Class A motorhome
Constructed on either a commercial truck chassis, a specially designed motor vehicle chassis, or a commercial bus chassis, a Class A motorhome resembles a bus in design and has a flat or vertical front end and large windows. In 1989, the addition of slideouts dramatically changed the industry because they allow a wider living area, provided that the vehicle remains completely stationary during their extension outwards.
A diesel pusher motorhome is typically a Class A that is powered by a diesel engine mounted in the rear of the RV.
- Class A motorhomes are the most luxurious and offer the most amenities.
- Slideouts offer more space
- Living quarters are easily accessible from cockpit
- Their size makes them hard to maneuver
- Poor fuel economy due to their boxy shape.
- Poor safety
- Requires a special license or endorsement to be operated in some jurisdictions.
- American Coach
- Forest River
- Holiday Rambler
- Newell Coach
- Thor Motor Coach
Defunct or Exited Segment
- Blue Bird
- Country Coach
- CT Coachworks
- Firan Motor Coach
- Georgie Boy
- Gulfstream Coach
- Travel Queen
- Travel Supreme
- Triple E
- Vogue Motor Coach
- Western RV
Class B motorhome (campervan)
Built using a conventional van, to which either a raised roof has been added or the back replaced by a low-profile body (aka coach-built). In Australia, a Class B motorhome is quite distinct from a campervan, as it is based on a very large van that is, in turn, based on a truck. These motorhomes weigh up to 4500 kg and measure up to 6.4m in length. Popular vehicle makes include the Ford Trader and Isuzu NPR 300.
Most Australian campervans are based on much smaller vehicles such as the Toyota HiAce, while the middle ground is now populated by larger vans that blur the definition of campervan or motorhome. These include the Ford Transit, Mercedes Benz Sprinter, Fiat Ducato, and Iveco.
In the United States and Canada, class B motorhomes are built on several different chassis depending on the motorhome manufacturer and engine design aims. Common chassis include the Mercedes Benz Sprinter diesel, the Dodge Ram Promaster gas, the Chevrolet Express gas, and the Ford Transit gas and diesel.
Current Manufacturers for the US and Canada markets
- Leisure Travel
- Midwest Automotive Designs
- Pleasure Way
Class B+ motorhome
A recent invention, a class B+ motorhome is a hybrid between a class B motorhome and a class C motorhome. These motorhomes are either built on a truck or van chassis. They usually include a “cab-over” section. They also include many amenities that a class C motorhome has, including a refrigerator, microwave, sofa/table, and dishwasher. The bath area is also bigger, usually not a wet bath. Although not common, some of these motorhomes include a closed bedroom. These RVs usually hold two people, yet some hold four.
Class C motorhome
A Class C motorhome is built upon a minimal truck platform with a forward engine and transmission connected by driveshaft to a rear axle that propels dual-mounted rear wheels. Class C motorhomes are typically powered by gasoline (petrol) engines, although some have been converted to run on propane (autogas) while others use diesels. Transmissions are almost always automatic. The original chassis is equipped from the truck factory to the coach builder with an attached forward cab section that is van or conventional truck based (known as a cutaway chassis). In North America, the Ford E350 or E450 chassis are the most typical in the 21st century, while in prior times the Dodge/Ram and Chevrolet/GMC chassis were also used. Some smaller micro motorhomes were produced on Nisaan and Toyota platforms from 1972-1994, toyota motorhomes continue to have a strong following. Some very large Class C motorhomes are based on even larger truck platforms, such as the Ford F650 and Freightliner XC chassis. In Europe, Ford and Fiat manufacture the majority of Class C motorhome chassis.
The rigid outer weatherproof superstructure of a Class C motorhome (attached onto the original cab and chassis) was typically constructed of a wooden frame covered by sheet metal, but in recent decades such materials as fibreglass, plastics, composites, and lightweight metals have become the norm. With the introduction of slideouts, the earlier design notion of increasing interior space by lengthening the entire motorhome (thus escalating the purchase price) gave way to new designs that offer increased width (albeit only possible in a completely stationary vehicle) while no longer requiring additional length.
Class C motorhomes are characterized by a distinctive cab-over profile, containing either an upper sleeping area, a storage space, or a TV/entertainment section. In the UK, the cab-over is known as a Luton peak or Luton body. A Class C motorhome is equipped with a kitchen/dining area featuring a refrigerator/freezer, a propane range (sometimes with an oven), a microwave oven, and a table with seating. It also has a lavatory with bath/shower, and has one or more sleeping areas as well as additional seating towards the front. An air conditioner, a water heater, a furnace, and an outside canopy are usually included. Optional equipment available at additional expense typically includes a generator set and roof-mounted solar power panels.
A sub-category of Class C motorhomes is the toy hauler, which combines a typical configuration with additional enclosed space aft dedicated to hauling dirt bikes, bicycles, ATVs or the like. Class C motorhomes often feature a towing hitch enabling the pulling of a light weight trailer such as for boats, or of a small car or truck. Class C motorhomes may also be referred to in some places as mini-motorhomes.
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