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Thinking about an RV
Old 03-27-2011, 03:08 PM   #1
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Thinking about an RV

I would really like a Class C because I feel I could drive it but safety is my #1 concern as my grandchildren will ride in it. Born Free has roll bars, do any others?
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Old 03-27-2011, 05:06 PM   #2
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Born Free has roll bars, do any others?
I did not know RVs had roll bars, but if that is a requirement maybe you should stick to a car.
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Old 03-27-2011, 05:11 PM   #3
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I did not know RVs had roll bars, but if that is a requirement maybe you should stick to a car.
I think it is a legitimate concern. Most RVs vaporize in a collision.
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Old 03-27-2011, 05:13 PM   #4
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I think it is a legitimate concern. Most RVs vaporize in a collision.
Depends on the size of the other vehicle that hits the RV. Most RV drivers would not hit another vehicle.

With an RV, I think the idea is that one drives slowly and carefully so that the risk of a roll-over becomes minimal. And if the thing happens to tip over, heaven forbids, its square shape would mean it would just rest or skid on its side instead of making several complete somersaults as shown in accident videos of these fast and dangerous cars.

And if I sound like an overly careful geezer, it is because I am.
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Old 03-27-2011, 05:25 PM   #5
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Concerns about safety was one of several reasons we recently sold our diesel pusher motor home and purchased a 5th wheel trailer and a new truck to pull it. I was never fully comfortable hauling us or the grandkids around in a large fiberglass shell. Front and side airbags plus a steel cab are definite safety upgrades.
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Old 03-27-2011, 05:34 PM   #6
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Here's a good video on RV crash integrity:

YouTube - Extreme motorhome racing - Top Gear - BBC
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Old 03-27-2011, 05:34 PM   #7
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At the risk of scaring people away from owning an RV, I would like to point out that in a really bad collision, there will be a lot of flying projectiles inside an RV that can hurt.

Still, it may be a false sense of security on my part, but getting hit while inside my class C which has the cab of a commercial cargo van sounds a lot better than getting hit by someone else while inside a small sedan car. The thin sheet metal of many cars is not much tougher than the fiberglass shell, I think. Also, as you are much higher, small cars would be tunneling under the RV frame.

It is the collision with bigger vehicles that seem scary. But then, what is your chance in that little "red sport car"?
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Old 03-27-2011, 05:39 PM   #8
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Here's a good video on RV crash integrity:
I'd like to see ordinary cars put through the same ordeal.

By the way, when researching for RVs, I found a Web site that said class As may not be as safe as class Cs due to the driver sitting right up to the nose, and with only a thin wall protecting him. And in some old designs that had a big tube TV mounted in the cab, that falling down may hurt the occupants already.

Other than the fear of flying objects inside the RV, I feel safer when driving my class C than any other vehicles I have owned, including a full-size Ford pickup I used to own. It's because the commercial van chassis with dually rear wheels is bigger, heavier, and higher than anything else I have driven. But then, the only other occupant is my wife who sits up front. If one has to consider other passengers, then, they may not be as safe as the driver and his copilot.

I think it all depends on the type of accident. About little red sports cars hitting me, well, they would most likely end up under my chassis.
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Old 03-27-2011, 08:14 PM   #9
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Hi, Brat,

Where would you park it? I have seen pix of your condo.

One positive safety aspect of RVs is that your eyes are high above the road. If you can see problems, you have a better chance of avoiding them. And I am guessing that RV drivers are more careful than the average auto driver. I would guess that there are fewer wrecks involving RVs than cars proportionately.

That does not change the fragility of the critter, though. And you can't avoid 100.000% of the incidents.

Things I had not thought about yet.
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Old 03-27-2011, 09:01 PM   #10
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Hi, Brat,

Where would you park it? I have seen pix of your condo.

One positive safety aspect of RVs is that your eyes are high above the road. If you can see problems, you have a better chance of avoiding them. And I am guessing that RV drivers are more careful than the average auto driver. I would guess that there are fewer wrecks involving RVs than cars proportionately.

That does not change the fragility of the critter, though. And you can't avoid 100.000% of the incidents.

Things I had not thought about yet.
We will park it out at our son/DIL's boatyard so no problem there. For those who might ask, they are as busy as a sea lion dining on salmon at the foot of a fish ladder.

Born Free has roll bars and reputably is hell-built-for-stout but I get whines from the peanut gallery that the floor plan is awkward. Ahhh...!!!
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Old 03-27-2011, 11:35 PM   #11
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We will park it out at our son/DIL's boatyard so no problem there. For those who might ask, they are as busy as a sea lion dining on salmon at the foot of a fish ladder.

Born Free has roll bars and reputably is hell-built-for-stout but I get whines from the peanut gallery that the floor plan is awkward. Ahhh...!!!
Save yourself a lot of money and hassle and invite the GKs over for a swim instead.

OTOH, if logistical and mechanical challenges similar to those faced by Eisenhower planning the Normandy Invasion appeal to you , go ahead and buy an RV.

Ha
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Old 03-28-2011, 06:30 AM   #12
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Brat, how about a trailer instead? Particularly if you already have a truck or SUV, you can buy an incredibly wide variety of floorplans very inexpensively and as REW points out you are travelling in your car should you have a wreck. Our brand of trailer has actually come out with a new model that has DW salivating: it has a kids' bunkhouse room in the rear of the trailer (opposite end from master bad) with 3 or 4 bunks plus a dinette. Something like that would seem to be ideal for grandkid trips.

All that said, I'd guess incidence of wrecks with RVs is pretty low and you would have an inherent advantage vs. Most passenger vehicles since RVs are generally 8000 pounds and up.
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Old 03-28-2011, 06:56 AM   #13
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You'll feel like your in a tank with a diesel 3/4 or one ton pickup and a 5th wheel. Plus you have a truck to haul other stuff. I also use mine to plow snow, pull a horse trailer, utility trailer and boat.
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:32 AM   #14
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:08 AM   #15
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+1 on the Truck and Trailer combination. That is what we have and it has worked out very well for the last three years on some pretty long trips. Over 40 days at a time with kids!

For me the number one reason for this setup was only one engine to maintain and depreciate.
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:32 AM   #16
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We have a trailer, which we are selling. A motor-home is on the list because the 'kids' could tow a boat.

The more I look at motor homes the more I realize that compromises must be made. Born Free has to tow limit of 5,000, Lazy Daze 4,000. From 30' and longer towing capacity drops. Husband wants the Ford V-10 engine, not the 450 (or is it 460) engine. We are getting too old to climb into an over cab bed and the scissor bed is too narrow for the two of us. Most of the dinettes are for two which works for us but less than ideal for 4.

Son just sent an e-mail recommending a look at Chateau Class C. Off I go again.
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Old 03-28-2011, 11:12 AM   #17
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The more I look at motor homes the more I realize that compromises must be made. Born Free has to tow limit of 5,000, Lazy Daze 4,000.
Yup, everything is a compromise with RVs.

But with the cash you're looking to spend on a Lazy Daze or Born Free Class C, you can get a decent Class A gasser. You won' have the same in cab safety features as you do with a truck, but at least you'll have a queen sized bed.
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Old 03-28-2011, 11:18 AM   #18
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You could rent something to try it out.

Enjoy!
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Old 03-28-2011, 11:40 AM   #19
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Here's a good video on RV crash integrity:
With apologies to the RV crowd here, I LMAO
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Old 03-28-2011, 11:48 AM   #20
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I saw a few of these not long ago - built on a Ford 550. They tow and meet your requirements, however may be a budget buster Custom Built Limousines, Shuttle Buses, Luxury Coach Sales: Krystal | Limo Sales
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