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Author Topic: 30 foot Class C or shorter Class A  (Read 502 times)

Sacuna

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30 foot Class C or shorter Class A
« on: September 11, 2017, 04:02:38 PM »
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 reasonsÖ 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, itís obvious this rig needs to grow. How much to grow is the question.

Staying with my ďless is moreĒ motto, I started looking at low profile Cís 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, Iím already throwing away the ease of 25-27 footers and Iím almost limiting myself to only going where Class Aís can go. Which leads me to my dilemma.

My specific question is: if Iím 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. Iím 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 Cís perform best under 28ft in terms of overhang/tail swing and weight limit.

HappyWanderer

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Re: 30 foot Class C or shorter Class A
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2017, 05:06:40 PM »
There's no right or wrong answer, floorplan is more important than chassis type.

Think through how you'll actually use the camper, based on your previous experience. The overhead bunk in a Class C is great for kids: it becomes their bedroom, playroom and place for toys and "stuff" that comes along with them. A Class A might have better basement storage, but on a short unit, maybe not.

I don't think that tail swing is a big deal once you get used to how the rig handles. Either way, nothing is going to compare with parking your van!
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AStravelers

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Re: 30 foot Class C or shorter Class A
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2017, 06:44:43 PM »
Having had a  26' class C and now a 29' class A, the class A is a lot roomier, however you loose the cab over bed which is great for the kids.  Otherwise you are making up the sofa & dinette every night and morning.   Many times the rear overhang on a 29-30' Class A is shorter than on a Class C.  We take our 29' Class A on gravel roads quite often and it handles the dips quite well.  Not as well as most 20' Class B's though.  I'm not saying we typically go 20 miles down a gravel/dirt road, but we do go 1-5 miles to a really nice quiet and private boondocking spot.

The V10 in the F53 has a little more power than the one in E-450. 

Check the fresh water & holding tank capacities, the Class A may have more than the Class C.  Only important if you dry camp/boondock, but you mention going places you think the larger RV may not get into so it sounds like you don't always go where there are hookups.   

Not an easy decision.  Pros & cons either way.   
Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Sightseer 29R
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Spring Creek

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Re: 30 foot Class C or shorter Class A
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2017, 08:28:22 PM »
If you have never driven a class C or A, I highly recommend driving each one before you make a decision.

We wanted a larger, roomier unit and traded from a C to an A.  While I know others who are very, very satisfied with the move, we were extremely disappointed with the class A and are now back with a class C.  Even with a large overhang on our current class C, it handles heads and shoulders above the class A.

Had I driven a class A for a weekend, I never would have purchased one.  For me, floorplan comes in second (and unfortunately I have the cancelled checks to prove it).   :'(

NOTE!  If you load heavy, you may not have many options with a class C.  I am willing to sacrifice cargo for other things I like about a class C.


« Last Edit: September 11, 2017, 08:31:44 PM by Spring Creek »
Kurt
2018 Winnebago Minnie Winnie 31K - 2011 Equinox

Charlie 5320

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Re: 30 foot Class C or shorter Class A
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2017, 08:38:22 PM »
I've owned 5 class Cs and none of them handled as good as any class A that I've had. Yes do drive both types before you make your purchase. A 30 ft class A will have more storage if it is a basement model, and have larger tanks. They just seem roomier even without slides. I'm one that would never consider going back to a C for any reason.
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Isaac-1

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Re: 30 foot Class C or shorter Class A
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2017, 08:53:32 PM »
Here is my take on length, keep in mind this is coming from the owner of a 28 ft Class A (29.5 ft actual bumper to bumper).  When compared to something like a 25 ft class B, my coach is about a foot or so taller and 7-9 inches wider, the width will make the road lanes feel narrower, but this is really only an issue on small roads, and there are few places that a 9.5 ft tall vehicle can go that an 11.5 ft tall one can't, with both one has to watch out for overhanging limbs, and neither is going to fit into a fast food drive thru or a parking garage.  When driving down the highway length barely matters at all, only in parking lots, and squeezing into RV spaces does this really come into play.  A typical big box store parking space is 9 ft wide by 22 ft long, as a result few motorhomes will fit in a single parking space, and thanks to width once you consider, mirrors, tail swing, etc. one is looking at 2 to 4 spaces no matter how you slice it, so this does limit where you can go.  In my coach with a 178 inch wheel base I can squeeze into a surprising number of places, particularly if I plan ahead a bit.  Attached is a photo of my parked in a museum parking lot in Kansas a few weeks ago.  This particular lot had dividers between all the spaces so the choice was to park cross ways across parking spaces or hang over a curb.  I doubt this would be practical in anything longer, as it is I was already sticking out into the aisle a bit, but really no more than a crew cab pickup would if pulled in nose first.
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blw2

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Re: 30 foot Class C or shorter Class A
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2017, 09:58:44 AM »
my take is that class C's fill a specific and narrow niche for families

My experience when shopping was that similar sized/priced A's didn't really have that significant increase in basement space over the C's and they had the disadvantage on the interior for fitting a family.
Some of those smaller/cheaper A's might have taken an advantage in terms of tank size etc. though.
A lot depends on floorplan. 
My C has more interior counter space and cabinet space than every A that I looked at while shopping, and also has the advantage with the overhead bunk.  The only thing that comes close would be an A with the mechanized bunk over the cab seats...but that opens up other cans of worms. 
The drawbacks in my case are small tanks and limited weight capacity.

It is a tradeoff...
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
í13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

SeilerBird

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Re: 30 foot Class C or shorter Class A
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2017, 01:57:52 PM »
I have owned several As, several Cs and several Bs. I prefer the As because the first 7 feet in a class C is the wasted space of the hood. A 30 foot A has a lot more interior room than a 30 foot C. Find an RV dealer and check out what I am saying. IMHO a family of four should not be in anything less than 35 feet with a few slides. Every person takes up room, brings stuff and uses the holding tanks. Your kids are only going to grow larger.
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blw2

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Re: 30 foot Class C or shorter Class A
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2017, 05:33:25 PM »
I have owned several As, several Cs and several Bs. I prefer the As because the first 7 feet in a class C is the wasted space of the hood. A 30 foot A has a lot more interior room than a 30 foot C. Find an RV dealer and check out what I am saying. IMHO a family of four should not be in anything less than 35 feet with a few slides. Every person takes up room, brings stuff and uses the holding tanks. Your kids are only going to grow larger.
but that whole bit about wasted space is all perspective.... 
from the perspective of one to two adults who, with a bed in the rear, have no need for that overhead bunk.
but...from the perspective of the family, that first 7ft (or whatever it is) really isn't wasted at all.  It's capped off with a bunk that's always open, requires no set-up, bed is always made, no mechanisms to break....
   ...and it's a two story space to boot! 
         We often use our cab seats while "camped".  It would be much better for sure if they swiveled rearward, but they get use plenty.  Reading watching shows on ipads and devices, etc.... or for storage
It's really only 2 ft or so of hood that sticks out front that's not used when in 'house' mode..... and that trade off is offset by the cab door access, air bags, etc....

getting back to the OP's comments though, I'd say that your 28ft for a C may be a good rule of thumb ballpark.  Not so much for tail swing though, which I don't really find to be an issue in my 31..... but it's more about overloading the rear axle, having sufficient tow and weight capacity, & larger tanks.
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
í13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

kwajkat

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Re: 30 foot Class C or shorter Class A
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2017, 11:44:24 PM »
I currently have a Winnebago vista LX 30T and I find it a perfect size with regards to size, handling, etc, It is as easy to drive and handle as a class C.  You might want to check it out as it has a loft bed for kids, Mine has the dinette buffet with chairs and a sofa which I find better than the classical dinette.  I don't have any more problems driving it than I did with the class B+ Cambria I had. I have found if I don't do a real sharp turn I don't have to worry about tail swing. However I make sure when I am driving my full attention is on driving and my surroundings.  While it may seem to be more awkward and bulky than a class B or C, it actually isn't.  They also have a vista model that has bunk beds. Finding one that has the floor plan that works best for you and has the storage that will also work best for you is the key whether it will be a class C or A. 
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Spring Creek

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Re: 30 foot Class C or shorter Class A
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2017, 11:33:36 AM »
Ditto, BLW2....

It's no where near 7 feet from the front bumper to the front of the overhang.  In addition, my driver and passenger chairs turn around so that is usable space, along with the overhead bunk that is larger than a queen size bed that is always ready to sleep people.

38 ft class A and 33 ft class C - I've had the same number of people inside to eat and neither was crowded.  38 ft class A only had room to sleep 4.  33 ft class C has room for 8, comfortably.  Class A had options you can't get in the class C (most anyway) like a huge residential fridge and a second full size bathroom.  Both are great pluses but not enough for me.

Bottom line is since one size doesn't fit all, it's best to try/use/rent things in your price range to see what YOU like.

Pretty sure this is why they still make both  ;)
Kurt
2018 Winnebago Minnie Winnie 31K - 2011 Equinox

HappyWanderer

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Re: 30 foot Class C or shorter Class A
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2017, 12:21:15 PM »
Ditto, BLW2....

It's no where near 7 feet from the front bumper to the front of the overhang. ...

It's 28 inches on mine, just about the same amount of "wasted space" between the doghouse and windshield on a Class A.
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John Beard

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Re: 30 foot Class C or shorter Class A
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2017, 12:50:05 PM »
I've also owned a Class A (Fleetwood Bounder 33U) and Class C motorhomes. I prefer the Class C over the A for a number of reasons. I didn't like the "Bus" driving position that a Class A offers. I prefer the handling characteristics of my Winnebago Aspect 30J. I don't carry a lot of junk so I don't have storage issues. Although most if not all E450 based Class C motorhomes have a 5,000# towing capacity, so I am considering a move up to the Super C. I like the arrangement and driving position in the Super C. I don't miss having the cockpit space available. I buy new and I like Cs, I am considered villainous by many stalwarts in the RVing Community. Oh well, it's my money.
John & Susan
2014 Winnebago Aspect 30J
2005 Jeep Wrangler X, Toad, a little modified
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kdbgoat

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Re: 30 foot Class C or shorter Class A
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2017, 12:51:41 PM »
Some of the newer E-450 based C's have a tow rating of 7500-8000# now. Mine's 7500#
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John Beard

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Re: 30 foot Class C or shorter Class A
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2017, 01:09:36 PM »
Some of the newer E-450 based C's have a tow rating of 7500-8000# now. Mine's 7500#

I saw that on a CLass C coach I saw on the interweb the other day. I would be in good shape with a 7500# rating.
John & Susan
2014 Winnebago Aspect 30J
2005 Jeep Wrangler X, Toad, a little modified
Northwest Las Vegas, NV

blw2

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Re: 30 foot Class C or shorter Class A
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2017, 02:51:09 PM »
I saw that on a CLass C coach I saw on the interweb the other day. I would be in good shape with a 7500# rating.

I read that too someplace else recently.  Mine is only a 5,000# sadly
but the rub is my rear axle is already overloaded or nearly so with nothing hitched up...& I'll bet that hasn't changed in the new ones....
score 1 for class A's...maybe.....
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
í13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

kdbgoat

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Re: 30 foot Class C or shorter Class A
« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2017, 06:54:16 PM »
I'm actually closer on my front axle when fully loaded.
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