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Old 07-17-2018, 12:06 AM   #1
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Model: Four Winds 28Z
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Input on driving Class C 25ft vs 30ft

Hello! I am looking at a smaller Thor class c but am concerned it could end up being too small. Itís mainly for my 14 yo son and myself (maybe a dog or two)- but you never know he may want to bring a friend....Another one has caught my interest but itís length is almost 30ft. I have minimal experience with RV driving.

I would especially love to hear about female drivers perspective- you know because I am female.

Thank you all in advance -I know I will get great info here!
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Old 07-17-2018, 12:13 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coffee-Girl View Post
Hello! I am looking at a smaller Thor class c but am concerned it could end up being too small. Itís mainly for my 14 yo son and myself (maybe a dog or two)- but you never know he may want to bring a friend....Another one has caught my interest but itís length is almost 30ft. I have minimal experience with RV driving.

I would especially love to hear about female drivers perspective- you know because I am female.

Thank you all in advance -I know I will get great info here!
most the small class c's are Van like or big Suv feel when driving,.. all you need is the desire to drive one and you will do fine... we just down sized to a thor vegas 24.1... and my wife is gonna start driving it some of the time
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Old 07-17-2018, 01:07 AM   #3
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My wife drives our 25ft Axis on occasion and has no issue with it (she really didn't like driving any of the trailer setups we've had in the past). She'll even drive it when we're pulling a toad.

As far as space for two (or three): It really depends on what kind of trips you plan on taking. If you are going for long treks for weeks on end a 25ft coach will get cramped pretty quickly. If its just for weekend excursions with the occasional long trip then 25ft is just fine.

Usually there is 3 of us in our Axis: Myself, the wife, and our, now, 16 year old son. For a quick weekender trip the Axis is just fine--he has even brought a friend now and then.

Once he brought 3 friends and they all slept in a tent next to the RV.

Last month we returned from an 11 day trip, about 1600+ miles or so. That one got a little "close" but only because it was very hot out and thus we were often stuck in the RV instead of being outside (and had to wait an extra day for a tire shop to open, but that is a different story).
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Old 07-17-2018, 02:22 AM   #4
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Iíve owned a 24-Ft Class C, and rented 27- and 30-Ft Class Cs for 2- and 3-week trips with other family members. For me, there is no doubt that a 24-footer is more maneuverable and easier to park than a 30 footer. With my shorter Class C I didnít think much about entering any gas station or grocery store parking lot without much planning, feeling confident I could always get out somehow. When driving a 30-footer I always plan ahead.

Driving has also been a little more demanding for the larger Class Cs. While all were on same Ford E-Series chassis, cross winds and semi trucks affected the longer Cs more than my shorter 24-footer. Having said that, my wife has driven them all without issue. In fact, the only issue weíve had is that she drives too fast for my taste. I donít think she takes into account what could happen in case of a blowout in the middle of a curve, etc. A motorhome isnít a sports car or minivan, and that should be respected.

As to size, some people live well in 400 square foot apartments, and others have 5,000 square foot houses. I donít think you can go by what others think is best size, which is why I often recommend renting first. Itís expensive but can save more in long run.

We now travel in a van-size camper most of the time, and occassionally rent only when we need more space; which we havenít done in a few years because the van is good enough for the two of us, particularly since our dog passed. And as tourers, we donít mind spending the cost to stay in hotels or National Park Lodges once in a while if feeling cramped.

For the two of us, Iím hoping to keep it at 24-Ft or shorter as long as floorplan and storage is well thought out.
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Old 07-17-2018, 03:05 AM   #5
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Great input- so much to consider
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Old 07-17-2018, 11:39 AM   #6
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One of the many neat features of a motorhome is traveling along "in the house". Mine is huge but with the two labs and the slides in, there's not much room for them to pass each other or turn around, etc. Add another adult or two and it gets real cramped. We try to keep them off the furniture. If your dogs are "couch potatoes" it would relieve this a bit. I think a division bell would be the layout of the floorplan with the slides in. The shorter unit may offer better floor space in this position...maybe not. Evaluate both units and usable space with the slides in and out and picture yourself in it for 6-8 hours straight while underway (less a few road breaks). If you go for the smaller unit with no slides the space will be the same either way. Sometimes people don't see or evaluate the restrictions of the "traveling along scenario" until after they've hit the road. I don't think 6 feet will change that much in the handling but it will sure give you tons of more breathing room. If you were comparing a 24 to a 35...big difference. The longer you sit in a motorhome, the more it shrinks!!
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Old 07-17-2018, 11:51 AM   #7
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The fun is in the shopping; isn't it?
We tested a Compass (24 feet), and then our Outlaw (31 feet).
The Compass felt more like a minivan, and our rig felt more like a... regular van! It's pretty darn easy to drive. You just have to be a bit more careful about where you start to make your turns.
But it comes quickly!
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Old 07-17-2018, 01:48 PM   #8
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The smaller has no slides, the larger one has one slide.

With all things being equal (quality, cost factors, etc..), I have concerns: Buying too big vs not buying big enough and my ability to successfully drive either but in particular the larger one. I am going to see the larger one today and hopefully, a test drive will help.

I appreciate this forum and its members. I've only been on here a short time and I haven't gotten so much help. It is beyond great!
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Old 07-17-2018, 02:18 PM   #9
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Happy Shopping, and Good Luck!
We're waiting to hear about your "Test-Flights"!
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Old 07-17-2018, 07:03 PM   #10
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Hi, Coffee-Girl,
I drove a 30-foot Class A motor home for about 16 years and loved it; however, when it was time for something new, I decided to downsize. I went from a 30 footer to the Vegas 24.1. Both were easy to drive--just need to get comfortable with the length, different turning radius, etc. There are three things I miss with the smaller motor home---bathroom is very small, very little kitchen counter space, and less basement storage. Also, I've added a cargo carrier on the back of the Vegas so now it is longer than it was! LOL I know you are looking at Class C units; however, it really is nice to sit up high and see the road and traffic better.
Well, that's one woman's view!
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Old 07-17-2018, 07:37 PM   #11
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Model: 31L Chateau
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Before we purchased the 31ft we have now, we had a 24ft. The wife did not like driving the smaller one, for some reason. But our much larger unit, she has no problem driving, even with a trailer behind it. Go figure.
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Old 07-17-2018, 10:20 PM   #12
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Love all the responses!

Prior to this post, I had already driven the 23U. I looked at the used 28Z today. I took it for a drive- I don’t think it felt way different but it was a short drive. I think the space is more but not too much. The slide is nice. I didn’t think I would like the 28Z so much.

I have some thinking to do!

I appreciate all the input!
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Old 07-17-2018, 10:22 PM   #13
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And now; the shopping can begin in earnest!!


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Old 07-18-2018, 11:51 AM   #14
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Old 07-18-2018, 02:16 PM   #15
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Here is a post I made last fall after upsizing from a Chateau 23U to a 31E:


We just upsized from our 2017 Thor Chateau 23U to a 2018 Thor Chateau 31E. We are just a family of 3, so we didn’t really need anything bigger than the 23U, but we have 2 big dogs and wanted more interior space, and a more private bedroom. I also wanted leveling jacks and a power driver’s seat. Here is a long post highlighting some of the pros and cons of the 2 floorplans.


The 23U was nicer to drive. The small size and short wheelbase made it maneuverable in towns. I could make U-turns on wider city streets and could almost always find a place to park by taking up a couple of spots at the end of a parking lot. It also had no problems going up steep hills. The extra size and weight of the 31E is noticeable. The turning radius is huge, so it can be a challenge to get into and out of some gas stations and other places. It also struggles a little more and downshifts more going up hills.


One thing we miss on the 23U is the Mega-storage compartment. We could put dog corrals, zero-gravity chairs, a screened room, a grill, fishing rods, large storage bins, etc. in that exterior storage compartment. The storage compartment on the 31E is much shallower/smaller, and it is a challenge to stow long or bulky items. We now have to stow some of these larger items inside the RV while we travel. The 31E has several smaller storage compartments, so overall storage volume is not bad, but they can’t accommodate the long or bulky items like the Mega-storage compartment can. The 31E has a lot more interior stowage, though, including dresser drawers and closet space, which the 23U didn't have.



The main advantages of the bigger 31E are obviously the extra living space and amenities. The large slide-out gives lots of space for us and our dogs. In the 23U we could not all sit comfortably and watch a movie. We would usually make the dinette into a bed and two of us would lie there while the third person would watch from the rear bed. The 31E has a sofa and dinette where you can see the TV, or we could all watch the TV in the bedroom while lying on the bed (I installed a DVD player to the bedroom TV). With just one child we didn’t need bunks, but it gives our son his own private space, which is nice. This will also enable us to bring along his cousins and/or grandparents. The bedroom can be closed off for privacy or if I want to go to bed earlier than the others. The corner bed in the 23U was a pain to make and difficult to get into and out of, so the walk-around bed in the 31E is nice, and the night stands are also nice to have.


It’s really nice to have the leveling jacks instead of leveling through trial and error by driving onto blocks. And the power driver’s seat really helps comfort on long drives, and also accommodates shorter drivers better.


I’m not a fan of the new frameless windows, though. I guess people like how they look, but I’d prefer to be able to slide a window open for more airflow through the coach. I’m also undecided about the tankless water heater – I guess it means that you won’t run out of hot water, but the water temperature seems to fluctuate more while taking a shower. The new stove with the 2 gas burners and induction cooktop is nice, but we haven't used the induction cooktop yet. The new stove is much more solid, and doesn't rattle going down the road like the old one did.
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Old 07-18-2018, 03:36 PM   #16
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Model: Chateau 23U
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Our 23U, The Bettye is our first RV. My wife, Debbie drives it often. And she's very confident with it. She has been doing all of the set up & take down: site choice, leveling jacks, power and water, awning and patio set up and securing everything.
The 23U has no slides, but I think this may be an advantage, especially for someone new to RV's. It is smaller and there is less to go wrong and/or maintain. Does have a lot of storage though. And if you and your Son pack well, there should be no issues. We just did a 4 day weekend with 4 adults and a dog. There really is plenty of room and we have the small table for the patio.
We also have a scooter hitch and bring the scooter for short trips and adventures. It rides so well and is so stable, you never know it's there. We can use the scooter hitch as a bike rack or additional storage: coolers etc.
We are planning a Western Mountain Trip next year and the 23U will fit into many of the smaller roads we are planning on visiting: Needles Highway, Rocky Mountain National Park etc.
So, we wish you the best of luck and have fun on all your adventures!
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Old 07-18-2018, 08:32 PM   #17
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Model: 2016 Axis 25.2
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Last month we had a 24M Coachmen Prism. We took it from Central FL to Lynchburg, VA. My wife and I traded driving every 2 hours. Seemed as though every time we switched she would get the construction zones or heavier traffic. She had no problems driving the 25ft rv. It took her less then an hour to start feeling comfortable driving it. She even drove it in and out of gas stations, stores, etc.

We now have the Thor Axis 25.2. She's dying to drive it. We'll be near Fort Meyers on Pine Island next week. She's driving all the way down. I"ll drive back.
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Old 07-18-2018, 09:32 PM   #18
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I appreciate the great info and I am so appreciative of all the sharing of eveyoneís experiences. I believe I have it narrowed down to the used 2018 Thor Four Winds 28Z- if all goes as expected I may get it late next week 😃🤩🤞
But you never know what could happen so I will post an update next week.
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Old 07-19-2018, 11:13 AM   #19
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Congratulations! The Thor 28Z looks like a fantastic RV. Lots of amenities! Time for adventure!
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Old 07-19-2018, 11:21 AM   #20
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I have a 28z and love it. We took it 2300 miles last week and my wife did some of the driving w no problems. U will love it
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