RV. C class or A class ?
Replies: 15 - Last Post: Oct 15, 2012 6:29 AM Last Post By: Sarah_travel_USA
Oct 13, 2012 12:13 PM
RV. C class or A class ?Hello
My partner and myself are planning to buy a RV and travel for 3 months at a time over the next few years. We have a 24ft c class in the U.K at the moment and it fine for the travels we have done so far.
we did think that we would look at getting a c class for our USA travels - but after looking at a few site the A classes seem to be a popular choice and more availability in diesel.
However after a bit of research we are in 2 minds.
Would like the larger accomadation but are not keen to tow a car as this might restrict us too much ,Has anyone any experience of a class only or is it essential to have a car ?
C class seems that we would be able to wildcamp a bit more.
We also see that diesel is more popular than gas for wear and tear on the engine.
Flying out for 6 weeks in November to look ( and if we see something buy it ) in readiness for our first trip May 2013 Canadian Rockies and Alaska .
Budget wise $25- $30
Any suggestions or experience gratefully received
Oct 13, 2012 1:29 PM
1Are you planning to travel to other places in the US besides Alaska? What time of year?
Where are you planning to buy the RV? Where will you store it when out of the US?
Have you looked into issues of registering the RV and getting the mandatory insurance?
edited to add: A picture to make sure everyone is talking about the same thing.
Oct 13, 2012 2:59 PM
Thanks for the reply, yes we will return again for a few more trips -
We were looking at purchasing the rv in Florida as there seems a good selection - and then probably store the vehicle there to. Although after Alaska we may store it in Montana and start our next trip from there.
Yes we have finally found a way to register the vehicle and legally leave the country while still owning it. We will be hopefully obtaining a drivers permit when we visit in a few weeks - the insurance seems reduced if we do this.
Yes I would love to find the rv of my dreams for that price but think I may have to part with the extra zeros !
Oct 13, 2012 3:06 PM
Oct 13, 2012 3:44 PM
4$25-30 ?? Thousand $$$ USD? Daily cost of gas?
Remember that registration and taxes are done on a state basis in the US, so the amount of tax you will have to pay will vary considerably, depending on the state.
You also have to acknowledge that you will sell it for a loss. You won't be able to sell a US vehicle in Canada and visa versa.
Driver's licenses are done on a state basis, also and may have varying residency requirements. You need to factor this into consideration before assuming you will be able to get a US driver's license.
I also think you should be searching for RV forums to get more information.
Oct 13, 2012 4:35 PM
5Your experience with Rv’ing is much more than mine. (I’ve RV’ed or camper-vanned a grand total of 3 times, all of them in a friends unit).
In that limited experience . . . .
- If you are from the UK your license is good here, But you might need to get the International Drivers Permit” to rent a vehicle, even for a day. It looks like you are buying, so as long as your RV is waiting for you at the airport, that should not be an issue.
- Do NOT forget there is title, registration, insurance and insurance, those 4. Ignore any one of those 4 and you will be in a world of unhappiness.
- A-Class RV’s almost totally precludes urban travel, unless you are really really hardcore
- Lacking a chase-vehicle (towed vehicle) can be a burden, but if you and your partner are good planners it is not much of a hassle (see next point
- In general (and there are many exceptions), if you run out of a roll of toilet paper or a gallon of milk and are staying in a KOA you can borrow them from your neighbor or buy them on site (for s small mark-up),
- On a government run campgrounds (e.g. National Park), that’s a little less likely. Some parks have stores some do not.
- Yes a C-class allows you more wild camping, but there is a reason camping is nicknamed “cramping.” It’s a personal choice.
- Your budget is missing some information.
Oct 13, 2012 4:41 PM
Oct 13, 2012 5:26 PM
7$30,000 will not buy much if an "A" class. It will be at least 10 years old.
If there are just the two of you, a "C" class will be newer, but not necessarly better.
Correct WRT a diesel engine, but the transmission is just as important, and diesel is more expensive as a general rule.
Tow ing a car behind an "A" class makes the minimum length about 45 feet, damn hard to pass another car on narrow roads.
Floridia is a camper haven, but also is in a salt-air climate so you better check for rust. Arizona is a dry and salt free climate, you should check the internet for campers there.
Oct 13, 2012 7:11 PM
Oct 13, 2012 8:07 PM
9If one does not insist all coach systems work ... Older RVs can be cheap to buy... It's the RV repair man that kills the budget... If you need not, onboard hot water or a flushing toilet there will be a number of units the owners will be happy to flog off...Have a look at the Search Tempest site This takes craigslist "by owner" listings and presents offers by make...& distance from your proposed port of entry...I'll suggest that Born Free, units are very well built and hold their resale value well...On Ford "platforms" the units can be serviced most anywhere...For US and Canadian tours obtain a AAA "plus" or "platinum" road service contract...carracar
Oct 13, 2012 11:12 PM
10Most if not all US states require official residency to get a driver's license. You would be wise to purchase your rv in a state that doesn't impose a sales tax or at least a low one. Avoid buying in California. .
Oct 14, 2012 7:34 AM
11To get a Florida drivers license:
If you do not have a social security number, you must bring a letter from the Social Security Administration indicating that you were never issued one. You also must have an additional form of ID from a list they give.
You must bring proof that you are legally in the US.
You must have two different documents that prove you are a resident of Florida.
Other states may have similar requirements.
Oct 14, 2012 3:51 PM
12The US is party to an agreement that recognizes most foreign divers licenses, that the only catch is some rental companies require an international diving permit (which is nothing more than a translation of your home country divers license.)
You do not need to get a new license when you enter the US and certainly do not need get a new license in each state.
That said, there are special requirements regarding licesnsees for larger (Class A) RV's and they can be found here
Oct 14, 2012 4:37 PM
13I recommend http://www.themilepost.com The Milepost is about 1,000 pages of very detailed information about several driving routes through Canada to Alaska, including the roads in Alaska and schedules for the Alaska Marine Highway ferry system. The directory can be found in discount Wal-Mart stores near the Canadian routes, such as in Calgary, Alberta, or maybe Great Falls, Montana. It is also sold in grocery stores and at gas stations near the routes.
Camping World has lots of information for RVers and recommends membership in either the Good Sam Club or Woodall's -- you can purchase the Woodall's RV Camping Directory in regular bookstores, maybe online on http://www.amazon.com Truck stops and most Wal-Mart Supercenters allow overnight RV parking for free. I just parked at a Pilot Travel Center and a Flying J truck stop on the Texas/New Mexico border -- very safe with floodlights and security cameras. They have hot showers and laundromats that some allow RVers to also use. Canada has Husky Travel Centers/Truck Stops where I have also spent some nights. I do not park next to the huge truck rigs, but discretely off to the side near their restaurants. When I towed my travel trailer through British Columbia along the Alaska-Canada Highway in August 2008, some of the towns north of Prince George allowed self-contained RVs to park alongside the curb next to the main highway through town. Some of the Canadian Provincial Campgrounds, without flush toilets or electric hookups, charged only $10 Canadian/night at that time. Gasoline/diesel is expensive in Canada -- maybe the same price as in the UK.
The route from Great Falls, Montana, through Calgary, Alberta, to Banff National Park, then along the Icefields Highway north through Lake Louise and Jasper National Park is very scenic. You do pay a daily fee for being in each national park plus nightly fee for overnight camping without electric hookups in the campgrounds. There are many options for campgrounds. Then, drive from Jasper to Prince George, then north to Dawson Creek and the beginning of the Alaska-Canada Highway, then get in line! May is a popular month for the snowbirds RVers to return to Alaska, from wintering in Arizona, to see their grandchildren for the summer. It will be safer having fellow travelers en route through the wide open spaces of Canada. Be sure to top off your gas tank when you can because in some places it might be 300 miles before you see another gas station! Or, the first gas station may have empty pumps! I had to use my 5 gallons spare gasoline can at one point.
You might be able to sell your RV in Anchorage or on the Kenai Peninsula in Seward or Homer for a good price -- also in the USA, so no problem if you purchased it in the USA. It would be cheaper to board the Alaska ferry south without a vehicle by more than $1,000.
Oct 14, 2012 8:15 PM
14Another thought on RV selection for The US, Canadian & Alaskan travel... If your planned travel in North America is during the more temperate months when more "camping time" can be spent outside the unit...Consider a smaller Class B unit... The wife & I drove to Southern Alaska in hers, some years back... Hers, is a Dodge based "Xplorer" Unit that has a dropped floor rather than raised roof...Somewhat easier on fuel(no diesel option) & at 19 ft, Less expensive to transport on the ferries I figure... 80s Xplorer models, in good nick, can be found on the Search Tempest site,starting at about $2500 US... We yet, use ours for occasional camping trips here in the South West... carracar
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