In this blog post, we will answer the following question: How wide are most Class A motorhomes? We will show you the dimensions of a Class A motorhome and discuss what the living area contains. We will also discuss whether Class A motorhomes are too big and if perhaps you should consider a different RV class.
How wide are most Class A motorhomes?
Class A motorhomes are usually 8 to 8.5 feet in width. Class A motorhomes are the largest of the motorized RVs. It is a luxurious motorhome built entirely on a simple chassis explicitly designed for this type of vehicle.
Class A Motorhomes Dimensions (comparison chart)
|Criteria||Class A Motorhomes||Class B Motorhomes||Class C Motorhomes|
|Length||29’ to 41’||18’ to 19’||26’ to 36’|
|Width||8’ to 9’||6’ to 6’5’’||8’ to 9’|
|Height||10’ to 12’||8’ to 9’||10’ to 12’|
|Weight (lbs)||12, 000 to 20,000||5,000 to 7,000||16,000 to 30,000|
Are Class A motorhomes too big?
Although 40-foot motorhomes offer a better view of the landscape and the possibility of monitoring traffic flows more easily, it is more difficult to drive a vehicle of this size.
The first thing you must do before turning the ignition key is to place a sticker on which you will have written the vehicle’s height, width, and length.
This will prevent you from leaving the nasturtium on the roof of the first underpass you find, but you should also know that the risk can come from the branches of trees, the sides of a mountain road or the balconies that line a narrow street and that are not marked on the panels.
Despite having large rear-view mirrors and a panoramic windshield, visibility is far from perfect. There are always dark areas on the sides. At some crossings, only the passenger, next to the driver, will tell you if the road is clear.
Nor is it easy to appreciate the entire length of the motorhome. Also, to carry out a manoeuvre (reversing in particular), it is necessary, in the absence of a backup camera, to be guided by someone outside the vehicle, watching the rear and everything outside the field of vision of the vehicle.
Travelling with an RV is a unique experience as it provides a fantastic feeling of freedom. But driving a car that pulls one of these houses on wheels is not trivial.
Differences in the vehicle’s response to acceleration, braking and cornering speeds due to the extra weight and increased aerodynamic drag make it necessary to drive particularly cautiously.
The living area and facilities of a Class A motorhome
From one type of motorhome to another, the living areas are practically interchangeable. The spaces are open there, except for the bedrooms (equipped with curtains or removable partitions) and the bathroom / WC part (these are often integrated into the bathroom):
- The cabin: the cockpit is linked to the cabin (to the living area) via the swivelling and/or reclining road seats. They bring 2 additional places if you receive guests.
- The kitchen: 3 configurations: straight kitchen, L-shaped or inverted L (opposite direction of travel). It is composed of:
- a 2 or 3-burner hob (gas), a sink + worktop, a three-energy refrigerator (gas, 12V or 220V), a freezer, sometimes freezer;
- of storage: cutlery drawers, slides, turntable, cupboards…;
- options: extractor hood, internal 230V socket (s), microwave, oven, etc.
- The bathroom and the toilets: these can be 2 separate rooms (for longer motorhomes). WC: chemical toilet with removable cassette or flushing water (in 12 V). The bathroom has:
- a shower: preferably separated from the WC by a door or a curtain, sink, shower tray, taps, mirror (s) …;
- accessories (or options): slatted floor, console (for utensils, soap, shampoo, etc.), cupboards, towel rack, clothesline.
- The living room can be straight or L-shaped: generally with two benches, circular or rectangular table, an extra bed (quite rare on class A though). It contains a television: reserved cupboard, articulated mobile arm, 12 V socket (s).
- Storage: cupboards and/or wardrobe (s) throughout the living area and outdoor chests: to store ancillary items (electrical cables, tools, etc.), for various accessories (gas bottles, boiler, battery (s) cell, etc.).
- The bedroom: the permanent bed is almost always at the back of the vehicle. It contains a large trunk (accessible from inside and/or outside). It can be positioned laterally, transversely, or even in the centre of the chamber. Some models also offer twin beds:
- The permanent bed ranges from 1.85 to 2 m long and 1.3 to 1.4 m wide.
- The 10 to 13 cm thick mattress is quite comfortable on most models.
- The base is slatted, sometimes composed of a wooden plate.
Class A motorhome special features
The three essential differences between a Class A and a Class B or caravan, are its external height, the positioning of the second bed (or the extra bed) and its profile:
- The profile of the cell: the passenger compartment of the carrier is completely bounded because the cell includes the vehicle up to its dashboard and its engine. A Class Therefore does not inherit the “nose” of its carrier vehicle.
- Dimensions: The height of a Class Ais generally between that of a section and an overcab: It oscillates between 2.8 and 2.95 m high. As for the width and length, they vary according to the models for the 3 types of the motorhome (on average, the width of a motorhome varies from 2.15 to 2.35 m, and its length from 6 to more than 9 m).
- The additional bed: The drop-down bed: on Class A, the additional bed is called a “drop-down bed” because it is located above the cabin. It can be retracted by means of articulated arms often assisted by hydraulic jacks. For vehicles of higher standing, it is motorized.
How hard is it to drive a Class A RV?
Driving a Class A RV is definitely harder than driving a regular car, Class B or C RVs. Class A RVs are impressive in size. They can even become intimidating for someone used to driving a simple passenger car.
No matter the size or type of your RV, know that you won’t need a particular driver’s license to drive one. Indeed, a simple Class B driver’s license issued to all passenger vehicle drivers will also allow you to drive a motorized RV or tow a small RV with your vehicle or an SUV or even a larger one with a van or a pickup.
But driving a Class A RV requires a certain degree of skill so as not to endanger your life and the lives of others on the roads. Your safety depends on your type of driving, depending on the circumstances!
- Don’t underestimate blind spots: First, due to their size (some can get to 45’) Class A RVs obviously have more pronounced blind spots than for a regular passenger vehicle – much sharper than you would expect or suspect.
That is, those cars passing you on the highway, you will lose sight of them for a long time. If a lane change seems necessary, take the time to complete the manoeuvre safely so as not to corner an unfortunate motorist who has taken too long to leave your blind spot.
- The wind factor: When we refer to a Class A RV, we also refer to a beautiful large surface that lets itself be manhandled by the winds. In a surprise squall, if you don’t grip the steering wheel properly, you could end up in the other lane.
A good way to reduce the wind effect? Slow down. Either way, you’re in no rush, you’re on vacation … And your wallet will thank you for every mile of reduced speed, as you’ll cut your fuel bill even further.
- Slow down when taking a curve: Take turns at low speed and while manoeuvring, do not use a sudden steering wheel. Otherwise, you risk losing control.
“Do the signs indicate 60 mph?” Enter the curve at 55 mph, enough time to tame your RV and see how it behaves. Even for the first few rides, we recommend reducing your speed below the legal limits. Otherwise, it becomes stressful for everyone on board.
- Pay attention to height signs: This is perhaps the biggest challenge of driving an RV: watch out for electric wires. And at the height allowed for the bridges. And branches, both along roads and in campsites. It may sound obvious, put it like that, but remember to ban … underground parking lots.
- A cheatsheet – in meters and feet: Certainly, whoever has been piloting an RV for years has the necessary reflexes to prevent, among other things, the air conditioning unit from being torn from the roof – a component that is very expensive to repair or replace, note well.
If you are a novice, however, you should keep a checklist handy indicating the length, width and height of their RV … in meters, but also in feet, if you plan to walk south of our borders.
- Braking smoothly, please: Whoever is driving a Class A RV (up to 25,000kg – that’s 55,000 pounds!), knows that the braking distances are much, much greater than for a car or even a utility van.
So give yourself all the feet you need to come to a smooth stop – if only to avoid messing around in the back of personal belongings in cupboards and drawers.
- When parking: ask for help! In the parking lots of shopping centres or rest areas, give yourself a little chance: park away from buildings and heavy traffic, so as to give yourself leeway that will always be welcome. As much as possible, park the nose of the RV towards the exit, which will prevent you from reversing.
Do you doubt your parking manoeuvre? Get out of the vehicle and check the situation firsthand. And don’t be embarrassed to ask a second set of eyes to assist you. But… Make sure that this person remains visible in your mirrors throughout the reversing manoeuvre!
FAQ on How wide are most Class A motorhomes?
Which is easier to drive, Class A or C?
The difference in size between Class A and Class C RVs makes the difference in this case. Class A motorhomes can be 40 feet long (thus more challenging to manoeuvre), while Class C motorhomes generally cut around 28 feet! When it comes to driving comfort, Class C RVs are easier to navigate.
How fast can you drive a Class A motorhome?
How fast you can drive a Class A motorhome will depend on the size of the vehicle, and frankly, on which state you are going in. On average, the recommended speed for a Class A motorhome is between 60 to 65 mpg.
What is the best size motorhome to buy?
The best size motorhome to buy will depend on your needs and expectations: How many people are going to travel with the RV? Are you going to use it often enough or just for a few weeks/year? How much space do you actually need and what can you sacrifice?