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What Is a Class a RV?

Cindy Quarters
Cindy Quarters

A recreational vehicle, commonly called simply an RV or a motorhome, is a popular way for travelers to go places where there are no hotels or motels but not have to stay in a tent. RVs are also convenient for people who don’t want to have to pack and unpack at a motel every night while on the road, and for people who want to stay in a single place for a period of weeks, or even months. RVs are rated by their size and features. A class A RV is large and is considered to be top of the line, containing everything a traveler could need.

Recreational vehicles come in styles and sizes to suit virtually anyone. Some RVs are not motorized but are made to be paired with a vehicle that provides the power, such as a car, truck or van. These include campers that mount on trucks, tent trailers that pop up once they’re in place, tiny trailers that can be towed behind almost any car and large trailers that need a heavy-duty vehicle to tow them. Motorized RVs include conversion vans with the essentials but not much more — class B RVs — larger units, often referred to as mini-motorhomes, usually fully self-contained — these are class C RVs — and the largest units available, with all the necessities and often much more — the class A RVs.

A Class A RV.
A Class A RV.

A class A RV weighs in at anywhere between 15,000 and 30,000 pounds (around 6,800 to 13,600 kilograms) and is 30 to 40 feet (around 9 to 12 meters) long. The unit sits on a truck chassis or a specially made frame. Often a class A RV will have a boxy look to it, but it may also look much like a bus. Many are painted in custom colors with fancy designs or sport hand-painted pictures on the outside.

Mid-sized, self-contained units are considered Class C RVs.
Mid-sized, self-contained units are considered Class C RVs.

Inside, a class A RV has beds, a kitchen area with a stove and a refrigerator, and a bathroom. Many have much more, including a living room, a separate bedroom, plush carpeting and a slide-out to add extra space once the unit is parked. The bathroom in a class A RV is sometimes big enough for a small tub, unlike the bathrooms in class C motorhomes where it is not unusual to find a handheld shower, toilet and sink all sharing the same tiny area. Designer touches such as custom cabinets in the kitchen, plush or leather furniture and upscale lighting fixtures are often put in a class A RV to add emotional appeal and to help justify the big price, often up to $100,000 US Dollars (USD) or considerably more. For those who can afford them, such a motorhomes offer true homes away from home and plenty of comfortable, even luxurious, living space.

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    • A Class A RV.
      By: philipus
      A Class A RV.
    • Mid-sized, self-contained units are considered Class C RVs.
      By: Greg Pickens
      Mid-sized, self-contained units are considered Class C RVs.
    • A class A RV has a kitchen area with a stove.
      By: Maygutyak
      A class A RV has a kitchen area with a stove.