Class A motorhomes are the biggest class of RV on the market. These are often 24 feet and up (sometimes 40 feet or more!) and weigh thousands of pounds. Some people prefer Class A RVs over all over RV types (like in the Camper Report article I linked to above) while others don’t.
If you’re reading this article, then you’re obviously interested in getting a Class A RV. In that case, then let’s talk money. The average cost of a new Class A RV is between $50,000 to $200,000 and up.
Now, prices do vary depending on the manufacturer you choose, the size of the vehicle, the floorplan, any extra features you get, and how old the RV is. In this article, I plan on outlining the costs for brand new Class A motorhomes from your favorite manufacturers as well as the prices for some popular used models. I’ll also explain what extra costs you might incur, why Class As are the most expensive class, and end with some smart shopping tips.
Purchasing a Class A RV is a significant investment that requires a lot of time and research. One way we recommend doing your due diligence is trying one before you make a purchase. RVShare is a great way to try a Class A RV for your next camping trip. You can see the current rental inventory in your area by clicking here.
Average Class A Motorhome Cost Examples
Before making such a huge investment as buying a Class A motorhome, you’re going to want to do your homework. It’s essential you research all the various manufacturers out there and compare prices so you can find the best deal.
Here are some Class A motorhomes I came across in my own research for this guide. These aren’t all the Class A RVs available by far, but they are some of the best-known ones from some of the most popular manufacturers, including Thor Motor Coach, Jayco, and Winnebago.
Note: All RVs are from 2018 unless otherwise noted.
- Thor Motor Coach Tuscany 45AT Diesel: $429,660
- 2019 Jayco Embark 37MB: $295,200
- Thor Motor Coach Hurricane 35M: $144,675
- Forest River Inc. Berkshire XLT Diesel 45A: $28,041
- Winnebago Grand Tour 42QL Diesel: $518,719
- Newmar King Aire 4531 Luxury: $907,842
- Thor Motor Coach Windsport 31Z Gas: $134,138
- Winnebago Intent 30R Gas: $120,468
- Newmar Dutch Star 3718 Diesel: $356,917
- Thor Motor Coach Ace 27.2: $120,450
The above list should paint a pretty clear picture of what you’ll typically pay for a new Class A RV. If you want a spacious floorplan, room for lots of passengers, and storage space, then it’s unlikely you’ll pay less than six figures for your motorhome.
Used Class A Motorhome Cost Examples
What if you want to go used? You might be able to find even better deals on your Class A RV than those listed above. Of course, that depends primarily on the age of the vehicle. For instance, you won’t really get a 2016 or a 2017 RV much cheaper than five figures because these vehicles are still considered fairly new. If you’re willing to consider a 2013 or earlier though, you might be able to strike an affordable deal.
Here are some prices for RVs that were made in the last three or four years. Look at the price fluctuations of these and compare them to the prices for new Class As:
- 2015 Jayco Precept 35UN: $114,995
- 2017 Thor Motor Coach Windsport 31S: $133,314
- 2017 Winnebago Vista LX 30T: $137,250
- 2017 Forest River 38’ Georgetown XL A190: $112,995
- 2017 Thor Motor Coach Ace 29.4: $120,900
- 2016 Fleetwood Bounder 36’ A165: $97,495
- 2014 Forest River Georgetown 38’ A166NB: $89,995
- 2011 Newmar Canyon Star 39’ A130CL: $79,995
- 2013 Coachmen Encounter 38’ A106CL: $76,495
- 2016 Winnebago Vista LX 30’ A133CL: $78,995
Other Expenses to Keep in Mind
If you’re buying a new Class A RV, then the sticker price is just one of the costs you have to take into account. There are plenty of other expenses you’ll incur as a new RV owner. Some of these are a little more obvious, while others might have otherwise slipped your mind until you get a rather surprising bill.
To save you that stress and headache, here are some costs you should prepare for as you buy your new Class A motorhome:
- Off-season storage: Many parts of the country tend to experience brutal winters. During this time, RV owners will leave their vehicle at an off-season storage park, campground, or similar facility. This may be from November or December through March or even April. Here’s an article about average campground rates across the country. Do know those prices are for short-term stays. If you’re leaving your vehicle longer, expect to pay more.
- Arctic package: If you’d prefer to drive all year, including in the freezing cold winters, then your vehicle will need an artic package. These packages often include dual pane windows, wall and floor insulation, heated basement compartments, and a large furnace. Arctic packages are more common in travel trailers than RVs, but look for brands like Starcraft, Gulfstream, Northwood, Keystone, Lance, and Heartland if you really want one.
- A generator: Generators are a necessity, as you’ll use these to run to your everyday essentials, such as your favorite mobile devices, TV, hairdryers, lights, and sometimes even bigger units like the air conditioner or refrigerator. You’ll need a large generator to drive enough power to your Class A motorhome, so expect to spend upwards of $1,000 to even $2,500 and more.
- A spare tire: What do you do if your RV has tire trouble? It’s not like you can exactly walk in to the closest auto repair shop and get a new tire put on. Not all mechanics carry Class A tires, which are some of the biggest out there. If you think of freightliners and other large commercial trucks and how hefty those tires are, then you can essentially visualize how big Class A tires are. Buy a spare tire, deflate it partially (or all the way depending on your storage capacity), and keep it somewhere safe just in case you ever need it.
- Propane tanks: Some RVs will include propane tanks while others will not. You should always ask the manufacturer about these tanks and other essentials if they’re not listed on their website. Expect that your propane tanks will be empty when you get them, so buy some fuel (gas or diesel depending on your RV) to fill them.
- RV battery: Again, not every RV manufacturer will include a battery with the vehicle. These will typically only run you several hundred dollars, but still, this is not a cost you want to discover later in the game. Make sure your battery is fully charged and follow other battery care tips as outlined in this article. Do know that even with the best care, most RV batteries only last between three and five years.
- Blackwater cords and dump tanks: Your blackwater tank moves waste through your RV so you and your passengers don’t stink up the place…literally. Unfortunately, that means you have to pass the content of this tank out of the vehicle with cords and a dump tank, sometimes more than one. Don’t necessarily expect these accessories to come with your motorhome.
- Insurance: According to this article on our site, you should expect to pay an average of $300 monthly just to ensure a travel trailer if you choose a custom package. The priciest package in the article was the Plus Package, which clocked in at nearly $400 a month. Expect to pay at least twice that insurance cost for your Class A motorhome depending on your insurer.
- The documentation fee and dealer title: You absolutely need ownership and insurance documentation, and it doesn’t come free. The price will vary by state and the dealer, but anticipate this fee to be $300 and up.
- Freight fees: If your RV is coming from out-of-state, then it has to get there somehow. The cost to get it delivered to you can be up to $2 for every mile. If you live quite a ways away from the manufacturer, then you could easily end up spending hundreds if not thousands of dollars just for your vehicle to get to you. Ouch!
- Sales tax: Last but certainly not least, you will have to pay sales tax in most cases. This will again vary depending on the state you call home. If you live in Oregon, New Hampshire, Montana, Delaware, and Alaska, you can disregard this, because you don’t have to pay sales tax. According to 2014 data from the Washington Post, Maine has the highest sales tax at 5.50 percent. Other pricy states are Wyoming at 5.49 percent, Wisconsin at 5.43 percent, Hawaii at 4.35 percent, and Alaska with a much more reasonable 1.69 percent.
Comparing Class A Costs to Class B or Class C RVs
Since Class A motorhomes are the biggest of the bunch, they cost the most money. Class Cs, which are the second-largest option, are marginally less expensive. Class B vehicles may be among the least expensive of the three classes.
If you’re thinking you might get a better deal with a Class B or a Class C RV compared to a Class A motorhome, that’s not always true. Here are a few sample prices lifted from my last article about RV costs. These are all 2018 list prices:
- Coachmen Leprechaun 240FS (450 Ford) Class C Motorhome: $68,700
- Thor Motor Coach Compass 24LP Class B Motorhome: $114,975
- Winnebago Cambria 27K Class C Motorhome: $129,394
- Thor Motor Coach Outlaw 29J Class C Toy Hauler: $123,450
As you can see from reviewing those prices, you’re still not going to pay anything less than five figures for a new RV, even if it’s a Class B or Class C. Many of these motorhomes are often reconfigured Fords or other small vehicles. They don’t have the towing capacity, room for passengers, or storage space that Class A motorhomes boast.
You might as well get what you want anyway, which is a Class A.
Tips for Shopping for a Class A RV
Now you’re ready to get out there and start shopping around for your perfect Class A motorhome. These tips will make sure you don’t have any surprise charges and can be the smartest shopper possible:
- Depending on the dealership, you could get some handy extras that are factored into the overall cost of your motorhome. These may include free storage or winterizing. Read all the fine print before you decide one retailer’s deal is better than another’s. That extra $200 you’re being charged for could save you money on accessories and/or parts.
- Keep your cards close to the vest as you shop until you’re ready to make your final deal. You can love an RV the first second you see it, and upon inspection, it could check off all your boxes. Still, you shouldn’t buy it right away. Shop around. Read reviews online. Then come back to the original store and finish your purchase if you can’t find a better deal elsewhere.
- It is possible to try negotiating for a somewhat lower price on a new Class A RV. To do so, though, you must have looked around at various retailers and compared prices first. If these other retailers are offering the same new RV for slightly lower prices, you may be able to go to the more expensive retailer and talk them down a little. If they are willing to offer you the deal, then you have to be prepared to take it. You must also be prepared to pay full price, as sometimes haggling doesn’t work.
- If, at the end of the day, the price of a new Class A RV is too expensive, you can always go for a used one. There’s nothing wrong with getting a used motorhome as long as you make sure the vehicle is in the best possible condition. That means checking it out in-person and not just taking the seller’s word for it that it’s drivable.
- Once you finally do settle on a vehicle you want, make sure you choose financing terms that are agreeable to you. You may need to finance a used RV, so keep that in mind. You can set a short-term repayment plan that lasts about 10 years or a lengthier payment plan that’s 20 years. There are sometimes even shorter (or longer) financing options than those depending on who you choose to finance the vehicle with.
Class A motorhomes are among the most sizable RVs out there, so they definitely come with quite a hefty price tag. You’re essentially going to pay anywhere between $50,000 to $200,000 if you’re getting a new Class A. Even used vehicles will still cost at least $70,000 if they were manufactured in the last four years or so.
You also have to prepare yourself for all the extra fees. These include necessities like an RV battery, propane tanks, a generator, blackwater cords and dump tanks, and a spare tire. You must get a dealer title and insurance, and you’ll more than likely have to pay for sales tax in your state, too. If you’re getting the RV from another state, then you have to factor in freight charges.
Don’t just settle for the first RV you find that seems decent enough. Since you’re going to be investing a lot of money in this vehicle, it would be beneficial to you to take your time, compare retailers, and even try to lower the price a little if possible. Good luck!
[author title=”About the Author” style=”font-family:lato;”]
I am Tony, an RV designer and RV developer. I create bill of materials for RV manufacturers for travel trailers and fifth wheels. I worked as a freelance transportation consultant for Lyft. As an RV development consultant, I create customization trees for RV manufacturers who want to offer a solution to prospective customers to design their custom RV with variant configuration. Apart from this, I sell in Indiana trailer hitches, hitch balls, goosenecks and weight distribution systems where I provide advice to customers who want to know which is their towing capacity, which hitch ball should they utilize and how to deploy a weight distribution system. I do my best to explain all these processes and their installation, in the Lifestyle edition of Business Finance News.