Travel at Ease with Motor Homes
by Michael Sanford
Motor homes, also known as recreational vehicles, are
an ideal way to experience travel comfortably and economically.
Popular with road trippers and frequent domestic travelers,
motor homes usually include a kitchenette, bathroom, sleeping
areas, living areas, and amenities that make the vehicle
a complete mini-home.
Designed to be transportable, most motor homes possess
diesel engines for powerful yet affordable capabilities.
Interiors can range from economical to luxury, putting
motor homes well within anyone's reach.
Motor homes make camping hassle-free, with no need to
pitch a tent or walk long distances for a restroom. There
are also motor home sites across the country designed
exclusively for overnighters to rest while refueling and
emptying the sewage tank of their motor homes. While motor
homes may be an entertaining option for some, others make
it more of a way of life, and the huge number of groups
and clubs in existence are an excellent introduction to
becoming a "full-timer".
Different Types of Motor Homes
are many makers of Motor Homes, with ultimately three
different models to choose from. Class A Motor Homes are
described as a bus-type custom body on a truck chassis.
Class B Motor Homes are normally conversion vans. Class
C Motor Homes contain a custom body on a van or pickup
There are three different types of motor home engines
to choose from. These include a front-based gas engine,
a rear-based diesel engine (known as a "Diesel Pusher"),
or a "bus conversion." A bus conversion is a
special kind of diesel pusher that comes from a modified
greyhound bus. It is quite expensive and is only necessary
if you require thousands of miles of weekly travel, month
after month. Diesel engines are noisier and more expensive
when it comes to maintenance, but they are also more durable
and have better fuel economy than a gas engine. Although
diesel engines are noticeably slower in terms of passing
acceleration when compared to a well-built gas engine,
a diesel engine will probably be have extra torque, something
that could come in quite handy if you are towing another
Which Motor Home to Choose?
When purchasing or renting a motor home, it is important
to consider the differences between the different class
types. Class B conversion vans are nice because they are
short and can be parked almost anywhere. On the downside,
these conversion vans are usually limited in terms of
comfort and space available. The vehicle may contain a
miniature style toilet, shower, storage facility, and
water container. Because of this, living for long periods
of time in a Class B motor home may prove difficult and
Class C Motor Homes are quite well designed for families.
They are basically two bedroom apartments on wheels with
one bedroom in the rear, and the other in the front, over
the van cab. Class C models are the safest because of
their designers (Ford and GM), and they do offer a very
natural, car-like driving position. The biggest complaint
about Class C models is that the two front seats are on
a different floor level than the rest of the unit and
they can't swivel around. This becomes problematic when
the vehicle is parked.
Class A Motor Homes are like a one bedroom apartment on
wheels, with the bedroom in the rear of the vehicle. The
biggest advantage to a Class A model is the feeling of
openness that it provides. In contrast to Class C models,
the front seats do swivel around. This means that when
parked, the drivers can become part of the living room.
And, because of the height of the driver's seats, an excellent
view of the road and traffic is available. The biggest
complaint that consumers usually have about Class A model
motor homes is usually related to safety. Because they
are built out of aluminum and fiberglass, the motor home
is less durable in the event of an accident. Many Class
A motor homes also lack air bags, which increases the
chance of injury in an accident.
Roger B. White traces the evolution of motorized houses
on wheels from a farm couple's 1916 wood-and-canvas sleeping
compartment on their automobile chassis to the Johnson's
Wax Cherokee-red housecar featured at the 1940 World's
Fair, to today's luxurious interstate cruiser. White interviewed
camping families, historians, camping-organization spokespeople,
RV manufacturers and travel-club members. The author understands
the American lone affair with the vehicle; he is a land-transportation
historian at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum
of American History. There is an entire world out there
to be discovered and what better way to discover it than
in the comforts of your own "hotel on wheels."
A Motor Home, or RV (Recreational Vehicle), is perfect
for anyone who enjoys traveling in comfort and at their
own pace. In addition to covering hundreds of miles in
a day, with a Motor Home, you can sit back and read a
book, watch a movie, play with the kids or pets, sleep,
cook dinner, or take a hot shower.
Motor homes are great for camping, road trips, and simply
living in style. If you are interested in buying a motor
home, definitely take the time to do some comparison shopping
and research, as these mobile units can get expensive
and come in a large variety of styles. Following is a
list of basic motor home types with brief descriptions.
"A" Class: This means a complete motor home
body mounted on a chassis provided by a truck manufacturing
company. "A" Class motor homes give true meaning
to living on the road.
"C" Class: A custom motor home body mounted
on a conventional chassis and cab. On top of the cab,
there is usually a bed or storage area.
5th Wheeler: These are towed motor homes that usually
have a section that extends over part of the tow vehicle.