Class A Motor Home

An introduction to recreational vehicle types


This is a brief introduction to the Class A Motor Home type of recreational vehicle, intended to provide essential information for choosing the best RV type. (Looking for Class A Manufacturers?)

Tip: Not sure if this is the right RV type for you? Please take a look at Getting Started.

Definition

Class A Motor Home

Photo courtesy of Gulf Stream Coach

The Class A motor home is a recreational vehicle built on a stripped truck chassis where the driving compartment is an integral part of the RV interior. Class A motor homes look like busses.

Unlike the Class C motor home, the chassis of a Class A does not come from the factory with a driving compartment (or cab). The chassis includes the following major components: frame, engine, fuel tank, axles, drive train, wheels, tires, steering column, engine and braking controls, and dashboard instruments.

Other terms used for Class A motor home:

  • Coach
  • Motor coach

Sub-Types

The Class A motor home has one sub-type:

Bus Conversion

The name gives it away—a bus conversion is a commercial passenger bus that has been converted into an RV. Some bus conversions are easy to spot because their previous skin is mostly intact. Often these look like a Greyhound bus. Some bus conversions undergo major remodeling inside and out, and are more difficult to see their origin. One of the most used platforms for luxury conversions is the Prevost bus.

Though not sub-types, people often refer to some Class A's as a pusher or diesel pusher. A pusher is a motor home with rear mounted engine for the purposes of better accommodating large engines. Two other benefits of having the engine in the rear is the reduced engine noise and the ability to install the main door near the front of the vehicle.

Class A Motor Home Pros

  • Easy to drive on highway.
  • Spacious, open floor plans suitable for fulltimers.
  • Elevated driver position provides a good view of the road ahead.
  • Driving and living compartments are connected. No need to get out of the RV during stops. Living area accessible even while moving.
  • Most storage space of all RV types.
  • Can tow vehicle behind or support a carrying platform on hitch receiver.

Class A Motor Home Cons

  • Most expensive of all RV types.
  • The RV Consumer Group rates Class A's as having more structural problems and safety issues in crashes, especially those with slides.
  • Larger models can be difficult to maneuver in tight spaces.
  • Driving compartment being part of the living space does not appeal to some people, feeling like they are always in a vehicle.
  • Most are too large to drive around town; alternate local transportation required.
  • Elevated driver position and width of the vehicle make it difficult to judge clearance on the right side.
  • Top clearance can be a problem under low branches and structures. Problem compounded if carrying items on roof, such as canoes.
  • Requires large storage area when not in use.

RV Checklists

The following RV checklists on our web site are applicable to Class A motor homes:

Other Resources

A list of recommended Class A motor home resources on our web site: