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Old 07-23-2018, 11:52 PM   #1
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Is safety compromised

Forgive me for having a rather simple question here (newbie here). I have read that class A campers have structural and safety problems because manufacturers push the chassis to its limits, sometimes putting a much longer body than the actual chassis. The whole structure May also fall apart like a cardboard box during impact. How much of this info is true, and does that influence your decision making on choosing a class A?
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Old 07-24-2018, 12:12 AM   #2
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welcome to iRV2.

While there is some truth , that impact resistance , of a Class A motor home is perhaps not all that it could be ; because of the limited number of units that are produced, engineering them to car safety standards would be cost; and weight prohibitive .
For my money the diesel pushers are perhaps the safest of the self powered RVs.
Some manufacturers have produced units that were overweight from the time they rolled off the assembly line, but as more buyers are becoming aware of CCC ( Cargo Carrying Capacity ) ,tow weight ratings , engine and transmission combinations to power the rigs without being over worked. Those manufacturers are being slowly weeded out.
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Old 07-24-2018, 12:13 AM   #3
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Those overweight ones are the smaller class A I guess, with the front engined ones
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Old 07-24-2018, 12:27 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by claytonyu View Post
Those overweight ones are the smaller class A I guess, with the front engined ones
I, was offered a diesel pusher , before I purchased my current one , that had a CCC of 518 lbs , yes five hundred and eighteen pounds. It had everything , hardwood floors and cabinets , quartz counter tops , the whole nine yards , with the salesman , myself and my DW standing in it ; it was overloaded, two years old with under 5,000 miles . I bet the original owner was afraid to drive it after the first trip. Current coach CCC is close to 4,000 lbs.

The gas chassis coaches have evolved slowly too , with GVWR coming up over the years from the common 22,000 , to chassis rated at 26,000 GVWR.
JMHO: Older coaches over 30 ft should never have been built on the 22,000 lb chassis.
There are older ( shorter) gas powered coaches that are well made and capable . But one should always be aware that there are problem units that need to be avoided.
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Old 07-24-2018, 12:33 AM   #5
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I feel pretty safe in my 47,000# empty weight steel semi-monocoque fully welded type A MH. My GVWR is 54,000#'s and my GCVWR is 69,000#'s.
Front axle is rated for 20,000#'s. Rear axle is a 25,000# unit derated to 20,000#'s to comply with Federal standards and the tag is rated for 14,000#'s.
The front and tag tires are 365/70 and drive are 315/80's. The drive and tag are so lightly loaded that running them at the min chart pressure is enough. The fronts take more pressure but still not maxed out.
Basically mine is overbuilt and over tired. I even have heavy armour plates around the tires in the wheel wells in case of a blowout.
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Old 07-24-2018, 12:34 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip426 View Post
I, was offered a diesel pusher , before I purchased my current one , that had a CCC of 518 lbs , yes five hundred and eighteen pounds. It had everything , hardwood floors and cabinets , quartz counter tops , the whole nine yards , with the salesman , myself and my DW standing in it ; it was overloaded, two years old with under 5,000 miles . I bet the original owner was afraid to drive it after the first trip. Current coach CCC is close to 4,000 lbs.

The gas chassis coaches have evolved slowly too , with GVWR coming up over the years from the common 22,000 , to chassis rated at 26,000 GVWR.
JMHO: Older coaches over 30 ft should never have been built on the 22,000 lb chassis.
There are older ( shorter) gas powered coaches that are well made and capable . But one should always be aware that there are problem units that need to be avoided.
Thanks for the info!

Are there any brands or models that have to be avoided, based on experience or reputation?
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Old 07-24-2018, 12:38 AM   #7
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Lots of coaches are overweight... Run it thru scales with full fuel/oil and driver, but otherwise empty. Do it again loaded...... Well worth every penny they charge you for the weigh-in.... both times.
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Old 07-24-2018, 12:46 AM   #8
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You have to search any unit you consider ; for the RV weight sticker ; there is no standard location .
The sticker is a government requirement and gives the RV serial number and weights . If you can't find one then you have to have the RV weighed , or walk away from any purchase if you think it's been removed.
Here's what to look for.
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Old 07-24-2018, 01:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claytonyu View Post
Forgive me for having a rather simple question here (newbie here). I have read that class A campers have structural and safety problems because manufacturers push the chassis to its limits, sometimes putting a much longer body than the actual chassis. The whole structure May also fall apart like a cardboard box during impact. How much of this info is true, and does that influence your decision making on choosing a class A?
Bottom line you are correct to question. If in the market, always check gvwr and gcwr to the unladen weight, it it doesn't cut the mustard... move on.
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Old 07-24-2018, 04:42 AM   #10
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If safety in a collision were my only concern Iíd look at a diesel super c or a sprinter chassis, depending on what I needed for space.
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Old 07-24-2018, 06:09 AM   #11
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In a rollover accident just about any class a or c RV will lose the box, except for perhaps those older units built out of an old greyhound bus, which technically could be a class c. Passengers sitting in the cab area of a c are better protected as the cab meets car level build and safety standards. I feel fairly safe in my short class a from Newmar/Ford as it sits high compared to most cars, and while it would be very costly to repair, I should survive most front to back collisions. Head on with a truck, not so much. As far as weight, as delivered from Newmar I had over 3,000 lbs of water, people, stuff and as I drive out for a trip with normal water (2/3) still underweight on both axles.
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