When I look at all these RVs one thing is certain – there’s a distinct difference between a motorhome and a travel trailer in the overall feel, particularly in the cabinets. So when Thor describes its A.C.E. as a crossover between a Class A motorhome and a Class C, the place where this is most obvious, to me, is in the overall feel of the rig.
The cabinets absolutely have the same overall feel as what you would expect in a travel trailer. Too, the outside cabinet doors feature cam locks instead of slam latches. There is a lot about this motorhome that demonstrates why it’s so affordable. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
In fact, according to the information that I have, this is the best-selling motorhome in the U.S., so Thor must be doing something right.
The Thor A.C.E. is based on Ford’s F53 chassis. That is a very heavy-duty chassis that has lineage back to Ford’s Super Duty pickup line. As such, it also sports that truck’s 7.3 liter gasoline engine, dubbed “Godzilla.”
Overall, the Thor A.C.E. 27.2 isn’t much bigger than what you might expect in an extended cab dually pickup – at a total of just 28’ 9” in overall length. Furthermore, you only need a 30-amp service to make this whole rig happy. So there are more options when finding a place to park for the night with a rig of this size than in some larger motorhomes.
Combine that with the fact that you can occupy a tandem parking place and go get your groceries or fishing gear, and you’ve got another reason why this is a popular choice.
Lastly, being gasoline powered is likely a bigger advantage in today’s environment climate where overwhelming emissions requirements and regulations have relegated diesel engines down a few pegs in terms of reliability. As someone who loves diesel power, the fact that all that technology under the hood has become troublesome for some explains why companies like Ford have come out with engines like the Godzilla.
Another reason for the popularity of the Thor A.C.E. is the warranty, which is 12 years on the structure and six years on the lamination.
Furthermore, the smaller windshield than in some motorhomes might make this rig less intimidating to drive. Also, the halo of storage cubbies around the driver’s cockpit is another nice result of this design. While in the front cockpit, the passenger also has a lot to like with the flip over table that allows them to work on the road.
As the old saying goes, the devil is in the details. But there are actually a number of details in here that are more angelic than demonic.
For example, for the furry traveler, there’s a window in the passenger seat footwell of the Thor A.C.E. It can either be used by the driver to see if there’s anything blocking a lane change, or it can be used by the four-legged traveler to just scope out the world going by.
That pet may also appreciate the slide-out tray with two bowls in the bathroom. This is actually a really good place for this. It doesn’t interfere with meal prep but does give the fur baby a place to eat and drink where a mess won’t really be so bad.
I’m seeing more and more RV manufacturers finally recognize that we travel with shoes and there’s a shoe cubby in the stairwell as you come into this rig.
Get cookin’ in the Thor A.C.E.
The galley on this rig is okay but not great. Still, you do get a full 22” Furrion oven below the three-burner cooktop. There’s also a 12-volt DC fridge here.
There has to be some better use of space than putting a couch across from the dinette in here. But having a couch, a dinette and an over-cockpit power bed does mean you could torture yourself by having six people camped in this rig. Incidentally, that power bed is only good for 250 pounds – so I wouldn’t put me in there.
This example came with both a solar panel on the roof but also an Onan 4,000 generator. In the example I saw, all I could hope for is that I wasn’t camped next to the owner of this when boondocking. That rattly Onan generator could be called lots of things but not quiet.
I’m a big fan of Made in America, but why can’t Onan just sneak over to a Honda dealer and figure out why their inverter generators are both portable and tolerable?
As long as I’m complaining, let me throw in the kitchen – which has absolutely no counter space. Since this rig has a king-sized bed and a dinette and a sofa, I could see there being some favor given to the chef. But kudos to Thor for not choosing the teeny oven.
There’s a good reason the Thor A.C.E. is such a popular choice. Consider that the size of this will let you use it almost anywhere. It’s also not so huge that it’s uncomfortable to drive. Also, the price ($156,750) is less than that of many Class B vans, yet you get a lot more in here, including a usable bathroom.
It does have more of a feel of a travel trailer in the appointments than it does of a Class A coach, but travel trailers sell like hotcakes. It’s just something to note.
Tony comes to RVTravel having worked at an RV dealership and been a life long RV enthusiast. He also has written the syndicated Curbside column about cars. You can find his writing here and at StressLessCamping where he also has a podcast about the RV life with his wife.
These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. We receive no money or other financial benefits from these reviews. They are intended only as a brief overview of the vehicle, not a comprehensive critique, which would require a thorough inspection and/or test drive.
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