After having both a Class A and C, the big difference is in the drive. I think you feel a little more safer in a C as a result of the air bags, enclosure and two side doors. And the handling " may" be better. Many of the wives will not drive an A but most will drive a C because the C is like a big heavy SUV. Typically more space and storage in the A and it feels roomier than a C.
And a few RV parks will not rent to a Class C, only Class A's.
My best advice is to drive both and ask your wife to do the same.
2004 BORN FREE 26' RSB
IPD FRONT AND REAR
For a different approach, we're going from a 5th wheel to a "C" for a number of reasons; chief among them is that we love boating too and want to tow our boat for the next US tour. Size matters, but we've been through a number of 5th wheels varying from 19 to 32 ft. since 1975, and for OUR lifestyle, smaller has always turned out to be better.
We rarely stay in one spot more than 3-4 days and we live out of our RV, not in it, so "all the comforts" aren't as important as a good bed, a decent dry shower area, a minimal kitchen and a watchable TV. Since we're getting along in years (and I take Lasix), cabover beds are out but twin beds that are easy to make is important, so our final choice will likely be a well appointed "C" around 24' long with the goodies mentioned before.
The only caveat I've run into so far is the fact that I'm 75" long and many "C" twin beds or couch twins are built for the altitude disadvantaged....
Hopefully my 5'er will sell quickly so we can do a fall tour.
Don, Mary, and Sammy the Wonder Dog.
Lazy Daze 23 1/2 TK, sometimes towing a 2005 C-Dory,
5th wheel RV'er 1975 - 2005
We have 4 young children and after fairly extensive research between Class C vs. van & TT vs. Class A, we chose the A and are very happy.
How many of you will be travelling? If just 2, then you have all sorts of options. If you're a larger group, then you need to be more concerned with weight. The biggest issue with the E-450 based Class C's is that there is not a unit available that can carry the number of people we needed (8), interior space (at least a living room slide) and have sufficient cargo carrying capacity for people, food & stuff. The 30' superslide E-450 based units weigh in roughly around 12,500 lbs....give or take depending upon options. For us, we had to figure in almost 1,000 lbs. for "breathing cargo", leaving less than 500 lbs. for food, water and stuff. No where near enough. I wasn't interested in exceeding the GVWR of 14,050 lbs., let alone the front or rear axle ratings, which would be exceeded first. Some do, and they're fine with it. As an engineer, I wasn't comfortable with that solution.
There are some Kodiak based C's out there, but in all honesty, I really LOVE the driving position of the Class A. The view is fantastic PLUS all the passengers get to see the view out the massive front windows. In class C's, the passengers really don't see much out the front window.
I think the perceived "safety" differences are opinion rather than fact. The last few Class A accidents posted here show that the occupants did very well in the front end collisions. I know on my Class A, the driver's seat is over a 10" high steel beam that extends several feet in front of me. Truth of the matter, in a minor collision with a lighter vehicle, any motorhome will do well. In a very severe collision, all bets are off, I don't care what type of rig you have, except for some of the high-end bus conversions.
The overhead bunk of a Class C is nice, but we opted for a 2 sofa layout Class A. We felt the extra 5-10 minutes ritual of bed make-up/take down was well worth all the extra space we had during the rest of the day. We also decided mommy and daddy should have the "good bed" as we're much more sensitive to where we sleep. Kids can pretty much sleep anywhere. Also, when grandma and grandpa come along we can give them the back bedroom and my wife and I sleep up front with kids. There is PLENTY of room. And, we have the ability to carry about 3,000 lbs. of people, food & stuff. MUCH better than the E-450 Class C's.
The holding tanks of our Class A are about twice what the Class C's had, so that, too, is a big convenience.
The Class C IS the stereotypical "family" motorhome, but there are some Class A's that work very well for families. A word of caution, however, is that there are Class A's that don't have much cargo carrying capacity, so you need to check the weights very carefully.
I spent about 2 years doing research, most of it on this forum, before buying our first motorhome last July. We're thrilled with our choice and credit much of our "happiness" to the information posted by so many of the fine folks here on RV.net. Take your time, surf RV.net, do your research, surf RV.net, attend shows, surf RV.net, go to dealers, surf RV.net.
A word of caution, most RV salespeople do not know their product, so don't put too much faith in what they say. Heck, most have never even gone camping. If you want the straight scoop, ask us.
Good Luck...and have fun surfing RV.net.
* This post was
edited 07/10/05 12:37pm by Rick Jay *
2005 Georgie Boy 3625 DS on a Workhorse W-22 (Class A)
Rick, Gail, 1 girl (18-Angel, Lexi96.org), 1 girl (14), 2 boys (15 & 12).
2001 Honda Odyssey, Demco Aluminator tow bar & tow plate, SMI Silent Partner brake controller.
Just my opinions, but we park in our driveway and are limited to 27 feet. We have an annual pass at a local public park and enjoy going there often with our dogs. We also go to theme parks, airshows dog events. We like the option of being eable to easily camp in primitive/small campsites. Our inexpensive Tioga 26Q has the floorplan including rear queen bed and huge storage capacity that we wanted. We use our rig as a guest apartment in the driveway.
I can't see us getting nearly as much use out of a longer Class A as we do our mid-sized Class C. Any motorhome is a compromise of cost, floorplan, size/elbow room. I'm not crazy about slides or other features that add weight and complexity. Take your time and look at all the pluses and minuses and your own versus your family's needs and wants. Don't buy too old or too small. If you can't get what you want for the money you have, save until you can get what you want.
We moved up from a class A to a class C. The driving factor for me was the number of sleeping positions.
Once I got my C I found a number of advantages.
The parts and labor to work on the chassis are MUCH more available and less expensive.
The front of the vehicle is crash tested, with air bags, and a real bumper.
I like the convenience and safety of the front doors.
I really envor the car like acceleration and great power to weight ratio, especially up steep grades.
I like the good clearance. I can pretty much count on an A or 5er taking out the low branches before I pull into a camp site rather than smashing the roof on my C.
The good ground clearance is a big plus. I had a lot less clearance on my A, even though it was shorter.
The cab over area is a very efficient use of space for us, either as a sleeping position or as storage.
We are in our late 70's and have a 24' Ford E350 BTC, last winter put on 6000 mi 10.5 MPG @ 55-60, had a ball, easy to Handel, city, Hy, Mts etc, I like the cutaway cab with all it's frills hope this helps
AL & DOT
My first MH was a Class A then I bought a TT then went to a Class C. Why did I go the Class C route this time? I have kids and I needed the bed over the cab. Also, from the standpoint of price, the Class C was cheaper.
A couple things that I did not like about the Class A, was the fact that I was sitting on top of the engine, which tended to increase engine noise inside the MH. I also did not like getting in and out of the Class A, I had to climb in as opposed to being able to step in. Also the wife did not want to drive the Class A now, she is willing to drive the Class C as it feels as though its easier to manuever.
Class C's tend to tow less than the Class A design.
The floorplan that suits me the best and seems to be unique to the Class C industry is the Fleetwood 31M. It has a side aisle with 2 large bay windows.