RV Class A Motorhomes Information Page
Class A Motorhomes are custom built RVs onto a bus chassis or even a chassis targeted for an RV. When people use the acronym “RV” the image in their mind conjures up the Class A RV. On a sales volume basis, Class A RVs are NOT the biggest in sales – not even close.
Class A RVs can be either gas powered or diesel powered. The really big ones, like a Prevost, are almost always diesel powered and usually the engine is located in the rear of the RV. “Diesels in the rear of a Class A” are called Diesel Pushers. The engine can also be located in the front as well as being gas powered.
Class A RVs are very powerful. They can pull humongous loads behind them. The biggest RVs will go right up to the regulated weight, height, and length restrictions. A big Prevost can get up to 65,000 pounds. Equipped with amazing diesel engines, I’ve seen the big bus RVs pull Suburbans. I’ve even seen specialized trailers which contain Corvettes on a 2nd level and Mercedes on the lower level. I think when you have a big Class A towing a large trailer that you might have to have a specialized drivers license called a CDL – at least in the US.
People generally choose Class A RVs for convenience – they make pulling in and pulling out of an RV park a snap. They also choose Class A RVs for status. Finally they will choose a Class A because you don’t really give much up other than a little living space.
Some large Class A RVs even have MARBLE countertops. They are so powerful that the weight from MARBLE generally isn’t a big problem for them. They also usually have fairly ample storage and weight carrying capacity which means many of the things you need to leave behind with other RVs can be kept with you in a Class A.
One final note, not all state parks have room for a big Class A so you might consider this a decision factor if you love visiting rustic state parks.
Class A Motorhome Information Pages by Manufacturer:
Class A Motorhomes Manufacturer list (user generated – a few mistakes!)
Could this have been the first ever Class A motorhome
Maybe this archeological find isn’t a mastodon, but it is a pretty cool old homemade RV circa 1950.
I spent several hours going through Pioneers Village (it is an exhausting place) and had I not been blogging on rv52.com I wouldn’t even have noticed the old beast. It was in warehouse #14 – Pioneer Village calls them “warehouse”.
About Pioneers Village in Minden Nebraska
Pioneer Village is located in Minden Nebraska. It is about midway between Omaha and Denver on Interstate 80 and about 20 miles south of the Interstate. It was founded by a wealthy Cornhusker named Harold Warp who invented Plexiglas. In Pioneer Village, they have amassed an incredible amount of STUFF. Just one example (other than the first RV) was that they have the second ever Cadillac ever built. How cool is that? I’m attaching a picture just so you can get an idea of how big the warehouses are and how full they are. Note : many warehouses contain TWO stories…
Notes and Writings about the First Class A Motorhome or RV
Interesting notes :
- The stove was a normal home heating stove. Reminded me of my mothers original home.
- I bet there were not too many dump stations OR standardized connectors in 1953 (the first use).
- I got a kick out of the regular home windows.
- I really liked the lap siding.
- When this thing was running, gas was cheap and plentiful and there were not enough cars to make much pollution. I’m thinking gas must have been around $0.25 a gallon.
- I wonder if there are any examples of EARLIER RV’s.
- I’m not going to count the Conestoga wagons!
I’ll transcribe Mrs. Turner’s letter to Mr. Warp here which was on a placard in the museum
May 29, 1976
Mr. Harold Warp
What possessed my husband to build this motor home? He had bought the truck new in 1939 when he was in the trucking business. After using the truck for 11 years in the trucking business- he sold the business and the truck was quite old then and he felt he would not get out of it what it was worth and he and I had always like to travel- so he decided to build us a “Home On Wheels”. He had no pattern as there was nothing like it on the road or around. He stripped it all down and built it piece by piece–on the fram and 4 wheels. Some people laughted at him and told him that he would not use it to travel in when he finished it. They were surely wrong.
Listed below are the years and places visited in it:
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Wendell and I lived in this house every year from 1960 to 1976 while he attended his steam engine above in Mt Pleasant IA- for eight days.
We estimated we have traveled 100,000 miles in it.
There were no other motor homes on the road when we started out. I believe it was 9 or 10 years before we saw any– but this is a guess.
In Alaska we pulled off the road south of Fairbanks- to eat some lunch. Some people pulled up in a pickup and smiled and asked us if we were homesteading. We laughed and said “no” we were just having lunch.
At Bryce Canyon Ntl. Park- my husband was taking some people through to see it and was explaining where the motor was and this lady piped up and said “Oh do you mean to tell me these things have motors?” (We figured she must have thought she was in a trailer.)
We were always getting our picture taken. One lady asked us if she could take our picture as the people back home would not believe her if she just told them about it.
It took my husband one year to build it and there are 11 gross of screws in it. The beds in the bed room are 2 full size beds with innerspring mattresses and they are double decked. This whole unit was put on rollers so the beds were easier to make as the whole unit can be pulled out and 1 person get get over behind.
( Signed Mrs. Edna M. Turner, Oakland, Iowa )
Here is the text of the Pioneer Village placard transcribed :Wendell Turner Motor Home
The original truck chassis on which the home was built was a 1939 White. The weight of the motor home is 16,000 lbs. The original White engine was located directly below the kitchen table. The engine has since been changed to the present “390” Ford Police special below the rear of the table.
The fuel capacity is 80 gal. of gas. The water capacity is a 30 gal. tank located under the back porch. A 50 gal. septic tank is located under the rest room. Propane gas capacity was 95 lbs., which was used to operate the refrigerator, fireplace heater, and gas burners located no the top of the fireplace. A 5 gal. propane gas hot water heater was used to heat the water.
Here is a video of the first Motorhome :