21 Pros and Cons of Class A Motorhomes



Money

Con: Expensive! $$$

Class A motorhomes start at around $50,000 and can be as expensive as $300,000+. You definitely pay for the high-quality RV that you are getting, but it is usually pretty worth it.

Class A RV Price Examples:

2018 Thor Ace 30.2$79,999
2019 Thor Freedom Traveler A27$124,500
2018 Jayco Alante 29S$129,794
2019 Winnebago Vista 29VE$146,923
2019 Tiffin Open Road 32SA$183,461
2017 Thor Aria 3601$229,995
2019 Tiffin Allegro Red 37PA$290,551
2019 Aria 4000 – 40′-11″ Diesel$319,350
2019 Tiffin Phaeton 40 IH $362, 262
2019 Entegra Anthem 42DEQ$543,921

Class A motorhomes get around 8-13 miles per gallon. This mileage, as you can imagine, is really bad compared to the cars you drive every day, so gas to travel can be super expensive, alongside the price of the vehicle itself.

Repairs and maintenance will get super expensive for this vehicle as well. You will want to keep this in mind before making a purchase to make sure you are ready and willing to afford such an investment.

Travel

Pro: Quick Take-Off Time

One of the things that I personally love about Class A Motorhomes is how easy it is to hop in and go on last minute adventures. You can decide at 2:00 pm that you want to go on a road trip and be on the road by 3:30. How sweet is that?

All you would have to do for personal preparation work before hitting the road is pack your clothes, food, and any other personal items you want on the trip. You can have any sort of bedding, cleaning products, paper goods, kitchenware, and anything else that may be home essentials pre-packed in the trailer.

For the trailer itself, not your personal items, you don’t have to do too much prep. work either. You simply have to double check under, around, and inside the motorhome to ensure that everything is in its place, screwed in or secured tight, and everything is sealed correctly.

This includes checking everything in the undercarriage, the entire engine compartment, and anything secured to the outside of the motorhome for loose screws, nuts, and bolts.

Checking the engine fluids as you would before a road trip with a car would be good too. It is good to make sure your engine is running properly and nothing is wrong so that you are much less likely to break down on a trip.

You should also make sure that all of the seals around the windows, doors, etc. are still intact. You would probably like knowing whether you will have water rushing into your RV if it decides to rain, right? Plus, you could always repair any broken seals before you hit the road!

This shouldn’t take very long especially if you check up on the condition of your motorhome frequently. You are simply doing this to make sure that your RV will run properly and to its best abilities.

Pro: Amazing View From Windshield

I absolutely love the large windshield on Class A motorhomes because you can see everything around you. Not only is this windshield vast, but because the vehicle is basically the size of a bus, you are higher up than the rest of the cars on the road around you.

In the cockpit of Class A motorhomes is the best, and my favorite, place to be during road trips because you can see any and all of the amazing scenery along your adventure.

Besides amazing scenic views, The vast windshield is also super helpful for driving such a large vehicle. You can see everything going on around you on the road and on the sides of the road so you are totally aware of your surroundings.

This has the exception of directly under the windshield in your blind spot in front of the vehicle, but other than in high human traffic areas this usually isn’t a problem.

Pro: (Maneuverability) Ease to Dock and Drive

A wonderful feature of this recreational vehicle is easy maneuverability when trying to dock it at a campsite. Driving this RV is basically like driving a large car.

You don’t have to worry about situating all of the right angles for turns to get your trailer positioned just right in the campsite. You would just drive this into the spot like you would a normal car and you are done.

Con: (Maneuverability) Backing Up & Turning

Though the driving and docking may be great in regard to the maneuverability of this RV, backing up of turning can prove to be hard because of the large size of the vehicle. This vehicle is the size of a bus and, unless you know how to drive a bus, it can prove to be difficult at times.

As you might know from watching buses driving, turning can be difficult or annoying because it takes more space than it does for a normal car. You need to take the turns super wide so that you have the necessary clearance room for your vehicle.

Backing up can be super difficult for these vehicles as well. As we know and have been repeating, these RVs are large. Having such a large vehicle makes it hard to back up because you have so much car to manage and, with the bus-like structure of the car, your rear visibility is very limited and you can’t always see a car that may be hiding right behind you.

Con: Still Need to Tow a “Toad”

Because these motorhomes have the car portion of the transportation already built into the RV, you won’t have a car at your vacation destination to drive around separately in.

To remedy this problem, you can simply tow one of the cars that you have at home with you behind the motorhome so that you will have a commuter car to get around in on your trip. This is called a “toad” when a vehicle is towed behind an RV.

Because a “toad” is necessary for traveling so that you can get around, you don’t really avoid the towing dilemma that you may have been originally trying to avoid by getting a Class A motorhome.

Con: Can’t Tow Toys if Hauling a “Toad”

Another struggle with these high-class RVs is, along with having to tow any other vehicle you want, you have to choose between towing either your commuter car or your recreational vehicles or toys such as four-wheelers, jet skis, or dirt bikes.

You can’t tow two trailers at the same time so that you can have all of these vehicles you want, so you have to decide which is more important to you.

My suggestion is: if you are wanting to bring your four-wheeler or razor, to bring it so that you can have it for your adventuring and also use it as your commuter vehicle if it is legal to do so.

You will need to ensure that your recreational vehicle is registered and approved for street use, but otherwise it not only would serve the purpose of your commuter car, but you could even save money on gas because these toys have much better gas mileage than cars.

If you are really set on having a commuter car and your recreational toys, however, you can have one adult driving the motorhome and another driving your commuter car with the recreational vehicle attached for travel.

This method will accommodate all of your needs, but it will get expensive because of all of the extra travel expenses you will be spending to do so.

Safety and Security

Pro: Can’t Hook Up and Steal it & You Can Drive Off if Danger Arises

Another perk that I love about Class A motorhomes is that they are nearly theft proof! With a motorhome, you don’t need to hook up your traveling living space to your car.

This trailer-free set up is great because not only do you not have to worry about hooking up a trailer to your car and setting it up at the campsite, but you won’t have to worry about people stealing your trailer when you are gone either!

Your motorhome is basically theft-proof, as long as you lock up when you aren’t there and don’t lose the keys.

You also are super safe with this RV because if there is any sign of danger, you can get up and out of there immediately. There is no need for you to spend all of the time hooking up a trailer and putting away all of your gear because everything is in the same vehicle.

You simply have to buckle up, turn the key, and drive to your safety.

Con: Can’t See People Walking in Front

Despite the amazing visual perks of the large windshield and flat fronted vehicle, there is one hazard that you will need to be cautious of with a Class A motorhome. The top half of the front of your Class A is a large windshield that makes it possible for you to see everything going on ahead of you.

However, the bottom half of the front of the flat fronted vehicle is just the framing and engine of the vehicle.

If a child were to run out directly in front of your RV, you have a blind spot in which you may not see them. Adults are generally large enough to be seen if they walk in front of your large RV, but children are not very tall which makes it easier for them to fall into your blind spot and hide.

This generally shouldn’t be a problem unless you are in a super populated area. And, even then, children are usually monitored pretty well by their parents and when driving you are, or at least should be, well aware of your surroundings which will help to prevent the issue entirely.

Con: Front Impact & No Airbags!

Something of concern with these fun recreational vehicles is that in the event of a head-on collision, there is nothing to take the blow of the accident because there is no stretched-out hood to the vehicle like there is on most cars. The flat front of the vehicle leaves nothing to take the impact which leaves you more vulnerable in the case of a front impact.

Another contributor to this not-so-good trait is that Class A motorhomes generally don’t have airbags either. They have seatbelts which will greatly help in the case of an accident, but no airbags plus no outstretched hood of the vehicle to take the impact means that you will take a harder hit than you otherwise would in a normal vehicle.

Note: Make sure that you and all passengers always wear their seatbelts when the vehicle is in motion so that you all can stay as safe as possible on the chance you do get in an accident.

Pro: Onboard Generator

Along with the great security advantage of not being able to hook up to a car and drive away with, the generators for Class A motorhomes are usually inside the vehicle itself as well.

This means that you won’t even have to worry about pulling a generator out of a storage compartment under your RV so that you can hook it all up to it and then start to run. Why do all of that work if you don’t have to?

With Class A motorhomes, generators are onboard, which takes away the need for taking a super heavy hunk of metal in and out of your vehicle all the time and then hooking it all up to your RV.

Having this onboard generator feature makes it so you don’t have to worry about transferring or set up struggles at all. All you will have to do is turn it on when necessary.

Along with ease of use from the onboard feature, you can also avoid theft with the onboard generator feature because it can stay locked away and safe inside the body of the motorhome.

No more worrying moving the generator all of the time now!

Comfort

Con: Driver’s Area is a Furnace

Though Class A motorhomes are great for many things, something that isn’t so great is that the cockpit area of the vehicle tends to become a furnace. The engine sits under the front of the vehicle, right under the cockpit, and heat rises, right?

All of the heat, or at least a significant amount of it, from the engine rises up right into the cockpit area of the vehicle which can make it kinda hot to sit in.

Another source of this annoying heat problem relates to the huge windshield. Though having this bus-sized windshield may be great for those amazing views when you are road-tripping, this massive windshield also collects a good amount of heat facing you from the sun.

The sun blares through this large windshield, with nothing as a barrier like other cars because you ARE the big car on the road, and just bakes you when traveling in the late afternoon when it is staring you dead in the eyes.

These two contributions to a temperature problem are super annoying. However, this can be remedied for the most part by turning up the A/C in the cockpit area of the vehicle.

If you simply make sure the car is a comfortable, cool temperature with the A/C before hitting the road, you shouldn’t have a problem with this inconvenience.

Pro: Comfortable Travel

One feature that is great about this high-class RV is the travel arrangements. Traveling in a Class A motorhome is super comfortable for all passengers no matter where you are sitting, especially for families.

The parents can set themselves up in the front of the motorhome in the cockpit and the kids can have their own area in the back.

The parents are set up in the cockpit where they can focus on traveling and navigation. Being in the front, they don’t have to worry about the children being loud directly behind them and kicking their seats.

They can focus on the navigation and such while still being able to peek back and check on the children occasionally.

In the back, in the common area, the kids are all buckled up on the couch and doing as they please while they travel. They are safe and secure and have their own area to relax and mingle with one another without driving the parents crazy or distracting them from the road.

The couch is also super comfortable for the children to sit on for the extent of the trip too and they have plenty of space to travel comfortably without having all of the stuff that wouldn’t fit in the back end of the car jammed at their feet for hours.

Pro: More Home Amenities

I love how comfortable and easily livable Class A motorhomes are. These great RVs are basically a home on wheels with all of the amenities and appliances you’ll ever need!

Appliances/amenities usually in Class A motorhomes:

  • King Bed
  • Large Master Suite
  • Dresser/Closet
  • Shower/Toilet/Sink in Bathroom
  • Washer/Dryer
  • Full Residential Fridge
  • Lots of Cabinet Storage
  • Microwave
  • Full Kitchen Sink
  • Stovetop/Oven
  • Dining area
  • Fireplace
  • TV (1+)

Class A motorhomes have any and all of the essential amenities that you will ever need, and more! Often times, these RVs will have more than one bathroom and can sleep at least 5 people.

They have full kitchens with ovens, stovetops, microwaves, residential size refrigerators, and a decent sized sink. They also have excellent entertainment areas with a TV and a fireplace facing some great seating. There is often a TV in the master suite, as well.

The master suites are very spacious and have any and all of the amenities you could ever need or desire. They have a large King sized bed and a closet and dresser as well. These vast master suites also usually have their own bathroom separate from the rest of the RV.

They are their own little safe haven from the rest of the everything, just like a master suite would be in a home.

Pro: Spacious (Even With Slides In)

Something that I absolutely love about Class A motorhomes is how spacious they are. Even with all of the slides closed for traveling, these RVs have loads and loads of comfortable space that you are able to move around easily in. They are definitely high class, luxury vehicles for traveling and it shows and you feel it.

When you open up the slides, the space seems to double as well. This vehicle is like a mini home on wheels and totally worth the investment if you love traveling.

The spaciousness helps you to not get claustrophobic nearly as easily and will probably make you want to travel all of the time because of the comfort and fun of such a high-quality recreational vehicle.

Pro: Tons of Storage

As you know, have probably seen, and have definitely heard from me, these RVs are absolutely massive. Though this size may be intimidating, it definitely has its perks. One of these perks is how much space you have, and not just inside the living quarters of the RV itself, but also storage space.

There are tons of places inside and under Class A motorhomes where you can store anything and everything you may need on your trip from blankets and pillows, to food and treats, and even totes of tools and small appliances!

These RVs can hold anything you may need and you probably won’t ever need to worry about not having enough storage.

Pro: No Worrying About Weather

One thing I absolutely love about Class A motorhomes is that there is no need to worry about rearranging your travel plans for weather. You won’t have to worry about having to try and handle setting up the trailer or hooking it up to your vehicle if it is raining or anything.

This vehicle is always ready to turn on and pull out of the driveway for a road trip and you don’t have to worry about running around in the rain to try and maintain the trailer.

Note: I do not recommend driving if the weather is unsafe for travel such as snowy, icy, or flooding conditions. It is unsafe for normal cars and these large vehicles are at much more risk than smaller vehicles.

Pro: No Steps (Besides Entrance)

Another wonderful feature of this RV is that it is all one level and the only steps or stairs that are in it are the ones to get into it. Having a single level floor-plan is super friendly and convenient for those who handicapped or don’t do well with stairs.

It makes it much easier and much more comfortable to get around as well.

Con: One Level Layout = No Noise Buffer

With the one-level layout of these RVs, it makes it so that noise travels a lot easier. Most RVs have a multilevel set up where the master suite and sometimes the common area are raised or lowered in relation to the entrance are of the RV.

This differentiation in levels helps to muffle the noise volume in the trailer because it breaks up the sound waves and stops them easier.

In a Class A motorhome, everything is structured and set up on the same level. This lack of differentiation in the structure isn’t able to stop or break up the sound waves, therefore making it much noisier.

If your kids are noisy, there won’t really be much stopping their noise from being heard across the entire trailer just as clearly as if they had been right next to you.

Maintenance

Con: Hard to Find Qualified Mechanic

Another thing that makes owning a Class A motorhome not so fun is finding someone qualified and trained to do the maintenance on it for you. Class A motorhomes are similar to buses and are set up different than most cars and other vehicles.

This different set up requires a specially trained mechanic to do the maintenance for you.

This not only can make it super expensive, but certified and trained mechanics for this type of work are super hard to find. You can’t just take your Class A motorhome to any auto repair shop to have them fix any problems with your vehicle.

You will need to travel and research to find someone qualified for this.

Con: Hard to Access the Engine

One downside to this RV being flat-fronted is that it makes it much harder to access the engine. The flat front makes it so that it is super difficult to access different things in the engine compartment, especially in the engine itself.

If you need to get to the engine compartment of your Class A motorhome, you will need to be ready to go all in and be dedicated to what you are doing because otherwise, it isn’t worth all of the difficulty to access it just because.

Geoff Southworth

I am a California native and I enjoy all the outdoors has to offer. My latest adventures have been taking the family camping, hiking and surfing.

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