Guest Author - Jim Fortune
I am not an expert on RVs or RV travel. However, I have rented several RVs and thought I would pass along some experience I have gained so you can decide which RV you should rent.
There are three types of RVs. They come in classes - Class A, Class B and Class C.
For whatever reason, the Class B is the smallest. Think of a VW van you may have seen or maybe a custom van with a bubble on top. This is most likely a Class B RV. While there are many different types of Class B RVs, most do not have anything more than a small eating space, a bed and space for two people to drive and sleep. It's pretty cozy, I think. The newer class B models that are coming off the manufacturing line these days, appeal to those who want to RV, but don't want to drive something that is 25 feet long or larger. Also, the accomodations are getting better on the inside. The downside for me is that since I am 6'7" tall, I would have to spend most of my time sliding around on my knees or hunched over neither of which is an option for me.
Next is the Class C RV. The Class C was my first RV rental. We rented a Coachmen Freelander 31 footer. In a lot of ways it was like driving a really BIG pickup with a camper shell on the back. Lots of driving and depending on your left and right outside mirrors, and a little top heavy. But for our first trip, it was great. This would also be a great rig if you had kids. It will sleep six and has 100 cubic feet of outside storage. The interior height was 6'11" so I could get around without banging my head or having to hunch over. It also had a queen bed in the rear of the coach.
We were told that we should rent an RV first before taking the plunge and buying one. We wanted to see if this RV thing was for us or not. Turns out it was for us. But we wanted to try a Class A next time around.
The Class A is the way to go in my opinion. Aside from the rental fee being higher, the Class A handles about the same as a 31' Class C but the front window offers a much larger area to see the road and surroundings. The next rental we tried was in a Four Winds Hurricane. It was a 34 foot coach. It had a king bed, so at night I was in heaven. Surprisingly, I had enough room in the shower in both the Class C and the Class A since both have a bubble right above the shower stall. The bathroom was a little crowded for two people at the same time, unless one was in the shower and the other at the mirror/sink. The unit had two TVs with DVD players and most of the comforts of home.
If you are thinking of renting, you might want to see if the rental place will give you a lesson on driving. It's a good idea for two people to take the class since one person will most likely be inside and the other outside using hand signals to guide the coach into and out of tight spots. We didn't have any classes, but worked our way up to the 34' coach and didn't jump right in at that size. But you might be able to jump in and get the hang of it right off the bat.
Oh - I almost forgot. My wife was able to drive both the Class C and the Class A without any problems. Like any vehicle it takes some getting used to telling where the right front tire is and how much room you need for tight corners. But you needn't worry if you want to rent and it is just going to be you and the girls for along weekend without the guys.
Despite the economy I hope you are travelling and enjoying yourself. Until next time, let me know what is on your mind, and how you are doing, O.K.?
Jim Fortune - the Bella Budget Travel Guy