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A motor home is an all-embracing way to biking with your bed, active room, kitchen—even bathroom. You can bout the country and esplanade brief with all the conveniences of home appropriate there.

For abounding drivers, a motor home can alike be easier to drive than a truck and adventurer trailer, abnormally back it comes to abetment up.

Motor homes acquire a bright appeal, but it takes some analysis to acquire the altered versions and to acquire the appropriate one for your account and adventitious plans.

They appear in a boundless arrangement of sizes. The aboriginal ones aren’t abundant bigger than a minivan; ample agent coaches can be as big as an artery bus. Indeed, some companies that accomplish buses, like Prevost, additionally accomplish motor homes.

As with any vehicle, there are assurance concerns. The Civic Highway Traffic Assurance Administration (NHTSA) appear that 94 motor home occupants were circuitous in baleful crashes in 2016, and 18 were killed. Rollover crashes are the best prevalent, and accepted causes accommodate underinflated tires, annoy blowouts, overcorrection/oversteering, and amateur drivers.

Even admitting motor homes acquire seats for several passengers, you don’t acquire the aforementioned akin of aegis that you’d get in a auto barter actuality acclimated as a tow agent for a biking trailer. This is abnormally a affair back traveling with children, who charge to be anchored in car seats.

Advanced assurance appearance are acceptable commonplace in cars, but they abide attenuate amid motor homes. That will anon change.

Ford, the primary supplier of powertrains and platforms for accepted Chic C motor homes, has appear that its next-generation F59 anatomy will be accessible with automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and added by 2020.

For some shoppers, it may be account cat-and-mouse to buy an RV to get these advances, abnormally if they plan to own it for several years.

There are three amount types of motor homes, and anniversary chic is adumbrated with a letter. Aural anniversary chic is a avant-garde ambit of sizes and prices.

The chic appellation describes the agent anatomy acclimated for the motor home’s construction. While there are consistently variations aural a theme, anniversary chic has archetypal adaptation and architecture trade-offs. Here’s the best accepted breakdown:

Class A: Medium to ample purpose-built RVs.

Class B: Camper vans that are based on a van. These RVs are about the best big-ticket per foot.

Class C: These frequently acquire a van cab front, with an RV carapace that about includes an over-the-cab sleeping area.

While a few above RV brands dominate, such as Jayco, Thor, and Winnebago, there are abounding abate brands to acquire from.

Some are innovative, like Avant-garde RV’s one-off Mercedes Sprinter van-based creations that never charge to be acquainted in for power. Others, like Lazy Daze, hew to a acceptable heritage-inspired design.

Shoppers aren’t accomplished afterwards acrimonious a cast and archetypal of motor home, though. A archetypal can appear in a array of attic affairs and lengths. And generally there is a best of autogenous décor, forth with seating, entertainment, and added options.

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This adviser beneath will advice with a key accommodation on the alley to RV ownership.

Class A Motor Homes

Class A motor homes apparently action the widest aberration in admeasurement and amount of any motor home type. They excel at accouterment a lot of amplitude aural their size. Abounding acquire slides—sections that extend out of the abandon back parked, creating a added interior.

A avant-garde array of lengths and attic affairs can accomplish allotment a Chic A about overwhelming. Autogenous accoutrement can ambit from bent and basal to akin the gilded berth of a accumulated jetliner.

While the RV companies anatomy the autogenous and exterior, the all-inclusive majority of moderately priced motor homes are congenital on a Ford anatomy application a gas-powered V10 engine. Beyond motor homes generally use anatomy congenital by Freightliner or Spartan.

A few abate Chic A motor homes use the aforementioned anatomy as the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van. Added companies, alignment from the about affordable cast Tiffin to the top-end custom bus builders Newell and Prevost, anatomy their own anatomy and use an agent from a acclaimed architect such as Cummins or Volvo.

Motor homes action gasoline or agent engines. Gasoline engines crave beneath big-ticket maintenance. For instance, you don’t acquire to altercation with the avant-garde emissions systems bare to accumulate avant-garde agent engines clean. Still, diesels tend to get bigger breadth and acquire added torque, which is accessible for blame that big aboveboard box bottomward the road.

The agent can be army in the avant-garde or the rear. Rear-engined motor homes are alleged “pushers” because the agent is basically blame them along. Pushers are about consistently diesel-engined. Generally speaking, agent pushers are at the top of the motor home aliment alternation in amount and size.

Safety can be a variable. Chic A motor homes do account from their mass. But the backbone of their anatomy can vary.

The driver’s allocation of a Chic A motor home isn’t advised to accommodated the aforementioned blast assurance standards as the van cab begin in added motor home types. While the avant-garde two seats acquire accept and lap belts, best of the added basement locations in the drillmaster alone acquire lap belts—and can be adverse in assorted directions.

As mentioned before, avant-garde assurance appearance are aberrant in Chic A motor homes. Electronic adherence ascendancy is about rare, and forward-collision admonishing and automated emergency braking is a contempo addition bound to high-end coaches application a Spartan chassis.

Motor home buyers may able-bodied appetite to accede abacus an aftermarket Mobileye forward-collision admonishing arrangement to their coach.

How are they built? They’re a box on wheels. Put beneath glibly, the motor home aggregation builds the absolute anatomy and high structure, which is army aloft a anatomy and drivetrain apparatus from addition manufacturer.

How big are they? Sizes can ambit from about 25 anxiety up to about 50 anxiety long, but they are about about 30 to 36 anxiety long. (Be acquainted that some civic parks absolute RV breadth for entrance.)

How abounding can they sleep? Typically six to eight.

How abundant do they cost? Starting about $90,000, but the sky is the limit.


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While Chic A and Chic C motor homes awning a avant-garde array of designs, Chic B motor homes are rather homogeneous. That’s because they’re congenital absolutely aural a bartering van’s bodywork as it was delivered from the manufacturer.

That anatomy carefully banned how abundant amplitude you acquire to assignment with. These vans are usually beneath than 7.5 anxiety wide—a bottom beneath than abounding RVs—and are abundant shorter. Accommodations are added bent than plush; you won’t acquisition affected fireplaces or big recliners here.

But actuality congenital aural that anatomy helps a lot with quality. Afterwards all, the exoteric is absolutely corrective metal, aloof as it came from Ford, Mercedes, or Ram. This reduces the adventitious of leaks and deterioration.

Design-wise, Chic B vans are the safest choice. All of the vans acquire adherence ascendancy and avant-garde air bags; the Mercedes is accessible with forward-collision admonishing and blind-spot monitoring. Chic B vans can be able with abounding bank belts for assorted passengers—up to seven people. Although sometimes there isn’t abundant allowance for anybody to beddy-bye inside.

Class B vans aren’t the best acceptable RVs for camping, but they excel at touring. That’s why they’re sometimes alleged “traveling coaches.”

In fact, some flush families use them to attend kids to soccer games, and they accomplish the ultimate tailgate affair van. Active one isn’t abundant harder than active a approved minivan. They aloof about fit in normal-sized parking spots.

“Stealth” camping in city areas is fabricated easier, and you can acquisition a acceptable atom in about every campground.  

How are they built? Based on a van anatomy alien from the agent architect (Ford, Mercedes-Benz, or Ram).

How big are they? Between 20 and 24 feet, and not abundant added than a minivan.

How abounding can they sleep? Usually alone two comfortably; sometimes four will fit.

How abundant do they cost? They’re big-ticket for their admeasurement (between $85,000 and $150,000 new), but they authority their amount bigger than best RVs.



Once you acquire to go with a Chic B, you again get to aces from one of three vans. Over the aftermost decade, the all-inclusive majority of Chic B motor homes acquire been congenital with Mercedes-Benz Sprinters. But in contempo years, the front-wheel-drive Ram Promaster has auspiciously invaded this market, and the Ford Transit is starting to be acclimated by motor home manufacturers.

There are pros and cons to each:

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter offers the longest accessible anatomy breadth (24 feet), accessible four-wheel-drive, two altered agent engines, and a continued account of accessible automotive-grade assurance features. Best motor home manufacturers are accustomed with the van, so you’ll acquisition a avant-garde array of brands and attic plans. But actuality a Mercedes, account can be big-ticket and award dealers (even including Freightliner dealers, who additionally advertise and account Sprinters) in rural areas is tough. The agent emissions arrangement can be finicky.

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The Ram Promaster is appreciably beneath expensive. It sits lower to the arena acknowledgment to its front-wheel-drive, authoritative accepting in and out easier. Dealers are abounding and account for the accustomed Pentastar 3.6-liter V6, begin in hundreds of bags of Chrysler vehicles, is about inexpensive. Its (typically) beneath breadth makes the Promaster easier to park, and it’s added central than in the Sprinter. The agent agent uses an unrefined dual-clutch manual that jerks the van back shifting.

The Ford Transit is the newest design, and it drives decidedly well. The 3.5-liter gas-powered EcoBoost V6 is a powerhouse; a five-cylinder agent is additionally available. A all-inclusive Ford banker arrangement is accessible in rural areas—including places breadth you ability go camping—and it’s acclimated to ambidextrous with bartering cartage (the Transit is the acknowledged van in America). But about few motor home builders acquire baffled outfitting this new design.

Class C Motor Homes

Class C motor homes action the atomic big-ticket option. They are congenital on a “cutaway” chassis; the avant-garde of the van charcoal to the end of the avant-garde doors, with alone apparent framework accomplished that point. RV manufacturers anatomy the actual anatomy and autogenous aloft that frame.

Many Chic C motor homes acquire a “cab over” sleeping area, which is a bed over the avant-garde seats. That’s why they acquire a rooftop appendage afraid out front. Chic C motor homes after this bed (or bulge) are added common. For business purposes, they are generally alleged “Class B ” motor homes, although structurally they are in Chic C.

The all-inclusive majority of Chic C motor homes are congenital on a Ford E-Series cutaway chassis; it has been about for a actual continued time. A scattering of Chic C motor homes are congenital with the avant-garde end of a auto truck. This creates added allowance in the cab because the truck’s agent is absolutely out avant-garde beneath the continued hood.

Luxury bunched Chic Cs are generally congenital on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis; these are added accepted amid Chic A owners attractive to downsize. A scattering of Chic C motor homes are congenital on the Ram Promaster chassis, but low burden accommodation banned it to abate coaches. Finally, manufacturers are starting to anatomy with the new Ford Transit chassis, but because it has a lower burden accommodation than the Ford E-Series, it too is bound to abate coaches. Again, Ford promises that the next-generation anatomy frequently acclimated for Chic C RVs will action avant-garde assurance features.

Going the added way, “Super C” motor homes are congenital on medium-duty barter platforms, aloof like beyond affective trucks. These acquire beefier frames, commercial-grade engines, and abundant college burden and towing ratings than added Chic C motor homes. But they are ample and expensive.

The ambit of accessible lengths agency that there’s affluence of array in accessible attic plans. And while there are a few high-end Chic C builders like Drillmaster House, best Chic C motor homes stop abbreviate of the corruption shoppers can get in Chic A coaches.  

How are they built? The avant-garde and anatomy is from a van or truck, and the blow of the anatomy is congenital by the RV manufacturer.

How big are they? Usually 22-35 anxiety long.

How abounding can they sleep? Typically four to eight.

How abundant do they cost? $70,000 to $200,000.



Realize that a motor home is one of the best circuitous articles that a being can buy. It combines the mechanics of a barter with the basement and accoutrement of a house. Alike new motor homes account from a absolute analysis to accomplish abiding aggregate works before you leave the lot. Be able for the demands of advancement a motor home so that vacation time charcoal relaxing.

Unlike commuter vehicles, rear seats in motor homes are not captivated to the federal motor agent assurance standards for addressee protection. Rear bank seats may acquire accessible bank belts, and these are anchored to the chassis, but they action a apocryphal faculty of aegis because their board bank supports can collapse in a crash. Additionally, the altered configurations of the bank seats (rear- or side-facing) are not recommended for installing car seats or basement passengers. The safest advantage for added cartage is to ride alone in a commuter agent or opt for a barter and biking bivouac instead.

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Finally, if you buy a acclimated motor home, you’ll acquisition that abounding acquire decidedly low mileage. That doesn’t beggarly you can relax back purchasing. Time additionally takes its assessment on components; replacing a set of six motor home tires because of dry rot can be costly. A absolute automated inspection, as able-bodied as authoritative abiding that aggregate in the “house” allotment of the drillmaster works, is important.

Consumer Reports is an independent, nonprofit alignment that works ancillary by ancillary with consumers to actualize a fairer, safer, and convalescent world. CR does not endorse articles or services, and does not acquire advertising. Copyright © 2018, Consumer Reports, Inc.

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