Culling the Field

LAST UPDATED ON 2005-December-04!



  • If you only stand 5' 6" (167 cm), a short bed may not be a big issue.
  • If you only sleep tightly curled in the foetal position, a short bed isn't a big issue.
  • If you're only going to have to sleep in that bed for a night or two, once or twice a year, maybe a short bed isn't a big issue.
  • If you don't ever plan on selling your motorhome to anyone else in North America, or you're willing to take a big cut in the selling price, maybe a short bed isn't a big issue.


  • If you stand 6' (183 cm) tall, as Stan does, a short-sheeting cheater is a big issue.
  • If you like to stretch out once in a while, a short-sheeting cheater is a big issue.
  • If you plan on sleeping in that bed most nights for the next several years, a short-sheeting cheater is a big issue.
  • If you ever have any hope or intentions of selling that motorhome to just about half the people who live in North America, a short-sheeting cheater is a big issue. (Those of us who stand tall [and most N. American males do stand taller than 5' 6"] will simply laugh at you!)

We stand aghast at the "reputable" manufacturers who use such inferior appointments in the construction of their products. Visit just about any dealership that sells class A motorhomes and tour their most expensive units with a tape measure. Virtually every "queen size bed" will be one of those !@#$%&*! short-sheeting cheaters! They fully expect us to pay a quarter million dollars, and sometimes much more, for one of their rolling palaces and still quietly suffer such abuse.

The punch line to this rude joke is that so many gullible fools really do!

Probably the worst part of the whole issue is that many manufacturers and virtually every dealer's sales rep display no hesitation about calling them "queen-sized" beds! Most stick to their guns, too, insisting that there are no official standards for what a queen bed should really be. They can apply any definition they please. Talk about a cop-out! George Orwell would be proud, indeed.

A few attempt to back-pedal and regain some modicum of their integrity when challenged by declaring that they're really "short-queens." Are we really supposed to be fooled that easily? Apparently a lot of people are!

The essence that they fail to perceive is that trying to foist those !@#$%&*! short-sheeting cheaters off onto the public as "queen sized" advertises a complete lack of scruples and integrity. This certainly does nothing to enhance the reputation of the RV industry, does it?

Do you really want to pay two, three or more years salary to someone you can't trust at least that far? Not us!


Ever since the mid 1990s Stan has been visiting the annual RV show held in Calgary's Stampede Park every February and haunting RV sales lots other times when time would allow. We vacillated between 5th wheels, Class Cs, travel trailers and Class As. Every manufacturer and dealer did their level best to talk us into buying their concept of the ideal RV. However, we saw many problems and shortcomings in their products. Among them were:

  1. Lack of storage space. Because we were planning on living in our RV full time we needed to carry most of the day to day things that we'd need for living for the next several years. This wasn't going to be a brief vacation, then back to civilization. This had to BE civilization! Storage space was nonexistent to meagre at best except in the highest end towables and Class Cs, and the Class As.
  2. Appalling construction was common. One line of RVs used 1/4 inch particle board under the dinette booth cushions! Another RV used Velcro type fasteners to hold the washroom's medicine chest door closed. Most RVs feature drawers made of stapled MDF (medium density fibreboard) covered with a plastic applique, no glue, no screws, no dovetailing, no tongue and groove, no dados, no wood! In several lines of RVs the front wheel base width was far too narrow. The front wheels on a vehicle the size of a city bus were indented almost a foot from the coach walls. Feature your favourite live action hero in ballet slippers!
  3. Dreadful floorplan design was also rampant. The excessive use of 'L' shaped counters that obstructed the aisle through the motorhome is a good example. Distressingly often, these were placed directly opposite the step-well associated with the entry door, creating a dangerous bottleneck. Kitchen/galley areas were constructed with almost no counter space for food preparation or on which to rest pans, bowls and other utensils. We also saw units incorporating a couch (sofa, chesterfield, davenport, hide-a-bed, whatever) directly across from a dinette booth, leaving only a 13" (33 cm) gap for an aisle. Another serious problem was the use of 74" (188 cm) or even 72" (183 cm) long mattresses. These are the so-called "short-queens." Stan calls them "those !@#$%&*! short-sheeting cheaters!"

Eventually we decided that we couldn't use a towed RV. Marguerite's handicap makes moving back and forth between the towing vehicle and the towable tiresome at best, death defying at worst. And, such a trek would be necessary every time we stopped for an evening or even a "pit stop." Thus we disqualified 5th wheels and travel trailers.

Realistically, that left us with only two other possibilities, a Class C or a Class A. A perusal of the Calgary market clearly demonstrated, however, that the only Class Cs that would be acceptable, i.e., not possessing most of the failings listed above, were almost as expensive as Class As. It was also quite clear that the overwhelming majority of Class Cs neither exhibited the quality of comparable Class As nor the storage capacity. Thus, after years of dreaming and haunting RV sales lots we finally decided that the only rational option was to look seriously at Class As.

Why did it take us so long? There were several reasons.

By this point, then, we had a pretty good idea of what we DIDN'T want in our ideal retirement home on wheels! Was it all just a flight into fancy? Did something like this really exist? At anything like what we thought we could afford? How on Earth would one go about finding such a beast in the first place? To find out the answers to these questions and a lot more, return to the Game Plan.


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Copyright © 2003, Stanley A. Schultz and Marguerite J. Schultz.
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This page was initially created on 2003-November-04.
The last revision occurred on 2005-December-04.