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5 Critical Things to Think About Before you Purchase Class-A Motorhomes

/March 9, 2022

Class-A motorhomes are built using a very strong, heavy-duty frame. These frames are built on either a commercial bus chassis, a commercial truck chassis, or a motor vehicle chassis. However there are a few cons which need to be kept in mind before you plan to buy one. Some of them are mentioned below:

  • No Front Passenger Air Bags: In US, there is no requirement for manufacturers to install front passenger airbags. Since passenger and driver sit right behind the flat front with no crumple zones or air bags, they are extremely vulnerable in a head-on crash with either a moving object, be it another vehicle, a barrier in the road, or debris from a hurricane.
  • No Crash Testing: Its easy to check on automobile safety tests in all kinds of crashes. Not so in Class A’s.  What you can do, however is to check with each manufacturer, what kind of Front Driver and Passenger Cages they put in.  Some are better than others and people have been protected to some extent by these cages. But be sure to check.
  • Front End Damage Can be More Than You Expect. One of the folks who stores his large Class A diesel pusher near ours, accidentally stepped on the accelerator instead of the brake when backing up.  His driver side mirror caught a large steel beam that supported his covered parking spot. The mirror did not break off.  Instead the whole front end cap tore away from the bus. The damage was so extensive, that the insurance company totaled the vehicle.
  • Must Have Steering Stabilizer Bar- Make sure your rig has a front steering stabilizer bar. Some manufacturers put these in the diesel pushers, but not all.  And its rarer to find these bars in Class A gas coaches. If the coach doesn’t come with a factory installed one, put one in!  There are many brands and you are probably looking at a $200 dollar part including installation. Many of you, can do DIY ‘do it yourself’ although the springs calibration can be tricky and best left to a professional.

These stabilizers can truly save your life.  They function like a spring-loaded piston that goes between the two front wheels so that you have less wandering on bumpy roads. In the winds, they are absolutely necessary to keep you safe in a front tire blow out which can immediately jerk the steering wheel out of your hands. Class A’s have been known to careen across the road and flip over after a violent blow out. The steering stabilizer keeps the steering wheel coming back to the center under this condition, so you have good control even with a blown tire.

The first thing we do when we buy a new Class A is to put this stabilizer on. It’s worth its weight in gold. It makes your steering more stable, so a lot less back and forth motion, and it can save your life. See the following link for greater detail and some  good examples. https://rvwarriors.com/best-steering-stabilizer-for-class-a-motorhome/ (We only provide this information for educational purposes and have no relations with product or service  providers).


  • The Number and Steepness of the Entrance Steps. Class A’s can be very tall and they differ in their ground clearance.  Make sure you go up and downs the steps at least 10 times before you decide to purchase one of these.  Many of them have 6 fairly high steps you need to climb up before getting in side the coach.  My wife is relatively short at 5’1 and finds some of these steps daunting especially when bringing  in things like groceries.  On one of  our past coaches, the starting step was so high that we had to put a little step stool on the ground just to get onto the first step


Imagine your self climbing these steps over your next 2 years of camping and ask if this coach is the right one for you and your fellow travelers. Older RV’ers really need to pay attention to this factor.  My older brother just went though two unexpected knee replacements over the last 6 months.  It’s a good thing he doesn’t have a large Class A. He wouldn’t be able to navigate those steps for at least a year.


But we still love them!We have had three

Now, lest our readers think we are down on Class A’s, we are not.  They are the best home away from home motorized units for people who really want to travel and live in their coaches for long periods of time. You are on you second martini when the trailer folks around you are unhooking in the rain and putting their stabilizers down when all you have to do is push the button on your auto-leveler.


Also, Class A’s have the best and most panoramic views. But if safety is a real concern for you, look at some big Super C’s. Not as panoramic a view, but with a truck front end, they have most of the safety features of a modern automobile. My wife thinks she can aim a Super C better, because it gives her a better side to side visual perspective.


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