Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Small Class A vs Large Class C
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 > Small Class A vs Large Class C

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DouglasC

Grand Haven, MI

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Posted: 09/13/21 06:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As the saying goes, "to each his own". Guess that's why the RV manufacturers make so many different models in so many sizes. Having said that, we have been RVing for 35 years and have owned 7 motorhomes. We started with a 19' Winnebago LeSharo in 1986 - - and kept getting bigger, eventually owning a 39' Newmar Dutch Star DP while we were full timing.

Over time we decided that that MH was just too big and started to downsize, 1st going to a 34' Dolphin gasser. After we stopped full timing and built a home in an RV community we decided to downside again to a Class C. One requirement that we had was that the MH had to have a walk around queen bed in the rear. Our choice of a Jayco Greyhawk 27DS ended up being the perfect choice for us. This unit has tons of interior storage and lots of outside storage as well, including a pass thru compartment for storing longer items.

We have lived in this motorhome for as long as 6 months at a time and feel that we could full time in it if necessary. We seldom miss the panoramic front window of the previous Class A motorhomes and like the additional safety of having an actual front bumper and air bags in case of an accident. We have now owned this motorhome for 15 years and recently passed the 80,000 mile mark on the odometer. The Ford V-10 engine is "bullet proof" and all in all we couldn't be happier with the way that this motorhome has held up over time and mileage.

* This post was edited 09/13/21 07:49am by DouglasC *


Doug
2006 Jayco Greyhawk Model 27DS
Towing 2019 Ford Fusion Energi with Brake Buddy


D.E.Bishop

Eagle Rock, CA

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Posted: 09/13/21 07:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just prior to the covid explosion we had decided to go to a smaller rig. Well you know what happened there. We still plan on dropping down to hopefully a 27 or 28 foot model Class A. The C's were just not comfy for us for all the reasons listed here. We just wern't comfortable and I don't mind driving a C but really enjoy driving an A. That is the selling point.

What we really want is a 2021 or 2022 version of our 1990 Bounder 27D. No slides, twin beds and a split bath, tons of closet space. the DW would miss her two pantry slide out cabinets but would happily give that up. We kind of like bumping butts as we pass each other in the narrow aisle, so losing the slides is acceptable. That Bounder was a great RV for the two of us and even when we started taking the DGKs with us.


"I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to go". R. L. Stevenson

David Bishop
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 32V
2009 GMC Canyon
Roadmaster 5000
BrakeBuddy Classic II


crawford

Dandridge Tenn.

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Posted: 09/13/21 09:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Class A has a real truck frame A C Class is a Van chassis which most have a welded extended frame with LT tire light truck tires 16 in pickup truck. That's why I now have a A class.


Change from a c class to a A class Georgetown 07 triple slide

pnichols

The Other California

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Posted: 09/13/21 12:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

crawford wrote:

Class A has a real truck frame A C Class is a Van chassis which most have a welded extended frame with LT tire light truck tires 16 in pickup truck. That's why I now have a A class.


I'm not sure what you mean by a "real truck frame". The last time I looked underneath my E450 based motorhome, those two big U frame members running from front qrille to the rear duallies looked pretty much like the same style U-frame members as are under dump trucks.

Most modern, small Class C motorhomes are indeed built on the unibody-type van chassis as is used in the Sprinter, and new small van offerings from Ram and Ford.

However, underneath the good old Ford E350/E450 and Chevy 3500/4500 chassis you will probably find a real truck frame. However, to keep any welded extended frame sections at a minimum length for maximum strength - one should look for a small Class C, even on these chassis.

IMHO, Class C motorhomes of lengths greater than around 30 ft. (and especially with slides included) should be built on a 5XX/5XXX series chassis with their non-extended "real truck frames". [emoticon]


Phil, 2005 E450 Itasca Spirit 24V

crawford

Dandridge Tenn.

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Posted: 09/13/21 04:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Maybe you should look under a F53 and look at the frame then we will talk I had both my 29 ft C Class had a extension added on about 5 foot. check out the mine has a 22,000 CGWR YOURS MAYBE 14,000 your 16 in rim compare to real truck tire rims 22.5

pnichols

The Other California

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Posted: 09/13/21 05:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Note in this link for typical late model Class C motorhomes, under WEIGHTS AND MEASUREMENTS for the E450 chassis, when offered for their motorhomes - Option (B) - that the Ford E450 chassis is specified for a CGWR of 22,000 lbs.:
https://www.winnebago.com/models/product........lass-c/minnie-winnie?specifications=true

Even for my 2005 Ford E450 chassis, Ford spec'd it's GCWR at 20,000 lbs.. Of course CGWR refers to how much weight can be towed including the weight of the chassis doing the towing. It is not how much weight can be carried on the vehicle's structure.

As far as wheel diameters are concerned, it seems to me that assuming a steel (or better metal) wheel - one thing a larger diameter wheel/tire combination buys you is less per square inch tread rubber contacts per mile - which provides for longer tire tread life under heavy loads. If a 16 inch steel (or better metal) wheel/tire combination - at proper pressure - can carry the maximum weight for the vehicle's structure then, other than ground clearance or tread wear considerations, it should do as well as a larger diameter wheel/tire combination on any given vehicle.

I believe that a late model year E450 chassis is designed to carry a total of 14,500 lbs., including itself. So whatever fully loaded motorhome size can be used on that frame should be "OK". An equivalent size/loaded Class A may of course have more design margin if built on a chassis weight-rated higher than a 4XXX class.

What's difficult today is to find a small Class C that is built on a chassis that is specified for carrying way more weight in day-in day-out use than is required under normal circumstances. IAW, an overkill chassis under a smal motorhome is not easy to find new, should you desire one. [emoticon]

TechWriter

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Posted: 09/13/21 11:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pnichols wrote:


What's difficult today is to find a small Class C that is built on a chassis that is specified for carrying way more weight in day-in day-out use than is required under normal circumstances. IAW, an overkill chassis under a smal motorhome is not easy to find new, should you desire one. [emoticon]

OP here . . .

I'm not sure if you meant that newer small motorhomes don't have overkill chassis or . . .

Regardless, I said in my original post that my $35k budget doesn't allow for newer Class As or Cs.

So I'm forced to look at 2000ish models. While there are some 2000ish Class Cs that fit the bill, there seem to be many more 2000ish Class As. For example, if you're considering CCC (as I am), here are specs on two National RV Class A models . . .


[image]


[image]


2004 - 2010 Part Timer (35’ 2004 National RV Sea Breeze 8341 gasser)
2010 - 2021 Full Timer (41’ 2001 Newmar Mountain Aire 4095 DP)
2021 - ??? Part Timer (31’ 2001 National RV Sea View 8311 gasser)
www.rvSeniorMoments.com
DISH TV for RVs

rjstractor

Maple Valley, WA

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Posted: 09/14/21 07:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

^^^ I think it depends on your definition of "small motorhome". The smallest motorhome referenced here is almost 32 feet, which might not be big for an A, it's not exactly small either. 32 feet is among the biggest of the E450/GM 4500 series based Cs, but from these figures, the 32' A is a much more heavy duty chassis. When I think of a small motorhome I think of a C that is 24' feet or less and an A that is under 28'.

TechWriter

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Posted: 10/04/21 07:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We decided to go with an older 31’ Class A — 2 slides, levelers, 2 ACs (so 50A), generator, plenty of storage, 5k hitch, and 3500 lbs of CCC.

All for the less than most of the Class Cs I looked at.

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 10/04/21 08:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Techwriter,

Which A did you get? Diesel? Solar?


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, soon to have SiO2 batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

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