5 Reasons to Avoid Class A RVs
You have many options when it comes to picking out the right RV to fit your travel style and specific needs. Are you wondering if a Class A RV is right for you?
Luxury travel, huge panoramic windows, and lots of space may sway you towards buying a Class A. However, it’s not all peaches & cream.
Here are five reasons to consider avoiding them.
What’s a Class A RV?
Class A RVs are the largest and most luxurious motorized style of RV built on a commercial bus or truck chassis with either a gas or diesel engine. They can range from 26′ to 45′ long, with most landing around 33′.
Class A RVs look like large touring buses.
Most Class A owners tow a small car or truck behind them for extra mobility once they set up camp.
Must Travel With a Tow Vehicle If You Want to Get Around
It’s hard to find parking in a Class A. They are too long to take exploring in town or most recreation areas, so a tow vehicle is necessary.
But having two vehicles means two engines, twice the fuel, twice the maintenance, and twice the repairs. Plus, only certain types of vehicles can be towed behind a motorhome, like a rear-wheel-drive car with a manual transmission or a four-wheel-drive vehicle with a manual transfer case put in neutral.
These spec requirements limit the type of tow vehicles you can own, unless you want your travel buddy or spouse driving separately behind you!
Very Expensive to Repair Class A RVs
Aside from an expensive upfront cost for Class A RVs, you’ll run into higher repair costs, and finding repair shops on the road can be challenging.
If your Class A is parked immobile for a few months, it can lead to engine trouble.
Plus, if your Class A breaks down for some reason, you’ll have to find a hotel or AirBnB to stay in until it’s fixed! That might not be an issue if you’re making weekend trips, but if you’re full-timing, it’s a big thing to consider and build into your budget.
RVs are seldom a good investment, and Class As are extremely expensive. That means a big insurance bill and a high cost to replace if there is an accident.
The initial cost of a Class A starts around $50,000 to $100,000 and can top out at over a million dollars. That value depreciates quickly, despite any upgrades you might consider adding.
Not Good for Boondocking
These rigs are not built for driving on bumpy dirt roads and can be harder to maneuver into that perfect spot with a great view.
Imagine driving a bus on a forest road! Class A’s can also have smaller holding tanks compared to a fifth wheel, so you might find yourself moving sooner than planned if you run out of fresh water or black/grey tank space.
The large front window heats up the rig quickly on hot days and makes it hard to keep warm on cold days.
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Hard To Maneuver in Town and at Gas Stations
If you’re towing a travel trailer or fifth wheel, you can run out to fuel up your tow rig before hitching up and hitting the road. This isn’t an option with a Class A, so you’ll have to maneuver inside a gas station.
They are tall, so you’ll have to be aware of low-clearance bridges, overhangs, and trees when driving through town. Class A’s have a substantial broadside and are lower to the ground, making them harder to drive in windy conditions vs. a fifth wheel or a smaller class A or B.
It’s Not All Bad
On the bright side, Class A RV passengers can get up and walk around while you’re moving down the road, conveniently accessing the bathroom, bedroom, and fridge without opening slides. That means less time spent stopped on the side of the road and more time getting to your destination!
Also, traveling with a tow vehicle makes it easy to unhitch to scout boondocking locations before pulling your whole rig down a dirt road to discover that you can’t fit.
Class A’s also have lots of room for storage in the bays under the living space. And those huge front windshields are great for taking in the views!
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First thing I noticed was the VERY LOW clearance under neath!
Must disconnect your Tow Vehicle from trailer If You Want to Get Around – But that’s why RV Parks exist.
Very Expensive to Repair any RV – But we don’t buy them to save money; All RVs depreciate.
Not the best for unimproved area Boondocking, True – But we don’t all like to Boondock, maybe occasionally, in ideal locations like Harvest Hosts, Walmart or Cracker Barrel.
Hard To Maneuver in Town and at Gas Stations – That’s why Class A drivers avoid cities when possible, and we use truck stops to refuel. BTW – Motor Home fuel tanks have ranges from 600-1000 miles which is why we enjoy refueling at Truck Stops.
My wife & I chose a Class A because my petite wife cannot drive a large truck yet she can drive the smaller towed vehicle. If I ever become incapable to safely drive the Motor Home, we belong to memberships that can assist us if that ever becomes necessary. If she could drive a diesel pickup, we would have gotten a 5th Wheel.
We love our A upsides and downs. We don’t tow a toad, Uber or rent a vehicle get a tried an true gps with a good co pilot. People said buy it used I should have listened let someone else shake out the issues, because the manufacturer could care less about quality control it’s built them fast hire inexperienced labor and get them to the dealer let them fix them on your time. Oh well !
Peace and love
We are full-time RVing Rivers and love our class a motorhome. Had truck camper, class b and class C 1 We Boondock all the time with 1000 W of solar on the roof a built in generator that is seldom needed, 100 gallons of water and enough clearance to get to most every site. 2 Truckstops provide easy access for diesel. 3 And yes it was expensive but so was our house. 4. Now much less upkeep. 5. Easier to tow a car than unhook a class b or c to go anywhere. Wouldn’t change it for anything.
I started to write a long rebuttal to some of your cons but decided to keep it shorter.
FTing for 5 years in a 33′ 2008 Winnebago Voyager we bought in 2014 with 12,000. We’ve put on over 50K miles at ~6.5 MPG
We towed a 2004 manual CRV for 4 years and for the last year have a 2014 automatic CRV, (20MPG and 30MPG)
The car uses no gas when we tow so we get 2 vehicles the ~200miles we travel between destinations and the time we spend exploring is done with the higher MPG and NO packing up every time we want to go sightsee.
We have spent at least 1/3 of our time on the road boondocking- washboard dirt roads; a 3 mi. steep, rutted lane in the Adirondacks to a friend’s; plenty of BLM land far from the madding crowds-none has been a problem.
Reflectix on the OUTSIDE of the windshield and windows as well as on the back walls of cabinets makes a HUGE difference (7-12 degrees F)
Except when we had our roof replaced we have been able to spend the night in our rig anytime (not often) that we’ve needed repair work but we are also committed to maintenance and care on schedule.
And since we have a composting toilet we have the black tank available for grey water so going 2 weeks with our 78 gal fresh water is easy. (Then again we both grew up having to conserve water and it is second nature to us.)
We drove a 32 ft Class C on a Dodge RAM diesel. I like the Class C for the safety factor. The engine and a good 6 ft in front of you with front and side airbags. A Class C is also easier to drive.
We have had our class a for 3 years now. FT, so floorplan was important to us. It is nice using your own bathroom in a rest area or making lunch on the road without getting out in the rain. Tow a 2014 Honda CRV, so getting around in a city with it is a breeze. Much easier to drive and park than a dually. 120 gallon fresh water tank goes a long way, not to mention the 150 gallon diesel tank. There are pluses and minuses to each RV. We’ll keep our class a.
No issues at all. Class A’s (Diesel Pushers at least) are awesome and way easier to deal with that a 5th Wheel and Dually. like any other rig, do your homework, see what fits you. Our older Foretravel had taken most of it’s depreciation hits. What we found out was buying an older high end coach was a good option. Even if we had to replace a million mile engine (not likely) and do a complete interior renovation we’d still be ahead of the game vs buying new.
Well, I guess I respectfully disagree with your points. Yes all RVs take a big hit out the door. So buy one that is past that point. When I purchase something that big, I never, NEVER buy new. Have you tried to park Ford F-350 dually pulling a monster 5th wheeler in town. You will always be pulling something, either you RV or a toad. And on the story goes
Your points are correct, but a Class A may be the right choice for some. I found a new 31 foot Winnebago Intent 30R Class A for under $81,000 (plus tax). I’ve lived in it for 6 months and I think it’s the best choice for me for the price. I’m doing this because I want to travel and see some new areas and cities while I still have my health. The class A makes that lifestyle much easier.
But it’s not a cheap lifestyle. I checked my budget in retirement and I could afford it and the new Jeep Wrangler to tow behind it. And the tow bar and brake controller. But it will be too expensive for many. And it probably won’t be what I want for the rest of my life, either. But for now it’s a good fit for me. Your mileage may vary.