Fuel-wise and nimble, Class B motorhomes pack a lot of adventure into a small package. A Class B motorhome can be a perfect step up into the motorhome lifestyle, or a great way to downsize from a bulky full-sized coach while still fueling your wanderlust in comfort. Before buying a Class B motorhome, consider the pros and cons of these mighty-mites to see if one if right for you.
What Is A Class B?
Class Bs are the smallest members of the motorhome family. Class As are the motorized kings of the road, built on large chassis and outfitted with homelike comforts and often feature a seamless, one-level transition between cockpit and living quarters. In the alphabet soup of motor coaches, Class Cs, are the middle of the road units. Known for their affordability and flexibility, Class Cs, are often distinguished by the “cabover” sleeping quarters. Class Cs start with a van or truck cab with RV company-manufactured living quarters to the rear. Class B are known at their most modest as camper vans, and at their most luxurious as mini mansions, but they are all built on a van or cargo van chassis.
Because they all begin with a van chassis, Class B motorhomes will have the least variation in size and shape of all the coaches, generally ranging from 20 to 24 feet bumper-to-bumper and 7 to 7 ½ feet side-to side. At their smallest, a Class B will be crafted on a standard passenger van; on the grandest scale a class B will have extended infrastructure to the rear and perhaps a small slide out for additional living space while parked.
Their small size and solid build can bring big advantages to Class B owners, but first decide if the compromises that their compact size bring are a good fit for you.
Most Class B RVs will include a scaled-downed kitchen — a small sink, refrigerator, perhaps a small stovetop, and maybe a microwave or convection oven. The kitchens are both functional and convenient, and in top-of-the-line manufacturers’ models, sleek and modern, but certainly not spacious enough for feeding a crowd.
Many Class Bs will feature a small wet bath, a bathroom with the commode built into the molded shower compartment. Some may have separate shower and toilet compartments – but when more space is allocated to the bathroom, there’s less for other areas.
The creative forces behind Class B motorhomes have found many ways to tuck beds into their units. Look for options that include Murphy beds to keep the living area open until the eleventh hour, rear sofas that convert into beds, or bench seating that makes two twins or converts into a larger bed. A few models may give a nod to families with a combination of sleeper sofas, or chairs and beds, but most Class Bs are designed for two to travel in comfort.
Small dining tables may work with the cockpit armchairs or the rear benches and nearly all dining choices will tuck away or convert to a bed support.
Crafty Class Bs, use every nook and cranny from elevated roof to floor boards for living and storage space – with the greatest focus on making the most living space in a very small footprint. While overhead storage and storage along the outside running boards will offer minimalists plenty of options, stowing larger objects – like sporting equipment, chairs, and large coolers can be challenging in a Class B RV. For boondockers and those staying off-the-grid, small water, black and grey tanks may also prove to be a challenge.
The Class B motorhome, by square foot, may be among the most expensive RVs to purchase, according to Consumer Reports. But, because of their excellent construction, strong chassis, flexibility, and great gas mileage, they maintain resale value better than many of their larger cousins. Class B motorhomes are available in diesel and gas models with diesel models costing more than gas Class Bs.
But, for many RVers – either new or seasoned veterans – small is better and Class B motorhomes are the perfect way to scale back, simplify and stay in tune with nature.
Why A Class B?
Class B motorhomes drive and store much like the family mini van or SUV. There’s no special skill needed to drive – or park – a Class B motorhome. For those who live in a deed-restricted community, there’s no need to park your Class B RV in designated storage areas – it will likely fit in your garage or sit unobtrusively in your driveway. Class B RVs can fit in the smallest national park campground site as well as the busiest grocery store parking lot.
Because a Class B motorhome handles much like a family vehicle, even the timidest of drivers can feel confident sharing driving duties. Class Bs are built on standard van chassis so they are among the safest RVs on the road, with seatbelts in seating areas and reinforced sidewalls as required for passenger vehicles. Because they have great drivability and safety, a Class B motorhome doesn’t need to sit around waiting for the next big camping adventure; it’s a great choice for tailgating in comfort before the big game, adding a measure of comfort to long weekends at soccer tournaments, and day trips to the park.
For many years Class Bs have been climbing up the RV popularity charts – for their quality builds, ease of handling, and convenience but also for those who want to simplify and get away from clutter and complexity. If simply relaxing outdoors or exploring new places is your goal, a Class B may be the perfect option. The simple-all-in-one campers make for easy set up after a day of travel. Leveling the small units is simple and setting up the attached awning creates an instant outdoor living space. Attach a bike rack to the rear and a canoe carrier to the roof and be ready to explore.
Get Started Your Own Class B Motorhome Today
Start your search for the perfect Class B on RVUSA, where a variety of new and used Class B motorhome models from top tier manufacturers can get you on the road to adventure.