Class A or C w/ Kids

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JGarrick

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I'm sure this has probably been addressed a million times before, but my searches haven't been too successful, so if you don't mind going through this again...

What is your preference, and why, for Class A or C?

Background:
We'll be traveling this summer with our four kids (all boys) ages 6, 9, 9, and 13. We'll be renting, and it looks like the price difference between Class A and Class C units of about 30' are less than $30/day. That's enough to buy us all lunch or a budget-minded dinner out, but not enough to throw the decision by itself. This trip will be about 10 days to two weeks, somewhere in the west (CO, UT, AZ, WY, and any points between there and MN are possibilities). The route isn't set, but the general plan is shaping up to be short stops at several locations, rather than going to one place and hanging out for a week or so. We're already fairly well equiped for on-the-road entertainment (GameBoy, Nintendo DS, lots of books, movies, portable DVD players, etc.) and they've been pretty good travelers on a couple of previous trips from Minneapolis to the Black Hills.

I'd appreciate any general opinions on A vs. C, and if you have any insight into which is better with a bunch of high-spirited boys, that's even better.

TIA - Joe
 

Tom

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A class A will give you more living space, but the cabover bunk of a class C woiuld help with needed sleeping accomodation for a family of 6.
 

Jim Dick

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Hi Joe,

There is a cardinal role in motor coaching with a class A: cocktails for 6, dinner for 4, sleeps 2! Class A's are not set up, in most cases, for sleeping more than two comfortably. The pull out couch normally is far from comfortable and there is only one bedroom. A class C offers more options to sleep several people in a much more comfortable arrangement. If you get one with a rear bedroom and a bunk overhead you will be able to sleep at least 6 since the dinette usually converts to a double and the sofa might also sleep two.
 

Bob Maxwell

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Having had both and 3 kids, I recommend the C. I also recommend you get sleeping bags and let 'em sleep outside often .We did and they loved it. We also got a bit of private time tha way. ;)
 

JGarrick

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Other than when we're actually moving (or in case of bad weather), I don't expect to be speding much time inside the thing. We're looking at it as being more confortable than a minivan and a tent on the road and in the campground, and expect that extra bit of comfort to give us the ability to reach a little further from home and for a little longer.

Aside from interior space, are there any other advantages of a class A that I might be overlooking? They seem more suited to couples than families. Am I missing anything? We've learned how to pack ourselves into a van for a week, so I can't see storage being a problem. How about the view on the road? Ride quality? Driveability? Any other amenities? I'm curious about what reasons aside from general interior roominess make people choose a class A.
 

Jim Dick

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JGarrick said:
-.

Aside from interior space, are there any other advantages of a class A that I might be overlooking? They seem more suited to couples than families. Am I missing anything? We've learned how to pack ourselves into a van for a week, so I can't see storage being a problem. How about the view on the road? Ride quality? Driveability? Any other amenities? I'm curious about what reasons aside from general interior roominess make people choose a class A.

A class A will allow a much better view of the road ahead, generally are more comfortable than a class C when riding and do have quite a bit more storage. They also cost more in most cases. :) Since you are used to packing tightly in a van a class C should be more than comfortable.

A class A will have larger holding tanks for fresh water, black and gray. Some have larger hot water heaters and refrigerators. It all depends upon the level of class A involved. We live full time in a class A and can't see doing that with a class C but, with your intended purpose, I would think a class C would not be a problem. You might want to find a dealer and look over various models of A's and C's. Sit in them for a period of time and pretend you are on a trip. Think about what might go on during a typical evening and see if one model might be more advantageous than another. Though it's expensive, you might try renting one for a few days and see how it works out.
 

JGarrick

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This is all great info. Thanks to everyone.

I hadn't considered the water issue. What's typical usage per adult or child? Based on what I've looked into for possible destinations, a few nights at campgrounds without hookups seems likely.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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It's true that most Class A floor plans are designed for couples  - that seems to be the main market for the larger, more luxurious rigs. In the under 32 foot range, though, you begin to see floor plans more like a typical Class C.  And I disgree with Jim re the price - in any given size range, a Class C and  a Class A cost about the same.  You will find a lot more large and luxury-equipped Class A's than you will similar Class C's, so it may appear that A's are more expensive, but if you compare the numerous A & C models in the 28-32 foot range you will see very similar prices for similar equipment.

First time Rvers tend to be less worried about driving a Class C - the automtive-style cab is more familiar and less intimidating. In actual fact, though, a Class A is usually more comfortable to drive, gives much better visibility all around the vehicle and takes all of about 15 minutes to get used to.  Getting used to the length of a motorhome is another matter, but that is the same for either type.

Class A's usually have what is called "basement" storage - large storage bays under a raised interior floor.  That is made possible by the Class A chassis but is nearly impossible on the chassis used in nearly all Class C's.  The big bays make it easy to carry the BBQ grills, lawn chairs and tables, recreation gear, etc. that makes RVing more fun.

For your family, I think the main thing you want is room.  Should a chilly or rainy evening force you inside, you will want space for the kids to entertain themselves. Since you are renting, spend the extra $30/day on a larger rig and don't worry about the A vs C question to much.
 

Karl

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Water usage is hard to calculate, but most rv'ers have learned to conserve. For example, you don't leave faucets turned on when washing you hands or doing dishes, and many shower heads are flow-controlled and have a kind of valve on the head that lets you shut down the flow. You get yourself wet, turn the shower head to the low position, soap up, and then switch back to full flow for rinsing. Another technique is to use a washcloth to clean yourself for a day or two; then use the shower every third day.  Also, many people carry bottled water for drinking, leaving the coach water for washing. Same with electricity. You learn to conserve.
 

JGarrick

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RV Roamer said:
First time Rvers tend to be less worried about driving a Class C...
Well, except for buses, MHs, and 18-wheelers, I've driven most kinds of vehicles that move on air, land, and water, so I'm not too worried about the driving, and I do like the idea of having a higher perspective and more of a panoramic view. I don't think my wife would care much either - she was a shuttle-bus driver for a while a few years before we were married. Neither of us tend to get too intimidated by machinery. You just accept that it'll take a little time behind the wheel to get adjusted no matter what you drive (or tow). In fact, she only agreed to the whole hairbrained scheme on the condition that I let her drive part of the time. :)

RV Roamer said:
For your family, I think the main thing you want is room.? Should a chilly or rainy evening force you inside, you will want space for the kids to entertain themselves. Since you are renting, spend the extra $30/day on a larger rig and don't worry about the A vs C question to much.
That seems like sensible advice. I suppose there's no substitute for climbing around in a few of them.

Karl said:
...shower heads are flow-controlled...
Also, many people carry bottled water for drinking, leaving the coach water for washing. Same with electricity. You learn to conserve.
LOL! It's the old Navy shower. Turn on water. Get wet. Turn off water. Soap up. Turn on water. Rinse. This works great as long as there are separate valves to control the flow and the hot/cold mix. I had planned to carry bottled water for drinking anyway. I suspect we could probably get by for a day or two this way if necessary. The only thing that worries me is the toilet. Six people adds up to a lot of flushes per day.

Scoundrel said:
I have only one thing to say......bring a tent in either case !...Don't ask me why.... :p
I had planned on throwing on of our tents in "just in case" anyway (in case of what, I haven't a clue, but I'm one of those people that likes to have a backup plan for everything). Still, the "don't ask why" part is starting to worry me a little. Should I start stocking up on sedatives now? :)
 

Shayne

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Having both 34' and 37' class A's it's true they are not designed for no more than 2  However, in following the ABABMX bicycle racing, we in many cases have wound up in places where kids came with others and really had no place to stay.  That can't happen with us.  We carry tents, sleeping bags and air mattresses with us. and many times have been very cosy with our Son, his wife, 3 grandkids and 3 others sleepiing in our MH in Oct or Nov. It's tough but with kids you can over come.  WE simply get out the compressor and air up two mattresses and place on the floor after the slide is out and enjoy life the best we can.  IMHO, the C would be your best bet, but to each his or her own.  Good Luck and happey motoring.
 

JGarrick

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Shayne said:
IMHO, the C would be your best bet, but to each his or her own.?

That appears to be the concensus opinion. The rule of thumb for MHs at least seems to be families = C, couples = A. There seems to be some logic behind that, but there also doesn't seem to be any reason to carve it in stone, either.
 

Scoundrel

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JGarrick said:
I had planned on throwing on of our tents in "just in case" anyway (in case of what, I haven't a clue, but I'm one of those people that likes to have a backup plan for everything). Still, the "don't ask why" part is starting to worry me a little. Should I start stocking up on sedatives now? :)

LOL.....Not at all. I was all wound up about taking my son's Boyscout group of 6, not including myself and my son for a total of 8, out on a short trip to our local mountains for a weekend......imagine 7, eleven and twelve year olds in a 28' motorhome for the weekend? I won't go into the details but heed my warning....take a tent. Not for your guests...for YOU!.... :D
 

Jim Dick

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JGarrick said:
LOL! It's the old Navy shower. Turn on water. Get wet. Turn off water. Soap up. Turn on water. Rinse. This works great as long as there are separate valves to control the flow and the hot/cold mix. I had planned to carry bottled water for drinking anyway. I suspect we could probably get by for a day or two this way if necessary. The only thing that worries me is the toilet. Six people adds up to a lot of flushes per day.

All the RVs I have seen have a separate shutoff at the shower head to stop water flow without having to adjust the temp. Almost as convenient as the Navy chain shutoff. :) One must remember the first few seconds of flow are cold!! ;D The black water tank almost always fills up before the gray water tank. If there are other facilities available it would help with that problem.
 

workingtorv

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We had a Class C before we had a Class A and in the C we made several dry camping trips with 6 adults and 4 kids (with tents) and we had no problems whatsoever.  We brought water jugs to get filled up when needed and don't forget to pack a funnel to fill up the water.  We limited the water usage and told people to use the outhouses when possible and the showers were very short and very cool when the hot water ran out.

I can't tell you about the Class A because we are much pickery with it and prefer not to have more than two other people on board but as far as space goes it is there.
 
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