A Class A recreational vehicle is a great motorized option for family road trips and exploring the world. At a moment’s notice, you can hit the road and let the day decide where you end up, all while bringing the conveniences and comfort of home along the way.
But if you’re new to RVing, you might be wondering, what is a Class A RV? And is this the right option for me?
Read on for more info on Class A recreational vehicles, including their specs, pros and cons, pricing, and more.
What Is a Class A RV?
In basic terms, a Class A RV is a type of recreational vehicle. They are great for taking the family on long road trips or seeing the open road with friends. But there are a few characteristics that set them apart from other RV classes.
Class A RV Specs
Class A RVs are/have:
- One of the largest and most luxurious RV options
- Anywhere from 29-45 feet long
- Capable of sleeping 4+ people
- Fueled by gas or diesel
- Designed to handle a bigger load
- At least two slide-outs for an expanded living space
- A feel of home with spacious interiors that include a kitchen
Class A RV Chassis
Since a Class A RV is larger than most vehicles, it needs a heavier frame. They are usually made with a commercial truck chassis, specially designed RV chassis or bus chassis.
Inside a Class A RV
Some might call these “classy” RVs since they have many luxury features. So, what’s inside a Class A RV that makes them beyond fancy? Depending on the model, you could get:
- Wood accents
- Queen or king-sized beds
- A coffee table between the driver and front seat
- A TV in the bedroom and dinette
- A drop-down overhead bunk bed
- Electric cooktop
- Many sleeping areas
- Seatbelts for every seat
Pros and Cons of Class A RVs
As with any class of RV, there are pros and cons that you’ll want to be aware of before making a purchase.
|Great for family road trips||Cost|
|Large windows mean great views||Fuel economy|
|Easy to dock||Large blind spots|
|Nearly theft-proof||Flat front, no airbags|
|Onboard generator||Hot cockpit|
|Plenty of space and storage||No noise buffer|
|Can have a “toad”||Can’t tow more than one item|
|Diesel and gas options||Not all mechanics understand Class A RVs|
Great for family road trips: The kids can have their own spacious seating while you hunker down in front. They’ll have a table for their books, games, or tablets. Plus, with all the beds, bunk beds, and pullouts on board, you won’t have to worry about finding a hotel.
Great views: Do you want to see the world? Do you want to look up from your steering wheel and be amazed at what’s before you? The large windows of a Class A RV allow you to see the road in a new way. Lush trees and large mountains are only a sampling of the great bounty your eyes can feast on.
Easy to park: Class A RVs are spacious, but they park like any other car. This is great if you want to dock at a campsite for the weekend or longer.
Nearly theft-proof: If you lock it while out and keep the keys with you, no one can take it. Plus, if you start to feel unsafe, you can quickly lock up and drive away.
Onboard generator: Anyone who suddenly lost power knows how life-saving a generator can be. Having an onboard generator helps in case the campsite lights go off.
A home on wheels: Calling a Class A RV a motorhome is not just a name. With all the amenities on board, it will feel like a motorized home.
Plenty of space: One thing you might wonder about is space. Is there enough space to have a moment to yourself? Will your family feel like packed sardines? Nope. Even with the expandable sides tucked in, you’ll have plenty of room.
Plenty of storage: In addition to space to relax, you’ll also have more than enough storage space. You could pack beach toys, small appliances, and tools too!
Can have a “toad”: Are you going to be in one area for a long while? Maybe head to the beach for the summer? Or what about heading out to the lake? The beauty of A Class A RV is that you can tow your car with you. That way, you’ll be able to take the car into town without taking the RV. Towing the car along is called having a “toad.”
Your toad doesn’t have to be a car; you can tow a boat for some extra lake fun, or you might opt for a Class A toy hauler if you’re more into dirt biking and ATVing.
Diesel and gas options: If you like having options, you’ll be happy to know that there are Class A diesel motorhomes and gas models. There are also Class A diesel bunkhouse RVs that’ll sleep your whole family and then some.
Cost: Prices for Class A RVs can be a little high. They range anywhere from $100,000-$200,000+.
Fuel economy: Depending on your model, the MPG could be 8-13.
Large blind spots: Class A RVs are large vehicles with blind spots to match. It can take some time to get used to driving them, especially when it comes to turning and backing up.
When turning, be sure to take a wider turn than you would with your car to ensure there’s space to get around. Before backing up, check to ensure that a person, animal, or vehicle is not behind you.
Finally, you will have a wide view of the road and tall adults. But small children standing right up against the RV will be harder to see. So before taking off, it’s best to check that no one is in front or behind the RV.
Flat fronts: RVs don’t have anything sticking out from the front windshield. Their flat fronts provide little protection in a head-on collision. Also, they typically don’t have airbags. You should be seated and belted when the vehicle is moving.
The cockpit can be hot: The engine sits in the front of the RV, making the cockpit a little hot. The wide windshield driving directly into the sun’s rays doesn’t help either. So, what can you do to cool things off?
Turn on the A/C while packing for the trip. When it’s time to hit the road, the cockpit will be comfortable.
No noise buffer: Sometimes, you need quiet while on the road. That will be hard to come by since there’s only one level. One way to combat that is to ask that people wear headphones when listening to music/watching movies.
Can’t tow two things: Towing your car along is a great advantage. Who needs the whole RV to stop by the store for eggs or sunscreen? However, you can’t tow your car and a boat. So, if you want to tow toys to the lake, you’ll have to leave the car at home.
Not all mechanics understand RVs: Your trusted mechanic might know what’s going on with your Ford, but RVs are a different story. You’ll need to search for a shop that knows RVs and how to work on them.
Also, the flat front makes it hard to access the engine, so only go in if you know what you’re doing. Never open it up to “just explore.”
But there is some good news here! Camping World offers RV services for maintenance and collision repair, so you can rest assured your camper receives the best care possible.
Class A RV Price
As mentioned above, $100,000-$200,000+ is the average Class A RV price. But there are some ways to lower that cost. One is to look into a used model. Buying a used Class A RV allows you to afford features you might not have otherwise and stay closer to the lower end of the price range.
Another is to consider which features are needs and which are wants. Forgoing some wants (e.g., certain luxury features) could mean a lower price.
Class A versus Other RV Classes
Besides Class A, there are two other classes of RVs: Class B and Class C.
Depending on the model, Class B RVs are/can have:
- Around 17-24 feet long
- Built with van chassis
- 18-25 MPGs
- Able to sleep up to two people
- A dinette that converts into a bed
- Storage space for gear
You might assume that a Class B RV would be a medium-sized RV, but it’s the smallest of the three classes. One of the features it lacks is a bathroom. People who enjoy the van lifestyle might enjoy a Class B RV. Same if you’re a fan of car camping or taking road trips solo or with your partner.
The “C” in Class C RV doesn’t stand for classic, but it might as well. It’s the RV people picture when thinking about RVs.
Class C RVs usually are/have:
- 20-35 long
- Built on a truck or cutaway van chassis
- The ability to sleep two to eight people
- Full kitchenette
- Entertainment system
- Heating and cooling
- A full bath
This is a true medium-sized RV. Class Cs have some space, but not as much as Class A. If you’re wanting an RV that has plenty of amenities but costs a little less than a Class A, consider a Class C.
Is a Class A RV Right for You?
Is Class A right for you? Well, that depends. If you’re looking for an RV that feels like a real home on wheels, then yes, Class A could be for you.
Class A RVs are great for families who like to get outdoors while still having access to amenities like a bathroom, kitchen, and soft bed to sleep in. They are the quintessential glamping camper.
If you’re wanting something slightly smaller with a full bathroom and kitchenette, consider a Class C. Those who love vans, and the van lifestyle would enjoy a Class B.
Looking to buy or rent? Shop Class A RVs today so you can hit the open road in class.