Looking for Small Motorhomes? How about Small Class A Motorhomes? Well this New RUV class of RV might be just what you are looking for. It’s not exactly your typical Class A Motorhome, those seem to mostly resemble a bread box and offer nothing in the aerodynamics or style departments. Here’s a review of the Thor Motor Coach Axis & Vegas motorhomes but it will read more like it reviews the entire RUV class of smaller motorhomes since it’s an entire new genre of RV.
The RUV, or “Recreational Utility Vehicle” class of Motorhome was pioneered by Thor Motor Coach with their AXIS and Vegas brands of motorhomes in 2013. The Manufacturer looked to fill the void in the North American Motorhome market where it lacked an option for smaller compact motorhomes. What could be found was either a cut-a-way utility van cab and chassis or nothing more than an oversized passenger van in the form of a Class C Motorhome or Class B Motorhome. All though these chassis have served as the foundation of nearly 80% of the motorhomes manufactured in the past 30 years. An RUV brings something new to the table… The RUV class is defined by its ability to be small in dimension, but still offer the spaciousness of a much larger motorhome. An RUV motorhome is less than 28 feet in length, narrower than the typical Class A RV at around 94”, with the large “house” space that shares its space with the driver’s cockpit. This is where the magic is, class c motorhomes have to dedicate its cockpit to one task, driving, RUV and larger class a motorhome have the benefit of not wasting this space. This configuration in addition to the large driver and passenger windows and massive front windshield makes it very comfort to drive and maneuver. My wife, who would never get behind the wheel of a Class A Motorhome over the past 16 years choose to make an effort. Once she did, she felt comfortable enough after 20 minutes to drive in Dallas, Texas rush house traffic without hesitation. I found that the AXIS RVs have plenty of power from its Ford V10 engine.
“We call it an ‘RUV’ — a Recreational Utility Vehicle. It’s small and nimble enough to drive around town — but when you’re at, say, your kid’s soccer game and there’s a break or the weather turns, it gives you a place to relax, use the facilities, have some lunch — everything you can’t do in an SUV.” – Thor Motor Coach
The Vegas and Axis motorhomes are the first Class A motorhomes to be built on a Ford E-series chassis without the cab; these pint-sized motorhomes are only about 5 feet longer than a Chevrolet Suburban. But while these RVs don’t cost much more than a SUV, it is certainly capable of so much more.
I believe the Axis/Vegas RV use of the Ford E-350 chassis, V-10 Trition eninge, and five-speed TorqShift-equipped transmission offers a number of advantages over other chassis options. Number one being price. One option would be manufacturer the motorhome with a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter motorhome chassis; this most likely would increase the MSRP by as much as $15,000. The Ford chassis also uses regular gasoline that’s easier to find and cheaper to purchase. The E-350 RV Chassis also allows for higher gross vehicle weight ratings (12,500 pounds) and gross combined weight ratings (18,500 pounds) capacities. I’ll also note that there are thousands of Ford certified repair centers in the US and Canada, even your weekend mechanic would be familiar with all the inter-workings of the Ford chassis and its components.
Though out our review of the Axis motorhomes we noticed the exterior styling certainly has a Small European motorhome flair. But luckily the interior is far roomier than most of the European motorhome we’ve experienced. The Axis and Vegas motorhomes have similar styling where the Vegas caters more towards the younger RVers in our opinion. Thor’s engineers have equipped these small motorhomes with all the right components to pull off enough towing capacity to bring and SUV of nearly the same size with you, 8000 pounds.
These small motorhomes still have all the fancy equipment found on the big boys, like an exterior TV, side-view cameras, and large camp-side power awning with LED lighting. All though we didn’t have the opportunity to side outside under the awning at night, we have used the same set up and I must say’ the LED light makes a difference. These lights certainly extended the use of the RV at night providing superior illumination over just the common amber porch light of coaches past.
I was probably most impresses with the floor plans of these small motorhomes though out our review. Each floor plan/model is offered by both the Axis and Vegas motorhome were quite refreshing. As a hardcore weekend RVing family the 24.2 and 25.2 are great small motorhome floor plans. The Axis 24.2 has four comfortable cockpit chairs and a length of less than 26 feet, but sleeps four when needed and has seating for 7 when traveling. This model has a rear kitchen that keeps the living space, large a roomy wither traveling, parked, or camping. The 25.2 has a great L-shaped dinette that converts easily into a bed. The 25.2 floor plans also have a wonderful little slide out in the rear of these of this small class a motorhomes. The 24.1, the smallest motorhome offered by these brands of motorhomes will appeal to a wide range of customers with a rear bed configuration of either two twin beds or a single massive king. Thor Motor Coach also uses the upscale Denver Mattress in all the models, something we can all be thankful for. There is also a clever bathroom door, Thor’s “Expand-A-Room” feature that opens up the bathroom to be far more spacious with access to the bedroom and wardrobe.
I for one applaud any motorhome manufacturers who seek to innovate in the competitive RV industry. I believe Thor Motor Coach has advanced the motorhome market in a good direction with something truly new. After all, if you stop over at your local RV dealer, most of the brands you’ll encounter are nothing more than variations of another motorhome only to be differentiated by size, drivetrain, equipment and floor plan. The RUV has defined an entirely new genre of motorhome.
After our thorough review of the Thor Axis my wife and I agree its five stars in our books. There is a lot to love about these small class a motorhomes; great floor plans, all the features you need for weekend RV trips, road trips, or the occasional couples or small family vacations.
More about the Thor Vegas & Axis Motorhomes:
Motorhome’s Optional Items
- – 12-volt Attic Fan in Living Area
- – 3-Burner Gas Cooktop with Oven & Standard Microwave Oven
- – 12-volt Attic Fan in Bedroom
- – Second Auxiliary House Battery
- – 15,000 BTU Roof Air Conditioner
- – Holding Tanks with Heat Pads
- – 24″ LED TV & DVD Player in Bedroom
- – Exterior 32″ LED TV
Motorhome’s Key Features
- – Ford E-350 Chassis
- – 6.8L Triton V10 Engine
- – MEGA Storage™ Compartment
- – 8,000-lb. Trailer Hitch
- – Leatherette Furniture
- – 3-Burner Gas Cooktop and Convection Microwave Oven
- – L ED TV and DVD Player in Living Area
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