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Author Topic: 30' or shorter Class A suggestions?  (Read 558 times)

702Rubi

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30' or shorter Class A suggestions?
« on: November 10, 2017, 03:14:31 PM »
I continue looking at the possibility of getting into an RV on a full-time basis. (You can check my introduction for more information about my current situation.)

Lots of pros and cons when considering a towable versus a motorhome. But I still find the motorhome very appealing.

As noted this would be for full timing. And only for one person.  If I even got a pet, it would be a cat, not a dog. I would like to have a smaller unit. I know people here advise going larger than one thinks one needs, but I am somewhat of a minimalist in general. So I hope I could get something no longer than 30 ft.

I like the class A setup because of the ample storage. 

Probably the only must-have beyond the usual amenities, would be a automatic leveling / stabilizing system.

I would want a dinghy. Something 5000 Lbs max.  Either four wheels down or possibly on a dolly.  (Note I am not looking for dinghy suggestions, just providing a max weight to help evaluate GCWR and such.)

I would be primarily moving around in the western US. So trying to avoid temperature extremes at either end of the spectrum.  ;)  And especially avoiding snow and ice, LOL.

My plans would include driving into the High Country, namely the Rockies, in the summer. So I need a rig that could safely get up those grades at altitude, even if I did have to suck it up and get in the slow lane with the 18 wheelers.

With that information to go by, could anyone suggest some models to consider? These could be new or just a few years old.

SeilerBird

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Re: 30' or shorter Class A suggestions?
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2017, 03:19:59 PM »
I lived in a 32 foot class A for five years single and it was way too small. I would suggest 35 feet at least. It is not a question of being a minimalist, it is a question of having enough room for your stuff and having decent size holding tanks. Small RVs have small holding tanks which means dumping more often. What are your reasons for wanting to stay under 30 feet?
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Isaac-1

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Re: 30' or shorter Class A suggestions?
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2017, 01:04:33 AM »
I agree with the question of why under 30 feet if you are going to pull a TOAD around?

I have a 28 ft 2002 Safari Trek 2830 that is a twin to the one shown in this you tube video, just a different mural on the back (note there are numerous salesman mistakes, including length, transmission, etc.) actual length is 29'3" bumper to bumper. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqDAGm4LEJ0

I have owned my coach for a bit over a year,  I don't full time, however I spent about 65 nights in the coach in the first year, spending just over 3 weeks in a row on my longest stretch, with about 1/3 of my time traveling solo, I have also traveled about 6,500 miles and spent about $7,000 on upkeep and upgrades, the latest of which was $580 for a Magna-Shade sun screen to go on the windshield.

What I like about the Trek is that it gives me the option to travel without pulling a TOAD around everywhere, now this does limit places that I can get to, at least to a degree, though I can sort of fit into a standard parking space if I can back in and hang over a curb, see attached photo where I was parked at a museum in Kansas.  Now I do admit there are places where a TOAD would be nice, and I am considering the purchase of an electric bicycle to give a local area transportation option, many of which will do over 25 mph and have a 30 mile all electric range on flat ground.

Ike
« Last Edit: November 11, 2017, 01:06:08 AM by Isaac-1 »
2002 Safari Trek 2830

Charlie 5320

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Re: 30' or shorter Class A suggestions?
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2017, 08:10:00 AM »
Ike, you keep comparing your Trek to other MH of the same size. NOT comparable at all. While YOU like the bed that drops from the center of the coach MOST people do NOT, including myself.  I want a separate bedroom, and so do most other people. A regular coach that is 30 ft may not be large enough to full time in, especially if it don't have a slide or two. I had a 30 ft Challenger for 7 years, while I liked it very well my late wife did NOT. I moved up to a 34 ft Dolphin with 2 slides, it is a much better built coach, with much more storage space and larger tanks. While I'm not planning to ever go full time, it has enough room that I could if I wanted to. I don't think I could have with the Challenger, well at least not comfortable. I agree with Tom 34 or 35 ft for a single would be about right. The 30 ft coach had a 178" wheelbase and the 34 ft coach has a 208" wheelbase, and is no harder to drive or park. It does ride a whole lot better, with the longer wheelbase and 22.5 tires. It is also much quieter with the duel pane windows. While I loved my Challenger, I'd have a real rough time going back to it now. Spoiled.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 30' or shorter Class A suggestions?
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2017, 08:40:32 AM »
I'll agree with the others - being single or a minimalist does not equate well to a particular RV length.  Even a minimalist needs a shower big enough to stand in, a bed long enough so his feet don't hang off, and a place for clothing and personal gear.   Don't focus on the length right up front - it's a very arbitrary restriction. Instead look at various sizes and layouts and try them on for comfort. There are Class A sizes from 26 ft all the way to 45 and somewhere in there you will find the combination of features, living space and storage.


Not sure what you include under "the usual amenities", but consider whether you want to include a combo washer/dryer vs regular laundromat visits. It's a fairly significant lifestyle (convenience) choice.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
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Isaac-1

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Re: 30' or shorter Class A suggestions?
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2017, 09:42:29 AM »
Charlie, I agree the Trek is a different set of trade off's some like it, some don't (I don't know if I would say most), but I think it is a good idea for those that are out there looking for a smaller coach to at least know it is an option.

As to not comparable, you are right, show me another coach that is less than 35 ft long that has a kitchen or bathroom that are anywhere near the size of the ones in my Trek.  As to no slides, personally I don't want them, as I hear too many horror stories, just a couple of weeks ago as I was leaving the FMCA rally in Texarkana and saw one of these incidents for myself, the coach parked next to me could not get their slide closed as their slide topper was pinched in the assembly, they had 3 or 4 people with ladders out helping trying to get it unstuck. 

Though if one did want slides in a Trek, they were introduced in 2004 with the 29RDB, which is very similar in layout to my 2830, but about a foot longer with 2 slides in the kitchen area it was available with 22.5 inch tires, and a 190 inch wheel base vs the 178 inch with 19.5 inch tires of mine.  As to the windows, almost all Trek's (excluding the short lived Trek Sport model) have dual pane windows, and by all reports the 8.1L Vortec is quieter than the 6.8L Ford found on many newer coaches.

Now Charlie, I don't think a shorter coach is good for everyone, and I think it is important to make sure people are considering a shorter coach for the right reasons as many consider them due to fear of driving a big vehicle, but with that said, see the above attached photo, with a 178 inch wheel base my coach can back into a parking space if there is a curb to overhang, though it does stick out a few inches into the aisle, but no more than a large pickup truck does when pulled in nose first.  Try doing that on your coach and you will be sticking out nearly another 3 feet which would be enough to obstruct traffic.

Ike
2002 Safari Trek 2830

Wanderman

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Re: 30' or shorter Class A suggestions?
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2017, 10:20:06 AM »
I have had my 23'8" Aero Cruiser for 6 Years now and travel quite often. They are rare and finding one with the options you'd need may be tough. it took me well over 1 year to locate mine. I have spent many weeks in it with one and two people along without issue. The holding tanks are pretty close to a much larger coach and the kitchen has a 4 burner stove, convection microwave and double sink. There has been adequate counter space. The rear corner bed, sometimes is a pain to make up from scratch, but doable. It has a dry bath (separate shower/toilet area.


I write all about my travails and travels at:

http://www.thewanderman.com

In the earliest articles you will find lots about the coach and my quest for a small, higher ground clearance, livable class a.

The main issue will always be one of storage. I have one large "basement" storage area and a couple of small ones. The rest has to be stored inside. So far, it has been fine.

As with anything...YMMV,

Rich "The Wanderman"

Ernie n Tara

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Re: 30' or shorter Class A suggestions?
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2017, 08:11:55 AM »
It seems most people concentrate on living arrangements and minimize the impact of storage. For FULLTIMERS that may be backwards.  Remember you're carrying everything you own!  That is not the case for longtimers, even snowbirds. We had a smaller class A when we started fulltiming, but still left stuff at home. Today we have a nicer 34 ft DP with three slides including one full body. More comfortable, but we still need a small box trailer (that we leave at our winter park) to handle the extra.  And it's still cluttered. :o

Ernie
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SeilerBird

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Re: 30' or shorter Class A suggestions?
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2017, 08:23:58 AM »
IMHO serious full timers should get rid of almost everything they own and not drag it around with them or store. At our age death is getting closer and eventually someone will be tasked with sorting all the junk out and dealing with it.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 30' or shorter Class A suggestions?
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2017, 08:34:38 AM »
Quote
It seems most people concentrate on living arrangements and minimize the impact of storage. For FULLTIMERS that may be backwards.  Remember you're carrying everything you own!

Good point, Ernie. I include "places to store your gear" in the definition of "livability" and "your wants & needs", but the point deserves more emphasis.  And not just storage bays in the basement either; everybody needs drawers, cabinets, closet, pantry in varying degrees. Finding places for everything from pens to pots & pans and cold weather clothing can be a challenge in even a large RV.
Gary
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Charlie 5320

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Re: 30' or shorter Class A suggestions?
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2017, 10:10:06 AM »
IMHO serious full timers should get rid of almost everything they own and not drag it around with them or store. At our age death is getting closer and eventually someone will be tasked with sorting all the junk out and dealing with it.
You're right Tom. Since the passing of my wife in May, I've been working on getting rid of everything that we've accumulated over the years. Much of it should have been disposed of years ago. I've found check stubs and tax papers from since we were married in 1981. Not only that but found her parents tax papers and my moms tax papers, and they have been gone for better than 10 years. I had one heck of a fire this last week, good thing I live in the county, so I can burn this stuff. I have boxs of toys from when my kids were little, and my youngest will be 32. He won't let his little girl play with this old stuff, so it's going too.   
« Last Edit: November 12, 2017, 11:21:45 AM by Sun2Retire »
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rls7201

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Re: 30' or shorter Class A suggestions?
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2017, 02:43:22 PM »
Not sure why a MH bathroom needs to be large. What % of you day do you spend in there? I'm over 6' and have no problem with the tiny bathroom in our 32' Bounder. It allows me to perform all my necessary body functions, with out bruises or blisters. I've slept with my toes hanging over the end of the bed most of my life. I'm asleep and don't notice. Just make sure the living space where you spend most of your time, suites your needs. Closet space and storage should be a priority. The wife and I spend months on end in our 8' wide 32' long, no slides MH. We like each other.


Richard  & Michele Shields
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Gladstone, MO
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702Rubi

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Re: 30' or shorter Class A suggestions?
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2017, 11:07:00 PM »
OK, thanks for the responses.

Lots of people here obviously think anything below 30 feet is way too small to full-time in, even for a single person. On the other hand, these folks full timed for a year or so in a 29 foot Newmar Class A, then decided it was too big and traded it for a Class B, LOL:

https://weretherussos.com/class-b-camper-van-for-full-time-rving/

BTW, the Newmar Baystar looks like a very attractive option to me.  A Class B would be too small.  As my introduction on the Forum shows, I was and still am "full timing" in a four-door Jeep Wrangler! So if I'm going to buy an RV, I want one with actual living and storage space, LOL

Keeping it under 30 feet increases campsite options.  While I envision primarily setting up in RV parks, it would be nice to have the option to use smaller campgrounds.

Someone also mentioned that a sub 30 foot would have inadequate tank capacities. Along those lines, I found it interesting that in the Newmar Bay Star brochure, even their largest model has the exact same tank capacities as the 29er.

The floor plan for the 29' 11" 2018 Bay Star sport shows a 36-inch by 36 inch shower. Just how much bigger would the shower be even in a somewhat larger motorhome?

As for a washer dryer, yes I would love to have my own. But I think that is one thing I will have to live without. I already have to use laundromats. At least with an RV, I could have more clothes along with me, and shouldn't have to do laundry but about every two weeks.

BTW, since the topic came up...  Everything I own that isn't in my Jeep (or my bank safe deposit box) is currently stored in a 15 by 10 storage unit. And  with tighter packing, it could all fit in a 10 by 10.

Isaac-1

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Re: 30' or shorter Class A suggestions?
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2017, 01:48:33 AM »
I really can't say much bad about the Baystar Sport's though I do feel they just barely miss the mark for a small class A for 1 or 2 people. It is close, but it seems to me that they devote a bit too much to living room space and take a little too much away from kitchen space on most of the floorplans.  Also watch that limited cargo carrying weight capacity on the smallest floorplan.
2002 Safari Trek 2830

Lou Schneider

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Re: 30' or shorter Class A suggestions?
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2017, 02:39:05 AM »
Also watch that limited cargo carrying weight capacity on the smallest floorplan.

4506 lbs. NCC on a 30 ft. motorhome should be sufficient, unless you intend to emulate Lucy and her rock collection.   ;)

NCSU Dad

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Re: 30' or shorter Class A suggestions?
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2017, 05:57:22 AM »
At our age death is getting closer and eventually someone will be tasked with sorting all the junk out and dealing with it.

That is the absolute truth no matter what a persons age is.

We are still searching for our first RV. I have to admit most we have looked at are on the shorter end of the market because we do not plan on living full-time. IMO these offer a ridiculously small amount of storage in their layouts.

SeilerBird

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Re: 30' or shorter Class A suggestions?
« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2017, 06:37:50 AM »
Lots of people here obviously think anything below 30 feet is way too small to full-time in, even for a single person.
The reason I feel that way was due to full timing in a 27 foot class A for a year. It was miserable compared to the 32 foot class A I traded up to. And even that was way too small. Now I am in a 33 foot three slide fiver and it is the right size for me. All I can say is don't spend too much on a sub 30 foot class A because you will probably be upgrading soon.
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Isaac-1

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Re: 30' or shorter Class A suggestions?
« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2017, 07:14:51 AM »
4506 lbs. NCC on a 30 ft. motorhome should be sufficient, unless you intend to emulate Lucy and her rock collection.   ;)

Perhaps, but an NCC of 2608 on the 27 ft model does seem a bit cramped
2002 Safari Trek 2830

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 30' or shorter Class A suggestions?
« Reply #18 on: November 15, 2017, 08:25:13 AM »
Only you can decide how much space is enough, whether bathroom, galley, or storage.   Our advice is merely that most people underestimate, so be careful. Getting the space and layout wrong is a very expensive mistake and one that haunts you day in and day out.

The Bay Star Sport is larger than many other 29's in terms of tanks sizes and cargo capacity, so I think those concerns can be put aside.

If you watch much tv,  pay attention to the tv viewing angle from the seating. A rather common fault in RV floor plans is that the tv requires an awkward up or side angle of the head that gets bothersome after a half hour or so of watching.

Your primary concern over length appears to be campsite size and selection. I do not think there is a material difference in campsite choice in the range of 29-34 feet in length. In our 20+ years of Rv travel, it appears to me that "small" sites handle 25 ft and under, "medium" sites hold 26-34', and "large" is 35-40 ft. And over 40' is "supersized".  ;)   Obviously there will be exception to any generalization like that, but we've traveled across the country several times with rigs ranging from 24 ft to 40 ft and seldom encountered much in the way of size constraints until we hit 36 ft. Even then it was just a reduced choice. At 40 ft, we began to be a bit more careful about selecting campgrounds.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

 

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