Is a Class A Motor Home the Best RV for You?

Updated on July 29, 2017
TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

I am an avid RV enthusiast who understands that my life and my safety depend on the condition of the equipment in my coach.

Class A Motor Homes have become extremely popular with people who want to travel in heavier, more secure vehicles that have certain amenities and comforts absent in other types of RVs.

Nonetheless, these types of vehicles may not be the best choice for some folks because they have the potential of causing financial and safety issues that make people wish they had purchased something different.

Class A Motor Homes can be wonderful to own, but they also have many problems.
Class A Motor Homes can be wonderful to own, but they also have many problems. | Source

Benefits

Class A Motor Homes have many benefits. They

  • are totally self contained,
  • are constructed of heavy and durable materials,
  • have safety features such as engine brakes,
  • provide a better view of scenery as well as the ability to monitor traffic patterns more easily,
  • have large holding tanks, which gives travelers the option to dry camp for longer periods of time,
  • allow travelers the option of eating without having to stop,
  • provide the option of using the commode while on the move,
  • have been decorated by professionals and give the appearance of being small homes or apartments and
  • properly outfitted, eliminate many of the normal road noises you have in other types of travel units.

Furthermore, most have generators, and this gives owners the freedom of being able to park wherever they like and still have electricity.

Traveling in a motor home is like traveling in a small apartment.
Traveling in a motor home is like traveling in a small apartment. | Source

Class A Motor Homes All Have Issues

While all of this sounds good, it is important to understand that owning and traveling in a Class A has its share of problems.

Below are some issues you should consider carefully before buying one.

Cost Vs. Quality

People who buy such units assume that because they are paying so much, they will get a quality coach, but these days, a few hundred thousand dollars only buys one that is mediocre in terms of construction and design.

It may look great, have some nice amenities and seem to run well initially, but before long an owner learns that any joy he thought he would have from owning one turns into frustration, anger and a great deal of grief.

The long term financial consequences can be significant and sometimes even ruinous.

Safety Issues

Having the Best RV Wheel Base Ratios Can Save Your Life and What You Need to Know About RV Slide Rooms are articles that detail two of the most common safety issues. Other important issues include

  • cabins that weigh too much for the chassis upon which they are built,
  • underrated chassis that do not have the ability to stop a coach under normal road conditions,
  • the lack of a steel bar in many models that could act as a bumper to protect the coach and its occupants in low speed collisions and
  • units that leave the factory weighted almost to capacity and thus have poor road stability.

These safety issues should all be reason enough for people to take the time to investigate units so that they know what they are (or can) be dealing with when it comes to Class A Motor Homes.

The truth is that Class A Motor Homes have more structural problems than any other type of RV. At least half of them are unsound to the point that even a 20 mile per hour accident could destroy one and cause serious damage or even death to its driver and passengers!

2010 Highway Safety Commercial Bus Crash Test

Poor MPG

The average gasoline motor home will get between 6 to 10 miles per gallon, and those that run on diesel fuel generally get about two miles more per gallon.

The biggest and heaviest diesel units get half the mileage of the average diesel unit.

At $2.00 per gallon the cost of fuel for one of these big boys for a 1000 mile trip would be about $333! If you took a 6,000 mile trip, you'd be paying around $2000 just for fuel.

When prices rise, costs get even worse.

Maneuverability Issues

The longer a unit is, the more difficult it is to maneuver, especially when pulling into gas stations or trying to back into camping spots.

Slide rooms can cause rollovers, especially if roads are slick because slides are heavy and can easily unbalance a vehicle. (Check out the attached video to see what I'm talking about.)

Few people who buy Class A Vehicles take RV driver training classes or have the skill and experience they need to handle them safely.

As a result, driving and parking them can become extremely stressful and make vacations more of a problem than a pleasure.

Size Restrictions

Most State and National Parks, as well as many standard campgrounds, impose size limits on recreational vehicles.

As a result, owners find that they are unable to go to many places they would like to visit and often are forced to stay in expensive resorts.

Those who wish to give it a try would be wise to buy a guide like the one shown here so that they will be able to do a better job of trip planning and also avoid travel disappointments.

My husband and I keep a copy on board at all times when we travel so that we can know ahead of time whether staying in a particular State Park Campground will work out given the size of our motor home.

RV Camping in State Parks
RV Camping in State Parks

This book will help motor home travelers know whether the size of their coach will prohibit them from staying in State Parks nationwide. Wonderful for trip planning and avoiding disappointments when on the road.

 

High Maintenance Costs

Folks who buy high end coaches must have them washed, waxed and cleaned regularly to keep up appearances.

Since people who do this type of work charge by the foot, the bigger the coach, the higher the price. For example, a person with 45 foot long coach would pay a minimum of $450 for a total detail.

Storage costs more, too. People with Class A Motor Homes often pay upwards of $200 per month for a covered site.

Dealerships charge big rig owners more for everything. For example, labor can cost as much as $60 more per hour beyond what someone with a smaller coach pays.

Thievery

If you were a thief and had the choice of stealing a small, older motor home or a bigger, newer one, which one would you choose to rob?

Although it is uncommon for someone to steal an entire unit, it is well known that thieves like to get their hands on those fancy amenities that all big rigs house.

It’s another problem for owners to worry about!

Are Class A Motor Homes Worth Owning?

I cannot tell you how many people I have seen vacationing whose trips have been ruined because

  • their Class A was substandard,
  • they did not know how to drive it or
  • they could not really afford to be on the road.

If you ask me whether owning a Class A Motor Home is the right choice for you, my answer is always going to be "yes", but only if you understand its limitations, costs and dangers.

The bottom line is that you can have just as much fun in a small pull trailer as you can in a big coach. You might have fewer amenities and comforts, but you will have piece of mind.

Remember, too, that Class A Motor Homes can be wonderful given the right circumstances, but they can also kill you.

Do you still think you'd like to travel in a motor home after reading this article?

See results

Questions & Answers

    © 2012 Sondra Rochelle

    Comments

    Submit a Comment

    • TIMETRAVELER2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sondra Rochelle 

      6 years ago from USA

      sgbrown: Thanks for the supportive comments. I've written a lot of RV articles but thought this one should be included for the very reasons you stated. I think a lot of people buy them and really don't know what they're getting into. Maybe some of them will read this and think twice before they buy! Nice to see you again!

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 

      6 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      This is an excellent, very informative hub! We have had 3 motorhomes over the last 26 years. We started with an old green church bus that we converted. We called it the "Pickle Bus". We graduallly moved up to the big motorhome, which I will NOT even try to drive myself. There is a lot of maintenance and it can be costly, even if you can do some of it yourself. There are some camping areas that you can't even fit into. I love my motorhome, but people do need to realize what they are getting into before they buy one. Voted up and useful!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, axleaddict.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://axleaddict.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)