Class A motor homes, which are basically buses with living accommodations, are a great option for those who enjoy RV travel and who prefer not to have to pull a trailer. According to RV Consumer Group, "The class A is popular because it's both a vehicle and a home in one self-contained package." Many brands and models are available, with options and amenities to suit just about any need or preference.
Five Popular Class A RV Models
Newmar Dutch Star (Diesel)
Newmar describes its class A Dutch Star diesel pusher model as "the best-selling diesel motor home in its class," which is ultra-luxurious models. It is also the best-selling model in the entire Newmar brand. Freedom RV says "it is the standard by which all other diesel coaches are measured."
- It has a powerful Cummins® ISL 450 horsepower engine and is built on a Freightliner® XCR chassis.
- It is designed to provide tight handling, have outstanding power, and be both dependable and comfortable.
The outside has a beautiful graphics package and numerous floor plan options are available for the luxurious interior, with any amenity and feature you could want on an RV. Pricing can vary greatly, and according to RVTrader.com (as of January of 2015) seems to run in the vicinity $400,000 for a newer model.
Tiffin Phaeton (Diesel)
Tiffin's Phaeton is also recognized as a popular class A diesel motor home. According to RVBusiness, this model has been included among the best-selling motor homes multiple times. Phaeton's website describes it as the company's "all time best-seller" and "the nation's best selling diesel pusher" overall. It also comes on a Freightliner chassis and is available with a Cummins® ISL 380 or 450 horsepower diesel engine, depending on size.
While not quite as luxurious as the Dutch Star, this is a very nice motor home with several floor plans and many options available - including a residential climate control system and a slide-out generator. In RVBusiness, Tiffin's national sales manager explains that the model was initially designed as an entry-level RV, but has evolved to be a "mid-priced coach in the 'sweet spot' of the diesel market."
According to RVTechMag.com, manufacturer suggested retail pricing (MSRP) for new 2015 models generally falls in the $300,000 to $350,000 price range.
Forest River Georgetown (Gas)
Forest River's gas class A Georgetown model is also listed by RVBusiness as a multiple-year best seller. According to the company's website, this model is "engineered for the road and designed for the driver." This model is also included in Motorhome magazine's list of the ten best motor homes for tailgating - partially because of options that include a 40" television inside and outside entertainment center with a 32" set.
Multiple floor plans are available, as well as a wide variety of amenities. In an article in RV Pro, the company's division sales manager says that the company offers both a 'value' edition as well as a more upscale (and expensive) standard model. He indicates that their standard Georgetown floor plan, which has two slideouts, is their top-selling floor plan.
Based on new 2015 inventory at Southern RV Center, prices for Georgetown models run between $120,000 and $180,000.
Winnebago Adventurer (Gas)
Described as a "popular" Winnebago model on RoamingTimes.com, Winnebago Adventurer is a great model from a company that calls itself "the most recognized name in motor homes." Adventurer promises the style and luxury of more costly diesel models in a much more affordable gasoline-powered coach - though its price point is a bit higher than the Forest River Georgetown.
Available in four floor plans, you can choose a design that best meets your needs. According to the website for Tom Shaeffer RV Super Store, "You can expect deluxe user-friendly features in each model." Options include:
- Blackout shades
- Dual pane windows
- Modern LED lighting
An optional tankless water heater is even available in newer models. Manufacturer suggested retail pricing (MSRP) ranges from around $170,000 to just under $200,000.
Thor A.C.E (Gas)
As the top motor home manufacturer in North America, Thor makes several popular models. Classified as a class A model, A.C. E. was actually designed to incorporate the size and comfort of a class A unit with the overhead bunk for kids that class C models are known for. This sets it apart from other models on the market (even within the Thor brand) and is part of the reason Thor calls A.C.E. "the undisputed leader in gas motor homes."
Motorhome magazine says this model successfully combines the best of class A and C into an "affordable and usable motor home."
A.C.E. comes in multiple lengths and floor plans. To meet the needs of RV owners who travel with their pets in mind, this model is designated as a "pet friendly coach" with its pull-out kibble station and scratch-resistant flooring. It is smaller than most other class A models, which is great for fuel-efficiency, but still has plenty of sleeping room thanks to the overhead sleeping area. Based on January 2015 RVTrader.com listings, these units cost in the $78,000 to $105,000 price range.
Finding Your Perfect Class A RV
Purchasing an RV is a significant investment. Visit several dealers and tour a number of models to decide what best meets your needs, then check reviews of the specific models that interest you the most. From there, you can move on to shopping for a new or used camper that meets your budget and travel needs.