10 Best Class A Motorhomes for Full-Timers

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Looking for the best Class A motorhomes for full-timers can be overwhelming due to the many choices out there. You may be in the daydreaming process of things to come or are actively in the process of joining the almost two million RVers living the full-time lifestyle. Either way, we’ve put together a list of the best Class A RVs under one million dollars that’ll cater to many different RV lifestyle needs. 

We’ll show you our 10 best Class A motorhomes for full-timers by topic. You’ll also learn what makes a Class A RV good for full-timing and go through some of the gas versus diesel-powered motorhome discussion points.

  1. Best Class A Floorplan: Fleetwood Frontier 36SS
  2. Best Quality Class A Motorhome: American Tradition 42V
  3. Class A Motorhome With the Best Gas Mileage: Thor Vegas 24.3 RUV
  4. Best Diesel Class A Motorhome: Tiffin Allegro Red 360 37 BA
  5. Best Gas Class A Motorhome: Winnebago Adventurer 36Z
  6. Best Class A Motorhome for Families: Coachmen Encore 375RB
  7. Best Class A Motorhome Under $200,000: Entegra Emblem 36U
  8. Best Small Class A Motorhome Under 35 Feet: Forest River FR3 33DS
  9. Best Class A Motorhome With Office Space: Newmar Ventana 4334
  10. Our Favorite Class A Motorhome: Thor Motor Coach Challenger 37FH

10 Best Class A Motorhomes For the Full-Time Lifestyle

1. Best Class A Floorplan: Fleetwood Frontier 36SS

Best Class A Motorhomes For the Full-Time Lifestyle
Fleetwood Frontier 36ss Best Class A motorhome for full time living
  • Length: 35.4 feet. 
  • Chassis: Freightliner XCR
  • Engine: Cummins 6.7L Inline 6 ISB Turbo Diesel
  • HP @ Torque: 340 hp @ 700 lb./ft. 
  • Tanks- F: 96 g/Gr: 65 g/B: 45 g/ Diesel: 100 g 
  • GVWR: 32,400 lbs.
  • Sleep: 2-4

Our list begins with a brand new diesel from Fleetwood as the best Class A floorplan. The Frontier is one step up from the iconic Pace Arrow entry-level diesel pusher. The 36SS floorplan gives full-timers an RV with a bath and a half and a versatile breakfast bar that converts to a table for four.

The midship living room has a four-seater sofa with end cap theatre seats. After dinner, you and your guests can enjoy a movie on the 50-inch LED TV and fireplace. The half bath behind the TV wall will let your friends freshen up without invading the confines of your master bedroom suite with a full bathroom.

2. Best Quality Class A Motorhome: American Tradition 42V

Best Quality Class A Motorhome for full timers American Tradition 42V Exterior
Best Quality Class A Motorhome American Tradition 42V Floorplan
  • Length: 42.11 feet 
  • Chassis: Freightliner XCM with an integrated Liberty Bridge
  • Engine: Cummins 6.7L ISL Turbo Diesel
  • HP @ Torque: 450 hp @ 1,250 lb./ft. 
  • Tanks- F: 100 g/Gr: 60 g/B: 40 g/ Diesel: 150 g 
  • GVWR: 47,000 lbs.
  • Sleep: 2-4

If you want the best quality Class A motorhome, look at the “Cadillac of Motorhomes.” American Coach’s quality and luxury have set the benchmark of top-end motorhomes since 1991.  

A new Cadillac Deville-like 45-foot American Eagle will have a price tag in the seven figures. Yet, the American Tradition, the well-appointed Buick version that’s two feet smaller, has half the cost. When you compare the Tradition’s 42V floorplan to the Eagle’s 45G, you’re getting a similar layout, quality, and high-end features.

Even before REV Group bought the company, American Coach was the benchmark for quality luxury Class A Motorhomes. You can still find many of their earlier used models from the Neo-Classic Era (1971-1989) on the road today, selling at higher than average prices. They’re that good. 

3. Class A Motorhome With the Best Gas Mileage: Thor Vegas 24.3 RUV

Class A Motorhome With the Best Gas Mileage for full timers Thor Vegas 24.3 RUV Exterior
Class A Motorhome With the Best Gas Mileage Thor Vegas 24.3 RUV Floorplan
  • Length:  25.9 feet
  • Chassis: Ford E-Series
  • Engine: Ford 7.3L V8 Godzilla
  • HP @ Torque: 350 hp @ 468 lb./ft. 
  • Tanks- F: 40 g/Gr: 40 g/B: 30 g/ Gas: 55g
  • GVWR: 12,500 lbs.
  • Sleep: 2-4

Finding a Class A motorhome with the best gas mileage is possible with the proper perspective. Fuel costs are among the top budget expenses Class A motorhome full-timers deal with when living on the road. Generally, Class A motorhomes have the worst fuel economy of all the RV categories. The table below delineates the miles per gallon and chassis of each drivable class.

RV CategoryChassisMiles Per Gallon (mpg)
Gas Class A (Gasser)Ford F-536-10
Diesel Class A (RED)Freightliner or Spartan8-13
Large Chassis Class CFord E-Series or Chevy C-Series8-15
Small Chassis Class CMercedes-Benz Sprinter14-18
Class B Campervan (or B+)ProMaster, Sprinter, Transit18-25

The Thor Axis and Vegas RUV (Recreation Utility Vehicle- Thor’s in-house classification) gives you the floorplan of a Class A RV, but the chassis and fuel economy of a large chassis Class C. The Vegas 24.3 has a slide-out behind the driver with a queen-size murphy bed sofa combo and a full-width rear bath. Thor Vegas customer reviews reported numbers like 13.5 mpg when loaded with essential accessories and other gear.

4. Best Diesel Class A Motorhome: Tiffin Allegro RED 360 38LL

Best Diesel Class A Motorhome Tiffin Allegro RED 360 38LL Exterior
Best Diesel Class A Motorhome Tiffin Allegro RED 360 38LL Exterior
  • Length: 38.6 feet 
  • Chassis: Freightliner XCM
  • Engine: Cummins 6.7L Inline 6 ISB
  • HP @ Torque: 360 hp @ 800 lb./ft. 
  • Tanks- F: 90 g/Gr: 70 g/B: 50 g/ Diesel: 100 g 
  • GVWR: 37,320 lbs. 
  • Sleep: 2-8 

The best diesel Class A motorhome we chose can be a little confusing when you compare it to its sister models. First, for those who don’t know, the word “RED” in the Tiffin Motorhomes Allegro RED series, is an acronym that stands for “Rear Engine Deisel.” That’s why a RED can be black, blue, green, or grey.

When Susan and I bought our Jeep Wrangler, we knew we’d flat tow our Jeep with our Class C Gulf Stream Conquest. The Jeep weighs roughly 4,200 pounds, and I’m always a little nervous since our Class C’s max towing capacity is 5,000 pounds. 

The Tiffin Allegro RED has two versions getting their name from the horsepower rating: the 340 and the 360. The 340 uses a 6.7L Cummins B engine with a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds. The 6.7L Cummins ISB in the 360 increases the towing capacity to 10,000 pounds. Therefore, if we were to upgrade to a Tiffin Class A motorhome, I’d feel more comfortable with the 360 horsepower engine since our Jeep wouldn’t stress the RV so much.

5. Best Gas Class A Motorhome: Winnebago Adventurer 36Z

Best Gas Class A Motorhome Winnebago Adventurer 36Z Exterior
Best Gas Class A Motorhome Winnebago Adventurer 36Z Floorplan
  • Length:  36.11 feet
  • Chassis: Ford F-53
  • Engine: Ford 7.3L V8 Godzilla
  • HP @ Torque: 350 hp @ 468 lb./ft. 
  • Tanks- F: 93 g/Gr: 41g & 44g/B: 33g & 47g/ Fuel: 80g 
  • GVWR: 22,000 lbs.
  • Sleep: 2-8

Winnebago’s Adventurer has a long history as the best gas Class A motorhome. When the company surprised everyone at the 2009 RV show with its rebranding, each year, they’ve released something that has reset the standards for that particular RV category. Anyone looking for Class A motorhomes for full-timers should always put the Winnie Adventurer on their must-see list.

The Adventurer 36Z is a bath and a half gasser that’s versatile for couples, families, and grandkids. The extended wardrobe on the full-length passenger slideout gives owners plenty of space, and the optional king bed with dual long nightstands make full-time Class A RV living realistic.

6. Best Class A Motorhome for Families: Coachmen Encore 375RB

Best Class A Motorhome For Families Coachmen Encore 375RB Exterior
Best Class A Motorhome For Families Coachmen Encore 375RB Floorplan
  • Length: 38.2 feet 
  • Chassis: Ford F-53
  • Engine: Ford 7.3L V8 Godzilla
  • HP @ Torque: 350 hp @ 468 lb./ft. 
  • Tanks- F: 70 g/Gr: 91 g/B: 90 g/ Gas: 80g 
  • GVWR: 22,000 lbs. 
  • Sleep: 2-10

How about a multiple award winner for the best Class A motorhome for families. Since 1968, Coachmen focused its designs on family-friendly motorhomes and travel trailers. The Forest River subsidiary launched the Encore Class A RV for the 2020 model year, and it’s been a big seller for families. The 2021 375RB floorplan won the RV News Type A Gas Motorhome of the Year, RV Business’ 2021 Must-See RV, and our friend Matt’s RV Reviews Best Class A With Bunks.

The versatility of the Encore 375RB makes it ideal for any lifestyle. The overhead bunk over the driver is a full-size bed. The bunk space midship harkens back to the multi-functional days when they first came out. Use it as a double twin bunk, a full-length wardrobe, or take the cushions off the lower bunk for an office space. The residential refrigerator has a massive storage capacity.

7. Best Class A Motorhome Under $200,000: Entegra Emblem 36U

Best Class A Motorhome Under $200,000 Entegra Emblem 36U Exterior
Best Class A Motorhome Under $200,000 Entegra Enblem 36U Floorplan
  • Length: 38.2 feet 
  • Chassis: Ford F-53
  • Engine: Ford 7.3L V8 Godzilla
  • HP @ Torque: 350 hp @ 468 lb./ft. 
  • Tanks- F: 72 g/Gr: 50 g/B: 31 g/ Gas: 80 g 
  • GVWR: 24,000 lbs.
  • Sleep: 2-8

How can you get the best Class A motorhome under $200,000 and still have the most sophisticated luxury features? Consider the Entegra Emblem 36U. Entegra is the upscale brand of Jayco but don’t use the Ford Crown Victoria to the Lincoln Continental comparison of the 1990s. If Jayco is the Crown Vic, then Entegra is the Lincoln Town Car Triple Mega Presidential Edition.

If you look at Entegra’s lineup, you’ll see that the Vision XL and the Emblem sell for the same price. However, what makes the Emblem the better buy is that it’s a step up from the entry-level, so you’ll find those little “extras” that make it look more incredible. 

We also feel that the best Class A motorhomes for full-time living are those that have a bath and a half with an option for a stackable washer and dryer. Also, the Emblem 36U positions the main 50-inch LED TV optimally. Watching your favorite show doesn’t require sitting funny or turning your neck uncomfortably. Finally, we’re sure many of you appreciate oversized nightstands on both sides of the king-size bed.

8. Best Small Class A Motorhome Under 35 Feet: Forest River FR3 33DS

Best Small Class A Motorhome Under 35 Feet Forest River FR3 33DS Exterior
Best Small Class A Motorhome Under 35 Feet Forest River FR3 33DS Floorplan
  • Length: 34.10 feet 
  • Chassis: Ford F-53
  • Engine: Ford 7.3L Godzilla V8
  • HP @ Torque: 350 HP @ 468 lb./ft. 
  • Tanks- F: 52 g/ Gr: 42 g/ B: 42 g/ Gas: 80g 
  • GVWR: 20,500 lbs.
  • Sleep: 2-6

The best small Class A Motorhome Under 35 feet came from a recommendation from our friends Brian and Marianne Newman. The best Class A motorhomes for full-timers doesn’t need to be 40-feet long to be comfortable. Brian enjoys restoring his 2001 Fleetwood Pace Arrow, but if they decide to buy a new motorhome in the future, the Forest River FR3 33DS is on their shortlist.

As empty-nesters, Brian and Marianne have everything they want and need in the smaller drivable. As a working full-timer, Brian likes having the co-pilot office space to himself. The 50-inch LED TV with theatre seats would be a dream come true, and he’s comfortable driving a 35-foot RV. Marianne would finally have her washer/dryer space, a king bed, a large refrigerator, and an actual pantry.

9. Best Class A Motorhome With Office Space: Newmar Ventana 4334 

Best Class A Motorhome With Office Space Newmar Ventana 4334 Exterior
Best Class A Motorhome With Office Space Newmar Ventana 4334 Floorplan
  • Length: 43.10 feet 
  • Chassis: Freightliner XCR or Spartan K2
  • Engine: Cummins 8.9L Inline 6 L
  • HP @ Torque: 400 hp @ 1,250 lb./ft. 
  • Tanks- F: 105 g/Gr: 75 g/B: 55 g/ Diesel: 100 g 
  • GVWR: 45,600 lbs.
  • Sleep: 2-8

Newmar has jumped on the RV desk trend with the best Class A motorhome with an office space. Too often, Class A motorhomes with desks take up too much space or make the area too tight. The diagonal work desk that shares a wall with the linen closet has that “goldilocks” measurement where you can: 

  • Work comfortably
  • Not sit in the center aisle
  • Have surface space to spread out
  • Plug in all of your electric devices
  • Store all of your office essentials and more

If both you and your traveling companion work from the road, the co-pilot seat has a flip-up table for a laptop. Either one of you can sit in the deluxe recliner style chair with your feet up, and complete your daily tasks (just don’t turn the heat or massage on, you may fall asleep on the job). Video editors, graphic designers, or others that need room to spread out can use the dinette or freestanding table with laptop stands and other accessories.  

10. Our Favorite Class A Motorhome: Thor Motor Coach Challenger 37FH

Our Favorite Class A Motorhome for full timers Thor Motor Coach Challenger 37FH Exterior
Our Favorite Class A Motorhome floor plan for Full Timers Thor Motor Coach Challenger 37FH Floorplan
  • Length: 39.1 feet 
  • Chassis: Ford F-53
  • Engine: Ford 7.3L V8 Godzilla
  • HP @ Torque: 350 hp @ 468 lb./ft. 
  • Tanks- F: 100 g/Gr: 40-40 g/B: 40-40 g/ Gas: 80g 
  • GVWR: 30,000 lbs.
  • Sleep: 2-8

At the end of our weekly YouTube Channel videos, you’ll see Susan, and I choose our favorite Class A motorhome or other RV types when we walk through the best coaches by topic. Researching Class A motorhomes for full-timers challenged us because many RV manufacturers offer so many great brands and features. It felt like choosing our favorite color in a bag of M&Ms.

We finally decided that our favorite Class A motorhome for full-timers is the Thor Challenger 37FH. We like having all the seating on one side and the bath and a half floorplan. The passenger side televator, galley kitchen, and residential fridge are exactly what we’d want. The inclining king bed with full-length nightstands would make the end of the day perfect for watching TV.

As far as RV office space, the co-pilot desk has USB and 110v outlets for a laptop. The Dream Dinette is fully adjustable for a second RV workspace giving each person their own area to complete their daily tasks. The motorcoach also comes with the Winegard ConneT wifi Extender +4G, an all-in-one router, wifi, and a data booster. You can either purchase Winegard’s plan or install your wireless carrier’s SIM card, and you’re all set.

How do I choose an RV for Full-Time Living?

There are books, websites, blogs, and videos that discuss how do I choose an RV for full-time living and transitioning into the full-time RV lifestyle. We can’t fully cover the subject of the best full-time RVs for full-time living here, but we can get you started on the right foot by pointing out some key points.

Full-time Class A RV living allows complete access to the coach section while traveling. If someone needs to lay down while traveling, access the bathroom, or grab a bite to eat, it’s all right there. When they pull over for the night, lot-dockers like the advantage of setting up in the Walmart parking lot without having to leave the safety of the RV.

When motorhomes flat-tow a passenger vehicle, it’s called “toading” in the RV community. The best toad vehicles are 4×4 SUVs that allow you to disengage the transmission. Other vehicles make great toads too. When you tow a fifth wheel or travel trailer, your tow vehicle acts as your passenger vehicle, so you’re not limited to those vehicles that are toadable.

You’ll see a significant portion of full-timers that prefer fifth wheels over Class A motorhomes. 

Full-time fivers enjoy the residential kitchens, living rooms, and large slide-outs. Class A motorhomes scale down some of these features due to the automotive component restrictions.

The bottom line boils down to personal choice. Each year, RV manufacturers are finding new ways to narrow the gap between Class A motorhomes and towables. We always recommend renting a motorhome, fifth wheel, and travel trailer during your initial search to feel each one out. Having that practical first-hand experience should help you determine what works best for you.

The Pros and Cons of Gas VS Diesel RVs

There are many pros and cons of gas vs. diesel RVs. In today’s Remote Period of the Modern Era (2020- Present), top-end gassers are virtually indistinguishable from diesels. However, here are a few of the many things you want to know before heading to the RV show or dealership.

  • Gassers have the advantage of having less expensive parts, although diesel components hold up better.
  • The average lifespan of a gas Class A motorhome is 200,000 miles. Diesel Class A RVs have a rating of 300,000 miles. With proper maintenance, each can last much longer.
  • If you plan on selling, Class A motorhomes have the worst resale values, but diesels will retain the most value of the two fuel types. 
  • Gas Class A RVs have up to 80-gallon fuel tanks, and diesel REDs can get as large as 200 gallons. Within the last decade, all diesel vehicles require DEF fluid to neutralize the toxicity of the exhaust that comes out of the tailpipe.

Full-Time Class A RV Living of RV Influencers?

If you want to learn more about full-time Class A RV living, RV influencers that share their lifestyle through social media can show you the realities, tips, and what they do on the road. If you haven’t signed up for our FREE digital magazine already, we’ve featured several RV influencers in RV Camping Magazine that call Class A motorhomes home. 

  • In our June 2021 issue (the first edition released), Phil and Stacy of You, Me, and the RV travel in a 2016 Tiffin Allegro RED 33AA.
  • Our second issue in July 2021 featured the RV Geeks. John and Peter started their full-time Class A RV living adventures in a 2002 Fleetwood Bounder and upgraded to a 2005 Newmar Mountain Aire a couple of years later.
  • In that same July issue, Mark Polk, founder of RV Education 101, taught our readers about good ways to increase fuel economy in RVs. He travels in a Neo-Classic (1990-2007) 35-foot Class A motorhome.
  • The September 2021 issue featured Nate and Melissa from Less Junk, More Journey. Early in their RV adventures, they spent a few years in a 2011 Newmar Canyon Star 3810. 

We feature many other fascinating topics in RV Camping Magazine that give full-timers, part-timers, and weekenders a lot to discover. You’ll learn about excellent destinations, the best new gadgets and get the best maintenance tips from the National RV Training Academy. Make sure you sign up today for your free copy. You won’t want to miss our favorite RV recipes for the holiday season. 

Conclusion: Should I Buy a Used Class A RV?

Buying a used Class A motorhome for full-time living is a fantastic idea if you want to save money. Older RVs are worth buying because many of them are in great shape, have low mileage, and you can drive them home as soon as the paperwork is complete. Make sure you research how to buy a used RV on the RVBlogger website and other sources. 

Always have it inspected by a certified RV Inspector and learn from others what they’ve encountered with the RV model. Our Facebook Group, RV Camping for Newbies, is a great resource to connect with thousands of other RVers at every level of experience. Our RVBlogger friends may have a story or two about that particular Class A motorhome. You can also follow us on Instagram. You want to go into the transaction with your eyes open and know what you’re buying. 

So, from Mike and Susan, remember to leave your campsite better than you found it, thanks for reading, and we’ll see you next time.


Related Reading:

How to Buy a Used RV from a Private Seller In or Out of State

Where to Find the Best Class A Motorhome Rental

Class A vs Class C Motorhome and How to Choose

Gas vs. Diesel RVs – Which Motorhome is Best?

8 Small Class A RVs Under 30 Feet


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