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Old 08-10-2015, 02:39 PM   #1
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Drivability: Long B+ vs Shorter C

I previously posted this question at classbforum.com and thought I might get a broader response here.

Which RV would be easier to drive/park/maneuver through cities/etc:

A 27’ 10” long, 7’ 9” (93”) wide "B+" or a shorter C at 24′ 11″, but one foot taller (11’ 3”) and 8 inches wider (101”)?

My wife and I are planning to spend at least a month or two at a time on the road with our three kids and large dog. Sometimes longer since Washington State is so far away from pretty much everything. We’re planning to travel like this for several years and without a toad.

We’re aware that we will be quite cramped and tank capacities will be a serious limitation. My wife and I would like to travel like many B’ers do (steadily traveling, not staying in one place for long). But using a B for that isn’t even remotely possible at the moment with three young kids.

I used a Phoenix Cruiser’s and Nexus C’s dimensions for this comparison.

Phoenix Cruiser 2552
Length: 27’ 10”
Ext Height with A/C: 10’ 1”
Exterior Width: 7’ 9” (93”)
Wheelbase: 206”

Nexus Phantom 23 P
Length: 24′ 11″
Ext Height with A/C: 11′ 3”
Exterior Width: 8’ 5” (101”)
Wheelbase: 158”
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Old 08-10-2015, 04:39 PM   #2
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I don't think a 25' MH on an E350 and a 28' MH on an E450 will be that much different in driving/ handling. I had a 24'er on an E350, and currently have a 32 1/2'er on an E450. The only difference I've found is in maneuvering. In my case the longer MH needs a lot more room to make a U turn than my shorter wheel base/length MH needed.
I found it a lot easier to find a parking space for the 24'er than the 32'er. It might not be as much difference between a 25 and 28'er.
With 3 small kids and a large dog, best of luck in either one.
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Old 08-11-2015, 11:18 PM   #3
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Thanks Mich. I imagine 32 1/2’ MH would require quite a bit more space to maneuver. Having the additional living space must be nice I bet. We’ll likely be renting a couple of MHs before purchasing one, so we’ll have at least a little experience with how small we can go. It certainly can’t be more cramped than spending a month driving coast to coast and back with a small SUV, the 13’ Scamp, and three kids (one 3 1/2 mo, but no dog fortunately)… We spent way too many nights in hotels on that trip. Any MH would have been a huge improvement.
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Old 08-20-2015, 09:12 AM   #4
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Go with a C for the overcab bunk.

I don't think there are any B+ with bunkhouse beds are there?
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Old 08-20-2015, 02:15 PM   #5
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Go with a C for the overcab bunk.

I don't think there are any B+ with bunkhouse beds are there?
We're inclined to go with a C with an overcab bunk, but most of the narrow Cs (aka B+) forgo the ovecab bunk in favor of a (useless to us) entertainment center.

It looks like many of the Sprinter-based Cs come in narrow widths as well. Some even have sufficient seating and sleeping space for us. Winnebago's View published width is 7'6" which is narrower than Phoenix Cruiser's 7'9" and quite a bit narrower than Nexus' traditional C at 8'5". One of the View's floorpans (24J) would get us the overcab bunk and seat belts for five which Nexus only provides at the 28' range.

I think you're right that no B+ are advertised with bunkhouses. Phoenix Cruiser owners talk about PC's flexibility, so I figured PC would turn single beds into a pair of bunks if it meant making a sale. Most likely they'd still be limited to 4 seatbelts, so that model still wouldn't work for us. It's also two feet longer which affect maneuverability which is important to us.
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Old 08-21-2015, 08:04 AM   #6
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Overall length has very little to do with maneuverability, it's the wheelbase that makes the real difference.

I have a 24' Class C, my buddy has virtually the same unit, but 26.5' long, the wheelbase is the same, they maneuver the same, he just has a longer overhang in the rear.
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Old 08-21-2015, 02:45 PM   #7
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We went from a 21' to a 27' Class C. It really is about wheelbase. Shorter make it easier to maneuver. Gotta watch for tail swing on units with a long overhang out the rear. Especially pulling away from gas pumps.

Ultimately, all the campers fit down the road, just whatever you feel comfortable driving.

Happy Camping!
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Old 08-21-2015, 03:01 PM   #8
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Maneuverability will have a lot to do with the wheelbase and steering cut than the length or width of the unit.

While a wider unit will fit tighter into some spots there will be few spots where this will make a difference.

While length will have to do with where you park it (if the parking spot is too short) there will be overhang on both units. One will likely have more overhang than the other.

Compare the wheelbase and steering cut to get a better idea of how each will make a u-turn and maneuver in tight spaces.
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Old 08-21-2015, 04:33 PM   #9
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This is great information everyone. Thanks! I wish I could edit this thread’s title since I was thinking more about maneuverability (turning, parking, backing up, etc) than simply cruising down the road.

@Murf2u Good to know. We live down a long private gravel road with a couple of hills/dips that would probably wreak havoc on your buddy’s rig. Come to think of it, I’m not entirely sure a 24’ MH would easily make it unscathed, especially a smaller one like the lowriding Winnie Trend. How are you liking your Itasca Spirit?

@WanderingToo I wonder how much a driver’s assumptions/biases/concerns fit into it. For example, a 24’ C on Ford E350 has a wheelbase of 158”. A C of the same length (but likely a foot narrower), on a Sprinter’s 170” wheelbase is often described as much easier to drive. Maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about since I’ve yet to drive either (still too far out from purchasing to be doing test drives). Or maybe this is where the steering cut plays a role?

@Gordon Dewald Does steering cut refer to how sharp of a turn the chassis can handle?
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Old 08-22-2015, 10:17 AM   #10
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Steering cut refers to the angle the wheels will make at full turn. Many of the new coaches advertise 60 degree cuts.

Our 05 450 has a 60 degree cut and it turns like our 99 150.
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Old 08-31-2015, 06:14 PM   #11
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Thanks again Gordon.
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Old 09-01-2015, 06:47 AM   #12
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Quote:
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@Murf2u Good to know. We live down a long private gravel road with a couple of hills/dips that would probably wreak havoc on your buddy’s rig. Come to think of it, I’m not entirely sure a 24’ MH would easily make it unscathed, especially a smaller one like the lowriding Winnie Trend. How are you liking your Itasca Spirit?

If you want a pretty fair trial go rent a cube van, it will be the same as my little C is. The private road into both our summer place and our deer camp are pretty wild, I have no problem with either of them.

Same goes for city driving, there's scads of cube vans weaving their way through every big city, no problem.

For us this unit is perfect, big enough for a month stay, small enough the DW is perfectly happy heading out on her own, well, with Deputy Dog riding shotgun too.
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Old 09-01-2015, 07:10 AM   #13
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We have a Winnebago Aspect 26A, about 28' long. It drives like a big van. I have never had a problem maneuvering it in and around campgrounds and RV parks. We like it for it's ability to go and fit where others won't.
I never really understood why people buy those extra long 31"+ Class C motorhomes; why not just buy a class a and be done with it?
Just my opinion, everyone has their reasons I suppose.
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Old 09-01-2015, 10:37 AM   #14
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We have a Aspect 29' C (so called a B+)
Anything smaller and I would be climbing the walls after a month.

Handles well. We pull a toad.
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