Motor homes are a type of recreational vehicle (RV). They are mobile and are designed to be driven, not towed. They should not be confused with mobile homes, also known as trailers, which are meant to be towed to a permanent location as a fixed home. Other recreational vehicles include pop-up campers, travel trailers, and fifth wheels. Motor homes are generally divided into three classes, A, B and C.
A Class A motor home is between 21 and 40 feet long, and is also called a conventional motor home. Class A motor homes are built on bare, stripped down specially designed motor home chassis. Because of the roominess, Class As are known for the luxuries and options available in them. They are heavy, and may carry even more weight when optional slide-out rooms are added to the main design. The drawbacks to Class A motor homes are that their large size makes them more difficult to manuever, they get decreased gas mileage, and it is difficult to find a place roomy enough to park them. Also, the price can be pretty steep, with models generally starting out at £32,500 and going all the way up to £0.6 million at the extreme luxury level.
Class B motor homes are 16 to 21 feet long, and are often referred to as "van campers." Built on a van chassis or a converted panel truck, Class B motor homes are the least commonly sold of the three classes. While taking up no more room than a passenger van, the Class B is equipped with sleeping sections, cooking areas, and even very compact bathroom facilities.To give extra room for cabinets and storage, the roof is often raised on Class B motor homes. While space is at a premium, and Class Bs are seldom used for full-time RVing, their ease in maneuverability and relatively-low gas usage make them appealing for many RVers. Also, their price may be more in range for some buyers, ranging from £26,000 to £45,500 new.
The Class C motor home is 20 to 28 feet long, and sometimes referred to as a mini-motor home, or a scaled-down version of the Class A. It is built on a van frame, usually with the cab remaining intact, while an RV manufacturer will equip the living area. Class C motor homes are most easily identified by the full or queen-sized bed over the cab area. They may have slide-outs, though smaller than the ones found in a Class A. Prices range from £31,200 to £91,000 and get better gas mileage than the Class A. They are easily manoeuvred and don't generally require a tow-along car for short trips, a necessity for many Class A owners.
When deciding what type of motor home to purchase, consider where it will be used and for how long a period of time. If you will be spending long vacations in the RV, perhaps using it full time, or are considering an entire season in the motor home, a Class B might just be too small. However, if you are reluctant to drive a large vehicle, you should test drive a larger rig like a Class A before purchasing one to determine whether you can handle it. If you need more space than the Class B allows but a Class A is just too much, a Class C might be the right choice. If gas mileage is a concern, look at how well the vehicle does in this area. Certain differences can be found even within motor home classes, depending on the options and the weight of the vehicle. Determine the number of people you expect to be using the motor home at one time and decide whether you can all handle lots of togetherness. Consider renting a unit similar to the one you think you'd like to buy, to see how it might work for you.