Class A Motorhomes

Class A motorhomes are among the largest and most expensive of the three classes of motorhomes. They are only eclipsed by the luxury bus conversions. Class A motorhomes range in size from 28 to 45 feet in length and weigh from 13,000 to 30,000 pounds gross vehicle weight (GVW). These are tall vehicles ranging from 9 to 10 feet in height. Many have one to three slideouts that increase living space. They are usually built on truck chassis that range from 3 to 10 tons or else on custom-designed chassis, depending on the manufacturer.

Larger Class A rigs will come equipped with a queen-size bed, a spacious bathroom (compared to most other RVs), and a fully equipped kitchen. Depending on their length, they may come equipped with two air conditioners for cooling efficiency.

Storage is generous in these units, in part due to the platform they are built on. Many feature “basement storage” located below the floor of the motorhome.

CLASS A MOTORHOME

Options found on Class A motorhomes range from basic to luxurious and not every manufacturer offers all of them. They will come equipped with extra-large fuel tanks that can help limit refueling stops, though you may suffer from some sticker shock when you fill up. These large, heavy vehicles are not especially fuel efficient, with many getting much less than 10 miles per gallon. Good-quality diesel engines can get somewhat better fuel economy, and diesel engines usually have a much longer life span.

FACT

Basement storage, a common feature on larger motorhomes, is accessed from outside doors, similar to where luggage is stored on a Greyhound bus. Some motorhomes have “pass-through” basement storage, meaning that it goes from one side of the RV to the other with no dividers. This permits storage of large, bulky items that can be accessed easily from either side of the rig.

Once RV owners get used to the size of their motorhomes, they usually find they are the easiest of the full-size rigs to drive. A quality Class A motorhome, properly loaded, will generally handle much better than any trailer or fifth-wheel trailer equivalent.

Large Class A motorhomes are not permitted in some national parks, and some private parks may have limited spaces available for longer motorhomes. Due to their length and high profile, storage and parking can be an issue. Low-hanging tree branches and gas pump canopies can be hazardous. While some RV manufacturers offer extra-wide models (more than 96 inches), be cautious when considering these rigs. Some states have officially banned these RVs from their roads. Check with the highway patrol of the states you plan on visiting for their regulations. With that information in hand, you can either decide on a model that is within regulations, or plan on traveling in states that do not ban extra-wide RVs.

If you want to sightsee after reaching your destination, you will need to bring along alternative transportation. You can tow a small car, van, or SUV behind your motorhome with comparative ease. Bicycles or motorbikes are other options that can be carried on racks attached to the back of the rig or on a small trailer towed behind the RV.

ALERT

Getting your rig as level as is possible is very important. Your refrigerator will run more efficiently, your wastewater tanks will empty more fully, and your doors will close properly. If your rig is not self-leveling, be sure you always carry a carpenter's level in the rig or in your toolbox.

CLASS A MOTORHOME FLOOR PLAN

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