Motorhome Magazine Open Roads Forum: 30 foot Class C or shorter Class A
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 > 30 foot Class C or shorter Class A

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beeven

Arlington

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Posted: 09/11/17 02:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm coming out of a B van looking at upgrading my family of 4 (2 young kids) to a larger coach. I've always wanted to be as small as possible in my RV for a multitude of reasons… chief among them is my thinking that a bigger RV will be used less often. Our style of travel has been day trips and touring, which this B van is great for. However, for further away trips (2-4 days) and weekend camping, both of which we want to get more into, it’s obvious this rig needs to grow. How much to grow is the question.

Staying with my “less is more” motto, I started looking at low profile C’s and B pluses, ala Lazy Daze and Phoenix Cruiser. To make this upgrade/expense be worth the effort, however, I find myself gravitating toward the 30 foot versions. At 30 ft, I’m already throwing away the ease of 25-27 footers and I’m almost limiting myself to only going where Class A’s can go. Which leads me to my dilemma.

My specific question is: if I’m going all the way to 30 feet on a van chassis (which is arguably close to max capacity), would we be better off just getting a short (30-33ft) Class A on the F53 chassis?

I hope not to start a Class argument. I’m just looking for useful insight on when the difference between the two becomes so narrow that a jump up to a Class A makes sense.

My assumption is that Class C’s perform best under 28ft in terms of overhang/tail swing and weight limit.

j-d

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Posted: 09/11/17 05:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There's a powerful 24-ft lobby, and a powerful 26-foot lobby, in Class C's. Thing about C's, is that cabover bunk. It creates a second sleeping area that many if not most Class A's don't have. We are a couple, and we're in a 31-ft that we've weighed. It's right at chassis max with just us and our habit of packing heavy. We have a lot of supplies, tools, food and clothing. Reducing to "necessities" a family of four could sleep two in the rear queen (smaller C's would be a rear corner) and two could sleep in the "loft" up front, leaving both the foldout sofa and the convertible dinette clear. Deploy both and sleeping capacity goes to eight. Leaves a passage between dinette and kitchen back to the bedroom, but cabover climbs down onto sofa bed, and there's just about no getting to the coach door to the outside. We have seatbelts for all eight, counting two in the cockpit.
Just for me, I don't want to be setting up sleeping area(s) every night and not being able to do anything in the morning till they've been folded up. But that's OK with many.
There are some modern designs that incorporate drop down beds in small Class A's, there's Thor's "ACE" for A-C Evolution that might work. Some smaller coaches now have bunk beds on one side.
Floor Plan Rules! If you can't live in it, then you can't enjoy it and that's when you won't use it.


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ron.dittmer

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Posted: 09/11/17 06:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If considering a class-A, look at a used Tiffin Allegro Breeze 28BR. They are the shortest & lowest profile diesel pushers I know of.....compact yet not. They are pricey compared to a generic used class A, but I feel is worth it for the benefits of a diesel pusher, and Tiffin also puts better quality into the Breeze line-up.


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Bordercollie

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Posted: 09/12/17 09:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Motorhomes all have compromises. IMHO a 27 foot Class C with rear RV queen bedroom and overhead bed, etc., for kids is best compromise. 26-27 footers can park in most campsites and attractions, have adequate storage/cabinet area, and can maneuver quite well. Slides are nice but can have problems. Class A's can have similar floor plans but most are suited to mature couples and have huge windshields and no shade from overhead, harder to have serviced, increased danger from head on collision due to weaker front structure.

Our first Class C was a '79 vintage 24 footer, very little cargo and cabinet space, sleep on convertible couch ( lumpy, to small for two) or sleep in overhead, crawl over spouse in dark and down ladder to go to restroom and back to bed without waking partner, yuck!! If you can sleep anywhere, are not arthritic, not bothered by being confined in overhead, not bothered by clutter, 24 footers, with overhang bed, have a few advantages vs 26-27 foot rigs, but are mostly same width and height as longer rigs. Used short Class C's are probably less plentiful than longer rigs. If you can afford renting a typical 24 footer, and a 27 footer with rear bed, that would help in deciding
on length/features/convenience.

* This post was edited 09/18/17 06:55am by Bordercollie *

fourthclassC

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Posted: 09/12/17 10:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Interesting and fun topic. Only my opinion here (which is changing due to age) I have always believed that anything greater then 24' is not suitible for me to drive. (either A or C) Stuck with 24' C with 3 kids and wife which was just fine. It was a pain to make up the dinette each morning but we dealt with it. Now with just wife and myself, the rear corner bed is becoming a pain to get in and out of. (also making it) I suggest staying with 24' or less then class C. We have never used a toad, which contributes to my favor of this length..

John S.

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Posted: 09/12/17 10:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a 29 foot on a F550. Plenty of power and room too. If you got the cab over bed and the corner bed you would have the couch corner bed and cabover for sleeping. 19.5k. Chassis too.


John
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carringb

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Posted: 09/12/17 11:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

30' Class C's aren't necessary overloaded like they once were. The E450 chassis gained a little more capacity in 2009, and coach construction and materials have reduced the coach weights even as amenities and slide-outs have grown.

I've seen enough Class A collisions to recommend against them. There is generally zero safety provisions such as a metal body structure and airbags, they fare extremely poor in collisions where passenger car occupants can walk away un-injured if belted.


Bryan

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johnwalkerpa1

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Posted: 09/13/17 06:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just a couple of points that I have come to believe (IMO, of course) over the years...

* I don't think there is any real difference in driving a 24-26 unit versus a 30-32 foot...minor things, yes, but nothing major
* A lot of the larger Class C's and shorter Class A's will have similar floor plans. Now that many class A's have drop down beds over the front seats, the over the cab bed is even there in both.
* In theory, a short class A would have more carrying capacity than a long class C but not always...
* As mentioned above not all long class C's are overloaded as they used to be. I currently have a 32 foot class C that has 1600 Lbs of OCCC.
* Most Class A's will have more external storage space than a Class C
* Most all class A's are taller than a Class C. In many cases, this is more an issue than added length.
* The Class C has 3 doors, the class A usually only has one.


Good luck in your search!

tobydad

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Posted: 09/13/17 07:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Having had both Class A and C - just my opinions. I found the C easier to drive, because the driver's seat is next to the door making it easier to judge the right side clearance. The class A with the driver more to the right of the door, I found difficult to judge when I was centered in the lane. the Class C with the bed over the cab can be used as extra storage inside when not being used as a bed. Things like souvenirs or other things bought or brought that cannot fit into cabinets can be tossed up over the cab and out of the way.

carmichael

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Posted: 09/13/17 07:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I agree with c a r r i n g b as far as the safety issue goes.. above all with young children you must consider the safety. We can always do with less space than we think we can at the beginning. Lazy days are a great motorhome with lots of visual space. In that model there's room enough for 10 people to sit comfortably and Converse while seeing views out all windows.

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