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Exploring the great outdoors can be a very enjoyable experience especially when you do it in the company of friends and family. When you decide to go camping, there are a few options you have in terms of building a suitable place to sleep during the night and utilize during the day. Often times, when people go camping, they simply set-up a tent to provide them with the shelter and comfort that they need. Another option besides setting up a tent is using a class A motorhome which will give you the ability to live comfortably with premium amenities anywhere you travel. One of the main advantages of using a class A motorhome is that of safety, with standard tents you run the risk of it becoming punctures or attacked by animals while out in the wild.
Most tents are made using very basic materials such as polyester, mesh, and cotton which don’t provide a lot of natural protection against the elements of nature. A standard motorhome will remove these potentially dangerous factors from your outdoor exploration adventures due to the fact that they are made using metal, rubber, and other materials which are naturally more durable than what you would typically find in a tent. There are a lot of motorhome companies on the market who produce a wide range of motorhomes in different classes, size, packages, and more.
When you purchase a class A motorhome, you need to make sure that you’re spending your money on a vehicle that will last longer and run smoothly. The easiest way to do this is by reading the entire feature list and details surrounding the motorhome that you’re interested in buying. There are a few key factors that every quality class A RV motorhome should have including durable tires, integrated bathroom, kitchen, emergency tire kit, and a kitchen just to name a few.
In this guide, we’re going to give you a detailed breakdown of the top-class A motorhome vehicles on the market in addition to the companies who manufacture them. Be sure to read the entire guide in full so that you can avoid purchasing a subpar or inferior quality motorhome that will break down over time.
- 1 Top Class A Motorhomes Available
- 3 Key Features to Look for in a Class A Motorhome
- 4 Other Features to look for in a Class A Motorhome
- 5 What is a Class A Motorhome?
- 6 Class A Motorhome Expenses
- 7 Used or New? Which Class A motorhome should I choose?
- 8 Top 3 Class A Motorhomes Of 2020
- 9 Forest River Berkshire Class A Motorhome
- 10 Winnebago Grand Tour Class A Motorhome
- 11 Thor Palazzo Class A Motorhome
- 12 Conclusion
Top Class A Motorhomes Available
Thor is one of the leading motorhome manufacturers on the market, the company produces a wide range of motorhome options that come in a variety of configurations and styles. Thor dominates the motorhome market with every 1 out of 4 motorhomes in the U.S. being produced by them. Thor was started in 2010 as part of the merger that happened between Damon Motor Coach and Four Winds International.
Thor offers some of the most comprehensive and innovative motorhome designs on the market, regardless of your lifestyle or budget, Thor motorhomes have the perfect option for you and your family. Thor produces Class A and Class C motorhomes in four different product classes which are Four Winds, ACE, Chateau, and Tuscany. Thor even gives you the ability to build your own motorhome and their standard build models come in different floor plans so that you can maximize flexibility and comfort.
Winnebago was started in 1958 and has been dedicated to producing high-quality motorhomes and lifestyle products ever since. Winnebago produces products for outdoor enthusiasts and leisure travelers, the Winnebago product line consists of travel trailers, boats, fifth wheel products, motorhomes, and more. Winnebago has a very robust production process that involves multiple factories throughout the U.S. including Oregon, Minnesota, Florida, Iowa, and Indiana.
Winnebago has an intense dedication to producing high-quality motorhome and lifestyle products that deliver real-world value to its consumers. Winnebago maintains a high level of quality control with all of their motorhomes to ensure that you stay safe while traversing wild terrains.
See how Winnebago and Thor compare in our full guide here
Forest River Berkshire
Forest River Berkshire was started in 1996 by founder Peter Liegl who had a vision for producing premium motorhome vehicles to help people explore the world the way they want. Forest River Berkshire is one of the largest motorhome manufacturers in the U.S. and they have a verifiable history of producing quality products that consumers can trust.
Forest River Berkshire produces a wide range of different lifestyle vehicles including buses, cargo trailers, commercial trucks, park models, pontoons, and more. Forest River Berkshire is all about enjoyment and long-lasting products which is why they are trusted by so many outdoor enthusiasts today.
Key Features to Look for in a Class A Motorhome
Before buying a Class A motorhome, you need to make sure that your desired vehicle comes with all of the features and amenities that you need. When most people go camping, exploring, or anything else that involves making nature your home for a few days, they generally only take absolutely essential items with them.
Being that your motorhome will be your primary residence for the allotted amount of time that you choose, you need to make sure that it can support your daily lifestyle habits and routines. There are a few key aspects, components, and features that you should always look for in a motorhome to determine whether or not It’s the right fit for you.
Before purchasing a motorhome, ask yourself a few questions to determine how you should approach your new motorhome. Here is a list of potential questions that you can ask yourself before purchasing a motorhome to ensure that you make the right decision.
- What do you plan on using your motorhome for? By determining exactly what you plan on using your motorhome for prior to purchasing one, you’ll be able to go into the motorhome search with a clear mind and focused intentions so you can avoid making the wrong purchase decision.
- What features do you want/need your motorhome to have? It’s important to know what type of features you need in a motorhome before buying one so that you’ll be able to enjoy your purchase comfortably. Motorhomes come in a variety of configurations and floor plans designed to meet the needs of individuals with all lifestyles.
- Do you prefer a standalone motorhome or a towable camper? Most motorhome builds consist of standalone units that you can drive yourself however there are motorhome options out there which primarily use a trailer which you must pull in order to successfully transport it. The design of your motorhome will play a huge role in how efficient it is for you and your family so make sure you decide on which design is best for you before purchasing.
Storage- storage is a huge factor that every prospective motorhome owner should look for before purchasing their desired vehicle. Many class A motorhomes come with storage compartments in the flooring, closets, and overhead. If you plan on going on an exploration adventure with your family or a large number of people, you will need plenty of storage to verify the storage space of your desired motorhome prior to finalizing the purchase.
Chassis Safety- motorhomes use driving dynamics that are very similar to large transportation buses due to their size and weight. If you purchase a motorhome before checking the chassis, it can put you at great risk for potentially dangerous driving conditions in the future. A quality track bar can help your motorhome maintain a steady rear-end during high speeds which will protect your motorhome and it’s passengers from danger. Adding Safety-Plus to the front of your motorhome can help you maintain front-end stability if your motorhome happens to encounter a tire blowout.
Hydraulic Levelers- hydraulic levelers are an essential part of any motorhome due to the fact that many features of your RV won’t work properly without them. Hydraulic levelers automatically balance your motorhome’s weight evenly across all axis making it safer to drive and less maintenance prone. If you don’t have hydraulic levelers on your motorhome, you will need to use plastic or wooden block to manually level your motorhome every time you stop at a rest location. If you have a built-in refrigerator or microwave, they won’t work without a level motorhome base so ensure that your desired vehicle comes with hydraulic levelers.
Other Features to look for in a Class A Motorhome
- Air conditioning
- Door locks
- Window Seals
- Water Heater
- Light Fixtures
- Water Flow
- Window blinds or shades
- Slide out Seals
- Propane System
All of the above-mentioned features should be standard when it comes to all motorhomes available on the market however not all companies include these amenities as part of their basic package option. Before finalizing the purchase of any motorhome, you need to ensure that it has all of the basic necessities that you need and any recreational features that you want. By doing this, you’ll be able to save a lot of time and money that otherwise would go towards repairs, maintenance, or other aspects of upkeep related to your motorhome.
What is a Class A Motorhome?
Motorhomes come in three primary classes which are class C, class B, and Class A all of which vary significantly in terms of the features that they offer and the performance they provide. Class A motorhomes are the top of the line class when it comes to mobile home vehicles. Class A motorhomes utilize very high-quality materials to compose the framing and driving components of the vehicle. Most Class A motorhomes are built using commercial truck chassis, motor vehicle chassis, or commercial bus chassis. 18-wheeler trucks use very similar vehicle builds when compared to Class A motorhomes which allow RV manufacturers to test real-world dynamics of their products before releasing them to the market.
Class A motorhomes are perfect for individuals who are very serious about outdoor camping or exploration. They provide a wide range of amenities designed to immolate the very features that you find in a residential home only in a more condensed version. One of the major downsides of Class A motorhomes is their fuel economy, the standard Class A motorhome has a mile per gallon rating of anywhere from 8-10 MPG which is the worst rated fuel economy out of all motorhome classes. The biggest upside to using Class A motorhomes is the amount of space and features that you have access to, Class B and Class C motorhomes do come with a lot of features however they pale in comparison to the amount of flexibility, versatility, and functionality that you get with Class A motorhomes.
Class A motorhomes generally come with more feature-packed standard models when compared to Class B and Class C motorhomes. Most Class A motorhomes come with two slide-outs as part of the standard build which allows you to cook, enjoy music, work, or anything else that you want to do while enjoying the beautiful outdoors. Class A motorhomes also come with the largest amount of space available in the motorhome industry with spacious interiors and expandable sections which allow you to customize your experience to your needs at the moment.
Class A motorhomes are typically designed to fit 2-4 people comfortably which allows you to bring along tons of friends and family without worrying about sleeping arrangements. If you’re looking for comfort, security, functionality, and luxury, Class A motorhomes are the perfect grade of RV for you. Most Class A motorhomes can fit multiple queen-sized beds and furniture so you can personalize your motorhome without any extra hassle.
Class A Motorhome Expenses
Aside from making sure that your Class A motorhome has all of the features you want, there are many expenses that regardless of size or class you’ll have to deal with. At the end of the day, Class A motorhomes are still motor vehicles that can break down, get a flat, and an array of other scenarios. It’s important to keep basic safety procedures and operational costs in mind when purchasing a Class A motorhome to ensure that you’ll be able to maintain the vehicle once it’s in your possession.
Some of the most important Class A motorhome expenses are:
- Gas & Fuel- you’ll need to constantly refill your gas especially if you have a Class A motorhome so be sure to keep gas mileage, fuel efficiency, and gas prices in mind when purchasing your motorhome.
- Maintenance & Repair- motorhomes have a variable history of being prone to damage while others have been known to last for years on end. The amount of money you spend on repairs and maintenance will all depend on the Class, size, and capability of your motorhome so it’s really hard to give an accurate figure. However, you will certainly need to repair or at bare minimum perform maintenance work on your Class A motorhome at some point in its life cycle so keep this in mind before purchasing a motorhome.
- Insurance & Registration- like with all motor vehicles, your motorhome will require proper registration tags and insurance before you can legally drive it on the road. If you’ve never driven a motorhome before but plan on buying one, it may also be wise to consider taking driving classes designed for commercial vehicles which can help you avoid getting into accidents or other major issues while on the road.
- Parking- while most outdoor parks and forests allow motorhome owners to park their vehicle without a hassle, there are some places which implement very strict rules as to what type of vehicle can be parked on their property and where it can be parked. Keep this in mind while exploring the great outdoors to avoid unnecessary parking expenses or fines.
Other expenses to keep in mind while traveling in your motorhome are things such as food expenses, cable and internet access, toilet functionality, and more. By planning for these expenses right now, you can avoid being left in shock when they appear in the future during the duration of your motorhome ownership.
Used or New? Which Class A motorhome should I choose?
Due to the rare and unique nature of Class A motorhomes, you can often time find them in really good condition used. Many people who make their first motorhome purchase tend to go with used vehicles because it allows them to save money and test to see if a motorhome is something they really want. There are pros and cons to buying either a new or used motorhome, this section will help you decide on which option is best for you.
Used Class A Motorhomes
Used motorhomes give prospective buyers an array of options to work with including cost savings and customization. Insurance costs generally tend to be cheaper with used motorhomes because they come with an existing record which can help insurance providers accurately gauge their danger level. Buying a used motorhome may also give you the opportunity to purchase a specific model that is no longer in production. This happens often in the motorhome industry due to the fact that motorhomes are in less demand than your average motor vehicle which allows manufacturers to constantly produce new models and phase out old ones even before their time.
While there are many upsides to purchasing a used Class A motorhome, there are also just as many negatives that come with it. Used Class A motorhomes can come in any condition which makes it difficult for the buyer to know the true value of the vehicle even after ownership. When buying a used Class A motorhome, you also run the risk of acquiring an RV that has pre-existing issues which may affect its usability and functionality. One of the major disadvantages of buying a used Class A motorhome is that often times, by the time you get your hands on it the manufacturer warranty has already worn out so you will be responsible for all damages.
New Class A Motorhomes
For those people who want guaranteed quality, a new Class A motorhome may be the best option for you. By buying a new Class A motorhome, you can rest assured that you’re getting a quality vehicle that is most likely fresh off the production line. Brand new Class A motorhomes also come with a standard manufacturer warranty which protects you in the event of any malfunctions or repairs which may be needed for the vehicle. New Class A motorhomes also give you the ability to get manufacturer customizations and personalized features which may not be available or compatible with used motorhomes.
With a new Class A motorhome, you don’t have to worry about existing damage or other discrepancies which may cost a lot of money to fix. Some of the disadvantages that come with purchasing a new Class A motorhome are things such as price and insurance premiums. Brand new Class A motorhomes will always be significantly more expensive when compared to used ones so if you’re trying to budget, a new motorhome may not be for you.
Class A motorhome insurance premiums for brand new vehicles are also much higher than used vehicles so you want to keep that in mind before making a final purchase decision. New motorhomes have limited stock and availability so if you want a specific model that isn’t available at a local dealer in your area, you may have to pay for shipping costs or towing fees to get your new motorhome delivered.
Top 3 Class A Motorhomes Of 2020
Now that you know what to look for and what not to look for in a motorhome, below you’ll find the top 3 Class A motorhome options available to you in 2019. All of the selections listed below contain all of the vital features and components mentioned earlier in this guide. Read each motorhome description very carefully and make sure that you are taking into consideration any features or customization options that you want to ensure that you’re making the right choice.
Forest River Berkshire Class A Motorhome
The Forest River Berkshire Class A Motorhome is packed with tons of features that allow you to experience outdoor living like never before. The Forest River Berkshire Class A Motorhome comes equipped with a holding tank and heat pads to provide you with fresh, clean, and hot water for all of your sanitization needs. The Forest River Berkshire Class A Motorhome also comes equipped with a 120v engine heater running at 750w to provide enough power for all of your electronic devices and connectivity needs.
The River Forest Berkshire Class A Motorhome comes standard with a high definition digital TV antenna which makes it easy for you to watch all of your favorite TV shows and movies effortlessly. The Forest River Berkshire Class A Motorhome has an individually zoned hot/cold water supply unit that transfers water to specific areas of the motorhome which allows you to maximize efficiency.
The Forest River Berkshire Class A Motorhome has an average estimated gas mileage of about 8 miles per gallon. Under the right optimized conditions, the Forest River Berkshire Class A Motorhome can reach a gas mileage rating or 12.5 miles per gallon. The Forest River Berkshire Class A Motorhome is all about luxury, it has a built-in 40-inch television in the main cabin and secondary rooms. The River Forest Berkshire Class A Motorhome also comes with an integrated carbon monoxide detector and LPG monitor to keep you and all of your occupants safe. All of the materials used in the production of the River Forest Berkshire Class A Motorhome are premium so you only receive a quality end-product.
Forest River Berkshire Class A Motorhome Summary
- 120v Engine Heater to charge all of your electronic devices safely and efficiently
- Holding tanks that come with heating pads to provide clean and hot water to your motorhome
- Fiberglass front and rear caps which provide a superior level of protection from external factors and conditions
- High definition digital TV antennas so you can access all of your favorite TV shows and entertainment easily
- An individually zoned water system that allows you to conserve usage and maximize efficiency
Winnebago Grand Tour Class A Motorhome
The Winnebago Grand Tour Class A Motorhome is powerful and top of the line motorhome that provides a full range of features, amenities, and built-in safety standards. The Winnebago Grand Tour Class A Motorhome comes equipped with quartz countertops for durability and resilience. The Winnebago Grand Tour Class A Motorhome is also packed with luxurious Ultraleather seats which are comfortable and form fitting so everyone can enjoy their stay in your motorhome. The Winnebago Grand Tour Class A Motorhome comes with optionally heated floors to keep you warm in any climate or weather conditions.
The Winnebago Grand Tour Class A Motorhome is packed with heated massage seats which can help you take some of the stress away from your busy day of outdoor exploration and road tripping. The Winnebago Grand Tour Class A Motorhome also comes with stainless steel appliances so you can cook, clean, or do anything else with a solid foundation. The Winnebago Grand Tour Class A Motorhome was designed to provide the driver with ultimate stability and great fuel efficiency which you won’t find in many competing models. The Winnebago Grand Tour Class A Motorhome has a base gas mileage rating of 7 miles per gallon, the motorhome also comes with the option of installing LED energy efficient lighting and a 4k HD TV.
You have total control over the features and materials used in your Winnebago Grand Tour Class A motorhome with custom flooring options and other amenities to make your trip that much easier. The Winnebago Grand Tour Class A Motorhome is perfect for those who want a reliable motorhome that is built with class and quality in mind.
Winnebago Grand Tour Class A Motorhome Summary
- Quartz countertops which provide durability and a sanitary surface to cook or use for other purposes
- Heated massage seats to help you relax and relieve stress
- Heated floor (optional) to keep you warm in any weather conditions
- Luxurious Ultraleather seats which are comfortable and well made so you can relax and lounge around in peace
- Stainless steel appliances which add a nice premium feel to the motorhome
Thor Palazzo Class A Motorhome
The Thor Palazzo Class A Motorhome is packed with features and security components to keep you safe while exploring nature. The Thor Palazzo Class A Motorhome comes with frameless dual-panel windows which makes it easy to get fresh air, view your surroundings, and a lot more without all of the hassle involved with standard window configurations. The Thor Palazzo Class A Motorhome comes with an integrated leatherette sofa bed that serves as a couch and sleeping area. This maximizes the space potential inside of the Thor Palazzo Class A Motorhome so you can accommodate new passengers or large items which may not fit in the regular storage areas. The Thor Palazzo Class A Motorhome comes with residential vinyl flooring that looks amazing and provides an innovative design aspect that many motorhomes lack.
The Thor Palazzo Class A Motorhome has an electric induction cooktop to keep you safe from potential gas explosions while still providing you with the ability to cook fresh and hot meals. The Thor Palazzo Class A Motorhome has a built-in touchscreen Dash Radio that comes standard with Bluetooth capability and GPS navigation to keep you on track while exploring new and exciting roads.
The Thor Palazzo Class A Motorhome also features a built-in back-up monitor which allows you to accurately gauge how much space you have in tight parking spots. The Thor Palazzo Class A Motorhome comes with an average mileage rating of 7.5 miles per gallon however if you optimize the vehicle, you can easily get 12.9 miles out of each gallon. The Thor Palazzo Class A Motorhome weights a total of 26,000lbs which makes its standard gas mileage rating very impressive.
The Thor Palazzo Class A Motorhome also comes with 6 different floor plan options that you can choose from to ensure that you have enough storage space and living space to use your motorhome comfortably. The Thor Palazzo Class A Motorhome also comes with a furnace and roof conditioners to keep you warm and cozy in cold weather. The Thor Palazzo Class A Motorhome is perfect for those individuals who want functionality, luxury, and great performance all in one package.
Thor Palazzo Class A Motorhome Summary
- Reversible Sofa that can serve as a bed
- Electric cooktop to heat and cook fresh meals
- Frameless dual pane windows for versatility and accessibility
- Built-in GPS & Bluetooth capabilities to help you stay connected no matter where you are
- Back-up monitor to help you avoid damaging the vehicle when parking
- Residential vinyl flooring that adds a nice home feel to the motorhome
After reading this guide, you should have a clear understanding of what to look for in your next motorhome. All of the tips and information mentioned above can help you avoid spending money on a vehicle that later on you may want to exchange or sell. By using this guide as a way to figure out exactly what you need in your motorhome, you can also avoid buying vehicles that are known to break down or incur large maintenance bills over time. Class A motorhomes are the top of the line when it comes to mobile homes that provide a near-home experience while on the road. Before finalizing your motorhome purchase, make sure that you read up on any local laws or regulations that have to do with operating a motorhome across the country.
If you’ve never driven a motorhome before, you may want to consider looking into some classes to make sure that you avoid getting into accidents or directly flipping over your vehicle due to a lack of proper education. Don’t forget to research insurance premium prices in your area for motorhomes as different insurance companies offer certain perks and incentives which may be directly beneficial to you. Motorhomes can be fun to drive and ride in which is why choosing the right motorhome with all of the features that you absolutely need is very important.
There are many motorhome options available on the market however you want to do in-depth research about the company and a particular model to make sure you can handle all of the responsibilities that come with it. There are a lot of factors that go into making sure your motorhome is running correctly and meets all state and federal regulatory guidelines. Consider asking the dealer about any vital information that you need to know before purchasing a motorhome so you can be aware of any potential problems before it’s too late.
As long as you follow your gut instinct and remember everything you learned by reading this guide, you should have no problem finding the perfect motorhome model that will fit your needs perfectly. Always keep safety and functionality in mind when purchasing a motorhome so that you can derive all of the wonderful experiences from it that you deserve. Take your friends or family on the road, into the woods, or anywhere else comfortably by purchasing the right Class A motorhome.