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Motorhome travel (or RV) is a great way to explore the country, or simply escape from everyday life and camp in style. There are many reasons to escape these days.
Although the economy is suffering from the coronavirus pandemic it appears that the RV industry is thriving as more people look for vacations without resorts or ships.
We some things RVers need to consider before they hit the road. Below, we will walk you through the various types of motorhomes available so that you can find the right one for your wanderlust.
According to Julie Nuernberg (representative of REV Group), who manufactures the Fleetwood, American Coach and Monaco brands, some RV owners don’t feel the world is facing a pandemic.
Nuernberg states that RV travel follows the precautionary steps we must take to prevent the spread of COVID-19. People are starting to realize that camping is a place where you can be far apart from your neighbors. You can be six feet away from your neighbors while you sit around a campfire. You can go back to your own space and not to a hotel. You have your own bathroom. You can be safe and still see this beautiful country.
The industry is also being re-energized by a surge of RV owners.
Monika Geraci is the senior manager of market strategy and operations at the RV Industry Association. She says that RV dealers are reporting significant increases in RV sales. Some are seeing as high as 170 percent more sales than last May. Geraci reports that dealers are receiving a lot of interest in selling their RVs to potential buyers.
A motorhome provides all-inclusive travel and all the conveniences of home. You can travel the country, and then park your RV overnight in any location. You can also use it to visit friends and family by allowing you the freedom to park in your driveway and use the RV as a mobile bedroom.
There are many sizes available for RVs, but larger ones can be intimidating. A motorhome is easier to drive than a truck and a trailer, especially in regards to parking and backing up. To master the unique skills of braking, handling and turning safely, lessons and practice are highly recommended.
You will need to do some research in order to fully understand that we buy any motorhome, and then choose the one that suits your needs and budget.
While the smallest are smaller than a van or a coach, large diesel coaches can weigh as much as an interstate bus. Prevost is one of the companies that makes buses.
Motorhomes have a lot of occupant protection, so crashes and rollovers can be a concern. Rollovers are most commonly caused by underinflated tires, tire blowouts and inexperienced drivers. (Key message: Always buy high-quality tires and inspect them.
Motorhomes can hold several people, but you won’t get the same protection as you would in a pickup truck used to tow a travel trailer. This is especially important when you’re traveling with children who must be in their car seats. However, things are changing. It is changing. .
A Big Year for Improvements
In recent years, motorhomes have gained technological features that increase safety and convenience. These include backup and side cameras that reduce blind spots. A Ford next-generation chassis will be available for many of the gas-powered models in 2021. It replaces the V10 engine. The 7.3-liter V8 is now 350-horsepower and more efficient, coupled with a six speed automatic transmission.
Advanced features such as automatic emergency braking, electronic stabilization control, and automatic headlights are all part of this chassis. Some features may not be available depending on the brand or model, but they are important that they are widely available.
Ford-based RVs will have a more modern instrument cluster, and a steering wheel for Class C models with a van front. The vehicles now feel more modern thanks to the availability of Bluetooth or USB ports.
Mercedes-Benz offers advanced safety systems on its chassis-cab, which is the basic chassis that includes the driving compartment and is supplied to truck and RV companies for conversions into Class-B motorhomes or other vehicles. Some RV manufacturers are also installing cameras and aftermarket systems.
If you intend to keep it for many years, look for RVs with these features. Consider upgrading an older model if you decide to buy it.
Here are some safe practices for traveling now
Although RV living is socially distancing, there are occasions when you might be near other people.
Sam Jefson, a spokesperson for Winnebago Industries (maker of Winnebago Grand Design and Winnebago motorhomes, and travel trailers), stated that “We strongly encourage everybody to follow applicable CDC and federal guidelines in determining when it is and how to use an RV.” We believe that boating and RVing are excellent ways for families to enjoy the benefits of active outdoor lifestyles.
The logistics of RVing are always complex. There is route planning, maintenance, park reservations, route booking, and stocking up with provisions. It is a good idea to plan ahead for any pandemic. Closures make it difficult to find a park or rest area on the move.
Consumer Reports has heard from campers who traveled this season that it is important to confirm that attractions you wish to visit are also open. Many shared stories about RV parks that took reservations, but closed nearby state parks or other attractions.
Many travelers recommend that you check with RV parks to verify their amenities. Some, such as restrooms, laundry facilities and convenience stores, may be closed. Ask about the rules surrounding social distancing. This can affect pool usage, camp fires, and playgrounds.
These restrictions vary from one region to the next, and will change throughout the year.
Types of motorhomes
There are three main types of motorhomes. Each class is identified with a letter. There are many sizes and prices within each class.
The vehicle structure that was used in the construction of the motorhome is called a class. Although there may be variations within a particular theme, all classes have the same accommodation and design compromises. Here is the most common breakdown.
Class A Large to medium RVs. These are bus-shaped models. Because the engine is in the rear, the class includes alternatives to Class C and large, luxurious coaches known as diesel pushers.
Class B:Camper vans based on a van. These RVs are usually the most expensive per foot. These RVs pack a lot in a small space, and are often built on a Mercedes-Benz platform. They have a spacious cabin and a smaller size, making them easier than large RVs to drive to shops, restaurants, and other attractions.
Class A: These use a cutaway chassis that combines a van-cab front with an RV shell, which typically includes an over the-cab sleeping area. The most affordable all-in one model, Class C is possible. Super C models are very expensive RVs that use this concept on a medium-duty truck platform.
There are a few big RV brands that dominate the market, including Jayco, Fleetwood and Forester River. But there are also many smaller brands.
Advanced RV’s unique Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van-based models are one of the many niche models. They don’t need to be plugged into for power. Mercedes offers a pop-up Metris camper van (shown below). Although it is not an RV, this van offers a cheaper entry to the van lifestyle. There are luxury brands like Newmar and Monaco that offer premium models.
You don’t have to choose a specific brand or model of motorhome. There are many options for floor plans and lengths. There are many interior options, including seating and entertainment.
This guide will assist you in making the right decisions when it comes to RV ownership.
Class A Motorhomes
The largest range of size and price is offered by Class A motorhomes. These motorhomes are spacious and offer a lot of space for their small size. Many motorhomes have slide sections that extend when the motorhome’s parked, creating a larger interior.
It can be difficult to choose a Class A due to the variety of floor plans and lengths available. You can find interior furnishings that look like a yacht cabin, or simple ones.
The majority of motorhomes at moderately affordable prices are built on a Ford chassis. This has historically meant using a V10 gas engine. However, 2021 models will be switching to the Ford platform and V8 engines. These rolling platforms are used by RV companies to build the living spaces. Motorhomes with larger dimensions often use large commercial chassis made by Freightliner and Spartan.
Other companies include the Tiffin brand, which is relatively inexpensive, and the high-end custom bus builders Newell and Prevost. They build their own frames and use engines from manufacturers like Cummins and Volvo.
You can choose from either a gasoline or diesel engine for your motorhome. Diesel engines are more expensive to maintain. You don’t need to worry about the sophisticated emissions systems required to clean modern diesel engines. Diesels have a higher fuel economy and more torque which can be useful for moving large boxes.
An RV engine can either be mounted in the rear or front. A Ford engine mounted in the front is a popular configuration for Class A models that are modestly priced.
Diesel pushers are generally the most luxurious and expensive models. They are quieter and can tow more than other models.
Safety depends on the features and design of an RV. The Class A motorhome’s driver’s section is not designed to meet the same safety standards as other types of motorhomes. While the front seats have shoulder- and lap belts for the driver, most other coaches have only lap belts. They can also face different directions.
Some Class A motorhomes now have advanced safety features. RVs have limited access to electronic stability control, automatic emergency braking (AEB), and forward collision warning (FCW) which are all recent innovations. Aftermarket FCW systems may be an option for motorhome owners.
How are they made? They are a box on wheels. The entire body and upper structure are built by the motorhome company. They then mount it on top of a frame and drivetrain components made by another manufacturer.
What size are they? They can be anywhere from 25 to 45 feet in length, but are usually between 30 and 36 feet in length. Some national parks have restrictions on the length of an RV.
How many people can they sleep in? They typically sleep between six and eight people.
What are their prices? Prices start at $90,000. Larger, more expensive models can go up to $400,000 and even higher. Some models, like the Newmar King Aire can be as high as a million dollars.
- Because of their shape and width, they offer the most space per foot of all motorhome types.
- There are many sizes, prices and finishes.
- If properly maintained, diesel pusher models have a long lifespan.
- You can have a lot of storage space.
- It is often difficult to park and drive a large vehicle.
- Although owners may wish to tow their car for convenience, it negates the benefit of not having to transport anything.
- You may not be able to fit it in smaller campsites.
- Fuel economy is relatively low
- Many seats do not have full seat belts, which include lap and shoulder belts.
- Diesel pushers with their components at the commercial bus level can be costly to buy and maintain.
There are many options for chassis, so it can be difficult to find parts for certain models as they age. A long-established company may be able to offer a model that is popular.
Class B Motorhomes
Although Class A and C motorhomes can be built in a variety of styles, Class B motorhomes tend to be more homogeneous. Because they are built entirely within a commercial van’s framework,
This structure limits the space you can use. The vans are typically less than 7.5 feet in width, which is a foot less than most RVs. They’re also much shorter. You won’t find big recliners or fake fireplaces in these accommodations.
However, the structure itself is a great help in terms of quality. The exterior is painted in the same way it came from Ford, Mercedes or Ram. This minimizes the risk of deterioration and leakage.
Motorhomes with Class B vans are safer than those with class A. All vans come with stability control and front airbags. The Mercedes comes with FCW (AEB), blind spot warning (BSW), lane keeping assistance (LKA) and FCW (ABB). The Class B vans are equipped with full-length seat belts that can hold up to seven passengers and have both front and side airbags. Because of their small size, they can often hold more passengers than they can sleep.
Although they are not the most spacious RVs, Class B vans excel at touring. They are sometimes called “traveling coaches” because of this.
They are used by some wealthy families to transport their children to soccer games. It’s not much more difficult than driving a minivan. You can fit them in most standard-sized spots and they will work in any campground.
A growing number of Class B+ models fill the gap between Class B+ and Class C by adding a shell to the cab.
How do they get built? Based upon a van body that was shipped by the vehicle manufacturer (Ford or Mercedes-Benz) or Ram.
What size are they? They are between 20 and 26 feet in length, but smaller than a minivan.
How many people can they sleep comfortably? Sometimes, four.
What is the cost of these RVs? These RVs are expensive due to their size, but they retain their value better than other RVs.
- It is very easy to park and drive.
- The RV with the best fuel economy; up to 20 MPG
- Durability is assured by full metal body construction right from the manufacturer.
- Advanced safety features are available.
- The best resale value for any type of property.
- There is not much space inside, so it usually sleeps only two people.
- There are few amenities available, such as small bathrooms and no ovens.
- They are expensive for their size.
- There are very few floor plan options.
You can choose from three vans once you have decided to go with a Class A. The majority of Class B motorhomes were built using Mercedes-Benz Sprinters over the past decade. However, in recent years, the front wheel-drive
Ram Promaster and Ford Transit have entered the market. Some motorhome manufacturers also use the Ford Transit.
Each has its pros and cons.
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has the longest body length and available four-wheel drive. It also features a diesel engine and a wide range of automotive-grade safety features. The van is well-known by most motorhome manufacturers, so there are many floor plans and brands available. Service can be costly because it is a Mercedes and dealers can be difficult to find in rural areas. Service and sales of Sprinters are also done by Freightliner dealers.
The Ram Promaster costs significantly less. Because it is front-wheel driven, it sits lower than the ground. This makes it easier to get in and out. There are many dealers and the Pentastar V6 engine is fairly inexpensive. It can be found in hundreds of thousands more Chrysler vehicles. The Promaster is shorter than the Sprinter and has a wider interior. A unrefined dual clutch transmission is used for the diesel engine.
The Ford Transit drives exceptionally well. The EcoBoost V6 engine, a 3.5-liter gasoline-powered EcoBoost V6 is a powerful powerhouse. New models include advanced safety features such as AEB or FCW. Rural areas have a vast Ford dealer network. The Transit is America’s best-selling van. This design is not often used by motorhome builders.
Class C Motorhomes
The cheapest option is the Class C motorhome. They are built on a “cutaway chassis” which means that the van’s front ends extend to the doors. The only visible framework is beyond that point. The RV manufacturers then build the interior and structure on top of that frame.
Many Class C motorhomes come with a “cabover” sleeping area. This is an extra bed that’s placed above the front seats. This is the roof bulge at the front. These are becoming more common in Class C motorhomes. They are sometimes called “Class B+” motorhomes for marketing reasons, even though they are structurally in Class C.
The majority of Class C motorhomes use a Ford E-Series cutaway chassis. It’s been a staple RV design for a long time. Only a few Class C motorhomes have the pickup truck’s front end. Because the truck’s engine is completely out front, the long hood makes it easier to fit in the cab.
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis is a popular choice for luxury compact Class Cs (aka Class B+s). These are becoming more and more popular with Class A owners who are looking to downsize. Although a few Class C motorhomes use the Ram Promaster chassis, it is limited to smaller coaches due to its lower payload capacity. Although the Ford Transit chassis is used by some manufacturers, it also has a lower payload than the Ford E-Series and can only accommodate smaller coaches.
The other way around, Super C motorhomes are built using medium-duty truck platforms just like larger moving trucks. These motorhomes have stronger frames and commercial-grade engines. They also have higher payload and towing ratings that other Class C motorhomes. They are also large and costly.
There are many floor plans to choose from, thanks to the wide range of lengths available. There are some high-end builders like Coach House, but most Class C motorhomes don’t offer the same luxury as Class A coaches.
How do they get made? The frame and front are taken from a truck or van, while the rest is constructed by an RV manufacturer. A Ford cutaway chassis is used with either a V10, or V8 engine.
What size are they? They are usually between 22 and 35 feet in length.
How many people can they sleep in? They can sleep between four and eight people.
What is the cost of these services? From $70,000 to $200,000.
- The cheapest way to buy a motorhome.
- The overhead bed increases sleeping space and keeps the length down.
- There are many floor plans to choose from.
- Motorhomes of less than 25 feet in length (or so) are easy to park and drive.
- Due to the “doghouse engine cover” that is installed on van-based models, cab area can become quite cramped.
- There are few options for moderately priced cab/engine options.
Motorhomes combine the best of both a truck and a home’s infrastructure and furnishings. Conduct a thorough investigation of any motorhome you’re considering–including whether it’s new–to make sure everything works before you leave the lot. Be prepared to take care of a motorhome.
Motorhomes are heavier than passenger cars, so they may not be subject to the same safety standards and not crash tested.
The different configurations of the benches seats (rear-facing or side-facing), are not recommended for cars seats or passengers. You can choose to travel in your own vehicle, or you can opt for a trailer and truck.