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5 Reasons to Avoid Motorhomes

5 Reasons to Avoid Motorhomes

5 Reasons to Avoid Motorhomes

If you’re in the market for an RV, should you focus on motorhomes or avoid them?

Why not drive your living space when your goal is to bring a comfortable home on the road with you?

Before you start shopping, it’s crucial to consider the downsides of motorhomes. So, today, we’re taking a closer look at reasons why you may want to avoid these kinds of RVs altogether. 

Let’s get started!

Types of Motorhomes

Even if you’re hesitant to buy or rent motorhomes, it’s important to know the details of the various kinds you may encounter at the dealership or around the campground.

Class A

Class A motorhomes are what many people think of when they envision an RV. They’re generally the largest motorhomes, ranging from around 20 feet up to about 45 feet.

They have a profile similar to a bus, tall and rectangular with a large front windshield. Class A motorhomes typically offer the most space and help avoid the closed-in feeling.

Depending on the particular layout, many comfortably sleep eight to ten people or more. These rigs also tend to have the most features and amenities, from washers and dryers to outdoor kitchens.

Class As also usually have the most towing capacity (with Super C RVs as the exception to that rule).

Class C

Think of class C as the younger cousin of class A. They’re typically smaller and easier to maneuver but sacrifice some space and features in return. Class C RVs drive more like large trucks than buses, as many sit on a truck chassis. 

You can spot them via their distinctive front end, with the driver and passenger seat accessible via exterior doors, like a regular car. This places you closer to the road and provides an additional entrance to the driving space.

Class Cs can still tow a car or other vehicle, though they’ll have less power than a class A. 

Class B

While class A and class C motorhomes are relatively similar, class Bs are a different beast entirely. These are large vans that include living space and sometimes kitchenettes or bathrooms.

They’re usually about 20 feet long at the most and may not offer full height ceilings, meaning taller occupants will need to stoop. 

Often, these rigs include “wet bathrooms,” small bathroom spaces where everything gets wet. You may find yourself sitting on the toilet as you shower. However, class Bs offer the advantage of dramatically increased mobility compared to their far larger class A or C cousins.

Since they’re essentially just large vans, you can take them on more roads, under lower clearances, and into smaller parking spaces.

Pro Tip: Unsure what class size is right for you? These are The Pros and Cons of RV Class Types.

Dispersed camping on a beach with a Class B RV.

5 Reasons to Avoid Motorhomes

Some people love motorhomes but here are five reasons you might want to avoid them.

1. Motorhomes Guzzle Gas – No Avoiding the Gas Station Stop

Anyone who’s hit the gas station in recent months has likely felt the pinch of rising prices. Now, imagine filling up a 100-gallon or more tank for a class A RV! Even small class Bs will often struggle to get mileage in the mid-teens. Class As and Cs can get 10 miles or less per gallon.

Consider these gas costs throughout the entire time you own your motorhome. Suddenly, an already pricey purchase becomes even more expensive. 

Woman looking out motorhome door.
Motorhome costs can add up quickly while on the road.

2. Limited Floor Plans

For a variety of reasons, most motorhomes have relatively similar floor plans. At the front, you’ll find the driving area, followed by living space and a kitchen or kitchenette. Next is a bathroom and bedroom. 

With the need to accommodate the driver’s seat and the mechanical parts, there aren’t too many ways to layout a motorhome. In comparison, you’ll find travel trailers and fifth wheels in all sorts of styles.

Pro Tip: When reading up on RV life, it doesn’t always seem like life on the road would be an RV Nightmare. However, it can be challenging. This is Why RV Life Isn’t As Rewarding As Expected.

3. Limited Storage

Smaller motorhomes can, unfortunately, be very short on storage space. Beyond the limited space you have inside any RV, you’ll be restricted to just a few basement storage compartments.

This is due to the engine and other necessary systems occupying most of the space below your living area.

These basement storage compartments generally aren’t very large, secure, or weather-proof either. This means you may not want to store valuable or sensitive items here long-term. Larger motorhomes tend to avoid this issue, but you should take a good look at how much storage each model offers.

Old motorhome parked in sand.
Living in a home on wheels can mean quite limited space.

4. More Expensive Than Towables

In just about every way, motorhomes will cost you significantly more than a comparably sized towable RV.

The need to include a powerful engine along with the rest of an RV’s complex systems dramatically increases the prices you’ll pay for new or used motorhomes. Motorhomes may also cost you more for repairs and on gas. 

5. Engine and Living Area Combined

Having to combine your engine and living area into the same footprint means you’ll naturally have less space than a similar-sized towable.

This means those looking for a spacious ride may need to upgrade to a length longer than anticipated. More seriously, any significant issues with the engine, such as a fire, will occur right in your living space. 

RV parked on beach.
There are pros and cons to owning a motorhome.

Motorhomes Aren’t All Bad and You Can Avoid Tricky Trailer Driving

By now, you may be pretty down on motorhomes — and that’s understandable. But there are some advantages to them as well, especially for certain types of RVers. Many owners love having access to their entire living space while on the road. 

Some find motorhomes easier to drive compared to travel trailer-style towables. They don’t require navigating two separate pieces around turns or more complicated backup maneuvers.

In some cases, the cost of a motorhome may even be comparable to a towable RV setup. This is especially true if the towable rig requires you to upgrade to a large, more powerful truck to tow it.

Are You Team Motorhome or Will You Avoid Them?

Finding the right RV isn’t easy and requires thoughtful consideration of your own travel style, preferences, and circumstances. Some may find the flexibility and lower prices of a travel trailer appealing.

Others may love the convenience of driving their living space itself or don’t want to buy a truck. There’s no right answer to the motorhome vs. towable debate.

Where do you fall on this divide?

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gary d ross

Monday 25th of October 2021

Thank you.

Karen Kempter

Thursday 21st of October 2021

We have owned all the types of RVs. Class B,C trailer and class A.... Our vote is for class a! Space, space, space.. and access to everything while d driving.

Elaine Russell

Wednesday 20th of October 2021

Great article makes you think.

Tricia Smith

Wednesday 20th of October 2021

How will the push to change motor vehicles to electric affect this industry? Will they also have to go electric? Will an RV of that size function well with electric power?

Jan

Tuesday 19th of October 2021

Concerning renovations of an RV; it may be of importance particularly in towable RV’s, that you do not add excessive weight to the unit with your new decor choices. RV’s are engineered for specific weight value for towability and handling. Then they are legally certified to this value. Therefore if you add excessive weight it may impact the safety of the unit. Something to research by asking an insurance agent, trailer mechanic or even a lawyer. About 15 yrs ago I helped a friend and her husband gut and renovate a 1974 14 ft tow behind. We had the presence of mind to keep all the scrap in a little box trailer and weighed it on the scales where he worked. We then put all the new items in that box trailer. We ended up with about 320 lbs more because of upgrades to gray and black water tanks, bigger stove, fridge and propane tanks. To be on the safe side they had it certified by an RV Mechanic and they didn’t have to upgrade the chassis or brakes. 😳 Upgrading the heating/ AC unit was another story. That had to installed by a qualified trades person.

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