To determine the RV that is right for your needs, you need to consider a few things. Most important, ALL of our rental RVs can be driven with a standard passenger car "Class C" license. First, lets start with some basic terminology that you may or may not be familiar with so that there is no confusion:
DRY CAMPING: Camping in a location or campground where there are no utility hook ups such as electricity, water or sewer.
HOOK UPS: Full hook ups usually include pressurized water (cold only), sewer and electricity - 110 volt, 30 amp preferred, sometimes only 15 amp, which is marginal to run an air conditioner. Partial hook ups will usually include pressurized water (cold only) and electricity. Usually, with partial hook ups, there is a central dump facility for emptying the holding tanks.
SELF CONTAINED: No need for utility hook ups. Usually includes a full kitchen (sink, stove, refrigerator and microwave), full bathroom (shower or tub, toilet and sink), heating and air conditioning, hot and cold running water and electricity (110 volt) provided by a generator.
BATTERY SYSTEMS: Most RVs have two (12 volt DC) battery systems. One for starting the engine (motorhomes) and one for running the electrical items in the living area and for starting the generator. The two systems are separate. If you run one dead, the other system will still be charged and operational. The batteries for the living area are charged either by plugging into hook ups, running the generator or running the engine. The fastest way to charge the batteries is by running the engine (including the tow vehicle of a trailer, if properly wired). Hook ups and running the generator charge at the same rate. Running the vehicle's engine charges the batteries nearly ten times as fast as the other two methods.
The battery for starting the engine is charged only by running the vehicle's engine.
GENERATOR: The generator has an electric starter just like the vehicle's engine. It is controlled by a switch inside the RV. The generator draws fuel from the same tank as the vehicle's engine, however, it will not draw fuel below a 1/4 tank so as not to leave you stranded (motorhomes only). The only items in the RV that require the generator are the air conditioner, microwave, coffee maker and sometimes the TV or VCR/DVD. The rest of the electrical equipment in the RV runs on the battery. There are standard household type outlets to run any items that you might bring with you (i.e. hair dryer).Zeroing In
Now, lets continue with narrowing your needs:
If you will have hook ups, you have fewer limitations as to the RV you should take. Whereas, without hook ups you may want to consider a Class A. Generally speaking, Class A's have larger fresh water capacity and greater battery capacity for extended dry camping. Although Class C's and Class A's are both self contained, you will need to take on fresh water, empty your holding tanks and charge your batteries more frequently with a Class C due to the reduced capacities.
Another concern is the number of people that will be traveling. If you will need sleeping arrangements for all of the people in your party, you will have limitations in this respect. All of our RVs sleep up to six people (with three beds). Certain units will sleep up to eight people (with four beds). With more than eight people you will not only have sleeping limitations, you may also have limitations regarding places for everyone to sit and the number of seatbelts. Current California law requires the use of seatbelts and child seats for occupants, the same as a passenger car. In these cases, you may need to consider a second motorhome.
You should realize that some motorhomes do not have fixed beds. This means that each time you need a bed, you might have to convert a couch or a dinette into a bed. A fixed bed can be found in both Class C's and Class A's, however, they are more common in the Class A's.
Many people feel that it is easier to drive a Class C. However, both classes are the same width and nearly the same height. The only difference is in the length. Most people who have driven both prefer to drive the Class A's because they sit higher and give a better view of the road. Neither require a special class of driver's license and both are simple to drive with a little instruction and a short time behind the wheel.
If you will be driving a long distance and want the convenience of not having to stop often, you may want a Class A. They usually have a larger gas tank to reduce the number of fill ups.
If you will be needing to bring along a lot of gear, you may want to consider a Class A due to the increased storage areas under the motorhome.
In generalities, the larger the motorhome is, the more space and comfort you are going to have. However, with the increased size comes a new set of concerns such as where you can park it, which campgrounds you can go to and increased rental costs.
There are some things that you should not have to consider. For instance, both types of motorhomes will have power steering, power brakes, automatic transmission and cruise control.
For further assistance with determining your needs, contact Norm's. Or you can check rates on our rate calculator.