Episode 147: The Pros and Cons of Class A Motorhomes

On this weeks show we continue our exploration of the different types of RV’s and their pros and cons. The Class A motohome is the largest in the motorized family ranging in length from 21’ to 45’. This list of attributes and drawbacks is not meant to be a comprehensive study of the coaches but my observations from years of viewing them at RV shows, talking with owners and former owners and as an RV owner myself.

Girl Camper Jo Lynn Black’s Class A all set up at the campground.

Pros

Home Feel. The Class A really feels like a stick and brick home with full size appliances, marble counters, walk-in closets and master bedrooms. For many full timers and snow birders the interior finishes may be as nice if not nicer than their house.

Storage The Class A offers incredible storage below the coach as well as inside. Many newer models have walk in kitchen pantries and bedroom closets. The basement storage offers plenty of space for chairs, grills and golf clubs or whatever hobby you want to do on the road.

Comfortable Ride Most Class A owners report a smoother ride than their Class C cousins. The bus chasis doesn’t feel the bumps in the same way as the truck chasis Class C’s have.

Amenities The Class A’s are loaded with amenities from multiple televisions, built in WiFi and Bluetooth speakers to faux fireplaces, ducted air conditioning and lighting packages.

Pet Friendly The large open space in Class A’s make them a great choice for pet lovers. You can travel with multiple pets and have room for them to roam while you’re out for the day and while you’re driving.

 Room With a View  The viewing window from the cab of a Class A is hard to beat. When you have traveled thousands of miles to see Yellowstone, it’s nice to see all of it.

The front window is like a big screen to the world!

Auto Leveling   Most Class A’s have built in leveling as a standard feature. No messing with cranks and blocks. The push of a button does all the work.

Larger Tanks.  With a larger coach comes larger everything, including the holding tanks. Gray water, freshwater, black tanks and gas tanks as well. This allows you to boondock longer without needing to refill or dump tanks.

Full Season  Class A  coaches have all of their plumbing contained within the motorhome. Unlike a travel trailer and some other motorized vehicles, the waste pipes are not exposed allowing them to be heated in cold weather for year round use.

Tow Ready You can tow behind a Class A motor home making  it possible to bring a day use car, boat, or trailer carrying motorcycles or a golf cart.

Cons

Big Size Limiting  The large size can be limiting in many ways.

Not all campgrounds can accommodate the length. State and National Parks that were built in the 1930s often have limited availability for motorhomes of this size.

HOA’s may have regulations against parking somethings this size in your driveway.

Not all roads can accommodate Class A’s. Tunnels and bridges are sometimes too low and narrow for them to pass through.

Tourist sites often have limited parking for vehicles this size and parking can become an issue.

Maneuverability The size of Class A’s make getting around a little harder than smaller models. It’s not easy turning around on single lane or back roads. Getting gas requires some skill and maneuvering parking lots can be a challenge.

Expensive Bigger also means costlier. More materials, more  components, more labor costs, and higher shipping rates equals bigger purchase price.

Repair costs will ge higher.  The larger the trailer, the more working parts, the more things that can go wrong. Slides, pumps, multiple AC units are all subject to needing repair. The more complicated the coach, the higher level technician needed to work on it at a higher hourly rate.

Maintenance and use will also cost more. The larger the coach the higher the cost of gas, insurance, maintenance and replacement parts.

Need a Day Use Car  All motor homes are the ride as well as the sleeping and living space  and unless you want to unhook and unplug every time you want to go somewhere, you will need to tow a day use vehicle behind you. That’s an added cost of not only the car but the trailer dolly as well.

Resale More Difficult  The higher price limits the pool of available buyers on the resale market. The resale market is also more saturated than the travel trailer market.

Steeper Learning Curve The more moving parts and components, the more to learn. Getting to know your operating system can be time consuming and possibly frustrating if you’re not inclined to technical reading material.

 

 

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