Class A

Pros and Cons

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Pros

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  • Class A motorhomes have the most basement storage under the living space of all the RV types.

  • They tend to have luxurious, high quality interiors and more accommodating equipment than the other RV types.

  • Most Class A motorhomes have an on-board generator that is big enough to power all their AC electrical requirements. These on-board generators use the motorhome's main fuel tank, which makes switching over to generator power seamless compared with using an external generator. It also means a Class A's generator can be used while traveling. Batteries, which are on almost all RVs, can power your DC electrical requirements, but with a large on-board generator both AC and DC can be powered for as long as you want them to.

  • Unlike a 5th wheel, there are no stairs to climb once you're in the living space.

  • Some of the best resorts (and best parts of other resorts) are “Motorcoach Only,” Motorcoach = Class A Motorhome.

  • Socially, Class A owners can sometimes hold themselves in a category beyond average campers. If you have one that looks somewhat expensive, that can be all the ticket you need to work your way into socializing with the cool kids.

 

Big RV Benefits:

  • There is usually a “basement” that provides additional storage space under the living area, which also provides for heating the floors more effectively and softening the sound of toys hitting the floor and other interior noise-making.

 

Motorhome Benefits:

  • There is some controversy surrounding how much of the living space should be utilized during travel, but it is a fact that many people use the bathroom, prepare food, take naps, play games, and even take showers while driving down the road in a motorhome. But even if you wait until you pull over and stop, at least you don't have to go outside, unlock the RV door, and pull out the steps to access your living space like in a towed RV.

  • Long driving days can be more comfortable in a motorhome than in a trailer. All your passengers aren't stuck in a truck cab for the entire drive. You can get up and walk around to break up a long drive without having to leave the interior space. You have more options for how to transport your pets too.

  • The dash (chassis) and living space (coach) heat and a/c are shared before and after traveling.

  • With a motorhome, you don’t have to transfer anything from your rig to your truck and vice-versa on travel days.

  • Setup can be easier for quick overnights. You don't have to go out of the vehicle to be ready to sleep for the night if you don't want to. You can level it and put the slides out without ever stepping outside the RV. Your on-board generator can take care of your electrical needs and your water tanks can keep your plumbing self-sustained.

  • Safety in questionable locations. If you arrive late at night and are unsure of your surroundings (or in the event of bad weather), you don't have to get out of the RV to set up for the night. If you get the creeps and need to leave an overnight spot for safety, you can do it all without having to leave the safety of the inside of your RV.

  • The entry stairs into motorhomes tend to be safer and easier to climb than a 5th wheel or travel trailer.

  • The windshield in a motorhome can allow better views of the surrounding scenery.

  • Motorhomes give you the option of pulling in or backing in to your space in more situations than towed RVs do. This lets you adapt to your campsite being on one side or the other or to combine campsites with another RV that you're traveling with. Some spaces are designed specifically for motorhomes to take advantage of a forward view.

  • You have more options for your “get around” vehicle than with a towable trailer. In addition to the option to tow either a large or small car or truck, you can opt for scooters, bicycles, motorcycles, golf carts, etc. Of course the smaller the car, the better fuel mileage you get while exploring the area. Or you can choose to not take along a separate vehicle at all if you don't want to.

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Cons

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  • Class A motorhomes are expensive to buy and expensive to service and replace parts. It seems every service and part you can buy for a Class A is at least double the cost of comparable expenses on other RV Types.

  • They can be incredibly heavy, even compared with a large 5th Wheel + truck. That effects traction and sinking in mud and snow, as well as bridges and a lot of other factors.

  • Having your generator run off the same fuel tank that your engine uses can make the amount of fuel your generator is using deceptive and cost you a fortune in generator fuel before you notice it at the pump. Some people end up stranded and out of fuel to drive anywhere because of this.

  • There are fewer potential buyers for a used Class A than a 5th wheel or travel trailer.

 

Motorhome Issues:

  • The driving area prevents the manufacturers' designers from using the front interior space freely for living space. Seeing the driving area in your living area is completely fine with some people and a total deal breaker for others.

  • Having a towed vehicle either means taking along some kind of car dolly or trailer, or severely limits which car models you can tow without harming their drive train. You might research cars that are “flat towable.”

  • It's nearly impossible to back up once a towed vehicle is attached to the back.

  • Average miles an owner puts on a Class A is 50,000 miles. That is an awful lot of money to have wrapped up in an engine and transmission that you get very little use out of.

  • It can be hard to drive it as often as the drive train needs to keep it in good working order.

  • A motor home and toad (towed vehicle) require two automotive insurance policies, two motors, and two transmissions. Insurance on a trailer is cheaper than a vehicle with a drive train.

  • In the event of mechanical repairs, your selection of repair shops is much more limited than for a regular pickup truck.

  • If your living space needs to go to the shop, your engine and transmission are out of commission too. If your drive train needs to go in the shop, your living space has to go with it.

  • If you run out of propane, the tanks are attached, not portable, so you can't take your propane tanks to the cheapest place to fill them while leaving your RV in place. You have to either break camp to drive to fill the tanks or rely on a propane truck to come to you.

  • Finding places to strap in car seats for children can be a challenge.

  • There are not as many family-friendly floor plans as 5th wheels and travel trailers.

 

Big RV Issues:

  • They tend to be a lot heavier than other RVs. This can cause problems with some bridges, snow, sand, mud, wet grass, etc., as well as triggering regulations that don't apply to lighter RVs.

  • If it's over 30 feet, big enough spaces are in shorter supply – particularly in national parks, state parks, Core of Engineers parks, etc.

  • They tend to be taller and have more limiting height restrictions than other RVs. This can make scenic drives like the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Natchez-Trace Parkway impossible.

  • Being tall can make low hanging tree branches in RV spaces a problem.

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