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Open Roads Forum  >  Class C Motorhomes  >  Class C

 > 24 feet versus 26' dilemma, have to decide fast

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Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 12/18/22 11:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Single cab 4x4 dually with a BFTC FTW.


2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

Gjac

Milford, CT

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Posted: 12/18/22 11:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Every RV is a compromise. If you don't plan on a tow car, and just spend one or two nights at a camp spot then move on, I would stay with the 24 ft C. You will probably spend more time outside camping than inside except when you are driving it, and a smaller unit is easier to drive and park. I would look at some of the transit-based Class C's and compare the ride to a Ford or Chevy Chassis. If inside space is still an issue you can always get a 24 ft with a full wall slide.

bobndot

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Posted: 12/18/22 11:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Your camping style is like ours. We usually can’t depend on neighbors to help us. It goes beyond the size of the rv. Once you fit into a campsite you need everything to function properly in order to not have to leave.

Your first rv ? As you know, Rv’s are much more complex than a tent . Especially boon-docking remotely. Rv help is few and far between today. You need to learn the very basic mechanics and how to override things in order to make them function while you are in remote settings. Carrying a few extra parts may be the answer for you to keep yourself on a site rather than leaving to try to get help , which might take considerable time.

Spares: You need to have a ‘water pump’ , ‘ pex tool with some extra clamps’ , a universal ‘ Dinosaur Fan50 control board’ and an ‘LP regulator’. You need to have these in order to have flowing gas and water and appliances that function. The control board operates the fridge, WH and furnace. I have replaced all using quality made Dinosaur boards and never had another issue.


I would go 24’ and make it work. If you choose a slide model, make sure you can use the floorplan completely when the slide is ‘in’. Just in case the slide motor fails or the slide binds in its frame and you unable to hand-crank it back in. Smaller , lighter slides of 400 lbs can sometimes be pushed back in. Larger full wall slides 1000 lbs need a team of linemen.

The ‘pivoting’ into tight spaces might be the key to getting in. See which brand, GM / Ford E series / Ford Transit / MB , offers a better turning radius.

A shorter wheelbase rv seems like it would navigate over humps and rocks that might otherwise get hung-up on the undercarriage of a longer WB rv. The middle of a coach could become hung-up on the ground . That will also depend on your coaches ground clearance, which could be increased by using spacers if necessary. A spring shop could do that.

Notice the rear overhand distance of the rig you decide on. The distance from the rear axle to rear bumper. This is where rvs can get hung up while trying to back into an incline. The rear sometimes digs in to the dirt on an incline.

We use our 24’ non slide rv for a month at a time with no issues. If you can do a month then you can do a year. We have a corner queen bed and a full queen in the cabover which is all storage space now.
Closet space, fridge size and LP tank size should be considered. Learn how to downsize everything you need. It can be done .

Doing laundry more often, replenishing food and propane might have to be done more often than a larger rv. Just some things to consider beyond the extra 2 feet or whatever length you are considering.

Consider a spare tire and appropriate jacking. Many rvs do not have spare tires. If you need to add one, you could use a hitch mounted tire carrier off the rear hitch.
Carry 2x10 blocks for leveling under the tires. Absorption fridges need to be somewhat level to keep the gas flowing to operate. 12v compressor fridges will work fine off level.

klutchdust

Orange, California

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Posted: 12/18/22 12:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When you say you want to go to the same places you went to in your car that raised my eyebrows a bit. My 30ft. had a fair overhang in the back and it dragged pretty easy going into certain roads and areas. If you have no experience driving a larger vehicle it can get interesting real quick. I have found no issues with parking, their limits are so one vehicle doesn't take two spots, like some do at truck stops which annoys the truckers.
I suggest renting what size you are interested in and try it out for a weekend or so.

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 12/18/22 01:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mountaintraveler wrote:



Do you think I can get away with 26' in 24' spaces?
I see some indications people had been doing it but not sure if it's for real.


Hi I'd go with the 26 foot and 176 inch wheel base. No slide needed.


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp-hours of Telcom jars, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 12/18/22 04:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you get a C, get a Ford or Chevy chassis unless money is of no object or you must have a diesel.
And buy used.

mountaintraveler

mountains

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Posted: 12/18/22 07:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pianotuna wrote:

mountaintraveler wrote:



Do you think I can get away with 26' in 24' spaces?
I see some indications people had been doing it but not sure if it's for real.


Hi I'd go with the 26 foot and 176 inch wheel base. No slide needed.

The thing is the unit is going to have a slide anyway as pretty much anything used on the market within my price range has a slide. Inventory is small, as smaller units are super popular these days.
I'd rather have a slide than length issue I guess...

mountaintraveler

mountains

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Posted: 12/18/22 07:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

klutchdust wrote:

When you say you want to go to the same places you went to in your car that raised my eyebrows a bit. My 30ft. had a fair overhang in the back and it dragged pretty easy going into certain roads and areas. If you have no experience driving a larger vehicle it can get interesting real quick. I have found no issues with parking, their limits are so one vehicle doesn't take two spots, like some do at truck stops which annoys the truckers.
I suggest renting what size you are interested in and try it out for a weekend or so.


I see. That's important for me to know about 30ft overhand,
some 26' also have noticeably more overhang.
Toyota Camry is not a 4wd, to put it mildly, and has low clearance -
yet I was able to go miles and miles on all kinds of very uneven bumpy gravel and dirt roads, without damaging the bottom (one time I did reseal of oil pan, though, cost me a fortune at a dealership)
I'm not in a position to do RV renting now.
I'm buying a motorhome next week and heading back out West on it after inspections and fixing up anything that needs to be.
What you say seems to point out that it'd be safer to get a 24' one.

I have bad eyes.
Also, my eyeglasses' plastic frames limit my field of vision. No one to help parking. I get very tired on long drives, become no good at parking from fatique. Had adventures with my Camry's bumper meeting pine trees and boulders, definitely and a 20' campsite can be hard to back even a Camry into when you're tired. Can't imagine what happens with long vehicle. Shorter RV is definitely safer bet in terms of not hitting things and not scraping.

mountaintraveler

mountains

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Posted: 12/18/22 07:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gjac wrote:

Every RV is a compromise. If you don't plan on a tow car, and just spend one or two nights at a camp spot then move on, I would stay with the 24 ft C. You will probably spend more time outside camping than inside except when you are driving it, and a smaller unit is easier to drive and park. I would look at some of the transit-based Class C's and compare the ride to a Ford or Chevy Chassis. If inside space is still an issue you can always get a 24 ft with a full wall slide.


I might spend 14 days at a site if I like it, my goal isn't to drive around all the time (especially with the current price of fuel).
Yes, I want to set up a tent a lot and sleep in it too.

There's very little choice of units in my price range on the market. I have a couple of units I can make an offer on, just need to decide on length.

I came up with the idea of gutting the sofa and any seats if I get 24' one. I can put them in storage and later reistall them when it's time to sell the RV. I only use my camping cot and camping chair recliner in the house, don't want anything else, so RV furniture is of no use for me. If I gut some furniture I can free space. My recliner folds, might even fold the camping cot for the day if I need to freeing space.

mountaintraveler

mountains

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Posted: 12/18/22 07:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

toedtoes wrote:

As you are particular about the campgrounds where you will stay, I suggest going with the 24ft and buy a popup gazebo that you can put up for extra living space.

Here in Northern California, the foothills and desert areas you can usually fit a 26ft in a 24ft foot space as there are rarely trees, etc preventing you from backing in further. During the winter, these are often nice places to stay as there is no snow and few campers.

In the Sierras, you will have a much harder time trying to fit a 26ft in a 24ft space. the campgrounds that fit your description the best don't fit larger than 20ft and are first come first serve. The next closest (my usual category) will have boulders and/or trees directly behind the parking pad so you cannot back further into the site to fit. Some of the 24ft sites will barely fit a 24ft rig - the front end will be within a foot of the road. And most of my favorite campgrounds in the Sierras don't have any longer sites, the rest at most have 3 or 4 sites for over 24ft and those go very fast.


I see. I'm very familiar with the Sierra, spent years camping with my car and a tent in it - never gave much thought to the length of parking areas as with a sedan car it's never an issue.
Some campgrounds or sites I like have 20' limit. 24' should fit in with overhang going over spur sometimes, I've seen it done.
26'? I'm not so sure.
One thing I do not want to be stressing out driving for hours somewhere wondering if I fit in or drive long time only to find I can't fit in there. I found that even with a tent I've been stressing out a lot heading to remote camps, not knowing if good spots would be taken up or not.

And yes, longer spur campsites will go first.
Some National Forests outside the Sierra are full of RVs now, literally swarming with them, and every boondocking spot is taken (in the mountains there're not going to be many spots) - the bigger spots go first.
Van is really what has the advantage. But I considered that and won't be comfortable with class B. Even B+ (say, 22') seems too small, especially since usually no slide.

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