When you think of a motorhome, it’s likely that you picture a Class A. A motorhome is simply a type of RV whose engine and driver’s cab are part of the vehicle, as opposed to a towable which is towed behind a truck or SUV. While Class C and Class B RVs are motorhomes, generally, people referring to motorhomes are talking about Class A RVs. When you are buying a Class A RV, you’re getting that classic ‘box on wheels’ style frame. They are the larger, more luxurious recreational vehicles. They are self-propelled and have either a gas or diesel powertrain. Built with similar framing and construction as commercial buses, they usually range in length from 26-45 feet.
Indeed, Class A motorhomes are some of the largest vehicles on the road. Hence, they offer more living space than other types of RVs, making them feel more spacious and livable. Additionally, Class A RVs have interior furnishings that range from basic comforts to 5-star luxury motorhomes. And, they have all the amenities for a vacation and comforts for full-time living. From sleeping and lounging areas to full kitchens and upscale bathrooms, they have everything you need. And since they are self-contained, you can camp anywhere and be comfortable.
Benefits of Buying a Class A RV
Now that we have specified what buying a Class A RV entails, let’s briefly look at some of the benefits of them. First, not only do they have conveniences such as refrigerators and bathrooms, but passengers can access them while moving. Next, and we’ve touched on this already, but the luxuries are nearly unlimited. Many Class A RVs have home-like features, such as a washer and dryer. Additionally, these RVs can have multiple slide-outs to increase living and storage space. In fact, they have the best exterior storage of all RV types. Many have large pass-thru compartments that can accommodate patio furniture and other larger items. And lastly, they have a higher towing capacity. This enables you to tow another vehicle so you can explore once your RV is set up at the camp site. If you’re still unsure which type of motorhome is right for you, you can read more about how to choose between Class A vs. Class C motorhomes.
What to Consider When You Buy a Class A RV
So, now that you know what a Class A RV is and the benefits of owning one, are you thinking that buying a Class A RV is right for you? If so, it is important to know what features are non-negotiable for your family. So, here are some things to consider and look for when shopping for a Class A RV.
First, you need to know when buying a Class A RV is how many people will be RVing with you. Again, Class A motorhomes range in size. So, knowing the sleeping capacity, livable space, and storage room that will work best for your family is crucial. Furthermore, consider your travel style. If you’re frequenting national parks, you may want a shorter motorhome for easier maneuvering and parking in campsites. If you value more space and features, or plan for longer stays, you can opt for a longer model.
Likewise, it is important to know your motorhome’s GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) and cargo-carrying capacity. This is especially important if you’re planning to tow a vehicle or trailer behind your motorhome. While the cargo capacity is higher on Class A RVs in comparison to other campers, you will want to federal weight laws.
Furthermore, if you’re planning to travel heavy, you may need to consider a tag axle. Because a rear axle has weight limitations, a tag axle is a third axle located behind the rearmost axle. Tag axles are used to increase GVWR. Their primary purpose is to provide increased weight-carrying capacity for larger/heavier motorhomes. Most class A motorhomes up through 40′ use a single rear axle. Usually, anything over 40′ gets a tag axle, although there are always exceptions.
Next, when you’re buying a Class A RV, should you go for a diesel pusher or a gas motorhome? Class A RVs can have gas or diesel engines and the difference between the two is considerable. Typically, gas powered motorhomes lack the power and thus the luxury of diesel pushers. Diesel rigs can carry more and thus typically offer more amenities. Because the engine is in the back of the motorhome, diesel-powered motorhomes tend to have a bit more living space at the front of the vehicle.
With gas-powered motorhomes, the engine is in the front. While class A gas models are great for the plains and can work elsewhere, diesel is going to be the better hill-climber. They are also typically better on fuel economy And, while diesel engines are more expensive to maintain, they’re also more durable and likely will outlast a gas engine. It’s important to note that the cost of diesel-powered Class A RVs does reflect the benefits. Indeed, gas powered motorhomes tend to be more affordable upfront. So, if you do not need the power of a diesel pusher, they could be a good option.
There are two types of heating to consider when buying a Class A RV: forced air and hydronic systems. Forced air heating systems use air to transfer heat unlike hydronic systems that use water or steam to transfer heat. With forced air systems, air is drawn from the room by powerful fans. The air is then passed through a heating chamber and then is pumped back to the room.
With hydronic heating systems, water/steam transfers heat from a boiler to different parts of the room through metal pipes. The hot liquid is pumped to heat exchangers that circulate warm air through a system of tubing to low-voltage radiator fans situated throughout the RV. Hydronic heating systems tend to be quieter in the living space and more even distribute heat. However, they come at a higher cost than forced air systems. Read RV Hydronic Heating System: 11 Things You Need to Know for more information on hydronic hearing systems.
Manufacturer & Model
Another consideration when buying a Class A RV, or any RV for that matter, is the brand and the reputation of that manufacturer. It is important to do your research. Read reviews, talk to other RVers and RV service technicians for advice. Learn about the reputations of different RV manufacturers and research what warranties and support they offer their owners. Additionally, know where you can get your RV serviced if it is covered by the manufacturer. Also, remember that preventative maintenance is crucial in keeping your RV in top shape. If you are looking for RV repair services in Louisiana, contact us at 337-942-5800.
Moreover, it is important to note that each manufacturer offers different models and floor plans. Each RV can offer varying degrees of amenities, options, and luxury features. Think about which are essential for you and which are just desirable luxuries. How much refrigerator space do you need? Do you need a washer and dryer? What about solar panels? A fireplace? Differentiate your wants from your needs for your camping enjoyment.
We cannot stress enough how important research is when buying a Class A RV. Finding the right floor plan to fit your needs is one of the key factors in buying a motorhome. You’ll want to determine how you intend to use your space and what appliances and furniture you’ll need. Consider the livability of the overall layout; this is crucial to ensure your home on wheels suits you.
Buying New vs. Used
To begin with, RVs are an investment. And Class A RVs tend to be the most expensive type of RV. Although owning a Class A motorhome can be a tremendously rewarding experience, it can have a large barrier to entry. New Class As can range anywhere from about $95,000 to $500,000 or more. It really depends on the features and accessories you choose.
While buying a Class A RV new can allow you to customize the options on it more extensively, it is always pricier than buying used. Remember, Class A RVs are built to last. However, their value does depreciate year after year. This is one of the many reasons to buy a used Class A RV. If you’re not ready to commit to a new Class A, buying a used motorhome can be a wise move. Before deciding between used and new, consider all the factors involved.
Where to buy a Class A RV
Courvelle’s RV is your Louisiana RV dealer where you get more for less! We have the cleanest inventory of used Class A RVs in Louisiana. All of our used Class A motorhomes are expertly maintained and in excellent condition.
We only take in premium used RVs, so you can rest easy knowing when you buy a used motorhome from us, you are getting the most well maintained like new motorhomes in the area. Brands we carry range from Fleetwood to Tiffin and Coachmen to Forest River. Come see us today to find your perfect Class A RV!