Class A motorhomes vary in size. Size is defined as height, width, and length. These are the metrics that you need to know when buying a Class A RV.
Height of Class A Motorhomes
Class A motorhomes vary little in height, running from about 11 feet to 13 feet. This keeps them manageable while driving and parking while still giving you plenty of height in the interior of the unit. Keep in mind, some older roadways have tunnels that can have low clearance. If you’re considering specific scenic drives, like along the Blue Ridge Parkway, check the height of the tunnels. Oftentimes, a tall RV means having to re-route.
Width of Class A Motorhomes
When motorhomes are closed (the slides are in) they are around 8 to 8.5 feet in width. When open, larger ones with opposing living area slides can take up as much as an additional 6 to 8 feet more on each side.
The width will only affect you when you’re selecting a campground spot, because that is when you’ll open your slide-outs. Keep this expanded width in mind when parking your RV. Don’t park too close to the pedestal or next to a tree or you won’t be able to expand your slides.
Length of Class A Motorhomes
Perhaps the most influential measurement, an RV’s length can really shape your travel plans. Determining an RV’s length is simple – the measurement runs from tip to tail of the exterior of the RV. Class A motorhomes run from around 25 feet in length all the way up to nearly 45 feet.
Some people need the living space of a 40 foot rig. Others can feel comfortable in a more compact, agile frame. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and living style when making the decision to buy a new or used Class A motorhome.
You may still be asking “How do you decide what size RV to get?” Let’s take a look at some questions for you to consider.
Questions to Ask Yourself When Considering an RV’s Size
Don’t just go with your first gut instinct on size. Really think about it! You don’t want to be stuck in an RV that’s too big or too small–a goldilocks situation. Still, don’t fret the decision. You can always trade-in your RV if you’re needing to upgrade to a different size. Here are some things you need to consider.
Where are You Planning on Going?
If your planned adventures are to take your Class A into national parks and camp, national parks do have size restrictions either park-wide or from campground-to-campground within a particular park.
As an example, America’s oldest national park, Yellowstone, has a wide variety of campgrounds but they are not large enough to accommodate Class A motorhomes. They have limited space for rigs that reach a maximum of 40 feet in overall length. And remember, If you have a toad (a small vehicle towed behind your motorhome), count that in as part of the length.
If you are already over 40 feet just with your motorhome, plan on parking your RV outside of Yellowstone – as well as pretty much every national park. The way to see the parks would be in your smaller, towed vehicle.
Are you planning on taking on the Rockies? Do you need a diesel pusher to get you over Colorado’s Rabbit Ears Pass without huffing and puffing your way to the summit? Then, you’ll probably want to opt for a diesel. However, don’t think every Class A diesel is a massive 40+ feet behemoth. There are a select few 35-foot Class A diesel-pushers to consider.
Who Will Travel With You?
Consider your camping party. Are you traveling as a couple, or as a family? Will you have guests? An RV’s length and its passenger capacity are directly related. The shorter the motorhome, the more likely it was designed with a camping couple in mind.
For the most part, every Class A motorhome has the capability of sleeping at least 5, but really narrow in on specific floorplans to see what fits you best. If you are planning on taking quite a few members of your family (or camping family), you will need more sleeping spaces. For utmost comfort without feeling like you’re constantly stepping over people, opt for a longer Class A, possibly even a Class A bunkhouse.
Also, the longer the Class A, the more likely you’ll be able to get a master bedroom with a solid privacy door. When you’re camping with a large family, that will matter. Together time is important, but so is a little alone time as well. You’ll want a space to wind down with a book while the kids watch TV, play a board game, or enjoy a video game. On unexpected rainy days when you’re all packed in the RV, this private escape is essential. All the same logic applies to having a second bathroom. Believe it or not, many RV’s have an extra half bath, or even two full baths. You will see this feature primarily on models that run 40+ feet in length.
What About Storage?
Different RV sizes accommodate storage compartments in different ways.There are 3 kinds of storage to think about: Interior storage, exterior storage, and storing the RV itself.
If you decide a shorter Class A would fit you better, double-check to see if everything you plan on taking with you fits into your decision as well. Sometimes opting for a slightly longer Class A is a better choice purely from a storage standpoint. Are you bringing along a set of kayaks? You’ll need a fair amount of space in the storage bays for that. Leaving for a long trip and taking along a full four-seasons wardrobe? Make sure your floor plan has the space for it.
How are you planning on storing your Class A when you’re not out traveling the country? If you are a full-timer, you don’t have to worry about storage. Congrats on the cool life choice! But for the vast majority of us outdoor lovers, you will not be living in your Class A on a day-to-day basis. So where will it live when you’re living at home. As such, long-term storage may need to be taken into consideration when thinking about the length of your future motorhome. You’ll need a storage bay that’s tall and covered. You may even want it temperature controlled. Some people build these on their land, but there are plenty of storage facilities that service this exact need.
To sum it up, Class A motorhomes vary in size. But, when you’re shopping for a Class A motorhome, it’s not the width or height that should concern you the most, it’s the length.