I recently asked a few salesmen at RV lots about the preferences of buyers. I asked what style of RV buyers tend to stick with, and which styles they see buyers return and change from.
The salesmen I talked to all said the same thing. If you buy a Class C, you’re extremely likely to come trade it in for a Class A. If you already have a Class A, it’s rare that you’ll see that buyer ever switch. If you’re reading this and aren’t quite sure what a Class A is, read this article I wrote that explains everything you need to know.
Over Two Dozen Reasons Why Buying a Class A RV Just Makes Sense
There are many great reasons to choose a Class C. But the fact is that most motorhome buyers tend to choose the Class A (at least according to the two salesmen I talked to, who have been selling for over 5 years each).
Another signal is looking at full-time RVers. The vast majority of full-timers are buying Class A Motorhomes over the Class C. That certainly isn’t to say that there aren’t many who choose the Class C, but it appears that the majority of people living full time in RVs are buying Class A RVs.
Purchasing a Class A RV is a significant investment that requires a lot of time and research. One way we recommend doing your due diligence is trying one before you make a purchase. RVShare is a great way to try a Class A RV for your next camping trip.
Most Class C motorhomes do not have automatic leveling because they are lower to the ground and the automatic jacks take up too much room below the coach, which limits clearance. There are some that have the feature, such as some of the Jayco models, but it’s rare.
In contrast, nearly every Class A being produced today has automatic leveling. This is a major factor for me since leveling and stabilizers has been one of the most cumbersome parts of owning my travel trailer.
Spacious Seating in the Driving Area
A Class C has the width of a truck, but the actual box of the living area is much wider. This means when you’re driving, you’re stuck in an area that isn’t as wide as on a Class A. To me, the driving area on a class C is too squishy–especially when you consider the dog house.
Full Underbelly Storage
Buying a Class A RV makes sense because when it comes to storage, there is no comparison. Class A RVs have far more storage than on a Class C because the Class C is lower to the ground.
That isn’t to say that there aren’t Class Cs with lots of storage, however. For me personally since I roadtrip in my RV but don’t live in it full time, I have MORE than enough storage already. But more never hurt!
Four Season Weather Proofing
Without question, there are Class Cs which are excellently prepared for winter camping. However, they are more the exception than the rule.
Most Class Cs have their dump valves and pipes extending open below the coach. This is an obvious freezing point. I don’t recall seeing a Class A that doesn’t have the dump valves and pipes tucked up in an insulated compartment.
The largest Class C motorhomes are usually 35′ long. The very longest Class C is the Jayco Seneca at 39′ 1″, but that is definitely an anomaly. Most Class C motorhomes are in the 27-32′ range.
Class A RVs can get much larger. The longest Class A is the Gulf Stream Constellation at 45′. Don’t expect to fit in any national park campsites at that length! But the average Class A is in the 35-40′ range.
While a Class A RV is taller and therefore more likely to face problems in the wind and with rollover, the Class C has a huge cup-shaped cab-over that is terrible for forward-facing aerodynamics. This creates much more wind noise and problems going down the road.
Many Class C motorhomes use a rubber ceiling, which is more likely to face durability problems down the road. Most Class A motorhomes, on the other hand, use fiberglass roofs. There are plenty of exceptions both ways, but in general, Class As have better roofs.
A class A basically just starts as a steering column, engine, and a long chassis. A Class C comes as basically a truck with no bed in the back. The Class A chassis is sturdier–very much like a semi.
One of the Biggest Reasons Why Buying a Class A RV is Smarter
When I researched everything I wanted to know about RV depreciation, I discovered that Class C motorhomes lose value faster than Class A motorhomes. There can be plenty of exceptions to that. I asked a few salesmen who said that Class C motorhomes usually sell very quickly because they are at a lower price point that many travel trailer buyers can stretch for.
However, in general, I see a slightly lower percentage depreciation on used Class A compared to Class C motorhomes. To learn more about RV depreciation and what it looks like for different types of RVs, read this article that I wrote.
The most annoying part of a Class C in my opinion is the visibility in the driver’s seat. The cab over portion blocks the top of your view, you can’t see to the sides behind you because the box of the living area is wider than the driving area, and you’re low to the ground.
Buying a Class A RV feels like a better move because driving a Class C feels a lot like driving through a tunnel. In a class A, I feel like I’m in the Millenium Falcon with windows everywhere around me.
Wasted Living Area
It’s no surprise that Class A RVs are larger. But they also don’t have wasted living space. In a Class A, the driver’s and passenger’s chairs usually spin around to become comfortable living room chairs. This enlarges the living room, provides extra seating, and wastes less area.
In a Class C, the driver and passenger chairs are usually lower and constrained by tight side walls that cover part of the back of the chairs. This makes them dead space once you’re parked and living. This is a significant reason to choose a Class A, in my opinion.
Wasting 7 feet of the length of the vehicle (hood to the end of the driving chairs) just for driving without providing any living area is a significant drawback.
Because the front windshield is so huge, it’s more fun for the passengers in the coach who can still clearly see out the front windshield. On a Class C, riders can’t see much out the front.
Washer and Dryer
There are some Class C motorhomes that have washers and dryers, but they are very few and far between. If you want a washer/dryer, then a Class A will probably be the right choice for you.
Moving Between Driving/Living Areas
In a Class A, it’s much easier to move between the driving area and the living area. Just spin around your chair or walk between the driving chairs and you’re there! In a Class C, it’s a hunched over, climb over the dog house ordeal to get to the living area.
Class Cs are notorious for problem with leaks in the cab-over portion of the RV. Buying a Class A makes more sense because this is obviously not an issue.
The ride on a Class A motorhome is much smoother than on a Class C. Riding in a Class C feels a lot like driving a Uhaul (since that’s basically what it is), whereas a Class A is more like riding in a city bus.
Heating and Cooling
Class A motorhomes typically have two air conditioning units, while most Class C motorhomes have only one. Even considering the larger size of the class A, there is more air conditioner compared to the interior size on a typical Class A motorhome.
Larger Tanks for Water, Gas, Black, and Gray
Since more people are living in Class A RVs compared to Class Cs, the tanks are generally significantly larger in a Class A. This is also due to available space in the underbelly.
Conclusion on Buying Class A RVs
The Class A is far from a perfect choice for any camper. But for me personally, the benefits of buying a Class A RV outweigh the drawbacks when compared to a Class C. Hope this overview was helpful!