck/camper was amazing, it's like the whole world had opened up out there. I don't honestly know, but I would guess the same would be true between a class C and class A.

it took a few trips around the block and some looking at the lines on the road in the mirrors to get used to the driving the thing, but it really wasn't difficult. The other day I was at a truck repair facility talking to an older trucker who told me that he had worried one time about driving his first "cab over". He said one of his friends told him just to remember that the front tire was just below his left foot and to drive accordingly.

It was my wife who wanted the "A", largely because we are somewhat older and she was concerned about falling climbing in and out of the bed which would be similar to the "C".

Additionally, none of these work well at McDonalds drive throughs, and they are danged difficult to back up with a 4 wheels down toad behind.

When entering any "confined space", prior planning is essential.

Best of luck with the choice.

Steve
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Old 10-27-2015, 02:27 PM   #13
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I like my class A it rides and drives like a town car, the roadmaster chassis is awesome.. A class c looks like a truck with a camper strapped on it ... T o each his own... good luck
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Old 10-28-2015, 02:04 PM   #14
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Wink Just the facts...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vacay Wheels View Post
I wish there were some actual data to determine how much this actually applies in real life. Does the NHSA track MH accidents and outcomes?

I so rarely read about actual accidents. The ones I have read about in Class A's, the occupants were not even hospitalized. Often the rig is damaged or totaled, and much carnage done to whatever they hit, but I have yet to hear about many occupants killed or hospitalized from MH accidents.

So far, I've concluded the "C's are safer" bit is puffery. Still, I wish there were actual data so we could know conclusively.
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.

I realize you love your Class A and obviously I am happy with my C but I did not post the above facts because I have a C.... I have a C because of the above facts.

As always.... Opinions and YMMV.

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