Class A motorhomes to avoid and why

6 Class A Motorhomes to Avoid and Why

Updated on February 6th, 2024

As you look around your neighborhood, more and more of your neighbors have RVs in their driveways. You and your family have been considering it for a while and decided to go with a big drivable. Before heading to the local RV dealer, here are some Class A motorhomes to avoid and why their features might not work for you.

Hardest to Drive Without ExperienceMarathon Coach
Tight Living Space For FamiliesThor Motor Coach Axis 24.1
Not Suited For Home WorkersNexus Bently
Most Difficult to Find a CampsiteNewmar King Aire
Small KitchenCoachmen Pursuit
Most Expensive Fuel CostsForetravel Presidential Series REALM

The best Class A motorhome for the money is the one that fits you best. Justifying buying a luxury Class A motorhome requires a lot of thought. We’ll walk you through RV consumers’ primary concerns when they determine if buying an RV is a good investment at this level. 

You’ll also learn about some motorcoaches people have passed up because specific characteristics don’t work for them. Most Class A motorhomes have excellent quality ratings, but finding the right coach that fits each person’s needs and wants is the biggest challenge for RV manufacturers. That’s why many brands, floor plans, and optional features exist. 

What to Know Before Buying an RV Like a Class A Motorhome

A selling class A RV from a manufacturer

There are different Class A motorhome levels, but generally, this category of RV chooses the comfort of features over affordability, drivability, and weight. Between the cockpit and the rear wall, you’ll have a plethora of features of residential-like sizes and quality. For a complete discussion about the category, learn what a Class A motorhome is and if it truly is right for you.

While we’re pointing out specific RVs that highlight characteristics many motorhome consumers are most concerned about, these issues can apply to many other choices on the market. The best way to learn which brand, floorplan, and features are right for you is to rent a few before heading to the RV dealership. Websites like Outdoorsy, RV-Ezy, and RVshare offer great deals.

You’ll gain first-hand knowledge from RVs owned by real people, not stripped-down fleets. Many owners offer additional features like outdoor furniture and setting up the coach for you. Owners will also walk you through the motorhome, show you how everything works, and be a phone call away if you have any questions.

During your camping trips, you’ll learn many things sitting around a campfire. Other RVers may talk about motorhome brands to avoid, the best Class A motorhomes, and what they think are the most reliable Class A motorhomes. Remember, everyone has an opinion and has had their own unique experiences. You’ll probably not hear the full story, so take everything with a grain of salt.

If you can, take a look at their motorhome. Even if it doesn’t interest you, a feature or customization might be worth checking out. You might learn something new. Campgrounds can be the best RV shows. 

RV Examples And Issues You May Want to Reconsider

Hardest to Drive Without Experience- Marathon Coach

Length45 feet
Chassis H3 Prevost Chassis 
EngineVolvo D13- 500 hp @ 1,850 lb./ft.
Fuel200 gallons

Prevost Bus Conversion motorhomes are the ultimate level of Class A motorhomes. New models can range in price from $750,000 to $3 million. Yet, a more affordable ten or 20-year-old model can stop the entire campground in its tracks as you drive by. It doesn’t matter if you have a version with slideouts or not; the luxuries of a Prevost conversion are breathtaking.

Like Marathon Coach, many different brands turn these 45-foot bus chassis into the RV world’s rolling mansions. Interiors feature the latest technology, like heated floors under stone tile, high-grade wood features, the best residential leather furniture, and gourmet-style kitchens. State-of-the-art electronics are now starting to turn these motorcoaches into smart rolling homes.

When cruising down the highway, it can feel like you’re floating on a cloud. The suspension will remind you of your Cadillac or Lincoln. The multi-point camera lets you see what’s behind you on both sides. The panoramic windows give you a clear view of the road and give you the whole perspective to enjoy the scenery as you travel through the various landscapes.

When it’s time to slow down, turn or back up, that’s when reality strikes. Turning a corner with a long motorhome like a Prevost takes practice. To turn the all-steel chassis and frame, it needs a wide arc. Other luxury Class A motorhomes make turning easier with a tag axle system on the rear wheels. 

If you have to have a Prevost Bus Conversion, enrolling in an online RV driving course is the best way to make the driving experience second nature. The experts who design these programs have over 20+ years in the industry. Class A motorhomes don’t require a CDL, but the instructors will teach you some of the best driving techniques professional drivers use.

Before you head out on your RV adventure, find an empty commercial parking lot to practice your newly learned skills. Bring your mobile device so you can review the lessons since you’ll have unlimited access to the videos online. Bring some plastic trash cans with you to act as training cones. Just don’t bring your best buddy; those might be stories you’d rather not have publicized.

Tight Living Space For Families- Thor Motor Coach Axis 24.1

Length25.6 feet
Chassis Ford E-Series
Engine7.3L V8 Godzilla- 430 hp @ 475 lb./ft.
Fuel55 gallons

Do you know those romantic moments where you brush up against each other? It’s great when it’s intentional, but when you have to play the human version of the sliding puzzle game to move around your RV, it can quickly ruin the RV experience. 

RV manufacturers have made impressive advances with motorhomes under 30 feet, but you can’t break the laws of physics. Engineers develop innovative solutions for various essential components to compensate for the smaller size. For example, instead of a dinette, a sofa will have a pedestal table that becomes a dining or work surface.

Small Class A motorhomes are the most affordable, have enough sleeping space for families, and come with many of the same features as their bigger siblings. Small Class A motorhomes get the best gas mileage in the category and are easier to drive.

The Thor Motor Coach Axis 24.1 has a decent center aisle. If you’re setting up dinner for four, you’ll have to be creative moving around. With the double pedestal table set up in front of the sofa, and the flip-up counter space blocking the entry space, it’s best to have everyone positioned. You’ll need folding chairs in the center aisle so everyone can sit at the table.

The corner shower fits between the commode and sink well enough so you can get in and out in a side-step motion. You will have enough room once you’re inside, though. As an entry-level weekender, the Axis 24.1 has an adjustment period. 

Not Suited For Home Workers- Nexus Bently

Length35.10- 38.10 feet
Chassis Spartan K1 Chassis
Engine6.7L Cummins B Inline 6- 360hp @ 800 lb./ft.
Fuel100 gallons

RV rental companies and dealerships see coaches with RV workspaces fly out the door faster than any other units. Even though manufacturers have backlogs, their new designs focus on RV with desks and additional office space considerations. Most motorhomes have been ahead of the curve for years in this respect. 

Since the 1990s, the co-pilot side of the dashboard came with a pull-out tray or fold-out table. As laptops became more popular, these motorhome computer workstations became wired up with 110v outlets and evolved into USB charging ports. Fifth wheels and travel trailers only recently started seeing these features and people found that working from home wasn’t restricted to the sticks and bricks definition.

One of the RV makers born out of the 2008 Financial Crisis, Nexus RV, used this transition period from the Neo Classic Era (1990-2007) to the Modern Age (2008-Present) as their time to launch into the industry. The company started in the Class C and Super C category but soon followed up with their first diesel Class A Motorhome.

The Nexus Bently has a sleek exterior, a rugged steel frame, and a luxury-level interior. The 34B provides a top-quality king-size bed, split bathroom, galley-style kitchen, and dual slide-out front room. If you prefer a motorhome with a bath and a half, the 38B moves the shower to the rear bathroom giving you an extra closet space.

If you’re looking for a motorhome you can work from, the Bently might not make your shortlist. This motorhome is one of the few that doesn’t come with a designated RV workspace. You could work from the dinette, but you’ll find that the table isn’t in an ergonomically correct position. A desk accessory at the end of the table and an office chair may help.

If you and your spouse, partner, or traveling companion are both working on the road, you may find it challenging to have your own space. There is enough room to use a lift lid coffee table in front of the sofa, as long as you know how you will store it while you’re traveling. Lift lid tables are great for extra storage.

Most Difficult to Find a Campsite- Newmar King Aire

Newmar king aire a class A RV
Length44.11 feet
Chassis Spartan K3 Tag Axle Chassis
Engine15L Cummins X15- 605 hp @ 1,950 lb./ft.
Fuel200 gallons
Sleepup to 4 people

There are many different levels of campgrounds. The best-sized RV for national parks is 30 feet since most campsites measure that long. The average size length of campsites for private campgrounds ranges from 25-35 feet. Many can accommodate 40 feet RVs. When you’re pulling in with a high-end 45-footer like the Newmar King Aire, you will find that many campgrounds can’t accommodate your RV.

Of course, this applies to practically every 45-footer, but this model is quite popular and has personally impacted the people I know. It doesn’t mean it’s not an amazing RV; just keep in mind that you’ll have difficulty finding space to park it!

Luxury RV resorts are tailor-made for this level of motorcoach. For around $150 a night, you’ll have a paved campsite to pull into with well-maintained utility hookups. Hookups will also include cable and high-speed internet that doesn’t lag, no matter how busy the connection is. The landscaping has country club-style grooming and incredible scenery. 

Don’t forget to bring your golf cart, because the resort has plenty to do at the clubhouse. You’ll find a grocery store, fitness center, pool, and many other amenities. Top-end resorts like this rival some of the best hotels in the world. The only difference is that you bring your suite with you.

RV resorts aren’t as numerous as mid-level KOAs and privately-owned campgrounds. There could be some nights where you end up boondocking in a commercial parking lot due to limited options. If you want a luxury Class A motorhome but also want to keep your camping options open, plenty of 40-foot models are available.

Small Kitchen- Coachmen Pursuit

When RV engineers design floorplans, fitting all of the features into the designated space is the most challenging part. Often, master beds become smaller for bathroom space, or living room sofas become two-seaters, so dinettes allow people to eat comfortably. In the case of the Coachmen Pursuit, we see the kitchen counter space give up inches.

Coachmen does a great job overall as an entry-level motorhome, but only two of the six models have galley-style kitchens with plenty of space to work. The other four use an L-shaped corner or diagonal configuration. To add space, the Pursuit does come with stove and sink covers. If your Class A motorhome doesn’t, there are plenty of aftermarket accessories you can pick up that work just as well. 

If you happen to be using the stove and sink during meal prep, the dinette table has plenty of space. You can also purchase portable kitchen islands. These movable islands are great for additional storage or holding that portable dishwasher you’ve wanted for your RV. If counter space is a big priority, look for a galley-style motorhome or a longer version.

Most Expensive Fuel Costs- Foretravel Presidential Series REALM

Length45 feet
Chassis Spartan K4 Chassis
Engine15L Cummins X15 Inline 6- 605 hp @ 1,800 lb./ft.
Fuel200 gallons

The Cummins X15, which’s in the Foretravel REALM, is a 6-cylinder engine, but it’s nothing like the engine in your passenger vehicle parked in your garage. The cylinder heads are roughly the size of your head. Cummins sells these engines to heavy-duty farm equipment manufacturers, heavy construction equipment, and other industries. Using 15 liters to keep it going, you can expect about 4 or 5 miles per gallon.

The average MPG for a motorhome is 7-13 mpg. Diesels usually have a higher fuel efficiency than gassers. If you have the V10 Ford Triton or the V8 Ford Godzilla, you’ll average around 6-8 miles per gallon. The smaller 6.7L Cummins B can hit the double digits if the motorcoach is light enough. The heavier the motorhome, the lower the fuel efficiency.

No matter which level of Class A motorhome you choose, fuel will be one of your highest expenses on every trip you take. Maintaining an 80-gallon tank at seven mpg (gasser) or a 100-gallon tank at ten mpg (diesel) can be more manageable than the big beasts with the most horsepower.

Why do RVs Have so Many Problems?

Class A RV has many problems

There are over 200 RV manufacturers around the world. RVs need maintenance, whether you have a 27-footer, 45-foot luxury liner, or even a rebuilt vintage motorhome from the 1960s. Experts agree that if you perform a preventive maintenance routine 2-3 times a year, you can avoid over 90% of the most common problems. 

If you look into the problems you hear around the campfire, a significant amount of them may boil down to improper care. When you go to the RV dealership, make sure you take an RV inspection checklist with you to look the coach over. Keep the checklist on your computer, so you can print out fresh copies each time you go through your maintenance routine. 

The list will make sure you don’t miss anything, allow you to keep a record of everything you’ve done through the years, and help with other matters. Years later, if you decide to sell your unit, buyers will want to see your maintenance records to know what you’ve done and the RV’s overall condition. These records will help you when it comes time to negotiate the selling price.

READ: 5 RV Brands to Buy and Why

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Class A RV Life: Keep Hitting Problem After Problem (Video)

2 thoughts on “6 Class A Motorhomes to Avoid and Why”

    1. Depends on model and year. They have been made since 2002 to now and range from 35 ft to 45 ft with 1 or 2 to 4 slides. Some have Cat engines, some have Cummins. Some are built on Freightliner chassis, some on Powerglide and I think some on Spartin.

      I have owned two and was happy with both.

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