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Old 07-27-2020, 08:39 AM   #1
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Question Anywhere you can go - Part Two



I posed this question before elsewhere, but me thinks this is the better place for it. In looking at RVs, I have decided that a short Class A is where I want to land... say a Flair 25 as an example.... it has a 158" wheelbase, which I have found is about the same as a Class C that is also 25'. The shorty Class C's do have a shorter wheelbase platform as a base, but that is getting too short. To cut to the chase, I like that a short class A makes better use of the cab area. I am 6'4" and the overbunk and cab are of a C just feel cramped.

So.. to the question.. ahem..

Given two 25' RVs, one class A and one class C, can the A go about anywhere the C can? Have you *seen* short A's going to the same places as C's... ??

I see myself as a docker of the boons.. I have done several multi-week trips on a motorcycle ( talk about your extreme small and light packing challenges) and while I am sure I will luxuriate on hook-up heaven occasionally (praise be endless until's, but not the neighbors).. so being able to have my space will be the goal, but can I go there in an A.

OK.. that is a tough question.. and yes I know about 4wd and that I am not going to go go "off roading" .. I didn't just fall off the septic truck yesterday... I have seen many YouTubers take their C's, 5th's and towables to some amazing spots... will a shorty A get to most of those spots as well..

In looking at the physical nature of an A, it would seem the issue will be not the front or rear overhang, but maybe a lower belly pan and side?? Maybe the front corners?? Any experience here with this?

Any words of wisdom would be appreciated...
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Old 07-27-2020, 10:30 AM   #2
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My 30’ class A is definitely more limited than my previous 30’ class c was. It’s just not designed for uneven bumpy rutty rocky dirt/gravel roads. Also my jacks have less clearance and I’ve bumped them a few times, once causing me to revisit my metal working days.

I do drive the thing around my property “off road” and down around the barn on what is essentially a barely improved dozer trail, but very slowly and carefully. In a nutshell, from my experience, E450 class C is considerably more capably on uneven terrain than an F53.

Your results may vary and a 25’ might do better than a 30’, but then again, if that 25’ is a FR or Thor product it might not tolerate uneven unpaved roads as well as my Newmar. I guess if I were going to go that route I’d find a 27’ Bay Star. The difference in build quality and durability would pay off in the long run. Good luck and happy trails - literally
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Old 07-27-2020, 10:46 AM   #3
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Anywhere you can go - Part Two

Biggest issue with a small A going on rough roads and uneven terrain is the Windshield. They are prone to cracking if the chassis is flexed enough. There is little to no supporting structure in many of these motors home around the windshield, especially the newer ones with one piece windshields. Mine cracked from flexing on a mountain road in west virginia. But admittedly on our little bus that was largely due to it being 24 years old with sealant/adhesive that had long ago dried and hardened up along with delamination (clouding)of the glass.

In a C you get the original factory air conditioning system that works better than the cobbled up mess you get in many gas powered As. You also get the benefit of air bags and other factory safety features you usually wont get on a Class A.
All those negatives aside I doubt we will ever part with our little 23 class A. Its size and layout hits all the right positives for us.
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Old 07-27-2020, 11:36 AM   #4
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.... just depends where you want to go. Neither will get you in rough terrain.

With our 40' motorhome we've boondocking up to 20 miles off pavement on good gravel roads.... and they're not hard to find in the West. We towed the Jeep for exploring further. We saw a LOT of backcountry with our set-up.
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Old 07-27-2020, 03:49 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by R.Wold View Post
Your results may vary and a 25 might do better than a 30, but then again, if that 25 is a FR or Thor product it might not tolerate uneven unpaved roads as well as my Newmar. ,,,,, Good luck and happy trails - literally

The 30' units tend to have a longer wheel base.. (190" I think) I am looking at the Flair/Monaco/Trek.. all similar from what I have read.

seems the shorty A units are not as popular

My budget isn't going to get up to Newmar quality unfortunately, unless I run across some person that loves me and wants me to have it.. besides, I am thinking Newmar didn't make many shorties.. maybe if the house sells for more than I am thinking, but we can;t count that chicken for a while yet.

I am a good driver on and off road and understand these things are built with spit and masking tape with a bit of glue here and there.. so there will be limits ..

thanks... see you out there..
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Old 07-30-2020, 11:58 AM   #6
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You didn't mention, or maybe I missed it, if your going to use the RV as your daily driver or your going to pull a toad. And since I've done both I'll mention something that maybe you haven't considered. A 25 foot long RV makes a terrible daily driver, it can be done, but its no fun and you miss out on a lot of places you would like to go because of parking problems, height problems, to windy and you think you will blow over, and just the hassle of dealing with a big vehicle.

And speaking of places you want to go, it's really annoying to set up camp and then break camp to run to the store. Set up camp again, and break camp again so you can drive to the lake and fish. But it's one of the problems you're going to have if your RV is your daily driver. Yes I know it sounds like a small thing but after you've done it about 10 times it becomes a very big thing.

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Old 07-31-2020, 07:00 AM   #7
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You didn't mention, or maybe I missed it, if your going to use the RV as your daily driver or your going to pull a toad. And since I've done both I'll mention something that maybe you haven't considered. A 25 foot long RV makes a terrible daily driver, it can be done, but its no fun and you miss out on a lot of places you would like to go because of parking problems, height problems, to windy and you think you will blow over, and just the hassle of dealing with a big vehicle.

And speaking of places you want to go, it's really annoying to set up camp and then break camp to run to the store. Set up camp again, and break camp again so you can drive to the lake and fish. But it's one of the problems you're going to have if your RV is your daily driver. Yes I know it sounds like a small thing but after you've done it about 10 times it becomes a very big thing.

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Ahhh HAH!...

(I have always wanted to say that)

Actually... the plan is to have a small displacement 2 wheeler hung off the back for local git-around use.

While the 26' rig ( it's 20-damn-6 feet long.. call it a dang 26 then!!) is no picnic , it is **way** better than the 40' behemoths out there, and it does (cough) only have a 158" wheel base compared to the 190+... but yeah.. not an easy parking challenge...

However... if one is not good at planning, boon docking is not for you... I imagine having 7-14 days of food on board, such that the need to run to town will only be for the perishables and other smaller items.

I am hoping to count on my experience with the 7 p's... Proper Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance... to assist me in my endeavors... and I am sure I will make a mistake or three, but that is the plan..

A toad is... too much for the wee 25' I plan on ( yes it can do it, but it just wears the crap out of everything) , another set of mechanicals to look after, more tires... ugh..

I have thousands of x-country miles of Motorcycle camping.. so I can do minimalist packing.. I have proven that.. this will be ultimate luxury compared to that ..

Thanks for the poke poke
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Old 07-31-2020, 08:26 AM   #8
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My 24’ Class C (a Forest River Forester clone) has been down a few rough trails. I usually pay the price of another ding or scrape but my plan is to live in it and not keep it pristine for someone else. I have towed a Smart Car for 8 years and wouldn’t know it was there without the rear camera. You may want to consider a small trailer for your motorcycle instead. Having to run errands with the coach is exhausting and expensive (fuel) if you are very far from town.

If something happened to Homer I’d replace him with another Class C. Class As are designed for "glamping". I want the versatility that Cs are better equipped to handle.

Have fun whatever you end up with!
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Old 07-31-2020, 09:53 AM   #9
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If something happened to Homer Id replace him with another Class C. Class As are designed for "glamping". I want the versatility that Cs are better equipped to handle.

Have fun whatever you end up with!

I have been back and forth on the A Vs C issue... here is where I land.. the wheelbase of your Class C is about the same as mine in a Class A will be, but only becasue the short class A's do use the 158" wheelbase, and I would bet that your 24' C ( that is actually 25 or 26! LOL ) has a similar wheel base, so out side of the front corner over hangs I don;t see why I couldn't creep into the same areas as you, but that was the root of the question.. where will the class A hangup where the C would not...

Outside of that consideration, a class C feels cramped to me.. I am ( or was) 6'4", so neither is going to be roomy as such.. my aim is a Class A set up so that whent he front seatrs are rotated around to face back they both actually work as chairs... more often I find that the drivers is blocked by some other component... I want that open space and head room that the A gives me.. plus there tends to be more storage in an A than a C... Also as I am going for the shorty version of the A class, space will be at a premium.

The 2-wheeler will go on a hitch carrier with a ramp, so no need to disconnect anything or worry about backing up.

Also..the added expense of the Toad and the rigging needed to haul it bumps up the project cost by $4k-$10k depending on the Toad, where as a small displacement bike and rack will only add around $1400.. that extra up to $10k would be better spent, If I have it, on a better rig and the emergency fund... plus the wear and tear added to the rig itself and the rotary bits of the toad.

If the budget was there, I could see a toad .. but then I could also see a nice pusher .. but now we are talking serious serious money... ( boggles the mind that people spend hundreds of thousands on a rig and then thousands more to put it somewhere!)

thanks .. and thanks


The long term plan is to, as time goes by, to enhance and or move to solar...
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Old 07-31-2020, 02:09 PM   #10
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Class As are designed for "glamping". I want the versatility that Cs are better equipped to handle.
This is definitely not true. You can go to any public land boondocking spot and find Class A's. I hate that word 'glamping'.

OP: Do you have particular places in mind that you really want to get to and you know the roads are so rough with holes, dips and boulders?

As I stated above, a lot of our 16 years of full-timing was done boondocking up to 20+ miles from pavement. It is so easy to find good gravel roads taking you to beautiful areas. We've done it in many states including up through Canada, Yukon and Alaska. Once parked then we'd explore farther with the Jeep or if you would have a dirt bike, etc.

The issues are rear overhang and ground clearance to protect any exposed piping/dump valves, etc.
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Old 07-31-2020, 03:31 PM   #11
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Absolutely. I have seen plastic pipes & dump valves placed where even a low curb or dip could "remove" them (ask me how I know). Another issue might be "Departure angles" (like they discuss with 4-wheelers). Some class A rear overhangs continue the lower body edge right to the end, and some start a gentle upward angle behind the rear wheels so the end of the body is higher.

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...
The issues are rear overhang and ground clearance to protect any exposed piping/dump valves, etc.
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Old 07-31-2020, 04:25 PM   #12
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JJ, are you looking at new or pre-owned RVs? Too many new units have "issues" that need to be fixed while under warranty. A new to you unit is often a better choice as the previous owner has been thru those headaches. I didn’t know any better and bought new. Thankfully I had zero warranty work. That is the exception, unfortunately, not the rule.

Off paved road driving is going to cause more oops, too.
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Old 07-31-2020, 04:41 PM   #13
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Ahhh HAH! I've always wanted to say that too... Since you mentioned "small displacement two Wheeler", which I assume means motorcycle that opened the door for another response from me.

I've carried a motorcycle on the back of my Arctic Fox fifth wheel for the last four years because I've enjoyed riding motorcycles since I got my first Cushman Eagle scooter when I was about 15. Up until recently I carried a 2016 Yamaha WR450 on a custom-made carrier welded to the frame of my fifth wheel, but that turned out to be more motorcycle than I needed so I sold it and bought a Beta 250cc trials bike. And no I don't ride trials, I bought it because the Yamaha weighed 279 pounds and since I'm an old geezer that bike required a lot of effort to load and unload. Meanwhile the 250 Beta weighs 159 pounds and almost loads itself.

But the reason I dropped by again is you mentioned something about your motorcycle going on a regular motorcycle carrier mounted to a hitch receiver. I of course don't know the details about what your set up will be but I would recommend two things. One... Ask the RV manufacturer if the RV will support that much weight on the back of their RV. I've done this before and you will be surprised how many say "no way"! The other thing I would recommend is having a welder weld the motorcycle carrier to the frame of the RV so it doesn't rock and bounce like they do just mounted to the receiver hitch.

I boondock most of the time and my motorcycle carrier has been over thousands of miles of dirt road and has never given me a problem. Just a thought.

PS.... I hate that word glamping to.

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Old 07-31-2020, 05:09 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by JJSimonds View Post


I posed this question before elsewhere, but me thinks this is the better place for it. In looking at RVs, I have decided that a short Class A is where I want to land... say a Flair 25 as an example.... it has a 158" wheelbase, which I have found is about the same as a Class C that is also 25'. The shorty Class C's do have a shorter wheelbase platform as a base, but that is getting too short. To cut to the chase, I like that a short class A makes better use of the cab area. I am 6'4" and the overbunk and cab are of a C just feel cramped.

So.. to the question.. ahem..

Given two 25' RVs, one class A and one class C, can the A go about anywhere the C can? Have you *seen* short A's going to the same places as C's... ??

I see myself as a docker of the boons.. I have done several multi-week trips on a motorcycle ( talk about your extreme small and light packing challenges) and while I am sure I will luxuriate on hook-up heaven occasionally (praise be endless until's, but not the neighbors).. so being able to have my space will be the goal, but can I go there in an A.

OK.. that is a tough question.. and yes I know about 4wd and that I am not going to go go "off roading" .. I didn't just fall off the septic truck yesterday... I have seen many YouTubers take their C's, 5th's and towables to some amazing spots... will a shorty A get to most of those spots as well..

In looking at the physical nature of an A, it would seem the issue will be not the front or rear overhang, but maybe a lower belly pan and side?? Maybe the front corners?? Any experience here with this?

Any words of wisdom would be appreciated...
Below are a couple photos of our 24 ft. (158" wheelbase) Class C on the optional E450 chassis (fo provide overkill ruggedness). We take it carefully on rough roads whenever needed for exploring and camping. I installed tires on it of larger diameter than what came on it in order gain ground clearance. All plumbing, generator, and other components are up high at about frame height (and now higher due to the non-stock tires).

If I carried an off-road motorcycle on it ... it would be on a front carrier to keep rear overhang handling problems to a minimum. The carrier would be a custom one welded or bolted to the front ends of the two E450 frame members.

I'm am, or used to be, ~6'2" and have no problem sleeping laterally across in the upper bunk (probably because the coach is 101" wide), using the coach lounge chair, or dinette:




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