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Old 01-14-2017, 03:58 PM   #1
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Short Class A pros/cons

My wife was asking me today about short class A's (we have a 34' 9" class A). Would like to hear the pros and cons of shorter rigs (less than 30'). Besides the obvious length difference, is there anything to watch out for with handing and driving etc?
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Old 01-14-2017, 05:09 PM   #2
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When it comes to gas rigs, really not a lot of issues, other than the obvious, loss of living space. Typically, it's the same chassis as the large models that have had their frames extended.

If you're talking DP's, a really short DP can have porpoising issues. Too much weight out back and too short of a wheelbase. We had a 36' DP for ten years that worked well, I wouldn't personally want anything shorter than a 34' in a DP.
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Old 01-14-2017, 05:40 PM   #3
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We have a short class A (27') and while we love it, the 16,000 pound chassis and 19.5" wheels can make for a more adventurous ride when the pavement is not smooth. It will likely also come with 30 amp service, can be an issue sometimes. Finally, the shorter class A's generally have interior and exterior fit and finish that is less quality than the larger Class A's. for instance, compare Newmar Baystar Sport to Newmar Canyon Star, or Winnebago Vista to Winnebago Adventurer. On the other hand, a small class A has it's charms, so you just have to decide what is best for you. Wishing you the best in that decision.


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Old 01-14-2017, 07:07 PM   #4
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My own 34' 9" class A is on 19.5"wheels and 30amp service but a 20,500lbs chassis. My wife does not want to drive it so hence going to look at smaller rigs.
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Old 01-14-2017, 07:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1stMH View Post
My own 34' 9" class A is on 19.5"wheels and 30amp service but a 20,500lbs chassis. My wife does not want to drive it so hence going to look at smaller rigs.
I would guess she won't want to drive a 30' if the 34' is too big. Also, how heavy is the car you'll tow? Do you need storage bay space? There are always tradeoffs. Good luck!
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Old 01-14-2017, 08:09 PM   #6
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No tow car at all at the moment. I say she might drive at 26footer. I will try to get her to drive our existing rig 1st, if that does not work out will get her to try a 26ft at a dealership. To be honest I don't mind driving but would prefer my wife could drive it on case of an emergency.
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Old 01-15-2017, 12:22 AM   #7
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Have you considered both of you taking driving lessons for your coach? That may help her confidence level and understanding of how to handle different length coaches. I do not know your driving history, but you may pick up some pointers as well. Just a thought...
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Old 01-15-2017, 07:32 AM   #8
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Good idea. I am all for getting more experience. I have driven the coach about 3000 miles over 4 months (maybe 12 times) so getting the hang of it. I will mention that to my wife.
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Old 01-15-2017, 08:32 AM   #9
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We have ACE 27.1 for a few years. We like it, our most extended trip was about 3 months. When the weather is good, it is great. A couple of rainy days gets a little crowded.
We saw a 2107 ACE 27.2 at a RV show and it has two slides. It seems a lot bigger than ours.
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Old 01-15-2017, 02:20 PM   #10
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I think "twogypsies" makes a good point. If she's afraid to drive one, she won't drive the other. Often the issue is that they're afraid they'll clip something with the width, not the length.

I know it's probably not politically correct to say, but my wife has no want to drive the coach and I prefer it that way. I know there is an argument for her to drive in an emergency, but I just don't see a lot of circumstance where she would need to. If we had a medical emergency, we would fly someone in to drive it home. In a life threatening emergency, she could start it up and get it down the road.

I've been driving RV's for over 40 years. She hasn't and doesn't want to. I think experience is a key factor, so why plug someone into the driver's seat that doesn't have that experience, especially when it comes to a DP and toad at 65' long.

With all that said, I'm not criticizing women drivers. If they want to drive their rigs and some may even prefer to over their spouses, that's fine. My wife doesn't feel the need/pressure to say she can drive to prove that she can do what a man can do. Again, just a decision WE have made as a couple over 40 years of marriage.
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Old 01-15-2017, 02:46 PM   #11
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I mentioned to my wife while ago about taking a driving lesson. She is all up for that. That's good point about the width.
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Old 01-15-2017, 02:56 PM   #12
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Good luck with your decision. Hopefully the driving training helps. If it does't, maybe it is the fact that in the Class A you are sitting way out front. Also try looking at Super C's. She may be more comfortable with an engine in front of her.
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Old 01-15-2017, 03:20 PM   #13
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Thanks Gormleys. She is completely comfortable in the cold pilot seat. I really think it's just the size of it.
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Old 01-15-2017, 03:28 PM   #14
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I have a Tiffin 31SA which is 33' 5" long. It is on a 22,000 lb Ford chassis. When I first got it I had some minor issues with wind and being pushed by the big trucks. I did the CHF and I hardly have any issues now. One thing that I researched a lot was the wheel base to length ratio. Anything over 50% was better than below 50%. I have not done anything else to it and I drive most of the time with just one hand.
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