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Old 07-06-2015, 09:06 PM   #1
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Class C without a Tow

My DW & I have been fussing about length as we continue our search for a RV. Just needing a second opinion on a question that probably doesn't have an answer.

Clearly, a 45' Class A MH needs a tow most of the time and especially if it's only traveling from Point A to Point B. And on the other hand, some of the Class B MH can do well without a tow, which is one of the attractive features of those smaller units.

In the collective wisdom of the very experienced Class C owners at iRV2, is there a range of coaches that are more like the smaller Class B? That is, easy enough to park in relatively tight places, able to get off the beaten path, drive in and around smaller towns, and so forth WITHOUT a tow?

We sure look forward to your feedback and we are grateful for your time and assistance.
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Old 07-06-2015, 09:26 PM   #2
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The smallest we had was a 22 ft C. I could take it a lot of places but it was always bigger than any car I would tow. Parking was always an issue. Often manageable but an issue to be managed. I also drove commercial vans a fair amount of the time. They are a lot more manageable but also have their problems. If you refuse to tow then buy the smallest real van conversion you can find. That is assuming you can still find something on a Ford or Chevy commercial van chassis. I'm not sure what is still made. I did not say Sprinter because of the width and extra cost.

You will be much better off with a comfortable house and a reasonable towed.

Towing is not that big a deal. A used dolly with surge brakes is about the easiest and cheapest way to go. Dolly management is not that hard.
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Old 07-06-2015, 09:26 PM   #3
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We started with a 24 foot class C on the sprinter chassis. Had a single slide. Great little coach, easy and fun to drive with great diesel mileage (Mercedes 3.0 diesel). We never used a toad with it as we could get most places without one. It has been the only RV that I absolutely NEVER had a single thing go wrong with. 'Twas a Coachman Prism 240-C. We've bought all of our RVs new.....had a Serrano that scared me everytime we took it out.....something was going to break !! The Phaeton has been pretty good with only a few minor things that I took care of.

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Old 07-06-2015, 09:33 PM   #4
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First MH was a 1988 Okanagan 17' Ford conversion. We did just fine with it till the dogs decided the couch was THEIRS! I used it as my daily driver too, kept it 9 years. But the 460 engine and TT towing gearing (even after I added a Gear Vendors OD) was a pain. Never did get even 10 mpg but it sure would get to 70 mph quick!
Didn't like breaking camp anytime we wanted to go somewhere but it worked OK.
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Old 07-06-2015, 10:05 PM   #5
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When you referred to a motorhome that "needs a tow," at first I though that you were wanting something that if disabled could be easily towed out of its predicament. After reading more carefully, I see that you are actually referring to a "toad" or a vehicle towed behind a motorhome.

One of the shortest motorhomes available that is technically considered a Class C is s Tiger. I bring it up it as you mentioned the ability of getting "off the beaten path" as you can get a Tiger with 4WD. One of my best friends recently received one he ordered last year and we also know another couple who has one that is three years old.

The are made by Provan in South Carolina and are purchased primarily by factory-direct order. The smallest and least expensive is the Bengal which is about 20 to 24-feet in length depending on cab configuration. In a regular cab configuration, they can be just a hair over 19 1/2-feet long. They are built on an HD pickup chassis where you can choose either a Ford, Chevy/GMC, or Dodge/Ram HD chassis in any cab configuration you choose that is available for the model ...regular, extended, or crew. You are essentially custom ordering the unit not only from a list of options but also can customize any part of the vehicle you choose and choose to pay for.

So not only are they good for getting "off the beaten path," but are not much longer or wider than a big pickup (the Bengals, at least) and definitely would not need a toad.

Models are:

Bengal CX
Bengal TX
Malayan LT
Malayan HT
Siberian
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Old 07-06-2015, 10:24 PM   #6
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X2 like HHg
25ft sprinter with two slides never a problem, drove it quite often from the camping spots. Dry camped, no prob. Turns easy compared to our new 35 footer diesel. We never towed. Occasionally rented a car if we knew we'd need it. Loved the Itasca Navion Sprinter. We just wanted more leg room, and sleep room, husband tall.

I'd stay under 32 ft. For that type of trip. We still rent a car whenever needed with our 35er. May try a dolly some day.
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Old 07-07-2015, 07:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theroc View Post
When you referred to a motorhome that "needs a tow," at first I though that you were wanting something that if disabled could be easily towed out of its predicament. After reading more carefully, I see that you are actually referring to a "toad" or a vehicle towed behind a motorhome.
Thank you for helping to correct my poor use of terminology. I certainly meant a tow vehicle (toad). We might be unrealistic to think we could RV without a tow vehicle. Perhaps time will tell.
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Old 07-07-2015, 08:22 AM   #8
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I think the toad or not toad question depends on how you will use the motorhome. Most of our travels include one night stops, so stopping at a store for groceries, etc. before settling in for the night is not an inconvenience. Also, we rarely are inconvenienced parking 52 ft. of motorhome and trailer at an attraction or restaurant; we just have to find a spot and plan to not get boxed in at exit time.

The other extreme is remaining at one location while sightseeing in the area, and a toad is very useful. We don't usually do this, but DW mentions leaving the race car at home, and trailering our daily driver Alfa for area touring. Something we rarely do, but it's on our planning list.

The in between situation is when we leave the race car trailer in the campground, and tour in the motorhome. At 29 ft. it isn't as nimble as a car, but we have found this not too much of an inconvenience as long as I don't go someplace without a clear exit.

Lastly, some people rent a car. Enterprise will come to your location. Depending on your use, renting when needed can be much less expensive than a toad just because you might need it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Traxless View Post
My DW & I have been fussing about length as we continue our search for a RV. Just needing a second opinion on a question that probably doesn't have an answer.

Clearly, a 45' Class A MH needs a tow most of the time and especially if it's only traveling from Point A to Point B. And on the other hand, some of the Class B MH can do well without a tow, which is one of the attractive features of those smaller units.

In the collective wisdom of the very experienced Class C owners at iRV2, is there a range of coaches that are more like the smaller Class B? That is, easy enough to park in relatively tight places, able to get off the beaten path, drive in and around smaller towns, and so forth WITHOUT a tow?

We sure look forward to your feedback and we are grateful for your time and assistance.
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Old 07-07-2015, 08:31 AM   #9
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Class C without a Tow

We love our Wrangler, and it takes us to places with views of nature and critters and ghost towns etc.
No other way to get there, so we toad it.
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Old 07-07-2015, 11:45 AM   #10
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I'm with George. We Enterprise. 42 bucks a day for the few days we may want to go exploring. Easy peasy. No toad, no towing, less weight management, etc.
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Old 07-07-2015, 04:08 PM   #11
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Class C without a Tow

Quote:
Originally Posted by s1njin View Post
I'm with George. We Enterprise. 42 bucks a day for the few days we may want to go exploring. Easy peasy. No toad, no towing, less weight management, etc.

I understand a rental car when weekend and vacation camping locally. What you want after a long stretch of work is to see is a campfire, a walking trail, and maybe a beverage. BTDT.
We drove our 23 ft C everywhere we needed to go for weekends and 4 weeks of vacation each season. It worked fine all over the Eastern US. As soon as we got our A, it was toad time. The set-up and aux brake paid for themselves quickly just with the MPG difference. A rental would not have made $ sense for us, as we sight-see almost every day, and $42/day would have only taken about 40 days to eat up the toad prep cost.
With a E350, a toad under 3000 lbs should be easy for you! We did it with a 12,000 lb class A.
Happy Trails
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Old 07-07-2015, 04:27 PM   #12
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The voice of experience is like the sound of music! These comments and information are most helpful. Thank you so much.
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Old 07-07-2015, 04:50 PM   #13
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Every time I didn't take my Wrangler I wished I had. So now I tow it every time I hit the road. Don't even know it's back there.
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Old 07-08-2015, 10:17 AM   #14
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Unless you are spending lots of $$ on a newer class A/B cross you will be wide and that is the biggest hang up to using the class C for a run around rig. We just down sized from a DP to a C and are using bikes, walking which is unrealistic for touring and the C is too big so we will tow when needed.

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