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Old 03-13-2016, 07:42 AM   #1
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Drivability Small Class A vs Class C

If there is such a word. Looking for opinions and observations, category of ease of operation, did you find operating a Class C configuration was easier than a Class A? In particular under 30".
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Old 03-13-2016, 08:00 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Nighthawk65 View Post
If there is such a word. Looking for opinions and observations, category of ease of operation, did you find operating a Class C configuration was easier than a Class A? In particular under 30".
I prefer the configuration of the Class B+/C over an Class A. Look at the overall width, some people have a problem with that (like my wife). She will drive our Class B+ all day long but refuses to drive our in-laws bus. I don't mind driving the bus when on the interstates and other major roads, in-town traffic and winding back roads, not so much.

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Old 03-13-2016, 10:11 AM   #3
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For the Class A of that length it will depend on the chassis, weight, wheel base. A shorter class a may not provide the best ride and if it has a narrow wheel base it will have a tendency to rock and roll on the road.


We actually had a 31' Class C, put 69K miles on it over 12 years. We then upgraded to a 38 PKD Monaco Windsor (which is almost 40' long). My wife and I both think the Class A is easier to drive, better visibility, stability, and ride.

One of my wife's friends has a ~35' Class A gasser, I took a ride in it with her husband and was surprised how badly it road. We swayed back and forth on the road, rough ride.
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Old 03-13-2016, 10:27 AM   #4
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For the Class A of that length it will depend on the chassis, weight, wheel base. A shorter class a may not provide the best ride and if it has a narrow wheel base it will have a tendency to rock and roll on the road.


We actually had a 31' Class C, put 69K miles on it over 12 years. We then upgraded to a 38 PKD Monaco Windsor (which is almost 40' long). My wife and I both think the Class A is easier to drive, better visibility, stability, and ride.

One of my wife's friends has a ~35' Class A gasser, I took a ride in it with her husband and was surprised how badly it road. We swayed back and forth on the road, rough ride.
Had both and we much prefer the Class A over the Class C. I like being able to sit up higher and see over traffic which allows me to see issues much earlier than sitting down "in" the traffic. Widths aren't any difference, it is just the illusion of the Class A being wider.

As for ride, it more depends on the chassis themselves moreso than the type of RV. Our 30' Class A had a bit longer wheelbase than many others in that size so there was less overhang behind the drive axle. This assisted the ride as well as greatly minimizing tail swing or tail wag when negotiating turns. It was also much nicer for when we were towing our 24' enclosed trailer to have less overhang at the rear and the longer wheelbase.

We did like the slightly more sleeping capacity that the Class C offered compared to the Class A however, we quickly realized that moving to the Class A and having less sleeping arrangements was a very HUGE benefit.

Mike.
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Old 03-13-2016, 12:40 PM   #5
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If there is such a word. Looking for opinions and observations, category of ease of operation, did you find operating a Class C configuration was easier than a Class A? In particular under 30".
Well Nighthawk,

As someone that has owned and driven all the classes, I can firmly assure you that your question is "Answer Proof" as asked. I drove a friends short A that was a challenge to keep under control. Our little A is a dream to drive and in fact, DW likes to drive in daylight.

By the same token, our old and shorter C was a bear, but another of the same make but a year newer and longer was not.

I think you will have to drive them and find out.

Frank
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Old 03-13-2016, 01:47 PM   #6
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Drivability Small Class A vs Class C

My 42 A drives, handles, and rides easier than any I have had, C and A.
Knowing the trucker style of maneuvers is key.
In ALL cases, test drive your candidates

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Old 03-14-2016, 07:16 AM   #7
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Nighthalk65,

We started in a 24 ft class c , now have a 36 ft class a, I was very concerned about the difference in the size, turned out the A was easier for me to drive,even with the added leanth. I, to date, still have not used the side camera's, find them useless, rear camera only to check on toad. We did like having the front doors on the c, and we also have said many times that if we had bought a larger class c, that we most likely would still have it. Now having all the cargo space, it would be hard to go back to a class c. The cab of the C was much quieter than the A,but I have done extensive sound dampening, with great results,so now we can have normal conversations,without screaming .
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:21 AM   #8
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I concur with " I like being able to sit up higher and see over traffic which allows me to see issues much earlier than sitting down "in" the traffic." Thanks for the input
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Old 03-14-2016, 11:20 AM   #9
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I concur with " I like being able to sit up higher and see over traffic which allows me to see issues much earlier than sitting down "in" the traffic." Thanks for the input
I agree, we have owned both an A and C. Very much prefer driving an A.
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Old 03-14-2016, 11:33 AM   #10
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I prefer the configuration of the Class B+/C over an Class A. Look at the overall width, some people have a problem with that (like my wife). She will drive our Class B+ all day long but refuses to drive our in-laws bus. I don't mind driving the bus when on the interstates and other major roads, in-town traffic and winding back roads, not so much.

Aaron
Class B+/C only appear narrower than the monster Class A buses. Plenty of Class B+/C are 100" or more wide, and no class A buses are wider than the legal max of 102". This doesn't count mirrors or awnings on either, but they both have them so its no different.

A 30' class A is no bigger than 30' class C in length and width, and maybe even more maneuverable with the wider front axle allowing a bigger wheel cut. A 24' class C will turn sharper than a 45' bus and not have to worry as much about running over the curb, but that's comparing grapes to grapefruit.
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Old 03-14-2016, 12:31 PM   #11
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I think newer the coach better the ride in all 3 classes but it's the height that bothers me. 13' 6" ? Your fine on interstate but get off on secondary roads and smaller off the beaten path and you better be on yours toes! Small town old train bridge 12' 2". Can wreck your day!! I owned a commercial trucking outfit and I drove 7-8 yrs and I feel I've been everywhere and there are a lot of bridges all over USA under 13' 6" off the interstate . Get a commercial road map and it will tell you of every bridge height in country by the state there are a bunch of them. East coast is the worst.
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Old 03-14-2016, 01:11 PM   #12
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Class B+/C only appear narrower than the monster Class A buses. Plenty of Class B+/C are 100" or more wide, and no class A buses are wider than the legal max of 102". This doesn't count mirrors or awnings on either, but they both have them so its no different.

A 30' class A is no bigger than 30' class C in length and width, and maybe even more maneuverable with the wider front axle allowing a bigger wheel cut. A 24' class C will turn sharper than a 45' bus and not have to worry as much about running over the curb, but that's comparing grapes to grapefruit.
My Coachmen Concord B+ is only 7'-11" (95") exterior width, it is a noticeable difference on some roads.

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Old 03-14-2016, 01:15 PM   #13
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B/C vs A driveability and other shopping hints

I agree with previous posters that says either one could drive well or badly.

My previous Pleasureway Plateau on the Mercedes chassis drove like an SUV. Everything else I have owned is a compromise in some manner.

Here are some hints on your test drives.... and other thoughts...
If someone had told me these things, I would have owned several fewer RVs.

Be sure to take a long test drive. A short course that the salesman picks is usually smooth and has few issues.

Drive for a long time on an interstate or divided highway that has truck traffic. Slow down and let several trucks pass. Notice how the RV handles when the truck passes. First as it approaches the rear and then later as it comes up to the front of the cab. Be sure to wait for several trucks. Some have no effect, while others can blow you off the road. Do you get a simple push or do you weave all over the road.

A test drive on a day when the winds are up in the 15 to 20 mph range can be very informative. The results of this test are usually similar to the truck test.

Try parking lot entrances that may cause the coach to sway left and right. Once inside the parking lot make sharp turns to test the turning radius of your coach.

Drive around city streets to see how comfortable you are. Check visibility out of the right side windows. Some coaches have blind spots here..

Find a bumpy road that has expansion joints or pot holes. Listen for how many rattles you have.

Read up on the wheel base vs coach length ratio. Numbers below .50 usually have problems. Mid range -> .53 to .55 are better

Class C coaches sometimes have a long overhang past the rear wheels. This can cause tail wag issues and can drag in road dips on driveway entrances.

Class C coaches based on Ford chassis have limited foot room for your front seat passenger.

Class B & C coaches are lighter than Class A, so they tend to get better gas mileage. i.e. Class A - 6 to 8 mpg, Class C - 8 to 12, Class B Diesel - 16 to 18 mpg

Small coaches with wet baths are a pain after a while.

Class A coaches based on Ford F53 chassis have several fixes that can be added to the chassis to improve ride and drive. There are many other threads on IRV2 to help with this.

If you go Class A, try to get one with 22.5 inch wheels. These ride smoother than the ones with 19.5 wheels. The trade-off here is that the 22.5 coaches typically have larger turning radius's.

Class A coaches based on Ford F53 chassis have different weight ratings. I.e from 16,000 lbs up to 26,000 lbs. The heavier coaches tend to ride better.

Be sure to check the weight capacity that you have for your stuff that you carry on your coach. Some coaches don't have much storage weight capacity. (There's a proper name for this, I just don't remember it now.) For example a 28 to 30 ft. coach, may be built on an 18K chassis or a 22K chassis depending on the manufacturer. The 22K chassis will probably have 22.5 inch wheels and a larger storage weight capacity. My 30 ft. Newmar Bay Star is built on a 20.5K chassis. The newer versions of the same coach use the 22K chassis.

Be sure the coach has the capacity to pull the tow car that you plan to use.

Don't buy any coach that is a brand new design for that year. There are usually production startup and new design issues with these.

Good luck on your choice.

Jerry
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Old 03-14-2016, 01:30 PM   #14
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My Coachmen Concord B+ is only 7'-11" (95") exterior width, it is a noticeable difference on some roads.

Aaron
I own same coach as you and just friendly heads up? You might find you are 120' wide. Put a tape on your mirrors babe , hate for you to lose one?
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