Modern Class A Design Changes

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May 25, 2008

What have “C” class motor homes had for decades that only recently, the past several years, are now becoming popular on “A” class coaches?

One piece windshields!

Yes, one piece windshields are becoming more popular in many A class brands and models. These are not offered as an option, a specific make or model, either comes with it or not. The price level of the unit does not seem to dictate whether a one piece will or will not be offered. There are entry level, and there are high line coaches that have them. Likewise there are both ends of the price spectrum that also do not use them, but are the conventional two piece design.

So, should it be a deal breaker? If a potential buyer is down to two choices, one with a one piece and the other with a two piece, is the one piece the way to go? Maybe not, let’s look at their differences.

2 Piece

Advantages

  • Cheaper and less wasteful to replace
  • Cheaper and easier to install
  • Cheaper and easier to ship to the required location
  • May allow more body flex without mounting or glass damage
  • May be more readily available

1 Piece

Advantages

  • Provides a totally unobstructed view
  • May appear to look more modern and sleek

It would appear that each advantage is actually a disadvantage of the other. That being said, the 2 piece seems to be the overall winner here. But let’s look at the two advantages offered on the one piece and try to determine if they could out weigh that of the two.

When I moved from the two to the one big window, it did not seem like much difference at all. At least when driving, that is. I was totally oblivious to the loss of the center bar and parked wipers. I found others that had made the change experienced similar observations as mine. So, while driving there was very little difference felt or noticed. However when parked, with a beautiful view, say in a drive in spot facing a lake and picturesque landscape, there is a noticeable change. It provides a seemingly panoramic uninterrupted picture.

Now let’s look at the exterior, “more modern sleek look” statement. Well I think this probably will not really fly. First, I think most people really do not even notice whether the windshield is solid or not, nor if the wipers are vertical or parked below. After all, when’s the last time you heard someone say “Nice Country Coach Prevost. Too bad it isn’t available with a one piece windshield.”? All Prevost conversion coaches have always been, and still are, fitted with two piece front windshields.

So, back to the original question, should this issue be a deal breaker? In my opinion, no! The benefit the single glass provides is very subtle and for most, soon not noticed. The decision here is up to the individual, but should not, in my opinion, necessarily be a deal breaker. Some people may feel partial to one or the other, but again, this is not an option like choice and may involve changing your selection to another manufacturer completely. But, that choice is totally up to you.

Next week, we will look at another non-optional design feature found in most of today’s class A motor homes.

With A Transparent View – Lug_Nut   –   Peter Mercer 

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3 comments

  1. bob

    I agree it shouldnt be a deal breaker, But the cost is the same to you 2 piece or one piece as My insurance deductable is still 250 dollars one pc or two. If you break a two pc. a few weeks apart you could see 500.00 but that would be the same if you broke a one pc 2x times. I do love the look of the one pc. bob

  2. John

    Lug_Nut,
    I think you right in saying the choice shouldn’t be a deal breaker. There isn’t a choice so you go with what it is built with. There are advantages of each over the other which seems to boil down to a personal preference.

    I recall when driving MCI and Prevost coaches that they had two piece windshields and on some of the older ones in the companies fleet we did have problems with water leaking at the center strip.

    I guess the best protection is to have the best possible windshield coverage from your insurance company. It is inevitable, sooner or later you will get a stone chip which requires a quick repair from a glass shop before it spreads into a crack.

    Some areas of Canada and the USA use small stones mixed with salt and sand during the winter to assist in traction. Just be sure to keep a good distance behind other vehicles if you are in this situation. It helps keep the stones off your windshield and on the road where they belong.

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