Owning a Class B Motorhome or a camper van can be very rewarding if you are the adventurous type and you are interested in travel and outdoors.
Unlike other types of RVs, the purpose of a Class B is to get you on the road quickly and make it easy to go from place to place.
Living in a van can be very different from living in a large RV so you’ll have to understand this difference before you commit to buying one. However, the benefits are aplenty and can make your travels fun and exciting.
Having owned a camper van and spent time traveling and living in it, I have seen the benefits of owning one. I have been around the RV industry for a large part of my life and have spent much time outdoors.
I’ve done a lot of research on my own and have concluded that a Class B RV is the best option for my needs. I prefer a minimal approach to the camping lifestyle and do not like the idea of hauling a large mobile home around.
If you are like me and think that a Class B might be right for you, keep reading and learn 10 good reasons that you should buy one.
1. You’ll Use It More
With a class B motorhome being so small, you are likely to use it more often than you would a larger motorhome. Large motorhomes can be cumbersome and difficult to get around in so they often sit and do not get used as often as they should.
When you have a small RV like a class B, it is easy to hop in it and take off on a journey without the hassles typically associated with other RVs.
Many people who have travel trailers, fifth wheels or other larger motorhomes use them a few times and then they sit. They become more trouble than they are worth and then end up for sale.
I’ve seen this happen over and over in my neighborhood. A new RV will show up in someone’s driveway and it won’t be very long until you see it up for sale. People generally change their minds after the new wears off and the reality of the hassles involved sets in.
A van will get used more because it’s easier to manage out on the road and makes the journey more fun and adventurous. Not to mention, it takes up much less space in your driveway and it’s easy to move out of the way if needed.
2. Easy To Drive
If you can drive a car, you can drive a class B motorhome. Since a Class B is nothing more than a van, it makes it simple to drive.
Although some are larger than others, most are within the 19 – 25 ft length range and most of them fit in standard parking spots.
This is a huge benefit and one that is necessary if you are planning on staying in places that have limited parking.
Most Class B motorhomes have a nice, comfortable cabin area with comfortable seating and plenty of field of view. In today’s vans, you will feel as though you are driving a luxury car instead of a cargo van, which is what camper vans are built upon.
Compare this to a large Class A motorhome that many people are intimidated to drive, including me. If you have never sat in the driver’s seat of a Class A, you should go check it out. If you are aren’t used to being in something that big, it may make you think twice.
What’s more, there are some roads that you might not be able to access with a large motorhome and you will need to know in advance. A Class B usually doesn’t have this problem.
3. Easy To Maintain
A van is very easy to maintain and can usually be serviced at standard auto mechanic shops. My van is built on the RAM Promaster chassis so I can take mine to most any Dodge dealership to have the oil changed, tires rotated or replaced and other service completed.
Many Class B RVs are built on the Ford Transit and this vehicle can be serviced at nearly any Ford dealership. These types of vans can also be serviced by any mechanic shop as long as they have a high enough shop entrance door and a strong enough lift to raise the van.
Other types of motorhomes and RVs require that you take them to dealerships that only service RVs. This makes it less convenient and it’s easier to just be able to drive into any mechanics shop to get regular service.
Beyond that, a Class B can easily be DIY serviced if you don’t mind getting your hands greasy. I change the oil in my van myself as well as keeping other fluids topped off.
It’s not much different than servicing a standard passenger vehicle. I find it to be a great benefit of owning such a small RV.
4. Better Fuel Mileage
With a class a motorhome, you are looking at around 7 to 13 miles per gallon in fuel economy. In contrast, the class B RV generally ranges between 18 to 20 MPG or more.
This is substantially better and in today’s world where fuel costs more than it did in the past, it’s becoming a necessity to have a vehicle that is designed for better fuel economy.
My class B camper van tends to average around 18 miles per gallon. Depending on where I am traveling, I can usually expect to end up within this range during my trip.
I have calculated this average after traveling on mountain roads as well as long flat roads. I have gotten well over 20 on flat interstate roads and less than that on roads that have more hills, twists, and turns.
This kind of fuel mileage isn’t much different than I get from my Nissan Frontier pickup truck. I’ve been impressed with the fuel mileage that my van has gotten and I’m happy going on trips with it knowing It won’t cost an arm and leg at the pumps.
5. Allows You To Get Outside More
Owning a large RV can have its benefits but their large size makes them just another home away from home. If you live in the RV full-time, this can be great.
However, for those who use motorhomes for traveling, the larger ones can distract from the overall adventure of the trip. Of course, this is my opinion and I totally understand larger families needing larger RV units.
A camper van is too small to park it and just spend time sitting inside of it. With something this small, you are forced to get outside and enjoy Mother Nature.
The larger motorhomes and RVs are big enough that you can park them and then sit inside watching TV, playing games or doing other activities without feeling cooped up.
I don’t know about you but when I’m traveling, I’m not interested in spending time inside. I want to be outdoors exploring the place I am at. If I were going to sit inside, I might as well stay at home.
The world is your home when you travel in a Class B. The van itself just provides a safe shelter and a place for privacy and to eat and sleep.
6. Go More Places
Some RV parks and National Parks don’t allow larger motorhomes. In this case, a smaller Class B is ideal as you are sure to get a spot in nearly any public campground.
Class B RVs generally range from 19 feet to 25 feet long and are usually about as wide as a standard vehicle. A vehicle like this will fit into almost any parking spot therefore it is safe to assume that you can take it anywhere.
As an example, at the time of this writing, Mather Campground at Grand Canyon National Park only allows for RVs and trailers up to 30 feet. There are also other campgrounds in this area that have a limit of 30 feet as well.
Staying at these campgrounds would not be an issue if you are driving a 20 foot Class B RV.
7. You Can Be More Stealthy
Park a Class A motorhome or a fifth wheel on the side of the road or in a public parking lot and see how long you last. Likely, you won’t last long. Anyone knows that a large rig like this has someone living inside of it and you may be asked to leave.
On the other hand, if you were to park in the same area with a camper van, you may go unnoticed. Although even this is unlikely since many class B motorhomes have features that set them apart from standard vehicles. Many people still aren’t sure if it is a motorhome or not.
This is easier to achieve in a camper van that is built primarily for stealth camping, also known as a stealth camper van.
Some class B vans such as the Pleasure Way 2020 Tofino are hard to tell if they are camper vans or not. The Tofino has a pop-up roof and when the roof is down, it’s still livable but doesn’t really look like something someone is living in.
Having a van like this can allow you to slip into a parking spot and go unnoticed.
A great way to achieve this benefit is to build one yourself. A stealth camper van is easy to build using a cargo van but you still have to be careful because as the popularity of these has increased, so has other people’s awareness of them.
8. You Can Live Minimally
The Class B RV forces you to live a minimal lifestyle. This may not be the life for you but in the modern times we live in where we all have so much stuff, it’s nice to get away from the consumerism that drives our hectic lifestyles.
When you travel in a Class B, there simply isn’t enough room for your stuff to come with you. Because of this, you are forced to enjoy the journey more.
Traveling in a larger motorhome allows you to bring more with you or collect more stuff while out on the road. A small van will keep you from doing this because you won’t have a place to put it all.
When you downsize your stuff and opt for enjoying the smaller things in life, you begin to appreciate the things that you have more. The small size of a Class B allows you to focus on enjoying your journey more.
9. It’s The Only Vehicle You’ll Need
When you head out on a journey in a camper van, you don’t need anything else. Your van serves as your home on wheels but it also serves as your get-around vehicle.
If instead, you travel in a larger motorhome or a travel trailer, you will need another vehicle that you will be able to use to get around once you are at your location.
Many RVers tow another vehicle behind their motorhomes such as a Jeep or a smaller car that is lightweight. Those who travel with trailers or fifth wheels use the vehicle that they used to tow the trailer.
Towing a second vehicle adds to the size and load which also affects your fuel economy and puts more strain on your engine. This is something to think about as you consider the long term costs associated with the RV you choose.
With a Class B, you can drive it to your location and then you can travel around using the same van. It becomes your personal vehicle once you get to where you are going. This is convenient and makes traveling much simpler and easier.
10. It Costs Less
Although some camper vans can be very expensive, the overall cost can be less when you consider the costs associated with a typical motorhome solution.
As mentioned in #9, when you choose to purchase a Class B RV, you will not need another vehicle. You will spend your money on the van and nothing else. Along with that comes exceptional fuel economy, lower maintenance costs and overall ease of use.
Compare that to purchasing a Class A motorhome. When you buy this type of large rig, you will probably need a smaller vehicle to tow along behind you.
The cost of the RV and the car will most likely be more than what you would pay for a camper van. Moreover, you will have higher fuel costs with the larger rig and also higher maintenance costs. Not to mention the inconvenience of driving the massive rig.
The same can be said with a travel trailer or a fifth wheel. Although, this will depend on whether you purchase new or used and whether you already have a vehicle to pull it. Purchasing a travel trailer and a vehicle to pull it can certainly put you at a higher cost than a camper van.
I looked at doing this very thing but decided in the end that a van would cost me less and I would enjoy driving it more.
Owning a Class B motorhome can be a lot of fun. It makes traveling exciting and allows you the freedom to go anywhere you want. The 10 reasons listed above are what I discovered during my search for the perfect RV.
My search began with Class C type motorhomes and I quickly moved onto travel trailers. In the end, I found camper vans and decided that this type of motorhome was perfect for my needs.
It offered everything I needed without being too expensive.
If you have a large family that will be traveling, a Class B may not be the right choice for you. However, if you are an adventure seeker and you like to have freedom when you travel, a Class B could be the perfect option.
There are probably many other reasons that you should purchase one and some might argue against these reasons but hopefully this will give you something to think about on your journey to find the perfect motorhome.