Motorhome Classifications - Know your Er’s from your Oc’s.
There are 5 different classes of motorhomes used in advertising and by the general motorhomeing community. This is the first “terminology” to learn about motorhomes, to assist you in purchasing a van or just talking to others about them. Talk the talk, don’t just walk the walk…(author, forgotten).
ER: This is the smallest type of motorhome available, “elevating roof” motorhomes are similar to drive as cars and can be used for everyday use like trips to the supermarket and even for travelling to work. Space inside is limited due to their small size. They have the best fuel consumption figures for any type of motorhome. Some people call these “campervans” but I do think this term is just a preference (and may just show your age as “motorhomes” in their current configurations are a relatively recent phenomenon - people in the 50’s 60’s and 70’s called all non-caravans - Campers or Campervans. Strangely, the VW “Camper” has held onto its older pet term).
HT: “High Tops” are usually converted from vans such as the Ford Transit or similar. They can incorporate an expanding roof, but modern van’s have good internal height space so do not require more elevation. Again this type of motorhome is easy to drive and will have good fuel consumption. Both ER’s and HT’s are popular as they will fit in a standard driveway and do not give you storage problems (especialy in Winter).
LP: “Low Profile” motorhomes are caravan style shells that are built onto a large van and cab chassis. They are called low profile as they do not have a bed above the drivers cab and are generally much lower in height than the next class (OC). They are built by adding a purpose built shell to the basic cab and chassis that motorhome manufacturers purchase from the car and van companies. This type of vehicle is also known as a ”Coachbuilt” as it was originally built by coachbuilding companies who added the “coach” to the purchased chassis. Check out the manufacturers histories (usually found on their websites) and you will see that most of the manufacturers started out in business as “coachbuilders” - most of them claim 1923 as their starting point as well… ;-) There is a small difference in fuel consumption between the low profile and the overhead cab designs - but check the official manufacturers fuel consumption figures before deciding which class of motorhome to buy.
OC: This is a coachbuilt motorhome, a manufactured shell constructed onto a purchased cab and chassis unit, but has an “Overhead Cab” area or OC, above the drivers cab area. Some of the overhead cab double beds are fixed, and some are hinged with dampner rods to push the bed up towards the roof space to afford more interior room (some have spellbinding arrangements, where the bed comes down from a shaped alcove in the roof when you want to use it). An OC can also be known as a “Luton” for reasons that escape me (I know about Luton Vans, but they were not all made in Luton, were they?…).
A Class: The ultimate in everything that is motorhome. A Class motorhomes are built from the chassis up. They still purchase a base chassis from the car/van/lorry manufacturers, but instead of adding a shell, they build everything around the chassis. A Class motorhome prices reflect this expenditure.
For Example, Hymer’s have a cab style that is unlike any OC or LP profile - they have plenty of space above the instrument panel to layout and display to non-mortals around 5 diferent maps (some OS and others of a foreign variety), a selection of daily newspapers, sweets for the journey, cassette tapes (shows their age), and a handky box. A lot of space, you must agree…
A Class motorhomes can be the ultimate in luxury touring.
A recent (2009) Top Gear programme showed an A Class motorhome (Value circa. £200k, with a drop out bottom that brought the 2 seater supercar to ground level, to drive about in. It also had pop-up Plasma TV’s, built in surround sound, I-Pod hook-ups in every room, and embedded lighting.
I personally thought that the Freezer was a bit small…….
Now that you know the basic terminology, can I tell you that Motorhome City, who can be found at www.motorhome-city.co.uk offer for hire ER’s, HT’s, LP’s OC’s and A Class motorhomes and “Campervans” for hire or rental. We also have a number of American style “Super-Class” motorhomes, with pull-out sides and everything that you wish for in a truly luxury motorhome. Have a look at the website for more info.