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Getting Started : Types & Choices

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So many choices - Class A, B and C pros and cons
By Jerry (RiverGuy) Brown

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If you are considering purchase of an RV, and you have decided that a motorized unit is more to your liking than a tow-able, you still have many options to evaluate before taking the plunge. The choices are broadly categorized as Class A, Class B and Class C motor homes. These classes are described in more detail in other articles; our purpose here is to point out advantages and drawbacks of each to help you make your selection.


Starting with Class A motor homes, in general you will find that they are the largest and most comfortable, also the most expensive to purchase and operate. Here are some other points to consider:
Class A - King of the road

  • Class As carry large storage tanks and have a lot of storage space and carrying capacity.
  • They have the best ride, but are harder to handle and maneuver in traffic as compared to the smaller units.
  • Campgrounds limited to smaller RVs may be inaccessible, as will some back roads.
  • Some residential areas restrict RV parking and some homes donít have enough driveway area for storing a large motor home.
  • Class As typically must be serviced at specialized shops and as a result, quick repairs may be a problem.


Class B - Nimble and compact
At the other end of the size spectrum, Class Bs are converted vans. Their space limitations are obvious, but the smaller overall size has its advantages.

  • It can be used as a second vehicle, possibly eliminating the costs of buying, insuring, and maintaining another automobile.
  • They can park anywhere a full sized sedan can, in front of your house or in all but the smallest camp sites.
  • They are easy to handle in urban traffic or on mountain roads.
  • Class Bs can usually be serviced at any auto repair shop.
  • They are the least expensive to operate, though their purchase cost may be in the same range as a Class C.
  • Their limited storage capacity, including holding tanks, means they are not well suited for full time RVing.
  • Typically, they have no separate bedroom, beds fold out, and they often have very cramped bath facilities.


Class C - All around flexibility
The Class C category offers a wide variety of motor homes, overlapping low end Class As at one end of the scale and competing with high end Class Bs at the other. In general they fit between the A and B motor homes in terms of purchase and operating expense, storage and carrying capacity, handling and parking, comfort and space.

  • Since they are built on truck or van chassis, they can be serviced at many car and most truck repair shops.
  • A Class C is probably safer as compared to a Class A; the front of the vehicle is crash tested and they must meet truck or auto safety standards such as air bags.

Finally, if you haven't done so already, visit a couple of RV dealers and tour various classes and sizes of coach. There's no substitute for personal experience.

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