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Tiffany

Advise Needed

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So the Hubby and I have decided to begin permanent RVing....we are at odds as to what is best a Class A or Class C....of course both are great in their own way, what he is mostly worried about is, with the Class A will we be limited as to where we can go/park across the US? 

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Please post in only one area.

Will be taking a toad along?

You could always rent a Class C for a week and try it. I am not sure if you can rent a Class A.

 

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We've been fulltiming in a 36' Class A towing a car for 3 years and there isn't one place we couldn't see because of length.

The BIG thing is to remember that the average RV'er buys 3 RV's before they get the one they really wanted, so look hard and long before you put your money down and regret it a couple of months later.

Look at LOTS of RV's of all sizes, make notes and take pictures because otherwise you'll forget what model had which feature. Sit in the coach and try to go thru a days activities. Can you comfortably watch the TV, can you make supper given the countertop space? Can you get to the bed with the slide in? Can you actually sit at the dinning table? Get in the shower? Is there enough storage for all your stuff?

I would highly recommend going to RV boot camp BEFORE you buy, we did and I think it saved us several thousand dollars in mistakes we would have made without going.

It's big step you are taking, research thoroughly and make considered decisions.

Good Luck

BnB

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1 hour ago, scouserl41 said:

We've been fulltiming in a 36' Class A towing a car for 3 years and there isn't one place we couldn't see because of length.

We were fulltime for nearly 12 years in a 36' class A and had pretty much the same experience as this. There are a few of the more remote campgrounds in some national and state parks that you won't be able to go into, but most of us don't do that anyhow very often. Even the largest of RVs have less than 400 sq. ft. as compared to the typical house with 1200 or more.  You will be in this RV when the weather is bad for long periods, or when one or both of you are sick, and anything else that happens to us. Remember that this RV is to be your home and not just a vacation trip. 

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It also depends on how well you live side by side. Dave and I can disappear into our computers when we need alone time even if those computers are on opposite sides of the dining table. Headphones are a great invention!

Linda Sand

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A Class C will leave the factory much closer to its GVWR than a Class A, and the Class C will generally have smaller tanks as well due to the truck chassis platform.

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Thanks everyone for your responses....what we're really wondering though is if having a Class A due to its size, will prevent us from entering/camping/parking at different parks/campsites across the US

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5 hours ago, Tiffany said:

what we're really wondering though is if having a Class A due to its size, will prevent us from entering/camping/parking at different parks/campsites across the US

The answer is, very rarely if ever and only in the smaller, more remote campgrounds. In our 12 years fulltime in a 36' motorhome, I can only remember two places that we could not go which we might have if our RV had been smaller. There are couples who manage to live happily for years in even smaller RVs but are you one of them? As a test before you choose, set yourselves up a bed and all of the necessities to live in one or two rooms that total no more than 10' by 20' and see how comfortable you are. The best way to live and still get into really remote areas is to use a tent, but I have met only 1 couple who did that for long. As RVs have gotten larger, so too have campgrounds and campsites. 

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10 hours ago, Tiffany said:

Thanks everyone for your responses....what we're really wondering though is if having a Class A due to its size, will prevent us from entering/camping/parking at different parks/campsites across the US

We got ours (37') instead of a 40' one because we thought the same thing.   Turns out, we didn't need to worry.  More important is what do you want to do when fulltiming.  We thought that we would be staying in state parks, but they get VERY expensive, very quickly, plus nearly impossible to get weekends reserved from Memorial Day to Labor Day.   National parks are always booked months and months ahead.   We love COE (Corps of Engineers) facilities and they are able to handle larger rigs without a problem.  We end up using membership parks for 1-2 week stays in areas and supplement with Passport America as we transition to a new area.     37' has worked well for us, though I would have loved a 40' one.   

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We have never had a problem when we were 38' 5th and 23' truck or with our 36' M, but if you are planning on touring parks with the MH then you may have a problem. Are you planning on a toad?

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We once got into a park in Vegas because the only spot they had available was 37' long so the 40-footers wouldn't fit in it. In our years of fulltiming we did find one public park our 36-footer didn't fit into but it turned out to have lots of mosquitoes so we were OK with not staying there.

Linda Sand

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Our 40' motorhome fit everywhere we wanted to go. Of course, you have to do your research before pulling in. We fit in many, many public parks - national, national forests, COE, state parks, county and city parks. They were always our first choice.  No, you won't fit in every one but there are enough out there in every area that it really is no issue.

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On ‎5‎/‎4‎/‎2018 at 5:55 PM, Tiffany said:

So the Hubby and I have decided to begin permanent RVing....we are at odds as to what is best a Class A or Class C....of course both are great in their own way, what he is mostly worried about is, with the Class A will we be limited as to where we can go/park across the US? 

Our theory is we pick the RV based on livability.  Being full time will be different than being a weekend RVer.  You should first consider what type of full time RVers you will probably be.  Will you travel a lot, or will you pretty much just sit in one spot all the time?

I know a lot of folks worry about getting into smaller areas and CGs.  We have never been concerned with that.  When we were full time with our 39' fiver we camped where we could and drove the F350 for sightseeing.  Currently, we park our Class A and trailer where we can and drive the car or motorcycle for sightseeing.  You really don't need your RV parked right at, or next to the attractions you are visiting.  Actually you will get by with cheaper camping fees if you stay further out from busy attractions.

Look at dozens of floor plans.  Try to visualize traveling all day in different ones.  Think about spending a lazy rainy day stuck inside one.  Look at all the possibilities with the floor plan you pick because that is your home when you are full time RVing.

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As usual, great feedback. I really like the comments about sitting in and visualizing how you'd live and use a space of a specific RV. Both with Slides Out, and In.

I also know that some want to tow larger Toads, and or Trailers with lots of toys. So if you'll be in that gang, also consider the chassis/engine/trans combo to handle this heavier duty usage. Moving to 40' with Tag usually gets you a unit that can handle the weight. Moving up the pecking order of coaches in that length, also usually gets you to a larger block engine (Cummins ISM, ISX or CAT12/13/15 or Detroit). These bigger block engines not only provide more HP but Torque too. And just as important, most of these engines will have Jake Compression Brake, either 2 or 3 Stage, and larger displacements provide higher Braking HP for going down the mountains. 

Of course if you do not expect to haul heavy toads, and or trailer of toys - then Gas Chassis Class A's should also support you well. (Lots of searches here, and say on RV.Net or IRV2 on 'Gas vs Diesel' will yield lots of reading material on this subject:)!

We have some good friends that are starting their search for Class A they'll use as Snowbirds coming out of Bozeman, MT for the winters. They expect probably 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 months over this period. They're currently looking over various Class A's Gassers in the 32-36' range. I suspect they'd also be fine with up to 38' in a gasser. They're focusing on the inside livability, more then mechanical at this time. (Though I believe they're also considering a 1/2 Ton Chevy or GMC Crew Cab too, so if they end up towing that, it might move them into a DP just to handle the truck as a toad.

My DW and I chose a 40' with two Drivers Side Slides, primarily due to one of the campgrounds we liked to visit had some tighter width sites. We've been a few places over the years, where we would not have been able to fit in the available sites if we'd had a 3 or 4 slide coach. Not the norm for sure, but in away we were lucky to have only two slides. (Last time was at Yellowstone's Madison Campground. 40' sites are not as plentiful, and the one we reserved required coming in the wrong way on a oneway loop, in order to get in between some trees. We would not have been able to use a Passenger side slide in that site:)!. But again, not the norm. 

Take a good look at holding tank sizes, if you think you will be boon docking quite a bit. Also really understand the differences of the chassis below the coaches. For example some 32-34' entry level Class A's have shorter wheelbase F53 chassis under them. With long tail overhangs. Where as if you go up the food chain, you'll find 32-34', and 36' too, with longer wheelbases. Usually at higher 24K or even 26K chassis capacity. 

Lots of fun sorting out what is important, or not, to you two:)! Happy hunting, and best of luck,

Smitty

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Other criteria we use when looking for a new unit is access to bathroom and refrigerator when slides in and a walk around bed..............

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1 hour ago, SWharton said:

Other criteria we use when looking for a new unit is access to bathroom and refrigerator when slides in and a walk around bed..............

And, can you comfortably sit down on the toilet (lid down for trial of course) without your knees hitting your chin, kick off the shoes and get in the shower and pretend to wash your hair - do you have enough room.   Can you comfortably sleep with the slides in - this can be crucial, not only when getting service, but sometimes you need to ride out the winds with slides in and rear /nose into the wind.   I have a set of narrow shelves (one can deep) that are behind the slide when it is in - but there is room to reach in and get something as long as I know what shelf it is on.   We had to live 3 days with slides and it is doable in our coach.  Make sure that you can be reasonable comfortable with the slides in.  

Barb

 

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As you can see by recent comments, there's more to deciding which RV you will like than how long the exterior is.

When visiting RV dealers or shows, for the first picture of each unit, take one of the signage or badging which tells you which unit the following pictures belong to. Trust me, you will NOT remember which was which.

Also sit in the chair you expect to claim long enough to see if it is comfortable. Everything is comfortable for a few minutes when you been walking from unit to unit. I like to sit and read whatever literature they have made available--owners' manuals are a bonus.

Linda Sand

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