A-class motorhomes

MMM editorial

The Verdict

A-class motorhomes are considered by many to be at the top of the motorhome tree. They are seen as the cream of motorhomes but, whilst many sit at the luxury end, there are also a growing number of more affordable and lighter options now available. For example, it is not uncommon to now find A-class motorhomes under 3.5-tonnes, which means they can be driven by anyone with a normal car driving licence. Costs vary widely and the sky is the limit on what you can pay for a fully bespoke A-class.

At a glance

The pros and cons of A-class motorhomes are:

  • Better cab integration into rest of motorhome
  • Drop-down bed offers flexibility
  • Often improved insulation
  • Many are flagship models, so have amazing furnishings and specification levels
  • Many have huge garages, some large enough for a small car
  • Replacement windscreens can be very expensive
  • Can feel wide on the road
  • May come with only one or no cab doors
  • Many weigh more than 3.5 tonnes, so check your licence entitlements before buying
  • As these motorhomes are at the top end of the market, they often come with correspondingly high price tags

Full details

There's a huge range of sizes and layouts, giving a massive variety to the A-class range. If you're serious about owning an A-class, make sure you have a good, long test drive early on, so you can decide whether you're comfortable driving something this big.

Once you get used to the cab being the same width as the body you'll be fine, but not everyone likes the driving position, being too far inset into the cab walls.

Most A-class motorhomes utilise only the chassis and mechanical parts, the rest comes from the motorhome manufacturer. This means the whole shape can vary wildly from one manufacturer to the next.

As with most of the industry, A-classes are invariably built on the Fiat Ducato chassis, although befitting of this higher end of the market, you can find Mercedes-Benz base vehicles and, on larger 'Liners', you can find MAN and Iveco base vehicles in use.

As you would expect, many A-class motorhomes weigh between 3.5 and seven tonnes, so check your licence entitlements before committing. However, several manufacturers including Hymer now produce A-class motorhomes under the magic 3.5-tonnes. If you're attracted by one of these, check the payload is sufficient for your needs.

 

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There's also that huge A-class windscreen, which has its own benefits and flaws. It offers you a fantastic view, whether on the road or on site, but can cost a fortune to replace if you get a chip.

Insulation is also one benefit of an A-class, as you benefit from a fully insulated coachbuilt motorhome all around you, though the windows are a major source of heat loss.

The full width cab often also offers better integration from driving to living, and makes the cab feel more a part of the motorhome. This means A-class motorhomes often feel more spacious inside and have a more luxurious feel – something that is enhanced by the higher quality of fixtures and fittings that manufacturers install as standard in what for many are their flagship models.

Unlike the rest of the body styles, it's unusual to find a British A-class. Most of the mainstream UK manufacturers have produced an A-class model at some point, but not for long – with most models being discontinued just a year later.

It's also worth noting that a few manufacturers offer slightly narrower models for those not liking the normal width. Hymer and Pilote are among the Continental marques to look out for if this is what you want.

You'll find the drop-down bed above the lounge in A-class motorhomes, which means you always have a ready-made double bed. This drop-down bed typifies A-class motorhomes, although is now a feature of many coachbuilts as well.

 



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