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Old 12-17-2014, 08:12 PM   #1
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Wind impact on long class C

Thinking about buying a large Class C. I've read that class As that that have a short wheel base and a lot of body behind the rear wheels tend to be unwieldy, especially in the wind. The large class Cs that I've seen also have the long extension behind the rear wheels. How difficult are these to handle in the wind, or as semi tractor trailers roar past?
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Old 12-17-2014, 08:25 PM   #2
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I drove a Seneca class c for 5 years with no problem with xwind or large trucks passing. Had sway control on front as well as safety steer. Had booster springs on rear as well as fresh shocks all around. Can't think of their name right now but boy were they expensive. I tended to slow up some in areas of high cross winds. Anyway, my Seneca handled trucks and wind nicely. Hope this helps.
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Old 12-17-2014, 10:53 PM   #3
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There really aren't any motor homes that are dangerous or hard to drive because of overhang. Some just take a little more attention in windy conditions and when trucks pass.

As part of your driving procedure, you keep an eye on your mirrors and prepare to adjust some when a semi passes. On my old Class C, I would just shift a little right in the lane before the semi came buy.

Don't get fixated on this issue. It's a small part of the driving the experience.
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Old 12-18-2014, 08:06 AM   #4
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Hi bumpus. I think you might be comparing apples to oranges . Your Seneca was a "Super C". These things are built on a GM Kodiak, Mercedes, or International medium duty truck chassis that is significantly different from a regular class C that is built on a chopped van chassis. My understanding is that the van chassis has limited front suspension carrying capacity, so a lot of the weight is cantilevered over the dual rear wheel axle by virtue of lots of rear overhang which can lead to rear tail wagging. This is a classic condition that can be reduced by use of a Panhard bar (Track bar).

The original poster mentions a "large class C", but possibly doesn't recognize the difference between a "C" and "Super C". Also, the really big "Toterhomes" are also technically Class C, but are based on 18 wheel style over the road trucks - a completely different animal...


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Originally Posted by bumpus4 View Post
I drove a Seneca class c for 5 years with no problem with xwind or large trucks passing. Had sway control on front as well as safety steer. Had booster springs on rear as well as fresh shocks all around. Can't think of their name right now but boy were they expensive. I tended to slow up some in areas of high cross winds. Anyway, my Seneca handled trucks and wind nicely. Hope this helps.
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Old 12-18-2014, 12:28 PM   #5
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I actually do know the diff between a super C or C+, and a regular class C. A super C would be preferable, but expensive. The next step down would be a class C over 35'. Those are the ones with the huge back end overhangs that I am concerned about re wind and handling. Really looking for the closest approximation to a class A while staying in a c-type chassis.
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Old 12-18-2014, 12:50 PM   #6
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I don't think you will find many, if any, regular class Cs at or over 35'.
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Old 12-18-2014, 03:43 PM   #7
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I would agree that you won't find many regular Class C's over 35 feet. In fact, it seems pretty rare to see them longer than even 32'.
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Old 12-19-2014, 07:02 AM   #8
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Having owned multiple "C"s and "A"s, my vote is for class A. Many reasons, not the least are jacks and full swivel seats in front and lots of basement storage. The class Cs that I had did not have any after market suspension help, and were affected too much by crosswind and semis.
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Old 12-19-2014, 07:32 AM   #9
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My two cents worth

I bought a brand new Forest River Forester 32' this past May 2014. Wind at times were effecting the sway factor, but in almost every encounter slowing down kept the Coach manageable. In my mind, most RV'ers are not in a hurry, so slowing down is not a problem. Forester was a great Class C!

This past October, the Class C taught me what I really wanted out of RVing; in a nut shell was “comfort”. I now have a diesel pusher: a 43' Dutch Star, different sway factor, meaning not as much, most likely due to weight. Still slow down in heavy wind though.

My two cents worth, Super Class C's, meaning diesels in most cases that I am aware of, have the power to pull and have Chassis suspension to go past 32'. In the end, it is about what your needs are (comfort) and finical capability. Class C's are very affordable, they show retail about $100,000.00, but I was able to buy brand new for low $70,000.00's and had many upgrades. I had it for 90 days plus and started looking for a Class A. My class A has surpassed my dreams, but then it cost several times more than the Class C. Super Class C inventory where I live in South Alabama was not available. I did see that Super Class C's and Class A's with gas engines were very comparable in price.

My recommendation, if cost is a factor, look at Class A's with the gas fuel system. I have friends that swear by them, but most only do short duration traveling. In closing, long distance usage if a need, then I would consider the Diesel Pusher and comfort drive or like system.

Sorry for length of post.
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Old 12-19-2014, 08:53 AM   #10
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If it were me I wouldn't make my decision to buy any Class C based on wheelbase or overhang. Rather, I'd buy the unit I want and determine from usage whether or not aftermarket handling stuff is needed. I've had As and Cs and they were all suscepticle to some degree to wind or passing semis. If the wind is blowing so hard (traveling in WY, for example) that it makes traveling unsafe, you should be pulled over until it's safe to travel again, anyway.
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Old 12-19-2014, 08:31 PM   #11
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Ours is a 32ft Class C on the Ford E450 chassis. We have owned it a little over a year. Drove it from N. Florida to the Grand Canyon this past summer and had some windy days. Yes you can tell when it gets windy and you definitely watch your mirrors so you can know when a semi is passing. This was my first long trip driving a motorhome. After a few hundred miles it felt as easy as a SUV. I do highly recommend having positive caster in the front end
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Old 12-19-2014, 09:11 PM   #12
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FWIW The C's are also not built on a "chopped van chassis" they are built on a cutaway chassis purpose built to be used with body additions as either a MH, utility, or box truck variant. They are spec'd for the loads intended. Our 30 ft C does fine though l like a bit of room between me and the semi next to me. ;-)
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Old 12-19-2014, 10:32 PM   #13
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All good stuff. Thanks. And I do stand corrected, over 36' length = diesel and super C. What about the safety factor in a C vs A. In a C, you have automotive and truck safety and NHTSA standard built into the cab with a big crush zone out front. In an A, you have none of that?
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