If you’re buying your first RV, you may have sizable questions: How big is a Class A Motorhome? How tall is a Class A motorhome? How much does one weigh?
The answers to these questions can have a big impact on how, or if, you’ll be able to store your RV and where you’ll be able to take it once you hit the road. Here’s what you need to know.
What Is a Class A Motorhome?
Class A RVs are generally large, bus-like motorhomes that are often top-of-the-line in the RV world. They’re usually the largest and come with the most amenities of drivable motorhomes. Class A motorhomes feel roomier on the inside compared to a Class C of the same length. It might just feel more spacious, though, because the driver’s area is part of the main living space rather than slightly separated.
Most Class A motorhomes will include at least one full bathroom, kitchen, dining space, and bedroom. High-end or specialty models can include bunks, multiple bathrooms, washer/dryers, or outdoor cooking or entertainment equipment.
Gas vs. Diesel Class A RVs
Class A RVs are divided into two general categories: Gas and Diesel. RVs with diesel engines are generally larger and heavier, but also last longer, are usually more powerful (higher torque for climbing steep hills) and get somewhat better fuel mileage. Well-maintained diesel engines are extremely robust and can easily last 400,000 miles or more before any major overhaul is needed. That can be as much as twice as long as gas engines.
Diesel fuel is generally more expensive, but their better fuel mileage helps offset the cost difference. RVers who often need the power for climbing hills or towing heavy vehicles will enjoy the extra power you’ll find in diesel engines as well.
How Tall is a Class A Motorhome?
How tall a Class A motorhome is depends on a few particulars of your RV. Generally, they’ll start around 11 feet and top out at about 13.5 feet. This height will give you at least a little bit of clearance in most situations (usually a 14-foot minimum on main highways) and plenty of room under standard interstate overpasses (typically a 16-foot minimum). Of course, lower overpasses can be found in lots of places, so be sure to know your height, and pay attention to clearance signs.
A popular model like the Newmar Dutch Star measures 13 feet, while the Fleetwood Flair is a bit shorter at 12 feet 4 inches tall. On the higher end, the 2020 Entegra Cornerstone measures 12 feet 11 inches in height.
How Long Is a Class A Motorhome?
Class A motorhomes typically start in the high 20s and can be all the way up to 45′ in length. They’re larger than all but the largest Class C motorhomes or towable fifth wheels. However, you can find Class As shorter than 26 feet, like Thor’s Axis or Vegas models. Or as long as 45 feet, like the luxury Newmar King Aire.
How Wide Is a Class A RV?
Exploring the width of a Class A RV is a little more straightforward. State and federal laws limit the width of a road-going vehicle to 8 feet, 6 inches (102 inches). Of course, these laws refer to the width of the RV with any slides retracted. With slides extended, the maximum width can vary a lot.
How Much Do Class A RVs Weigh?
Many small-to-average size Class A RVs weigh between 15,000 and 30,000 pounds, as measured with empty tanks and without passengers or personal items.
If you need an RV on the lightest end of the spectrum, check out the Thor Axis, which weighs just 12,500 pounds. As for the heaviest, watch out for the Newell Coach 2020p. This juggernaut tips the scales at 63,600 pounds!
How Many People Can a Class A RV Sleep?
Many Class A RVs can sleep six people or more, if most are sharing beds. A larger sleeping capacity is often achieved through several convertible sleeping options, like fold-down couches and dining tables that convert into bed spaces… or even beds that lower down from the ceiling.
But keep in mind… just because an RV lists that it can sleep a large number of people, you may not be comfortable having that many guests on board. Our favorite saying we use for our RV is: “Drinks for 6; Dinner for 4; Sleeps 2!” ????
A big factor in determining the sleeping capacity depends on floorplan, but even more so on the relationship, age, and comfort level of the guests. An awful lot of kids can fit into some pretty small spaces!
How Much Can a Class A Motorhome Tow?
Average Class A motorhomes can tow between 5,000 and 10,000 pounds, with some stretching up to 15,000 pounds or more. Diesel-powered rigs can pull more weight than their gas-powered cousins due to the extra power these engines provide.
As always, consult your RV’s manual or manufacturer information on your rig to determine your specific towing capacity before attempting to tow.
When you look at all the different types of RVs out there, the idea of figuring out a Class A motorhome’s length, height, or width can seem daunting. However, when you look at Class A RVs overall, you can see some broad patterns that can help with your search and decision. Although they can often be long, tall, and heavy, a Class A motorhome might be just what you need for the trip of a lifetime. It’s been the right choice for us for full-timing since 2003.
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