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Author Topic: Rookie buyer  (Read 607 times)

Deannawoods22

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Rookie buyer
« on: June 04, 2020, 05:26:20 PM »
Hello, thinking of purchasing a class C RV. Just noticed that some campgrounds only allow class A. Am I limited with a Sprinter class C? I want to camp at places with patios, fire pits, etc. Also, are nice camp spots available to book? I’ve heard everything “nice” is booked up for a year!! Not interested in waiting that long. Also, do not feel comfortable driving longer than 24 ft. Thank you for any advice for a rookie.

cavie

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Re: Rookie buyer
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2020, 05:35:55 PM »
The rules say class A only. You drive a class C. What do you think the answer is?? The uptiups don't want you around.
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donn

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Re: Rookie buyer
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2020, 06:34:18 PM »
If you want to go those snooty places save your money and go to resort hotels.  If you want to have fun get a small trailer and enjoy the great outdoors.

BinaryBob

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Re: Rookie buyer
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2020, 06:49:18 PM »
What information made you limit your options to 24 feet? Not trying to change your mind, but we've seen many rookies intimidated by length. If a C is your preference that's fine, but don't be intimidated by a longer rig. It's all there behind you and you know where it is. I find driving my class A easier than a car.
2004 Itasca Suncruiser 37B
2016 Winnebago Adventurer 37F

Isaac-1

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Re: Rookie buyer
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2020, 07:18:17 PM »
Like most things in life you will find certain groups who wish to exclude others, class A only RV parks are just one more example of this, since buying my current coach in 2016 and spending on average 75 nights per year in it on the road until this year I have happened upon one class A only RV park in searching online for potential places to stay on a trip.  In this case, even though I have a class A motorhome, I would have been excluded from this particularly class A only RV resort, as my class A was too small, being only a 28 ft class A, and with this particular place not only did one have to own a Class A, but it had to be over 34 feet long.

You are far more likely to run into RV parks with max RV age limits than class A only parks, these typically have a max age limit of 10 to 20 years, and here again I have only ran into it once, last October in Arizona.  We spent 1 night at a park with a 20 year max age limit with "no exceptions" clearly stated on the web site, and when we were there our 18 year old coach was one of the nicest looking RV's on the property, the place was surprising low end, with lots of low end 15 or so year old worn out travel trailers.  But again, there park their rules.

As to the rest, finding places that accept Class B, Class C's, travel trailers, etc. of any age (if they are in good cosmetic condition), is rarely a problem, particularly for overnight or short term stays.  Amenity levels vary, public operated campgrounds in state parks, COE parks, will often have water and electric hookups only with communal dump station near the entrance, each site will tend to have a picnic table, often on a concrete patio area, and have 40-60 feet between spaces.  Commercial RV parks regardless of their luxury level tends to be more tightly packed, tough nicer ones may have nearly as much spacing between sites as state parks, etc.  others will have you squeezed in like sardines with your neighbors 10 feet or less away.

As to sites being booked up a year out, a lot has to do with what part of the country you are in, when you want to travel and how flexible you are.  Living in Louisiana in the southern US, and traveling mostly in the shoulder seasons, I have yet to see it, having a relatively small coach helps also.  Since buying our current coach in 2016 our travels have ranged from Florida to Yellowstone, to Arizona and north as far as Missouri , only once have I had difficulty getting reservations about 9 months in advance, and that was for yellowstone and the big solar eclipse in the summer of 2017.  Even this worked out, it just required a bit of rearranging of the route making a clockwise loop through the Grand Tetons NP, Yellowstone, etc. instead of the originally planned counter clockwise loop, and spending about 3 days on the phone trying to find a good place to see the eclipse, we ended up at a spectacular site at a hunting camp with 14 RV hookups, just a few hundred yards off the centerline of the eclipse about 15 miles down a secondary highway outside Douglas, WY.  Of course for the event they had about 80 tent campers.  Still a nice big open valley, and no clouds at the right time.

p.s. See attached photo of one of the nicer commercial campgrounds where we have stayed in Dubois WY from that trip, right on the water with a small river passing by, and nearest neighbor about 50 feet away.  Also don't let size scare you into buying something too small for you to be comfortable in, there is a big difference in living space between a 24 ft even just a 26 or 28 ft coach.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2020, 07:20:46 PM by Isaac-1 »
2002 Safari Trek 2830

Isaac-1

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Re: Rookie buyer
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2020, 07:25:13 PM »
One more comment on length our coach is 29'5" bumper to bumper and by traveling without a TOAD car behind us we can stop in all sorts of places mid day on a travel day where a larger coach could not fit, though we are still limited.  Attached are a few photos of our coach squeezed into standard parking spaces where we could back in and overhang the curb, and more of less fit.
2002 Safari Trek 2830

Arch Hoagland

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Re: Rookie buyer
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2020, 07:31:51 PM »
The class A only parks are very few and far between.

Don't let that influence your decision.

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Larry N.

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Re: Rookie buyer
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2020, 08:19:42 PM »
Welcome to RVing and to this forum.

Quote
Also, do not feel comfortable driving longer than 24 ft.
If no one told you how long the coach is, you could drive a 27 or 28 foot coach as easily as you could a 23 or 24 footer and not realize the difference. Don't limit yourself, especially since it doesn't take most folks very long to get over a discomfort of that sort. Now 24 foot to 34 foot is a tad more noticeable, but it's a rare class C that's longer than about 31 feet. The likely the only time you'll notice the difference between 24 and 30 feet is going around sharp corners and parking, and even with those most folks adapt very quickly.

Quote
Just noticed that some campgrounds only allow class A.

As others have said above, there are few of those, and they often seem a tad snooty. Plus, they are usually among the more expensive ones. I've owned a 34' Bounder gasser, a 45' Beaver diesel and my current 38' Ventana diesel, and I've only seen a "class A only" a couple of times in the last 10 years, or so. Even some pretty fancy resort type places aren't necessarily "class A only" since I've seen 5th wheels, class C, etc. in most of them. So it shouldn't be a problem you need to concern yourself with.

Quote
I’ve heard everything “nice” is booked up for a year!!

Not so. Certainly certain places such as the Disney RV Park at Disney World, and other popular tourist attractions will have some parks booked well in advance, but there are usually competitors with openings much later, and often there'll be openings at one or more places even on fairly short notice, sometimes even at the prime park, due to cancellations.

So it's not nearly as dismal as you make it sound.

Larry and Mary Ann N.
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Tom55555

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Re: Rookie buyer
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2020, 10:40:28 PM »
We have a Winnebago 22R which is 24' bumper to bumper and love the small size. It's just my wife, myself and our dog. It has a great bathroom and plenty of storage. We are outside most of the time anyway.

In over 20 years I've never seen a class A only campground. I have seen a couple not taking units older than 15 years or so. We stay in mostly state and national parks which take anything but they aren't fancy, often just the drive way which can be gravel, picnic table and fire ring.

What you should know is some National parks don't have electric so make sure you ask and are prepared. Many State parks have electric with limited full sites. Many private campgrounds have lots of full sites, Wi-Fi, cable TV and pizza delivery to your site, LOL. Personally, I like the National and State parks the best. They are less expensive and are typically more beautiful and more spacious than private campgrounds. Most campgrounds are full on holidays especially Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day... but the day after they can be empty. There are some really great campgrounds like Ludington State Park in MI and Henderson State Beach Park in FL that's hard to get reservations in peak season. If you are willing to get one night, then move to another site you can often get in anywhere. A 24' motor home makes this a lot easier plus you can drive it to the beach or where ever until your next site is available. It's nice to have your bathroom and access to your food and stuff. We make full use of our small RV and if you can keep set up and tear down to 5 or 10 minutes you will be much happier. Keep it simple.

Good luck and let us know what you decide.
2015 Winnebago 22R

sadixon49

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  • Fishers, Indiana
Re: Rookie buyer
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2020, 07:08:12 AM »
The campgrounds that only allow Class As are not where you want to stay. I've had a C for 4 years and have only seen 1 class  A only site, near Gulf Shores AL. Not the site I was booked at, but my BIL, who lives in the area, insisted on showing it to me.

I've had a 24', a 28', and a 33' motorhome in the last 4 years, what's that they say about floorplan, floorplan, floorplan? We bought the 22fe for my wife and I, but quickly found it was too small, then bought the 26XD, and while it was just right for us, the grandkids decided that they just loved it. We decided that putting down the dinette and not having somewhere to sit for coffee in the morning didn't work for us, and off we went to get a bunkhouse C. We discussed an A at that time, but my wife was more comfortable in the C. We have had and driven full size Ford Vans for most of the 80s and 90s, and DW was very comfortable with them. All of the Cs are 2' longer bumper to bumper than their labels, hence 22FE is 24' overall, 31XL is33' overall.

BTW, the 33' drives and rides much nicer than the smaller ones. The longer overhang on the back of the 33' motorhome is something to be aware of, but not something to worry about. I tend to be careful around gas pumps, but otherwise I don't even think about it.
steve
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cavie

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Re: Rookie buyer
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2020, 07:20:18 AM »
Class A's are not campgrounds. They are called resorts. Those people would not get cought dead in a campground.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Rookie buyer
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2020, 10:16:35 AM »
Pshew!  A bit of anti-elitism here!  As already stated, Class A only RV resorts are relatively rare. There are around 13,000 privately operated campgrounds in the USA and another 1600 or so state-operated campgrounds, not to mention numerous county and town parks with RV facilities. I doubt if more than 0.5% of those are Class A only.

As others have said, fears about RV length are usually misplaced. Granted there will be some trepidation and maybe a bit of a learning curve, but longer RVs are easily manageable and Class A RVs are actually easier to drive than B's & C's once you get accustomed to the different driver sea position.
Gary
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Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Lou Schneider

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Re: Rookie buyer
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2020, 06:12:42 PM »
You wouldn't think so from the attention they receive, but Class A motorhomes are just a small percentage of the RV market.  Class C motorhomes outsell Class A's by about 2:1, conventional and 5th wheel towables outsell all motorhomes by close to 10:1.

As such, there are only a handful of high end RV resorts that restrict themselves only to Class A motorhomes.  The rest are happy to accomodate the remaining 90% of the RV population.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2020, 06:17:09 PM by Lou Schneider »

JudyJB

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Re: Rookie buyer
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2020, 08:07:56 PM »
And after a few trips, you will be able to better define what you mean by "nice."  I would take a gravel camping space in the desert on a paved road, over one on a paved site with fire ring and a patio in a commercial campground in a flash! 

State parks and COE campgrounds often will space their campsites out so you are 50-100 feet from your neighbors.  There will be mountains and critters running around, and you will probably not be able to overhear the conversations of your neighbors.

The "fancy" commercial campground will likely pack you in so you are only a few feet from your neighbors.  Not only will you be able to smell their outdoor cooking, but you will be able to watch their cooking techniques from your living room and hear all about Aunt Mabel and Uncle Joe, and all their kids who are on drugs and headed for jail.  The only wildlife will be their yappy dogs that bark all day. 

So, you need to decide on what you want and what you need in a campsite, and my guess it that this will change with a few experiences crammed next to unpleasant neighbors, no matter how fancy their rigs are.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Rookie buyer
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2020, 09:44:33 AM »
Quote
I want to camp at places with patios, fire pits, etc. Also, are nice camp spots available to book? I’ve heard everything “nice” is booked up for a year!!
No worries. There are loads of campsite with the sort of "improvements" you seek, even some of the state and local parks have them.  Reserving in advance is a good idea if you want to visit a popular destination, e.g. Yellowstone NP or the Pigeon Ford TN area, but in most places you can call ahead on the day of arrival or simply drive in and find a site.  Not really any different than finding a motel - the most popular and most convenient get taken early, so the longer you wait the less choice you have.

There are a few destinations I would try to book a year in advance if I could, e.g. winter season in the Florida Keys, summer in Yellowstone or Yosemite, Myrtle Beach in he summer or fall, etc.  There are often sites available on much shorter notice, but you won't have a lot of choice.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Isaac-1

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Re: Rookie buyer
« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2020, 11:33:16 AM »
On this topic of site availability since buying our current coach in 2016, When I remember I have made a habit of checking out RV camp site availability on at random State and lake front COE parks within 100 or so miles of where we live in western Louisiana for the big summer holiday weekends (Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day) and have always found multiple vacancies at every park 2-3 weeks in advance, and usually found vacancies 48 hours out which is usually the cut off limit for online reservation, sometimes lots of vacancies.

Last year we were returning from a trip to the Texas Hill Country on Memorial day weekend, and spent the Saturday night of Memorial day at a Texas state park located about 60 miles from Houston.  Sure the place was packed, it took a while to get through the entrance at 3 pm, and they were turning away day visitors as the park was at capacity.  We had made reservations about 3 weeks in advance, having started planning the trip a couple of days earlier, when I first checked there were about 20 sites available, 2 days later it was down to 12, and by later that evening when I booked our site, the selection was down to 5 sties, so things were booking up quick once inside that 3 weeks out window.  Out of curiosity I checked other lakefront public campgrounds along that general part of our route (crossing west to east north of Houston), and several other slightly more obscure parks, slightly further from the Houston population center had plenty of vacancies just like my normal experience has been checking parks closer to home.
2002 Safari Trek 2830