Motorhomes, or motorized recreational vehicles (RVs), come in different classes. Two that are associated with each other and often confused are the Class A and Class C motorhomes.
A quick way to tell the difference between a Class A and Class C motorhome is by physical appearance. The former resembles a bus in design with a "flat" or vertical front end and large windows. Class C motorhomes by contrast have a "truck cab" with an over-cab bed, much like a camper.
Class A motorhomes are generally thought of as top of the line among RVs. Though smaller ones are harder to find they start at about 24 feet (7.3 meters) and can be as long as 40 feet (12 meters). Weight can range between 15,000 - 30,000 pounds (6,804 - 13,608 kg), and the undercarriage may be custom or a 3-10 ton truck chassis.
Another difference between a Class A and Class C motorhome is that Class A motorhomes come with every luxury. A kitchen, bathroom with shower and often a tub -- even a separate bedroom in the back depending on the floor plan. Heating and air conditioning, hot and cold running water, 100-125 volt electrical system, a dinette or living room area with couch and recliners, closets, and an entertainment center. It's all possible. Many Class A motorhomes are far more luxurious than most homes!
Class A motorhomes are often used for successful touring bands because of their richness and comfort. All leather interiors, wet bars, big screen TVs, and advanced sound systems make them a livable choice for the rigors of the road. They are also the choice for many retirees who sell their homes in favor of traveling in their golden years.
A Class A and Class C motorhome can also differ in terms of the people they can sleep Depending on the model and floor plan, Class A RVs will sleep up to 8 people. But all of this luxury comes at a price. New lower-end models start close to $50,000 U.S. dollars, and a larger, nicer model will cost more than a house in many states, coming in at about $300,000+. Even a smaller used Class A several years old can sell for $30,000 - $40,000. The luxury line starts at about $325,000 up to over $1 million for the crème de la crème diesel-pusher with all the bells and whistles.
Class C motorhomes can come in very luxurious models, or more economical models affording more flexibility of pocketbook. They are lighter in weight, ranging from 10,000 to 15,000 pounds (4,536 - 6,804 kg) and generally run from just under 20 - 44 feet (6 - 13 m) in length.
Class C motorhomes are generally constructed on cutaway chassis depending on the model. The cab is similar to a truck, with a bunk above, plus a rear bedroom. Like the Class A, Class C motorhomes have all the conveniences of home including kitchen, bathroom, dinette, heating, A/C, and possibly entertainment features.
Dinettes aren't always present, depending on the floor plan, but where they are present they make into a double bed. When the dinette is not present it is replaced by two captains chairs, or may have a couch and chairs. The couch may also be a sleeper couch.
Because of the overcab bed, Class C motorhomes can sleep more than a comparable Class A motorhome, up to 10 people, depending. The cost of a new Class C ranges from $50,000 - $170,000.
One of the nicest features of both a Class A and Class C motorhome is the slide-out. With the touch of a button the wall of the living room expands outwards to extend the living space by several inches.
A Class B motorhome is also referred to as a van conversion, which perhaps describes it more aptly. These motorhomes look like pop-top camper vans and are self-contained but cramped compared to their big brothers. The advantage of a Class B motorhome is handling, and size if you don't happen to need the interior room. They are often advertised to sleep more than what is deemed comfortable by most people's standards, but can work well for very small families who don't mind the close quarters, or ideally, for couples who don't want the upkeep of a large motorhome. The Class B motorhome can also be used as a second car. These motorhomes come in at $38,000 - $75,000.