We have an ACE 29.2, which has the bed (full size) that drops down from ceiling over the front captains chairs, very similar to a class C, my 9 & 12 year old both sleep up there. The couch makes into a bed & dinning table makes into a bed, so you could easily sleep your horde of 5.
Unfortunately the ACE has only been out a little over a year, so there is really no used deals to be had yet. We bought ours new since the only used ones we could find were almost as much as a new one.
Wow, thanks for the prompt replies! Both the Class C and A are appealing to my wife and I so we really don't have a personal preference. And setting up/tearing down the dinette isn't a big deal either. We travelled quite a bit in the past, both long and short trips so it become sort of routine to us. Haven't really seen a bunk style class a that we really like, so if I were to choose one other than my father in law's, I would probably find one that had a dinette and 2 couches.
I guess what I am really looking for is advice on which one would make more sense based on overall costs of ownership, towing capacity, ease of getting into older, state park campgrounds, MPG's, etc.
05' Coachman Cross Country 354 MBS
Beautiful wife, 3 wonderful children, and 1 fat beagle
I have had both. Class C is really better for kids. They love the bunk over the cab. We have a big 42' and went out with duaghter, her husband, todler a year ago. Would have been far better in a 31' class C.
We have had 2 of each, A+C, and our experience shows that most Cs will eventually leak at the cabover bunk. That much weight cantilevered out with no support is just asking for trouble. Only the few with no seams there seem to avoid this problem.
2003 Newmar Mountain Aire, Workhorse W22, 2008 Saturn Vue, Falcon 5250, & US Gear Unified Tow Brake
We also have three kids, although the oldest is only 7. I converted the back of our 39' Itasca class a into a bunk room (we still have the queen bed too). The bed layout isn't quite as ideal as a class c (no overhead bunk) but ride is much nicer.
We tend to do long trips with our coach so over the road comfort is at least as important as sleeping comfort. Our a rides better than the c we had. Another bonus is the view out the front windshield is visible to everyone in the coach so we now have no incidences of motion sickness. TOTALLY worth it for that reason alone.
Regardless of your choice, don't be afraid to modify a coach to suit your needs. I tend to look at RV's like houses. I don't buy a house and keep everything as the previous owner did.
We took the grandkids in both a Class C and Class A. More sleeping space in the 28' Class C, although more overall space in the 34' Class A.
In the Class A, one grandkid slept on the jack knife couch without opening it out, and the other two slept on air mattresses with sleeping bags on the floor. Their choice - the dinette made into a table.
As your kids get older, they may even enjoy the adventure of sleeping in a tent outside.
If I were in a similar situation as you, I would go for the Class C.
Discovery 39S Tin Teepee
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Bichon Frise bear killers:
Lord Shonefeld von Reginald-Friese IV.
Lady Annabelle von Lichenstein-Friese III.
We have had both and have found out that As are more for living while Cs are more for camping and the like. Our last class C was a Fleetwood Tioga 29Z. It had 4 bunk beds in the back as well as the cabover and dinette and sofa, It would sleep 10 and was nice to travel in as I did not have to wake anyone up to take off in the morning. Last A was a Allegro with 2 slides, It seemed bigger than my first apartment.
Fuzzy and Mary
1994 Pace Arrow 33
1928 Model A
1953 Ford Club Coupe
1963 1/2 Falcon Ranchero Original factory V8 4 spd
1963 Fairlane SportsCoupe
1965 Honda SuperHawk
In my opinion, if the A is in good shape and the floorplan will work for you, then go with the A. We had 4 kids in our 36' gasser A and wouldn't trade it for anything because of the dual sofa floorplan. I've yet to be impressed by any of the bunk A models. But floorplan is, in my opinion, one of the key decisions. If the floorplan on the A wouldn't work for you or can't be remodeled to fit your needs, then you'll have to consider other options.
Have you driven the Class A yet? They are sometime a bit intimidating, especially the diesels, but once you get a few miles behind the wheel, most take to it pretty quickly. You didn't mention much about the class A, but if it has an air ride suspension, the ride will be much more comfortable and quiet then the class C. Plus, I love all of the space in the cab area of the A and the expansive "picture window view" is quite addictive.
To be quite honest, compared to that 36' class A, a 26'-28' class C will seem quite cramped. We've never felt cramped in our rig even when we had to endure 3 solid days of rain on one outing.
While I'm not generally one to suggest buying somethings based upon resale value, I would probably guess that the diesel Class A will hold it's value better than a gas class C.
I'd vote for the class A, regardless, but if you can get it at a good deal, what's there to lose? You might even be able to get it at a price lower than what you could sell it for next year if you decide it's not for you. Should you decide to sell it, split the difference with your uncle and everyone will be happy. But I bet you'll be pretty happy with the class A diesel.
If you haven't done any research on weight ratings such as GVWR, GAWR GCWR, etc., make sure you do so. Many of the larger C's, and even the A's, sometimes approach and even exceed the chassis weight ratings before you even get half the stuff & people into it that you plan. So I'd recommend that you be aware of these things before you buy anything.
Feel free to send me a private message if you have any other "class A with kids" questions.
2005 Georgie Boy 3625 DS on a Workhorse W-22 (Class A)
Rick, Gail, 1 girl (17-Angel, Lexi96.org), 1 girl (12), 2 boys (13 & 10).
2001 Honda Odyssey, Demco Aluminator tow bar & tow plate, SMI Silent Partner brake controller.