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DLPrice

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Hello!
I'm researching RVs with the intention of going full time in the next year. I understand the basics of Class A, Class C etc, but am feeling overwhelmed at where to begin with so many choices. Originally, I was going to get a small class C and just get a bicycle or small scooter/motorcycle for transportation, but am rethinking that I may need more versatile transportation. So now I'm thinking a small class c, but tow along something like a Geo Tracker behind it. Then I thought, "Well, if you're going to do that, maybe you should consider a regular truck and camper."

So obviously I am muddying the waters. But the one thing I wanted to ask here in this thread, is what option would be easiest to drive. I would be traveling solo, and yes, I am female. ;-) I've handled the smaller moving trucks on my own in the past but never towed a vehicle. I'm leaning toward the small class c and tracker option, as that would give me a small vehicle that gets decent mileage, has 4 WD capability for tooling around in the desert, mountains and BLM lands and can be a mini convertible with the top off. I just have reservations about towing a vehicle, even one that small.

Any thoughts on what option would be easiest to drive? For a class C I was hoping to find one in the 21-26 ft range.

Thanks!
 

donn

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The problem with small motor homes they often lack any towing capacity because the chassis is already overloaded.  This can be true for both A's or C's. they can be found, but you need to be very careful in your buying decision.  But generally either one will provide decent creature comforts.  Personally as a single person I think you would be better off with a class a around 30 feet and your Suzuki toad idea.
 

DLPrice

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I've just been reading some threads singing the praises of driving class A's over class C's, so maybe I should try to find a smaller class A and tow a tracker. I've just got it in my head that driving anything over 26 feet is going to be extra difficult, even before adding a vehicle, albeit a "rollerskate" like a tracker.

Or maybe I should get what I think is livable and presume I'll adapt to driving it out of necessity!
 

SeilerBird

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A small class C would be a very poor choice for a full timer. Small class Cs have very little room, very small storage spaces, very light towing capacity and very small holding tanks. It can be done, but you would really be much better off in a class A at least 30 feet. I have been full timing for many years and I have lived in a number of different class As, Bs and Cs. My last RV was 27 foot class A and it was way too small. I bought a 32 foot class A this year and it is a huge improvement. But still I would like it to be another 3 feet or so and then I would have much more storage. The living space is fine, but storage is problematic.

Don't worry about ease of driving. They are all easy to drive. It takes a few weeks to get used to the bigger size but once you do it feels basically like driving a car. We have a whole bunch of women on this forum that drive 40 foot diesel pushers on a regular basis with no problem.

There is an article in the Library here that I wrote called Full timing 101. It is a primer on what you need to know before you start full timing.

http://www.rvforum.net/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=435:fulltimeprep&catid=29:fulltiming&Itemid=45

There is also a lot of good info in the Library, look around while you are there.

I have never had a toad until a week ago. When I wanted to go somewhere I would unhook my RV and drive there. Last week I bought a small scooter. It is really cool, but it is not easy to get on or off the scooter carrier on the back of the RV. I think a Geo tracker would be a better solution for you. But you need an A to tow it with.
 

SeilerBird

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DLPrice said:
I've just been reading some threads singing the praises of driving class A's over class C's, so maybe I should try to find a smaller class A and tow a tracker. I've just got it in my head that driving anything over 26 feet is going to be extra difficult, even before adding a vehicle, albeit a "rollerskate" like a tracker.

Or maybe I should get what I think is livable and presume I'll adapt to driving it out of necessity!
You should remember if you are a full timer you will living in your RV over 95% of the time and driving it about 5% of the time. An RV that is comfortable to live in is a lot better idea than getting one that is "easier" to drive. You will adapt to it.
 

DLPrice

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Thanks for all the great advice so far -- it really has helped me clarify some basics!

I should mention I work as a travel nurse, and am approaching being able to support myself with freelance writing and photography work as well, especially if I go RV full time and cut my expenses to the bone. (Which means I will probably only do one or two travel assignments a year once I go full time RV, if that, just for my rainy day/repairs fund.) But the travel nurse thing means living in hotel rooms in remote areas (I do private duty for former uranium miners in very remote areas like the reservations or "Middle-of-nowhere" Colorado where I am now) and they are often very small "mom and pop" places, often without kitchenettes even, so I am learning to live very small.

But I agree I am probably worrying too much over drivability -- which I will adapt to out of necessity -- and need to refocus on a class A that will make a good living space and let everything else fall into place.
 

ArdraF

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Aside from the A vs. C livability issues for a fulltimer, we towed a Geo Tracker with a class C and it was fine because it was so light.  When we got it we were pleased to see that it fared well in trials reported in Petersen's Four Wheeling magazine, ending up about midway through the pack on their challenging trail ride.  We had a lot of fun with it and it performed well.  We eventually upgraded to a Jeep Grand Cherokee when we got a diesel pusher, but the Tracker works well with a smaller chassis.  In fact, the people who bought it were fulltimers for three years and had never had a toad.  She loved being able to get out and about with it, such as grocery shopping, etc.  If you get any toad, make sure it's towable "four down" which will make your life a whole lot easier.

I just remembered something else.  We were at a rally and one of the other Cs got stuck and couldn't make it up a small hill.  We attached the tow rope to the Tracker and pulled him up!  Needless to say, everyone was amazed.

ArdraF
 

DLPrice

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ArdraF said:
If you get any toad, make sure it's towable "four down" which will make your life a whole lot easier.

ArdraF

I presume that means it can be towed behind on all four wheels without any kind of special towing rack?

Sheesh, I'm learning an awful lot here really quickly!
 

SeilerBird

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DLPrice said:
I presume that means it can be towed behind on all four wheels without any kind of special towing rack?
As the Fonz would say "Correctamundo".

Ardra  - You forgot to mention that you drive your DP without a problem. How long was the class C that towed the Geo? The OP was thinking about a 21-25 foot class C and I don't think they would have enough towing capacity to safely tow a Geo.
 

rickf

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yes, I'm going to muddy the waters a little more.
have you looked at trailers or a small fiver?  I like
trailers, personally.  you say you will be working some,
so you will be around each place some.  yes, it means
a bigger tow vehicle, but only one to maintain, vs a toad
and RV to maintain.  they can be comfy,  and although
storage can be a little light,  the back of the tow vehicle
can resolve that.  As for female,  I;ve friends who sail around the
world who are female, so as a reasonable intteligent person,
you can do it.
 

Jammer

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DLPrice said:
Hello!
I'm researching RVs with the intention of going full time in the next year. I understand the basics of Class A, Class C etc, but am feeling overwhelmed at where to begin with so many choices. Originally, I was going to get a small class C and just get a bicycle or small scooter/motorcycle for transportation, but am rethinking that I may need more versatile transportation. So now I'm thinking a small class c, but tow along something like a Geo Tracker behind it. Then I thought, "Well, if you're going to do that, maybe you should consider a regular truck and camper."

If you are new to RVing I would suggest that you rent an RV or otherwise figure out a way to travel in one for a trip or two before investing money and energy in a full-time lifestyl.

I personally am a big fan of the truck and travel trailer combination, and believe that the benefits of other combinations are overrated.

So obviously I am muddying the waters. But the one thing I wanted to ask here in this thread, is what option would be easiest to drive. I would be traveling solo, and yes, I am female. ;-)

Gender doesn't have anything to do with it.

I have concluded that about 10% of the people who embark upon RVing abandon it because they are intimidated by driving and backing.  My advice, if you are unsure, is to rent a moving truck or trailer of approximately similar size and configuration to what you plan to use and experiment with driving and backing it.  You can even take it to a campground if you want.

I've handled the smaller moving trucks on my own in the past but never towed a vehicle. I'm leaning toward the small class c and tracker option, as that would give me a small vehicle that gets decent mileage, has 4 WD capability for tooling around in the desert, mountains and BLM lands and can be a mini convertible with the top off. I just have reservations about towing a vehicle, even one that small.

Any thoughts on what option would be easiest to drive? For a class C I was hoping to find one in the 21-26 ft range.

In general when towing "4 down" it isn't possible to back up -- at all -- ever.  Well, maybe a foot or two in a straight line.  Anything more than that and you have to unhook everything and move each vehicle separately.

Without a towed vehicle behind them, smaller class Cs drive more or less like a somewhat overloaded pickup truck -- slow, unwieldy, but not difficult to handle.
 

ArdraF

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How long was the class C that towed the Geo? The OP was thinking about a 21-25 foot class C and I don't think they would have enough towing capacity to safely tow a Geo.

Tom, I think we got it when we had the 30-foot LazyDaze.  It had a Chevy 454 and easily towed the Tracker which was very light.  I've seen much smaller Cs towing cars like Trackers and even heavier.  Like with everything else it depends of things like hitch weight rating and Gross Combined Vehicle Weight rating.  When we were active with LazyDaze club a lot of the owners with smaller length (22-25 ft.) motorhomes towed Trackers and Suzukis because they were so light but capable enough to go four-wheeling.  In fact, they were a big influence on us getting the Tracker because they did a lot of four-wheeling at rallies and we knew if their smaller motorhomes could tow one then so could we.

ArdraF
 

SeilerBird

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ArdraF said:
Tom, I think we got it when we had the 30-foot LazyDaze.  It had a Chevy 454 and easily towed the Tracker which was very light.  I've seen much smaller Cs towing cars like Trackers and even heavier.  Like with everything else it depends of things like hitch weight rating and Gross Combined Vehicle Weight rating.  When we were active with LazyDaze club a lot of the owners with smaller length (22-25 ft.) motorhomes towed Trackers and Suzukis because they were so light but capable enough to go four-wheeling.  In fact, they were a big influence on us getting the Tracker because they did a lot of four-wheeling at rallies and we knew if their smaller motorhomes could tow one then so could we.
Ardra - I agree completely that a small class C could tow a small car. However, the OP wants to be a full timer. Generally speaking full timers carry a lot more weight around in their RV than a non-full timer. Small class Cs don't have a lot of cargo carrying capacity and it would be easier for a full timer towing a car with small class C to overload  the RV. Most beginners don't realize that there is such a thing as CCC and can quickly get into trouble assuming they can load up all their worldly possessions and tow a car too in such a small RV.

The main reason she wants a small class C is because she thinks it would be easier to drive. And it might be if it were not overloaded.
 

dave61

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Choices like these make for difficult decisions, especially since people's tastes are different. I have a 27 foot class c and would never think of living in it. It is not that it would not be possible it just that I know I would hate it inside of a month or two. We use ours for long weekends and week or two vacations and it is great for that. For full time  living, I would only consider a class a not less than 30 feet and with one good sized slide in the living area.

My current rv could easily tow a smallish car with no problems so that would not be an issue.

Lots of other good advice above especially the idea of renting one first to get a feel for it. Nothing like getting your own experience along with some advice from this forum. Good luck.
 

DLPrice

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SeilerBird said:
As the Fonz would say "Correctamundo".

Ardra  - You forgot to mention that you drive your DP without a problem. How long was the class C that towed the Geo? The OP was thinking about a 21-25 foot class C and I don't think they would have enough towing capacity to safely tow a Geo.

If a vehicle is four wheel drive, does that mean it's "four down?"
 

Pierat

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Didn't read the whole thread, but "four down" towing means all four wheels of the four-wheel towed vehicle are on the ground while towing, as compared with a tow dolly, for example, in which case two wheels are on the ground and two on the dolly. Nothing to do with four wheel drive. HTH.
 

Great Horned Owl

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I had the same debate with myself, and ended up getting a fifth wheel and a 3/4 ton, 4x4, diesel pickup. There were several factors that influenced my decision.

1. A motor home and toad has two vehicles that both require maintenance. My arrangement has only one vehicle needing maintenance.

2. With a motor home and toad, you can't back up. With a 5er, backing up is fairly easy with a little practice.

3. For a given length, the 5er generally has more usable living space than a motor home.

4. The removable propane bottles on the 5er are much easier to keep filled than are the permanently mounted tanks on a motor home.

5. Should my truck ever need service that takes more than one day, I will still have a place to live.

Joel
 

Ned

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1. A motor home and toad has two vehicles that both require maintenance. My arrangement has only one vehicle needing maintenance.

You don't think a trailer needs maintenance?

2. With a motor home and toad, you can't back up. With a 5er, backing up is fairly easy with a little practice.

With a little practice, a motorhome and towed can be backed up.  We've done it many times.

3. For a given length, the 5er generally has more usable living space than a motor home.

Perhaps with respect to a class C but not a class A.  And having to duck in the front bedroom is certainly not an advantage of a 5th wheel.

4. The removable propane bottles on the 5er are much easier to keep filled than are the permanently mounted tanks on a motor home.

We fill ours about once a year.  There is no shortage of fill stations or mobile delivery services.

5. Should my truck ever need service that takes more than one day, I will still have a place to live.

Only twice in 16 years have we had to stay in a motel because the motorhome was in a shop.  And those were only for 1 night each time.

There are many reasons to consider what type of RV to choose, but those 5 aren't among them.
 

99WinAdventurer37G

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I 2nd Neds comments.  The key to backing a MH with a toad is that the MH has a long wheel base, and the toad a very short one, so very small movements of the wheel is all it needs.  On my MH I have a backup camera which makes is very easy. 

And so far, most of the maintenance on my MH has been on the "trailer" part of it.  TV Antenna problems, broke a window latch, blew a speaker (which justified the expense of upgrading the speakers, which is what I did with the antenna as well), having a hot water shower pressure problem, etc..

And the best thing about a Class A for me is the huge front window, (I won't be saying this when one brakes and I have to replace one), but the view out of the front window is Amazing.  I think it's easier to drive than a Class C as one can see more.

On the length, I love the 37.5 feet when I'm stopped, but there are places that have been more of a challenge with a longer unit.  In fact, I would call this one of the reasons to go diesel, at least all the truck stops have a 14' clearance, and roomy enough to maneuver.  I've gotten myself into a bit of a pickle a few times.  Which is not a problem when you enjoy a challenge, but that backup camera is kind of like cheating, it makes getting out of a difficult spot easy.  The other consideration of length is that some parks have a 34' max length. 
 
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