Newb questions

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Joined
Jun 28, 2022
Posts
8
Location
SW Oklahoma
Wife and I just hit retirement, and are considering either a class b or c motor home. We are just in the figuring things out phase and wont be doing anything purchase wise for a few months. What we are attempting to do is give us a option of going to the other side of oklahoma "we are way out SW" 8-10 times a year and maybe a week or two out of state trip yearly. I have alot of research, reading and searching to do. But i wanted to ask a cpl quick questions off the bat.

on a class c as far as drive ability and such is there a big difference between a 23ish foot and a 28ish foot ?? "and if your gonna say 5 foot worth i beat you to it :)"

as far as toad is there a major difference between a flat tow vehicle and pulling one on a car hauler type trailer ?? wife has jeep cherokee that cannot be flat towed but we could trailer it im thinking. Trailer would be cheaper than buying a wrangler

are koa and/or good sam memberships worth it ??

on buying used from a private person is it acceptable to ask if it could be taken to a shop for a inspection at my cost, or is that rude to ask ??

i will have many other question but ill try not to be a hugh pia all at once

Thanks all
Troy
 

donn

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Nov 8, 2009
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Very few class C will have capacity to tow a car. Flat towing or trailering makes little difference. The problem with Cs is the chassic capacity is at or just under the max weight ratings right from the factory.
Unless you use it a lot no campground membership scheme is worth the paper its printed on.
As far as driving, you wont notice much difference. As with any motor home rear overhang can largely dictate how well or poorly it will handle.
If a seller balks at having an indenpendent inspection run away fast. They may be hiding something.
Having given you my prospective, why are you not also looking at a class A? With a A you will usually get a different chassis, more truck than van like Cs are. You will also get tons more storage.
 

Larry N.

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May 26, 2010
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Westminster, Colorado
Very few class C will have capacity to tow a car. Flat towing or trailering makes little difference.
I'm going to disagree with donn here, somewhat, though the rest of what he said is great. Most class C units can tow some kind of vehicle, but many are very limited, since some may have a max tow of 3,000 lbs, which is rather low and wouldn't be adequate for your Cherokee, especially with the added weight of a trailer- even 5,000 lbs might be too low for the Cherokee and trailer. After all, an adequate trailer will likely add 1,000 lbs or more to the towed weight.

Note, too, that both the motorhome itself and the installed hitch must be adequate for the load, and with the extended body on so many class Cs the chassis strength for towing may be a lot less than the hitch itself- gotta check both.

As donn says, a class A might be a better choice, given that it can carry more load, has more storage space, is stronger and, with a little getting used to it, is often easier to drive than a class C, plus offering more usable interior space when parked for the night. At the least, explore them a bit.
 

Arch Hoagland

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Jul 11, 2014
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Clovis California
Might I suggest renting a class C for a few days. You'll learn a bunch.

We have Good Sam and KOA membership cards. They pay for themselves.

Just looked at the price for the Santa Cruz KOA....$199 a night or $149 a night for a back-in site. They knock 10% off so you could pay for the card in a couple days.
 

Rene T

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Farmington NH
Welcome to the forum.
I usually stress with new members to start a post for each question you have. You originally asked about a class C and class B and we’re already talking about a class A. See how easy it is for part of your question got lost. Ask one question per post and you’ll have a better chance of getting it answered
 

Isaac-1

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SW Louisiana
I am going to start with suggesting that you define how you plan to use an RV before deciding on class A, B or C, each general type has its pluses and minuses. Class C's tend to be the cheapest, but also tend to be the most spartan in terms of features, and are generally the limited in cargo carrying capacity (how much stuff you can bring along), class B's are usually sacrifice just about everything to be small, and you pay a price premium for that small size, class A's even the small sub 30 foot models tend to cost more to operate and maintain, though they also tend to have more cargo carrying capacity, larger tanks, larger cargo bays, etc.

As to length vs parking, etc. we have a 28 ft class A (just under 30 ft bumper to bumper), and we can just about fit into a standard 22 ft parking space if we back in and overhang the curb (see my avatar photo). I will from time to time wish our coach was 2-3 feet shorter, than I look a how much smaller those shorter coaches feel, and how much less cargo capacity they tend to have, and get happy with what we have again. It is all a trade off. None of them except maybe a small class B will ever make it through a fast food drive through, so don't over think it too much, as width and height (streets with overhanging trees, etc.) are often a more limiting factor than a few feet of length.

Camping clubs can be a deal, it just depends on how you travel, we have Passport America and Good Sams memberships, each I think is worth it in our typical pre-covid circa 60-75 nights per year in the coach travel schedule, though I find myself questioning Good Sams, but at only about $26 per year dropping it is low on my list of things to do, it is only 10% off, but is nearly universally accepted at most commercial campgrounds, so quickly pays for itself, in only 5-6 uses per year. Passport America again quickly pays for itself with its 50% discount, though relatively few campgrounds accept it (perhaps 20-30 total within 150 miles of where I live), and many have restrictions like weekdays only, or off season only, still at under $50 per year (may be as low as $25 per year if you catch one of their sales and buy a multi year plan) it pays for itself very quickly, they seem to always have a promo going, buy 2 years get 1 free, etc.

As to flat towing, vs dolly vs trailer, this is a discussion in its own right, but my feeling is by far flat towing is the easiest to do with the right car, dolly towing is ok for seasonal travelers that will be staying in the same place for weeks or months, and trailer towing is something I generally would not consider unless there is a special circumstance like towing an offroad dune buggy. Note some trim level / transmissions of the Cherokee are flat towable, we have a 2017 Cherokee Overland edition which what the AD2 transmission and is flat towable, so are all of the Cherokee Trailhawk editions.

p.s. anyone that will not let you get a professional inspection is someone you should not be dealing with, but you really should be getting an RV inspection and not get a local mechanic to look a it, most of the big money stuff will tend to be on the house side, which a mechanic will know little about. If anything also get a mechanic inspection as well as an RV inspection, not the other way around, see NRVIA.org for the inspector locator.
 

Mark_K5LXP

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Albuquerque, NM
A car dolly adds more weight to your toad. If you're close it might put you over your tow limit. Plus it adds cost and you have to stash it somewhere when you arrive at your destination. If you have a vehicle that can't flat tow then it's probably your only option, but that would be the only time you'd want a dolly or trailer.

5ft difference is about 20% more linear length which is a lot. It's the difference between getting a short couch and a long one, or a bathroom that your knees won't hit the wall. It will likely mean a kitchen counter that's bigger than just the sink, and having a pantry to put things instead of a box under the bed.

KOA membership is only good at KOA but good sam is accepted a lot of places. Even the limited times I've used good sam it's paid itself back so it's soundly in the category of "can't hurt". I consider KOA to be only incrementally better than wally world, I don't care at all for that kind of camping experience but they do offer a consistent result.

I did a trip one year in my buddy's class C and it was OK, now owning a class A I don't see any advantage to a class C. Class A's are easy to drive, and you get so much more storage and cargo capacity. The acquisition and operating costs aren't going to be much different so unless you have a need for a specific class C feature (say, must be 23') then I would be looking at class A's.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
 

JudyJB

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Let's get back to his question about a Class B or C. A C will give you more storage space, especially in underneath "basement" storage and it will give you more inside space. Also, a C usually will give you a bed that you do not have to make up every night.

Being smaller, a B will be easier to drive and there are advantages to be being able to park in smaller spaces.

However, what is important is for you and your wife to decide what is important to YOU, not what the rest of us prefer. So, do you care if you have to unfold and make up a bed every night? It sounds like you are mostly taking very short trips, so how important is it to you to have a lot of storage space? Do you like having a lot of clothing with you or can you make do with only a few outfits? What about cooking? Is a bigger kitchen with an oven important to you?? It doesn't matter how much I like to cook--just how much YOU like to cook.

Also, remember that not all camping is done on sunny days where you can spend most of your time outdoors. I like the wet dog example: What if you are stuck somewhere and it rains for three days and you are stuck inside with your wet dog?? Will you feel overly cramped?

In other words, think about what you and your wife need based on your personal requirements.
 

Isaac-1

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SW Louisiana
A little bit about the topics Mark and Judy brought up;
I tend to agree with Mark about KOA in general, we will stay at them occasionally, but they are really not our style of camping, and at least to me their prices always seem to be about 20-30% higher than comparable nearby independently operated RV parks, which wipes out the advantages of buying into their club. Really the only thing I see KOA having going for them is an online reservations system, and you can expect a certain general level of quality, sort of like booking a room at a Holiday Inn Express if you don't feel like taking the time to research the local options.

As to Judy's points, they generally fall in line with what I said above, just put a bit differently, pick what is right for you, but also take the time to figure out what is right for you, and don't fall into the trap of imagining a different style of use than you will find yourself doing in reality.

Before getting too far into this, sit down and decide what you are picturing an RV as an alternative to, this will greatly shape your expectations.

Are you considering the RV as an alternative to a tent, a rustic cabin, a motel room, or an apartment? All RV's are going to be a big step up over a tent, however if your expectation are more in the apartment range, then a basic lower end RV may be a bit of a disappointment for you.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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West Palm Beach, FL
on a class c as far as drive ability and such is there a big difference between a 23ish foot and a 28ish foot ?? "and if your gonna say 5 foot worth i beat you to it :)"

as far as toad is there a major difference between a flat tow vehicle and pulling one on a car hauler type trailer ?? wife has jeep cherokee that cannot be flat towed but we could trailer it im thinking. Trailer would be cheaper than buying a wrangler

are koa and/or good sam memberships worth it ??

on buying used from a private person is it acceptable to ask if it could be taken to a shop for a inspection at my cost, or is that rude to ask ??
Drivability: That term could cover many things, but the general "drive it down the road" things aren't going to be different. Maneuvering around a parking lot of fuel station of course takes a bit more space, but even that isn't much different.

Toad/trailer: A car trailer adds about 1000 lbs to the total tow load and few Class B or C (or even gas-engine class A) have enough tow capacity to handle both a trailer and a Cherokee-size vehicle. A tow dolly (for front drive vehicles) isn't so heavy (200-300 lbs), but it's still extra. Class C's are typically limited to around 4000 lbs towing, but you need to check each one individually. It's not something you can make assumptions about.

Memberships: If you use them often enough you can save, but your stated plans sound like usage & thus savings would be marginal. I'd wait & see if you go to enough places that would honor those discounts.

Inspections: It's not rude to ask, but don't be surprised if some sellers decline or aren't very cooperative. Same with RV dealers.
 
Joined
Jun 28, 2022
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8
Location
SW Oklahoma
wow lots of good information, thank you to everyone.while i think the renting one idea has alot of merit, but in our current situation the closest rent place is 2 hours away and we are both cig smokers and thats not usually allowed anymore. We will also have a 200 pound slobber monster that will be going with us, and while he is extremely gentle and a wanna be lap dog his size is intimidating "he is half english mastiff and half black lab and mamas baby pride and joy.

and as rene t suggested is should start by doing one question at a time. so please bear with me as i ask tons of stuff, and ill be searching as i learn the proper search terms and wording.

thank you all again
Troy
 

tlmgcamp

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Jul 16, 2016
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196
If you are considering something as small as a class b, you might be better off with a small TT and tow it with the cherokee
 

JudyJB

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Worth considering:
A trailer or tow dolly are going to be another vehicle you’re going to have to find a parking space for when you get to your site.
And sometimes that spot is a long way from your campsite! Plus you have to drop it off and pick it up when you are ready to leave. If you are planning on spend a long time, like over a month, someplace, a trailer for your tow vehicle might be worth it, but consider that the vast majority of people prefer to tow without one.
 

TheBar

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Jun 25, 2018
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MS
Keep in mind that if a 24' Class C is big enough to satisfy your needs, you really don't need a tow vehicle. It is about the same length and width as a 1 ton pickup truck. I only went bigger to satisfy my wife. Size does matter after all.
 

Arch Hoagland

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Clovis California
troy said:
(We will also have a 200 pound slobber monster that will be going with us,)
That's another reason to go with a larger RV. We will see posts on here occasionally where dogs have a problem getting inside the RV. Is your dog fairly nimble?
 
Joined
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Location
SW Oklahoma
Wife nixed the travel trailer right off the bat,no way is she going to have the dog in the trailer while traveling and he is a big big to get comfortable in the back seat of the truck. For his size he is semi agile but only when treats are involved :) he is almost 2 and in the gangly stage. We are going to try to hit a few dealerships and hopefully a cpl shows in the upcoming months to look at all the options,
 

DutchmenSport

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Oct 30, 2021
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272
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Anderson, Indiana
We also have KOA and Good Sam memberships. Both pay for themselves after about 6 nights of camping (again, depending on where you go too, as each campground has different rates)... you get 10% off on both. but, they pay for themselves, only if you use them. We purchase an Indiana DNR pass for State Parks. As "in state" residents pay $7.00 a car to enter any Indiana state park, it more than pays for itself as we use the state parks all year round and will camp at least 15 or 20 times a years in them. Memberships are a good choice, ONLY if you use them.

About the differnce in length. 5 feet will not make that much of a difference. You will adjust very fast to which ever you get.

About flat tow or tow hauler? Something to think about? If you have a motor home only, you have no problems fitting into your campsite. If you have a toad (4 down or tow dolly) you haver a second vehicle. No problems, most campsites are designed for a trailer and a tow vehicle. However, if you have a tow hauler, you now have a trailer, another vehicle, and the motor home. Very few, if any campsites are equipped to handle that much equipment. You'll end up parking the trailer somewhere else.

However, using a car carrier is really the best way to transport your second vehicle. It really, all depends upon how you plan to camp as to how you plan to travel with a second vehicle. Although some folks do use a car hauler, the biggest majority I've seen travel with 4-down.
 
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