Big and Tall Family - what choices if any do we have?

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BillA

New member
Joined
Feb 10, 2007
Posts
2
Hello,

I am very interested in renting and maybe in future buying an RV, I don't mind the driving part, but I am worried a bit about Height and Size issues of RV's.  Haven't been in one since I was a kid and miss it actually, wife never been in one and I have one daughter who is 6 who would love it I am sure.  Thinking of 2-6 hr trips in our area (mid michigan) and would like to stay with a class c or b unit (not pull behind but not a big bus type thing) we want one we can drive and walk into the back area (vs cab and seperate box behind) also that is aprox 20-26 feet in length.  I think an overgrown van might even do if its taller and longer and has some basics that fit taller bigger folks.  I have only been in a few RV's in the past as a kid but I know i wouldn't fit in any of those booth style seating areas, aand I know I wouldn't fit in those tiny bathroom areas, altho does anyone make a unit that IS for big and tall in this size range?

I saw the Roadtrek 210 series online and those look very interesting, it would probably be like buying a second home cost wise... There is a show in mid Feb about 10 mins from me in Novi MI that I am thinking of going to see what they have in general...

I haven't gone to any shows or dealers yet, but I have seen many pics online and the bathrooms look worse than an airplane (ok at 360lbs 6'7 i am not fitting in there) and in general being as tall as I am I don't want to spend a week with my neck bent trying to walk around inside.

Wife is normal sized so no big deal but I don't want to be uncomfortable for these trips, oh I do know the bed will have to be plush (for wife) wondering too if anyone can steer me in the best direction for finding a GOOD feeling bed in one of these type units vs 3 inches of padding that you are supposed to sleep on overnight, might be ok for the 6 yr old but not for mom and dad here...

Popouts and all that extra fancy longer bigger stuff not neccesary, short local trips to stay 2-3 days for fun is all we are thinking so more of a smaller 20-26 feet long type vehicle would suit those needs I think...

Anyways if anyone here has any ideas what we can ask or look for to have more room (seating, head room, bathroom nicer bed etc) lmk.

I don't think I would buy just yet but would consider a rental or something, then maybe shop around for a good used deal etc, but mainly I am wondering is there even something out there that would fit our needs for big tall and actually comfortable bed wise?


Bill :)
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Feb 2, 2005
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At my Silver Springs FL home
You will generally get more space in a small Class A than a Class C and there are 26 foot Class A's, e.g. the Fleetwood Terra & Fiesta models. Don't be afraid of a "bus" - they are actually easier to drive than a 'C" of the same length, due to the higher driving position.

There are many Class C choices in that size range, but you will have to look around for a floor plan and interior that you think will suit your needs.  Higher end rigs like the Lazy Daze will have better quality construction, furnishings and needs, but you can always upgrade the mattress or replace it with an air spring type like the Select Comfort.

Winnebago makes several Class C models in the size range you are considering - the View, Aspect, Access and Outlook. There are equivalent Itasca models as well.

You aren't going to find much space in a 21 footer, Roadtrek or otherwise. Small and roomy are the antithesis of one another.
 

Ned

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Feb 1, 2005
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25,107
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USA
The best thing you can do is go to that RV show and look at every RV that interests you.  Sit in all the chairs, couches, and especially try the bathroom and shower.  Often you can substitute a table and chairs for a bench dinette for more comfortable seating.

I doubt you'll find a class B that will fit your requirements, but some of the class C motor homes may work for you.  If not, then you'll be looking for a class A where you'll have a greater choice of floor plans and options.
 

ArdraF

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 12, 2006
Posts
10,686
The good news is that RVs have changed a lot since you were a kid!  They're much nicer and take our varying likes and dislikes into account.  Renting one is a good idea because it will help you find out some of the features you like or dislike and what works well for you and what doesn't.

I also agree with Ned.  Visit as many RV shows as you can and go inside as many of them as you can.  Lie on the bed, sit in the chairs, on the toilet, etc.  Another thing to do is go to some of the factories and take their tours to see how their products are made - great for a quality check.  There are quite a few RV manufacturers not far from you in Indiana.  One is Monaco in Wakarusa and I believe there are quite a few trailer manufacturers even though that may not be of interest.

There are a couple of manufacturers that advertise the height of their ceilings as one of their features.  Also, beds are a changing feature.  Some use a firm foam one year and something else the next.  Don't forget to have your daughter try the place she'll sleep which usually is some type of fold-down or slide-out sofa.  A lot of them can be really uncomfortable because they have large ridges or folds, but others are quite good.  We used to take my mother with us occasionally and she liked the sofa bed in our two Lazy Daze Class Cs, but she wasn't very impressed with the one in the Monaco Windsor.

Which reminds me of something else about RV beds.  If you haven't purchased a mattress recently, they're thicker than they used to be which means your old linens might not fit.  This in addition to the fact that RV bed sizes are not standardized and are seldom if ever the same size has those you buy for a stick house.  Bed linens are one of the perplexing issues we RVers face.

Don't be embarassed to do things like sit on the toilet, stand in the shower, sit at the dinette, or lie on the bed because these are very subjective and important features to RV purchasers.  You don't want to buy something and learn later that some feature you consider important is uncomforable!  Also, the cook in the family will want to look at the galley and try to imagine where things will fit.  Once you have an RV you'll see why many fulltimers and longtimers have a rule of getting rid of one item every time they buy a new one.  Also, replacing things can be tricky.  You may have perfect spacing for the coffee maker, it breaks, and you have to buy a new one.  Chances are it will be a half-inch larger and won't fit in the same space!  :eek: :eek:  Oh, well, you get used to it after awhile.

You're embarking on a whole new lifestyle and I know the others will join me in wishing you a rewarding and fun experience.

ArdraF
 

Hillbilly

Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2007
Posts
13
I FEEL YOUR PAIN. I am 6'7" myself and the bathroom is a big issue with me as well. I don't want to tickle my earlobes with my kneecaps unless I am getting paid for it.... And the ceiling height is a issue as well. Most of the lite weight bumber pulls I have seen have low ceiling heights (6'4" or so)  I hope you find one.
 

JerArdra

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Mar 3, 2005
Posts
1,814
ALFA motorhomes claim that they have very high cielings.

JerryF
 

BillA

New member
Joined
Feb 10, 2007
Posts
2
We went to a show here in Novi Mi the other day spent a good few hours looking around inside and out, stayed away from the a class (even smaller ones) cuz they intimidated my wife size wise, i know its crazy but a 26 size a scares her MORE than a 31 size C (makes no sense to me), so she didn't want to go into any A's ughhh.  We do have return passes and are going back tomorrow too.

The best two units i saw in terms of size and height were a Class C 3100SS Sunseeker by Forest River altho the bathroom left something to be desired (very tight fit), surprised the HECK out of me when we stepped into a 21 foot unit at another dealer, it had a HUGE bathroom (PLENTY of room) it was more bed wise where you suffered, two couches that fold into one main big bed and wasnt terrible but not a real bed feel either. It was a trail lite by r vision model 213 the bathroom was HUGE in that for me even being big and tall, liked the layout too, just the bed conversion thing was an issue, busy show couldn't fold out and lay on for more than 30 seconds before someone else was walking in wanting to see the insides. But that one really was neat due to smaller size, NICE bathroom layout etc.

Will try my best to have her look at a few of these smaller a class units, i think its the height im not sure but shes just scared of them (which to me makes no sense)...BUT she is the driver so i gotta find a way to get her over that fear if I ever can consider a small a class even.

Thanks to everyone here who has replied though the rv show was a huge help, i like those b class vans but in person man they are too tight, so i know now its c or small a for us.


Bill
 

ArdraF

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 12, 2006
Posts
10,686
We went to a show here in Novi Mi the other day spent a good few hours looking around inside and out, stayed away from the a class (even smaller ones) cuz they intimidated my wife size wise, i know its crazy but a 26 size a scares her MORE than a 31 size C (makes no sense to me), so she didn't want to go into any A's ughhh.  We do have return passes and are going back tomorrow too.

Bill, I am one of the numerous ladies on this Forum who do a lot of the driving.  I understand why your wife feels more comfortable in a Class C.  The driver's seat is positioned lower and, therefore, it feels more like a car or van.  With a Class A you sit higher and this is an advantage because you can see over traffic better.  She's probably more intimidated by a Class A because of its height.  More than likely the Class C is 10-11 feet high whereas a Class A is 12 feet or higher in the big bus styles.  The biggest difference in driving a Class C vs. a Class A is the height (lower clearances for things like bridges) and rear overhang which usually is longer in a Class C than a Class A.  The overhang is important when turning corners (wider swingout) and if you encounter dips like going up into a driveway where you can drag the rear end (not a good thing to do).  I love driving Class As!  Our current one is 40-feet long and quite easy to drive.

Whether you get a Class C or a Class A, I highly recommend taking an RV driving class.  Companies such as Monaco have company-sponsored rallies where there usually is a ladies driving class.  Many of my friends have taken the one at Monaco and feel much more comfortable afterwards.  Best of all, however, is the RV Driving School.  Jerry Ray who is a member of this Forum is one of the instructors.  Even though both of us had driven RVs for 25 years, we took this training when we moved up to a diesel pusher.  It was worth every penny!  Even we learned some tricks to help in things like backing into sites, etc.  Please tell your wife that she will find a lot of support on this forum.  I'm glad that she's willing to give it a try.  You can help by making sure she takes test drives which usually are available at RV shows and rallies.  Don't hesitate to ask to take a test drive.  Trust me, those people are there to sell you something and if they think a test drive will help, they'll be more than willing to do it!  Just make sure the one you test drive is the same size (or larger) and general style you're most interested in buying. 

Most of the group will tell you that this probably won't be your last RV if you like the lifestyle so perhaps it's not unreasonable for you to get a smaller Class C and move up later to a Class A.

Whatever you get, good luck and happy traveling!

ArdraF
 
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