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Les&Elaine

25 or 30 foot C class?

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We are looking at buying our first RV in about a year's time. We can't quite decide whether to go for a 25ft or 30ft. Any suggestions? Thanks!

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Welcome as it seems you're new to the forum!

What is your issue with only 5' difference for a small RV?  You'll fit in just about any campsite.  We did with our 40'.  Please explain why you are concerned.  Many people RV in both sizes.  It's basically what you'd be comfortable in.  What floorplan is best for you.  Storage space? If it's a trailer what will you be pulling it with?

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Go sit inside one and mentally put away your stuff. If you find yourself filling the same cupboard the third time realize you either need  more storage or less stuff.

The two of you walk around each size RV and pretend to go through your acts of daily living. Can one set the table while the other cooks? Can you pass each other in an aisle without one having to sit down first?  Questions like these will help you understand how important those things are to you. For instance, we discovered I sat most of the time anyway so having extra aisle space was not so critical for us.

Linda Sand

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Welcome, Les and Elaine!

My suggestion is always to do a LOT of research before making any major decisions. Start with the type of RV. Have you considered travel trailers, fifth wheels, and class A motor homes before focusing on a class C? That's perhaps the first place to start. How will you use your RV? Are you looking at a full-time coach, a long-time vacation coach, a vacation coach, a few times a year coach? Are you minimalists or do you plan on taking everything possible with you?

As you talk about your proposed plans you should look at every single RV you can get into, no matter the cost or condition. You are looking at two things: quality and floor plan. It won't take very long for you to figure out what floor plans will work for you and what brands have the quality you are looking for. As was mentioned above, "do" your regular activities ("cook" an meal, "watch" television, "take" a shower, "use" the bathroom, etc.).

Class C motor homes originally (50 years ago) were a combination of a pickup camper attached to a cargo van chassis. They have grown considerably since then. Like some class A motor homes, some have quite a bit of coach behind the rear axle. That can create some driving problems if you don't pay attention to how you are loading and how you are driving. Some years ago there were quite a few class C rigs that were near their maximum allowable weight with only full fuel and a driver aboard. Be sure to check the weight information on anything you are considering. This advice applies to ANY RV you are looking at, not just a class C.

Remember that most people will tow something with something else. Those who choose a travel trailer, popup trailer, or fifth wheel will tow it with a car, truck, van, etc. Those who choose a class A or B will often tow a car, motorcycle, truck, etc. behind it. The reason is that the towed vehicle can be used to go sightseeing, shopping, etc. without having to take the entire rig. Remember that when the RV moves, everything has to be stowed for travel - even if you are just going to the dump station.

Spend some time talking with owners of various types of RVs. Don't ask them why they chose that particular coach; ask them why they chose that TYPE of rig.

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3 hours ago, kb0zke said:

ask them why they chose that TYPE of rig.

We chose to go small because we didn't want to tow a car. We drove our Class Bs and Cs everywhere we went. We traveled a lot, rarely staying in one place for even a week. We drove The Great River Road, The Blue Ridge Parkway, Historic Route 66, US Hwy 2 across the top of the USA, etc. In three years we at least drove through every one of the 48 contiguous states while always having everything we owned with us. When we changed to a Class A towing a car we liked the rig but didn't like the way we felt restricted in our travels--you can't park that type of combo in many museum parking lots while traveling from one campsite to another. But, that's just us. Your travel style may be very different from ours.

Linda Sand

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Thanks for all the suggestions. I know 5 feet is not much of a difference, I guess we're just worried incase any of the National Parks we would like to visit have size restrictions. We'll be using it for a few vacations a year (coming over from Scotland, where we are from) so will not need a lot of storage room as we won't be full time RVing. I think what appeals to us about the 30ft is that it has a separate bedroom at the back with a bed we can walk around. Lots of good ideas above to keep our minds thinking!

 

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6 hours ago, Les&Elaine said:

I think what appeals to us about the 30ft is that it has a separate bedroom at the back with a bed we can walk around.

That's what we liked best about our larger rig--a 35' Class A. It also had a door we could close when one of us wanted to sleep and the other didn't which turned out to be more of a good thing than we expected it to be.

Linda

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You would really appreciate a walk-around bed... you stay warmer if not up against the wall .. the wall and mattress could get damp from the humidity of you sleeping ...  easier to get out of during the night without waking the other ... easier to fix the bed. ... they sometimes have an end corner cut off at an angle to make more room to walk by. This makes for shorter length for the person sleeping at that corner.  As stated above, we utilized the national parks a lot and fit  on the sites with our 40' motorhome plus the car.

Good luck!

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You definitely want a walk around bed. Period, no exceptions.  On a corner bed the person on the outside will have the other crawl over you in the middle of the night to go pee....no fun...been there....done that...never again.

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The corner bed is referred to as the First-timers bed.  Had one and never again.  Getting into bed is a chore and never mind trying to put sheets on.

Ken

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Beware of the length of the rear overhang if you're looking at a long Class C.

Some Class C's have very large rear overhangs that make the house look like it is balanced on the rear axle. This gives a shorter turning circle, but the long rear overhang makes the RV more susceptable to crosswinds, passing trucks, etc.

When the wall area between the axles is hit by wind it affects the front and rear axles equally, so side winds make the RV lean or drift to the side.  This is easily and naturally corrected by steering into the wind.

A long rear overhang creates sail area behind the rear axle that pushes the RV back and forth.  Wind hitting behind the rear axle pushes the RV into the wind while wind hitting between the axles pushes the front end in the opposite direction.  This creates more wander that you have to countersteer against. 

Edited by Lou Schneider

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Thanks for all the updated ideas on a walk around bed, sounds like that's the way to go! Lou-thanks for heads up on overhand. Strangely the overhang on the 30ft is the same as that on the 25ft we have been looking at (the extra 5ft is between the wheels) so not too bad.

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On 5/20/2020 at 12:57 PM, Lou Schneider said:

A long rear overhang creates sail area behind the rear axle that pushes the RV back and forth.  Wind hitting behind the rear axle pushes the RV into the wind while wind hitting between the axles pushes the front end in the opposite direction.  This creates more wander that you have to countersteer against. 

Not in the 2017 Minnie Winnie 31D. 4th year camping 3-4 months per year. 7,000 mile cross country trip last Sept-Dec. Our rig handles like a dream, no sway (no after market mods), no unusual effects from the wind. (Any large vehicle will feel the wind when it is high). I do a lot of the driving myself and never get tired driving it because it is so easy to stop and refresh and take breaks with a Class C. We have a big overhang in the back, and it worried me at first, but we have had no problems with handling or maneuverability. We set up for 2-3 weeks at a time, so the extra room is great, more than we really need. But we've been in a smaller rig with no slides and wouldn't go that way again with 2 traveling.

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On 5/20/2020 at 3:22 PM, Les&Elaine said:

Strangely the overhang on the 30ft is the same as that on the 25ft we have been looking at (the extra 5ft is between the wheels) so not too bad.

One other consideration is that if you will not be towing a car, the longer RV could be more difficult to find parking places for when you go out to see the attractions or shopping.

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Wife and I went from a 21 foot Class C with a gas engine to a 33 foot Class C with a gas engine.  I would say the biggest problem we have had is gassing up the RV.  Due to the length and turn radius, it can be a challenge to find a gas station that we can gas up at safely.  Longer wheel base means we spend a little more time on leveling.  Worth it for us though.  

 

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8 hours ago, Kirk W said:

One other consideration is that if you will not be towing a car, the longer RV could be more difficult to find parking places for when you go out to see the attractions or shopping.

We did not find that to be true. Most parking spaces are no longer than 20 feet. So our 24-foot motorhome required two spaces front to back. A 35-foot motorhome also requires two spaces front to back. The exception was that we could park in one space IF the back could hang back past the curb.

Linda

ps. I still have trouble believing we found two curbside parking spaces with drive-through capability between an alley and a bus stop in downtown Chicago. We put money in both meters and walked around the corner to have breakfast at a historic restaurant. That was day one of our drive down Historic Route 66 which got that trip off to a great start!

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22 hours ago, ToddF said:

Not in the 2017 Minnie Winnie 31D. 4th year camping 3-4 months per year. 7,000 mile cross country trip last Sept-Dec. Our rig handles like a dream, no sway (no after market mods), no unusual effects from the wind. 

The Winnebago 31D has a 56% Wheelbase to Length ratio (220" wheelbase / 393" (32ft 9in) length).  That makes it one of the better Class C's in terms of wheelbase to length.

It's when the wheelbase to length ratio gets down round 50% or less (looks like the house is balanced over the rear axle)  that handling problems manifest themselves.   JD Gallant documented this 30 years ago in the beginning days of the RV Consumer Group.

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We had a 31' Minnie Winnie DL and had to have Winnebago step in to get warranty which Winnebago wound up paying for.  Winnebago extends the chassis and driveline according to Ford specs.  The center carrier bearing on the drive line was misaligned and ruined a U-joint.  In any case Winnebago paid Ford to fix the problem.

Ken

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Winnebago has been great in fixing problems...our new rig has not been trouble free. We may finally be "out of the woods" as not much has come up in the last year. In talking with one of the service reps in Forest City, he said the Class Cs have relatively fewer and less complicated problems than some of their big Class A rigs. 

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